PMO Analyst, PMO Lead, PMO Manager – What’s the Difference?

There are a huge number of different roles to be found within the PMO, often with similar titles, and it can be confusing to distinguish the difference between these roles and their relevant responsibilities. This post will take a look at three different PMO roles – the PMO Analyst, the PMO Lead, and the PMO Manager.

PMO Analyst

Let’s start with the PMO Analyst.

The PMO Analyst is a role that supports projects, programmes and portfolios. They may support the delivery of one (or a combination) of these, reporting to one or more senior managers. It’s a great progression if you have experience of working within projects and project management, and are looking for the next step. Roles at this level may also be referred to as PMO Co-ordinator, PMO Officer, or Project Management Officer.

Your responsibilities will vary largely dependent on the purpose of your PMO, why it has been set up, and what it is looking to achieve.

For PMOs set up to improve reporting with an organisation, your role may require you to use a lot of data analytic tools. If the PMO is looking to improve delivery and training within the organisation, you may need to measure KPIs of this training.

This role will help you develop your skills and understanding of project, programme and portfolio management, and ideally allow you to develop any specialist skills within the PMO. Want to learn more about the key responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and behaviour of a PMO Analyst, check out our other blog on the Role Profile of a PMO Analyst.

if you are working as a PMO Analyst, PMO Coordinator, Project Support Officers or moving from a business operations role into a PMO, the Essentials for PMO Analysts certification course will give you the essential knowledge and understanding to undertake the role of a PMO Analyst.

It is the second course in the Essentials suite following on from the PMO Administrator course and is suitable for those who have foundation-level knowledge of project, programme, or portfolio management. As a result, a formally recognised Project Management certification at Foundation level is a prerequisite. Completion of internal organisation-led courses is also accepted.

This course is held on our public schedule and in a virtual classroom, so you can complete it from anywhere in the world, click here to read more.

The next two roles we’ll be looking at – PMO Lead and PMO Manager are roles which may sound similar, but there are some important differences.

PMO Lead

Let’s start with the PMO Lead.

The PMO Lead is certainly a more senior role than that of the PMO Analyst, and with that there are increasing levels of responsibility, often focusing on designing, energising and implementing PMOs within an organisation.

Where a PMO Analyst may be responsible for running and maintaining certain existing processes within the PMO, a PMO Lead may be responsible for creating and developing these processes. They may also be responsible for defining the goals and objectives of the PMO and for developing a plan to achieve those goals. This is due to the increased level of knowledge that is expected from the PMO Lead. 

Due to this increased level of knowledge, a PMO may have multiple actors under the role of PMO Lead, in which they each have a specific area of specialist knowledge, for example financial management, quality assurance etc.

Some of the key skills of a PMO Lead include leadership and communication and organisation, to have the ability to motivate and inspire others, to set clear goals and objectives, and to delegate tasks effectively.

PMO Manager

The PMO Manager is generally a role only taken by one person within the PMO. They are senior to the PMO Lead, and run the PMO, responsible for the management of the members of the PMO.

Where the PMO Lead might lead temporary PMOs, perhaps set up for a specific project or programme, the PMO Manager runs the permenant PMO, and have greater responsibility and seniority within the organisation.

Both roles require strong PPM and leadership skills, and great interpersonal skills that allow you to communicate effectively with those at all levels within the organisation.

Click here to read the key responsibilities, knowledge, skills, and behaviour of a PMO Manager.

The Essentials for PMO Managers course is aimed at PMO Leads and PMO Managers, especially those new or moving into this role. The training is also suitable for those aspiring to be PMO Managers and senior Project or Programme Managers moving into a PMO leadership position.

This 3-day virtual training course explores the essential competences, knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform the role of a PMO Manager successfully. You will also discover the fundamentals of the design, set up, implementation, running and closing down of a PMO service.

Click here to read more about the Essentials for PMO Managers course and check out upcoming dates.


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