Many PMOs are not effectively communicating their value as well as they could, or they may be trying to do so many things at the same time that is difficult to understand what it is they are trying to achieve.

During the Wellingtone APM & IPMA Accredited PMO Practitioner course, the PMO Service Catalogue is one of the most interesting topics, because it gives learners real practical tools to both manage the expectations of its Internal Customers and articulate their raison d’etre.

What is a PMO Service Catalogue

The PMO Service Catalogue is exactly what it implies – a catalogue or, if you prefer, a menu of services offered by the PMO team (and associated enabling departmenrs).

In its simplest form, it can be a plain list of services to assist project teams and decision-makers to understand when and how the PMO can support the day-to-day management of change and in some cases operational work.

In its more sophisticated format, it can be a game-changer in how people perceive their PMOs and the value it brings to the table.

Value is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore is always difficult to assess. From a PMO perspective, particularly when the team is not directly contributing to project delivery (or the ‘bottom line’) and is instead an enabler. While this may be true, explicitly stating what you offer, even if for free (!), can help the rest of the organisation wanting to know more about services they were not aware they could get from you.

PMO Service Catalogue Content

The PMO Service Catalogue can be created and shared using a variety of tools, from slide decks to interactive platforms. The more comprehensive ones tend to contain the following:

  • Service Name: a short, nice, and simple title to identify the service
  • Description: a brief narrative of what the service entails
  • Category: identifies the category that the service relates to within the PMO offering
  • Target User: clarifies who is the service intended to
  • Key challenges: lists the key pain points that explain the why of the service
  • Benefits: a brief explanation of the benefits of the service; it should answer the questions ‘what’s in it for me?’
  • Process: clarifies what are the associated steps in the process, from the moment the service is requested up to when it is delivered or measured
  • Specialist: in larger PMO teams, specialist roles will be the most appropriate to run the service (e.g. Risk specialist; Comms; Scheduling, etc.)
  • Frequency: determines the frequency, recommended or actual, for delivering the service
  • SLAs: refers to the commitment to deliver the service within an agreed timescale or level of quality
  • KPIs: Identify the key indicators that are going to be tracked by the PMO to measure the performance of the service.
  • Timeline: continuous improvement forward planning key dates
Example of a PMO Service Catalogue

Figure 1 – Example of a Service in a Service Catalogue (source: CEB, A New Approach to PMO Value Delivery)

The PMO Service Catalogue can and should be utilised as a performance tracking mechanism, where the PMO can easily assign a RAG status to how each service is performing over time. The possibilities are endless when creativity is at play.

Top Tips to Begin

At Wellingtone, we support the creation of Service Catalogues as part of our PMO 3D Transformation Service, so we have collated some hints and tips which to get you started.

  • Make it visual: pictures tell stories so make sure that you take the time to make your Service Catalogue visually appealing
  • Make it simple: less is, often, more especially for Senior Teams, so identify the appropriate level of detail
  • Make it fun: avoid jargon and acronyms, make it interesting and if possible, include the ability for people to interact with it
  • Share it. Please: do not draft a Service Catalogue and keep it to yourself, bring it to life and publish it

In Conclusion

A Service Catalogue will be of little use if the mindset of the PMO is not one of a Service Provider.

Ensuring that the perception from within and outside of the PMO is that the team are Service Providers with Internal Customers who consume its services is key to success and avoids the Service Catalogue becoming a static document.

A new tool doesn’t change the culture, so there may be some work that has to be done to ensure that the Service Catalogue lands in the right way for all of the PMO Internal Customers.

Head over to the FuturePMO website to find out more about PMO Service Catalogue and services.

And finally

During our APM & IPMA Accredited PMO Practitioner course, our Globally Accredited material guides delegates through creating their own PMO Service Catalogue, so that they can go back to their organisation with the confidence and be able to articulate what it is their PMO offers its Internal Customers.

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Monthly Newsletter

By: Emma Arnaz-Pemberton

Emma Arnaz-Pemberton
Consulting Director FAPM, MCMI, MPMI, MIoD PMO-CC, MoR, MSP, PRINCE2
Categories: PMO

Published: 20 April 2023

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