Then, there is a third category of PMO leader I found along my 20-year journey in the PMO space. The ones that came from another business unit as a business leader but had the confidence that they knew what they were doing and didn’t bury themselves in the conflicting information about the “best” way to implement the PMO.
Interestingly, these leaders ended up being more successful PMO leaders because they knew how to be business leaders first and didn’t get caught up in typical people, process, tools approach.
This was very confusing to the PMs in the PMO or surrounding business units. “Why isn’t this person doing what we know best? They are going to fail,” they would say.
But they didn’t fail.
They didn’t read the books because they knew how to run a successful business unit. The services might be different, but the overall goal is the same. Drive ever-higher return on the investment the organization is making in the business unit and in creating change.
They talked to their business leaders about what was needed, they assessed the organization for opportunities to drive IMPACT, they created a business plan (not a charter), and they built a sustainable business unit.
They ran their organization like a business unit and they got outcomes, not just outputs.
As PMO leaders, we must make a shift. We’ve got to remember that the reason that the PMO exists is to drive higher IMPACT for the organization’s strategy.
And here’s where the yeah, but usually comes in…
Some PMO leaders and educators will say, “Yeah, but you are strategic. I’m more of a get it done kind of person.”
What, specifically, are you so busy getting done that isn’t tied to the strategy of the organization? It all ties back to the strategy. If you don’t see the connection, that’s where you start. If there is no connection, it shouldn’t be happening.
As PMO leaders, if we aren’t talking strategy, our jobs will be in jeopardy. We should all take the strategic perspective. We are business leaders, not administrators. Administrators are cheap and replaceable. Business leaders are the very fabric of the organization.
As business leaders, we must provide real strategic value and always look to the outcomes we are creating and stop spending so much time and energy on simply creating outputs.
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