A Day in the Life of a PMO

A Day in the Life of a PMO

Icon Article Date

October 12, 2021

Icon Article Author

Jeffrey Lee


Senior Consultant

Throughout my career, I’ve had friends and colleagues ask about working in a Project Management Office (PMO), so here’s my response to what a ‘day in the life’ in a PMO would look like for a consultant in a large multi-stream delivery program.

It’s worth bearing in mind there is no ‘typical day,’ in this line of work, with the best PMOs tailoring core service offerings and activities based on client requirements. For a more holistic view of a PMO and what benefits it can provide, please check out “The case for an enterprise project management office”.

9:00 – 9:30

Once a week, I facilitate the project team stand-up. This is a good chance for project managers to give their key updates and escalate burning issues. Short and sharp is the key! I make some observations, but as facilitator my job is to make sure the sessions flow, so I save my complex questions for follow-up later.

9:30 – 10:30

The client has sent an urgent email asking to discuss a project change request which has stalled – the price is too high, and they want a breakdown of our assumptions.

I grab the business representative and we jump on a call. It doesn’t start well, and we receive a lot of posturing and passive aggressive comments. I counter this by continuously circling back to the guiding principles and objectives of the meeting (it’s worth the time setting these up), and we agree some actions.

10:30 – 12:30

I pop on my headphones and dive into some deep work with the latest product data. I’m trying to sequence our products to see what we can release in the next 6-9 months. After several failed attempts (we either don’t deliver enough or have insufficient resources), I’m feeling frustrated. I decide to break it up with coffee at the downstairs cafe.

The caffeine seems to have worked! I manage to mock up 3 good options with pros and cons for each. A quick sense check from the boss, and I send off a first draft for review.


Lunch time. The weather is good, so I take the chance to do a walking lunch to Victoria Market with my team (shout out to the pre-pandemic days).


Kicking off the afternoon by running a risk workshop for the project managers. I try my best to keep the group engaged through focussing on the high priority areas and using break out groups. Pretty pictures also help this process! I capture enough key information and will fill in the gaps later.


I catch up with my PMO colleagues for a team meeting. Today we’re running a planning session around the services we provide. As the program progresses through different phases, it is important that we periodically assess (and change, if required) our core offerings to ensure we support the project as effectively as possible. We agree to take couple of ideas to the sponsor.

Afterwards, we head over to an All Hands (organisational wide) meeting, where the executive is giving a debrief on the latest release. It is important to celebrate our successes, especially if food and snacks are involved!


Everything seems under control, so I walk the room to follow up on the questions from this morning’s stand-up. With a bit of time left in the day, I transform my brain dump (meeting notes) from this afternoon’s workshop into something more legible for review by the team.

Although the responsibilities in a PMO can vary, skills I find useful to the role include the ability to connect multiple data points and present them as tangible ideas or options, pivot across a number of changing / competing priorities, and influence (at times, difficult) stakeholders.

In my time at IDEE group, I have met consultants who have worked in PMOs of all shapes and sizes. Having seen the good and the bad, we can use our learnings to help you design and operate PMOs to protect your key investments.

Our people are our best asset.