024: Making the PMO Sustainable2019-11-14T09:11:37-05:00

Transcript: Making the PMO Sustainable

This episode is sponsored by:

Welcome to the PMO Strategies Podcast + Blog, where PMO leaders become IMPACT Drivers!

Welcome back to the last session in this six part series that include my game changing techniques to help you build, run and accelerate the performance of your PMO. 

We started back in episode 19 talking about the questions to ask before starting a PMO and if you’ve already got a PMO in place, those questions are still good to validate that you’re continuing to provide the value your organization truly needs and then we went into a series of steps that you want to take to properly build a PMO that your stakeholders and your business leaders are begging for. In fact, demanding it. After we asked the questions that should be asked before you start a PMO or before you start making any changes to your PMO. Then we did some work to assess the organization for IMPACT opportunities.

In episode 20 and 21 we talked about how to define the right services for your PMO and 22 we talked about how to build an IMPACT Delivery Roadmap that has you showing value quickly and regularly so that you can continue to build credibility and have that really important sponsor and stakeholder engagement and support. You want to get their attention and then keep their attention.

Then we went into actual delivery and what do you really need to do to deliver these services in a way that helps people understand the value you’re bringing to the table. We talked about marketing communications, something that is almost always missed with PMO leaders, and I’m not talking about sending a newsletter or an email or doing a PowerPoint presentation. I’m talking about the real deal, the stuff that your stakeholders connect to understand the value of the PMO is delivering and then today we are talking about how do you continue to evolve and create a sustainable PMO.

We’ve got to make sure that the PMO is not a one-trick pony or is not a one-time activity. Now if you’re creating a PMO that is specifically for one project or one program and it goes away, fine, but a lot of PMOs are meant to be sustainable business units, which means that, remember back in episode 22 when we talked about putting together our plan, we have to have a business plan, not a charter for our PMO because it’s sustainable business unit and that means if we’re going to have a business plan, it’s got to talk about the evolution of our PMO and how we ensure that we continue to meet the ever-evolving needs and wants of our stakeholders and our organization as a whole. So if you have not listened to any of those prior episodes or if you are skipping around, I suggest that you go back and listen each one of those episodes builds on each other and gives you that holistic picture of what we’re talking about here with respect to a PMO that is high IMPACT, that is exceeding your organization’s requirements and continuing to deliver a high return on investment for your organization and your business leaders.

Ensure Sustainability and Longevity of your PMO

All right, so let’s dive in to step one in ensuring sustainability and longevity of your PMO and that is building a PMO Capability Roadmap that evolves back in episode 22 we talked about this, we talked about when we’re building our plan and coming up with the order that we’re going to start delivering services in and we start talking about those services and showing all of our stakeholders where they can find themselves and their pain points getting resolved.

In that roadmap, we talked about the fact that you want to make sure that you’re doing 90-day cycles. The importance of those 90-day cycles is making sure that you’re keeping the finite, you’re keeping the time finite and you’re delivering things at a frequency that keeps engagement high and that boosts your credibility as a PMO and for you as a PMO leader quickly.

So the key here to remember is that we want to continue with that 90-day cycle, that 90-day process. But the important part of that 90-day process for you as a PMO leader is the evaluation at the end of each of those 90-day cycles.

You want to be asking yourself questions around how did it go? Now we’ll go into monitoring PMO IMPACT more in just a moment, but first I just want to remind you that this is an evolution, not a revolution. You’ve got to pace yourself and ensure that you’re not shoving too many changes at your stakeholders too quickly.

One of the big problems that a lot of PMO leaders have if you’re anything like me, is that you have so many things you want to do to serve the organization. You have such a strong sense of urgency around the changes you want to create, and many times as PMO leaders we get in over our heads, but trying to do too much too fast and it would be better to roll out fewer services and have them work and really providing value than having a whole menu of services that nobody cares about, nobody’s engaging with or that simply don’t get the job done.

