5 Tips for the new PMO Professional

A career in PMO can be rewarding and exciting, however the many acronyms, job roles and services can be daunting and often hard to get your head around. Here at PMO Learning we’ve compiled a list of tips for those new to the world of PMO.

1. Understand what a PMO is – what roles does it entail? What services can the PMO provide? What is the organisational structure? What careers are available to me in PMO?

This may seem obvious, but it is vital to have a solid foundation of understanding of the tools, techniques, processes and services used by not only your organisation’s PMO, but also the breadth of services that may be provided by other PMOs.

In doing so, you will be able to understand the roles and responsibilities of both entry level roles in the PMO, such as Project Administrator or Project Support Officer, through to more senior roles such as Senior Responsibility Officer, or Project Sponsor.

Furthermore, you will develop an understanding of which roles to look for in order to start your PMO career – doing your research on roles such as Project Co-ordinator, Project Support Officer, or Data Analyst, in fact any role that provides support in a project environment, is undoubtedly a positive first step into a PMO career.

A fantastic place to start is the Essentials for PMO Administrators certification – this three day course is the perfect entry level qualification which will help you gain the essential knowledge and understanding to undertake the role of a PMO Administrator, demonstrate a greater understanding of projects, programmes, portfolios and PMOs, as well as understand and articulate the core roles and responsibilities of a PMO Administrator role.

2. Ensure you have a great PMO CV

The trick with creating a great CV is knowing what information to put in and perhaps more importantly, what to keep out.
Typical skills used in entry-level PMO roles may include reporting, interaction with stakeholders, document writing and planning – in order to understand your skills and proficiency think about your current daily tasks and responsibilities, and seek to identify what skills are needed to complete them.

If you’re looking to identify which parts of your skills and experience you should be showcasing, and how to make your CV stand out in the competitive PMO market, CV Development for PMO Professionals, will teach you how to create a personal summary that gets read; a career history that targets the right type and level of PMO; you’ll learn how to create key achievements that get noticed and how to showcase your skills and experience throughout.

3. Read around the subject!

There is a rapidly increasing amount of literature surrounding PMOs, whether that be through more casual forms such as blogs, or through published books, there are plenty of available options to help you develop (and even begin!) your knowledge of PMOs.

For those looking for an introduction to the set-up and services provided within a PMO, the leading Best Management Practice, P3O Manual, the PMO Service Catalogue by Stuart Dixon, and the PMO Competency Framework are fantastic places to start. It is also important to stay up to date with PMO news, and listen to what leading voices in the industry are saying.

4. Remember the 70-20-10 rule

The 70-20-10 rule applies to continuing personal development. 70% of personal development should be learning by doing, 20% by learning from others and 10% by learning from formal education.

With the PMO specifically, there has been a lot of new ground to cover over the last few years (Agile anyone?!) and lots more coming down the line (data-driven!). With PMOs evolving and the services they offer also evolving – that’s a lot of change and potential development on the horizon. You can learn more about the 70-20-10 rule here.

5. Join a community!

Joining a PMO community is not only great for networking, it also allows for opportunities to ask questions and listen and understand different viewpoints of those working at all levels of the PMO. PMO Flashmob is the best place to meet your PMO community needs – free to register with regular events, webinars and meetings covering a whole host of different topics directly related to the PMO. It’s also a fantastic way to hear from many different voices within the PMO and get involved in a really active community.

So, that’s our top 5 tips for those new to a career in PMO! What did you wish you knew before your PMO career began? Do you have any words our wisdom for those looking to enter the PMO? Let us know in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links.

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