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What is Project Management Office (PMO)? Challenges & PMO Essentials

25 Nov 2011
What is Project Management Office (PMO)? Challenges & PMO Essentials

What is PMO? PMO (Project Management Office) is a group of people who are responsible for maintaining the standards of projects for their companies. They make sure that the project is delivered on time and within budget. Their primary goal is to follow the project management policies and standardised rules.

Project Management Office Challenges

PMOs have been popular since the middle to late 1990s. Yet, somewhat paradoxically, most PMOs in existence today are rather recent creations. The figure below shows the age distribution of PMOs in the sample. More than half the project management offices in existence today were created in the last two years. comparatively, Two phenomena are at work producing this situation:

  • New PMOs are being created at a relatively high rate
  • PMOs are being shut down or radically reconfigured at a similar rate
  • 17% of PMOs have been in existence for more than five years
  • 54% have been in existence for two years or less
  • PMO’S are frequently closed or restructured, which is consistent with the fact that many are being challenged

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Project Management Office Essentials

PMO Evolutions Challenges and Adaptations

Approximately half of the PMO’s in existence see their relevance or very existence questioned. Their often-precarious existence explains their frequent restructuring or demise, which has led to a population dominated by young PMO’s. In this context, a PMO often has only a short time to demonstrate its ability to create value before it is restructured or closed down. Due to this frequent restructuring, it may indicate that organisations are experimenting with PMOs and have not yet found an adequate fit for them in their respective structures. Institute of Project Management’s PMO Essentials short course is focused on familiarising you with all the project management office’s parts and enables you to improve it by helping you understand the role of PMO.


In conclusion, the Project Management Office (PMO) plays a pivotal role in ensuring project success by maintaining standards, adhering to policies, and overcoming challenges. Its role is crucial because, it drives efficiency, upholds quality, and provides strategic guidance. Moreover, the PMO acts as a central hub, fostering collaboration and ensuring alignment with organisational goals.

Source: A White Paper Prepared for Project Management Institute by Dr. Brian Hobbs, University of Quebec at Montreal, Quebec, Canada.