Now, let’s just say you’ve got tons of capacity and you can start delivering services at a much higher pace. Even then, just because you can do it doesn’t mean your organization can digest those changes that quickly and the number of changes all at once. A lot of times people feel that the changes being thrown at them are being pushed at them, shoved at them and are going to slow them down, add more steps to the process, create more bureaucracy. That’s what you’re fighting against. So if we start shoving a bunch of changes at people, even if it’s the medicine we know they need to take, they may not receive it very well. As organizations continue to evolve and streamline and become more nimble and flexible and agile, little “a” agile or even big “A” Agile, they are not going to want a lot of heavy processes thrown at them.

Most of the organizations that I talk to, when you talk to the business leaders, you will hear, “why do we need all this process? Why do we need so many steps? Why can’t you just get my projects done?” or we “add so much to this and it costs so much and time and energy and resources”. By the time we deliver those projects, they’re already behind the curve on meeting the return on investment objectives because they cost a lot more than we thought they would or then we have in our budget.

Remember that you want to pace yourself and it goes slower than you think it will and when you see that you aren’t meeting your IMPACT goals, you need time to adjust, to shift to evaluate why and determine what needs to change to keep everyone moving forward and because it will take longer than you think.

If you start doing what I call having “Thanksgiving eyes” and throwing too much on your plate at once or throwing too much on your stakeholders’ plates at once, then you won’t have the space and the mental capacity to truly evaluate what’s working and what’s not. You don’t want to just talk to your stakeholders when you’re doing that assessment work.

When you’re coming back now in what is module six in my IMPACT Engine PMO training program and start evolving your organization, evolving your PMO and your services and capabilities. You don’t just want to talk to your stakeholders, you want to listen to your stakeholders and if you are running in 15 different directions, you’re not going to hear what they’re telling you. You’re going to stay surface, not peel back the layers and they’ll start saying, “well I need such and such” and then you’ll think, “okay, well I’m going to go build that.”

When if you would’ve asked a few more questions and gone through that why, why, why, questioning process that I recommended to you in the assessment stage, you’d find out they don’t need that. What they need is something completely different.

Make sure that you’re taking the time and you’re patient with yourself. Trust me, I get it. I am not a patient person. I want IMPACT yesterday, always in every aspect of my life. I get it. However, your sanity lies in the patience that you apply to this entire process. Trust me on this one and on top of all of that, new things will come up that will require you to shift. And when your stakeholders start saying we need this change and we need that change or your business leaders start pushing things in a different direction or something urgent comes up, the answer has to be “yes and instead of, no, sorry we can’t fit that in.”

That’s one of the benefits of this 90-day cycle is that it’s enough time for you to get something implemented and say, yep, we can absolutely shift and do this thing you need now next and here’s what it will take. The goal is not that your roadmap remains perfectly executed. The goal is that it shifts when it needs to stay aligned with the organizational strategy in the needs. It’s all about flexibility. It’s meeting your business stakeholders where they are when they need you and providing real value quickly.

We’ve got to have space for letting go of the things that aren’t working and staying laser-focused on the things that are okay.

Monitoring the IMPACT of your PMO

My next tip is around monitoring the actual IMPACT your PMOs making. The reason we have these 30 90 cycles that I talked about in the planning stage is that we want to make sure that we’re frequently rolling out changes.

We have agility and flexibility built-in because we can roll something out and then shift gears in the next 90-day cycle. Also, we are keeping things fresh and we’re continuing to build momentum and credibility along the way because our stakeholders are seeing movement.

I was just in a group coaching call for my IMPACT Engine PMO training program and we have a self-study level and a group level. The group level is filled with peers that are trying to do this in their organizations. We have people in different States, some people are PMO leaders have one and they’re the whole PMO. Others have large teams and some are earlier in the program. Some are later in the program and there’s one thing that they all say this process, these game-changing techniques that are helping them move the needle in their organization and move it quickly.

