PMO Implementation Plan PPT Template Free Download

While 85% of organizations have a PMO in place (The State of Project Management 2016), most PMOs close within the first 3 years (APM). This is a shocking statistic so no wonder most companies implementing a new PMO find it a daunting and tough.

PMO Implementation Plan
PMO Implementation Plan
Fortunately for you, this article will help you to set up a PMO Implementation Plan, highlighting the important aspects you need to consider in order to succeed and escape the statistics.

Best Practices for Successful PMO

A plan is always a good start but there are a couple of considerations that you should keep in mind if you are aiming for success:
  1. Don’t try to boil the ocean: it’s tempting to try to do everything at once but it’s preferable to do few things right than to do everything in a poor way. Learn how to crawl before you attempt to run.
  2. Clear vision: establishing a clear and compelling vision is key. What is it you are trying to achieve with the PMO? Where do you want to be?
  3. Clear Expectations: ultimately, your stakeholders are the ones who will determine if the PMO is to exist and continue or not so you should do your best to keep them on your side and understand their views and concerns. What is of value for them? What is in the PMO for them?

  4. Communicate, communicate, communicate: pic or didn’t happen. We live in a social world now so use it to spread the word about your achievements and engage with the PMO community!
  5. Right Team: having the right team can be what makes or breaks your PMO. As the saying goes, hire passion, train skills!
  6. Quick-wins: it can take a long time until you reach your desired level of maturity but if you focus your implementation on quick-wins, value can be delivered sooner (I’m sure people will be happy about it!)
  7. Strong Sponsorship: just like with the PMO team, having a committed, supportive, and available sponsor is essential to set the direction for the PMO so invest time in getting the right sponsor for this project.
PMO Implementation Plan Success Factors
PMO Implementation Plan Success Factors

Implementing a PMO is a project

  • Implementing a PMO should be treated as a strategic business change project. Let me repeat: as a project. 
  • This means having someone in place to manage the project and coordinate the project team, identifying a sponsor and, of course, having a project plan with clearly identified phases, tasks, deliverable, and resources. 
  • As with other project plan, it is fundamental that the plan is designed with those who are going to be involved in its execution, and that it is realistic in its approach and timescales. 
  • If you are a doer who has been handed-over a plan from the sales team, you certainly know what I’m talking about.

PMO Implementation Plan Phases

Define

  • Before you can actually start, it’s important that you understand the organizational context that led to the need of establishing a PMO, since this will help you to better define what expectations will the PMO aim to meet, who are the PMO stakeholders, what objectives should the PMO aim for, and what functions and services will better respond to the achievement of those objectives. 
  • During this phase, two key deliverable should be produced and signed-off. 
  • Firstly, the PMO Business Case, which should provide a robust case (financial, strategic, etc.) for a PMO to be established. 
  • Secondly, the PMO Charter, a sort of a “contract” between the organization and the project for the establishment of the PMO. 
  • The Charter should identify what will be the mission, vision and objectives of the PMO, what departments will be covered, and, at a high level, what will be the approach for implementation.

Plan

  • In this phase, we start detailing which functions and services should the PMO deliver to meet expectations, which are usually captured in what is called the “PMO Services Catalog”. 
  • In order to better perform those services, it’s also important to identify what configuration should the PMO take, in terms of type and model, and who should it report to, aspects which are captured in the “PMO Governance and Operating Model”. 
  • This is also the moment when the PMO will plan its roadmap, identifying what needs to be achieved in the short, medium, and long-term and what criteria will be used to assess success in the implementation.

Implement

  • Once the roadmap has been agreed, it’s time to implement it, one bit at a time. Start by gathering the right team around you and defining their roles and responsibilities. 
  • People are at the core of what projects are about thus having a skilled and committed team in place can be the secret ingredient for your PMO success! Then…there’s plenty to do! 
  • Defining how projects are going to be run in the organization (a methodology), creating project templates, establishing mechanisms and governance for reporting on the portfolio, delivering training and educating staff in the methodology and in the new working practices and even considering the use of a PPM tool to support your work (although this may be more useful at a later stage) are activities that should be in the radar of the PMO for the first months of implementation.
  • Once all is in a good shape, try to pilot the approach with a couple of minimal-risk-projects (should there be such a thing!), capture feedback, learn and apply refinements and start thinking how you are going to roll it out by creating a Roll-out Plan.

PMO Implementation Plan
PMO Implementation Plan

Manage

  • While the “Implement” phase is the most effort and time-consuming, it is actually in the day-to-day of the PMO that you will understand how successful has the implementation been. 
  • It’s in the trenches that the value of the PMO is going to be tested so prepare, be brave, and keep up the good work! 
  • This is an opportunity to measure what you have achieved so far, learn from failures, refine your work, communicate your achievements, and prepare the next wave of work, with the purpose of improving the PMO and the organizational project management maturity. 
  • Following, a PMO maturity assessment will enable you to identify any gaps and gather the support you need to plan for the journey.

Close

  • Do not despair yet! “Close” is here just because your PMO may have been created to support a specific project or programme now ending. 
  • Should this be the case, please do not underestimate the importance of this phase as so often happens with projects. 
  • Closure is important (you can ask my therapist!). It involves not just housekeeping, like closing administrative contracts, risk logs, etc., but also ensuring that the organizational memory is alive by gathering lessons learned from the PMO implementation and management and by transferring that knowledge back to the organization. 
  • However, if you are a permanent PMO, please disregard this text and just continue being awesome.

No PMO is alike thus each implementation is contextual and will have its own challenges and amusements. Nevertheless, they should all obey to the same principles: plan the 
work, work the plan, and have fun along the way!

Liked what you read? Tell us how did your PMO implementation go and stay tuned for our upcoming articles!



Swapnil Wale

Written by

Swapnil Wale is an IT Professional based in Sydney, Australia with over 10 years of experience in technology and project management. He is a passionate blogger and focuses on project management and BRMS articles.

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