In addition to determining the objectives or reasons for implementing the PMO, a PMO model should also be decided. In the book, Advanced Project Portfolio Management and PMO: Multiplying ROI at Warp Speed, the authors identify four types of PMO models, citing the Gartner Group for originating the first three (Kendall & Rollins, 2003, Chapter 19):

  • Project Repository Model – serves as the source for standards, tools and processes
  • Project Coaching Model – serves as the source for best practices and provides support to project managers
  • Enterprise PMO Model – a more permanent model that “owns” project management practices and project managers. In this model, project managers usually report to the PMO.
  • “Deliver Value Now” Model – this model, as proposed by Kendall and Rollins, focuses on organizational goals first and takes a holistic view of the project portfolio to determine the proper balance of projects for the benefit of the organization.

The table below summarizes the complexity and level of executive commitment required for each model:

PMO Models

Of course, an organization may choose a model which may be a combination of any of the above models. Another model which should be noted is a short term model existing solely to support the implementation of a program or large project; these models cease to exist when the program or major project has been implemented. The 30 day plan can also be used to implement this model as well.