Project Hand Over Best Practices for PMO’s to Project Managers

Posted By Posted by: Khurram Jamshed on January 14, 2015

I was recently creating a project hand-over process for a PMO and after performing the required PMO activities, the project was to be handed over to the Project Manager for execution.  The process comprised a list of activities that Project Managers have to perform to accept the project from the PMO so that he/she can continue with its execution.  These activities involve the Project Owner and Status Manager fields in the project record.  I thought this was a great idea to share as I haven’t seen much about the use/advantages of Status Manager and Project Owner fields in the project record.  There has also been an increase in the number of organizations establishing PMOs for better project management, and that requires users to better understand the role of the Status Manager and Project Owner.


Microsoft Project Server 2010/2007 uses two fields to track the leadership of any enterprise project.

  1. The Owner field lists the person who created the project and saved it initially in the Project Server database.
  2. The Status Manager field lists the person who initially published the resource assignments in the project using the Publish button.  The Status Manager is the person who receives task updates in PWA from team members assigned to the tasks in the project.

Now depending on your organisation’s policy and requirements, you can change either the Owner of the project, the Status Manager of the project, or both the Owner and Status Manager of the project as part of the hand-over process.


PMO Role:

After receiving the Project Schedule along with any other required documents such as the Project Charter, the PMO could do the following:

  • Baseline the Project, to identify any variance later with the current values
  • Fill-in any PMO-required project custom fields
  • Save and Publish the project to the server
  • Change the Owner of the project to the respective Project Manager of the project from the PWA

Project Manager Role:

Once they have received notification from the PMO that the project has been saved on the server, the following activities should be performed by the Project Manager to make sure that he/she won’t miss any task updates from the resources.

  • Open the project in Project Professional 2010
  • (If required) change any generic/local resources with the enterprise resources in the project
  • Apply any Task views, such as the Gantt Chart view
  • Right-click on the column header to the right of the Task Name column and select Insert Column from the shortcut menu.
  • Select the Status Manager field from the list of available fields
  • Click on the Status Manager pick list and select your name from the list for every regular task that you must manage.
  • Save and Publish the Project so that the changes can take effect.


There are few interesting points you will observe when you insert the Status manager field in the project.  The field drop down will list all the previous status managers of the project in addition to your name.  When they open the project, any of your project users (with the open/save/publish-project-to-the-server permission) can set themselves as the Status Manager of the activities that belong to them.  This is one of the awesome advantages of the Status Manager – at least I rate it as awesome – and always highlight this to users.  It allows more than one approver in the same project plan. This is particularly useful for large projects where more than one Project Manager is involved, and where each is responsible for their set of activities within the project.

As usual your comments, feedback are widely welcome.

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