Relive it again: WORKSHOP

It’s time to finish the series of memories with a description of the workshop session that happened at the second day of the Conference. The workshop “Leading and Delivering the Best PMO for your Business” by Peter Taylor was highly evaluated because of many interactive exercises, best practice sharing and interesting case studies. Let us remind you the highlights of the day.

The workshop started with interactive integration games in groups. Thanks to that participants get to know each other but also persons with the most special characteristics among them. Then they discussed a question what does PMO mean to them, what are the biggest challenges and advantages of PMO. The conclusion was that a purpose of PMO is to introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects, to reduce project risk through common practice and quality assurance, and to link business strategy to project based execution of that strategy.

Peter presented to discuss 5 types of PMO from organizational perspective: departmental PMO, special–purpose PMO, outreaching (supplier) PMO, customer (external) PMO, and enterprise PMO. Besides of that, the second dimension of showcase PMO is its operational mode that can be supporting, controlling, directive, or blended. As an exercise participants declared what they think about their organisation. As a result, a sheet of many types of PMOs was created. It showed that all PMOs are not equal.

There are 5 levels of PMO: ad hoc, defined, controlled, measured, and optimized. Peter gave advices for a PMO “Acid Test” to estimate a level of your PMO, and at the end he served 10 lessons how to sustain your PMO and reach the best level.

Another discussed problem was a successful PMO Leader and his/her characteristics. Every organizational level and every culture has an another concept of a perfect PMO Leader. Project Management combines competencies from business, leadership, technical and personal approaches. Groups discussed in detail all of them to deeply understand how complicated is that question.

When the characteristics of a successful PMO Leader were known, it was time to describe the best PMOs. Among desirable attributes were: consistency, transparency, flexibility, education, methodology and assurance. These properties were matched on a matrix metioned by Peter in his speech the day before – The PMO “5 Ps” (just for the record: People, Process, Performance, Promotion, PMIS).

Peter developed four “greenfield” PMOs in the last 10 years. To show that this can be a very rewarding experience, but equally not an easy one to find the right line to balance the projects and the business demands, he presented a few case studies of successful PMOs.

After the workshop, the participants are able to:

- understand the meaning and purpose of a successful PMO,

- appreciate the 5 basic types of PMO and recognise the 4 operational modes of PMOs,

- take the ‘PMO pulse’ of their PMO and identify areas for improvement,

- design a PMO that their organisation really needs.

And they learnt it in an interesting way from a very inspiring PMO expert. The knowledge gained during the workshop, the helpful tips, and the established connections will be for sure used by the participants in the next future.

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