The talent in your project management office (PMO) is the driving force of project success. There are five key challenges of PMO talent management that you need to understand to ensure your find, hire, and retain the right people.

In the current labour market, there is a shortage of skills, and in project work, there will need to be another 21 million professionals by 2030. In light of that, it’s vital that your PMO works to get the best people for the job and keeps them happy in their work.

Knowing the challenges faced by PMOs will help you design the right talent management plan alongside your HR team.

1.      The talent shortage

If you have tried recruiting talent during or since the pandemic, you’ll know how tough it can be to find the right people for the job. You need a project professional with experience and skills, and so does everyone else.

To try and beat the challenge of project talent shortages, you need to widen the market you recruit in. Most businesses are now comfortable with a remote or hybrid working model, so take advantage of this and try to hire people from across the country or even across the globe.

If you can access global talent, you are more likely to overcome the labour shortages that more localised companies are facing.

2.      Training and development

There will always be pressure to get projects delivered on time and on budget with limited resources. With that, training and development of your existing talent can often be one of the first things to be cut.

It’s important to remember that people want their employer to invest in them. If your talent sees their training and upskilling cancelled or pushed back often enough, this will breed dissatisfaction.

Make sure that you don’t lose sight of your people when pushing to deliver projects. Work to ringfence spending and time allocation for training and development so you can train and then retain your talent.

3.      Retention

Training is one way that you can retain your top talent, and there are other things you can offer to keep people onboard. With there being more jobs than people in project management, it’s not difficult for someone to quit and move on if they’re not happy with your offering.

Keep an eye out for signs of PMO burnout, and make sure everyone is pulling their weight in the PMO.

You can up the offering to your current team with things like:

  • Remote working
  • Flexible hours
  • Better benefits like health and wellness perks
  • A strong reward and recognition scheme

Also, keep up with salary expectations – in times of high inflation, your standard pay increase could look pretty unappealing if competitors are offering better packages.

4.      Developing leaders

As a PMO, you need to be identifying the next project managers within your talent pool. It can be hard to have an eye on this when projects need to be delivered, and it can be a challenge to nurture talent from the ranks.

However, by bringing people up from analyst or other project roles into leadership, you can be sure they understand the business methodology, culture, and strategy. Be sure to understand the aspirations and ambitions of your team and offer them opportunities to match.

5.      Capacity planning

A challenge that comes up time and again in projects is resource and capacity planning. Managing the talent you have can be tough when you can’t be sure of the people and the skills you will need with enough foresight.

We will look at capacity planning and how you can work with your HR department to improve in an article coming soon.

The challenges of PMO talent management

Managing people within your PMO will always be tough. Knowing the main challenges of PMO talent management can help you plan for and eventually overcome them.