Project Management Office > FAQ

Service Delivery:
Frequently Asked Questions

This collection of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been compiled in order to assist client departments navigating the engagement process with California Project Management Office (CA-PMO).

Leverage these FAQs as a starting point for your questions about our services and approach. Then, call or email us at: (916) 873-7281 or if you have additional questions.

Additional FAQs will be added as we continue to interact with client departments.



Leverage this site to find answers to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the service offerings of the California Project Management Office (CA-PMO). The FAQs includes questions related to CA-PMO roles, responsibilities, delivery model, and engagement models, among others. This is a living document and it will be modified or edited based on inputs, comments, questions received from various State departments or entities.

Does the California Project Management Office (CA-PMO) have any control agency authority?

No, CA-PMO is a service organization only and does not have any control agency authority. The CA-PMO is a service organization that is similar to the role of a private sector consultant that provides project management services to the department that hired them.

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What are the different ways that the CA-PMO can be engaged by a client department?

CA-PMO supports the following service delivery models:

  • Project Management Services
    • Full Engagement – CA-PMO will provide a project team to work in partnership with the client department for project sponsorship, subject matter expertise, and program knowledge. 
    • Balanced Engagement – CA-PMO will provide key project resource(s) to augment department’s existing team.
  • Consulting Services
    • Expert consultant(s) are provided on a temporary basis, to assist projects experiencing challenges or resource shortfalls.  Consultants are State staff, and are assigned hourly or monthly. 

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Who makes the decision on the choice of engagement model; e.g. Full or Balanced Project Management Services vs. Consulting Services?

The engagement model decision is a joint decision between the client department and CA-PMO. During initial collaboration meetings with the CA-PMO transition team, the client department will communicate their project needs and the engagement model believed to best fit the project needs. Through collaboration and discussion of key project information and artifacts, the CA-PMO transition team and the client department will determine the appropriate engagement model. After the CA-PMO staff have joined the project, the engagement model is confirmed through collaborative development of a project specific engagement plan that details the CA-PMO approach to facilitating project success.

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What criteria are used to select an engagement model?

At a high-level, the following project criteria are used to select an engagement model:

  • Scope
  • Complexity
  • Criticality
  • Governance
  • Political Sensitivity
  • Duration
  • Cost
  • Statewide Impact
  • Organizational Readiness
  • Organizational Capacity
  • Organizational Capability

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What staff classifications are deployed by the CA-PMO for engagement on a client department project? How are the classifications determined?

CA-PMO provides resources from a range of staff classifications for project management and project delivery functions. The choice of classification is based on a number of factors, including the size, scope, and complexity of the work to be done. In general, assigned resources fall under the following classification series:

  • Data Processing Manager Series
  • Project Manager (IT) Series
  • Information Systems Analyst Series
  • Systems Software Specialist Series

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Can a department engage the CA-PMO for a specific, short-term resource? For example: a Project Scheduler is needed for a short-term or on a part-time basis?

The CA-PMO is committed to assisting departments in identifying and meeting project resource needs. The CA-PMO will evaluate any request for resources, whether for a short term or long term basis against the availability of CA-PMO qualified resources. If qualified resources can be made available, the CA-PMO will accommodate the department’s request.

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To whom do the CA-PMO project resources report? Do they report to the client department or to the CA-PMO executive management?

Engaged CA-PMO Project Managers will functionally report to the client department Sponsor. If applicable, other engaged CA-PMO project team members will functionally report to the Project Manager or Project Director. All engaged CA-PMO staff receive the support and counsel of CA-PMO leadership and peers to ensure the effective and efficient provision of services. 

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Will the CA-PMO provide non-technology related resources? For example: Business Analyst, etc.?

Yes, the CA-PMO can provide project delivery practitioners in any number of areas including business analysts. However, the client department remains responsible for providing Subject Matter Experts and strong project sponsorship to ensure project success.

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If a State department is not satisfied with the resources assigned by the CA-PMO, what alternatives do they have?

The CA-PMO leadership partners with the client department Project Sponsors to monitor the performance of CA-PMO resources. The quality and effectiveness of services is discussed at periodic check in meetings between CA-PMO leadership and the client department Project Sponsors providing opportunities to escalate and resolve any performance problems. However, if, performance problems are not resolved to the client department’s satisfaction, the client has the flexibility of revisiting the assignment and pursuing alternatives or mitigations which may include CA-PMO providing additional training, replacing the resource(s), and/or augmenting the resources.

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Will the CA-PMO resources be based on site at the client department 100% or will they come to the client department on an as-needed basis?

The standard Service Delivery models include dedicated staffing which means the CA-PMO resources are based at the designated client department project site for the duration of the engagement.

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If a State department retains the CA-PMO services, do they still need to engage the Information Technology Project Oversight Division (ITPOD) from the California Department of Technology (CDT)?

Yes, for every reportable project, ITPOD engagement would be a separate and distinct requirement, unrelated to the decision to engage CA-PMO. CA-PMO is a separate division within CDT that provides project management as a service with no oversight authority. ITPOD will continue to serve as the State’s information technology oversight body, and to that end ITPOD will monitor State department project activities irrespective of CA-PMO’s engagement on a project.

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What is the likelihood that the CDT ITPOD will start imposing conditions of engaging the CA-PMO services for project approval?

CA-PMO has no authority over the actions of the State’s information technology oversight body, ITPOD. As such, CA-PMO cannot comment on the relative likelihood of and conditions that ITPOD might impose.

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How can State departments be sure that by engaging the CA-PMO, they are not bringing on a control agency insider?

CA-PMO’s goal is to improve the successful outcomes of projects by providing exceptional project management services through qualified, competent project resources. CA-PMO resources will work with the client department as a part of the client department’s team and will report to the Project Sponsor. Since CA-PMO does not have any control agency authority, CA-PMO will be subject to all control agency policies and procedures, just like client department staff. Similarly, ITPOD will oversee CA-PMO’s performance related to project scope, schedule, and cost just as it would oversee the performance of the client department staff in executing reportable aspects of a project.

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