Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Grasping the dynamics of co-evolution between PMO and PfM: a box-changing multilevel exploratory research grounded in a routine perspective

Christopher N. Bredillet
Queensland University of Technology - Australia Scientific Director, Société française pour l’avancement du Management de Projet (Paris, France) Australia
Stephane Tywoniak
Professor at Groupe ESC La Rochelle (La Rochelle, France) and Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia Australia
Mahshid Tootoonchy
PhD student in project management at Queensland University of Technology Brazil


Organizations’ poor performance results in losing 10.9 percent of their investment in portfolios of projects which shows their inadequate management of strategic initiatives.

Thus the development of Portfolio Management of projects (PfM) as an organisational capability that enables organisations to align their projects with organizational strategy on the one hand, and concurrently, the raise of Project Management Offices (PMOs) to support executives ensuring strategic alignment across the portfolios, organizations establish.

PMO supports PfM to fill the gap between strategy formulation and implementation. While PMO forms show a variety of structures in different organizational settings and transformations over time within the same organizational setting, there is still no clear understanding of how PMO evolves in its short life span in conjunction with PfM practices.

However, the understanding of co-evolution processes of PfM practices and PMOs as organizational settings remains unclear, partly because the past and current studies rely on a being ontology in order to study change and evolution and because they are mostly based on single level or flat perspective locating phenomena in “a web of interconnections”.  Taking a routine perspective and a process and becoming view we offer in this exploratory study:

1. A multi-level conceptual framework unveiling the dymamics of co-evolution between PfM practices and PMO as organizational / organizing entities. To this regards this research could be called a box changing research as, if the primary point of reference is the PfM and PMO literature, we call for routine lens.

2. An assumption challenging approach based on a process and becoming ontology, supporting a somehow innovative research, involving a multilevel or tall view linking local praxis level, i.e. PfM routines, with higher level of structure and system, i.e. PMO.

Keywords: portfolio management of projects, project management offices, organisational capability.



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