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What Does an Ideal PMO Team Look Like?

It’s another of our 12 Stand Up for PMO Days Before Christmas and insights from the PMO Unconference earlier in the year. This is the eleventh (pipers piping) and it’s taken from the PMO Unconference Board.

At the beginning of the day we asked attendees to post up some of the questions they would like to see covered during the day. In this post we take a look at just one of the questions, What Does an Ideal PMO Team Look Like?

It wasn’t just one person’s question – with the powers of dot voting we could see that others were also interested in this one.

What Does an Ideal PMO Team Look Like?

The quick and unimaginative answer is… it depends. It depends on the type of organisation; the type of programmes and projects being delivered; how mature an organisation is; what the culture of the organisation is; how complex and complicated delivery of change is; what the appetite for a PMO is and the kind of sponsor and leader of the PMO there is.

In other words it relies alot on the context in which a PMO is being set up – and why its needed.

We’ve seen throughout the years that the PMO bangs on about providing value to the organisation – how to do that, what the value actually is and who really cares.

I think we can say that the ideal PMO team will be one that the organisation wants – rather than the one a PMO Manager thinks they need.

An Ideal PMO Team

Another answer for this question is to look at the functions and services the PMO needs to offer in order to give the organisation what they need (assuming that they know what they want from a PMO).

That’s where the Appendix F of the P3O manual has been really useful for people in PMOs over the last ten years. It’s the information in there that providers a starter for ten to pull together a service catalogue for any type of PMO – project, programme or portfolio PMO.

The ideal PMO team would of course be one which is able to provide the services that have been selected by the organisation. And it’s an ideal PMO team who are also able to flex and change to bring in new services – or drop ones no longer needed.

An ideal PMO team is one which shows an appropriate level of competent to do the tasks required – so that’s the right type of PMO role assigned to the right kind of work.

What are the PMO Roles?

What roles are we talking about when we think about a PMO team? Some of the 21 listed in the P3O manual? All of them? What about what’s missing? And the new types of tasks and activities that are coming down the line in PMO (data analytics?) who does those, someone new or are they incorporated into existing roles.

How do you choose who is in or out of a PMO team? A list of services offered by the PMO mapped onto the skills and competency levels of the people in the PMO? How about addressing the gaps – where services offered have no-one in the team equipped and skilled to carry them out?

The stats over recent years tells us that the most popular type of PMO is a programme level PMO and staffed by just one or two people. There is no luxury here to offer all the services that potentially provide real value to the organisation and there’s certainly no way these PMOs can offer the services carried out by the 21 roles identified in P3O.

The ideal PMO team in this situation is the best combination of people who can offer just enough due to the constraints of budget and headcount.

What’s Your Ideal PMO Team?

My ideal PMO team is one that is trained, experienced and skilled to do the work which the organisation wants. It’s a team that works together to do an exceptional job – a team that is passionate about what they do and chooses the best person to do a job based on their individual knowledge, skills and behavioural levels. They’re a team that learns together and is not afraid to try and fail.

They’re a team that are approachable, with a great sense of humour and shows loyalty and builds trust with everyone they work with and come into contact with. They’re a team that give PMO a good name. And want to continue building that good name and reputation. It’s a team that has opportunities to stretch and challenge themselves – and a team that are happy to support and help others thrive.

So how about you – what makes your ideal PMO team? Leave your comments below and let’s see what others think too.  

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