Organizations initiate and execute projects for different reasons. Launching a new product, improving a process, legal requirements, and many other reasons can be the reason for initiating projects in an organization. In a medium to large organization, Project Management Office, also known as PMO, is the brain of the organization to lead, manage, and control project delivery. In large organizations, the Project Management Officer role is the leader of the PMO.
Project Management Officer:
- Leads the project management office in an organization
- Must have several years of project management experience
- Earns ~218K on average but can earn up to $280K depending on the company and industry
We will go over the Project Management Officer in detail throughout this post.
Project Management Officer
Depending on the culture, size, and industry of the company, the Project Management Office structure varies. There are three types of PMO structures and depending on the type of the PMO, the Project Management Officer roles and functions differ. Let’s go through the different PMO structures first.
1. Supportive Project Management Office:
Supportive PMO supplies templates, best practices, training, lessons learned documentation, etc. to the other departments and projects. This type of PMO actually acts as a repository of the company. This PMO structure is like an archive of the company and gives information and documentation when necessary but it does not have solid control over projects. These types of PMOs generally report to another functional manager such as an Engineering Manager, IT manager, etc.
2. Controlling Project Management Office:
Controlling PMO supports and requires compliance with tools and methods. They follow whether required documents are submitted in a project, or relevant steps are executed based on the processes, etc. This type of PMO has a moderate degree of control in projects. This type of Project Management Offices are managed by PMO Managers or PMO leads but typically, they are not powerful in the organization.
3. Directive Project Management Office:
Directive PMO manages the projects and it is the sole accountable for the success of projects. They do have a strong position in the company and a relevant authority respectively. Directive PMO has the highest degree of control among other types of PMO. This type of PMO is managed by PMO Directors or Project Management Officers and the PMO leads are powerful stakeholders in the organization.
Project Management Officer Job Description
Depending on the industry and company, the Project Management Officer Job description varies. Typically, Project Management Officers are at the director level in an organization. They manage several Project Managers, Project Assistants, Program and Portfolio Managers, Project Specialists, and other project management professionals in the organization. If the organization is big and has more than 20 project managers, there might be several PMOs and PMO managers managing each PMO as well. In that case, Project Management Officer is the head of the PMO managers. You can read our project cost overruns post to learn the role of Project Management Officers in the project’s success.
For instance, consider a Fortune 500 technology company. There will be thousands of employees and hundreds of project managers in the organization. Respectively, there will be several project management offices in different locations and focusing on different areas. E.g. R&D PMO can be managing the new product or feature development projects while the Delivery PMO is managing the customer integration and implementation projects. And, the Project Management Officer can lead these two PMOs.
A Good Project Management Officer must have:
- Several years of project and program management experience
- Excellent written and verbal skills as they will coordinate cross-functional activities in an organization
- Experience working with executives from different functions such as Engineering, HR, Sales, etc.
- Financial skills and budget management experience
Project Management Officer Role
The Project Management Officer of an organization will be the primary accountable for successful project delivery. The following is a LinkedIn job posting for Project Management Officer. You can see the required qualifications that must be present in the candidates.
PMO Director/Officer Salary
The problem with the salary is when the seniority level increases, the salary, and compensation varies a lot depending on the industry and company. It is the same for PMO Directors as well. The average Project Management Officer salary in the United States is $218,000, but the range typically falls between $193,000 and $248,500.
Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.
PMO Director Responsibilities – What Makes a Good Project Management Officer
Project Management Officers are the role model for the project managers in a PMO. Therefore, they must act as a servant leader, facilitate and coach the project managers, and other roles in the PMO. Typically, PMO Directors have quarterly and annual KPIs that they must meet. For instance, completing the projects on budget and on time is the primary objective of a PMO and the performance of the PMO lead will merely depend on these factors.
Completing projects on time and on a budget requires several conditions. The project team must consist of competent resources, the project manager must have relevant skills to manage the project, environmental factors, and many other aspects. However, as a Project Manager Officer, you must ensure that the skilled PMs are acquired and raised in the PMO to maximize project delivery efficiency. That is one of the ultimate goals of a PMO director.
Based on the respondents’ answers attended our corporate training programs, Schedule delays, and incompetent resources are the most common issues in project delivery organizations.
- 47.2% of the respondents reported that their organizations’ projects suffer from schedule delays.
- 24.5% of the respondents reported that incompetent resources are a project management issue in their organization.
There can be other KPIs for the Project Management Officers such as raising talent and keeping the project management personnel turnover under a level. On average, adapting a new project management staff to a new organization takes six to nine months. Therefore, PMO leaders must make sure the PMO team is happy and proactively engage with the team if there are any demotivating factors.
Corporate Training Programs Increase the Project Delivery Efficiency and PM Engagement
If you are a Project Management Officer, you must know the motivating agents for your team. Do you know that training the project management talents increases their engagement and loyalty to the organization? We’ve gathered the vital parts of a Forbes’ research on corporate training below.
1-) “87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important.” (Note: If you have anyone in your team aged 25 to 40, they are Millenials.)
2-) “68% of workers say training and development is the most important workplace policy.”
3-) “40% of employees who receive poor job training leave their positions within the first year.”
4- “Every dollar invested in online training results in a $30 increase in productivity.
5- “Companies that use e-learning technology achieve an 18% boost in employee engagement.”
As Master of Project Academy, we’ve trained 500,000+ project professionals coming from different organizations. Our corporate training case studies with companies from small to Fortune 500 backup the Forbes findings.
We’ve surveyed the Project Managers who attended our training programs and across industries (automotive manufacturer, a software company, electric utility company, and government agency).
73.5% of the respondents reported that they feel better after the Master of Project Academy training programs.
The key takeaway for the PMO executives in the Forbes’ list is, 84% of global executives ranked employee learning as important or very important.
Project Management Offices are the backbone of the project delivery mechanism of an organization. PMOs have several project management professionals and they are lead by PMO managers, directors, or Project Management Officers. If the organization is large and if there are several PMOs, different PMOs might be reporting to one or more Project Management Officer or Director.
The average salary of a Project Management Officer is $218,000 in the United States. Depending on the skills, background, and certifications of the officer, and also industry and company, the Project Management Officer salary ranges from $170,000 to $280,000.
There are several KPIs and responsibilities of a PMO Director. The primary objective is ensuring that the projects are delivered on time and on budget. To do this, Project Management Officers might focus on acquiring the right skills for the PMO, raising existing talents, and reducing the turnover in the PMO. The critical thing to raise the existing talents and increase their engagement is organizing corporate training programs for the PMO personnel.
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