That’s exactly what this is all about. You’ve got to be able to move the needle, and show visible progress along the way. Now the other thing to keep in mind is that busy is not high IMPACT. Just because the organization sees busy doesn’t mean they’re going to recognize that you’re getting anything done.

A lot of times PMO leaders will mistakenly measure things that don’t matter, like how many templates they’ve created or how many phase gates they have or how many projects they’re managing. What matters is those needles being moved, right? What matters is that they’re saving the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars here or they’ve accelerated the IMPACT of projects by streamlining the project management process or by training people on how to apply more agility to their projects or whatever it is. But each one of those needle movers are the things that your stakeholders will notice and it’s the things you want to continue to talk about.

As you’re going through and continue to evolve your PMO and applying these 90-day cycles, don’t forget about the 30 day part and that is that you measure progress every 30 days and I mean progress towards IMPACT, not progress towards the number of templates you create or progress towards rolling out a tool. Nobody cares about that. What they care about is how close are you to getting me to IMPACT I’m looking for and how much IMPACT are you creating for us? How much return on investment are you creating for us? How much savings are you creating for us? How much faster are our projects? That’s the kind of thing that they’re looking for.

Now when you’re measuring, you want to keep it to a core set of metrics I talked about earlier on that when you’re putting a roadmap together you want to make sure that you are measuring regularly and that you keep the number of measurements really, really tight and now that we’ve had a cycle or two or more a string to evolve our PMO and add more services and capabilities, then you might realize that there’s data missing that you need to incorporate, but you only want to add that to your reporting process.

If there’s a clear question that is being asked that you cannot answer and that a metric would help you answer these metrics can be valuable and helpful for you if they are used for good and not evil.

What I mean by that is a lot of these metrics take effort. Any time you measure something it does give you additional oversight, right? So you want to measure what you need to manage. At the same time, there is work effort put into gathering the data for this metric and monitoring this metric and then you need to make sure that a decision will happen as a result. That’s a good way to tell if a metric is worth measuring is if it will affect, truly affect a decision.

If it’s just nice to have or no movement happens or no change happens or no action is taken after somebody has that data, then it’s probably not a metric worth doing all of the investment in time and energy and focus to measure in the first place and a good way to do this as making sure that your metrics are tied to the why for your PMO so you can continue to bring everyone back to that bigger picture and show how the PMO is moving the needle for the organization as a whole.

Surveying your Stakeholders

Another thing that you want to consider is surveying your stakeholders. This is probably not something I would do in the 30-day marks. That’s more measuring how close you’re getting to the IMPACT or the IMPACT that you’re making with the PMO services and capabilities.

Every 90 days or so, and you can figure out what’s right for your organization, you want to survey your stakeholders. And when I say stakeholders, I’m not just talking about the customers that are the receivers of the services and capabilities, but all stakeholders. Survey all of the people that are at some point in that process at some point in that service.

It might be that you improved the way that your business unit is operating, but now there is a side effect with it and it actually is really happy about the fact that you put this service in place because now it gets better requirements, let’s say from your sales department on something that needs to get created.

You don’t want to lose that data, right? So you want to be asking all stakeholders that are directly or tangentially connected to this service or capability that you’ve created. There are hidden gems in there that will help you with your marketing and communications and help you show the value, tell the story, and connect to the big picture of why what you’re doing is moving the needle.

So four simple questions that you can ask and you can make this as formal or as informal as possible. Some organizations do better with anonymous surveys, other organizations do great with just, you know, let’s grab a coffee and ask them questions. But it’s four simple questions.

  1. What should you start doing?
  2. What should you stop doing?
  3. What should you save?
  4. What should you shift?

So that’s start, stop, save, and shift.

Start is asking what would improve their experience with the PMO, with the service or capability rolled out? What should they stop doing? Which means what is impeding progress? What is working well is the stuff you save and what needs adjustment?

These four simple questions will help you gauge your stakeholders, where they are on how they are receiving or experiencing the PMO services and capabilities. It’s all about your stakeholder experience.

