A simple set of tools for a PMO

What is PMO Light ?

PMO Light is a collection of basic stand alone Microsoft Office based tools, designed to help an organisation establish a PMO and achieve a basic level of Project, Program and Portfolio Management maturity. It collates years of practical experience into a number of artefacts, designed to be a 80% fit, a great starting point for customisation. By standardising the terminology, the stage gates, the milestones and approach to planning/scheduling, risk and cost management, PMO Light will provide significant benefit in a very short time (2 weeks or so from order to deploy).

PMO Light

What is in it ?

PMO Light comprises:

  • An Overview document
  • A Framework diagram – showing the high level process steps and more importantly the terminology for stages, decision gates, deliverables and milestones
  • Stage gate definition – outlining the when decisions will be made in terms of “Approved to proceed”. They don’t necessarily mean “Finished all the previous”
  • A Governance model – outlining who will make decisions and the roles/responsibilities of the various decision making authorities
  • KPI Definition – outlining what makes a project status Green, Amber or Red, both “Overall” and by component (eg Cost Status). Again consistency to assist interpretation and visibility
  • A Standard template for “Project Status Report”, typically produced monthly, enabling individual project status assessment as well as summary “roll up” reporting across the Portfolio or individual Programs
  • A Standard template for “Project Plan”, supplemented by an Excel template for “Controls” (Risk log etc), a MS Project Schedule template for the schedule (with all the Framework diagram stages, tasks and milestones pre-populated) and an Excel template for Cost tracking. The value of a Plan is the “thinking” the templates simply provide a structured approach to thinking
  • Standard investment management templates, including a “Project Brief” and “Business Case” together with an underlying “NPV Financial model”
  • A Portfolio Summary tool – 2 versions Excel and MS Project based
  • Some “How to” guides for those using MS Project for scheduling
  • Lots of other standards documents, tools and handy artefacts

What is not in it ?

The most important part – the management of change. Users (Project Managers and Senior Executives) will need a blend of communication, information, support and consequences if the benefits of a PMO and PM standards can be achieved.