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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 39 A vital role the office THE vIEW fROM THE PMO How do PMOs facilitate professional development? “ They wanT how much?” The cIo asked incredulously. “ I only budgeted $80k per annum for the role; it’s only glorified admin after all!” The recruiter sighed, picked up the job description for the Pmo manager, then re ad aloud: “Provide guidance, coaching and leadership to the project managers; establish training and accreditation standards; custodian of tools and project delivery methodology; facilitate portfolio prioritisation and resou rce management. “Perhaps,” she asked helpfully, “we could get someone two days a week for your budget?” Mentoring and coaching one of the subtle roles of many Pmos is to facilitate professional development in project m anagement. P rofessional development, whether for project managers or support staff, usually involves training courses, mentoring/ coaching and networking/discussion sessions. For professional development to work well, the Pmo manager should be someone people respect, someone senior who understands project management and one who can provide leadership. For mentoring/coaching to work well, the mentee must be confident they can disclose in full their issues or lack of knowledge without fear. a person will be unlikely to confess lack of knowledge to the very person who will soon review their performance. In terms of project management, people will want to learn a variety of things: • The basics of project management • Lessons learnt from other projects • The organisation’s terminology, methodology and policies • The organisation’s tools and standards for use • Dealing with difficult people • Leadership, the ability to influence and conflict resolution • New topics such as agile and lean since learning comes from a combination of seeing, reading, listening, doing, explaining and making mistakes, a variety of delivery options are needed. The Pmo is often in a rare position of being able to provide the effort associated with coordinating and preparing such training. we have observed that the project management community, while keen when asked about training, is often elusive and “too busy” when training is actually made available. For this reason it may be better to refer to it as professional development and to provide simple ‘ bribes’ such as pizza and soft drink over lunch. The Pmo is in a unique position to see learnings across projects and consider broader organisational risk s and issues. Building respect and confidence then allows the Pmo to act in their primary role – facilitating governance and improv ing project delivery through improved project management. Back to salaries This brings us back to the salary expectations of the Pmo manager. If the Pmo manager is to have the respect of the project management community, then ideally he or she should have project managment experience. Given that they also need Pmo-specific experience, it logically follows that they should be paid the equiva lent of a senior project manager. you tend to get what you pay for; pay less and you risk the Pmo becoming considered ‘glorified admin’. as an aside, the Pmo could have a significant role in professional development for the next generation of project managers. P roject support roles (project admin, scheduling, issues/risk/ change track ing and so on) are the foundations of project management and often supplied by the Pmo anyway, so the Pmo should seriously consider g raduate progra ms. such programs can prov ide good, keen, cost-effective resources and kick start a young person’s career. For an investment of some time and effort, the payoff is huge for an organisation. This worked for us. • • • MARTIN vAughAN Martin Vaughan, AIPM MPD, is the Managing Director of Core Consulting Group (www. coreconsulting.com.au), a Melbourne-based consulting business specialising in planning/scheduling, estimating/cost management and PMOs. If you’d like to debate or discuss, join the AIPM PMO special Interest Group or contact your local PMO sIG Chair for more details. ACt: sylvia.boyle@ humanservices.gov.au NsW: chris.mansfield@ livingplanit.com.au sA: firstname.lastname@example.org VIC: email@example.com
Project Manager June July 2012
Project Manager Oct Nov 2012