PMO: Neither Friend nor Enemy


By Cleber Santos

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Despite the short time working in a PMO, I see clearly and I can safely say, aversion to certain areas in relation to the activities of a Project Management Office, or PMO, are known. Regardless of how well we illustrate some of the literature of project management, the PMO should be limited to a specific role and it should be determined if it makes any kind of service. Well, let’s see some brief definitions of PMO made by Ricardo Vargas:

  • Project Self: for the management of a specific project;
  • Office Support Projects: project office ball departmental support for concurrent projects;
  • Centre of Excellence: Developing GPs, leaders and team members responsible;
  • Office Enterprise Project: is the sphere of corporate office, working in the strategic management of all projects within the organization.

PMO has grown quickly in Brazil. According to research PMSURVEY 2012, about 26% of participating companies were in the process of implementing a PMO at the time of the survey. But with all this growth, we must analyze the background surrounding the implementation of a project office. Could it be that they are all companies that are prepared, be they functional structure, weak matrix or strong, to receive a PMO in its structure?

Consider two of the main reasons cited for the failure to implement a PMO:

  • Resistances and cultural issues were not adequately treated (57.0%);
  • Lack of sponsorship from senior management (53.0%);

Among other reasons mentioned, based on this information, we can observe when it talks about deployment of PMO in a company.  The more conservative people, sometimes old company employees, soon perceive a bureaucratization of services that were formerly done in a more agile manner, and are sometimes being forced to follow best practices or even the methodology proposed by the PMO.

Another interesting approach regarding the main function of a PMO in companies:


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About the Author

flag-brazilcleber-araujo-dos-santosCleber Araujo dos Santos

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Cleber Araujo dos Santos works as a Project Analyst in a PMO in a service company. He is certified by PMI CAPM and has master in project management. He operates in strategic and tactical projects in the company. Cleber studied at the Veiga de Almeida University and lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Owner and maintains the site www.projetosbrasil.com.  Contact: [email protected]