Creating a Project Management Center of Excellence
Visukumar Gopal

A Project Management Center of Excellence (PMCoE) is focused on building capability in current project managers as well as developing the next generation of project managers within the organization. It ensures that all delivery and engagement projects are executed in a consistent manner and leverages best practices and tools.

As Dr. Harold D. Kerzner, senior executive director, International Institute of Learning, and a thought leader in project management, in “In Search of Excellence in Project Management” says, “Project management is no longer viewed as a system internal to the organization. It is now viewed as a competitive weapon that brings quality and value-add to the customer.”

Why is PMCoE required?
In a competitive world, global companies are looking to improve their systems and processes by establishing project management as a core competency throughout the organization. Steps are being taken like setting up standardized procedures, learning from past mistakes, adopting processes that are more efficient and developing skills and talent.

A key challenge is positioning project management as an organization’s enterprise wide core competency. Positioning is equated with authority in organization tructures. When positioned at the highest level, it provides the measure of autonomy necessary to extend its authority across the organization while substantiating the value and importance of the function in the eyes of the executive.

Project management has the greatest impact on a customer’s recognition of an organization as a world-class leader in time-to-market, cost-to-market, and quality- to-market. If projects are an integral part of the business, it stands to reason that there should be a clear understanding of what is and isn’t a project, and what is required to satisfy customers. Completing projects successfully on a consistent basis is a basic requirement to receive excellence awards from most customers which is the goal of every organization. For this, application of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques is required. Organizations that sell products or services should recognize that their business livelihood depends on completing projects that directly affect their bottom line. Doesn’t it make sense then that such an important business function be established at the executive management level of the organization? How else can an organization ensure that projects are managed successfully across the organization, and that strategic, mission-critical projects are given the best opportunity to succeed from the very start?
For years, projects have struggled to get delivered on time and within budget or deliver real business value.

» With today’s emphasis on increased efficiency and productivity, it has led many to turn to the project management office (PMO) as a way to boost efficiency, cut costs, and improve on project delivery in terms of time and budget.

» The management has turned to a PMO to achieve project management project oversight, control, and support.

» The PMO’s role is often to help both the project manager and the relevant organization to understand and apply modern project management practices while adapting and integrating business interests into the organization’s project management efforts.

» Many organizations have recognized the need for a PMCoE for higher levels of project management maturity.
Project management is a business function, but not a quick fix. If we are looking for a new edge and a competitive advantage to position our organization for success in the long run, we must build a PMCoE within the organization.