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Difference Between PMO and Project Manager? | Expert’s Top Picks

Last updated on 11th Jan 2023, Artciles, Blog

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Loganathan (Mulesoft Developer )

Loganathan has expertise in Salesforce, File, Database, JMS, SMTP, Apache Tomcat, WebSphere, WebLogic & JBoss, Mule ESB, XML, SOAP, REST, XSLT, CI/CD, Docker, Jenkins, BitBucket. he is certified professionals with 7+ years of experience in their respective domain.

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    • In this article you will learn:
    • 1.Introduction.
    • 2.What Is Difference Between PMO and the Project Manager?
    • 3.What Are Roles of a Project Management Office to an Organization.
    • 4.What Are Roles of the Project Manager.
    • 5.Can the PMO Become a Project Manager?
    • 6.Conclusion.


Due to the technology enhancement companies tend to fight to keep up with a dynamic trends to improve organization’s efficiency. With the continued increase in a projects that an organization carries out, there is a need to put up project department and hire skilled project officers to ensure that it remains relevant. However, need to understand difference between a project management office and a project manager first.There is a difference with PMO responsible for a project process management while project manager does the actual project delivery. The PMO ensure project processes are adhered to whilst a project manager ensure the project processes are followed to deliver a project.The PMO concentrates on a projects general operations to deliver viable benefits to an organization by guiding and structuring projects. Whilst the project manager oversees a specific projects to completion under guidance of the PMO. Generally, the project manager works closely with a PMO in all company’s projects.

What Is Difference Between PMO and the Project Manager?

The two terms are generally confused, given that there is a thin line that distinguishes them. The project management office has to ensure that its projects are carried out according to laid-down procedures. However,a project managers’ main duty is to ensure that a specific project is effectively carried out from an initiation up to completion.

Project Management Office
    PMO(Project Management Office)Project Manager
    The PMO develops the processes to guide a project management process until it is completed. Project Managers use these processes and guidelines provided by a PMO to carry out the project task as be required.
    PMO endeavors to develop forecast resource requirement to know available and required resources’ capacity. The project manager utilizes a PMO’s resources to ensure successful completion of project.
    PMO duties generally include the overseeing and giving necessary advice during project management process. Project managers do most of a project management process’s actual fieldwork have first hand information about project being undertaken.
    PMO department is answerable to the shareholders and acts as link between project manager and key stakeholders. Project managers are answerable to PMO, who gives directions on how project has to be proceed.

From differences, find that the PMO manager is senior to a project manager. The PMO deals with a various projects; hence, delegates duties to the project managers and oversees their progress. From wider perspective, would realize that a both departments are unique and special in their way, and they need each for a project to be success.

What Are Roles of a Project Management Office to an Organization:

Traditionally, PMO is responsible for an establishing a framework for governance and guidelines geared towards for achieving organizational goals. Discussed below are some of responsibilities of a PMO:

1. Project Management Process:

The most important role of PMO is to ensure development, implementation, and consistency in a business processes. The project management process helps in developing a general principles that will manage organization’s projects. This process also helps create rhe template that can be used to carry out different projects hence saving company time and money.

2. Gathering Data:

During a project life cycle, relevant data is collected by a PMO and presented to the management for review. Using an information provided by the project managers, PMO will be able to access the status of projects, thus, help the project management office to compile data to be presented to management.

3. Portfolio Management:

Once an organization has its project portfolio management implemented, it will be PMO’s sole responsibility to see an entire process facilitated. These duties may include; developing the resource capacity forecast to help understand what is required for a project. It also helps keep track of pending project status and underway to implement models for the assessing pending requests.

4. Project Support:

The PMO provides a necessary support to project management by a giving guidance to project managers in an organization. The PMO is also responsible for inducting a new project managers on a best way to carry out projects.

pmo vs pm

What Are Roles of the Project Manager:

1. Initiation:

Objectives, purpose, and scope of a project must be elaborated well by project manager and key external and internal stakeholders. The project manager is keen on a problem to be solved, the desired results, and addresses issues that may deter completion.

2. Planning Stage:

Once the project proposal is approved, project managers work with stakeholders to generate a comprehensive plan to attain a project’s goals. The plan will enable project managers to outline the scope, risks, time limits, costs, quality, and information.

3. Execution:

It is a phase in which team members must complete tasks identified in a project plan to achieve the organization’s goals. The project manager must assign duties and ensure that they are completed as be scheduled. For this to be successful, the project manager confirms that a team is informed of any changes prior.

4. Monitoring and Evaluation:

This stage begins from an initiation phase and runs through to the closing stage of project. It involves monitoring the project’s progress, managing the budget, ensuring that a goals are achieved, and comparing actual performances with the expected results. In most cases, things do not go as planned, and therefore a project manager must be flexible to adapt to the changes easily.

5. Final Stage:

Here, project manager strives to complete the project. The client will then append his/her signature, and a surplus resources will be returned to the organization by a project manager. He will assess the work of a third-party partners, close their contracts, and then keep project files used for future references.Once the project is be complete, a post-implementation review is done to find what adjustments can be done if a similar project is done in a future.

Can PMO Become a Project Manager?

  • A PMO can become Project Manager but it will need learning how to do project delivery. As the PMO does a project process management while the project manager does a project delivery. Therefore, PMO department is concerned with a process management, which does not affect deliveries, while project manager majors on a delivering project results.
  • A PMO manager can only succeed when a project budget, methodologies, and procedures laid down for a project management process have strictly adhered to. Some project managers may not need to be process experts since it may be complex when one is accustomed to executing projects.
  • They are simply recognized when a project becomes a success rather than facilitators. Senior managers depend entirely on a project managers to deliver timely and attractive project results to an organization.
  • One can move from the PMO role to a project executor, depending on how department is structured. In most organizations, PMO is a senior manager that every project manager reports to and ensures that projects are delivered accordingly, and all issues and risks are be communicated.
  • In such a structure PMO can easily assume the duties of a project manager. It is also possible that PMO which has been on the job for a long time and has so far developed enough confidence to undertake a project deliveries can easily shift to a project manager position.
  • The two departments can be work back to back, and shifts can be made depending on a structure and experience of working in these positions.


Since an organizations have seen an increased need for a PMO and Project managers, it is high time for us to create space for project department to ensure that businesses are not left behind shortly. Therefore, an organizations should incorporate this as one of their strategic plans.From the broader perspective, skilled project managers can lead to the organization’s drastic growth since they are focus on the prudent utilization of resources at each stage of a project management process. Every organization should take advantage of a PMO and Project Management to enjoy a competitive advantage in an economy.

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