The main challenges of implementing a PMO in a university are the lack of interactions between operations among multiple tools used for project management. Diversified information technology management systems, as well as their time tracking systems, cause an enormous problem in the identification of the real cost incurred, the efforts as well as the resources put in place for decision-making. In most universities, there is a lack of the required functionality of the existing project management tools. The limited functionality of these tools often results in the limitation of their use. This will, in turn, create inefficiencies within the organization. It sometimes ends up resulting in the misuse of the complete lack of use of these tools. Furthermore, most of the PMO tools are not easily customized. In some of the cases, even if the customization is possible and in most occasions require a lot of time to implement.
The second main challenge is on the management of PMO resources, which includes the use of human and financial means to make ends meet. Failure to recognize the vital skills that are components of the simple requirements of implementing a project management office is a challenge. This is because project management does not only involve the development of the structures and templates for the project. It goes far beyond this. The most usual problem is focusing too much on the elements of project management that finally end up covering the most vital skills that are necessary for implementation. Many of the initiatives within the project management office lack project managers that have the required experience. They also lack knowledgeable project leaders.
The significant challenge brought by a lack of personnel with experience is a lack of understanding of the problems facing the office. In addition, it leads to a lack of understanding of the operations within the organization. There is also a lack of adequate resources within the universities to accord to the PMO implementation team. This is in most of the projects within the universities. The members of the team are forced to share resources. This will lead to the pulling in of some of the non-project management projects. This will eventually lead to the exhaustion of the resources making the organization of tasks more difficult in scheduling and commitments. In addition, there is a difficulty in staffing the office with the most experienced persons. The most experienced staff that should be included as the task force is the ones that have a clear understanding of the projects and the modern environment.
Lack of stability and continuity of the resource supply and the stakeholders is one of the challenges. In many universities, the resources have had to change amidst the running of the projects. This adversely affects the outcome of the project. In addition, some of the public universities lack a clear definition of funding as well as the chargeback models. The success of the implementation of a project management office requires enough financial resources. Without clear financial resources, means that there will not be adequate chargeback models for the project that will directly affect the project.
The commitment of the project management sponsorship is also a considerable challenge in the implementation of a project management office within an institution. For example, in most of the public universities, the implementation and most of the sponsorship will depend on the availability and approval of funds from the government. The PMO implementation process can be challenging. Lack of clearly defined processes within a university and workflows affects the implementation. This is because of the multi projects and departments within the institution that needs to be synchronized. There is a lack of enough training on leadership and relevant areas that are essential in the running of the project.