The people who work in your project management office (PMO) are going to be a key driver of its success. A key PMO success factor is to have the right skills within your team to get the job done that you set out to.

There are a range of factors that will determine whether your PMO will be a success. The people you work with are the ones who will embody every other factor and bring about the success of the office, so you need to get it right from the start.

We’re going to help you understand how to get skills in place looking at:

  • What skills are important within a new PMO
  • The roles you will need to recruit for within your PMO
  • How to find the people with the right skills for your office

What skills does a new PMO need?

There is a recognised skill shortage within the PMO and project management industry. It’s important to understand the exact skills your office will need by outlining the PMO services you will offer.

In general, you’ll need to make sure you have these skills within your team:

  • Project management – your PMO should have people who understand what it means to work on a project to be able to implement changes to processes with empathy.
  • Business analysis – your team should be able to generate and work with data to be able to make decisions and recommendations.
  • Strategic thinking – people on your team need to be able to understand what you’re trying to achieve in terms of business success.
  • Communication – having people who can communicate within the PMO and to stakeholders and sponsors will ensure the PMO and its purpose is well-understood.
  • Governance – understanding and monitoring policies and processes across projects is a key responsibility in your office, and you need people who understand this.

Other elements, such as being able to work with the tools that you intend to use. Having certifications such as PMP or PRINCE2, and having sector knowledge, will all also be important when recruiting.

What roles are needed within a PMO?

The mix of roles you will need depends on the services you’re going to offer and the budget you’re given to kick off your PMO. You need to know the skills you will need, and then you can decide what roles they fit into out of this list:

  • Director/leader – the person in charge of the PMO needs to have a strong overview of all of the PMO skills, as well as being a strong PMO leader.
  • Business analysts – analysts will work on gathering data and defining what projects need to achieve their financial and timeframe needs.
  • Quality assurance specialists – these team members ensure quality is being met in projects, taking responsibility for governance.
  • Administrators – they will deal with the paperwork, such as expenses and other tasks, often taking admin away from projects and gathering it centrally in your PMO.

You may need more specific roles for the work that you do, and you may also find that you don’t have the budget to separate out some of the roles at the start of your PMO journey.

How do I find the right people to work in my PMO?

With a skills shortage in project management, it’s not always easy to get the right people through the door. It can really help if you can offer remote working; you will open up your talent search to a global market.

As well as standard recruitment websites in your region, you can consider working with freelancers, either short-term or to plug a long-term skills gap.

Internal recruitment can also be a solid option. Offering training and upskilling to project workers or people from across the business can be advantageous – you get people who know your internal processes and will be more loyal since you’ve invested in their careers.

The right skills to make your PMO a success

The people in your PMO are what will make it a success. Recruiting the right people and having the right skills to get the job done will ensure your PMO will be on the path to success.