Project Management Officer: Job Description, Skills Required, 2021 Salary Trends and More

With the rise of digitization, organizations are continually in the race to develop new and relevant products and services under very short time-to-market windows. This has led to more and more companies implementing project management techniques to ensure that they deliver quality projects on time and within budget. According to a study by PwC, 97 percent of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. 

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Project Management Officer - Overview

Project management officers are responsible for directing and managing a project from start to finish. They are accountable for their project outcomes and provide necessary support for project management teams to succeed. 

Here are the responsibilities of a project management officer at each phase of project management:

  • Initiation - Define the nature and scope of the project to meet the business needs.
  • Planning and design - Design a project management plan, complete with deliverables, schedule, time, cost and resources required.
  • Execution - Deliver the physical project deliverables to the customers.
  • Monitoring and controlling - Identify potential problems in the project and solve them early on.
  • Closure - Close the project and create a project closure report.

Project Management Officer - Types

There are three basic types of project management officers in an organization. These are based upon the degree of control they have on projects.

Supportive Project Management Officer

A Supportive Project Management Officer provides support in the form of on-demand expertise on projects. They generally work in an organization where projects are done successfully in a loosely controlled manner and no additional control is required. This type is effective for small organizations.

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Controlling Project Management Officer

A Controlling Project Management Officer creates a set of requirements, which can include methodologies, rules, templates, conformance to governance, etc., which is needed in an organization to handle a project. This type is highly effective for small organizations.

Directive Project Management Officer

A Directive Project Management Officer goes beyond control and takes over the entire project. This brings in a great deal of professionalism and guarantees a high level of consistency across all projects. This type is highly effective in large organizations.

Project Management Officer - Job Description

In the past, the role of a project management officer was mainly to supervise the technical aspects of a project. However, a project management officer’s job description has expanded over the years. Not only does it require handling a project, but there can be a number of responsibilities ranging from business development to human resources.

The exact roles and responsibilities of a project management officer depend on the industry, the project, and the needs of an organization. They may work on one or multiple projects, but all with the focus of achieving the business goals.

Here are some common project management officer duties in any organization:

  • Identify project needs and develop a detailed timeline for completion
  • Coordinate a project management team and delegate tasks
  • Monitor expenditures and create detailed reports for upper management
  • Keep track of a project’s progress and ensure its completion before the deadline
  • Work within budget constraints
  • Implement changes to teams and processes as and when needed

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Project Management Officer - Skills Required

Project management is not an easy job and requires years of experience in the field. No company would hire you straight off the bat as a project management officer. There are also a number of skills that you need to have to lay the foundation of a successful career in project management.

On the technical side, here are some project management skills that you should master:

  • Project methodologies (Agile, Scrum, Critical Chain Project Management, etc.)
  • Project management tools (JIRA, Gantt Project, Asana, etc.)
  • Programming languages (HTML, PHP, Java, etc.)

On the non-technical side, here are some project management skills that you should have:

  • Leadership
  • Good communication and negotiation skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Patience
  • Risk management
  • Cost management

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A project management officer’s salary can depend on a number of factors - level of experience, location, industry and average project budget. According to a survey by the Project Management Institute, Switzerland reports the highest median salaries for professionals in project management. Here is a list of project management officer salaries around the world:

  • Annual average project management officer salary in Switzerland - $132,086 
  • Annual average project management officer salary in US - $116,000
  • Annual average project management officer salary in Australia - $101,381
  • Annual average project management officer salary in Germany - $96,987
  • Annual average project management officer salary in Netherlands - $93,839
  • Annual average project management officer salary in UK - $83,410
  • Annual average project management officer salary in UAE - $81,665
  • Annual average project management officer salary in Singapore - $71,279
  • Annual average project management officer salary in Saudi Arabia - $63,944
  • Annual average project management officer salary in India - $28,750

The survey also found that people with a PMP certification have 22% higher median salaries than those without a PMP certification.

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Here’s What You Can Do Next

Project management is the future for any organization who wants to stay ahead of the curve. However, there is a huge shortage in the number of skilled project management professionals. By hopping on to the bandwagon early on in your career, you can expect a promising future in this field. Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Project Management in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst is designed to help you become a digital-age project leader. This course will help you master all the operational and leadership skills required to deliver transformational projects. You will also get to work on a Capstone project to showcase your skills to prospective employers. Get started today and accelerate your career in project management.

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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