Project Management Office (PMO) – Foundational goals to drive results

by Paul Kesler

What is the PMO foundation and PMO goals? “Projects are usually undertaken to either solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. The probability that the project – even if precisely executed – will complete on time, on budget, and on performance is typically small. Project management is utilized to increase this probability. So in a sense, project management is risk management.”– Bruce Pittman

The Project Management Office Goal setting

For PMO Goals, whether you are building a new department from the ground up or re-setting goals for an established PMO, it is always best to begin from a fundamental and foundational point of view when establishing the department’s goals and objectives. Just ask yourself, what are your stakeholders expecting, and how can we set goals that are easy to understand and will set a solid course for success. What is the business trying to achieve from a strategic point of view, and how can I best support those objectives? Below are a simple set of suggested goals to get you going, that focuses on mainly the foundational items expected within a PMO that you can later build upon once these are met. So, what is a PMO foundation and how do you set PMO goals?


  • Project methodologies are defined, understood, and consistently used to execute strategic initiatives.
  • The PMO reviews and ensures that project results and benefits are tracked and communicated throughout the execution lifecycle of strategic initiatives.
  • Project governance frameworks are known, operate efficiently and effectively to support project success.
  • The PMO promotes collaboration and shared ownership and accountability across departmental teams.
  • PMO resources are engaged and adding value to all projects/ programs being executed at the company.
  • Change Management standards are embraced and ensure clear, consistent communications to all stakeholders.


  • Project leaders understand the overarching strategic goals and priorities for the business.
  • We have the alignment of all projects with the overall business strategy to support company goals and performance.
  • All projects are prioritized across the company, and the most impactful projects are consistently executed to drive business value.
  • Project management best practices are understood, embraced by all departments, and integrated into normal standard operating practices.
  • If a project does not support the overall business strategy, we ask ‘why are we doing this?’


  • We have effective, predictable, and reusable project management tools, techniques, and processes making it easier for project teams to deliver projects successfully. 
  • Project managers, business sponsors, and project teams embrace the standard project management processes to ensure that the organization’s projects deliver quality deliverables on time that fulfill intended requirements.
  • We have intuitive and simple to use project tools, templates, and reports that deliver the right level of documentation and information to stakeholders.
  • Scope management processes enable the success of the project and provide continuous communication of project modifications.
  • Change Management is used to ensure the business understands and is ready for change.


  • Project reviews are completed on a regular schedule to compare against standards, suggestions for improvements are communicated and tracked.
  • Key learnings are captured after each project and turned into repeatable practices that are shared.
  • A quality review process is currently in place, identifying potential opportunities for improvement.
  • Project status is communicated consistently and timely to key stakeholders.

Final thoughts

I hope this list was informative and can contribute towards your PMO foundation and any future PMO goal setting within your PMO department or organization. It is never easy to set goals, and therefore, I find it very helpful to review an existing set and begin to establish ones’ own goals from there.


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