Being a PMO manager is a challenging but rewarding job role and having the right skill set is essential.

Whether you have decided to aim towards becoming a PMO manager or are just gaining further insight into all project management roles, these skills will be your crucial tools to achieving the best results for your organisation and climbing the project management career ladder.

What is a PMO manager?

PMO stands for project management office, meaning the manager is the individual in charge of maintaining the efficiency of this space and all its components. It is highly popular  within the construction, information technology and telecommunication industries as the importance is being increasingly highlighted by project successes.

The PMO manager is there to ensure that all operations comply with company standards. Further responsibilities also include, setting the processes and monitoring all aspects of every project and overseeing all the duties of the PMO office personnel. There is also the matter of working across all departments to communicate and collaborate where relevant and to present any project findings to senior stakeholders.

The demand for PMO managers is ever increasing with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ findings hinting to the opening of over 37,000 new jobs through 2024.  The role is high pressure and fast paced but offers big monetary benefits. These benefits are based on performance and so having the right skills will ultimately lead to bigger rewards. Here are the top 5 skills we find are key to becoming a top PMO manager.

1. People skills

A massive part of being a successful PMO manager is dealing with individuals from all walks of life and with a number of skills and experiences. It is important to identify and utilise your teams’ strengths and weaknesses so that they can be appropriately placed in every task.

You will need to communicate with senior stakeholders efficiently so they are confident in your skills and so that you can gain the insight you need from them to provide the results they strive for. Navigating personalities is crucial; know how to work with each colleague and you’re set with a great foundation to achieve great results.

2. Ability to improvise and adapt

There is an expectation of a PMO manager to make big changes and prove their value in strict time restrictions. Being able to thrive under pressure is essential for anyone in this position. Challenges will present themselves throughout a task and being able to evaluate the situation and change things accordingly to promote efficiency is going to make you stand out. With this skill, you will have confidence in your choices and your team will trust you to support them in times of uncertainty.

Learning People | Pmo manager at desk with a laptop

3. Multi-tasking

As a PMO manager, you are in-charge of all aspects of a task. The ability to have an in-depth understanding of each part will involve a multitude of multi-tasking. Keeping organised in this is vital to maintaining control and will avoid any damaging miscommunication. Make use of task management software, maintain an organised inbox and record any relevant documents in a secure location so they are readily available for your reference.

4. Networking

As a PMO manager you are the face of the project, and often the company. Having contacts in your chosen industry is a great asset to have. Not only can this enable you to seek advice from others, it could also open further opportunities for yourself or your business. It will help you to keep up to date with relevant information and the goings on of your industry leading to a deeper understanding of what could further the success of a task. Attending suitable events and utilising networking platforms like LinkedIn are a great way to boost your network.

Learning People | 3 pmo managers at desk with laptop and pointing to documents

5. Time management

With all of the above considered, time management can be the underlying factor that leads to the success of a task. This is applied to all aspects of the job role. Your perception of how long each task takes is just as important as getting to meetings on time. You need to be disciplined with time but also apply realistic timeframes to projects; taking into account budgets, resources and the skill level and capacity of you and your wider team.

Use specific techniques to ensure the use of your time is always as productive as it can be. Consider agendas for meetings to keep things on track and to cover all relevant topics, ensure communication is optimised so that timeframes are realistic and delegate efficiently.

Validate your skills

Focusing on refining these skills can greatly support your journey to becoming a PMO manager but going a step further will improve your chances of landing that dream role. Gaining a relevant certification can help to validate your skills and will help you stand out when beginning your job search. If you’re at the beginning of your career, consider the Project Management Training or for the more Agile Project Management, the PMP collection would be more suitable.

If in doubt, remember our career experts are on-hand to evaluate your experience and find the best course for you and your career goals.

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