5. Become a Trusted Advisor
The enviable role of Trusted Advisor is quite attainable for PMO leaders. In fact, there is no other role quite as well positioned in an organization to hold the keys to the most important priorities that the organization undertakes. The PMO is the driver of change. The PMO can be the home of business transformation, the way the business will launch into the future to bigger and better opportunities. When executives need to make decisions, they’re looking to you because you have the right information that can help drive those decisions. You have oversight and insight on the portfolio of projects that are happening, and you can help them drive the outcomes they’re trying to look to accomplish across their strategic objectives. By applying the mindset shifts and techniques that we have covered in the IMPACT PMO Leader Mindset framework, you will become the “go to” resource in the organization to help inform business thinking and decision-making, thereby making you and your PMO an invaluable strategic asset critical to the future of your firm.
6. Take Time to Train Your Sponsor
We make a lot of assumptions about our sponsors for the PMO and our projects. We expect a lot from them and many times, they don’t live up to our expectations. However, most of the time there are things we could do to help them understand their role and provide the right level of support for the PMO. First, make sure they are the sponsor. Do they really care about this PMO and have the ability and capacity to support the effort and champion the changes you are bringing to the organization? If not, then you may want to seek other stakeholders that will truly be a champion for your PMO and engage them to support you where you need it. Second, make sure to give sponsors the resources and information necessary for them to support you. Prepare them for meetings, provide them the right level of detail to help guide and support your PMO, and make sure they know what is expected in the role and how to support you.
7. Make the PMO Permanent
One of the first things many PMO leaders do when they start a PMO is create a charter. A charter isn’t the right mechanism for communicating the business plans for a PMO UNLESS you are intending to create a temporary organization. Charters are for projects or temporary endeavors. If your PMO is intended to support a single project or program, then you really have a project-specific office and the charter for the project or program itself is sufficient. If you are creating a PMO that is meant to be a sustainable business unit managing, supporting or guiding multiple projects, programs or portfolios, then you need to create a business plan. Business plans are for sustainable business units that are meant to last beyond one project or program. Think about the other business units in your organization. Does the marketing department create a charter? How about the finance team? Nope. They create business plans to show how their business unit will drive IMPACT and support the overall organization. Set your PMO up for success from the beginning by treating it like a sustainable business unit. You don’t want people to have a tentative or “half in” mindset. You want people thinking that this PMO is going to be here for the long run, like any other business unit. That means they can’t ignore it and need to engage.