Collecting data is a vital role of a project management office (PMO) and being able to analyse and find insight in the information is the role and responsibility of a PMO analyst.
A PMO analyst fulfils a similar role to a business analyst, but they’ll need to understand projects and the specific data points that are generated. It’s an important role in a PMO, but it may not feature in smaller setups.
We’re going to explore:
- The work that a PMO analyst does
- How to move into the role
- The day-to-day activities of a PMO analyst
- Where a PMO analyst fits into your office
To help you understand whether you need a PMO analyst and what career paths can develop from the role.
What is a PMO analyst?
A PMO analyst gathers the data outputs from projects under the PMO and produces reports and forecasts about past and future project performance.
In smaller PMOs, the work of collecting data and putting it into reports would usually be the job of a PMO administrator. In larger offices, the admins will have more secretarial work to complete, and the data being produced can get more complicated, so an analyst is needed.
The role is about managing the data and finding insight that can be used by the PMO manager or leader that can then improve projects and how they function.
How do I become a PMO analyst?
It’s important to have PMO experience in this role so you understand the data and how and why it’s generated. The role requires a high level of maths and numerical ability, in the USA it’s common to ask for a mathematics or statistics degree or equivalent, but in the UK, it’s not required all of the time.
A PMO analyst needs to be an expert at Excel or Google Sheets – this is where a lot of data will be collated and analysed. It’s also becoming more common for basic coding to be needed, with SQL and Python being common.
What are the responsibilities of a PMO analyst?
You can expect the work of a PMO analyst to include:
- Capturing, sorting, improving, reporting, and analysing the data outputs from projects under the PMO.
- Managing data held in Excel or Sheets and generating regular and ad-hoc reports and analysis from the information.
- Preparing data and reports for project managers, the PMO team, project stakeholders, and the C-suite, with an understanding of the different needs of each.
- Produce forecasts for project and PMO performance based on historical analysis for resource planning, budgeting, and timeline prediction, for example.
- Recognising and rectifying data exceptions through working with project teams or colleagues in the PMO.
You’d expect the KPIs for the role to be around report output and getting the right data produced and visualised on time. There are lots of people who rely on the reports a PMO produces, so the work needs to be both timely and accurate.
Where does a PMO analyst fit into a the PMO structure?
A PMO analyst will generally sit above administrators and coordinators because their role requires technical, specialist knowledge. It is possible that a PMO coordinator can have the tasks of an analyst, since they specialise in specific admin tasks.
An analyst offers support and insight to the people above them in the PMO structure, helping a PMO specialist, know where to direct their attention, a project manager understand their schedule and budget, and letting the office manager know how everything is functioning.
It’s an integral role to larger PMOs and, with the development of strategy and planning skills, can lead to being in charge of the office in the long run.
The job of a PMO analyst
A PMO analyst deals with the data within the office, making sure that it flows from projects to the office and that it makes sense when turned into a report.
The role and responsibilities of a PMO analyst are more likely to be found in a larger office that manages many and/or complex projects that need to be closely monitored.