Can a PMO benefit from OneNote?

Project Management Offices are responsible for not only ensuring projects complete within their organization’s defined success parameters but are also responsible for sharing project management best practices to improve consistency and quality in the delivery of projects.  Locating tools to assist the operation and management of PMOs and CoEs (Centers of Excellence) can be time consuming and expensive, and in many cases, unnecessary.

Standardization of Templates

OneNote’s file based structure makes it easy for a PMO/CoE to create standardized templates for projects, engagements, and other repeatable processes.  All a user needs do is to copy the template notebook for their own use and sections, pages, and files are all duplicated and ready to use.

Organization of content around PMO processes

Unlike shared drives and SharePoint sites, a OneNote notebook can be easily organized, reorganized, and shared among a team reflecting the process recommendations from the PMO office. A PMO or CoE can define recommended processes and then not only document those processes but also organize the notebook around echoing the workflow of the process for easier execution.

Common notes and procedures

A PMO can leverage OneNote to create common collections of processes and procedures updatable by the team in real time to make sure faulty processes and procedures are not followed due to not being updated. By seeing not only when procedures were updated but also who updated them and easy version history monitoring, OneNote provides a powerful tool for PMOs and CoEs to keep team members using the right procedures.

Distributed packages of content

As a PMO or CoE grows collections of content around specific topic areas, those content collections can be gathered as OneNote notebooks and distributed as resources to be used online or off.  Starter kits for projects, audit libraries, metrics documentation and dashboards can all be packaged for easy sharing and distribution.

Planning for PMO / CoE success

Having a tool like OneNote as part of the core execution plan for your PMO/CoE from the beginning and bringing your users to the understanding of the benefits and uses of the tool can allow you to focus on the actual purpose of the group rather than the tools needed.  Take time to not only understand what your PMO/CoE needs to accomplish but also how that information will be shared, maintained, and collaborated on for the long term.