The PMO refers to the Portfolio, Programme and Project Management Office.
- A portfolio is a group of programmes
- A programme is a group of projects
- A project is a specific piece of work to implement any type of business change, with a specific start and end date, usually run by project managers
The PMO are positioned within an organisation, reporting to company directors and working with various managers, as a middle layer to facilitate the organisation and implementation of change. PMO professionals have an essential role in enabling leaders to make key decisions on the progress of their business, both at a strategic level and with all levels of business change. The PMO work with senior executives, including Chief Executive Officers (CEO), Chief Operating Officers (COO) and Chief Information Officers (CIO), directors, managers and project managers throughout the business.
It is the PMO’s responsibility to create the most up-to-date, concise, succinct and accurate information on the progress of projects and the business, spanning the key areas required to run a business. This enables managers to effectively and efficiently evaluate the status of the business on a regular basis, quickly and efficiently so that they can make calculated decisions, take action and move the business forward in a timely manner. Reports typically include executive summaries, progress status updates, analysis of risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies (RAIDs), high level milestone plans, upcoming tasks, resource management, budget tracking and financial progress. The PMO provide this regular governance to ensure accountability at the right level.
The PMO also streamline processes to create business efficiencies which saves time and money. The PMO provides additional capabilities such as enhancing personal development amongst resources to encourage a happy and motivated workforce.
Technical and Interpersonal Skills
The PMO require specific skills and have a number of responsibilities in the contribution to the management of a portfolio, programme or project. Both technical and interpersonal skills are equally important to be a highly effective PMO. These include:
- CEO/COO/CIO Executive Management Reporting
- Project Status Reporting
- Milestone Tracking
- Resource Management
- Risk & Issue Management
- Dependencies Management
- RAID Logs – Risks, Assumptions, Issues, Dependencies
- Budget Tracking & Financials
- Quality Assurance
- Process Improvement
- Stage Gates
- Project Portfolio Management PPM Tools
- Personal Development
- Exceptional Communication Skills
- Stakeholder Management
- Influencing and Persuading
- Negotiation Skills
- Facilitation Skills
- Coaching and Mentoring Skills
- Conflict Management
- Body Language
- Attention to Detail
- Interview Skills
- Positive Attitude
Different roles exist within the PMO. Building a cohesive PMO Office is essential to ensuring success across Portfolios, Programme and Projects. The professional roles within a PMO Office includes PMO Consultants, PMO Managers, PMO Analysts and PMO Administrators / PMO Support
- PMO Consultant
At the highest level, the PMO Consultant is brought in to utilise their expertise, perhaps to set up a PMO or to provide advanced process improvement solutions in organisations experiencing high growth or change. They work with Managers, Directors, Senior Managers, Project Managers and Heads of Departments.
- PMO Manager
At the next level, the PMO Manager manages the PMO, typically working with Directors, Senior Managers, Project Managers and Heads of Department. They are typically focused on ensuring the PMO is created and run in an optimal manner, continuously ensuring consistent and never-ending improvement.
- PMO Analyst
At the next level, PMO Analysts provide more analytical work on all areas of the PMO and have a thorough understanding of Project Management to enable them to support Project Managers execute their projects. The size of the Portfolio, Programme and Projects will determine how many PMO Analysts are required in a PMO, with specific roles and responsibilities typically required in a larger scale. Senior PMO Analysts provide this support at a more advanced level. A Project Management qualification is recommended at this level.
- PMO Administrator / PMO Support
At the entry level, PMO Administrators and PMO Support carry out support work within the Office, ensuring basic but fundamental administrative duties are carried out.