Learn how to setting your PMO

Everyone starts at some point and someone who is setting up a PMO for the first time may find it difficult. With this article from Parwaaz Consulting Corporation you can have the whole process under control in 100 days.

Is it risky to do it without experience? Maybe.

Is it possible? Yes.

In this post you can see the points to work for it.

1. Ways to Become a Project Management Office Leader

Two categories are addressed to become head of PMO:

  • In the conventional way. In which a business analyst who becomes a project manager and then a portfolio manager and then a PMO leader. Or it could be a PMO analyst or a consultant (doing project management work) who becomes a program manager and then a PMO leader. And we haven’t even included other roles like Software Architects or Designers in the mix. Although this is a conventional journey, there is no exact assignment of the role of a PMO leader.
  • In an unconventional way. That, depending on the needs of the organization, you can jump from a role to a PMO boss directly because you know the entrances and exits of the company, you know who to work with and in what and how to do things.
    It’s strange to start with the less conventional way in a large, established company. It’s usually not the first time a PMO has been established within a large organization and, in their true intent, they apply what they learned from their previous attempts to establish a scalable and sustained PMO. These companies also often have the resources to hire someone (consulting firms or people with experience) or to promote someone from within (with the right combination of skills and experience) to solve problems in the process, structure and everything related to the PMO.

It is strange to start with the less conventional way in a large and established company. In general, it is not the first time that a PMO is considered within a large organization and, in its true intention, is learned or learned from previous attempts to establish a scalable and sustained PMO. These companies also usually have the resources to hire someone (consulting firms or people with experience) or to promote someone from within (with the combination of the right skills and experience) to solve problems in the process, structure and everything. what is related to the PMO.

2. Skills needed to play the role

There are innumerable ways to develop the role of PMO, and it requires different facets, and each organization has different needs and requires different skills. Before starting the role of a PMO leader, you NEED to have a basic knowledge of the processes, standards and techniques involved in project management. It’s your job: setting standards and governance, aligning the project portfolio with the organization’s strategies and testing the need and value of the PMO supports your team by removing obstacles in its path. While these responsibilities DO need understanding of project management, they also require organizational knowledge (strategy, culture, regulatory needs, pain points, etc.), specific business knowledge (HR, Marketing, Procurement, etc.). , especially if it is a function-based PMO) and, what is more important, People’s skills (relationship building, influence, negotiation, facilitation, etc.) PEOPLE’s skills and understanding of PEOPLE MANAGEMENT PROJECTS are not negotiable for paper. ORGANIZATIONAL skills are very good to have, while having SPECIFIC knowledge of the business really depends on the nature of the PMO.

3. Ideas that need to be applied

 Even if it is the first time you set up a PMO, it will be considered THE expert immediately within your organization. To show that you are the right choice for the role, you must show that you are prepared for the following: Show KNOWLEDGE: Bring your global thinking to the table and also quickly identify the context of the PMO configuration, assess the immediate challenges you may face and know who you can count on. Have the correct ATTITUDE: This is it! Your willingness to have a “can do” attitude and be flexible when necessary will serve you well throughout your PMO configuration journey. Moving with URGENCY: Time is of the essence and the success of your PMO lies in the perception that you have your organization of it. Take action quickly and feel free to show that you are moving. In fact, be sure to share your plans, actions and results with the right audience.

4. Step-by-Step to set up a PMO in 100 days

The first 100 days for any leader who enters the office marks an important milestone. He is judged by performance during that period and the opinion established during that time persists throughout his term. As a leader of the PMO, you must take this standard on yourself. It is very likely that this will not be established as an expectation of your stakeholders, but this plan of action will be widely appreciated by them.

Days 0 – 28 >> ​​Phase I: Evaluate maturity

Key steps: Understand the current status of the PMO and the organization in which it resides (If there is no PMO currently in operation, skip this step) Place the organization under the lens and evaluate its focus on processes, synergies between departments , the maturity of decision making and technological orientation. (It helps you evaluate the conditions of preparation to have a PMO) Determine the strengths, weaknesses, gaps and, consequently, place the PMO within the appropriate maturity level (Can you set up a mature PMO from the beginning? PMO of incipient level and plan its maturity over time?) The 3 main elements of the checklist Identify the main stakeholders and interview them. (Understand pain points and wishes, review who you can count on to support you, who might be obstacles to you, who needs to educate about PMOs and start building relationships) Evaluate PMO staff and resources and determine any immediate hiring needs (Suggestions similar to those of interested parties: your staff are also your stakeholders!) Identify quick wins to be achieved in 100 days (For example, these can be 1. useful, instructional templates, OR 2. project management standards in a language other than project management so that others can understand them, quick wins really depend on the challenges you have identified during your interviews) ALERT: The most common reason why PMOs fail it is due to (lack of) acceptance of executives. Pay special attention to i) educate your executives about PMOs, ii) align with them about the influence and responsibilities of your PMO and, most importantly, iii) build relationships with them to buy from YOU, YOUR ideas and , finally, YOUR PMO.

