List and describe two key activities that a project office may undertake
- Meetings organisation
- Quality management
- The project office can assist heavily in ensuring the organisation of meeting is run efficiently. They can be the point of contact when booking meeting rooms for the project. They can also issue any invitations, minutes and agendas to the attendees before the meeting date, and arrange any welfare. Following on from the meeting, they can produce the minutes and chase any actions.
- The project office can also manage the quality process from an administration point of view. Quality record keeping is extremely important, and the project office can file the relevant paperwork in the files outlined in the quality management plan. It is also important when quality audits are carried out, as the project office can show the auditor the information and chase up any actions that may need to be taken.
Explain three distinct benefits of a project office
- Assurance – The project office provides assurance to the project manager that the PMP is being executed efficiently. They will carry out checks with the team on a regular basis to ensure actions are being completed as and when they should. E.g. On a construction project, daily site diaries need to be produced, and the project office can ensure this is completed. They can also provide reports to other stakeholders involved in the project, which also gives them a sense of assurance that the project is going smoothly.
- Administrative relief – The project office can remove the administrative burden from the project manager by carrying out tasks that my take up a lot of the PM’s time. On a construction project, the project office can type up the progress meeting minutes, monthly reports etc. from the project manager’s direction. This allows the PM to concentrate on business as usual items.
- Continuity – In the circumstances where a project manager has to leave the project, it is advantageous that the project office is in place as they can provide a sense of continuity. The project office should maintain a great level of knowledge and understanding of the project and the processes that need to be executed. When a new project manager is appointed, the transition should be a lot simpler, and the project should run in a smooth manner.
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Kate, you have described the admin parts of a project office very well, this would pass the exam. I think I might have included some of the more strategic parts such as defining project management standards and training. Not that your answer is wrong, but I thought it was just worth mentioning that a project office is so much more than admin support.