On a grey Wednesday morning, two intrepid Gate One Consultants prepared themselves for what was sure to be an insightful and unusual day.
This was the ‘PMO Global Awards’: a veritable ‘World Cup’ of project management, which was, for some reason, Star Wars themed. Amongst the X-wing fighters, spaceships and full-sized ‘Jabba the Hut’ replicas were PMO professionals from around the world representing the full spectrum of industries, each with their own stories to tell about their journeys in setting up and running PMO offices.
At Gate One, we understand that delivering successful change takes more than just an effective PMO, but, without it, leaders of transformational change programmes can easily be left in the dark and out of control. With this in mind, we have distilled the key lessons from the day. These lessons should be useful for any leader, regardless of industry alignment and current level of PMO maturity. Or previous world-cup wins for that matter.
Below is a cross-section of some of the most interesting case studies from the day, the challenges they faced, the lessons they learned and the key ‘pearl of wisdom’ from each.
The range of sectors and challenges shown here is a testament to both the diversity of the day and to the fact that, in our view, there is a small number of core PMO principles which can be applied fruitfully to tackle complex business challenges.
Looking across the examples of established PMOs we saw on the day, we noticed that all of them had a number of common ingredients behind their team’s success.
- Clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
- Established, high-value catalogue of services.
- Reputation within the business as being a critical element to delivering change.
- Committed and available leadership sponsors.
- Regular self-assessments of the PMOs maturity levels.
- Defined strategy and an agreed PMO development roadmap.
- Leveraged and applied technology only where there is a clear value-add.
- A culture of effective project management and a focus on mentoring, developing and empowering individuals.
When embarking on ambitious change programmes, an effective PMO, while not a ‘silver bullet’, is an essential tool for leadership to be able to oversee, control and drive successful change.
Gate One has helped clients to set up world-class PMO functions and deliver change that counts in sectors as diverse as Pharmaceuticals, Retail, Travel & Tourism, Financial Services, Health and Government, to name just a few. Don’t hesitate to contact myself or the team if you would like to find out more about how we can help.