Program Management Office (PMO)


Addressing every step of program and project oversight.


How many times have you launched a program only to have it get lost in the day-to-day demands of your business? You’re not alone. To execute successfully takes a strong project team, clearly defined scope of tasks, and monitoring progress toward goals.

Studies show that only one third of special projects are successful and most (53%) end up costing much more than originally estimated. Why do so many projects fail outright while others lag behind schedule or end up not delivering expected results? Success is often compromised because assigned leads still have to contend with business as-usual in addition to the program or project they’re assigned to execute. They are not typically equipped to develop, manage and deliver complex programs and projects using consistent methods that tie project results to business goals.

SolomonEdwards is equipped to help your team address every step of program and project oversight from start to finish. Drawing upon our deep experience we guide you through this process:

  • Infrastructure – Evaluate and select technology to support execution of programs and projects
  • Governance – Define roles and responsibilities, and provide oversight
  • Budgeting – Fiscal practices and controls of projects and programs
  • Planning – Plan activities at multiple levels; addressing different goals
  • Execution – Drive the plans and administer both projects and the overall program; regularly meeting milestone targets

Get a customized PMO Maturity Level assessment by answering a few quick questions >>>

Here are some best practices for designing and leading PMOs:

  1. Put senior leaders in charge of PMOs and earn strong sponsorship across the organization. Entrust a senior leader at the company to oversee the PMO and give them the authority to execute. Staff it with senior, experienced people. That allows the PMO to provide services tailored to the needs of their clients. Garner buy-in from the top and find champions.
  1. Get agreement on the purpose of the PMO. This is key – maybe the most important activity for a successful PMO. Develop clear objectives with the PMO sponsor to ensure alignment on the intention of the PMO. Communicate that purpose with all stakeholders to set and manage expectations.
  1. Become a learning organization. Few companies leverage the lessons learned from project failures and apply them to future initiatives. A learning organization mitigates or avoids making the same mistakes repeatedly. A PMO can capture the factors affecting wins or losses and the recommended changes needed to achieve better future results. Confirm that all other projects and programs benefit from these learnings. If you learn from a failure, it becomes an investment. If you do not, it is a total loss.
  1. Step up quality assurance (QA). Auditing each project under the PMO measures its performance, encourages continuous improvement, and provides tangible recommendations. The word “audit,” or QA, can trigger negativity. People perceive it as a means to point out shortcomings, but it should not be that way. The reality is that QA should provide a helping hand to ensure success. It can help avoid pitfalls, reduce risk, and put troubled projects back on track. It’s a relatively low-cost tactic with high-returns.
  1. Communicate clearly with all stakeholders. Keep the lines of communication open. A lack of information can breed concern or discontent. Make measurement and reporting relevant and tie it back to the purpose of the PMO.

Click below for COO Ann Hook‘s guide to ensure your PMO investment is paying off.