Establishing a Project Management Office (PMO) Part 5 – The Scope

The scope of the project to establish a PMO may be produced in a variety of ways. In this post I will list my preferred methods, which happen to be the same methods I use for most any project.

Here is how I would establish the initial scope:

  1. Work backwards from the Project Objectives – The Project Objectives contain the products, services or results of a project that survive and are maintained after a project has ended. For each objective, define the steps needed to accomplish it.
  2. Construct a Context Diagram – (If you don’t know what a Context Diagram is, you can search this blog using that term). Define who your “Suppliers” and “Customers” will be and how you and the PMO will interact (what data will be exchanged). Things such as “Request for Project Management Services” or “Project Status Reports” are examples of interactions with these entities.
  3. List the Processes – Once you have a Context Diagram, you can then create the list of internal PMO processes needed for every interaction. Some or all of these may also have been defined in the Project Objectives. If you missed any in the Project Objectives, add them in as you discover new ones. You may also have processes that are triggered by events that are not from “Suppliers” or “Customers”. They may be based on time (e.g. “Produce Monthly Portfolio Report”) or the state of data (e.g. “When there are more current project requests than PM’s, notify PMO Sponsor”). Define the steps needed to accomplish these additional objectives.
  4. Review the Stakeholder List – All of your Stakeholders (the ones affected by the product, service or result of your project) should appear on the Context Diagram. Review your list of Stakeholders to confirm this. If any are missing, add them and any interactions and internal processes associated with these Stakeholders.

These four categories should produce a good high-level scope. You can flesh out additional information when you get to he “Detail Requirements” stage.

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