Program Management Office Definition:

According to the project management office definition, “PMO is a management structure that standardizes the project-related governance processes and facilitates the sharing of resources, methodologies, tools, and techniques”. The responsibilities of a PMO can range from providing project management support functions to actually being responsible for the direct management of one or more projects. The project management office (PMO) is usually a centralized organizational unit that oversees the management of projects and programs throughout the organization.

What is Project Management Office?

The most common reason a company starts a project management office is to establish and maintain procedures and standards for project management methodologies and to manage resources assigned to the projects in the PMO. After understanding the project management office definition, let us review its types. There are several types of PMO structures in organizations, each varying in the degree of control and influence they have on projects within the organization, such as:


Supportive PMOs provide a consultative role to projects by supplying templates, best practices, training, access to information and lessons learned from other projects. This type of PMO serves as a project repository. The degree of control provided by the PMO is low.


Controlling PMOs provide support and require compliance through various means. Compliance may involve adopting project management frameworks or methodologies, using specific templates, forms and tools, or conformance to governance. The degree of control provided by the PMO is moderate.


Directive PMOs take control of the projects by directly managing the projects. The degree of control provided by the PMO is high.

As it is cleared in the project management office definition, the projects supported or administered by the PMO may not be related, other than by being managed together. The specific form, function, and structure of a PMO are dependent upon the needs of the organization that it supports. A PMO may have the authority to act as an integral stakeholder and a key decision maker throughout the life of each project, to make recommendations, or to terminate projects or take other actions, as required, to remain aligned with the business objectives. In addition, the PMO may be involved in the selection, management, and deployment of shared or dedicated project resources.

A PMO may supports project managers in a variety of ways which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Managing shared resources across all projects administered by the PMO;
  • Identifying and developing project management methodology, best practices, and standards;
  • Coaching, mentoring, training, and oversight;
  • Monitoring compliance with project management standards, policies, procedures, and templates by means of project audits;
  • Developing and managing project policies, procedures, templates, and other shared documentation (organizational process assets); and
  • Coordinating communication across projects.
project management office definition

Remember: The establishment of a PMO is not required in order for you to apply good project management practices to your next project.

This lecture that explains What is Project Management Office or PMO, and it is a part of diploma in project management and project management degree online programs offered by AIMS Education.