The UK's Programme and Project Support Survey 2005

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Reporting is officially the most performed activity by project support professionals today

Arras People has recently carried out a comprehensive survey that gives an interesting insight into the roles of project and programme support today in the marketplace. Surprise results show that more and more support people are moving away from the most basic of project administration tasks and starting to add real value.

90% of people perform reporting activities and spends about a fifth of worktime doing this, planning is closely behind with 80% of respondants spending another fifth of their time on planning tasks.

The breakdown also shows that most support staff in todays marketplace have a varied and challenging role that spans from the usual job role through to areas such as recruitment (of team members), negotiations (with suppliers), stakeholder communication and budgetary tracking.

Times are certainly a-changing in the programme and project support world, with more and more opportunity to get involved with the meatier aspects of the projects and programmes, specific training for PPSO professionals and a general increased awarenesss that PMO and project offices exist (see the PPSOSIG).

With 21% of people rejecting the administration side of the role completely for the more interesting knowledge management, resource management and quality assurance tasks the project support professionals also have their eye on other areas

Costs benefit analysis, assisting in the set up of a PMO or Project Office, and more involvement in project management training are all areas where PSO-ers are looking to branch out into. But what keeps the project support professionals from progressing further?

One response, “people in the project do not understand the role of the Project Office or in some cases want to understand", a reason quoted by many others. Time is also an issue, with many PSO-ers having to perform many tasks already for the project and with no additional resource available to assist with the more administrative tasks. One reponse also touched on the problem of “the control freak", with the Project Manager being in total control without the need for additional help or assistance.

For Project Support Professionals looking for that something extra - consider joining the latest conference from the PPSO SIG (Programme and Project Support Specialist Interest Group)

Lindsay Scott is a Director and Senior Recruitment Consultant at Arras People - the UK's Programme and Project Management Recruitment Specialist ( Lindsay is also a Board Member of the PPSOSIG (Programme and Project Support Specialist Interest Group)a membership organisation -


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