Published here December 2008.

Introduction | Concept and Purposes 
Responsibilities | Requirements | Solution

Dr. Tom Clark is Co-Founder and Executive VP of Project Success, Inc. He is also Professor Emeritus of Management at Georgia State University. He served the University as Chair of the Department of Management and as Interim Dean of the College of Business Administration. Tom has provided project management consulting and training services for a variety of business, government, and non-profit organizations. He developed and marketed one of the first PC-based software tools for project scheduling and cost control. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in Industrial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Business Administration. Tom can be reached through the PSI web site at


Most companies today face the necessity of executing a continuing stream of strategic and highly complex projects. Examples of such projects include the development and introduction or implementation of new products, processes, and systems; design, construction, maintenance, or relocation of major facilities; marketing campaigns; mergers and acquisitions; and special events. Any given company may have dozens of such projects underway at all times, and success on each project is essential to achieving and maintaining competitiveness.

Each project team is typically quite diverse - consisting of people who represent different functional areas of the company, have different educational backgrounds, live and work in different nations and cultures, and may even speak different languages. The individuals who are selected to manage these projects face major challenges, especially since their primary job (such as engineering, marketing, etc.) may not involve project management as a primary requirement or skill.

To support their project managers and to increase their probability of success, many companies have begun to create and staff a "project management office" (or "PMO"). The purpose of this paper is to explain the general concept, purposes, specific responsibilities, and requirements associated with an effective project management office.


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