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Doing a Self-Assessment – Career Hour

When it comes to taking control of your career that means getting into the different aspects of career management. Career management includes aspects like understanding who you are and what you want out of your career – it’s also about personal development – and recognising which opportunities are the ones which align with your aspirations.
One practical aspect of career management is the ability to understand what you do today in your job and how you could improve on it.
Self-assessments are one of the ways you can do them introspective on yourself – to understand what experiences, skills, knowledge and behaviours you have that make you competent at the role you perform. Once you have that understanding, you can use it to further improve on those areas you’re already performing strongly at – and of course, address some of the weaknesses that become apparent.

At the House of PMO we have the PMO Competency Framework available to help you carry out a self-assessment. You can do the self-assessment using the book or for paid members, they have access to the online version (you’ll see the brief demo/overview in the recording)

Recorded Session


The Slide Deck



The Highlights

Here are some of the main highlights from the session:

You should start a self-assessment by focusing on your strengths – what are the ‘outstanding strengths‘ you have which really make a difference to the PMO, the delivery organisation and the business you’re working for. Starting on a really positive note not only gets you into the right frame of mind – focusing on outstanding strengths means you’re really focusing on what really matters.
We often forget that doing self-assessments is not just about looking for the skills gaps – we’re looking for those aspects that really elevate our performance in the job and that means making our strengths even stronger.
An interesting way to look at our weaknesses is to think about what might be our ‘fatal flaws‘. These are not mere weaknesses, they are the things that can really hinder our performance or ability to do important aspects of our jobs. There’s an article worth reading here about it. These fatal flaws will seriously negatively impact our work in the PMO, or in the wider delivery organisation. These are the ones that we really need to focus on – to change through development.
Carrying out a self-assessment has to be done with as much objectivity as we can muster. There’s no point doing the self-assessment if we are not going to be truthful with ourselves. We should always mark down rather than up when in doubt about our true abilities in the areas of competency we are assessing ourselves against.
When we look at each of the competency areas that exist for each role profile in PMO – we might find that some of the competency areas might not apply to our work in our current role. That’s fine, you should not assess yourself against it. Rather than leaving it and moving on, you should ensure that you do take some time to explore that particular area later. Let’s say you don’t currently do anything in your PMO around benefits management. Whilst it’s not something that is being supported today, it could be in the future – either in your current role or even a new role in a new organisation. Don’t dismiss the opportunity to learn about something you know is used in other PMOs just because you don’t today.
Doing a self-assessment is just a tick-in-a box exercise – if that’s what you think its all about you’re missing the two crucial elements. The part where you need to reflect on your career – and the part where you need to produce evidence to back up your assessment, are the areas that take time and more thought than just ticking boxes.
You can do a self-assessment online with your paid House of PMO membership. The benefits of doing it online include being able to assess yourself again different role profiles – the different contexts of project, programme, portfolio and centre of excellence – and to see the gaps very clearly. The image below shows an example of the skills gap diagram available in each individuals account:

Can you see where the skills gaps are for this PMO Manager currently working in a Portfolio context? Assurance and capacity management might be worth looking at in their development.
Here’s another one where you can see the results of two PMO Analysts within the team. Corporate members have the opportunity to see team views like this – so they have insights into where there might be gaps in the team’s knowledge and potentially the impact on the services that PMO could provide.


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