An enterprise project management office (EPMO) is a small team tasked with ensuring that the project portfolio is delivering its anticipated benefits according to plan, and is constantly aligned to current strategy, says Mike Shorten, senior consultant, Barnstone Corporate Services.
It is generally therefore tasked with three primary responsibilities:
* Track and report on the performance of strategic projects within the portfolio;
* Represent the extent to which a project portfolio is contributing towards an organisation achieving its strategic objectives; and
* Empower executive management to take the necessary decisions relating to the portfolio to ensure ongoing alignment to the organisation’s strategic objectives and performance to plan.

Typically an EPMO must:
* Play an active role in prioritising projects / initiatives – ensuring that the mix of projects / initiatives undertaken delivers the greatest value to the organisation;
* Develop and maintain an integrated project / initiative schedule;
* Ensure appropriate allocation of resources across projects / initiatives;
* Identify and manage integration points and conflicts across projects / initiatives;
* Facilitate standardisation of project / initiative management processes;
* Provide templates, processes and governance for projects / initiatives;
* Provide a consolidated view and reporting on all projects / initiatives across the organisation;
* Ensure benefits tracking; and
* Ensure that reporting of project contribution to strategic objectives is maintained.

However, to be successful an EPMO must not:
* Replace or assume the responsibilities of any business unit or group function project/programme management office or project manager;
* Provide programme or project management resources for individual projects/initiatives;
* Take responsibility for any of the project management activities and deliverables of individual projects/initiatives;
* Perform the benefit tracking for business unit or Group function projects/initiatives; and
* Track any business activity that is not classified as a project/initiative (such as business as usual).