PMOs Where to? – Going Back to Basics


By Dr. Waffa Karkukly, PMP, ACP

Ontario, Canada

Executive Summary

In the race for excellence and increased expectations of PMOs, some organizations have been setting their PMOs for failure either through the lack of understanding of what a PMO does or should do; or by asking too much of their PMOs to get from zero to 100 based on other PMOs that have been built.  Prior to having PMOs, organizations tried to solve for their organizational challenges (e.g. lack of collaboration, lack of structure, lack of delivery, etc.) through organizational models structures (functional, divisional, matrix, and projectized).  A great notion of a project base organization.

In this paper, the author aims at exploring the impact of organizational models on PMO’s, challenges and issues surrounding the ignorance of PMOs abilities or asking too much of the PMO.  The author will explain what it means to go back to basics and offers a simple five steps guiding principles to for organizations to consider when they embark on getting a PMO built.


PMO, Project Management, Integration, function


Organizations are structured in variety of ways that help them achieve their objectives and maximize their value.  The structure of an organization influences the ability of its PMO to achieve the desired objectives. The “cultural norms” include: the common understanding, approach to executing, what is acceptable or not, and who influences decisions, are what is known organizational culture (PMBOK, 2008).  “Organizational structure is an enterprise environmental factors which affects availability of resources, and influences how projects are conducted” (PMBOK, 2008, pg28).  Therefore, if organizational structure shapes how projects are conducted, then most likely it will shape how the PMO function will deliver these projects.

As of today PMOs exist in variety of organizational structure and while  there is no perfect structure, each of the structures has its advantages and disadvantages; organizations should maximize the advantages of a specific structure that works for their type of business and ensure the type of PMO required fits their organization structure.


To read entire paper (click here)

About the Author

waffa-karkuklyflag-canadaWaffa Karkukly

Ontario, Canada

Waffa Karkukly is currently the President and Managing Director for the www.globalpmosolution.com.  Waffa has an extensive experience in Project Management, specializing in building PMOs and revitalizing and assessing value proposition of existing PMOs.  Waffa has helped organization improve their IT and / or Project management practices through building standards and proven solutions that improved the delivery process of an organization.  Waffa is an active PMI member and a frequent speaker and panelist at the various PMI events. Waffa has a BSC in Information Systems from DePaul University and an MIT from Northwestern University in the United States, and is currently a PhD Candidate at SKEMA School of Business in France.    She is a certified project management professional (PMP) and Agile Certified Professional (ACP) by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), and is dedicated to improving the understanding and standards of project management practices, especially in the Value proposition of building and sustaining successful PMOs. Waffa can be reached at [email protected].