Project managers make your project management office (PMO) delivery happen. To make sure the managers in charge of the projects your office runs, there are seven skills a PMO should help project managers maintain.

Having strong project managers (PMs) will make your PMO more efficient. Whether your PMO is a directive office that line manages your PMs or the office is more compliance and reporting-based, skilled PMs are invaluable.

To help you know what support and training you can offer your PMs, we’re going to look at:

  • Skills you need to ensure your PMs have
  • What effect training these skills will have on your PMO
  • Which training delivery options are effective for each skill

Followed by a deeper dive into each skill and how to build a training plan in the coming posts.

What skills should a PMO train a project manager in?

A PMO can’t be responsible for a project manager’s skills – a certain level of assumed management skill needs to be present. What a PMO can do is ensure the skills that are present in the office are disseminated across the management team.

Here are the seven skills a PMO can instil into a project manager.


As a soft skill, communication makes project teams run smoother with effective messaging for the while team. A well-trained PM needs to get the information down to the next rung on the ladder, so everyone is pulling in the same direction. Group training sessions are effective at swapping methods for this skill.

In terms of hard skills, your PMO will be in charge of the technology your projects use for communication. Training on new systems, whether it’s a half-day on the features of slack or an online course on how to create engaging video content, your PMs should know how to use the systems you expect.

Planning and organisation

Whilst a PM might be really effective at getting a team motivated and delivering; they can still lack organisational skills. Projects require planning, and your PMO is well-positioned to offer support since you should have a robust stack of processes and formulae for project planning.

Deliver training around the organisation as practical sessions that train PMs how to use the resources available to them.

People management

A project is only as good as the people working on it, and those people need strong leadership and management. Being able to motivate and monitor a team is an important skill, as well as being able to allocate human resources across a project effectively.

Online learning will provide PMs with the right theories of resource allocation, whilst off-site training will work well to build leadership skills.

Risk management

Knowing when to change up a project, request extra spending, or push for a deliverable to get rolled out are all risks a PM might need to take to hit KPIs. Risk-averse PMs might be tied too tightly to your process maps and frameworks at the expense of delivery, so teaching them how to manage risk is valuable.

Since this is an important element of a PMO too, creating a training course to store on your internal systems will deliver this skill effectively.

Technological know-how

You’ll have a lot of systems in place to optimise the delivery of your projects. It’s vital that your PMs know how to use everything properly and can offer their team essential support on those systems.

Your PMO is in charge of getting the right tech delivered to your PMs so you should also ensure you bring in external training where necessary and design computer-based courses to keep them up to date.

Reporting and analytics

The nuts and bolts of your PMO is to report data and provide insight to your PMs and the C-suite about project delivery and performance. Your PMs need to know how to complete reporting and offer analysis to support your work.

Since each PMO will have different reports and measures, this is a skill that should be taught in-house. Breakout sessions and one on one guidance will work to develop strong data skills.

Project methodologies

Your projects will likely all run under one methodology, such as Kanban, agile, or Scrum. Ensure that all your managers are up to speed on the processes and methods you use to run your projects. It’s not a one-off session; methodology training should be ongoing.

A mix of external training and online refreshers will get this skill embedded effectively.

The take-home

These are the seven skills your PMO should project managers maintain. We’ll cover each on in more detail in the coming posts with examples of training you can offer to develop the skills for your PMs.