Career advancement within a project management office (PMO) is necessary to keep you engaged and motivated in your work. How do you advance your career from a business analyst to a PMO practitioner?

There are different understandings of where a business analyst sits in PMO or a business in general. Here. We’re going to work with a business analyst working within a PMO already, although a lot of what we’re going to discuss could apply to an analyst’s role with a project instead.

To help you understand how you can move up from being a business analyst to being the leader or manager of a PMO, we’re going to explore:

  • What you’re already able to do that can transfer to a PMO leadership role
  • Why you should take your career to the level of PMO leader
  • How you can boost your chances of getting promoted to leadership in your PMO

What are the transferrable skills between a business analyst and a PMO leader?

Depending on how the PMO you work in is set up, it’s likely that your PMO leader is your direct reporting manager. This means that you’ll have lots of skills and knowledge that will apply to the job that’s the next rung on the ladder.

As a business analyst working in projects, you’ll know how to handle the data that’s produced, and probably produce the reports and visualisations. Part of your job will be to make recommendations to improve the office or the processes that you work with.

Having these analytic skills will be important when you move up in your career. You’ll also have:

  • Business acumen since you’ll be working to ensure what’s happening in the office aligns with the business
  • An eye for necessary change and an understanding about what can be improved on a process and project level
  • Planning experience which can help you bring about change and ensure that a project – or a PMO – is ready for something different
  • Detailed project knowledge, including the project framework your organisation uses and probably some project management certifications, too

What are the benefits of a promotion from business analyst to PMO leader?

Particularly if you’re an analyst in a PMO, it may feel like the natural progression to move to the role of your line manager. Even if you’re an analyst working in projects rather than a PMO, a move to a PMO leadership role can be a logical career advancement.

Of course, the salary of a PMO leader is likely to be higher, but you’ll also reap other benefits with the promotion.

You can round out your people management skills. Business analysts tend to work with data and processes, so if you want to work on your people management, this is a good step.

Communication across a range of projects and departments is something that you’ll take on in office leadership. You can start to hone messages and use your insight into how projects are delivered to offer data-driven information.

You’ll work with a wider range of people across different types of projects and likely work with the C-suite in the business. You will have more opportunity to network and learn how to work across business areas.

What can I work on to get promoted from business analyst to PMO leader?

If you’re a business analyst working within a PMO structure already, you’re well-placed to find opportunities to boost your profile and your skills. Every PMO and business is structured differently, but here are some suggestions to increase the change you’ll get promoted.

Shadow your PMO leader

A business with a healthy attitude towards personal and career development should give you the opportunity to shadow your PMO and learn more about their role. By seeking the opportunity, it shows you’re keen to progress, and you can use your learnings to suggest improvements.

Seek people leadership

Business analysts don’t tend to manage people. See out opportunities to work with small teams and lead groups of people to hone those skills.

Find process improvements

Go above just analysing the outcomes of the data your work with and find ways to improve reporting, documentation, or other elements. This will give you solid achievements to record on your PMO CV.

The take-home

Advancing your career from a business analyst to a PMO leader may feel like the natural step or more of a lateral shift if you’re an analyst on projects. You will have a range of skills that already fit the requirements of a PMO role, and you can build on those to boost your achievements when you’re interviewing for a PMO leader job.