The Era of the Solo Project Manager is Over: Why Your FX Firm Needs a PMO

A PMO handles all the key things large operations need to deliver continuously and effectively.

As the demands on companies in the forex industry have grown increasingly, complex, strategic management has never been more important.

I’m here to tell you that if your company hasn’t developed a project management office (PMO) – the time is now.

The days of the traditional Project Manager are gone: a PMO offers an entirely new and multifaceted approach to management where you can funnel any project, process, issue, and task that is needed to be worked on and delivered.

Why is this so important? Think of it like an orchestra: a standalone project manager is a bit like a solo violinist. Ideally, the project manager should be highly skilled and be able to accomplish amazing things independently – however, as just one person, the authority might be limited.

An orchestra, on the other hand, combines different areas of expertise to deliver something powerful and multifaceted. Similarly, a PMO combines the skills of management professionals to create a dynamic, coordinated approach to management.

In other words, when a company operates a PMO, the output and company alignment is often far stronger than just an individual playing a part within a team. A PMO as a department demonstrates and promotes structure, organisation, and process – all the key things large operations need to deliver continuously and effectively.

PMOs on a practical level

In forex, operating a PMO multiplies your company’s capabilities for productivity. The PMO can make or break a company’s success: its duty is to align the CEO’s vision with the work of each department.

Just like project managers, PMOs work on the standard assignments you would expect within the industry. This can include, for example, the integration of tools, platform enhancements, client area updates, and new product launches.

However, in addition to these, a PMO is also capable of working on far more complex requirements. In forex, this can include operational optimisations like automation of the sales process and assignment of leads, as well as back-office procedures that support client onboarding and transactional processing.

For example, at BDSwiss, our PMO worked together with various departments to review the operational procedures and provided solutions, wherever needed, to ensure efficiency.

We also created an environment that supports a continuous cycle of releases and developments both internally and externally for our clients.

Undoubtedly information is key, thus tracking the progress during the implementation and developing an internal newsletter that contains releases updates, together with preparation of product specs and Q&A support material for our internal training team, was another game changer.

PMOs can provide an unmatched approach to project management

Importantly, a successful PMO will operate with an inclusive and comprehensive approach. There should be no individual agendas; we don’t represent any individual team or department, but service and deliver for them all. If they succeed, it means we have succeeded.

Why is this so important? Let’s imagine a situation in which a growing company is developing a series of new products and services without a PMO.

In this particular scenario, someone has to be put in charge – usually, this person is not a Project Manager, but someone who knows their way around a company.

Part of the process of project management is to deal with different opinions, to gather the full scope of requirements to fulfil the need, and sometimes to handle conflict in a very intense and fast-paced environment – quite a tall order. However, even in the best of circumstances, this person will have other priorities.

When a forex company is preparing to expand, PMOs are essential for success

Further, in a fast paced and demanding environment like our industry, linking the dots, fitting the pieces together and being the mediator between the involved departments and stakeholders, is essential.

The bottom line is that when you have multiple products and services to deliver with deadlines overlapping, the challenges are getting multiplied and it can get messy and complicated. Individuals might not necessarily know which questions should be asked to whom; they may not understand how another department works to fit the pieces together.

Christina Theodorou, Chief Projects Officer at BDSwiss
Christina Theodorou, Chief Projects Officer at BDSwiss

Therefore, for multiple deliverables, a central team is required: a team that focuses solely on the objective to achieve the company needs. This is where the PMO comes in.

To establish a centralised flow within the organisation. The office knows who needs to be involved and which resources are available; it understands how to prioritise requests.

The office is expertly equipped to handle conflict management, personnel, and resources.  At the end of the day the PMO role should be to get the best out of people.

How do you know when your company needs a PMO?

Forex companies always move at the speed of light, there are so many things that need to be delivered and therefore organised, tracked and prioritised. When a forex company is growth-oriented, a PMO can multiply its productivity.

To get started with building an effective PMO, bring someone in that has comprehensive experience and knowledge of the industry who can establish an effective team: a PMO that represents the company’s values and goals.

At BDSwiss, our department ethics are built on our company’s values. To achieve any goal, a department needs to adopt the mindset of the company at large. The proof is in the pudding: establish a PMO, and see what is delivered when your company can work in a well-structured way.

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