Your First Steps as a PMO Administrator

Stepping into the role of a PMO Administrator marks the beginning of an exciting career filled with opportunities, challenges, and growth.

This blog hopes to provide you with the essential insights and advice you need to succeed in your new role.

Here are some of the main things you need to think about when looking to navigate your first steps as a PMO Administrator;

  • Understand what is expected of the PMO Administrator role.
  • Understand what is expected of you in this PMO Administrator role.
  • Understand who you work for and report to.
  • Understand what project management is all about.


Decoding the Role/Insider Advice

As we are experts in PMO training and experienced PMO practitioners here are some insights into the PMO Administrator role and some insider advice that you wouldn’t find in a textbook or training course, to help you succeed in your role.

One of the key pieces of advice we can give you is to get to know as many people as you can in your PMO and organisation. You will be working with a lot of people, so you will interact with not just the project manager but also wider departments such as finance, marketing, and HR. Interacting with as many people as you can, knowing who they are, where and what job they do will make your job a lot easier when you come to a task and find you need help or need to liaise with different departments.

One of your main jobs as a PMO Administrator is to be a central point of contact, you will become indispensable and be the go-to person if someone needs advice, information, or assistance. If you are approachable, hard-working, and give out the right information, you will progress in your role quicker and open opportunities for future more challenging roles.

You must also be competent with technology and become a whizz on computer-based systems such as Office 365. You should also be proactive when it comes to technology and keep up to date with new tools that come out such as Power BI, and assess whether they would be good for your PMO.

Another tip we would recommend is, if you are not sure on something then ask. You will be in a very busy role with various tasks and new ones can crop up at anytime, meaning you may not have a lot of time or be given a full brief on what you need to complete. In this instance, many people would struggle in silence as they do not want to look like they cannot do their job, however in these circumstances you need to have confidence in yourself that you know the job but in order to complete the task you need a clear objective so that it can be done correctly and to the best of your ability.

To find out more about the key roles and responsibilities, click here to read our full blog on the role profile of a PMO Administrator.


Transitioning or Entering – Tailoring the journey to you

There are endless opportunities and directions you can go in with a career in PMO, some of these opportunities can include;

  • Growth and development in project management – you will have a lot of opportunities to develop your career in project management, whether it be in PMO senior roles such as Analyst or Manager or other areas of the business.
  • Learning new technical and soft skills – you will learn and develop a lot of skills in the PMO Administrator role, especially on the job. You will develop your technical skills with various tools and software such as Office 365. You will also enhance your soft skills as this is a people-based job, which means you will need confidence and communication skills to lead a meeting or teamwork and problem-solving skills when working with other departments.
  • Different PMO career pathways – there are multiple pathways in PMO, as well as the standard route of moving up into senior roles you could also find yourself in a specialist service. Your organisation may need a specialist in finance and you have the opportunity to move into it from your experience, even though you don’t have any qualifications for it and had never considered this as a career before.
  • Working with different people, teams, and departments – working with different people will help you grow and learn in your role and allow you to network and see different roles and gain knowledge from others’ experiences.
  • Opportunities come when you least expect it – as a PMO Administrator you may never know when you are good enough to move into another role, but if you are working hard and doing a great job for the team, others will see it. When working on multiple and new projects people will then request you and trust you to complete work for them and new opportunities will come your way.

As with any job, there are also challenges that you will face, some of these may include;

  • Working with a team with different needs and challenges – in every workplace, there will be people you work with who are not great communicators and are not approachable. It’s important to be resilient, focus on your work and manage others and your workload as best as you can.
  • Understanding what the project is about – you will work on a variety of projects, and you may not know exactly what it is about. It could be technical such as an IT system, building facilities, or retail systems. You don’t need to know all the technical problems or solutions. You only need to be able to understand the things that are important such as what the organisation’s goals are and the end solution.
  • Tight and conflicting deadlines – you will find you need to be able to manage people and tasks effectively. People will always be asking for your time in addition to what you already had planned for the week or day, and projects can be unpredictable meaning new tasks may pop up and you need to prioritise your workload and manage peoples expectations.
  • Learning as you go along – every project, programme, and portfolio manager is different and likes to run their projects in a specific way. Working in PMO means you will always be learning as you go along and there will always be something that might need changing or tweaking,
  • Finding the balance –there are aspects of this role that require repetitive and tedious tasks such as reporting or administrative duties, while these may not be the most exciting jobs to complete, they are what keep projects on track and have an important purpose.


Ready to embark on your journey as a PMO Administrator? We also have the Essentials for PMO Administrators certification course to give you the essential knowledge and skills to perform the role successfully. Click here to read more about the course.

Want to learn more about entry-level PMO roles? Fill in your details below to gain access to our ‘How to Get Started in PMO eBook’. Take a look at a day in the life of a PMO Administrator, learn the typical skills and behaviours required, get some tips for your CV and more!


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