How to prep for a project management job

I'm working as a business analyst, and would love to position myself for a job in our company's Project Management Office (PMO). What steps should I take?

I'm a strong proponent of PMOs and am glad this question came up. If done correctly, a PMO can enhance an IT organization's effectiveness and productivity.

A PMO is a department within the IT organization that specializes in methodology, documentation, process, and/or project management best practices. This department then works with people throughout IT by teaching them these best practices and facilitating their IT-wide use.

Your first task is to do some independent research into PMOs in general and the PMO within your organization. This will expand your knowledge and give you additional data points to help assure that joining a PMO is right for you.

Next, begin your quest by finding out what methodologies and processes are supported by your company's PMO. For example, your company most likely uses an Agile or Waterfall-based software development methodology. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to learn these supported methodologies as part of your job as a business analyst. If not, learn them on your own.

Your next goal is to gain an understanding of the other processes, methodologies, and software supported by the PMO. Examples of these may include project management software, application documentation standards, and user training processes. Logic would dictate that the PMO should have documentation on these items on the company intranet.

Last, work on projects and cross-department initiatives that include members of the PMO, if possible. This will not only allow you to learn exactly what they do, but it will give you a chance to meet them and let them see the quality of your work.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at eric@ManagerMechanics.com.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.

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