Project Management Office (PMO): Roles And Responsibilities

The Project Management Office (PMO) is the division in the organization that performs project management activities.

Activities include planning, implementation, monitoring and controlling, and project closing. In this article, we list the main roles in the Project Management Office (PMO) and describe their responsibilities, roles, and functions.

What is a project?

The projects are temporary, one-time initiatives. They are usually subject to constraints related to costs, resources, budget, and time. Projects have clear deadlines and short-term goals that give way to tangible results or deliverables.

What is a program?

The programs are made up of several major, interrelated projects. These projects complement and build on each other to achieve a larger, long-term business goal. A successful program leads to strategic benefits and organizational growth, not a tangible result.

Roles And Responsibilities of the Project Management Office (PMO)

Some of these people are the so-called Functional Manager, Program Manager, Project Sponsor, Project Director, and Steering committee. Each of these positions has its share of responsibilities to help work and achieve the ultimate goal.

I will provide more information on each of these key roles below:

Functional Manager

Functional managers monitor the activities of one unit of the organization, ensuring that the projects of their unit are completed on time and following the budget. This role requires a balance between high-level planning and guidance and practical guidance to ensure that team members perform critical tasks on schedule.

Functional managers tend to lead the activities of project managers and team members by providing guidance and advice throughout the lifecycle of several simultaneous projects. Functional managers make many decisions that determine the effectiveness and efficiency of their unit, from budgeting to staffing, and are often the main point of contact between project teams and stakeholders. Reference: “Project manager vs Program manager vs Project sponsor: Differences and responsibilities“,

Responsibilities of the Functional Manager

  • Informs about changes in the availability of resources of the project/program manager;
  • Monitors the status of the project/program and understands the impact on their resources and areas of responsibility;
  • Helps the project/program manager to provide leadership and get buy-in;
  • Evaluates the overall effectiveness and quality of the results;
  • Provides improvement in the effective implementation and effective integration of various functions;
  • Participates in the decision-making process of the project/program that is relevant to the impact on the tasks for which it is responsible;
  • Communicates with the project/program manager about any changes in the project that affect the quality or scope of the result;
  • It is ensured that the specific requirements for the manufactured products are discussed and understood;
  • Participates in project risk analysis and problem management when necessary; Reference: “What is Project Management, definition and usual practices and methods“,
  • Ensure that there is a balance between the work required for the project and any other routine activities;
  • Decide which resources to allocate to the project, making sure that those allocated have the appropriate skills needed for the project or have the ability to acquire such skills;
  • Understands the work required of his project resources, as well as any new skills they may acquire as a result of the project work;
  • Ensures that funds are available for the project as originally promised and agreed;
  • Manages all resource performance issues that the project/program manager may encounter and report.

The differences between Program and Project Manager

  • Program managers control groups of projects; Project managers control individual projects;
  • Program managers focus on long-term business goals. Project managers have short-term, concrete results;
  • Program managers are strategic; Project managers are tactical.

Project manager

The project manager is the person who has overall responsibility for the successful initiation, planning, design, implementation, monitoring, control, and completion of a project. Reference: “What is Project Management?”,

Construction, petrochemistry, architecture, information technology, and many different industries that produce products and services use this position.

The project manager must have a combination of skills, including the ability to ask the right questions, detect inconsistent assumptions and resolve conflicts, as well as more general management skills.

A key responsibility of the Project Manager is to recognize that risk directly affects the likelihood of success and that this risk must be measured both formally and informally throughout the life of the project.

Risks stem from uncertainty, and a successful Project Manager focuses on this as a primary concern. Most of the problems that affect a project have their origins in one way or another.

A good Project Manager can significantly reduce risk, often by adhering to an open communication policy, ensuring that every significant player has the opportunity to express opinions and concerns.

The project manager is the person responsible for making decisions, both large and small. He needs to make sure the risk is controlled and the uncertainty is kept to a minimum. Any decision that the project manager makes must benefit directly on his project.

Project managers use project management software, such as Microsoft Project, to organize their tasks and workforce. These software packages allow you to prepare reports and charts in a few minutes, compared to the few hours it can take if done by hand.

Roles and responsibilities of the Project Manager

  • Planning and determining the scope of the project;
  • Planning and sequence of activities;
  • Resource planning;
  • Scheduling;
  • Time assessment;
  • Cost estimation;
  • Budget development;
  • Documentation;
  • Creating charts and graphs;
  • Risk analysis;
  • Risk and problem management;
  • Monitoring and reporting on progress;
  • Team leadership;
  • Strategic influence;
  • Business partnership;
  • Work with suppliers;
  • Scalability, Interoperability and Portability Analysis;
  • Quality control;
  • Benefits Realization.

Program Manager

The program manager formulates the strategy and goals of the program and assesses how this will affect the business. It must identify and control a list of dependent projects needed to achieve the overall objectives of the program.

Think of a program manager as an architect who sketches a plan. Although the architects do not install plumbing or drywall, they make sure that all these parts come together to create a beautiful home. The role of the program manager extends beyond the completion of individual projects to the long-term implementation of the entire program.

