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. PMO Flashmob have a great report about KPIs, measures and metrics used by the PMO.

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.

We also have a great blog post in our series regarding PMO job applications – How to Apply for a PMO Analyst Job walks you through a real-life job advertisement and gives you some great tips of what to highlight on your CV, and how to showcase your relevant skills and experience.

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. 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.

PMO Lead is senior in knowledge, but are not directly responsible for the management of those within a PMO. Within their responsibilities, they may have seniority in temporary PMOs for projects and programmes to exercise their expertise.

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.

We have another blog post in our series on applying for PMO roles – How to Apply for a PMO Manager Job takes a job advertisement to help you produce a fantastic application.

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