Project Management

Leading Your PMO During Difficult Times

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Unlike any crisis the world has experienced for nearly a hundred years, the coronavirus pandemic has presented incredible challenges to businesses and people. Worldwide, organizations have either had to shut down, limit their operations or deploy the majority of their workforces to work from home.

In particular, PMOs have been impacted at the strategic, tactical and operational levels. The pandemic has required PMO leaders to examine and challenge virtually every aspect of their functions, including vetting projects, managing portfolios, managing projects and deploying projects. In many cases, these leaders have had to rethink the PMO’s governance rules, protocols and processes in order to adapt the organization to the realities the coronavirus has wrought.

In context to these realities, I offer the following guidance.

1. Be inclusive: Engage upper management, lob leaders & stakeholders – One thing PMO leaders need to remember is that they are not in this situation alone. The entire organization is being disrupted and everyone is looking for ways forward. By engaging external leadership and stakeholders in the prioritization process of project assets, the PMO can create a new way forward that addresses the needs and urgencies of the entire organization.

It’s a brand new world out there, and everything needs to be on the table—including …

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