Your project management office (PMO) has a lot of responsibilities, including upskilling your team. You’ll see great benefits of your PMO offering ongoing training to your managers and other colleagues.
At first glance it can very much seem like training and skills are the purview of your HR department. However, the best PMOs will work with HR departments and get the right training delivered to the right people.
If necessary, you can leave the regulatory training such as health and safety to the company as a whole. For all other skills, the PMO should take responsibility so you can ensure your projects can actually be delivered. We’re going to be looking at:
- What type of skills and knowledge a PMO should be training?
- How offering training from a PMO will benefit the business?
- How can you measure the success of training in your PMO?
What training should my PMO be offering?
There are three main elements of what needs to be offered in terms of training from your PMO. These are:
- Onboarding training which will help your new team members understand how projects are ran. This training from your PMO should cover the project management methodology you use, such as Kanban or Scrum, and general procedures such as reporting and adherence.
- Project methodology training ensures that everyone working on your projects understands workflows and governance. You should refresh this PMO training programme regularly to nip any bad habits in the bud.
- Skills training will give you the right skills to get a project delivered. A PMO in a software company should be training new languages and technologies, whereas a PMO in a design company would need to train on new software packages, for example.
What will be the benefits of offering or expanding training from my PMO?
Taking charge of the training offered to your project managers and their teams should pay off for you. Of course, everyone having a detailed understanding of how your waterfall management system works will make your projects run smoother.
Getting your training right and delivered on time should see benefits for some key PMO metrics. Benefits of offering training through your PMO include:
- Improved project delivery
- Faster time to market
- Saved opportunity costs
- Improved colleague engagement
- Delivering more tasks in-house
The right people with the best skills on hand are going to be able to do more for your projects. Similarly, having project managers who have he right soft skills to motivate and engage their team will make projects run more smoothly.
If you have the will and the ambition, you can strive to make your PMO a centre of excellence for training within your organisation. A lot of the soft skills that you train to your managers and colleagues can cross-fertilise across the business. It will take time away from your PMO function, however.
What metrics will the benefits of PMO training courses show up in?
It will depend what measures you use for your PMO KPIs as to where you’ll see the benefits of running training courses. The aim of any action a PMO takes should ultimately lead to more projects being delivered on time and on budget, so that’s a good place to start.
Stakeholder satisfaction should also improve. When everyone in your projects know their roles and can execute them well, your end-users should get a great product. An increase in technical skills should help this particularly.
You should see an uptick in return on investment at a PMO level. Training will cost money to implement but the returns in reduced outsourcing of skills, faster delivery, and a more engaged team should bear fruit quickly.
The take home
Running training from your PMO can feel like a secondary consideration. However, there are great benefits of a PMO offering ongoing training.
Employees value being invested in, so your project staff will be more engaged. This can be beneficial across a range of metrics, before considering what’s being trained. A solid onboarding course will make your new recruits feel valued and ground them in processes from the outset.
Offering development and training about how to work on and manage a project helps your team focus on how to be successful. Hard skill training gives your team the right knowledge to get tasks done. Brining in training across all of these areas should see a pay on in your PMO success.