Moving On in a PMO Career

I’m working in a PMO at the moment and looking to move on in my career over the next year. Is there any advice you can give to help me get prepared.

PMO still causes quite a bit of confusion in the marketplace – mainly because there are so many different types of PMO and in turn so many different types and levels of people who work within them.

If you’re looking for a new position outside your current organisation you need to start your research now into how other organisation advertise their PMO positions, playing close attention specifically into how the PMO is described.

I advise any PMO practitioner to include in their resume a line about the type of PMO using the same language that is found in the wider marketplace. For example, a PMO Manager would include, “Managing a PMO – Programme Management Office for a £20M business transformation program” before going on to write about the roles and responsibilities. You are making it clear that your PMO experience is around programme management as opposed to project, portfolio, enterprise or centre of excellence.

In your research make sure you also take note about the language used for skills and competencies required.

We know that PMO roles tend to include a lot of reporting for example, but how is the reporting described in the advertisements. Do they talk about dashboards, metrics, certain tools or software, monthly reporting cycles and different types of reports like status, highlights and PIRs? The trick with your CV is to match the language with that used in the job advertisement so changes are you may have to work on the language used in your current resume which will be aligned too closely with your current role.

The other – more crucial part to getting prepared – is understanding what you would ideally like to be doing next in your career and understanding what, if any, gaps in your knowledge you might need to address to make yourself just that little bit more marketable. Your research on the current market might give you some ideas to think about or highlight where more professional training might be required.

It might also help to talk to others who work in the PMO field too – you could take a look at PMO Flashmob in the UK – or look at some of the Linkedin Groups for something closer to home. I’d recommend starting with PMO Flashmob, PMO – Project Management Office, and APM PMOSIG


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