Bring People Through the Change

I’d like to talk about something incredibly important here and I know it’s something that requires probably a whole series of episodes to tackle, but it’s so important to what I believe and so fundamental to the success of your PMO that I’ve got to talk about it here. As you’re thinking about evolving your PMO and that’s organizational change management. This is an often-underestimated area of positive or negative influence on your PMO.

I believe very strongly that no matter how great your solutions are that you create for your PMO if you do not bring people with you through the change process, you will not be successful. Period.

That resistance, you hit rolling out a new solution, the extra time. It always seems to take to get to a decision. That project manager that keeps doing things their way, no matter how much you’ve tried to get them to use your process. That’s all change resistance, my friend, and if you want to move past that to a high IMPACT PMO, you’ll need to bring them with you through the change process.

I don’t believe that people are resistant to change at all. I think it’s just a symptom of a lack of work on our part to bring people with us through the change process.

People are not inherently resistant to change. They’re resistant to having change done to them. I’m going to say it again because I know you’re rolling your eyes right now. People are not resistant to change. They are resistant to having changed done to them.

You still don’t believe me? Check this out – do you ever meet anyone that’s gotten married?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. That’s a huge change. What about having kids or picking up a new hobby? Gone to the gym, tried a new flavor of ice cream. Every single one of those is a change, but it’s a change that they most likely chose. And I think you get my point here. It’s not the change that they resisted. It’s the lack of control of their destiny.

It’s the fact that they weren’t consulted or asked or a part of the solution. That’s where change resistance comes from. It’s being a victim or upon in somebody else’s strategy. It’s not feeling like you have any sense of control over your destiny. So no matter how big or small the change is, if you don’t make them part of the solution, you will hit resistance. So make them part of the solution. It’s that simple.

Now, if you have listened to the episodes that I’ve been going through, in fact, all of the episodes that I’ve gone through at this point, you will see flavors and hints of change management sprinkled throughout. And that’s because I believe that it is so fundamental. My IMPACT engine PMO training course I talk about a lot is built on a strong foundation of this mindset. And I provide tons of techniques that are threaded through every lesson and module because that’s how you get change done so quickly and effectively in a way that makes it stick.

You thread it through everything you do, every conversation you have, every meeting you have thick about the roadmap. That roadmap is an organizational change management strategy in and of itself. If you hit resistance with implementing your PMO anywhere, it’s because you did not bring them with you through the change. Holding a town hall, sending out a newsletter or having a meeting does not a change management program make.

One of my clients that is a very, very large global organization with a big global IMPACT brought me in specifically for this reason in their HR department. And when I asked them how they had gone about rolling out these changes for this big program of work they were doing, they said, well, we held a town hall. And I said, okay, and then what did you do? And they said, well, we put together a PowerPoint presentation.

And I said, okay, keep going. And as we kept talking about the different things that they had done, it was sending an email, sending a newsletter, doing a PowerPoint presentation, holding a town hall, but nowhere in that conversation did we talk at all about how they were engaging, not talking at but engaging.

I didn’t hear any stories about Q and A conversations or more informal chats or bringing in some of those stakeholders from different parts of the organization that would be affected by the change to help build the change management strategy. So that’s what we did. We put together an organizational change management focus and then we included people in the change process. We had stakeholders from different parts of the organization that are a part of the solution and helped us figure out the best way to roll things out. Then things started moving forward so much more effectively with a lot less change resistance, a lot more ideas coming to the table.

A better overall total solution was ultimately created because we incorporated organizational change management into the changes they were trying to create. And one important point, you don’t want organizational change management to be a thing. It’s not a separate function. It’s woven in the fabric of everything you do.

You don’t outsource it to HR or an org development department and if you have one of those departments or a good function, leverage them for ideas, leverage them for support, but you need to own the change you are trying to create and you have total accountability for bringing people with you through the change process because no HR department or org development or org change team is going to be able to get the outcomes that you will be able to get by making it your responsibility and personally engaging in the change delivery process, the change development process and bringing everyone with you along the way.

