IT to PMO

Has anyone transitioned from regular IT, to more of a PM role, and did you like it?  It seems like the longer I stay in IT, the more I transition to a Program owner or something like that.   I am curious if anyone here has made that transition and what were something things that went well and what didn't.   

Not the right forum?   Just say so and I will take it somewhere else.  

  • At my last job I was more in that role. Here seems to be more a step backwards. This is mostly because of human resources. The lack of proper staffing here means that managers end up doing more of the technical tasks than we should. Personally, I enjoy doing both. Although my question back at you is, when you say PMO I typically think of a Project Manager, when I think of a Program Owner that could be someone to whom both the technical and project management personnel report. This is what my previous role was more about. I had 2 Project Managers and 15 to 20 technical people reporting to me. 

  • The PMO here is the Project Management Organization.  I am more of a Program owner but seem to do more project management than other tasks.  I love the job, its just been more of a difficult transition for me because I have been a very hands on leader / professional.  I enjoy the customer service side of IT.   Training users and helping educate business leaders as to why we need security, or better switches, more CPU etc.  I also miss leading people.   Working with my own team.   I work across the enterprise now coordinating with other managers and directors borrowing their people for specific times.  I just sometimes feel my skills are not where they need to be, although I do get a lot of on the job training...  

  • Yes, you become more of a transient team lead. I know that in highly matrixed organizations teams are always shifting and the PM is the only constant. On the operations side [what our management calls all the billable people here.] the disciplines are the formal reporting structure, but the PMOs are the ones under which all the tasks and jobs are done. So the EEs, Command and Controls, Architects, etc. get assigned to work under projects out of the main business units. It makes sense because our projects can be very long and there can be lots of gaps in tasks. that tends not to be the case in IT though.

    I have to admit, I do miss some of the discipline that existed going through Service Readiness Reviews, and being able to spend several days doing multi discipline process reviews and redesigns. Among other things. I think it is because being an IT organization, both the customer facing and internal services were subjected to the same standards. Which was great.

    It sounds like you are working more with whatever projects get assigned to you and guiding them to success rather than what you are used to and driving decisions about what those projects might be or what the solutions are.

  • A year ago I went from being an IT Technician (Helpdesk) to the IT Systems Analyst, which is basically a project manager.  In this new role, I am independent of the Systems Administrator and Helpdesk and report directly to the CIO, I research new software, technologies, ideas that would benefit not just the IT department but the organization as a whole.  Once I've researched and determined a need, I'll present to the CIO and our "New Product and Development Committee" and if it is for another department, those department heads as well.  At that point I work with the Systems Administrator and the IT Technician to implement if required.  I love this new position and feel it is such a good fit for me because I absolutely hate being stagnant and this position allows me to correct inefficiencies and streamline outdated processes.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have

  • I work in higher education and am (by title) the Director of Technical Services.  A few years ago, our Director of IT Project Management left and we had a hard time finding someone to replace him, most applicants were private sector guys expecting well into the 6 digit salary.  My VP one day asked if I had ever thought about moving into the PM realm and I gave it a shot.  Things have run pretty smoothly and I have adapted well.  I would say Higher Education sector is a lot different than others.  I find my technical knowledge greatly assists me in developing project plans, resource allocations etc as I have a great understanding of the technicalities of project requirements and can truly gauge the IT resources needed accurately.  

  • I think the transition was a little hard for me due to the complexity of the company dynamics and not having PM training to the degree they are looking for.   As an IT Director you wear hats, and are a decision maker, in the PMO world, you are managing those making decisions, forming the plan to keep everyone on track and holding them accountable.   You call out issues but are not able to correct them.   I like to Fix problems, not just call them out.   Hard to seperate.