Carving your Path to Project Management Office
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Eshna

Last updated March 10, 2017


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Project Managers’ main work is managing the work, aligning the customer’s ultimate requirement by articulating, unifying project management planning and balancing all project constraints. As you already know Project Management Office members are from the topmost position in any organization. They enjoy powers such as coordinating various projects through proper resource allocation, mentoring the team or project managers, providing them important templates pertaining to project charter, Network Diagram, Work Breakdown Structure, Risk Breakdown Structure and many more. As a project manager if you want to be a PMO member then there are certain competencies that you should possess. Some of the most common queries include - how can a project manager climb up to that position? Is there any particular credential than can help? Is there any course available in the market, which helps project manager jump to the next level?
 
Well,  in reality there are no such courses or credentials that are available in the market, which can directly help you in becoming an active member of Project Management Office (PMO). This requires prior experience of working in the project, managing the complex issues in the project, developing the decision-making abilities, balancing the expectations of various stakeholders pertaining to the project requirement, by taking the critical decisions on schedule and cost-related issues. So, everyone does project management but not everyone is promoted to the PMO level. There must be specific set of proficiencies in the project manager in order to promote him/her to the next level.
 
Following are few of the proficiencies that are required to become a member of PMO:

1.Good Documentation Skills

If you are working on a project, ensure that you manage the documents appropriately. Project managers should be aware of the right documentation format. Sometimes you might be getting the readymade format, which an organization uses for every project as a standard. However, you need to implement certain processes in place to make your documentation reflect every stage of your project without missing out on anything. For this, you must be taking help of SMEs who are active members of a PMO. Try to learn those tactics, the approach of PMO members for addressing all the issues in a document. How s/he is initiating the process of documentation based on your project requirements. Many times it has been observed that a project manager puts a change request to Configuration Management and immediately it got rejected as because project manager’s inability to represent all the reasons of change in the document. So, now you know how important documentation is for a project manager. The high-quality documentation show that you are disciplined in your work. Now if you see, a PMO members’ one of the work is to provide templates and good documentation to project manager and program managers. And if this feature is with you – you are already moving towards the next level slowly and gradually.

2.Multi-Tasking

As a project manager you need to focus on project’s multi-tasking activities such as balancing schedule and cost baselines simultaneously managing the change in scope baselines effectively. Managing and balancing the expectation of various stakeholders is an added feature. You need to show that you could manage these activities in other project as well. Businesses might now give you an opportunity to work on more of their projects and in this way you grab a chance to exhibit your capabilities of taking huge responsibility in project events. By managing multi projects successfully, you can carve a new career path. This is the way to excel to the next level.

3.Virtuous Mentoring Ability

A project manager can be a good coach or mentor for his/her team or for any other project as well. As a project manager you should train your team mainly the new comers in the project who are not aware of the actual requirement. Even you might be getting few team members who do not know how to work and why to work? There are some reluctant members who do not want to work and want to take some easy work. As a project manager it is only your responsibility to get work done from them. Try to educate them the value of good work – try to inculcate in them the fact that by working effectively they can change their status of life, way of living and thereby, their entire family’s standard of living. How they can cope up in this competitive era by improving their way of working. You can understand it is a tough task for a project manager to do so – but you need to show your organization that you could be a good trainer or mentor and you could add a good value by doing so along with your regular project work.

4.Wise Forethought

The main task of a project manager is guesstimating the schedule and cost for various projects. If organization has confidence in your guesstimating abilities and is convinced with the fact that you read the project scope very accurately, based on that you guess the schedule and cost decisions very accurately, then the chances of your growth in that organization is extremely high. This is an art and not everyone knows this. You need to show this ability in each and every decision on guesstimating the schedule and cost for multi projects. You need to earn and learn the experience on it to think of the next level. Remember a program manager and a PMO member always manage and balance the things for multi projects and you need to show the same capabilities within you so that organization can give you this golden opportunity and who knows you can be the future PMO member of this organization.

5. PMP Credential

PMP credential could be the asset and could be a catalyst in your learning the documentation and other interpersonal activities, management skills. A credential like PMP will teach you the best methodologies, best practices etc., to implement during the projects. While considering higher positions in project management you need to have a credential such as PMP.

Preparing for PMP Certification? Take this test to know where you stand!

Conclusion

The bottom-line is – you need to perform in your project overwhelmingly in all the spheres such as schedule, cost performance, people management, scope management etc. Organization should have faith in you that you could take more responsibility, could read and understand the difficulties in the project and could take good decisions as and when required. Mentoring capability is always a plus for a project manager. By adopting all the features you could think to go till the higher level like PMO members of the organization.

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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