Seven Recommendations for PMOs Willing to Grow Their Career

A career develops over the years with a succession of missions and projects. Yet many ask : “What career path can a PMO (Project Management Officer) choose? What is the next stage of PMO?”. Here are my seven recommendations.

1- Get the most possible great opportunities to work in the domain of Project, Program, and Portfolio Management.

And grow through a variety of exposures (sizes, domains, stakes, complexity…). Start with small projects. As a project team member, as a project leader, or as a PMO (Office or Officer) role.

Then increase your scope of control and your challenges, until you learn and practice the Strategy Management Office and / or the Enterprise PMO.

2- Remain thoroughly stakeholder-centric

Identify each of your stakeholders and recognize the needs and the expectations of everyone. Develop trusted interactions with all. Make sure no one has certainty about a project outcome while others have uncertainty. A single version of truth creates trust.

No amount of project advertising or communication will match the credibility of genuine stakeholders, as explain Nassim Taleb in his book Skin in the Game.

3- Do not fear failure

At the same time, beware of success.

4- Stay as long as possible in the environment of great leaders.

Leave as soon as possible mediocre ones. Never get into a bed of Procrustes.

5- Always build a mix of on-the-job learning and formal learning

For example, when I worked at Michelin, a great Global-500 company, the average employee had more than 65 hours each year of formal training.

Learn and practice all sorts of methods and tools. Understand what works best where. Get advice from a mentor. Work with a coach.

6- Stay ahead of the wave

The universe is accelerating. So is the business environment. Cope with the Red Queen effect.

Go beyond the golden triangle capabilities (technical, business and strategy, leadership) by studying, learning, and exploring three domains: complexity sciences, innovative strategies, and human dynamics.

Focus especially on human dynamics. Indeed, the world is not flat.

7- Read, read, read

Make sure you explore a variety of domains like history, biographies and memoirs, science, business and leadership. Here is a list of my 12 preferred business books.

A career develops over the years with a succession of missions and projects. Some succeed. Some fail. Learn from each. Try different environments (R&D, M&S, IT, Business…), different companies, and different countries. Favor indirect and roundabout routes.

Little by little, you will learn and grow.

To your continued success

Philippe

High-Impact PMO

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