Can I borrow you for a sec because I’m stacked? It will be a win-win situation. I have been blue sky thinking and want to keep you in the loop on my thinking outside of the box, as well as picking your brains, I’m just playing devils’ advocate on this teamwork/dreamwork idea. Will it work? Well how long is a piece of string?
Have I lost you? I suspect I have as the above paragraph includes all ten of the most annoying things people say in the office according to a survey of 2,000 people by recruitment website reed.co.uk
Rubbish aren’t they – time for a paradigm shift, we can’t boil the ocean with limited bandwidth but there is low hanging fruit out there so let’s tee it up, circle back, take it offline and do more with less. We need to break the silos to move the needle because it is what it is. What we must do at the end of the day is run it up the flagpole, bite the bullet, peel back the layers of the onion and take it, if push comes to shove, to the bleeding edge. Making sure we are not out of pocket, which is par for the course, let’s get one throat to choke whilst opening the kimono, and synergise as we all drink the Kool Aid. Awesome!
Clearer? I think not, you have no idea what I am on about do you and no surprise. That paragraph included twenty five of the most overused phrases from Business Insider UK. The thing is that they were all once a neat and creative way of expressing a thought or an idea but overuse has made them into at first clichés and then just bloody annoying things that some of our work colleagues roll out regularly on calls and at meetings, presumably because they can’t think of anything intelligent to say instead. Clichés appear to make you connected to what is going on without actually having to have any real understanding or anything of value to contribute. It is like a code that just gets you out of a tricky moment.
Question: ‘What do think of this new approach?’
Answer: ‘You have my buy-in on this particular swim lane, I like the core competency and feel empowered as a result’
Yes, I am back at it again, this time looking at the Forbes most annoying business jargon list.
There are lots of moving parts when you put your best practice ducks in a row and leverage the scalable solution from the burning platform. It is imperative that we drill down and smell the coffee in this one-stop shop because today is the day, all 24/7 of it, and tomorrow, like our children, is our future.
Oh my, it is addictive isn’t it?
So please, be a rock star … and stop!
Let’s now assume that you wish to monetise your PMO for all of the right reasons and that you are in the best possible position to do this.
The best advice I can give here is the old advice of ‘KIS(S)’ – Keep it Simple (you know what the extra ‘S’ is for I am sure).
What is your PMO good at? What have you developed, delivered, proven, packaged and can now offer without any additional investment or risk?
And what can be offered in a discrete way? The risk to any PMO of heading in the direction of money is that the ‘customer is king’ and this means that in any situation of conflict the money-generating customer of the PMO will win out over the budget supporting sponsor of the PMO. So you need to avoid situations where the PMO can get dragged in to long engagements with ‘customers’ that distract from the core PMO activities.
What about Health Checks or Retrospectives/Lessons Learned services? These are discrete, potentially high value but (I hope in your PMO) well proven packages of services that can be offered to external customers. Consider what else fits the bill:
Just take a look at your ‘menu’ of PMO service offerings and consider each one for potential revenue generation (if you don’t have a ‘menu’ then ask yourself are you really ready for this move?). Once you have done this only focus on one or two, don’t stretch yourself, but start easy. The organisation has to accept that the journey of the PMO from budget overhead to profit contribution is not an overnight one.
And finally where are these customers coming from?
If we are talking external customers to your organisation then anything that the PMO offers is going to have to align to and integrate with the existing sales and marketing and support channels.
If we are talking about costed services back in to the organisation internally then that has to be carefully planned and communicated. Other departments need to understand this plan and they need to build this in to future budgets. The worst situation a PMO can find itself in is to lose ‘work’ because they now charge for PM training, or project reviews etc. As soon as the PMO becomes disconnected to the project business it loses any value it might have.
A PMO costs! And the first task of a new PMO is to prove the value of that investment through delivering (and tracking) improved project success. A second task it can take on is to offer revenue flow back in to the business, and that is quite possible but takes planning.