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Transform the Way Your PMO Operates

By Joe Pusz

This is the time when many people make New Year’s resolutions. Optimism abounds as people write down their goals: “Lose 20 pounds by the summer”, “No more junk food”, or “Exercise at least 4 days a week”. 

Then February comes.  

Statistics show that nearly 80% abandon their resolutions by February. Eighty percent! People settle back into their routines and don’t think about changing again until the following December. 

What about the 20% who stick to their resolutions? What are they doing differently? Those who accomplish their goals have a reason to change. Their ‘Why’ overcomes the simpler choice of doing nothing.  These people are willing to invest time and money into achieving results that will last. 

PMOs Need to Transform How they Operate 

Likewise, PMOs in poor health need to make a major change to restore their health. One underlying reason why PMOs need to change is to stay relevant to the business, deliver value, and not be the first on the chopping block when times get tough. 

How do we know PMOs are in poor health?  Check out the latest stats from the 2022 Research Report from The PMO Squad:  

  • Only 43% of PMOs would rate themselves as successful, 
  • 78% don’t have a process in place to measure PMO Value, and 
  • Only 59% measure executive leader satisfaction. 

Some PMO Leaders will attempt to make healthy changes by investing in coaches, consulting firms, and mentors as Q1 begins. Hope is in the air as these experts provide insights and recommendations to prevent becoming a statistic. Come February and March, though, these good ideas have been abandoned and replaced by the way things have always been done. 

Taking a Dose of Our Own Medicine 

Transformation is the key to a healthy PMO, and transformation means change. Changing the way your PMO operates is a project in and of itself that would benefit from Change Management discipline. PMO Leaders can use Change Management techniques such as the ADKAR Model (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement) from Prosci to assist in their transformation. 

One of the best ways to teach others how to do something is to model the behavior yourself. Actions speak louder than words, and if other teams see the transformation your PMO is going through and the positive results, they’ll be apt to follow.  

So, are you ready to get out of the rut your PMO is in, delivering projects that are just on time, under budget and in scope? Anxious to start delivering projects that deliver real business value such as increased sales, lower costs, and more efficiency? Try implementing the ADKAR model in the following steps: 

  1. Raise Awareness – Communicate to your team the vision of where you want your PMO to be by the end of the next year and the reason why.
  2. Instill Desire – Instill the desire to change in your team. Focus on the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) and how their lives will be better because of saved time, fewer reports, more job security, etc.
  3. Impart Knowledge – Give your team the tools and training they will need to implement the change.
  4. Enable Ability – Empower your team to act upon the change and make a difference on each of their projects.
  5. Provide Reinforcement – Regularly review and reflect on how much better the PMO is operating and perceived by business partners.

Working through this iterative process will prevent you from being just another February Failure in the coming year. Don’t be a statistic. Zero in on the “why” your PMO needs to change, and then make it stick in the year ahead! 

Joe Pusz

PMO Joe is an internationally recognized leader in the Project Management and PMO community. He is the President and Founder of The PMO Squad a US based premier Project Management Consultancy.  He is a frequent Keynote Speaker, Author, Project Management Innovator, and is a Finalist for 2022 World PMO Influencer of the Year by the PMO Global Alliance. Joe speaks on topics of Leadership, PMOs, Purpose Driven Mindset, the Project Management Journey, and a variety of other trending Project Management topics.

Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.

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