Professional Development for the PMO Professional

The people who support project managers – project co-ordinators; project support officers; project analysts and controllers – have had a raw deal when it came to professional development. They are expected to know the ins and outs of how a project is managed – so look to project management training courses just like anyone else who want to understand the fundamentals of project management.

Yet their role is to support projects, not deliver them. Where can these people find professional development to address the skills needed to support rather than deliver projects?

For many years the raw deal is – you couldn’t. You could learn it on the job or you might be lucky enough to have a great mentor or colleague who was prepared to take you under their wing and show you the ropes. The problem of course with this is you were just getting one organisation’s or person’s view of the world. Plus you never really got or understood the bigger picture about what a PMO was about, what it could be, and what was possible with the job. For many years the PMO was stuck in the project administration doldrums, and the lack of professional development was part of that problem.

So what has changed?

Over the last 16 years, there has been more and more focus on PMOs. The support of projects was and still is required – then there were programmes that needed supporting. Then came along portfolio management – and before we knew it, PMOs were springing up to support all of these plus larger PMO models across the whole delivery organisation in the form of enterprise PMOs and centres of excellence.

The picture below shows the levels that exist today (image taken from PMO Learning)

PMO Learning

PMO was – and still is – growing up to become a valued part of the delivery organisation.

As PMO remits started to evolve, so too have the professional development options to help people who work within these PMOs.

PMO Certifications Today

There are three PMO certification bodies in existence today. The British Computer Society (The Chartered Institute for IT); AXELOS and Association for International PMO (AIPMO).

There are courses and certifications that cover all four levels of PMO professionals working today.

These are:

BCS PPSOBritish Computer Society (BCS)

  • PPSO Essentials
  • PPSO Advanced Practitioner

AXELOS

  • P3O Foundation
  • AXELOS P3OP3O Practitioner

Association for International PMO (AIPMO)

  • IPMO-Foundation
  • AIPMO PMOIPMO-Practitioner
  • IPMO-Expert

To find out more details about the courses, take a look at PMO Learning’s website.

The image below shows how these three different certification body qualifications fit together in terms of the different levels of PMO professional.

What is good to see is the two certifications at both ends of the experience levels. The PPSO Essentials is a great qualification for those new to PMO work – it covers the project management fundamentals AND the PMO skills required. At the other end of the scale, there has never been a qualification for those leading and managing PMOs – especially at that corporate and enterprise level, the IPMO-Expert fits the bill there.

 

PMO Learning

Finally, the PMO profession has choices when it comes to professional development which is not just following the project management curriculum. The only problem now of course is which course to take?

 

PMO LearningPMO Learning are a training organisation focused on PMO training and development. They offer PMO certifications courses and specialist courses to individuals and organisations. They also have a coaching and mentoring service available too.

They’re members of Arras People’s training directory too.

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