PMO Competencies

At the PMO Flashmob last night we were talking about PMO competencies. It was good to start a discussion on what is required to be a PMO person. If we can start as a profession to understand what is required from the role then we can start to get people who can improve and lead the profession onwards.

However as a group of people gathered in the room we found that difficult to do. I found it interesting that we found it easy to talk about some of the technical competencies that were required for the role e.g. updating logs, registers, dependency maps, starting projects.

What we found difficult to do was to put down anything around the soft skills (not sure why they are called that as they are quite hard to get right). On a lot of the linked in discussions I see we talk about what is required for a successful PMO. The answers seem to come back to the same things. It’s about the behaviours that people demonstrate. This includes leadership, influencing, learnability, inquisitiveness, pragmatism. Not sure that some of those can exactly be linked to competencies. However it surely has to be worth a try.

As a starter for 10 we looked at the competencies that have been developed for project managers, which gave a framework we could look at. We had a discussion about how different was the competencies required for a PMO person from that list. It should be noted that the list didn’t have behavioural attributes on it. I suggest that this is probably missing the competencies that you might find in an Analyst role,

I do wait to see what the Flashmob make of the consolidated lists that will come out, and I would like to see if we can get the necessary people together to get a competency framework together and off the ground. That then will give us something to judge ourselves against.


Do you know what you do?

I was out at the PMO Flashmob last night and we were talking about PMO Competencies.

Several things emerged from this discussion, which are thoughts for further posts on the matter. However the central concern that came out of the discussion is that for quite a few people in the room it was difficult to articulate what they actually did or why they did it.

This was before we got into any discussion about what does the P stand for in PMO.

It was a bit like asking a Project Manager what they do and being told they Manage Projects. Which of course is an answer, but it just might not be the most helpful one.

The evening did get better as amongst the assembled group we did manage to work out some of the things that we did, or at least that some of us did. However we found it difficult to group this information into any logical order.

Will we get some competencies from this? Let’s hope so for the sake of our profession.

And for those of you who know what you do then congratulations, now can you articulate that to others?