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The Program Management Office Advantage

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The Program Management Office Advantage

A Powerful and Centralized Way for Organizations to Manage Projects


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Successful firms control portfolios of multiple projects through program management offices. Here’s why.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


A “Program Management Office” (PMO) helps an organization decide which projects it should fund and establishes proven project management procedures and processes. It also ensures that project managers adhere to controls. Management consultants Lia Tjahjana and Paul Dwyer and associate management professor Mohsin Habib discuss the PMO’s benefits and explain why your company might want a PMO and how to establish it. To illustrate PMOs at work, the authors present a case history based on an actual organization and walk readers through the various PMO considerations. Although the presentation is relatively dry, getAbstract recommends this comprehensive guidebook because it carefully spells out what project managers and senior executives need to know about PMOs and how they work.


Coordinated Project Management

Most companies have multiple projects underway simultaneously, but as they pump human, financial and material resources into so many endeavors, how do they ensure that each one directly supports company objectives? Many firms with 10, 20, 100 or more projects running concurrently establish “Program Management Offices” (PMOs) to assign resources, manage processes, monitor progress and ensure that each project accomplishes its objectives. A PMO is “an operation center that...governs and supports projects from initiation to completion...[and improves] an organization’s project management capabilities.” It is the umbrella supervising and coordinating agency serving as a liaison between project managers and senior corporate management.

The project management field formally defines a “project” as “a structured process established to deliver specific outputs within applicable constraints (time, cost and quality) while taking into consideration elements such as risk and resources.” A “program” manages multiple projects, and a “portfolio” is a “collection of programs.” Each project relies on a “project office” to handle its administrative functions...

About the Authors

Lia Tjahjana is a project management expert. Paul Dwyer has been a project manager for more than 10 years. Mohsin Habib is an associate professor of management at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

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