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PMO Servant Leadership: Rooting for a More Enabling Leader

Nationwide’s portfolio manager Richard Hendrickse talked about PMO servant leadership at PMO Conference in London. With companies adopting the Agile methodology, only servant leaders will survive. In this article at Strategy Execution, Lindsay Scott discusses the rising popularity of PMO servant leadership.

Prepping Up for the PMO Servant Leadership

‘Authenticity’ and ‘community’ define servant leadership. Following are the traits that Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership’s Larry Spears thinks a servant leader should own:

  • Listening: The first trait that a PMO servant leadership should possess is listening. They should listen like they really want to and then comment.
  • Empathy: Servant leaders put themselves in other’s shoes to understand emotions. Their mode and style of communication changes as per the individual.
  • Healing: They prefer mending differences and conflicts by working around the issues.
  • Awareness: Servant leaders have knowledge about the goings-on in the company but do not try to control situations.
  • Persuasion: They get things done where they are responsible but have no real power or say.
  • Conceptualization: People can turn to them to simplify a complex situation.
  • Foresight: They solve today’s problems based on lessons learned from previous experience.
  • Stewardship: The PMO servant leadership should be looking after the project management aspect of the company.
  • Commitment to the Growth of Others: Servant leaders encourage people to grow.
  • Creating a Community: They create a strong sense of belonging in the team so that the team members look out for each other.

Serving for Too Long:

Majority of the PMOs are working as per directed even today. Agile encourages team ownership, taking unprecedented but calculated risks, and making new paths. Traditional PMO will not survive if it does not adapt to this new environment.

Former Greenleaf CEO and current Cairnway founder Joe Iarocci reveals what PMO servant leadership should work on now:

  • Learn about Agile methodologies, especially SAFe.
  • An Agile PMO stresses on reporting, business cases, and benefits realization.
  • Be the Agile mentor during the adoption process.
  • Train people regarding Agile.
  • Be flexible to work on hybrid approaches and both sets of tools.
  • Concentrate on value delivery. Deliver fast and frequently.
  • Encourage teams as well as the organization to become agile.
  • Use principles to facilitate functions and processes.

Being the Servant Leader:

PMO leaders relate to sincere efforts and team building more often than project managers. To encourage PMO servant leadership, have answers ready for the following questions:

  • What do you prioritize while choosing a PMO leader—experience or potential?
  • Do you train people or rely on mentors to help them grow?
  • Do you give room to work on new skills like inculcating servant leadership traits?
  • Is the PMO taking responsibilities of people’s progress?
  • Do you have a community of practice (CoP)?
  • Who do you acknowledge—the silent servant leader or the bossy cynosure?
  • Who leads your PMO?
  • Is there any PMO tradition you follow or stories you share with others?

To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://www.strategyex.co.uk/blog/pmoperspectives/the-servant-leader-pmo/

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