Justifying the value that your project management office (PMO) offers to the business it works in will ensure its survival. Using the PMO Value Ring helps you to understand and define the value that you offer, and the fifth step in the process is defining your PMO headcount and competencies.

As you work through the PMO Value Ring, you’ll have defined the services you offer and balanced them for the goals you want to achieve. Your office next needs to ensure that it has the right people to deliver the services you provide.

Whether you’re inheriting an existing PMO, revamping your current office, or establishing a PMO for the first time, you need to know about the people you have and the ones you need. To help with that process, we’re going to look at:

  • How to go about defining your PMO’s headcount and competencies
  • What the outcome of the exercise will look like
  • Why you need to be defining your headcount requirements in your PMO

How do I define my PMO headcount and competencies?

A solid approach to defining the headcount your PMO needs is to start from the top down. Look at the services you want your office to make available to projects. From here, you’ll be able to ascertain how many people – and what skills – are needed.

The exact headcount you’ll get from this will be determined by factors such as:

  • The services you offer
  • The number of clients you serve
  • The number of projects you support
  • How complex the projects you support are

You also need to understand the skills and competencies that will come with your ideal headcount. This will require you to understand the services you want to offer and the technology they require.

When you’re completing the value ring in an existing PMO, you also need to look at the current headcount and competencies. There may be opportunities for offering additional training and upskilling the resources you already have rather than bringing in a new member of the team.

Training and upskilling are even more important in a challenging job market. You may have a profile of an ideal candidate with a range of analytics skills, for example, but finding them in your location or with your industry knowledge could be a protracted process.

Once you have assessed your services and the people you’ll need for delivering them, you should have an ideal PMO structure and headcount. You should have a list of competencies and skills you need to have and how many hours each skill is needed for.

This should be easy to compare to any resources and skills you currently have.

Why do I need to define the PMO headcount and competencies?

When you want to justify the value your PMO adds to a business; you need to have a strong grasp on the costs. Headcount is going to be the biggest operational cost of any office, so you want to be sure your resources are giving you exactly what you need.

Knowing the skills your office needs for optimal performance means you can target your training and recruitment processes. You will have a streamlined office that can demonstrate that every activity being completed adds value.

Having a clear training plan will help motivate the existing team you have. For example, if you plan to add a new service into your PMO mix in the next year, you can work towards getting those skills embedded into your team in the meantime.

Defining your PMO headcount and competencies

You need a solid understanding of the people and the skills you need, so you need to define your PMO headcount and competencies. This will ensure that everyone on your team completes valuable functions.

The next step in completing the PMO Value Ring is to plan for your office’s maturity and evolution, which we’ll be looking at in the next article.