By Quynh Woodward
Across industries and organizations, there is a greater awareness of the PMO, its different structures and capabilities, and the diverse ways that the PMO can contribute to the success of the organization. High-performing PMOs are setting trends and influencing how their teams deliver value to the organizations that they support.
As a PMO leader, you have your own list of top PMO priorities and are advancing these objectives for 2019. Based on various discussions, surveys and topics discussed at the PMO Symposium this past November, below are three top priorities that we are hearing from PMO leaders across the globe.
1. Continuously Evolve and Improve Your PMO.
The PMO can’t stand still while the pace of innovation and the speed of obsolescence are driving dynamic changes and disrupting the business landscape. According to the 2018 PMI® Thought Leadership Series, – Forging the Future: Evolving With Disruptive Technologies, nearly 80% of organizations have undergone a significant transformation over the past year. These transformation pursuits are requiring a conscious effort to evolve and improve the PMO continuously. At the PMO Symposium® 2018, we heard speakers talk about collecting data about what is working, what is not and what can be improved. Some PMOs are sending regular surveys to their sponsors, stakeholders and customers to inform their need to adapt and foster a culture of continuous improvement. As a PMO leader, have you reexamined your PMO’s operating model, processes and capabilities lately to ensure alignment with the strategy and current needs of your organization? Some PMOs are reconfiguring and rebranding themselves to convey their value and offerings more effectively. And some are changing approaches and plans to enhance the speed of project delivery while others are shifting roles to be closer to the customers to help promote relationship building and a greater understanding of customer expectations and needs.
2. Ensure a Robust Change Management Program.
While change management has always been a critical focus of the PMO, it has taken on a renewed importance at the enterprise level as organizations focus on significant transformation efforts. Well-defined change management strategies are needed to enhance stakeholder engagement and build support for the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. The PMO is perfectly positioned to take the lead role in this effort. Does your PMO have sufficient resources allocated for change management activities? Is the change management effort appropriately reflected in your project portfolio? Is there clear accountability and ownership for these change management activities? How do you ensure and sustain adoption of your organizational changes?
3. Build a Culture of Continuous Learning.
Rising uncertainty will be the norm in the future of project work. For many PMOs, there is no longer an emphasis on eliminating uncertainty, but rather to adapt more effectively. This shift implies the need to bring their teams up to speed on the latest technologies, skills and techniques. To prepare for the future and for delivering strategic changes for their organization, PMOs are looking for ways to foster a culture of continuous learning. It is not just about having a structured educational format, but also informal knowledge sharing between team members. What formal, informal and self-directed learning opportunities are available to your teams? Are you encouraging your project teams to share lessons learned and insights on a regular cadence? Are you engaging senior-level leaders to make their experiences known, either informally or through internal organizational channels? In a culture of continuous learning, teams are continually developing in knowledge and enhancing performance.
While each PMO is unique and has its own vision and mission, what are your top PMO priorities for 2019? Please share your thoughts and perspectives.