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PMO Conference 2022 \\ The PMO of the Future – Adrian Stalham

The PMO appeared to be the chief spectator and photojournalist of a slow-motion car crash. They didn’t intervene, they simply reported the ever-increasing wreckage as it happened. Probably asking for more regular progress updates as the carnage escalated. The portfolio was gridlocked, way too much work in-flight and everything at a snail’s pace.
The traditional PMO is often too passive, providing governance, reporting and process that can actually slow the organisation down, and then simply monitor the chaos, rather than enabling solutions.
Is it time for the PMO to be repurposed?
Adrian discusses how the PMO of the Future can be influential by focusing on value and playing a key role in optimising the delivery system. Applying agile and lean principles can be a good start.

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Adrian describes the conventional view of PMO as an entity that simply reports on what has happened (while demanding lots of information from those already overloaded at sharp end of activities), yet being unable to provide meaning to what is going on, prepare forecasts or problem avoidance strategies – features that would clearly add “value” to the enterprise.  The very apt analogy he uses is of a photo journalist watching a car crash.
Reporting on what the PMO sees is o.k., but it needs to remain elevated from it in order to place events in perspective and highlight any contributing factors (especially when things go wrong) and any potential dangers or remedies that might only be observable from the “helicopter view” of the project.  Adrian calls this approach to reporting as “creative disruption”.
Again, there is no rule-book for developing this approach, and as projects and programmes of all kinds get more complicated and uncertain the PMO has to be creative in finding solutions. A starting point might be to ask stakeholders what is of use or value to them.  Some will know what they want, some will not be so sure and may need advice/support from the PMO.  In general, the PMO needs to enhance its reporting as shown in the following examples:
 
 

 

 
You can read more about the PMO of the Future from Adrian in this article, The PMO of the Future.
You can also see Adrian over on the YouTube channel too.

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