In that same vein, I have another topic that I’d like to talk to you about related to change, but this time more focused on your team and it’s part of my adaptive management styles framework.

Now the way I look at management styles is a little bit different than how a lot of the typical systems that you’ve learned about in training or books talk about managing people. Everyone has, I’m sure heard about the management styles and how you should treat everyone individually and recognize and reward people based on how they want to receive recognition and rewards. Got it. You don’t publicly humiliate a team member who does not like public recognition. You do it in a more one-off kind of way. I understand that and do believe that that’s important. Everyone needs individualized care and feeding as a part of your team.

However, I believe there’s another layer to this that’s often missed and instead of just focusing on how they want to be recognized and rewarded, we also want to consider how familiar your team members are with the change you’re creating.

This isn’t just for your team members but also for all of your stakeholders. Think about it. Have you noticed that people act differently if they are being introduced to something new as opposed to doing something familiar? For example, if you are doing a project that has been done several different times, then it’s more or less familiar to people. They know how to engage in it, they know how to participate, and then now you throw a project at them that nobody’s ever done before. A different new way of thinking, new ideas, a new concept, maybe? Maybe the outcomes or how people are going to participate in the process isn’t clear. You get a different physical, mental and emotional reaction. That’s what I’m talking about. That level of comfort that people have with the change you’re introducing, so we have to make sure that we are taking the time to evaluate how big the changes that we’re creating and how familiar people are with that kind of change.

How does this apply to an individual project?

Consider how much transformation is happening with your project and how big of an IMPACT that’s going to have on your stakeholders. Remember not just your customers, but your project team members, other people that are IMPACTed as a result of that change happening. What will the outcomes be when this project is completed? Do jobs change? Do departments reorg? Do lives get easier, more complicated? Do people have to work harder? Will they be able to work less? What shifts will happen? Asking these questions will help you determine how you will need to adapt your management style to help people depending on where they are on that curve, on their familiarity with the change.

I have a whole framework on how you manage this inside my courses, but I just want you to think about if people are fighting internal emotions about the change during the process, it will slow you down and your job as a project manager or a PMO leader is to help them achieve the outcomes and that return on investment for the project as fast as possible.

So you need to be sensitive to this. So how would this apply to the PMO? If you’ve got a team of people that have built PMOs before and they are familiar with all of the roadblocks and the frustrations and how much work it’s going to be and you can trust that they’re going to be able to participate in the process without a lot of resistance on their own because they’ve done this before, been there, done that kind of attitude. Now sometimes that can get people stuck in a certain way of thinking, so having a lot of experienced people, if you will, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to have the best team. At the same time, if you’ve got people that have never gone on this journey with you before, if you’re building a PMO in your organization, your organization’s never experienced it before, your team members have never experienced it before.

You might be new to it as well. There’s going to be a lot more change happening for people. Some questions you might want to ask first of your team members and then also of your other stakeholders is have they been a part of a PMO buildout before? Was it successful? What do they fear were they pulled from another role in the company to join you for this and are they happy about it or not? Imagine the scenario where you’re coming in new to the organization, and this happened to me several times when I was inside the organization as a PMO leader, I was brought in when they’d had failed PMOs in the past and so there was a lot of baggage there that I had to uncover and address before I could move forward. A lot of people in the PMO that were pulled from other jobs and also people in other parts of the organization had horror stories about the PMO.

Therefore I was starting at a disadvantage and I was smart enough to ask questions like why didn’t it work before and what didn’t work specifically because the answers to those questions are gems that you need to have in your back pocket. When you start thinking about the services and capabilities you’re going to deliver because you’ve got to know what didn’t work and why so that you can put a different strategy in place. There are so many things to consider to determine how familiar they might be with the change and how much resistance you might hit along the way. So no matter if it’s a part of a project or a program or a PMO, you want to make sure that you’re shifting your management style from more to less directive based on how much they need you to lead versus guide. Their familiarity with the change will be your guide in that process.

