With tighter budgets across the board, your project management office (PMO) is likely to come in line to reduce spend. When that means reducing headcount, you can work to protect your PMO role with these three steps to exceed expectations.

It’s important that you can make a case as to why you should be kept in-role, even as budgets are cut in real terms. You need to show your leaders that you add value to your role beyond what they invest in you.

To help you understand what it means to exceed expectations in your PMO, we’re going to look at:

  • What expectations do you need to match and exceed
  • How you can deliver the results you need
  • What you need to do to evidence the work you’ve done

What is expected of me in a PMO role?

Every job in every PMO is going to be slightly different, but the places you should reference your expectations should be broadly the same. In general terms, you’ll need to cover the tasks that were outlines when you were onboarded.

In reality, your role may change and evolve as business and project needs change. Here are the places you should refer to when checking what is expected of you in your PMO:

  • Your job description – although it may be out of date if you’ve been in the role a while, there should be a general outline of what someone in your role is expected to do. This will include tasks to complete and areas of responsibility.
  • Your KPIs – every role should have performance metrics to meet. Depending on your role, you may be targeted on the reports and data you produce, the risk reduction in your PMO, or project deliverability, for example.
  • Your performance reviews – you can expect to have regular performance reviews with your leader, with every business having a different cadence. What is certain is that there will be a list of expectations to benchmark against, such as networking, KPIs, and soft skills.

Once you understand your role expectations, you can start to work on exceeding them.

How can I ensure I deliver results in my PMO role?

To be in with the best chance possible to preserve your PMO role in the face of budget cuts, you need to go above and beyond what’s expected. Most people in your office and the wider business will be performing to expectations – otherwise they’d be fired – so going the extra mile will make you stand out.

First, identify which expectations you want to exceed. Some are going to be more valuable to the business than others. Consider what the overall business strategy is and what your targets and requirements are; how can you work to add value where the business needs it?

Next, make an action plan for how you’re going to achieve and exceed the expectations you’re going to target. Do you need to increase your skills with learning opportunities? Will working on your networking help you get results delivered?

You may need to take the initiative and plan and deliver new things. However, it may be that you need to make incremental changes to see real results, such as learning about building process automations or introducing new software.

How can I demonstrate I have exceeded expectations in my PMO?

You need to be able to show that you’ve gone above and beyond if you want to be recognised for your increased contribution to your PMO, projects, and the overall business.

Of course, for some of your role expectations, there will be data such as projects being delivered on-time and on-budget. Others, such as process improvements or better data reporting, can be harder to quantify.

Make sure you plan how you will measure your success for every activity – if you’re unsure what you can measure, work with your leader to figure out a way to define what success and exceeding your goals looks like.

Use elements such as:

  • Data
  • Testimonials
  • Feedback
  • Awards and recognition

To show you’ve completed and successfully exceeded what you set out to do.

Exceeding expectations in your PMO

Going over and above what you should be doing at work is a great way to get recognised. In tough economic times, protect your PMO role by exceeding expectations with our three simple steps – understand your expectations, choose the ones you want to work to exceed, and document your successes.