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New benchmark standards for PMOs

PM News
March 10, 2011

Global association Project Management Institute (PMI) has introduced new benchmark standards for project management offices (PMOs). With organisations increasingly relying on PMOs to successfully deliver projects, the institute saw an opportunity to formalise the standards by which organisations can measure the effectiveness of their strategies.

“Traditionally, the PMO has focused on project management planning, methodology, and tools. Next-generation PMOs have extended that focus, taking a more strategic approach to portfolio management, providing support for business-driven projects and providing visibility into demand for non-project work,” said Margo Visitacion in a report for Forrester Research.

The ‘Involve Your PMO to Find the Right Match for Innovation Opportunities’ research also noted that PMOs had an increasing role in providing organisations with “greater insight into business and technology portfolios” and “providing visibility to scout out fertile ground for developing innovation”.

In response to the growing trend, PMI has developed two online tools—PMI Standards Benchmark and PMI Standards Navigator—to assist PMOs in benchmarking their processes.

PMI Standards Benchmark ( allows PMO directors and managers to self-assess their project and program processes to understand where improvements can be made. The online resource takes users through a survey with 47 questions on project management or 42 questions on program management, after which it will provide a detailed report on process and practice strengths and weaknesses. The tool also offers suggestions for improvements based on the nine knowledge areas in PMBOK.

PMI Standards Navigator ( is a searchable database of PMI’s standards and knowledge areas where organisations can align their practices with the PMBOK’s domains, knowledge areas and processes, develop learning programs, create custom project management practices and methodologies, and improve project team practices.

“Building and properly leveraging a PMO in today’s fast-based business environment can be a challenge,” said Craig Killough, vice president of organisation markets for PMI. “These new products allow organisations and their project managers to quickly integrate PMI’s standards and knowledge into their processes to increase efficiencies, improve alignment with organisational strategies and create PMOs that ultimately deliver competitive advantage.”

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