Please read the attached articles. Based on the facts of the case and any additional research you perform answer the following questions:
1. Both articles relate to the PMO. However, the Power Shift article is more recent. Based on your studies in this course to date, what has changed? Or has anything really changed and the more recent article is an extension of the first article because of changes in the marketplace? Please make sure you support your argument using what we have been studying in the course to help you.
2. Based on the 2 articles create a list (3 or more) of the characteristics that a new PMO team member should have and explain why you believe they are needed.
3. How often would you revisit PMO policies after creating the PMO. Remember the articles discuss strengthening the PMO to some degree but remember, you will need to revisit policies to ensure they are relevant and sustained as the organization matures. Please explain your position about revisiting PMO policies and consider what you have read in the course.
4. Create a mission statement and vision statement for a PMO. Make sure it is compelling and that you understand the difference between mission and vision statementsLinks to an external site.. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzhJNiQ3vMM)
5. What do these articles suggest to you about the importance of leadership? Keep in mind there is a difference in the time each article was written.
FEBRUARY 2020 PM NETWORK 67
T he project management office (PMO) is responsible for creating the project culture in an organization. So when organizations launch a PMO, or shift
or expand the focus of an existing PMO, they are creating a new core environment to which project professionals must adapt.
Although many technical aspects of the PMO might be familiar, education is crucial in order to quickly ensure teams align fully with the PMO’s strategy and governance. Here are three ways that project managers can help others transition to PMO-driven culture change:
1. Identify the strategic objectives of the PMO. If you understand the PMO’s purpose within the organization and recognize how it’s aligned with corporate strategy, you will have a better vision for your project and a clear template for sharing that vision across the team. Your project should trans-
late strategic objectives of the PMO into everyday project practices. For example, if the PMO’s goal is to improve training and organizational support for delivery staff, how can you create time and space for your project team to focus on skills develop- ment? What can you do to enhance collaboration in and between projects?
2. Understand the organizational structure, the clients and the team. Typically, project stakeholders and team members have great insight into the PMO’s structure. But that framework can sometimes look a bit fuzzy to those outside the PMO. A project manager once told me she had encountered several PMOs where this information wasn’t clear—so she gathered it herself. There was no organization chart available, so she developed one, presented it to her team and showed that she was on top of the game. By provid- ing team members with clarifying information, they have better context to understand expecta- tions and how to meet them.
3. Build empathy and trust within the team. A new PMO can mean new faces and reshuffled teams, which can make it difficult to build col- laborative relationships. Project managers must show empathy and gain the trust of team members within the wider PMO. Storytelling is a good tool for building trust. Active listening that includes asking powerful questions is another good way to get to know the people around you and understand the culture of the PMO. Over time, it won’t feel like a new group; it will feel like your group.
Project managers must become change agents to ensure teams properly integrate with a new PMO. Your behavior sets an example for the team. A positive attitude will go a long way toward creating a project culture that supports and achieves the goals of the PMO. PM
Voices CULTURE CLUB
Karen Smits, PhD, is an organizational anthropolo- gist working at Practical Thinking Group in Sydney, Australia. She can be reached at karen.smits@ practical-thinking.com.
Focus on strategy and empathy to align with a new PMO. By Karen Smits
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