Support PMO services are often referred to as administrative functions, and may be considered “menial” or “trivial”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A PMO provides support services to assist with the management of a project. The key differentiator between support and project management is that support is not a managerial role. A supporting team member will often update the schedule, run meetings, follow up on open issues and other similar tasks, but they will not have the responsibility or authority to make project level decisions. Supporting on a project is often a good role for junior PMs, showing them the processes and placing them with a more seasoned PM for mentoring.
Support is the hard part of project management and it is what often meets the most resistance. Team members do not want to take minutes, track issues and action items, produce reports and so on. As with all clouds, this one has a sliver lining and becomes one of the keys gaining project management acceptance.
If you – the PMO – perform the support function, your stakeholders can realize the value of project management without incurring the cost. This will open a lot of doors and minds. Providing exceptional project support then is one of the first steps in building a great PMO.