My Project Management Office (PMO) Assessment Checklist

This building construction site has a very small PMO.

A client asked me to assess a malfunctioning Project Management Office (PMO). This question had to come, because PMO's are in fashion, and there are quite a few around. But do PMO's have a Return On Investment (ROI)?

In building construction PMO's have a solid place in the project organization. Building construction sites like on the photo have a PMO of less than 5 persons. On site there are maybe more than 1,000 employees working.

Back to the PMO assessment. To be able to assess a PMO I needed a PMO assessment checklist. So I thought to download 1 from the Internet. And is not Google your best friend?

Unfortunately it turned out not to be that simple. Even the Wikipedia mentions that the article lacks sufficient references. On PMO:

The minimum PMO function is standards and methodology. Also, functions like Strategic Project Management either as facilitator or actively as owner of the Portfolio Management process can be added. Tasks may include Monitoring and Reporting on active projects (following up project until completion), and reporting progress to top management for strategic decisions on what projects to continue or cancel.

Sadly, I had to think a little more. A PMO is actually a staff type organizational unit, and not an operational type. Why not pick a staff function checklist. The result is my PMO assessment checklist.

Required PMO functions:

  • Standards
  • Methodology
  • Metrics

Optional PMO functions:

  • Controller
  • Desk studies
  • Legal advice
  • Operations research
  • Personnel training
  • Project planning
  • Public relations
  • Relation management
  • Research & Development
  • Strategic planning
  • Technical administrative workforce
  • Time registration

A last point on the meaning of the acronym PMO. In this blog I use PMO for Project Management Office. However, some sources speak consequently of Program Management Office. Pick your choice!

This concludes my PMO assessment checklist. My question is now: How does your PMO checklist look like?

Do you need a PMO performance improvement? Or do you need help to setup a PMO? Or do you want to rightsize a PMO?

Call Hans Lodder now!

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