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The Importance of an ITIL PMO

by David Mainville on

An ITIL PMO is a center of excellence bringing together a set of specialized resources to support the IT Service Management program. Its mandate is to improve the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of ITSM services.

This post defines what an ITIL PMO is, how it is structured, and the value it will bring to your organization.  We also introduce the term Service Management Office.

ITIL PMO Definition

In addition to being a center of excellence, the ITIL PMO is similar to a Program Management Office, except it focuses on ITSM activities (instead of general IT Projects). Acting as a program management office, the ITIL PMO is responsible for the design, implementation, governance, and ongoing improvement of all ITIL processes.

The term ITIL PMO is not currently in wide use. The reason is that Service Management goes well beyond ITIL and encompasses many different process frameworks and ITSM tools.

Most organizations currently use the term Service Management Office to describe their Service Management Office Organizational Structure.  You can also find some organizations using ITSM Program Office or ITSM Competency Center. 

How is an ITIL PMO organized? 

Depending on your company's size and culture, you may choose a centralized or decentralized ITIL org structure.

All ITSM resources report directly to the ITIL PMO in the centralized model. These roles include Process Owners, Process Analysts, and ITSM Tool Specialists, to name a few. 

Some resources report directly to the ITIL PMO in the decentralized model, while others (like the Process Owners and Managers) report to specific departments (like development or operations).

Some of the critical roles in the ITIL PMO include; Executive Sponsor, the ITIL PMO Director, ITSM Solutions Architect, ITSM Process Designers, ITSM Tool specialists, Process Owners, Process Managers, along with specialists in training, communications, metrics, reporting, and governance. 

SMO roles

What does the ITIL PMO do?

The ITIL PMO is responsible for the following:

  • ITIL Process Design and Documentation
  • Selecting and Implementing ITSM tools
  • Establishing ITIL roles
  • ITIL Service Design
  • ITIL Governance
  • ITIL Continual Service Improvement

The Value of an ITIL PMO

Success comes with focus, and the ITIL PMO is the best way to focus your ITSM initiative.  

A strong ITIL PMO centralizes shared capabilities, allows you to build and leverage critical skills, and creates the structure for continual service improvement. Together, this will reduce cost and improve satisfaction with the service that IT delivers!

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Originally published Feb 7, 2017 11:29 PM, updated Jun 2, 2022

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