Taking Effective Meeting Notes

A large part of the role of the PMO is supporting communications and the exchange of information that regularly happens in projects, programmes and portfolios. One of the most common supporting roles is the one the PMO provides in meetings and regardless of what level of PMO professional you are or what context you work in, you will be required to take effective notes. Yet many of us working in PMOs are probably expected to just get on with it and receive minimal training or guidance. In this extended article, we take you through to process and provide guidance and practical tips on becoming an ace note taker.
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PMOs Supporting Modern Project Management – Facilitation

With Excerpt - One of the main objectives of a PMO is to support and enable effective decision-making. It's such a great objective because there's a lot of scope with how the PMO can do that. From creating reports, giving insights from data, supporting stakeholder engagement activities and the part we can play when people come together to solve problems, make decisions and take action. In this article, we take a closer look at facilitation skills. Within P3O it states that "the P3O is ideally placed to provide an independent facilitation role" and we totally agree with that. Over the last few weeks we have already covered several different frameworks, approaches and techniques that the modern project practitioner can utilise in their day-to-day work that make a difference to people and their performance levels. We have also shared ten different things your PMO can be thinking about to make a real difference to the performance of your PMO. We've already looked at the following areas: servant leadership; facilitation, coaching and; conflict management. In this final article of our PMOs Supporting Modern Project Management series, we take a look at facilitation.
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The PMO as a Facilitator

Back in April our Mini-Masterclass event was focused on facilitation skills - a skill every PMO professional should have. In this session we specifically focused on the planning side of facilitation. The planning is an incredibly important part of facilitation, as that’s where the thinking has to go into exactly how we will achieve the outcomes of the task. How to break a task down into sub-tasks; decide what processes/techniques are to be used for each step; how to split the groups to make it effective, and take into account the nature of the task in terms of level of uncertainty, who will be involved and the time available. Not enough time and thought is put into planning a session, so if we, as PMO professionals can be disciplined about doing this, it can make a huge difference in getting more successful outcomes from sessions, and better results for the project teams. Ranjit Sidhu lead the session and introduced a high-level framework which she uses as part of the Facilitation Skills course which she regularly delivers.
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PMO Mini-Masterclass: Facilitating Learning Not Lessons

The PMO Mini-Masterclass on Facilitating Learning Not Lessons was all about the role the PMO can play in facilitating the lessons learnt process and also how we can get better at helping organisations actually learn from past projects. The aim of the session was: We focused on the role of the PMO in collecting lessons learnt – facilitation – and the role the PMO should play in taking action to ensure lessons really are learnt. This session went beyond the mere act of collecting lessons and sticking them in a database – this was about the proactive role that the PMO can take in ensuring learning takes place in the project organisation. We often talk about the PMO ‘adding value’ to the organisation – providing a great service here will do just that. The evening session included: Understanding what lessons learnt are and why they are important Interactive sessions on facilitating and collection skills Understanding why we don’t learn from lessons Interactive session on what PMO can do with lessons recorded to turn them into lessons learnt Further practical advice on what the PMO can do within the lessons learnt service area. The Video
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