What is PMO?

A PMO – project, programme and/or portfolio management office – is the function or department that defines & maintains standards for managing change within an organisation.

Providing expert guidance, support & coaching to the project management community, the PMO is seen as a strategic driver for excellence through best practice and the standardisation of approaches for project execution and governance. Usually the PMO will base its management principles on industry standard methodologies such as P3O, PRINCE2 or MSP.

It is also the “golden source” of documentation, guidance and metrics on portfolio, programme and project management processes, procedures, software tools and techniques.

Depending on the project approach & strategy in the organisation, the PMO may also take on other roles, such as

  • Defining standards & procedures for project, programme and portfolio management
  • Coaching & familiarising business stakeholders to appreciate the value of project, programme & portfolio management
  • Coordinating specialist project resources to support project & programme management
  • Advising on the development, production & maintenance of business cases
  • Advising on the development of plans & use of software tools
  • Reporting project, programme and/or portfolio performance against defined KPIs


Adapted from the Project Office Manager role description on the Axelos website