Why has remote PMO been slow to take off. A few decades ago, no one would have believed that something like a receptionist or personal assistant service could be done by anybody outside your office. A personal assistant needed to be in touch with that manager and that clearly this meant being situated physically in the same area or very close to their managers office. In the current marketplace it is common to find organisations providing personal assistant and other services remotely. Especially to those people or organisations that do not require someone full time. This begs the question why companies hang on to the concept of having a PMO in house. Especially small organisations that may not justify having a full-time person assigned to PMO.
The core functions of a PMO
The common function of small PMO’s that provide services to a range of projects. This generally consists of administration support and help with project management tools as well as collecting data. It essential to understand how the projects work. But does that require PMO professionals to be onsite in the same building. Is it necessary for these people to be full time? Do they need to be employed by the host organisation?
There is a level of comfort associated with retaining PMO services in house and using someone who works closely with project management teams. But the core of services required are founded on good communication and development of trust between project managers and the PMO. None of which means the PMO has to be sited at the same location as project teams. Current technology allows data to be shared easily across a number of locations. Virtual meetings to take place regardless of where project managers and support functions are based.
Small project offices are perfect for remote PMO
Remote PMO service is ideal for organisations that have a need for a small project office. Many companies in that situation do not currently have any project office function. Remote PMO’s can allow the project delivery function to flex and grow the number of different services. An organisation can adjust what the PMO offers without having to concern themselves with resource capacity, staff training and hiring or reassigning personnel.
Small organisations with relatively few projects may not have the density of work to employ a PMO professional directly. The remote model allows organisations to choose the right services based on their needs; not just the time and ability of their staff to deliver a service. Remote PMO can allow organisations to test ideas , starting small and adding functions and services as their need grows.
As the challenges of coronavirus have led more people to work from home, companies are becoming more inclined to consider distance service as a viable option. In the future PMO services may not always be offered on site. Remote project office service can easily be a viable option.