In situ spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) was applied to study the pyramidlike and pillarlike growth of Al doped ZnO (AZO) films deposited by means of remote plasma-enhanced metalorganic chemical vapor deposition for transparent conductive oxide applications. Real time SE studies in the visible region allowed discerning between the two growth modes by addressing the time evolution of the bulk and surface roughness layer thickness. While the pillarlike mode is characterized by a constant growth rate, a slower rate in the initial stage (up to 150–200 nm film thickness), compared to the bulk, is observed for the growth of pyramidlike AZO films. The two modes differ also in terms of surface roughness development: a saturation behavior is observed for film thickness above 150–200 nm in the case of the pyramidlike films, while a slow linear increase with film thickness characterizes the pillarlike mode. By extending the SE analysis of the AZO films to the near infrared region, valuable information about the in grain properties could be extracted: excellent in grain mobility values, i.e., larger than 100 and 50 cm2/V s, are determined for the pyramidlike and pillarlike AZO layers, respectively. The comparison between the outcome of the in situ real time SE studies and the ex situ electrical and chemical characterization highlights the limitations in the electron transport occurring in both types of films and allows one to address routes toward further improvement in AZO conductivity.