This paper was submitted for publication October 14, 2011.
It is copyright to Dennis Bolles of DLB Associates, LLC ©2011
Published on this site June 2012.

Introduction | General Business Management versus Project Business Management 
Why is the PBMO a Competitive Weapon and What Are Its Benefits?
Three Very Commons Questions About a PBMO | Governance and Structure
The PBMO as an Enterprise Governance Approach | PART 2

Dennis Bolles, PMP, retired in 2009 after 40 years experience in multiple industries providing business and project management professional services. He specializes in Project Management Office (PMO) start-up and development and acts as a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Dennis joined PMI in 1986 and founded the PMI Western Michigan Chapter in 1993. He is author of Building Project Management Centers of Excellence, AMACOM, NY, June 2002 and co-author of The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management, AMACOM, NY, January 2007. He is the Co-Editor of The PMOSIG Program Management Office Handbook, J Ross, January 2011. Dennis may be reached by Email at Website:


Strategic and tactical planning are actions that the executive and senior management of an enterprise can take to assure the successful implementation of a sustainable Project Management Office (PMO). Many enterprises have so many initiatives that generate multiple projects that they often need to be assembled into programs and portfolios for effective management and status reporting. Strategic and tactical planning processes assist executives to establish the necessary planning and scheduling required for cost effective performance.

However, management needs a structure in which to document and review strategic planning and tactical information in order create an effective strategic business plan. Moreover, the enterprise must identify and incorporate appropriate and specific tactics to ensure that only the right projects are performed and assure those projects are initiated at the right time and receive the resources necessary to be completed successfully. This evaluation is also necessary to determine if the planned portfolios, programs, and projects can be accomplished in accordance with the enterprise's time to market, profitability requirements, or other business needs.

We call this Project Business Management (PBM) and a Project Business Management Office (PBMO) is recommended to satisfy these performance requirements. A PBMO can also advise management whether proposed programs and projects can deliver the benefits and value desired by the enterprise and hence whether or not they should be undertaken.

The organizational structure of a PBMO is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Enterprise-wide PBM House of Excellence
Figure 1: Enterprise-wide PBM House of Excellence

The following definition of Project Business Management (PBM) was created by the co-authors of "The Power of Enterprise-Wide Project Management" as:

"The utilization of general business management and project management knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques in applying portfolio, program, and project processes in order to meet or exceed stakeholder needs, and accomplish the enterprise's business objectives and related strategies"[1]

The various components of the PBMO house of excellence shown in Figure 1 are used to define the critical functions of the PBMO organization structure.

  • Roof - Overview: Is a view of project business management from an executive's perspective that addresses enterprise-wide project management as a business organizational concept, project management as a business function, and the PBMO as a business functional organization.
  • Pillar One - Governance: Establishes the PBMO as a management method for setting policy and establishing charters, and business management of projects, programs, and portfolios enterprise-wide.
  • Pillar Two-Standardization: Examines identification and integration processes and practices, development of standardized project business management processes, documentation of enterprise-wide portfolio, program, and project management process methodology models including their associated policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Pillar Three-Capability: Assesses the enterprise's capabilities, and capacity for the development of a project management competency model, implementation of an education and training program, establishment of a career path progression, and identifies various enterprise environmental factors.
  • Pillar Four-Execution: Implements strategic business planning, tactical business planning, business objective (project) prioritization and selection, project initiation, stage gate reviews, project execution planning, program project execution, portfolio project execution, program and project closure, and project lessons learned/knowledge database development.
  • Foundation-PBM Maturity: Establishes project business management process and practice as the means to achieve organizational maturity required to sustain the PBMO as a core business function. The PBMO defines how to evaluate mature institutionalized project business management best practices enterprise-wide; and summaries a best practice benchmark study survey that developed the four pillars supporting the Enterprise-wide PBMO House of Excellence.

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