PMO Setup for the First-Time PMO Leader (Part 1)

Hussain is the Chief PMO Coach and Adviser at Parwaaz Consulting, which provides coaching, support and resources to facilitate the success of Project Management Office (PMO) leaders at high-growth small- and mid-sized organizations. He has led and facilitated the PMO setup at several companies and advised numerous PMO leaders through their PMO establishment. He has authored several PMO-focused publications, speaks at PMI events and holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from The College of Wooster in Ohio.

Everyone starts from somewhere, so it’s not totally farfetched to think about someone setting up a project management office for the first time. But to do so with no project management experience? Isn’t that unheard of? Maybe. Is that even possible? Yes!

I recently spoke at the PMI Lakeshore chapter in Toronto on the topic and had to reiterate that, while it is uncommon, it’s definitely on the cards. As a friend says, “You cannot become the PMO leader by becoming a better project manager—because it’s not the same job!

In this two-part article, you can expect insights on:

  • Part 1
    • Ways you can become a PMO leader
    • Skills you need for the role
    • The mindset you need to apply immediately
  • Part 2
    • A step-by-step breakdown of setting up a PMO in 100 days (this will contain key steps and the top three checklist items for each phase of the PMO journey)
    • Boosting your chances of PMO success

Ways you can become a PMO leader
What career path do you take? Is there a sure-shot way to get there? This to me is very interesting. Let’s take a look. There are two broad categories that offer ways to become a PMO leader:

The conventional way
So you could be a business analyst who becomes a project manager, then a portfolio manager and then a PMO leader. Or you could be a PMO analyst or a consultant…

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Waiting for the time when I can finally say that this has all been wonderful but now I'm on my way.

- Phish

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