Now, here’s an example. Years ago when I first partnered with my dear friend and colleague and started building out the nonprofit and even before the nonprofit Project Management for Change, we started building out our first event, Project Management Day of Service.

That first year we were building something we had never built before. Something like this had never been done before, anywhere in the world in this way. And here we were trying to put on an event called the Project Management Day of Service that was just in name and a wonderful dream and idea that my friend and colleague had to bring together project managers in their local community with nonprofit organizations in the local community to help them achieve their mission critical objectives.

Each of us having spent well over a decade in PMI, chapter board leadership roles, we knew about the power of project management and we wanted to unleash the potential of the project management profession on the local communities to go make a difference.

Sounds awesome. Right? Well, I truly believed in it. So much so that when Kendall stood on a barstool after a PMI board meeting one night and told us about this fantastic strategy, I was just consumed with excitement and energy and passion to make this happen. And I told him so I came up to him and I said, I’m going to make this happen with you. And there we were. That was it. That’s all we knew. We had no idea how we were going to make this happen when we first started. No clue. But we both very strongly believed in the power of project management to help make an IMPACT in any projects, in any change, especially in places like a nonprofit community where they often can’t afford the services of project management to go make that difference. So we had to build a team, we had to figure it out and that’s exactly what we did.

As we built that team, a team of 40 project manager volunteers that made up the first PMO for the Project Management Day of Service, I was the PMO leader and I was recruiting people that shared that passion in that energy and there were 40 project managers.

Imagine running a project like this with 40 project managers who all, for the most part, have one thing in common. They want answers, they want to know how, and they were asking so many fantastic questions. How are we going to do this? What is going to take? Where are we going to find the money? Where are we going to find the resources? How are we going to find the nonprofits? The questions were on and on and on and on and they were valid questions, but they were questions that we as the PMO leaders didn’t have answers to yet.

We were figuring it out as we went along and we did figure it out and had a phenomenal event that had over 100 nonprofit organizations involved and more than 300 project managers that put on an incredible event on Martin Luther King day now, Oh gosh, almost six years ago, but we didn’t know the answers to those questions along the way. Nobody did. Nobody could. It had never been done before, but we had this passion and this energy and had to step into a leadership role to help people understand that although we didn’t have the answers, we would find them. But in that first year, I will tell you that I took on a very directive leadership role because no one had the answers and someone had to make decisions. Now, of course, I gathered tons of inputs from the team and we all worked together and we broke up the work and we did the typical things you would do on a project of this size.

And there were many times where we just had to make a decision and move and if we weren’t careful, we would get stuck in analysis paralysis and we wouldn’t achieve our goals. You see, we had set a date of Martin Luther King Junior Day in January of 2015 and here we were halfway through 2014 trying to build this entire thing from scratch, garner the necessary support, garner the necessary sponsorship to make it happen and we had to go. So in that first year when it came to doing things like building out the org chart and assigning roles and responsibilities in making major decisions, that pretty much fell on my shoulders and Kendall shoulders. We had a much more directive management style. Now after that first year, we had people that came back and continued to volunteer for the next year and when they came back to volunteer for the next year, they already had been through it once.

So here we were planning for the next event, our second Project Management Day of Service and we had new volunteers, but we also had a team of people that came back and wanted to be a part of it again. So instead of doing things like building the org chart and laying out the work breakdown structure and doing all of that ourselves, we sat in the room with the project team members and let them lead the discussion. They put their ideas up and sat at the whiteboard and drew everything out. My colleague and I were there to be able to guide the discussion and say, have you thought about this? And have you thought about that? But we didn’t have to be as direct. We could let go of the reins a little because we had part of the team that had been through the experience before.

Now fast forward to year three and we were still in the room for the planning sessions along with our additional board member, but we were able to let the team drive more of the planning and decision making because they had been a part of the change before they knew what to expect. They were putting good process in place that was repeatable and would allow us to do some of the same things we had done in prior years without having to reinvent the wheel, which means we didn’t have to keep rehashing the same decisions over and over again.

