How many of you have heard the saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”..?
Usually, this saying is offered up to remind us not to be fooled by tricksters, those folks that offering you something that sounds too good to be true, and that almost always is. So, try to avoid being taken for a ride, and for heaven’s sakes, don’t be taken for a ride a second time.
So what does this have to do with the PMO? Well, I will get there, but I need you to stay with me on this for just a bit.
You see, the first I ever heard, or remember hearing, the expression, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me” was at a process improvement class and it stayed with me ever since. The instructor, a process improvement expert, was making the point that often times in an organization when we experience a process defect, the first thing that we do is bitch about it in the break room, and to whoever will listen. And often, we find out that someone else experienced that same difficulty or process defect earlier and was similarly frustrated at the time. But no one did anything about it. No..!
So, time after time, one after another would experience the same, repeat, process defect. Whether that is a workflow defect, a tooling defect, a communication defect, or an input, output, or process defect.
Now, think about all of the various problems, issues, observations and/or lessons learned feedback we get to see everyday in the PMO. How many of these do we just allow to reoccur and how many do we take note of and fix? And why is it that for so many of us, and organizationally, our natural tendency is to just grin and bear it? INMJ - it's not my job.
It would like to suggest a new mantra for the PMO regarding these little defects, and that is, “Have a PMO process defect once, shame on our process; have the same defect again and again and again, shame on us..!"