Categories

Category - Networking

Dream PMO Jobs

"It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else", a quote from someone called Erma Bombeck, a writer from the States. That's exactly what the PMO Dreamboat was all about last month. The idea was we would get about 30 PMO professionals together on a boat on the Thames one evening in July. This boat also sold beer and chips which I think are essential ingredients for any PMO person to set about dreaming. But not just any old dreams. Here was the idea: So we thought, the PMO Flashmob is a PMO community, so why not have a chat about our dream jobs with each other and find out what we might need to get there or be inspired by someone else’s dream to think differently about our own? I think we could come away with a lot of great ideas about our careers in PMO which is of course the aim behind PMO Flashmob. We can't recreate the conversations here in the post that were had that night but what we can do is share some of the dream clouds that were created that night. Here's the first to get us started;
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How PMO Flashmob Got Started

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.
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Mini-Masterclass \\ Your PMO Career

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:
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My First PMO Flashmob

As someone who has only been working on projects for a year, I’m full of questions, eager to make this my career, and am curious to meet other PMO professionals. Saying that, I almost didn’t go to my first PMO Flashmob event, which my calendar reminded me was happening later the same day. I was a little nervous, and imagined I’d be out of my depth. I was proved wrong though! I arrived early and started speaking to another young professional, getting to know their background, and finding out how often they’d been coming to the Flashmob. Once the room started to fill out, Lindsay introduced us to the group activity – designed to develop perspectives, objectively look at our current roles, and to see if any patterns could be identified from them. This helped to move us around the room and gave us an easy opener to talk to new people. Luckily for me one of the people that came along was working in the same sector as a job which I’ve recently been shortlisted for. This was an invaluable opportunity to better understand the culture of this particular environment, and to ask for an insider’s opinion and perspectives. After about 2 hours we had covered everything that I’d wanted to find out and had swapped contact details so that I could be sent more information.
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My First PMO Flashmob

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.
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PMO Networking Chats

Last night's PMO Flashmob took place in a little place that wouldn't look out of place in a Dickens novel. The Samuel Pepys bar on Stew Lane looks out across the Thames to the Tate Modern, certainly a photogenic spot! So against a true London backdrop PMO professionals from across the capital came together over a pint or two to chat about their worldSome of the themes for the evening included reinvention, skills and competencies, job hunting and career values. Here's just a flavour of the conversations, I can't hope to capture the whole thing but it should give you a feel of the type of conversations that happen.
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PMO Thinking Stuff

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!)
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The Four Corners of PMO Networking

Last night's PMO Flashmob was a great success. A mix of returning flashmobbers and some new faces. We decided for this month to return to our roots, just get in a pub and do some networking over drinks and nibbles. I think its good to try and help people network, especially while you're waiting for the first drink to kick in before people feel chatty. So this time we decided to go for the Four Corners of PMO Networking. Which is basically four different types of networking 'devices' in each of the corners of the room :) Corner one, we had the good old fashioned speed networking table. In the other we had a simple question and answer corner. Pick up a question and then chat about it. Some of the questions:
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Thirty New Ideas for the PMO

'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.
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Why Networking in PMO is Important

'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."
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