Building the Right Team: The PMO Director

Laura Dallas Burford is the founder of LAD Enterprizes, a management consulting firm that partners with consultants as well as internal and external consulting organizations to successfully build the operational and delivery aspects of their practices. Laura appreciates feedback on her articles and can be reached at She is the author of Project Management for Flat Organizations.

The CFO stared down at her desk. She had only been with the company for six months, but already had concerns with the PMO team’s performance. When the current PMO director resigned and the president asked the HR representative to draft a job description and the CFO to take the lead in the search, she immediately said yes.

The CFO contemplated her next steps. Job descriptions are never easy to write, and she realized this one was not going to be an exception because the company needed to hire a person with the right fit for the PMO position. She realized the description needed to reflect knowledge and skills in leadership, business and management, and technical project management—the PMI Talent Triangle™.

Over the years, the PMO role had matured from taking a tactical project management approach to becoming a strategic partner and trusted advisor—or at least that was the requirement and hope of the executive management team. As the CFO read the draft, she quickly realized why executive management was struggling with the PMO team. The resigning PMO director had worked with HR to create a job description for his replacement. However, it did not reference the strategic needs of the business, nor the strategic expectations of the PMO director. It was a dull, …

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"Chaos is a friend of mine."

- Bob Dylan