The PMO, which stands for Project/Programme/Portfolio Management Office, is the body of the organisation that is responsible for all ongoing projects and programmes. It can be seen as a central repository where organisations have an oversight of all change initiatives and are able to co-ordinate them.
The PMO is essentially providing services to an organisation, but what this actually entails can differ between organisations. It is a complex and ever changing environment and roles and the context of projects and programmes highly influence the PMO.
The day to day responsibility of the PMO lies with the PMO Manager. Other PMO related roles are the PMO administrator, the PMO analyst, the PMO director and other PMO specialists.
The responsibilities of the PMO Manager
PMO managers perform a wide range of tasks, in order to successfully oversee all aspects of the project development process. If the organisation does not have an existing PMO yet but is planning to install one, the PMO Manager will be the one to build and design the PMO. The PMO Manager is also the one to appoint and/or recruit PMO resources based on the chosen PMO model.
Once the PMO is installed, daily essential responsibilities are:
- Follow all ongoing projects and programmes
- Responsible for all PMO personnel
- Overseeing project development
- Facilitate project planning
- Facilitate the governance process
- Facilitate change control process
- Performing financial analysis
- Providing financial reports and budget outlines
- Modify processes and organize work streams
- Ensure that documentation is correct and up to date
- Ensure team members uphold the organisation’s standards
- Collaborating with other department leaders
- Project and programme documentation
- Mentor project managers
The necessary skills for being/becoming a PMO Manager
The PMO Manager is responsible for a very key part of the organisation as the PMO guides all ongoing projects and programmes. Therefore, the PMO Manager has to be able to have a clear overview and comprehensive vision in line with the organisation’s vision. At the same time, the PMO manager must be able to focus on details and technicalities and have great interpersonal skills as he/she will work closely with professionals in many different levels
Often a PMO manager has at least the following set of core skills:
- Problem solving and pragmatic
- High level of organizational skills
- Great leadership
- Critical thinking and attention to detail
- Ability to perform under pressure
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Exceptional stakeholder skills
- Financial knowledge and commercial outlook
- Wide knowledge on project and change management
- Extensive knowledge on the use of different tools
In addition a PMO manager can be asked to show his project management expertise by means of a PMP certification and / or a certification in Portfolio Management.
Axelos: A career plan for PMO practitioners.
Axelos: Value of the PMO