We continue the series of articles which focus on the different types of roles you’ll find in PMO and project support and how you can better understand the job advertisement and make a great application. So far in the series we have – Project Administrator and Programme Co-ordinator.
In this article, we take a look at the role of a PMO Analyst – a role which is found within a PMO and can include supporting projects, programmes and portfolios. The role can also exist within a business without a PMO being in place.
The PMO Analyst is someone who sits within a PMO and works at portfolio, programme or project levels within the business. They’re there to support both the delivery of those and also provide information to senior management about what’s happening at those levels in the business.
Here’s a real example of a job advertisement for a PMO Analyst (retrieved 5th October 2020)
- Maintain portfolio masterplans, utilising information from various sources (including PSA tool and Project Manager status reports) and ensure quality and accuracy of data.
- Ensure accurate tracking of projects being delivered by Delivery & Operations via a combination of the following – PSA, highlight reports and utilisation reports.
- Report progress at regular intervals to senior stakeholders through portfolio review meetings and other such meetings and support steering groups and programme boards as appropriate.
- Ensure the required level of PMO governance and control is applied to the project/programme/portfolio in alignment with business needs.
- Work as part of the PMO team to deliver a high level of customer service to stakeholders including the project management community by providing support, challenge and skills development.
- Direct and mentor PMO Support Administrators as necessary, but not overall line management
Not a bad job advertisement at all – it takes a while to find one which actually gives enough detail which you can use to make a decent application. When will job advertisers learn that?!
Let’s take a look at each line in this job specification and see what we can learn from it and share some tips on how you can use that knowledge in your CV.
You will be responsible for providing portfolio reporting and associated analysis on agreed KPI’s across the consulting and Projects Portfolio.
- Straight away we know its a Portfolio level PMO so at the very least you will have to demonstrate that:
- You’ve worked in a portfolio level PMO or role before, or:
- You’ve worked at a programme level PMO before with lots of projects – the bigger the better, or:
- You’re brilliant at the analysis part of the role.
- You will have to be able to demonstrate the different types of reporting – in varying degrees of complexity.
- Metrics and measures will also be something you’ve worked on before – and you could include a couple of examples of key metrics within the CV.
Maintain portfolio masterplans, utilising information from various sources (including PSA tool and Project Manager status reports) and ensure quality and accuracy of data.
- With this role its all about the data – storage, management, extraction, analysis, insights, stories.
- A large part of your career history should go deeper into the project data analytics side – and utilise the key skill area to show which tools and technology you’ve worked with.
- With the PSA tool (don’t you just love a three-letter-acronym?) a professional services automation tool, ideally you’ve worked in a consultancy, outsourcing type role before. Good to have but not a showstopper.
Ensure accurate tracking of projects being delivered by Delivery & Operations via a combination of the following – PSA, highlight reports and utilisation reports.
- Because the emphasis on the data and reporting side you could consider something a little different on the CV – it’ll certainly help you stand out.
- Consider a case study part to the career history where you utilise the STAR technique.
- Introduce the Situation, then highlight the Actions taken by you and the Results.
- You could give a great example of a particular dataset and how you take the steps to gain actionable insights.
Ensure the required level of PMO governance and control is applied to the project/programme/portfolio in alignment with business needs.
- Here we’re looking for governance and control at all three levels – in your CV you could have one bullet point for governance and another for controls – then within each ensure you hit on project, programme and portfolio.
- Think about how you can convey your understanding of business needs. At a portfolio level you should have gained an understanding of the strategy formulation – think about how your role has utilised that understanding to work on investment appraisals, business cases and project prioritisation.
Work as part of the PMO team to deliver a high level of customer service to stakeholders including the project management community by providing support, challenge and skills development.
- Demonstrate on the CV your previous experience with ‘customer service’ – did your previous PMO actually measure this? If so, great, use it in the CV.
- Highlight your approach to managing stakeholders – think about how you build relationships, use influence, work with conflict and so on.
- If you’ve been involved in communities of practices (CoPs) now’s the time to show what you’ve done to help bring the P3M community together – there’s both the formal and more information to consider:
- Any training courses and workshops you’ve devised and run
- Any mentoring or coaching
- How people approach you informally for advice, help and guidance.
- The ‘challenge’ word is a great one here and one that many experienced PMO Analysts should be able to provide. The PMO is there to provide challenge and scrutiny, we should be confident that the data and insights we provide are robust, and provide challenge and push back where its needed. You could include something on the CV when you write about the analysis and insights about the challenge and scrutiny that goes hand in hand with that.
Direct and mentor PMO Support Administrators as necessary, but not overall line management
- So it’s not a line management role so the focus is very much on mentoring – if you’ve mentored before, great, highlight it on the CV.
- If not, take some time to look at what formal mentoring arrangements look like so you’re ready for any interview questions around it.
- It’s more likely that you’ve provided help as and when its needed – but chances are, that was when we were all working in the office 5 days a week. You might have an interview question about how to make this work virtually so think about that in advance.
- If you’ve already had line management experience and quite happy to not have this particular responsibility – be ready for a question about that in the interview.
Top Seven Tips for Your PMO Analyst CV
Now we’ve looked at the job advertisement; now it’s time to think about your CV. You can gain further help and practical guidance on your CV by taking a look at our CV Development for PMO Professionals short course.
Here are seven tips to get you thinking about what you would need to do with your CV to apply for this and other PMO Analyst roles:
- The PMO Analyst role focuses heavily on data, information, dashboards, reporting, insights – well you get the picture. This means you should lead with this area at the top of your most recent role.
- It’s important that you make it clear which type of PMO you’ve been working in – context is everything.
- Key skills should include any of the technologies that support both reporting and collaboration – the more you have the better (it shows the ability to pick up new tools – most likely internal ones)
- Aside from reporting – planning, resource management, finance/budget management, governance, assurance and risk should all feature in the CV.
- The difference between levels of PMO Analyst often come down to how complex the environment is that you’re working in – demonstrate that by highlighting the budget or team size of the project, programme or portfolio you’re supporting.
- Tools are a big part of the job so if you can demonstrate you’re keeping up with the times in areas such as AI and RPA all the better.
- In the profile part of the CV when highlighting job titles – think about including PMO Lead, it’s often used interchangeably with PMO Analyst.
So there we have it, a job advertisement for a PMO Analyst – what they’re really asking for and how you can reflect that in your CV.
PMO Analyst positions can vary from organisation to organisation – they’re never quite the same because the way the organisation is delivering change is different. The most popular course in the UK for PMO Analysts is the P3O Foundation, many take the next step P3O Practitioner too. The P3O Foundation is also available as a distance-learning option for the cost-conscious too.
Watch out for future roles we will tackle in the same way, and remember if you’re looking for work now or need to give your CV a rethink to get better results, take a look at the PMO CV course – just £25+VAT, delivered over two weeks with forum support.
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