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Types and functions of Global PMOs

Created on 12 August 2007 Written by Jean Binder
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Image © Carole Nickerson | Dreamstime.comA project office is an organisational unit composed of skilled professionals in project and program management, which centralises, coordinates and oversees the management of portfolios, programs and projects in its domain. The project offices also define and maintain project management standards and methodologies, and are the keepers of the project documentation, templates and metrics.

Many international companies and partnerships aim to implement a worldwide standard for program and project management practices, and to align the methods and procedures of different companies, countries and organisational units working on the same program or project. Program and project offices can achieve these goals.  

Different types of PMO exist in international companies, depending on their hierarchical position and the main functions provided to the organisation: corporate, regional, functional and outsourced. The PMO team members are often distributed across various countries (Global PMO). The main categories of services provided by the global project offices to local subsidiaries and other departments are knowledge management, management of portfolios, management of programs and projects and support to program and project managers.


The chapter 13 of the “Global Project Management” book reviews the different definitions and objectives of project and program offices, and the main services they provide to foster innovation and improve the effectiveness of global programs and projects.


Jolliet, Y. (2006) ‘Des difficultés a gérer la connaissance à l’échelle d’une multinationale: Leçons apprises d’un projet global de « knowledge management »’ in The Swiss Project Management Journal (PM@CH), Number 1, December 2006.

 Image © Carole Nickerson | 
Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:20
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