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How do you ensure PMO’s are sustainable, effective and engaged?

Written by Chris McGowan

It must be mindset and disposition. That’s the feeling I was left with after attending the PMO Panel discussion last week facilitated by my colleague, Gary Yorke. The event included a fantastic lineup of panelists including Chris Bonfield of QBE Insurance, Spela Adamic of Amaysim, and Nathan Horrigan of AGL Energy.

I mean, I laughed out loud a couple of times which is not an outcome I expected. I’ve been around project services and PMO people for 20 years now and I’ve met and worked with some brilliant people but honestly, fun hasn’t always been the first descriptor that springs to mind. Yet here I was having “fun” thinking when did hipsters infiltrate the PMO.

In no particular order, I decided to jot down the list of key factors enabling the success of an EPMO in very serious, traditional, and in some cases global offices. Here are my key takeaways:

Mindset, acceptance, tactics and tools are arbitrary headings I selected so let’s not get caught up on them. But what is clear is that the contemporary PMO person (who interestingly still do not refer to themselves as ‘the executive’) must do far more than be the ‘guardian’ of process. There seems to be broader breadth of skill and experience required, accompanied by a mindset and what were originally called soft skills, but these days are seen as anything but soft (I.E thinking of @Brene Browns work on vulnerability, compassion and other people’s needs is hard, especially in the context of often less than forgiving corporate cultures).

The panel event certainly got me thinking of the future of PMO’s and what tools and tactics organisations are utilising to reap lasting benefits. If you have insight into PMO trends or if any of the above resonates with you, I’d love to have a chat. Connect with me via LinkedIn here.
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