PMO Careers, Demonstrating Value and Bringing Agile out of the Basement: A report on p3mg’s first PMO Roundtable.
By Ray Mead, CEO, p3m global
On 30th June we at p3m global hosted our inaugural PMO Roundtable event at Brown’s Hotel in London. The format, where attendees set their own agenda under Chatham House rules, has been very popular for some time with our Australian sister company and I’m pleased to report a similar experience here in the UK.
The conversation was lively, informed and centred around several key themes: PMO as an emerging career choice, the lack of investment in genuine PMOs and, finally, the rise of Agile and the need for ‘multimodal’ governance.
The first two are easily summarised. We have seen, when working with our clients on the development of P3M career pathways, that working in a PMO is increasingly popular with project managers as they plan their career paths. For some it offers a different perspective, a big picture view that enhances their appreciation of good governance. For some, it is a route into portfolio management and others again see it as a career path in its own right. This is to be welcomed and we at p3mg have certainly been at the forefront of this, developing with our clients, PMO-specific competencies and training programmes that are not found amongst the main PM standards. A voice of experience did remind us, however, that the competencies required in PMO set up are not necessarily the same as those required to run it, so a ‘PMO life cycle’ requires careful resource planning.
The lack of investment in PMOs is more worrying and comes back to the perennial inability of PMOs to demonstrate their value, both to the business and to the PM community they serve. All too often we, as consultants, are called in to ‘rescue’ a PMO that has fallen into one of the classic traps of over-reliance on compliance or the pathologically blunt implementation of an enterprise PPM tool. Interestingly, one of our participants who had recently set up a PMO had deliberately left compliance out of its remit and had seen the resulting benefits through the positive engagement levels of the PMs. Other solutions offered by the participants where to ensure that financial data (and finance people) were at the heart of PMO activity. If the PMO can demonstrate a positive impact in financial terms, said one participant, it will win more friends at the executive level. A word of caution was then added by p3mg’s Conor Gourley who reminded the team that, as demonstrated in our very own research, the most successful PMOs were found to report into a strategic function, not a financial one.
Finally, a subject close to my own heart, how do PMOs that have spent the last 10 years gaining control and encouraging predictability deal with the rise of agile? The answer, according to the group, lies in moving away from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ governance approach and moving toward a new, evolved understanding of P3M maturity; one that adopts the right governance style for the right initiative. Bimodal is too simplistic – multimodal is the future.
Again, this is certainly the direction we are seeing in the market as we undertake agile transformation programmes with our clients.
It was perhaps fitting that the Roundtable took place in the very room at Brown’s where Alexander Graham Bell first used his ‘telephone’ in the UK. There was a distinct connection made between practitioners, consultants and academics who came together to tackle issues facing us all but they came from different perspectives. If you would like to participate in future PMO Roundtable events or suggest future topics for us to address, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org We would love to hear from you.
p3m global is a proud sponsor of PMI Synergy 2014, and we hope to see as many of you there as possible, as PMI Synergy has rapidly earned distinction as one of the largest project management celebrations in Europe.
Synergy 2014 takes place on Thursday, 13th November in London. Register here for tickets.
This year the PMI are showcasing a new scheme, where the seminars will be streamed live from the event via a web link, making Synergy 2014 available globally. Yohan Abrahams, PMI UK, President, shared this exciting news with us:
“PMI UK is planning as a pilot to stream some of the presentation sessions at Synergy, our annual congress on the 13th of November 2014 starting 09:00hrs GMT. Not all the sessions will be available for streaming, therefore we are offering this opportunity free of charge. All you have to do is register your interest on the PMI website quoting promotional code “SynergyStream”. On the 12th of November we will send you a web link to use to watch Synergy. You will then be able to join virtually with nearly 600 members of the community who will be present on the day in London. You will be able to interact with the presenters on twitter using #pmisynergy.”
PMI UK announced that p3m global would be duly recognised as Sponsor as this annual event continues to engage with leading industry figures and those looking to get ahead in P3M.
What are you getting from p3m global? What are the catalysts for strong p3m competence, p3m capability, p3m assessment & assurance and p3m technology service – the points on our service star, if you will. It’s all about the 5 Key Principles, as highlighted in our recent p3m global Facebook campaign and on our website…
“We make it our mission not only to incorporate the best that global standards have to offer but to be at the forefront of defining those global standards. By being a genuine thought leader we can ensure the solutions we provide are not just current or compliant, but ahead of the curve.”
“We do not work on symptoms or in silos, we identify and work on root causes and focus our development on pan-organisational solutions that will make a real and beneficial difference to performance. This is reflected in our integrated approach to People, Process and Technology and our modus operandi of Assess, Develop and Engage.”
CONCLUSION #2: You can expect to get to the heart of the problem.
“We are not here to sell you a quick fix. We are here to be your partner on a journey. We do not believe in overnight transformation, though early benefits can always be identified and prioritised. We recognise that real maturity takes time and that different interventions and expertise will be needed throughout. We will be there to anticipate and provide that as a key partner.”
CONCLUSION #3: You can expect the right solution, not one merely good enough for “right now”.
Here’s why p3m flexibility is so important:
“One size does not fit all, and though we have standard engagement models, flexibility is built into them to ensure that the focus remains on you, the customer, and the targeted outcomes you need. No two projects we run are the same.”
CONCLUSION #4: You can expect us to be elastic and strong for the well-being of your project as it pertains to your business – not merely for the method.
More on the importance of measuring in what we do:
“We believe that all change, good or bad, should be measured because if you can’t measure it in some way, it didn’t really happen. This means we will benchmark at the beginning of each engagement and monitor changes in key performance metrics as well as capturing clearly defined benefits and outcomes. We believe you should be able to clearly see the results and return on the investment you place with us.”
CONCLUSION #5: You can expect us to benchmark, monitor and establish key performance metrics of what’s going on in a change programme.