We headed over to Bristol last month, lovely weather to be tucked up inside learning about Agile Project Governance but definitely worth it.
There were so many little gems I took away and I know that other PMO Flashmobbers there on the night had a lot of their questions answered.
Essentially we were all there to find out what exactly changes when projects are being delivered in an Agile way - when compared to traditional projects. And if something changes what does the PMO have to know about - and what do they have to do about it?
During our time at Project Challenge, we presented to a PMO audience on the topic of "Challenges and Trends in a PMO Career". I presented three challenges related to finding new opportunities and Eileen Roden presented three challenges whilst in post as a PMO professional. For the second part we did the same but this time focused on the trends we're seeing.
The presentation was well received - pitched at the right level for the audience - so it makes sense that we would want to share the presentation with you too.
Here's the presentation, available through Prezi. Below you can access the two video presentations.
Coaching has often been identified as a key skill for PMO professionals. It's long been mentioned in job advertisements as "coaching and mentoring skills" and more recently with the PMO supporting Agile delivery approaches, the term 'coaching' is heard more frequently.
What does that actually mean? Coaching is surrounded in misconceptions and in this session, we're debunking some myths whilst we focus on developing our ability to be a valued partner to the business and to the people our PMO supports.
We wanted to understand what types of coaching approaches and techniques we could potentially use in our everyday work - rather than focusing on whether we could become actually coaches.
The session was led by Bekka Prideaux who, not only is an executive & leadership coach, she's experienced in project management and more importantly, gets PMO (take a look at her profile below)
Bekka took us through the fundamentals starting with;
What is coaching & why that is relevant to a PMO professional.
The spectrum of coaching - what's included, what each is.
Understanding where on the spectrum you need to be depending on where you are in your career, how mature your organisations PMO is and the skills/awareness/experience of the person you are working with when it comes to PMO.
Understanding and access to a variety of coaching skills and tools which can be used by the PMO.
In this article, Nicole Reilly, who, to be fair is our go-to gal for anything to do with data, dashboards and tool stuff, picks up on the current trend on data analytics. If you're one of those PMO practitioners who are trying to get your head around all of this at the moment, this is the article to get you started. Here's Nicole:
Trends published for 2019 confirm that better data analytics and reporting is a hot topic; PMO Flashmob posted their trends and in this article from Daniel Newman on Top 10 Digital Transformation Trends For 2019 it's number five on the list.
I’ve posted before about my belief that PMOs haven’t quite got to grips with maximising the value of data and providing business insight. So over the Christmas break I’ve spent some time thinking about some top tips I can offer, given my background in business analysis and continued interest in the topic.
Back in late 2017 the Project Data Analytics community launched with the intention of exploring and sharing how to leverage big data, machine learning and AI within a project, programme and portfolio environment - with one of the key questions being how can we move from lagging to leading indicators that ultimately improve project delivery outcomes?
Throughout 2018 audiences at the monthly events in London have regularly been in excess of 100 attendees, clearly demonstrating the level of interest around the topic from both data scientists and project professionals.
Why do so many people show up to the monthly community meet-ups, when there are a wealth of books or free resources available on the web? I believe the answer is fairly simple – we want to connect, and to hear the stories; we want to know who, what, how, where and when the challenges faced were overcome; and we want to meet others who are on the same journey and are willing to share their experiences with us.
You’re likely familiar with Emotional Intelligence (EI), a constellation of abilities that allows us to make good decisions when confronted with emotional information. Recent studies into non-cognitive space, however, suggest that EI is not really sufficient to predict the tremendous variation in responses we observe when people have to make these decisions.
Through laboratory work, we’ve come to learn that motivational competencies are just as important to these outcomes as emotional ones. They’re very different from one another, however, and so need to be measured independently. We’ve also come to recognize that the skills needed to experience emotions in ourselves is fundamentally and subjectively different from the ability to interpret these same emotions in other people.
It’s because of these observations that the measurement of non-cognitive competencies has been redesigned
At the PMO CV Workshop in July, PMO Practitioners got together to work on improving their CV.
There are three crucial areas of the CV - the opening profile, the career history and key achievements.
Here’s what they learnt about the three areas:
Create the opening profile of a CV which is guaranteed to tick all the boxes and get yourself noticed for all the right reasons. It will focus on understanding your own Unique Selling Points.
Learn how to write the career history part of your CV – conveying your skills and experiences in the way that hirers want to read. Learn to write about each position in your career – focusing on the facts that prospective employers want to see. You’ll learn about the power of combining responsibilities with key project competencies.
Include hard-hitting key achievements that help you stand out from the competition. Catch attention for specific roles – learn out to mix and match key achievements for maximum impact.
Until we run another PMO CV Workshop in the future, (take a look at the previous PMO Mini-Masterclass if you can't wait) in this article we take a look at the beginning stages of creating a CV - the things you have to think about before you even put pen to paper.
We often get asked about metrics and measures for the PMO.
You might already be aware of the Inside PMO Report we have which is focused on this subject.
There’s a difference between the metrics and measures that the PMO contributes to – such as project success rates and the ones which focus on how well the PMO services are received by the organisation. There is one other area too that tends to get overlooked, and that’s the metrics and measures of the PMO team itself – is the team meeting the objectives and goals of the organisation.
There is a specific goal system that can be used: OKRs (that’s objectives and key results to you and me) have been popular with tech start-ups for years and they seem to have hit the mainstream with more and more organisations adopting the OKR approach to goal and direction setting. OKRs aren’t just for Silicon Valley, they can be a great tool for PMOs to clearly define what they and the portfolios they support are setting out to achieve – and how the goals of the PMO align with the goals of the organisation.
Do you know your KRs from your KPIs? Are your goals likely to have people saying O-wow!… or simply O-dear? John McIntyre from HotPMO helped us explore what OKRs are and how they can be used to align and accelerate PMO performance. Login to see the session; the deck, the writeup and the insights:
Looking for help with metrics and measures in Agile delivery? In this short article, check out the recommendations for further reading - books for your PMO bookshelf
Many PMOs now need to support Agile projects as well as traditional waterfall projects, moving to be a hybrid or bimodal PMO.
PMO Flashmob launch the latest Inside PMO report bringing insights from PMO Managers working in hybrid PMOs today.
The report looks at the functions and services required and answers the questions – what stays the same, what needs to change, and what is new.
The question for the PMO community is, “do you understand what additional skills and competencies you need working in a hybrid PMO?”
Many of the skills you have are still required, but some will need further honing or developed from scratch. The report looks at how the services of the PMO change when supporting Agile projects and what associated skills you will need to have to do that successfully.
Technology continues to make advances that can be embraced or ignored (at least temporarily) by our PMOs.
The latest bunch of technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Machine Learning (ML) and Predictive Analytics (PA). Few PMOs have embedded these technologies, with many more not fully understanding what the technologies can do, but concerned by the scare stories that the PMO roles will disappear within the next 5 years.
In the latest report, we take a look at how these technologies can be used within the PMO; how to get started and how the PMO is changing.