PMO managing resources

What to look for in a good resource manager for your PMO

Whether you’re just setting up you project management office (PMO), or it’s been running successfully for years, you need to have a resource manager. Getting the resourcing right in your PMO will make the difference between bringing your projects in on time and on budget, or not.

With resource management being so important, you need to know what to look for in a good resource manager for your PMO. Recruiting a resource manager can be a challenge, so we’re going to look at:

  • An overview of the role of a resource manager in a PMO
  • The skills and abilities you should be looking for
  • What type of functions your PMO resource manager will carry out

Making your process to get the best talent through the door go smoother.

What does a resource manager in a PMO do?

The size of your PMO will dictate how many roles there are to fill. A resource manager is a key role since getting the right resources deployed in the right place, at the right time, will determine whether any and all projects will be a success.

Some of the key responsibilities of a PMO resource manager include:

  • Auditing the resources at hand, such as people, software, hardware, and space, and maintaining a databased with all this information.
  • Designing accurate processes for resource request and allocation across projects.
  • Developing the resources and training modules that all project staff need to go through to make delivery more efficient.
  • Managing the resources and tools at the disposal of the PMO, such as the software of bespoke programs used in your office.
  • Understanding the entirety of the resources at the disposal of the PMO.

What are the key skills to look for in a resource manager in a PMO?

We’ve identified four key skills that you should be looking for in your PMO’s resource manager. Different styles of PMO, such as traditional or business-focussed, may need focus more on certain areas when hiring, but all of these are important.

1.       Be a planner

Managing resources is all about foretelling what your projects are going to need and being ready to meet demands. A manager with the skills to look into the future and anticipate needs is important.

Being able to conduct scenario planning and forecasting as well as taking the lead on succession planning and business continuity is vital. Being able to forecast and manage capacity, primarily in terms of human resources, is also really important to the role.

2.       Be details oriented

Handling budgets, people, and assets is all in a day’s work for a resource manager. Knowing how to control stocks and staffing levels will ensure that resource requests get met and projects ultimately get delivered.

When planning capacity and forecasting changes, knowing the ins and outs of the projects under the office will make things more accurate. Acquiring resources, whether it be people or new computer software, requires attention to finer points, too.

3.       Understand business priorities

Projects are all about getting a business to achieve its strategic aims. Allocating and managing resources is an important facet of that.

A resource manager needs to be keenly aware of priorities when allocating scare resources in a business. They also need to be involved at the requirements gathering stage of a project so they can map the priorities of each project as well.

4.       Communicate effectively

A resource manager’s role in a PMO isn’t to sit at a desk and look at numbers all day. They need to work with the human resources in a business to ensure the right people and skills are in the right place.

Getting the onboarding and training procedures right fall into the remit of a resource manager. They also need to be able to produce reports to communicate to project managers as well as the board how efficiently projects are running.

The take home

A good resource manager will be able to uplift your project success matrices and ensure your projects get what they need to succeed. Understanding what to look for in a resource manager for your PMO will help get the right person in place.

They will need some hard skills such as working with software and understanding how to create and communicate processes across your projects. Soft skills are just as important. Understanding details, knowing how to prioritise, communicating well, and knowing what makes an effective plan are all going to come with your resource manager.