No, this is not a trick question!
The obvious choices that most practitioners will come up with are a PMO leader, a PM methodology consultant or a project manager. While certainly valuable, none of these is as crucial as a good data report developer!
No two PMOs are the same as the PMI-funded research study by Drs. Hobbs & Aubry showed. However, there are common trends & services that apply to the majority of PMOs and it is these commonalities that drive the need for effective report development.
Many PMOs struggle to justify their value. While PMOs capture a lot of good information about projects & resources, if this information cannot be distilled into decision support data that can be presented in an effective fashion to executives, it is useless. A good report developer can bridge the gap between the two solitudes of information overload and focused data.
PMOs integrate information from multiple processes & systems. Time entry, PPM/PM information systems, resource skills databases and financial systems are just a few of the different business processes & tools that produce information that needs to be normalized, aggregated and reported.
A basic need that most PMOs are expected to fulfill is to communicate. Effective communication is not just about having good content, but also about good structure and an effective medium. Without a good report developer, it will be challenging to succeed on all fronts.
PMO leaders struggle to justify their staffing and budgets, but failing to invest in report development skills could be a good example of “penny-wise, pound-foolish”!