Establishing a project management office (PMO) or another similar organizational unit dedicated to overseeing project activity is an increasingly common practice. However, during planning, determining which organizational functions to attribute to the fledgling PMO can be difficult. After all, a PMO can wear many hats. It would be virtually impossible to create a list of the potential project management office functions an organization can leverage!

The real mission, then, is determining which PMO functions are most relevant to your organizational goals. To help you get started, we’ve created a list of functions and roles that you’ll likely see throughout PMOs in different industries.


Top 8 Project Management Office Functions to Consider

Below, we break down some of the most common and beneficial responsibilities a PMO can take on. Each of these core functions helps organizations make strategic decisions, deliver better-quality projects, and utilize their resources effectively.


1. Monitoring Project Execution & Performance

It’s no surprise that one of the biggest key functions of a project management office is project monitoring and tracking. In fact, establishing a PMO is more often than not motivated by needing to improve the speed, quality, and reliability of project execution.

To promote better execution results, a PMO oversees the delivery cycle to ensure projects deliver on schedule, budget, and scope. The PMO’s oversight also ensures stakeholder satisfaction with a project’s trajectory and performance metrics.

8 Project Management Office Functions That Support Organizational Success


So, how do PMOs do this? For one thing, PMOs are often responsible for consolidating and manipulating large sets of project-related data. They will track and report on progress throughout the project life cycle, making activity and work more dependable. Some hands-on PMOs actively involve themselves in execution and delivery tracking, while others focus on providing support to project managers.

Project teams can leverage the PMO’s knowledge of project portfolio management (PPM) standards and practices to avoid obstacles before they cause problems. Even for experienced teams, a PMO’s insights can support continuous learning and improvement.


2. Developing Project Management Methodologies

The creation of a project management office is usually step one of implementing a larger PPM structure into an organization. As a result, many PMOs define and implement methodologies that will be used to standardize project activities. Basically, they issue guidelines governing project management from start to finish, creating a “roadmap” that teams can follow to ensure they stay on track.

The best practices, standard metrics, and repeatable processes a PMO implements will ensure that activities and projects are consistent, even across different teams or departments. The result is an overall improvement in project performance and productivity.

Depending on the shape, line of business, and culture of the organization, a PMO may favor linear delivery methodologies such as the Waterfall approach or prefer a more Agile delivery framework. More and more PMOs elect to get the best of both worlds by crafting their own tailor-made hybrid process.


3. Implementing PPM Software & Tools

As it creates a project management office, an organization usually selects and implements professional software solutions like Sciforma.

Contrary to what many organizations may assume, PPM tools are not reserved for big firms and mega-projects. Even smaller-scale businesses can benefit from implementing these tools, which are purposely designed to consolidate data and automate tasks. No business can afford to pass on the opportunity to increase productivity, improve data quality, and optimize resource utilization!

Sciforma’s PPM software breaks down projects into a series of phases and tasks in order to improve management, make tracking more granular, and leverage data intelligence. Simulating project decisions, creating fast and comprehensive data analyses, and streamlining cross-team communication are just a few examples of what PPM software can do for an organization.

With its PPM expertise, your PMO will be instrumental in choosing the right tool for your organization. It should also play a large role in implementing the software and training team members to use it effectively.


4. Managing Programs & Portfolios

A project management office usually proves to be extremely useful when it comes to multi-project management. Because of shared resources, assets, and equipment, a company’s projects are always somewhat interdependent.

With its cross-department view of project activity, the PMO ensures the anticipation, understanding, and timely management of such dependencies. Unsurprisingly, by doing so, PMOs support the success of individual projects and ensure overall optimization.

PMOs also are in a perfect position to improve the management of programs and portfolios. Unlike regular PMs, who typically have to stay focused on their operational delivery responsibilities, a PMO enjoys a bigger-picture view. In turn, they can take a step back to gauge the balance and health of the organization’s programs and portfolios, performing or recommending adjustments where necessary.


5. Supporting Strategic Project Management

Managing the realization of business benefits is one of the most important functions of a project management office. Your PMO will score and rank project ideas based on pre-established criteria to strategically select beneficial potential projects.

In order to facilitate and standardize project selection and prioritization, a PMO implements dedicated processes and governance systems. It will:

  • Ensure the proper use of tools for gathering data and tracking project progress
  • Set and maintain standard criteria and selection processes
  • Define collaboration and decision-making mechanisms to control responsibilities across stakeholders 


6. Optimizing Resource Allocation

Unless you are working in an organization with boundless resources, optimizing limited talent, funds, and means of production is probably an everyday headache. Project management offices help teams manage resources more effectively and improve the process for allocating and assigning resources across all projects.

Visibility over schedules, budgets, project requirements, resource availability, and workload enables PMOs to manage priorities. Ideally, they can provide the right resources for the right projects at the right time.


7. Creating Collaborative Work Environments

In addition to improving the distribution of resources across activities, the PMO ensures the quality of the work environment and encourages interactions. It will disseminate a common culture, language, and mindset across the organization to harmonize work practices and support collaboration.

This will in turn improve synchronization, productivity, and versatility, overall improving the employee experience. The effort of the PMO functions to create a work environment permeated by a culture of trust and constructive feedback.

Likewise, a PMO can be instrumental in bridging the gap between strategic decision-makers and operations by relaying C-level decisions and orientations to project management teams.


8. Offering Training & Guidance

The PMO is in charge of staying on top of project management-related innovation and new developments. By attending trade shows, conferences, and events, PMOs are exposed to fresh ideas and can get inspired by other organizations. Then, they pass on this knowledge and make sure it is assimilated and put into practice by project teams.

PMOs also provide training services to PMs and teams to ensure their skills are always up to date. A PMO might, for instance, organize regular workshops or other learning modules to provide ongoing support and coaching to teams. However, the mentoring and training effort should ideally go beyond project teams to include project owners and senior sponsors, who might not always be fully aware of the requirements of project management activity.


Final Thoughts on Project Management Office Functions

The functions and missions outlined above can be described as the core activities of a majority of PMOs. However, every project management office is different. The size, shape, and line of activity of your business, as well as your organizational culture and management style, all help define the place and role of your PMO. And hopefully, in doing so, you’ll maximize its value for your enterprise.

Want more insight into the functions of a PMO and how they’ll adapt to fit changing expectations? Check out The PMO Outlook Report: 2024 Edition for a comprehensive look at how to build a successful PMO.

Partager l'article sur


Camélia Docquin

Camélia is Sciforma’s Global Marketing Director and enjoys learning different perspectives of the current business environment and project management challenges that enterprises and individuals face daily. Main interests include : innovation, digital transformation, and strategy execution.