You see, as the people that were on the project team were more and more familiar with what it takes to do the work, to make the decisions, to do the planning, to execute an event like this, our leadership team stepped back further and further.

Now today, if you saw how this event was run, you would see that it doesn’t have a big heavy influence from any of us as board members because the team has become really self-sustaining and we have wonderful leaders now that are in roles able to drive the change, put the plans together, execute the entire Project Management Day of Service event for the DC area and facilitate events happening in other places around the world without the leadership team having to drive all the decisions.

We’ve pushed the decision making to the right levels in the organization and it doesn’t include the board much at all unless it’s about big, major fundamental decisions that affect the future of the organization or our audit or financial IMPACTs. That’s it.

Now that people have been through the process, they’ve created the repeatable solutions, they know how to make this event a success. They are in the driver’s seat as a project team, so as you consider your changes you’re creating with your PMO and the kinds of things that you want to do, consider who’s with you and how familiar they are with the change process and if it’s the very first time you and your stakeholders or your team members are doing something, you may need to be in a more directive state of mind.

If you have a well operating machine that’s just let’s say many 90 day cycles in and now you’re just adding a new service and a new capability, that’s when you can let go of the reins and let the team flourish and thrive without you constantly driving decisions for them.

That first year of the Project Management Day of Service, the very first one we ever did so many years ago now was a beautiful high IMPACT emotionally charged event and it’s still that way today, but the whole leadership style and approach has shifted because it can and now it’s becoming even more beautiful in my mind because it’s got the freedom and the space to be its own thing.

It is its own beautiful entity because we were able to let go of the reigns and allow the team to find ways to make an even bigger IMPACT as the years have gone by. So that’s just one example of how you can consider the change that your team is going through and how familiar they are with it and adapt your management style along that spectrum from leader to guide throughout that change process.

Becoming the Strategy Navigator

There’s one more aspect I want you to be prepared for when it starts happening to you and that is taking on the role of strategy navigator.

As you go through this evolutionary process with your PMO, you build credibility, you expand your relationships and start moving the needle for your organization. Don’t be surprised if you start to get invited into more conversations about where the organization is going and what changes are necessary to get it there.

It’s not gonna happen right away necessarily, and it’s likely to take longer than you’d like it to. That’s okay. Be patient. Understand that you may have a lot of odds stacked against you because your business leaders could have their preconceived notions about the value the PMO can provide. Mine’s can take a long time to change and it’s best that you allow that to happen at the pace that makes sense for the organization you’re in it for the long haul and your actions and the outcomes. We’ll go a lot further towards getting people to engage, getting people to see how much value you and your PMO can provide and to earn that seat at the strategy table. It will come when it’s supposed to and I want you to be ready when it does, so make sure that you have your IMPACT PMO leader mindset, refresh your way of thinking.

Go back to episodes one through eight where we go through the entire PMO reset and the IMPACT PMO Leader Mindset Series and think long and hard about that guidance that I’m giving you. I’m sharing with you all the ways that your business leaders are talking about what they need from the PMO. And if you want to have that seat at the table, you’ve got to have the language that they’re expecting to hear. They want to know you get them, they want to know you, understand them. And once you are speaking their language, that now positions you to be a part of that conversation, to have that seat at the table and at that table, you’re going to be asked for your guidance, for your input, for some suggestions on different ways the organization can implement strategy. Because remember, you’re the one that helps them navigate that strategy through to return on investment.

That’s one of the many roles that you take on when you become that trusted advisor to the organization. So consider that and consider how you can prepare yourself for the seat at the table. And like some of my students say, “I’ve got that seat at the table and now I’ve got to keep it.” If you follow this six step series, you will be well on your way to not just keeping that seat at the table, but continuing to build high value for the organization, high return on investment and your own personal credibility as a business leader for the organization.


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Warmly,