PMO’s come in all shapes and sizes. Some organizations function without a formal PMO, and others have multiple PMO’s. Where the PMO shows up on the organization chart and how the organization leaders establish governance has impact on the vision and mission of the PMO.

Projects are the most effective way to spend resources to deliver functionality and capability to the organization. The higher up in the organization, the broader the purview of the PMO, and a better, broader view of the business is taken into account during prioritization. In hard times, project dollars are scare, and the functionality/capability given to the business is more important – so chosing which projects to fund and prioritizing them becomes a key component in the delivery of new products and services.

If the PMO reports through a COO, it’s likely to be focused more on process improvements in the operational aspects of the business.

If the PMO reports through a CIO, it’s likely to be focused more on technology and software development.

If the PMO reports through a CFO, it’s likely to be focused more on financial controls and costs of the project.

If the PMO reports through a CMO, it’s likely to be focused more on branding and campaigns.

If the PMO reports through the Sales Channel, it’s likely to be focused on product development and sales.

The governing body that oversees the PMO also has great influence on the approved body of work.

In my view, the business strategy in the form of the product/services roadmap should set the stage for the discussion around project funding and prioritization.

Wherever the PMO sits, there are pro’s and con’s, checks and balances. Understanding where it sits gives you great insight into the organizational culture, and will help you understand the pathways to success.

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