How to build the best PMO for your business and keep it relevant? This and more other questions were asked during one day interactive session led by Peter Taylor and organised by PMI Gdansk Branch on the 1st February in Grand Hotel in Sopot.
The workshop was divided into a few parts. We’ve discussed the types, models, role of PMO, and the competencies of a PMO leader. Peter shared the results of the survey for the book and finally presented the Siemens’ PMO he led for 4 years. I would like to share with you a few take aways.
- The Project Management Office (PMO) in a business or professional enterprise is the department or group that defines and maintains the standards of process, generally related to project management, within the organization
- The PMO strives to introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects
- The PMO aims to reduce project risk through common practice and quality assurance
- The PMO links business strategy to project based execution of that strategy
Competencies of a PMO leader:
- Be passionate about projects
- Be strong in communication
- Negotiate well
- Be enthusiastic about leading change
- Don’t be afraid to be unique
Although all of them are important “passion” and “uniqueness” are my top 2. “It’s your PMO. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to be a certain way. Be unique. Be what you feel you need to be”
Some tips on best PMOs:
- The best PMOs have consistent, repeatable PM practices across the enterprise. All projects are held to the same standards and requirements for success. They have also eliminated redundant, bureaucratic PM practices that have slowed down projects.
- The best PMOs have the most experienced PMs in place and have a program underway to recruit the best PMs, develop their existing PMs into the best and to maintain this level of quality and experience.
- The best PMOs have clear visibility into the progress and cost of all projects. They also know exactly how resources are being used. They openly share this information to all the appropriate stakeholders throughout the enterprise.
- The best PMOs adapt to the enterprise's strategic expectations and know how to operate effectively within the corporate structure and culture. And they are not rigid in their own structure and focus in order to adapt and adopt quickly.
- The best PMOs sponsor training and facilitate communities of practice to promote PM best practices in their organizations. Such communities of practice provide PMs with a forum to share their knowledge and share experiences.
- The best PMOs are the custodians of a dynamic framework of method to assist PMs in the delivery of projects. This includes not only process but also templates and guidance.
- The best PMOs ensure that quality assurance actually delivers quality.
Finally Peter shared his 4-year - experience setting up and leading PMO in Siemens – “too valuable to lose, but not too expensive to keep.” We’ve also learnt that PMO of the Year 2012 winner is Verizon Wireless Marketing Program and Portfolio Office. That was an interesting 1-day learning and sharing event.