The PMO Charter

I can’t believe we’ve not covered PMO Charters before at PMO Flashmob but last week on #PMOwfh that was the theme for the afternoon session.

What is a PMO Charter? Well you can read on to have a listen to the video session; take a look at the slidedeck; find out what your PMO peers think and even download a few examples.

The Video Session


The SlideDeck

PMO Charters

[Download the slidedeck]

PMO Flashmobbers Ideas

In the breakout session we asked the groups to think about the purpose of the PMO Charter and what would be included within it.

For some groups it was about using the PMO Charter to make a clear outline of what the purpose of the PMO was- to create a common understanding for the PMO team itself.

For other groups it has a wider audience – for all customers and stakeholders in the business and for the alignment of the PMO with the rest of the organisation.

There was a few mentions about the PMO Charter either being superceded by the service catalogue – a feeling that the service catalogue is perhaps a more practical document most likely to be read. For others it was definitely a case of the service catalogue being an appendix to the PMO Charter – that both should exist.

There was also mention of the PMO Charter being a living document – something that should be regularly reviewed, challenged, updated.

There were also mentions of the format it should take – could there be a better way of representing the information of the PMO Charter without it being a massive document that is very unlikely to be read. “Brief is beautiful” is perhaps the way to go.

Finally, in its simpliest form, Kipling’s Six Honest Serving Men gives us a clue to what might be in the charter. It’s the Who, What, Why, Where, When and How of PMO.

A Couple of Examples

I’ve picked up some examples of PMO Charters along the way, here are a couple for you to take a look at:

Insights from the Polls


Here are the additional answers:

No: The PMO is just being set up now, but we should be including one

No: Haven’t got round to it yet, I’m pushing this with our PMO Director

No: I have moved on and have a service list instead

No: Not seen as a priority

No: Organisation is too new to PMO, hopefully it will come

No: People see the PMO as a overhead and this would seem too Ivory Tower

No: Wouldn’t work in our industry (consultancy)

No: Unlikely to be accepted – change by increment more effective

No: We tal about ourselves as being a PMO but we are really just a group of project managers

No: I set up a PMO but didn’t explicitly create a charter for it, however I documented the services the PMO was going to provide.

Yes: It helps to set out what the PMO is about to our key stakeholders. Defines our vision, mission, objectives, team structure, KPIs, success criteria etc. I’ve also added our service catalogue as an appendix.

Yes: To outline our design principle and our guiding philsophies as a reminder to the PMO when implementing changes

Yes: Important to articulate the what, why, how and value proposition of the PMO


After the session, here’s the follow up question:



About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay is the founder of PMO Flashmob and a Director at PMO Learning - the sister company to PMO Flashmob and the best training company for PMO people in the world! She's also the creator of London's first dedicated PMO Conference; Director of Arras People and PMO enthusiast. Loves dogs and gin.

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