Project oversight is defined in the textbook as ‘a set of principles and processes to guide and improve the of projects’ (Larson & Gray 2014, p. 573). Note that the purpose of project oversight is to ensure that projects meet the needs of the organisation, and to support the project manager. One only needs to look at the failure of companies such as Nokia to understand the importance of a project management system that will enable the ©Australian Institute of
organisation to align its array of new product development projects with changing strategic priorities in competitive environments. In addition, the project manager’s job can be complex and difficult as we now know from the preceding topics. Consequently, oversight of project management practice can be extremely useful in providing project managers with better tools and techniques to do their job well.
Note the major oversight activities at the organisation level and the project level. The maturity level of the project management system refers to the project management maturity model which we will cover in part 3 of this topic. Essentially, it refers to the way project management knowledge and capability matures over time as organisations carry out more and more projects.
Note the section about the importance of project oversight to the project manager. The four issues discussed relate to how the project manager is supported in meeting the project goals of the organisation.In terms of portfolio management, every project manager will be aware of other projects that the company has underway, because those projects might be the reason that the project manager cannot obtain extra funds when a project cost over-run occurs. In any case,the project office will usually have the task of managing the portfolio of projects.
Finally here, the project office is vital to organisations that undertake many projects. A project office is somewhat like an organisation within the organisation. The project office is responsible for co-ordinating and governing the organisation’s portfolio of projects. Note the snapshot from practise about the project office. This snapshot contains a list of the different services usually provided by a project office.