PMO Training: What Does it Mean to You?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

What does your PMO need to know? What about the project managers? That might sound like an obvious question, but do you know the answer at a sufficient level of detail to know whether your PMO team and PMs need any training? And if so, what type? The answer is usually no, but too often we don’t realize that--and the shortcomings remain. In this article, I want to look at some of the things to consider and then ways to address the needs.

What is needed?
For every position we have an expectation for a base level of knowledge and skills--the fundamental requirements that allow someone to be able to perform in their role. There are then likely overlays to those skills that distinguish between junior/intermediate/senior or that identify someone who is capable of performing satisfactorily vs. someone who can excel.

These fall into a number of different categories:

  • Corporate knowledge and skills--the things that we need in order to be able to function effectively in a modern environment (office applications, written and verbal communication skills, etc.)
  • Professional knowledge and skills--the requirements of our chosen profession (for PMs, things like planning, motivating and leadership)
  • Industry knowledge and skills--the specific things that set our industry apart (knowledge of government and regulatory requirements, familiarity with industry …

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