In this Career Hour session we took a look at the subject of networking and how that can affect your career development.
We covered the obvious ones of networking at external events and shared some tips on how to get more out of it - or just convince you that it doesn't have to feel like a daunting thing.
We also covered online/virtual events and a little on social media based networking.
Finally, we took a look at an often overlooked area of networking - and probably the one that has the biggest impact on your career development.
'Working in a PMO can be an isolating place.'
That was something said at a recent event where PMO practitioners had come together to collaborate on a new initiative.
It's true, we see lots of POOs and POTs (PMOs of One and Two) and it can feel a little lonely sometimes. Even larger PMO teams can feel isolated from the rest of the delivery organisation too.
That was one of the main drivers for PMO Flashmob - to get people together from different and diverse places so that they could say:
"I'm not alone; all these people here are also just like me."
'30 new ideas for the PMO'.
A great title, for what was the House of Genius at the last PMO Flashmob event, which means the audience gave their insights and shared their experiences for the benefit of another PMO practitioner with an existing problem.
We didn't record the session like we normally do because Chatham House Rules applied.
What we can do is share how it worked and how you too could use the same technique or approach in your organisation. I guess you could call it a type of facilitation technique which could be used with project teams and with the PMO team itself. It's also good for any kind of Community of Practice event too where you're looking to share knowledge in a gathering or forum. We came across the idea from a recent book called The Art of the Gathering by Priya Parker, which gave us the idea based on a networking event which started in the US.
The House of Genius is Simple
Here's how it works.
We get asked a lot about how PMO Flashmob came to be. At the last PMO Conference in London, original co-founder Ralf Finchett returned from Australia and we grabbed a bit of time to have a chat.
PMO Flashmob was created originally to get people together who work in PMO - to meet up after work to chat about the work they do.
It started because we found that at all the conferences we had attended, it was the interactive and networking parts where you got to meet others in the same boat as you, that had long-lasting benefits.
Five years on, I think its safe to say there are a lot of people who have attended different types of events we've had that have got real benefit from it. PMO Flashmob was always intended to be something that was aimed at individual practitioners rather than the organisation or corporates. It remains low cost and that allows us to offer both hospitality at events and also explore the different challenges that affect people working in PMOs day.
If you're interested in how PMO Flashmob got started or perhaps looking for some inspiration for setting up your own community of practice within your organisation.
Take a look at the video interview / having a catch-up PMO Flashmob style.
On the 17th May, I attended my first PMO Flashmob, the event on this occasion was more specifically known as PMO Serious Play, held in Manchester.
The idea behind this session is to learn and explore the mindsets and behaviours of the PMO supporting Agile based projects and programmes through playing with Lego.
Upon arrival, at the event, I received a warm welcome and introductions all round. There was also a vast selection of drinks available including tea/coffee, orange juice, coke and even wine and beer! All included in the session.
Before getting called through to our training room there was a chance to talk and network with others attending the course. This helped me get comfortable with the people I was with, something that I thought was important before a creative session like this.
The first thing I noticed was how different everybody’s background in PMO was. There was also a wide range of industries represented by charities, law firms, and public sector. It was really interesting finding out how they operated their PMO within their industry.
A few months back I attended the PPM Forum - it's a public sector forum for PPM practitioners, which surprisingly was FULL of PMO people. So far so good.
The session was held at City Hall (rubbish view!) and hosted by London Fire Brigade. It was like a bigger version of a PMO Flashmob event - lasted all day, presentation sessions from other local authorities and government organisations. Plus some interactive bits (BTW, PPM Forum want to do a joint event with PMO Flashmob - I think it would be a great idea!)
Last week we carried out our first PMO Mini-Masterclass. These evenings are about a little PMO learning combined with networking with other PMO professionals. The session took place at QA's offices right on Tower Bridge (see the offer from QA too for PMO Flashmobbers), with amazing views over the Tower of London and St Katherine Docks.
The topic for the first PMO Mini-Masterclass was all about your PMO career. The session was in four areas:
The PMO Marketplace
PMO Job Tools
PMO Training and Development
Networking for Opportunities
You can take a look at the first part (there are four videos in total), the PMO Marketplace here: