Categories

Category - Tools and Techniques

A Thinking Tool for the PMO

We talk a lot about PMO practitioners being curious - wanting to try different approaches and think differently about the work they do. It's never easy to find the time to take a step back to think - even more so to find the time for the PMO team to come together with the sole aim of thinking about what we do and how we might change that. PMO leaders and managers are still finding ways to engage with their teams through the pandemic - hosting "away" days virtually - using that time for micro-learning, exercises and sharing insights and lessons. In this post, we look at a thinking tool approach that could be used either by yourself - or even better - with the whole PMO team. Perhaps it would make a good exercise for the next PMO team get together. The thinking tool comes from a brilliant book called The Idea Generator - which features a number of different tools you can use to come up with new ideas. It's a business book but it's easily applied to PMO. It's a boundary thinking tool - and it's a simple equation we'll be using. Read on to understand the tool and gain access to the templates:
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Agile PMO – Tooling

In this session, Matthew was joined by another lodger, Nicole Reilly. Together they talked about the different Agile related tools that are available and what the PMO needs to know. There are literally hundreds of different tools out there that are used by Agile teams. There are also many different options to extract data which is then used by management teams to understand what progress is being made and what decisions and actions are needed to be taken. This session is more conversational in style rather than a presentation of which tools are the best - there are no demos. We did focus on the most common ones in use - JIRA, Confluence, Azure Dev Ops and Trello and learn a few things along the way. The main take away is - there is no silver bullet when it comes to Agile tools and there certainly isn't one tool that can support Agile and waterfall delivery together.
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Benefits Management – A Thinking Tool for the PMO

Many people do not fully understand benefits, see them as a side-activity unconnected to the main activities of project, programme or change management – or just do not consider them at all. Benefits management is not an activity, it is a mind-set. Described as ‘the golden thread’ from business case to business as usual, benefits are the reason we invest in doing things differently. In this interactive session, PMO Flashmobbers will learn what benefits are, how they are identified and begin to develop an understanding of the part we all play in realising them. Attendees will learn, through practical exercises, how to use tools such as the Dellar Success Case to start shifting your mindset to a benefits one. Carry on reading and listen to the full recorded session PLUS a full breakdown of the practical exercise:
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Business Storytelling

The PMO needs people to make decisions and take action pretty much everyday. We provide reports, we have conversations, we try and influence yet still we struggle sometimes to make a message really land and even more so when it comes to people making critical decisions. You will have heard of storytelling in a business context - most likely you've heard it called data storytelling - it's the same thing. You can use storytelling structures, techniques and a whole myriad of plot devices and character details within your day-to-day work.
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DARPEC for PMO

How bad is that title? Acronym overload! Put that aside for a moment and let's look at DARPEC. It's a tool that is featured in a book called, "The Idea Generator" with a subtitle, "15 clever thinking tools to create winning ideas quickly". It's a tool or approach you can use to "understand how every interaction has six generic aspects" and how you can deconstruct any challenge or situation by deconstructing the six aspects individually. DARPEC stands for: D - Deliverer A - Action R - Recipient P - Process E - Environment C - Constraints   For each issue or situation, we are trying to resolve, there is a Deliverer, who performs an Action for the benefit of a Recipient using a Process in an Environment under certain Constraints.
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Dashboard and Reporting at PMO Learn!

We had a new event launched in 2021 as part of the PMO Conference. It was a one-day learning event called PMOLearn! which took place before the conference and was billed as the largest PMO classroom with 100 learners taking part. The day itself was split into 4 different topics - benefits management, resource management, portfolio management and this one, dashboards & reporting. In this post, you'll be able to see the main presentation or class. You'll not be able to see the interactive parts that the learners got involved in but you'll still take a lot away from the session itself.
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Five Cool Tools for PMO

Every so often there's a time when I think, that's a really useful cool tool. Then I talk to some of the people at PMO Flashmob - or online in social media groups and they also recommend their stuff too. So I thought, let's share them on here - and hopefully you'll add something that you use in the comments section below. Here's my recent finds: Dropbox Paper Thanks to Donnie M for this one - we've been working on a collaboration and needed to write a document together. He suggested Dropbox Paper - and it really is cool. So you're working on a document together - it's web-based and you can do all the usual word processing stuff - adding links, formatting, just plain good old typing. So far so good. The cool stuff happens when you can see each other writing at the same time - or just watching what the other person is putting on there. It just works - there's no chance of overwriting each others stuff and it's just easy to get going and use it. Plus you can export whenever you're ready. Why I think it's a good tool for PMO? It's definitely something your project teams can use if you don't already have any kind of collaboration software in place - in fact the whole team can use it at once.
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Governance and Governmentality for Projects: The Role of the PMO – Dr Ralf Müller

This research-based presentation addresses the role of the PMO in the combination of governance as structure and governmentality as human agency for success at the project and organizational level. Three stages are discussed: 1) the enablers of governance and governmentality; 2) the practices in terms of different governmentality approaches, governance paradigms and mechanisms, and project sovereignty; and 3) the consequences of and for governance and governmentality in terms of project results, ethical issues in projects, and the alignment of the organization to their particular context. Real life cases will be discussed and tools for assessment and profiling of governance and governmentality approaches will be presented. Takeaways: The role of the PMO in establishing organizational enablers and practices for governance and governmentality The link between governance approaches and its consequences Tools for PMOs to assess and profile their own organization
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Hold On Tight for the PPM Tool Project

A few weeks back it was the PMO Flashmob in Edinburgh and the session was all about PPM tools. The session was held at Sainsbury's Bank -thanks to Maggie McGreary for hosting it - and thank you to Nicole Reilly for letting us (hopefully) learn from her experience when it comes to the PMO gaining a brand spanking new PPM tool. These sessions about tools can be either deathly boring or a sales pitch - but we found a third way. A practical session on what to think about and plan when it comes to you and your organisation implementing a PPM tool. This is the PMO's view - from someone who has worked in many PMOs and has done many PPM tool implementations. The honest questions to be asked and answered gives you a big insight into this session:
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