What does a PMO do in a company? Who is this person and what do they do?
At the crossroads of management and project teams, the PMO is responsible for orchestrating all projects, portfolios and programs. This expert has more than one string to their bow, which is why it is sometimes difficult to grasp the nature and scope of their missions.
But the good news is that this article gives you the complete job description of the Project Management Officer. You will discover the organization a PMO, the decisions they make, and the value they add to a company!
So, are you ready? The flight to the Project Management Office is about to leave!
What does a PMO do?
First, it is important to note that the term PMO refers to both a department (Project Management Office) and a professional (Project Management Officer). What is the role of the latter?
Today's companies, especially the larger ones, are often juggling hundreds of projects, all the while having to ensure that deadlines and profitability are met. This is where the PMO comes in, in charge of managing the projects as a whole.
From a strategic position, the Product Management Officer has a transversal vision of all projects and portfolios, in order to guarantee their operational and economic alignment with the general objectives of the organization.
They must therefore be able to:
- coordinate projects,
- prioritize projects,
- support the business teams as best as possible in order to always satisfy the company's vision.
At the same time, the PMO role is to monitor the progress and performance of projects, in order to provide management and report on their status as required.
☝️ Depending on the structure and its size, the Project Management Officer may be in direct contact with the project teams, devops team, or work through project managers such as the product owners and the project leaders.
The Project Management Officer's roles and responsibilities
The PMO has several tasks to accomplish daily. They have different functions at different levels. They must:
- coordinate, prioritize and plan all the company's projects, in accordance with its overall goals and taking into account the various internal and external constraints, all according to the strategy,
- support the project teams in carrying out their daily tasks and respecting the roadmap,
- guarantee the proper execution and success of projects,
- anticipate and manage technical and operational risks,
- define processes and guidelines to industrialize and standardize the company's project management practices,
- ensure the management of resources and budget allocated to all projects,
- ensure compliance with the company's strategic vision and specifications,
- analyze project performance by defining KPIs and drawing up reports,
- contribute to the establishment of a true project culture within the company and support the management of change,
- implement and generalize the use of project management tools,
- establish a link between management and project managers.
There are other tasks to consider, like using an EPMO in a project program. The tasks will vary according to the way people work in your company.
The Project Management Officer's salary
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a PMO in the UK is £58,182/year.
Obviously, this figure may vary, as it depends on the company and the number of years of experience.
What makes a good PMO?
Here are the skills required to be a good PMO:
- Ease at managing projects (prioritization, planning, resource allocation, budget management, etc.),
- Great rigor and capacity for organization and anticipation,
- Relational, communication and pedagogical skills to best support project teams
- Risk management and resolution of operational and technical problems
- Certain ease with the scrum methodology
- Adaptability and flexibility to deal with unforeseen events and emergencies,
- Mastery of tools like the Gantt chart, or the WBS and project management software,
- Intellectual curiosity to keep abreast of innovations in methodologies and software solutions,
- All of these qualities will benefit not only projects but your company in general.
How to become a PMO?
There is no standard training for the profession of Project Management Officer.
Nevertheless, it is required to go through university cycles:
- a few years of higher education in engineering school for technical projects,
- a few years of higher education in a business school for projects involving sales and marketing.
☝️ Working as a PMO at the beginning of your career is still quite possible. However, most job offers mention the justification of a first successful experience, particularly in project management.
The PMO toolbox
The cross-functional nature and scope of the PMO's tasks require software solutions with a wide range of functionalities.
Planning, budget and resource management, collaboration, task management, project monitoring... what if we told you that there is no need for multiple tools, as there is one category of software that centralizes all the necessary functionalities?
A project portfolio management software (or PPM software) can help you with all of these needs and make your daily life at work easier.
How to recruit a Project Management Officer?
Recruiters, are you looking for the right PMO profile? Here are a few tips to attract the best talent to your company:
- Write a clear and complete description of the proposed missions, as the PMO position requires a wide range of skills,
- Describe precisely the nature of the projects on which the future recruit will work, so that they can project themselves,
- Be very transparent about the type of profile expected. Is it more technical or commercial?
- Specify which tools the Project Management Officer will be working with. Which project portfolio management software, for example?
- If applicable, mention the project management methodologies in use within the company,
- Offer an attractive salary range in line with the market,
- Offer an attractive working environment and conditions.
If you are a PMO, what are your expectations, what would you want to find in a company? What are the different roles and missions faced? Let us know about your experience in the comments!