How The PMO Director Defines And Upholds Standards


The PMO Director’s Work On Definining Project Management Standards

In the role as head of pmo, one has to define project templates or forms project managers could use to carry out a project. Now, let’s be clear we’re not talking here of creating new forms or checklists from scratch. The pmo director needs to use best practices to craft standards from an existing checklist or body of standards (such as project management institute or PMI). The forms need to be practical and clear so project managers can understand their value. For example, if the projects in this industry don’t use Monte-Carlo simulation, then forms don’t need it in them. One of the key steps in defining forms is to scale them according to project size. For example, the pmo head could set the forms according to overall project sizes as:

  • Small projects ($1-5 million)
  • Mid-size projects ($5-15 million) 
  • Large projects (above $15 million)

The purpose of scaling is to keep it practical, simple and useful for project managers. Even for large projects, setting the maximum number of forms to 30 keeps it easy for users. Small and midsize ones could use fewer.

Next, the pmo director’s job is to make sure project managers can use the templates and best practices to improve project results.

Driving To Uphold Standards

Once the pmo has set the right standards in place, it’s time to continually uphold them. Project managers need to use the right forms based on the expected size of the project. Starting from the proposal phase they need to run through all the steps till they close the project. The pmo head needs to assign an online place for project managers to store the project documents so one can easily find them. Also, such steps support auditing the project for quality and work. The pmo director has to insist that project managers remain accountable for filling these forms according to the project’s progress. Since every project is a library for lessons, it’s important for the entire business unit to use the records from the standards of a finished project to improve:

  • Estimating labor, risks and costs for projects
  • Budgeting
  • Setting milestone timelines for cash flow
  • Understanding delays and reducing their effects on future projects
  • Improving sales and profits
  • Quality planning, assurance and control
  • Effect on customer needs
  • Effect on the team's work
  • Effect on the future of the business unit

If the pmo director sets the right standards for his project managers and teams, the business unit can expect to repeat great results.

Written by Suresh Iyengar, P.E., President, Business Unit Execution LLC––“Explosive Business Coaching Houston Results For Small Business”. Want even faster results? Are you ready to learn? Call 281.410.5375 and speak to your Profitability Coach Houston today!

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