If you have a clear definition of your PMO, go and ask some staff from different team around the company. Not just project team members but also operational staff. Are the descriptions consistent? Or do they just provide a generic/textbook description of a PMO.
- Do they provide an example or two of how the PMO has helped?
- Do they describe problems that the PMO has helped overcome?
- Do they mention individuals by name or do they just talk about “those PMO people”?
Take a few simple measures:
- How much time are the PMO members away from their desks and in the business?
- How many issues do they address?
- How many documents have they helped people write/interpret/understand over the past 6 months?
- How many deliverable peer reviews have they conducted?
- How often do they provide project insights that are used by the business?
- How many trends have they analysed in the past two months? Were any decision made based on the info?
If the PMO just collect and report data, figure out a way to improve their value or just outsource the function.
Rather than a mission or charter, many companies talk a leaf out of the ITIL service catalog approach and prepare a catalog of PMO services that are then offered to the business. The very act of preparing this catalog will force the PMO and the company to clearly define the purpose and role of the PMO.
Do you have a list or catalog of PMO services listed on your intranet (some mandatory and some optional)? If not, how do staff and projects know what specific activities are provided by the PMO?
If no one ever takes the optional , then either change or drop them and focus on services the business wants to actually use.