Setting up the PMO Controls Framework

PThere are a number of key prerequisites for an effective PMO. Having the right sponsorship and remit are the most critical. Staffing the PMO with the right people – proactive experienced people with at least a smattering of delivery experience mixed with enthusiastic and technology literate less experienced staff is the second key to success. Third, and often either overlooked or not paid enough attention to is setting up the PMO controls framework the PMO is going to own and drive.

Project and programme managers like clarity, stability and minimal bureaucracy. A good controls framework delivers on all three fronts. A clear framework sets expectations and clearly explains why information is collected and how it is used. ‘No surprises” is the byword here.


So what does the controls framework cover? Here’s the shopping list:

  1. Process areas:
    1. Status reporting
    2. Risk, issue, assumption and dependency management
    3. Planning
    4. Resource management
    5. Financial management and reporting
    6. Programme change control
    7. Infrastructure change control
    8. Communications management
  1. Tools and systems
    1. Document Library
    2. RAID Log repository
    3. Change Control Log(s) repository
    4. Planning tool(s)
  1. Key artifacts
    1. PMO Handbook
    2. Detailed process descriptions
    3. Programme Charter or Directive

The PMO Handbook is the bible here. It describes not only what each process, tool or system is, but why they exist and the data that is collected and analysed, and why.

Over the coming weeks I’ll blog more about some of the key elements of the controls framework and how the data is used. In the meantime, how does your PMO stack up against my model list?  I’d really appreciate your feedback.

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One comment on “Setting up the PMO Controls Framework
  1. David Whelbourn says:

    I agree with the list and it is important to create that PMO Operating Manual.

    I would add in the need for an organization charter / mandate for the PMO so the organization and the PMO staff are clear on the role and responsibilities for the PMO. I would also add in the need to create a shared Mission, Vision and Values for the PMO (this could be added to the PMO charter).

    To continue to ensure the PMO is relevant then annual reports (quarterly if possible) should be produced documenting how the PMO is supporting the delivery of strategy, value and contribution to the organization’s success.

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  1. […] Allen Ruddock has assembled a list of controls for adoption by the new PMO. […]

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