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Establishment, Growth and Maturation of an Effective Project Management Infrastructure

Establishment, Growth
and Maturation of an
Effective Project
Introduction to Project
Management Infrastructure
  Project management infrastructure
promotes effective project management
 Setting up an independent entity for
project management coordination
promotes increases project success rate
 Availability of resources and human skills
determine project management success
 Mature project management
infrastructure require a significant level of

 A mature project management infrastructure is
essential in promoting effective project management.
Consequently, organizations should invest in
independent business entities for promoting project
management. An independent project management
infrastructure ill ensure that the company can
dedicate resources towards ensuring that projects
are well managed (Ward and Daniel, 2013). In order
to ensure that project management infrastructure is
beneficial for the organization, a company must
invest in an efficient workforce and further work
towards improving their knowledge through training
and development. Besides staff and management
needs, it is notable that a significant level of
investment is needed in order to set up and mature
project management infrastructure (Patel, 2012). In
the end, effective project management infrastructure
will influence the organization’s project management
outcomes and is worth investing in.
Approaches to project
 The traditional approach
 Agile project management
 Lean project management

 Critical chain project management

Organizations adopt various approaches to project management depending on their
expertise and resources. The traditional approach works by classification of project steps,
which are then followed to during the implementation. These include initiation, design and
planning, implementation, monitoring and completion (Wysocki, 2013). Agile project
management approach bases its implementation on human collaboration; where users
must be involved to a significant extent during the execution process. Lean management is a
replication of the lean manufacturing and seeks to minimize costs and risks while increasing
outcomes. Critical chain project management on the other hand considers uncertainties and
limited resources that may exist. These may then be addressed through efficient distribution
of resources.

Introduction to Project
Support Offices
 Centralizing and coordinating
responsibilities related to project
 Act as a shared service for project
 Reduce project failure by addressing risks
related to timely delivery, quality and

 Increase business value by promoting
project success
 Ensure efficient resource use across

PSOs are of great significance in ensuring that a project’s activities are effectively
coordinated to promote efficiency and improve outcomes. The project support office acts as
a shared resource, ensuring that all projects are centrally controlled and that resources are
well managed. Accordingly, projects are better managed, risks are reduced and the
probability of a project being completed in a timely manner and in the desired quality is
increased. Through offering various forms of support including resource mobilization, staff
coordination and administrative support, the PSO ensures that business value is created and
that positive outcomes are achieved in project management (Wysocki, 2013; Cattani, et al,

 The director of the PSO coordinates its activities
 The structure may vary depending on the type of
support that the PSO provides to projects
 Structure may be defined by the following
 Basic support services – administrative
support, project status reporting,
documentation and communication of project
 Advanced specialist roles – risk management,
inter-project coordination, project monitoring
and review and quality monitoring

 Consultancy and advisory roles – development
of personnel competencies, project advice,
recruitment, project manager evaluation
 Strategic and governance – identifying and
prioritizing projects, resource allocation,
advising senior management, performing
project and post-project review

The structure of a PSO may vary depending on its roles and the stage of maturity that the
PSO is at. As the head of the PSO, the manager or director dictates functions of the PSO and
sets the structure according to the needs of the business. A PSO which mostly provides
support services for example will have more support staff while a PSO providing consultancy
and advisory services will engage consultants, economists and risk analysis experts.
Depending on the maturity of the PSO, the director may be part of the senior management,
with individuals implementing various functions reporting to him (Wysocki, 2013).
Role of Project Support
Offices in encouraging

 Quality monitoring results introduce the
need for innovation to address existing
 Project and post-project analysis provide
ideas for use in later projects
 Staff recruitment and development brings
in talent and knowledge for innovation

 Risk management by PSOs provides
possible solutions for existing needs
 The ability of PSOs to promote innovation is
undoubtable, particularly based on its role of
identifying gaps in project implementation. As quality
monitoring, risk monitoring and project analysis are
being conducted, PSO managers come across various
shortcomings in implementation of the project,
which are then earmarked for possible solutions.
Finding these solutions may involve innovation to
address the challenges present, thus making PSOs a
diver for innovation. PSOs also seek highly qualified
staff and project managers and also undertake the
duty of providing training and education. Their
valuable skills and knowledge can then be used in
driving the organization’s innovation capabilities.

Growth and maturation of
As an organization’s PSO becomes increasingly established, its capabilities are equally
improved. In the initial stage, a PSO is characterized by unestablished structures that are not
strictly followed. There is limited staff development and initial expectations may not be met
(Murphy, 1997). In the repeatable stage, the above gaps start being addressed and the PSO
becomes more defined. As the PSO enters the defined organizational structure stage,
processes, standards, policies and methodologies have been set up within the organization.
The fourth stage presents an organization which is complete, with programs and processes
well defined. At the optimized stage, the company can now reap the full benefits of setting
up s PSO and it can therefore be considered mature (Wysocki, 2011).

Growth and maturation of
PSOs Cont’
 Proper role definition of the PSO will
promote effective maturation of PSO
 Dedicated resource allocation for PSOs
enhances growth
 Recruitment of highly qualified staff and
project managers drives the PSO human
resource capacity
 Training of staff and project managers
with relevant knowledge and skills on
project management promotes growth

Developing a well matured PSO should encompass the above aspects if it will be effective in
promoting effective project management. The first step is to establish whether the PSO is
necessary within the organization and the function that it is expected to serve. The need for
a PSO is explained by Kaleshovska (2014) who notes that by setting up a separate project
management infrastructure, the company can gain through better organized projects. In
order for the PSO to survive, a dedicated resource base to fund the business entity is
necessary to ensure that its operations run uninterrupted (Spalek, 2013). It also promotes
focus and accountability. Finally, the development of the human resource aspect is of great
significance and hence the need to recruit highly qualified staff and project managers. They
also need to undergo constant training to ensure that they can effectively execute project
management activities.
 Kaleshovska, N. (2014). Adopting Project Management Offices
to Exploit the True Benefits of Project Management. Economic
Development / Ekonomiski Razvoj, (1-2), 151-165.

 Murphy, R. E. (1997). The role of the project support office, IIE
Solutions, October, 20-23.
 Patel, R. (2012). Applying Project Management Approaches to
Achieve Value Creation In Post – Acquisition Integration. ISM
Journal Of International Business, 1(4), 1-30.
 Spalek, S. (2013). Improving Industrial Engineering Performance
through a Successful Project Management Office. Engineering
Economics, 24(2), 88-98.
 Ward and Daniel (2013): “The role of PMOs in IS project success
and management satisfaction”, Journal of Enterprise
Information Management, 26, 3.
 Wysocki, R. K (2013). Effective Project Management:
Traditional, Adaptive, Extreme (Seventh Edition). John Wiley &
 Wysocki, R. K. (2011). Effective Project Management:
Traditional, Agile, Extreme. Edition 5. New York: John Wiley &

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