Agile PMOContinuous ImprovementExecution ExcellencePMO TrendsProject Management Office

How PMOs Can Survive These 3 Workplace Trends

Magenic National Project Manager Michael Dougherty points out that the traditional PMOs enforce standards and consistency. In this new era of software development, this format fails. If a PMO wants to survive, it must evolve to keep pace with the competition and fast iterative project cycles. In this article at Wrike, Michael Lowe discusses how PMOs can survive the 3 popular workplace trends.

The PMO Focus

Laura Barnard reveals that mostly project managers get promoted to PMO roles. So, the main emphasis is on standards, processes, tools, templates, etc. The current business scenario would rather see faster product developments than workforce complying with procedures. Following are the 3 workplace trends that a PMO must survive:

  1. From Cost Reduction to Value Addition: PMOs deem a project successful if it satisfies the triple constraints of time, budget, and scope. Barnard says that today’s business leaders want more than that. Instead of stressing on immediate project gains, the PMOs should have an enterprise-wide approach. Barnard suggests asking the right questions and understand the business goals. Dougherty advises that PMOs must be more approachable and engaging by having direct communications with business units. The best way for a PMO to add value is by generating revenue.
  2. Change Management: Barnard observes that you cannot survive the change if you do not evolve. A PMO usually gathers data, analyzes, and then take actions. Bobcat Academy PMO trainer Oliver Yarbrough says that in an agile environment the scope evolves as you progress. Since the PMO leaders and project managers are thorough with the processes, they can become the change leaders. Consultant Bruce Garrod suggests that the PMO educate the agile adopters and help them align with the organizational processes. Further, Yarbrough opines that it can act more like a ‘facilitator’ by removing the projects barriers. Barnard wants PMOs to leverage newest technologies for real-time data analysis and decision-making abilities.
  3. Technology Adoption: Yarbrough informs that automation can take up any jobs that have rule-defined processes, even a PMO’s. The PMO leaders should adopt innovative technologies early and know how to utilize them. They can look after the management of the entire automation process. After the PMO leaders set up automation processes for projects, they are free to ideate and build new strategies. They can get to the bottom of the challenges business units face every day. Machines can automate functionalities, but you need human creativity for projects. PMOs can provide guidance to project managers and teams for project development.

Keeping Updated

The PMO will be relevant if its add value to your company. For that, it must know the evolving roles, functions, and framework. PMOs must have a holistic approach rather than narrowing down the focus to a project or portfolio of projects. Regularly communicate to the higher authorities about the PMO benefits. Imbibe an agile mentality to enable faster project developments. Become the leader of the change management process and help in adopting new technologies.

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