Think There’s Not a Role for You in the PMO? Think Again!

The many roles and responsibilities within the PMO can appear overwhelming, which can leave some people feeling a little confused or stuck – where should I look to begin my PMO career? What’s the next step in my development? I’m already at a senior level in my career – what’s next?

If you’re brand new to the world of PMO…

If you have no experience working in projects, or have yet to work in a PMO, a fantastic role to start in is the PMO Administrator role or Project Support Officer. The PMO Administrator role is brilliant for giving you a good grounding in projects; your responsibilites may include monitoring, reporting, documenting and organisation, opening up oppurtunities to progress throughout the PMO, or through a career in Project Management.

We’ve also shared our 5 tips for the new PMO Professional to help you get the best head start.

If you’ve got some experience working in projects…

If you’ve had some experience in working in projects, perhaps the next step in your PMO career could be the role of the PMO Co-ordinator, working in a Project or Programme Office. This role works to support the Project Manager, and will help you gain experience in the responsibilities of the Project Manager, without the accountability.

This role works as the right-hand person for the Project Manager, and your role may include drafting reports, prepping materials and documents to be signed off and sent out, facilitating stakeholder workshops, maintaining the risk register, and developing the communication plan. So within the RACI Matrix, you would have Responsibility for a range of Project Management tasks, with the Project Manager maintaining accountability, a great position to be in to gain lots of experience, preparing you for a more senior PMO role, or moving into being a Project Manager.

From your experience, you may also identify a particular area of Project Management that you enjoy, which would allow you to specialise. For example, risk management, benefits management or planning, making you responsible for the risk management processes in your organisation, or wherever your individual strengths lie.

If you’re an experienced Project Manager…

If you’ve got experience in managing projects, the role of the PMO Manager may be perfect for you. Your experience will allow you to recognise what you have needed from Project Co-ordinators and Analysts, and your role will help you ensure that the Project and Programme Managers you work with are receiving the right level of service from those working for you.

Alternatively, you may prefer to approach the Centre of Excellence – moving away from creating processes to defining them, and what they should look like within your organisation.

If you have greater business experience…

If your past experience lends itself more to the business side of your organisation, and less towards projects and programmes, the Portoflio Office may champion your skills. Roles within the Portfolio Office, such as the Portfolio Director, are often very senior positions, and don’t necessarily depend on the details of how projects are delivered, but rather have a focus on the business impact of such projects.

The Portfolio Office looks at what projects have been completed, how they have been able to support the business, the impact of said projects on the business (both good and bad!) and how the output of projects have driven change. The Portfolio Office Manager role may help drive benefits and steer the benefits roadmap, and assist the organisation by facilitating prioritization discussions.

If you’re unsure how to apply for the role you want…

We have a great blog series which takes real examples of job listings, tackling the job advertisement and helping you make a great application. The series covers a range of roles, from those less experienced in the PMO (Project Administrator, PMO Analyst and  Programme Co-ordinator) to more senior roles (PMO Manager and Portfolio Office Manager)

If you’re looking for more specific career support…

We offer coaching and mentoring, specifically tailored to you and your career.

We cover all aspects of a PMO career – from guidance on your CV through to help adjusting to a new position. The sessions can include specific coaching on PMO function and services areas or used as a sounding board as you navigate through your career. There’s helpful advice and guidance from the people who have been working in PMOs for many years – through to professional PMO trainers and careers coaches.

Alternatively, why not take a look at our CV Development for PMO Professionals? You’ll learn 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 – all for a great price.

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