The Secret to a Successful PMO

Do you want to know what makes a truly successful Project Management Office? I can tell you it’s not a specific tool, methodology or certification. At eimagine, our PMO is the gatekeeper for all of the work that the folks on our development team completes. As a result, our team has developed a series of tools and processes that we leverage day to day. While this might seem like our secret sauce, I can assure you it’s not.

If I were to drop licenses for Team Foundation Server, SharePoint and CRM in your lap, or send you a diagram detailing our internal PMO processes, it would do little to help you set up a PMO at your own organization. That’s because setting up a successful PMO is like forming any other high performing team, it hinges on effective communication. While our PMO processes have certainly contributed to our success as a team, it is really our commitment to clear and transparent communication that has driven our team forward.

To maintain our commitment to open and consistent communication, our PMO has several points of pre-described contact each week. Below is a sampling of our meetings and communication cadence as a PMO. It’s important to note that some of these may or may not work for your organization. The type, frequency and content of communication may be different depending on goals, and composition of your organization. For example, our PMO also takes part in the ceremonies of Scrum: Backlog Grooming, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Retrospective. Depending on how your organization manages projects, these might not be applicable.

In the listing below, take note of the type and audience of communication as this speaks to our values as a company: clearly defining expectations, delivering on what we promise and continuous improvement.

Communication Description Frequency Participants
Daily Scrum Discuss deviations from our task tracking software, accomplishments and obstacles Daily Development Team, PMO
Weekly Allocation Discuss project successes/issues, assistance needed from other team members, validate team member allocation Weekly PMO
Resource Allocation Review Resource Allocation report (PMO generated), review upcoming projects, discuss concerns Weekly PMO
PMO Execution Discuss development team morale, project issues/successes, PMO goal progress, action items for PMO Bi-weekly PMO
Technology Review Review technical best practices and determine what updates are needed from a technology perspective Quarterly PMO, Technical Services


What does communication in your PMO look like? Post your comments below!

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