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Topics: Leadership, Strategy
Differences between "Project Executive Officer" and the "Project Manager"?
I've recently been assigned Project Executive Officer to high visibility, high profile projects in my company. I'm looking for information on what are the differences between the PEO and the PM roles; what skills are most recommended for this type of role, and what "gotchas" should I be on the look-out for. Thanks in advance!
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Dear Melissa
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

Is there a difference in your organization between PEO and PMO?

When you were named PEO, did your organization tell you what it expected of you?
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1 reply by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 05, 2020 1:02 PM
Melissa Antoniano
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Thank you for your response Luis.

I've known my name was submitted for the position, but only learned this morning it has been made official. At this point, the PEO role is not clear to me and I'm doing internal research, and waiting for more information to come. In parallel, I wanted to ask the experts here so I can focus my attention productively.
PEO will be performing an executive role i.e., will be responsible/accountable for putting into actions the plans and policies of the top management of the organisation. Whereas PM will be a manager responsible for a group of people and acting as mentor to achieve desired goals of the organisation. PEO will require executive skills in addition to PM skills.
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1 reply by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 05, 2020 1:05 PM
Melissa Antoniano
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Thank you for your reply Suneel - it is appreciated!
If I may rephrase your answer to make sure I've understood, your comment is that as PEO I'd be implementing more the strategy of the leadership team, rather than being directly involved on the day to day "to-do" list?

Thank you - Melissa
Feb 05, 2020 12:48 PM
Replying to Luis Branco
...
Dear Melissa
Interesting your question
Thanks for sharing

Is there a difference in your organization between PEO and PMO?

When you were named PEO, did your organization tell you what it expected of you?
Thank you for your response Luis.

I've known my name was submitted for the position, but only learned this morning it has been made official. At this point, the PEO role is not clear to me and I'm doing internal research, and waiting for more information to come. In parallel, I wanted to ask the experts here so I can focus my attention productively.
...
1 reply by Luis Branco
Feb 05, 2020 1:26 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Melissa
In my opinion, the important thing is that it is clear what the Organization and Management expects from you

I have already had the opportunity to talk about the topic with people from various organizations.
The job roles and activities are all different and vary from Organization to Organization

Congratulations on the appointment

I wish you a great success in the performance of these new responsability (s)
Feb 05, 2020 12:52 PM
Replying to Suneel Kumar Nadella
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PEO will be performing an executive role i.e., will be responsible/accountable for putting into actions the plans and policies of the top management of the organisation. Whereas PM will be a manager responsible for a group of people and acting as mentor to achieve desired goals of the organisation. PEO will require executive skills in addition to PM skills.
Thank you for your reply Suneel - it is appreciated!
If I may rephrase your answer to make sure I've understood, your comment is that as PEO I'd be implementing more the strategy of the leadership team, rather than being directly involved on the day to day "to-do" list?

Thank you - Melissa
...
1 reply by Suneel Kumar Nadella
Feb 05, 2020 1:06 PM
Suneel Kumar Nadella
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Hi Melissa. Yes spot on.
Feb 05, 2020 1:05 PM
Replying to Melissa Antoniano
...
Thank you for your reply Suneel - it is appreciated!
If I may rephrase your answer to make sure I've understood, your comment is that as PEO I'd be implementing more the strategy of the leadership team, rather than being directly involved on the day to day "to-do" list?

Thank you - Melissa
Hi Melissa. Yes spot on.
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1 reply by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 05, 2020 1:10 PM
Melissa Antoniano
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Wonderful - my first challenge of the day and I aced it. :) Thank you again, Suneel.
Feb 05, 2020 1:06 PM
Replying to Suneel Kumar Nadella
...
Hi Melissa. Yes spot on.
Wonderful - my first challenge of the day and I aced it. :) Thank you again, Suneel.
Feb 05, 2020 1:02 PM
Replying to Melissa Antoniano
...
Thank you for your response Luis.

I've known my name was submitted for the position, but only learned this morning it has been made official. At this point, the PEO role is not clear to me and I'm doing internal research, and waiting for more information to come. In parallel, I wanted to ask the experts here so I can focus my attention productively.
Dear Melissa
In my opinion, the important thing is that it is clear what the Organization and Management expects from you

I have already had the opportunity to talk about the topic with people from various organizations.
The job roles and activities are all different and vary from Organization to Organization

Congratulations on the appointment

I wish you a great success in the performance of these new responsability (s)
...
1 reply by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 06, 2020 1:48 PM
Melissa Antoniano
...
Thank you Luis - since the assignment announcement yesterday, a few things have become clearer. To me this sounds more like a program management role; with higher expectations on status reporting, and budget control. There are still some items which I am unclear of, but I've been given direction by my manager, and his promise of support. I'm greatful for the guidance! Best, Melissa
Melissa, you have to make the question inside your company itself. Mainly to understand what they are expecting on the position. I can say you that PEO is lot of miles above than PM role. A PEO is a Senior Executive/ Senior Management Position. Is the role number 1 inside an organization related to project/program/portfolio management. There is no other role above it when you talk about project/program/portfolio management inside an organization. So, in your position, I would be afraid that I was promoted to such a high position without telling me what it was...hehehehe
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1 reply by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 06, 2020 1:55 PM
Melissa Antoniano
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Sergio - you made me smile with your response. What you stated was exactly what I am worried about. If I understand fully what management shared with me yesterday, then my response was "Yay! I'll finally be able to say things like "let me tell you how this is going to work" and "I'm the decision maker"" LOL. I manage several other projects at this moment, and more seem to be coming in which I'm expected to manage as a PM. With this new role, I'll need to be relieved of those projects so I can focus on PEO role; and if no relief, then I won't be able to execute as PEO. The management team can't have it both ways, though I did offer to do both and recieve two paychecks. hee hee hee
It sounds like you'll be a powerful project Sponsor, able to interact with Executive staff on behalf of the project. In contrast, the Project Manager will be responsible making sure the project tasks are completed on time and on schedule, and reporting progress to you.
I'm guessing no one has yet defined your role, so if you create your own job description before someone else does and circulate it to your superior, odds are she or he will approve it with few if any changes.
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1 reply by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 06, 2020 1:51 PM
Melissa Antoniano
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Hi Eric - I appreciate your note about creating my own job description! I believe that it is somewhat possible in this situation - it seems I'll be allowed to wear many hats, the question is how many, and of what type :)
Melissa -

Assuming you have PMs on these projects, your role is sometimes called a Delivery Executive. You'd act as a point of escalation for the PM and team and usually be the first line of contact with executive stakeholders. You would likely be sitting on the steering committees for these projects.

Kiron
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2 replies by Melissa Antoniano
Feb 06, 2020 1:49 PM
Melissa Antoniano
...
Thank you Kiron - insightful response and it does help put together the picture for me. The addition of PMs has not been clarified yet, though I expect that to be the case, otherwise if not, I may have to politely say no. Regards,
Feb 10, 2020 5:13 PM
Melissa Antoniano
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Hello Kiron - again thank you for your comment. Delivery Executive sounds about right. Certainly I will be escalation path for the PM team; and yes for being the one to communicate to the stakeholders. Being part of the Steering Committee has not been mentioned; although perhaps it is implicit in the role specifically for this customer and solution that is being offered. BR, Melissa
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