- What do project management office staff do?
- Project management office staff career path
- Project management office salaries
- Qualifications and training
- Project management office staff skills
- Pros and cons of working in a project management office
- Project management office staff work-life balance
- Project management office employers
- Related jobs
- More information
Are you highly organised? Do you enjoy taking charge and seeing a project through? If you like putting your great organisational skills to good use and helping people, a career in a project management office could be for you.
Are you interested in a career in a project management office? Check out the current jobs in consulting.
What do project management office staff do?
The project management office (PMO) is a department in an organisation which oversees the successful management and running of projects throughout the organisation. There are many different job titles and levels of employment within PMO. Here are the basic responsibilities that you have when working in PMO:
- Analyse data throughout the process of completing a project
- Track the progress of a project
- Report on the findings of data analysis
- Provide advice for how to run a project, including specific direction at various intervals throughout the process
- Help with budget assessment and control for various projects
- Report on the progress of projects and how successful you consider them to be to senior management
Project management office staff career path
There are many levels of employment in PMO work and many possible job titles in each level. These jobs often have overlapping responsibilities but different titles, so reading the job description carefully and asking relevant questions in an interview could help you know if it’s the job you want.
You could begin your career as a project coordinator. In this job, you look after the administrative tasks for a project meaning your colleagues running the project can continue working efficiently without the stress of doing the admin work as well. You may order supplies for the teams, attend meetings for updates on the progress of the project and arrange appointments for your colleagues.
Another way into the PMO career is as a project administrator. In this position, you have similar responsibilities to project coordinators but with a higher emphasis on administrative tasks like managing schedules, budgets and scheduling meetings.
Beyond entry-level roles, you progress to mid-level work. This includes the project office coordinator role. As a project office coordinator, you have similar responsibilities to a project coordinator but on a larger scale. You might make appointments for the team, ensure that the deadlines are kept across the team and monitor the progress of a project.
Another route of progression in PMO is as a project management officer. This means overseeing a project from start to finish, ensuring deadlines are kept and all the team members working on the project are accountable for their work. You make sure the standard of work is high in the team.
As a PMO manager, you are responsible for the success of projects across the company. You make sure that deadlines are kept, budgets are adhered to and colleagues are working hard to complete the project in time and to a high quality. You oversee projects in many different departments which requires good working relationships with many colleagues and a general understanding of the types of work going on in the company.
A career step that you may choose to strive for is head of PMO. As head of PMO, all the projects throughout the company are reported to you, if indirectly through your PMO team. You make sure the work is completed, department-level budgets are met and the quality of the outputs of the company are maintained.
Project management office salaries
The salaries of PMO workers depend on the type of job, level of employment and the type of company. Here are the salary levels that you could expect when working in PMO:
- Entry-level jobs like project administrator earn an average of £24,000 per year whereas entry-level project coordinators earn an average of £27,000 per year
- Mid-level PMO jobs like project management officer earn an average of £33,000 per year, ranging between £25,000 and £60,000 per year
- PMO managers earn an average of £55,000 per year
- Head of PMO roles earn an average of £77,000 per year
- PMO directors earn an average of £86,000 per year
Qualifications and training
Having the right education and experience can set you up very well for work in PMO. Here is what you need to start your career:
Many people working in PMO have an undergraduate degree. Your degree could be in business studies, management or another related subject. A master’s degree could help you stand out but isn’t generally required for PMO work.
Having relevant work experience typically places you above other candidates when applying for jobs. This is because you’ve gained some necessary skills for the job, understand the type of tasks that you do in the job and have some exposure to the working environment. With many types of work experience, your supervisor can provide you with a reference to show you performed well.
The types of work experience you could consider are internships, shadowing PMO staff in a company, industrial placements or apprenticeship programmes. If you’re interested in gaining work experience in PMO, explore the internship opportunities and industrial placements available now.
Whilst professional qualifications aren’t necessary for entry-level jobs, they can help you progress by demonstrating your skills and showing your experience. If you’re interested in getting a professional qualification for PMO work, consider project management certifications from the Project Management Institute or the Project Management Academy.
Project management office staff skills
Alongside a good understanding on quantitative and qualitative research methods, here are the skills that you need to be successful in PMO:
- Analytical skills. Your job includes analysing the performance of projects in many departments throughout the company. Having great analytical skills helps you fully understand what’s happening and how to improve the project.
- Multi-tasking. PMO work spans the entire company. You may be overseeing many projects in different departments. Being able to multitask well and organise your work means you can work on all the projects without becoming confused between them.
- Persistence. You may need updates from many colleagues throughout the company on a regular basis. Some colleagues may be slow or not eager to send you an update if the project is falling behind or has gone wrong. Being persistent means you can keep reminding your colleagues to send you updates and not let them fall behind on work.
- Eager to learn. Since you’re overseeing projects across the company, you’re not likely to be an expert in some or all of them. Having an eagerness to learn sets you up well for work in PMO because you can speak with experts in different departments and try to learn as much as you can about the technical aspects of the project so you can understand it to a better level.
Pros and cons of being project management office staff
Being in PMO means you work with different departments, overseeing many projects throughout the company. Whilst PMO work has its positive sides, there are negative parts of the career path too. Here is what you should consider to help you know if working in PMO is right for you:
- PMO work is generally well paid and you have the opportunity to earn more money as you increase in seniority
- As you’re working for a single company, you have steady employment which also means a standard, reliable pension
- You’re able to specialise in an area that interests you
- There is a lot of work available for someone who wants to get into PMO
- It can be a highly stressful job because you may be managing and working on several different projects at a time. Keeping on top of all the work you need to do for each project could mean working overtime
- You might be accountable for the success of a project even though you’re not directly running it
- You may not have the expertise to directly run the project yourself meaning your work requires a level of translation from a colleague so you can fully understand what’s happening and how it works. This is especially relevant if the project is in a particularly technical field like software development.
- You need to work with many different teams. Receiving regular updates from all the teams could take a long time if the teams are not organised and this may be stressful as you won’t be able to have regular updates.
When working in PMO, you work typical office hours of 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday plus overtime around deadlines. You may also work longer hours if you have multiple projects that you’re overseeing all at once.
PMO work is often in an office setting so you can work with different departments and help run several projects.
Project management office employers
Your work in PMO could give you a taste of many different projects throughout a company. There are many companies that require PMO workers. Here are some of the top companies who hire PMO staff:
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If you’re interested in a career in PMO, check out the current PMO jobs available right now.