PM 3 – Program Management and the PMO

This is the third post in a series where I will write down what I learned about project management.

According to the PMI vocabulary, a program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way (where the benefits are greater than managing them individually).

For example, building an auto is a program, that can be broken up into projects for each major component (exterior, engine, etc.).

Also, publishing a magazine is a program with each individual issue managed as a project.

The focus therefore is – instead of on the single projects – on the final outcome and benefits that should be greater than the single parts (= doing the right projects).

Often a program is just meant to be a set of projects but the PMi is calling this rather a portfolio of projects, where  the projects can be not directly related or independent from each other and the focus is to exploit economies of scale and to reduce coordination costs and risks (= doing projects right).

Project Program
Time: unique, definite duration ongoing
Success: defined, delivering the right output at the right time and to the right cost strategic, improving the general benefits of the organizaton
Organization: transient permanent or semi-permanent

A Project (or Program) Management Office (in short PMO) is a unit in an organization to centralize and coordinate the management of projects.

Tipical activities for a PMO are:

  • Defining the project management methodology and lifecycle for the organisation.
  • Developing training plans and succession planning approaches for the team members.
  • Developing criteria by which to assess new projects.
  • Assigning and tracking the projects among the project managers.
  • Coaching and mentoring the project managers.
  • Putting together a benefits management or benefits tracking model for use in the company.

One thought on “PM 3 – Program Management and the PMO

  1. Pingback: PM – 2: What is then project management? « Look back in respect

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