What does a Project Support Officer do?
The Project Support Officer is responsible for the coordination and delivery of a business project, working closely alongside the Project Manager. The PSO organises the planning and execution of a project which includes scheduling tasks, risk and progress management, liaising with stakeholders, as well as monitoring finances and controlling budgets.
A PSO acts as the driving force and has a direct impact on the efficiency and overall success of the project. This requires excellent communication, organisational skills, logical thinking and problem solving.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Project Support Officer
Working as a Project Support Officer brings new tasks and challenges on a daily basis. Some of the main duties and responsibilities you can expect while working in the filed include:
- Reporting on progress, resources, finance or costings
- Overseeing projects, mitigating risks and solving issues
- Quality assurance, for example through collating data, auditing or compliance checks
- Scheduling meetings and setting agendas for the project team
- Internal and external stakeholder management
- Updating project records
A Day in a Life of Project Support Officer
We caught up with some of our consultants on-site to ask them about their experience, and the different roles and responsibilities that they have working in Project Management.
1. What is your current role on-site and what do your daily activities involve?
Chloe: My current role is Member of the Office of the CIO at an international airline company. I work in a small team and my daily activities involve engagement with stakeholders, governance of the IT department, risk management and implementing changes that the CIO requires.
Loay: I have been working with a client in the public sector for three years now. I started as a Planner and Risk Manager and worked my way up to becoming a Project Manager. No two days are the same around here as projects vary a lot in size, complexity and technology used. My current day-to-day activities involve leading Agile project teams to deliver critical IT projects. This includes holding daily Scrum meetings, planning, risk and dependencies management, and stakeholder management.
Erica: I work as a Project Support Officer and my main focus is on risks, issues management and interventions. I engage with project and programme teams on a daily basis to guarantee compliance to the project framework and ensure that the right level of assurance is provided to the Programme Board. I manage portfolio dependencies, identify risks and issues to delivery, after which I develop and implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies.
2. What new skills did you learn during your work placement?
Chloe: I have learnt many cross-functional skills that I can use for any role I want to pursue. I now know how to implement change on a large scale and how to work following Agile methodologies. I have also learned how to develop my skills and knowledge on the job in order to pursue my career path goals.
Loay: I have worked on a variety of projects and learned how to operate in both Waterfall and Agile environments. I have gained the confidence to plan, manage project risks and lead teams to deliver successful products.
Erica: I learned a lot about risk and issues management as well as how to approach, manage and communicate with the different stakeholders within the organisation.
3. Can you tell us about an exciting project that you’ve worked on?
Chloe: We have recently implemented a new risk management process across the whole IT department, including all operating companies. Although it was challenging at first, understanding how to identify, treat and accept risks across many different levels has been interesting and has really developed my knowledge of IT risks.
Loay: In my previous project, I was working on replacing a 30-year old system within the organisation, aiming to remediate the system to a more modern code and platform. The outcome of the project was enabling the continuation and enhancement of the services that we provided to citizens. Currently, I am working on the organisation’s contact centre and leading on various projects, such as introducing new capabilities, developing a new Information Management System and a self-service payment line.
Erica: I am currently supporting the organisation in planning for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am working for the Strategy and Recovery team and producing the Recovery Plan, for which I have set up a reporting structure to ensure timely updates are sent to the Board.
4. What do you enjoy the most about your role?
Chloe: I have really enjoyed being part of a small team, while also having the chance to collaborate with the whole IT department. I have worked alongside very senior people, which has increased my network and gave me a better understanding of the IT department as a whole. It has been a great experience so far.
Loay: I enjoy the constant collaboration with various teams across the department. Being able to lead deliveries all the way from concept to going live, coupled with the fact that no two days are the same, makes it a great role!
Erica: Every day is different – I face a lot of challenges, which then I get the satisfaction to overcome. I also had the chance to meet a lot of amazing and supporting colleagues.
If you’re looking to kickstart your career as a Project Support Officer, check out the FDM Graduate Project Management Programme to find out more!