Their responsibilities include recruiting teams, implementing strategies, measuring return on investment, and other big-world initiatives. “Program managers manage the processes through which technology is made. These are more business roles than technology jobs. That’s the key border key. ”

Why do you need a program manager?

A decade ago, most IT initiatives could be taken as single projects. No longer. The reason: the complexity of IT resources and assets and their impact on the company’s business operations.

“For CIOs trying to implement change, change inevitably comes in the form of complex projects that are truly programs,” said Sam Lawler, practical director of project management and strategy at GlassHouse Technologies.

Today, IT initiatives often require a programmatic approach to ensure proper implementation and coordination.

Project Director

The project director is responsible for project management at the strategic level. The project director is usually the main person in the project, managing resources and controlling finances to ensure that the project progresses on time and within budget.

The Project Director reviews the regular progress reports and makes personal, financial, or other adjustments to bring the project under development in line with the wider objectives of the results. The project director usually leads a team of project managers and project teams. Monitors other department heads in the implementation of certain projects and informs senior management about the progress of a plan. He is a key member of the Steering Committee.

Responsibilities of the Project Director

  • Coordinates the efforts of different workers to ensure that the necessary tasks can be performed;
  • Develops a schedule for the implementation of certain milestones for a project;
  • Creates a budget for the completion of certain work and monitors the amount of money spent to ensure that the project does not exceed this amount;
  • Recommends changes to a project that is ongoing if it does not appear to be on schedule or leads to unsatisfactory results;
  • Develops an alternative course of action to complete the work if the original plan fails;
  • Makes presentations to investors, business partners, and company executives about different phases of a project;
  • Review proposals and approve or reject them;
  • Signs contracts with external support agencies if necessary.

Project Sponsor

This is the person to whom the results of the project are delivered. They are one level above the Project Manager.

They are not directly involved in the day-to-day implementation of the project, but usually bear some form of responsibility for the success and/or failure of the project.

They often have a say in decisions about large projects and are constantly aware of the status of the project. A project sponsor is a natural person with overall accountability for the project.

It is mainly concerned with ensuring that the project provides the agreed business benefits and acts as a representative of the organization, playing a vital leadership role in several areas:

  • Provides business context, expertise, and guidance to the project manager and team;
  • Upholds the project, including “sells” and promotes throughout the organization to provide capacity, funding, and priority for the project;
  • Acts as an escalation point for decisions and issues that are beyond the powers of the Project Manager;
  • Acts as an additional line of communication and monitoring with team members, customers, and other stakeholders;
  • It acts as a link between the project, the business community, and decision-making groups at the strategic level.

Responsibilities of the Project Sponsor

The sponsor is responsible for the success of the project/program. To achieve this, the sponsor will:

Makes sure that business needs are valid, properly prioritized, and documented in the business case (if applicable);

Ensures that the project/program provides the agreed sustainable business benefits, goals, and objectives

Makes sure the project/program is started correctly;

Makes sure that changes to the project/program are properly approved;

Resolves problems and conflicts and removes obstacles that are beyond the control of the project/program manager;

Gets a commitment from senior management;

Receives and engage appropriate resources (budget and people);

Makes sure that the project/program manager achieves the project objectives.

Approves key project results such as business case, charter, milestones / final exit, and closure stages;

Provides appropriate updates and negotiations with senior management and governing bodies.


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Steering committee

A steering committee is a group of people, usually managers. It is formed to supervise and support a project at the management level.

The members of the commission are selected based on their share in the project.

In other words: The Steering Committee must represent the main stakeholders. The client, the contractor, and the departments most affected by your project. Those who sit on the committee usually do not work on the project.

The project manager with his team is the one who implements the project.

Management committees often include C-level managers such as CEOs or CFOs. Why? The projects are closely related to the company’s strategy and cost a lot of money. And executives have a strong interest in making sure the money is well spent.

Why do projects need management?

The committee’s job is to steer the project in the right direction.
Projects often have to make big decisions. Solutions for how a company manages its processes and how teams work together.

These decisions cannot be made by the project team. Also, the steering board can help solve problems quickly.

This is the moment when the project team has tried everything to solve the problem (without success).

The Committee can use its managerial power to resolve problems and resolve conflicts quickly.

Responsibilities of the Steering committee

Support the project

As leaders of contributing departments, they can encourage their teams to work harder and create a sense of urgency in people’s minds.

Making decisions

Some decisions are too big to be taken by the project alone. For example, solutions for new business models. Or solutions to how business processes are handled. Reference: “Managerial decision making: methods and models“,

Solves problems

When you need management support during negotiations or to decide which path to take, you turn to the Committee.

Approves the project budget

The Steering Committee must approve your initial project budget. In addition, it must approve requests for additional budgets.

Receives project status updates

A status update is given every few weeks.

Encourages and motivates the Project Manager

The management committee is like insurance. You know that you only need it when you are in the deep and you need someone (ie guidance) to take you out.