Who put the ‘M’ in PMO?

The abbreviation, PMO, might mean (to you) a Project Management Office, it can also stand for Program(me) Management Office (confusingly also a PMO) or even a Portfolio Management Office (increasingly confusingly also a PMO). There is even talk of a Project Office (PO), a Project Control Office (PCO), a Central Project Office (CPO), and a Project Support Office (PSO).  Throw in a Project Management Centre of Excellence and you can really have a field day with these three initials.

It you (and your business) have a sense of humour it can stand for ‘Projects Mostly Over-budget’.

But how about this for an idea? I can’t solve the whole project or program or portfolio meaning of the ‘P’ and the ‘O’ standing for office seems pretty acceptable but why not let the ‘M’ stand for ‘marketing’- The Project Marketing Office (or program or portfolio)?

One of the key aspects I identified in my book ‘Leading Successful PMOs’ (Gower) was that a good and balanced PMO will spent some of the time promoting and marketing and ‘selling’ the value of the PMO and the supporting methods and developmental services, as well as articulating the great job that the project managers were doing for the business.

Take every opportunity that you can to market, promote and sell the value of the PMO. In time you may choose to develop a PMO services menu (what the PMO does and how to request such a service) but in the early days offer your help wherever there is an opportunity. A proactive approach helps open doors to the PMO and it will start people talking in a positive way about the PMO work ethic and capability. This can be done through any way you think is appropriate.

  • Newsletters (PM community ones and company ones)
  • Showcases (Presentations, lunch time sessions, case studies etc)
  • Intranet presence
  • Post-project reviews (PMO attendance and write ups)
  • Project manager of the year awards
  • Project of the year awards
  • Marketing ‘goodies’ with the PMO ‘brand’
  • Project manager peer recommendations (about the PMO value)
  • Executive declarations
  • Offering ‘project management for non-project managers’ training outside the PMO/project community
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts

And much more.

A little marketing and self-promotion goes a long, long way (don’t be shy!).

You believe in your PMO so help others to see its value as well with that ‘M’.

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