Main Nav

CIO Constituent Group readers:


Computing Services at Carnegie Mellon is evaluating PMO models as our Planning and Project Management Office turns 10 years old. I represent the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) info below and ask you to answer these questions.

·         What is your PMO model?

·         What are the pros and cons of your model?

·         Why did your institution choose that model?

PMI defines three models for a Project Management Office (PMO). They advise clearly defining the role of the PMO, picking one of the three models and sticking to it without trying to do everything.

1.       Providing policies, methodologies and templates for managing projects within the organization (center of excellence).

2.       Providing support and guidance to others in the organization on how to manage projects, training others in project management or project management software, and assisting with specific project management tools (control tower).

3.       Providing project managers for different projects, and being responsible for the results of those projects (resource pool).

Computing Services’ PPMO is primarily a resource pool model, although we do provide basic PM methodology and reporting/tool support. Thanks, Mary L.


Mary L. Pretz-Lawson

Director, Planning and Project Management Office

Computing Services

Carnegie Mellon University



********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at


There's also a more extensive model, one I used at the University of Chicago for a number of years (before I retired from full-time management) and which I considered successful since we were facing a series of major projects -- expand the 3rd PMI model you mention to include not only project managers, but also business system analysts, system integrators, and some project support staff -- in short, a cadre of those staff & skillsets that are needed in extra supply during major projects. I referred to this group as our "internal consulting group".  Note that in our case this model also included the functions in models 1 & 2 below, working collaboratively across the IT organization to set up policies, procedures, templates, basically being a center of excellence and being responsible directly for certain key projects but by no means for all projects.  We built major enterprise application project teams by combining staff from this internal consulting group, the IT application group that supported the business area in question, business office staff, and supplemental temp staff and outside consultants/contractors as needed (e..g, for expertise with a new vendor application or new technology).

David Trevvett
Former Senior Director for Administrative Systems at the University of Chicago