The PMO Manifesto includes the line -
Enabling Change over Restraining Delivery
At the PMO Flashmob back in June, the World Cafe event gave us the opportunity to understand more about what this actually means. The idea behind this part of the manifesto is as a PMO function we prefer to be seen as an entity that enables our project organisations to run better and more successful projects without being seen as a hindrance or 'project police'. It is about being able to find the balance between 'control' (the restraining part) and the 'free rein' (the enabling part) first and then thinking about a future state where 'restraint' becomes a word of the past.
In this article there are no conclusions, just thoughts and opinions conveyed by those who attended. I hope the overview is useful. Here's how the conversation unfolded:
My first ever PMO Flashmob ended up in a pub – which is no bad thing from a networking point of view! The format of the evening revolved around the typical word café menu. The menu included 5 topics of conversation to challenge PMOs and the PMO Manifesto.
A musical chairs style atmosphere enabled all delegates to attend three discussions that were of particular interest. I selected 'how do we make the PMO an enabler for change?', 'how can we get PMO to become a permanent business fixture?' and 'how do we bring the PMO Manifesto to life?'.
The enabling change discussion really started off covering items such as having the right people in the right jobs and how PMO can support communicating with the wider audience as well as education. It swiftly moved onto what PMOs could add as a change enabler in the higher echelons of business strategy. It was commonly agreed that for a PMO to work at such a level and not have to concentrate too much on the delivery aspect that all the project and programme people would have to be absolutely trusted to the right job every time. I don’t know about you but I would say that this ‘nirvana’ state for PMOs has not been achieved by many leaders.
The conversation swiftly then moved onto what PMOs add as a change enabler and we decided on the integration of projects and programmes, process management and getting to the ‘sweet spot’ between strategy & delivery.
At this PMO Flashmob event we had a Learn and Live session - a PMO Cafe!
World Cafe's are a way of getting a bunch of people to focus on a particular topic and to talk through what their views and opinions are. One of the menu items was, 'What makes a PMO an Enabler of Change?'. This question stemmed from the PMO Manifesto which aims to show the PMO as a progressive, proactive function within project management within an organisation.
The PMO will uncover better ways of improving, governing, controlling, and assuring change within an organization, leading by example and helping others to accomplish it.
We wanted to explore the question and see what kind of ideas the group came up with. Incidentally, many of the people who come to the PMO Flashmob are from a wide variety of backgrounds which always makes for an interesting conversation.
What makes a PMO an Enabler of Change?