Why a PMO?
Operators today face some very challenging regulations that require implementing and executing on many complex projects and activities to stay in compliance. Many Operators are simply not structured to efficiently manage this large increase in both the number of projects and the complexity. The establishment of a Program Management Office (PMO) can help operators efficiently execute these projects on time, in compliance with regulations, and in a way that reduces both costs and risks.
Typically, a PMO is structured into two areas: Project Execution and Project Controls. Project Execution focuses on organizing similar projects into workstreams, communicating schedules and tasks for each workstream project across all functional groups, and actively driving the execution of each project. Project Controls focuses on making the execution of projects and programs more streamlined and efficient, rapidly implementing improvements, establishing controls that standardize processes, procedures, documentation management and retention, change controls, risk management, metrics reporting, etc., and applying governance to report progress to company executives and regulators. A good project controls team will provide strong oversight, reporting, and controls over the project execution that can be trusted by both the company’s executive team and regulators to accurately convey the progress of the program and any program risks such as poor safety and quality performance, resource constraints, schedule slippage, meeting compliance deadlines, overrunning budgets, and more.
GTS has found great success with using a lighter version of a PMO with programs that manage multiple inspection digs (Digs PMO) and for managing the pre-assessment and indirect inspection technique phases of the ECDA process (IIT PMO). For more complex programs, which may be needed to implement the remediation phase of the recently issued PHMSA Mega Rule, a more formal Transmission Major Projects PMO would be recommended, or if an Operator has a significant number of gas distribution programs in progress, a more formal Distribution Major Programs PMO would be recommended.
Benefits of a PMO
A PMO can provide many benefits for an Operator. These benefits typically outweigh the implementation costs of a PMO by a significant margin. Some of the benefits of a PMO include:
- Significant cost reductions from better planning and a better managed execution process
- Reduced project lifecycle times leading to a greater likelihood of compliance with regulatory deadlines
- Increased worker safety, better work quality, and improved environmental compliance
- Increased program transparency leading to greater trust with program stakeholders
- Improved documentation of project changes, contract changes, and management decisions
- Better as-builts and better document management and retention