It's time for another speaker to share his opinions with us. Alfonso is a project manager with nearly 30 years of experience, which he gained working for, i.a. a Spanish department of Hewlett-Packard. Member of many international associations and organizations, such as PMI®, ALI or IPMA. Founder and lifelong chairman of PMI Barcelona Chapter, now one of PMI® Mentors. As a project management believer, he has no doubts that passion, persistence and patience are the ultimate keys for project success.
1. Why PMOs takes various forms in organizations?
In my experience the PMO should be created to address the organizational urgencies in project management. It is because in each organization the PMO may be created in a different form. Just because it needs to address different needs from the organization Stakeholders. When I managed my first PMO implementation project, my PMO addressed the need of elaborating better and better project proposals at the beginning, and then I was defining more PMO services according to my stakeholder needs. There is not perfect PMO form, it needs to be customized according to the organizational needs.
2. What is your main argument for creating a PMO; why organizations should implement PMO ideas?
Every organization needs to answer the following questions before moving forward with a PMO project:
- Why do we need a PMO?
- What will be the cost of creating a PMO?
- What is the value of creating a PMO for the organization, the customers and the project managers?
If your organization is able to answer those questions, you may move forward. If not, you need to reflect upon the PMO ideas. Perhaps your organization is not mature enough in project management and you need to spend some time with Executives talking about the project management discipline.
3. What key competences make a good PMO manager?
In my experience a PMO manager is a change leader. The PMO is a good mechanism to move the organization to a Project Based Organization or something close to that. So I’d say the key competencies are as follows:
- Project Management believer
- Some years of experience as a Practitioner (Project Manager)
- Enough knowledge about the Organization and its strategy
- Works well with people
- Positive attitude
- Good communication skills
- Good sales kills
- Good negotiating skills
- Good presentation skills
4. You need to gain support for a new PMO or new process originating in the PMO, who is your first port of call and how do you gain your support?
The first step for me is to understand WHY? I mean asking, why do we need a PMO? What is the strategic reason for that? That way you will be able to discuss the reasons and find the arguments to sell it into the organization stakeholders. The second thing is to identify the ADVANTAGES and BENEFITS. To gain support you need the buy in from management. Because of that you will need to talk in the language management understand.
5. How do you show the benefit and value the PMO brings to the organization?
Management needs to see and appreciate the PMO Value. So the PMO leader needs to achieve small and tangible results as soon as possible. You will demonstrate the value through small results over the time. It is a selling process; people need to be convinced about the PMO value added. Every time I managed a PMO implementation project I tried to get small and quick results, that way I’m convincing people about we can do it together, you are gaining credibility and based on that you will be able to move forward and achieve project success.
You need to show small benefits in a continuous way but step by step, and you need to be conscious about the stakeholders needs will vary over the time.