Setting up standard processes for Project Management might be challenging for any organization. Advertising agencies are no exception. Stating how a project should be managed to meet your agency’s business goals is not enough. That’s why the project management office (PMO) exists.
What's a project management office?
The PMO is an internal department of a company that is responsible for defining and maintaining its project management standards. The office should have a perfect understanding of your agency’s business and culture. This is the only way a PMO can optimize all the processes involved in creating and executing your client projects efficiently and profitably.
A Project Management Office has a range of responsibilities, including the following:
- Track project metrics
- Update project information
- Share project management templates
- Generate reports on the current status of your agency’s projects
- And more…
Although a PMO is rare in the agency world, it’s clear from the ones that we have seen that one size does not fit all. Its activities are related to the size of the agency. For example, if the agency is small, make sure that the list of tasks assigned to the PMO is short. Its main responsibility could be as simple as keeping an eye on the project lifecycle from approval to delivery. You can always request more of your PMO in the future, as your business grows.
Are PMOs an administrative overload?
Many members of your team might feel that the Project Management Office is a bureaucratic overload. This is particularly true in advertising agencies, whose main concern is to deliver quality work to their clients. But in reality, this department exists to support the projects within your agency by making sure they all follow a similar path and are aligned with your business goals. Why even begin working on a project if that’s not the case?
By integrating project management and overseeing the project lifecycle, a PMO will be anything but an overload if it’s properly implemented in your agency and its tasks are clearly defined. When this office works the way it should, any project your agency has to deliver will be successful.
Reasons to include a PMO in your agency
Including a Project Management Office in your agency has many advantages. The truth of the matter is that sooner or later every business will need one. If not, then the quality of its projects will suffer. This office will allow you to manage projects proactively, which will avoid overservicing.
The PMO will also make your agency more efficient by proactively letting you know which projects will be profitable giving management the opportunity to adjust it, decline it or accept it based on other criteria. This allows your agency to avoid wasting time and resources on projects or clients that will not take your agency to the next level.
In other words, a PMO’s recommendation will be important when it comes to deciding which projects your agency will execute. Its success is that its objectives and those of the projects are 100% aligned with your agency’s goals.
However, the main reason to implement a PMO in your agency is to ensure that the agency itself is better managed. This management is measured according to standards based on strategies that will allow projects not only to be delivered within the established deadlines (avoiding overwork) but also with quality standards that were previously agreed upon in the estimate.
We could say that these offices function as a ‘Big Brother’ within the organizations. It has a position within the company that allows them to view and analyze all the agency’s projects which may feel intrusive. However, its purpose is to support the management of projects for the benefit of the business. For example, the proper allocation and management of resources.
How to implement a PMO in your agency?
These tips will allow you to successfully implement a Project Management Office in your agency.
Make sure your team knows its benefits: As explained before, the fact that a PMO can see and know everything can make it feel like an intruder that will control everything your team does. Make sure the staff understands that the office is there to increase profitability in the projects your agency works on.
Its introduction must be gradual, and everyone should be on board: Make sure that the implementation of a Project Management Office in your agency doesn’t intervene in projects that are already underway. The office could learn from the data those projects provide to improve its strategy.
More often than not, you’ll hear us say that you can’t improve what you can’t see. This is also true when it comes to PMOs. Its benefits and objectives must be clear and measurable. Its functions within the agency have to be clear, this will guarantee its success and when your PMO succeeds so does your agency.
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