Days 21 – 49 >> Phase II: establish the target state and define the roadmap

Key steps Define the objective status for the PMO according to the executive sponsorship and adaptation capacity of the organization: the evolution of the PMO is directly proportional to that of your organization (If you try to be more mature than your organization can accept that be, you will not succeed) Determine the scope of the PMO in terms of its function, target business areas and geographical locations, and the nature of the projects it must address (This is KEY and must obtain an absolute and decided agreement with its sponsors Use your negotiation options to get as close as possible to the great vision you have for your PMO, even if evolution is expected to be in phases. Specify metrics and qualitative indicators to measure the performance of the PMO (YOU must push this conversation and establish the metrics and indicators that make sense for your PMO in your organization and seek agreement from your stakeholders) The 3 main it is elements of the checklist and finalize PMO business case (This is the tool to use to achieve all the key steps mentioned above for Phase 2. Do you not have a business case template in your organization? Create one If you do, use it and do not waste time creating something else) – executives get used to how they see and translate information – if a form works well, then take advantage of it to get your vision of PMO. Start hiring resources to help set up PMO (Start now so you have help in time to start running the PMO configuration) Identify 1-2 milestones to achieve in 100 days. (In Phase 1, you identified some quick wins you can achieve in the first 100 days, in Phase 2, add to that by adding 1-2 important achievements that you can realistically achieve).

Days 35 – 84 >> Phase III: Prioritize and implement

Key steps Implement pilot PMO (s) (This is where the actual action takes place: implement the plan and make it a reality, usually one (1) pilot is sufficient and, in general, there is a threshold to do just one before full gradual implementation, but should not hesitate) to eliminate any learning from the pilot and initial launch phases to include in the execution of subsequent phases) Prioritize sections / phases of deployment PMO (This depends on the scope and area of ​​influence of the PMO: will it first deploy several PMO services or will it focus on a particular set of stakeholders before others or perhaps limit its deployment to a specific geography?) Implement full deployment (There is not much more to say here) The 3 main ones Elements of the checklist Incorporate the lessons learned from the pilot (s) and update the PMO business case (The update of the business case is important because it is or that will be used to judge the performance of the PMO; if something was found during the pilot that is worth scoring, do not ignore this important step) Carry out road shows throughout the organization. (Let your stakeholders know that the PMO is approaching them – make it an exciting and exciting experience for them, and that is why I am not suggesting that you spend a lot of money to have a “grand entrance” party: I AM, however, point out that you personalize your message for each stakeholder group that relates to the reason why the PMO will benefit you, link this to the conversations you had with them in Phase 1 and make them feel that THEY are the reason why ‘re configuring the PMO) Achieve an important milestone (This is one of the main milestones identified in Phase 2) ALERT: The introduction of processes and governance often meets the perception of bureaucracy and the ultra-police. In the first days, i) lean backwards to ensure that processes conform to the organizational culture and ii) focus on doing things instead of completing the documentation.

Days 77 – 100 >> Phase IV: Optimize

Key steps Evaluate the performance metrics of the PMO and request qualitative feedback from key stakeholders periodically (you need data to know how you are really doing it, make this a habit and you can always have support material to support the reason why you and your PMO must be present, plus you will also get Brownie points for showing your stakeholders that you are interested) Generate and share the PMO progress report with key stakeholders (Be proud to share what others think of you) Establish commercial reasons to motivate the organization to achieve the next level of maturity, focus or area of ​​impact of PMO (Grow your PMO according to what you hear and see, in this way, your organization will increase according to the capacity of your organization to accept your PMO). The 3 main elements of the checklist Create a panel of standard PMO progress metrics (This will take a couple of iterations to reach an acceptance point by your key stakeholders, but you will have this in place to report on the progress you make) Publish success early in the entire organization. (Is the first project completed on time? New easily understandable templates available? Refined work income process? Communicate with all members of your company .Place posters next to the elevators.Send them through the monthly newsletter of the company. Create your own special e-mail list, get someone else to praise you, get the point) Create a plan to increase the competence / skill / usability maturity of PMO staff and resources (Over time, the expectations of your PMO will increase and, inherently, the people who manage them, invest in the personal and professional development of their resources so they can support you in the execution of the growth of your PMO).

5. Increase the chances of success of your PMO

Did you know that 50% of PMO fail in 3 years? That is the reality according to the Association for Project Management. A frightening thought, Pay special attention to the alerts that were mentioned earlier in the publication. Also, use these TIPS to tip the balance your way: Maintain a mindset of adding value to your leadership while helping project managers at the same time: Be transparent with your project managers as much as you can; they are your first line and can make or break you Do not forget to learn at work: The role of a PMO Leader is fast with many expectations from the beginning. You need to quickly identify your plan and move full steam ahead. Although you may have the required skills, nothing surpasses the experience to obtain a great learning at work. Stand on the shoulders of those who have been there and can help you think big, see ahead or just be a sounding board. Find mentors within your organization if you have other PMOs. Outside of mentors can also be a fantastic resource, as they can provide you with personalized advice on request that you can apply in a timely and effective manner. Gather the right people to help you deliver: Surround yourself with the appropriate resources of the portfolio / program / project managers and Business analysts you can trust. They can deliver the pilot and be champions for it. You need people who understand the Company and well Metric systems involved and can translate data into information. Vision of the PMO and purchase in it.

We believe that carefully following these steps will help your company to easily adapt to a Project Management Office.