Setting up a Project Management Office (PMO) can appear to be daunting. And let’s not kid anyone. It is. It actually is. It requires careful planning, deliberate relationship building, flawless execution and continuous improvement. Throw in a mix of doubters, “we’re not going to change”-ers, and differing demands, it makes the situation even more challenging.
It could lead to one resorting to endless planning, constant people pleasing, while stitching a roadmap with a shoestring. Avoid it! Take over the steering wheel. And even if it takes time, this is the first thing you should do.
Identify why a PMO is needed in your organization / department.
If you want your PMO to be accepted by your organization, and get its permission to exist, you must focus on determining why your PMO is really needed. It’s not enough to just get cursory viewpoints of a couple of people. It’s not enough to hear the problems you might come across in hallway conversations. It’s not enough what you were told when you were hired or promoted for the top PMO role. You must roll-up your sleeves and get this information directly – as they say – from the horse’s’ mouth. Let me walk you through a systematic way to do this, so that when you go about setting up your PMO, you are confident that you are truly addressing the problems your organization expects the PMO to solve.
Step 1: Identify who you are solving problems for
Before you figure out which problems you need to solve for your organization, you need to determine who within the organization is facing them, who the PMO is likely to interact with and whose lives you’ll make easier with the PMO coming into being. In other words, you’re identifying your PMO’s stakeholders.
It’s going to be difficult to get a complete list right off the bat, but you need to start somewhere and let the process guide you through. Here are some ways you can start:
Once you’ve identified who your stakeholders are, get a 30-minute meeting on their calendars and meet with them in person if possible or speak with them over the phone or video conference. This process may take some time but this is an investment worth making. In addition to the point already mentioned about identifying the problems to solve, you will be able to:
Here are a few examples to consider:
Step 3: Collect, analyze, and playback all the answers
Once you’ve met all the stakeholders on your list, go through their responses, and pick out common themes for all the questions asked. These themes are essentially telling you these 3 things:
And with that, you can be on your way.
To quickly recap, you need to setup yourself and your PMO for success and in order to do that, you need to understand WHY your PMO is truly needed. In order to achieve this, you need to understand who your PMO’s stakeholders are, meet them and ask them what pain-points they’re facing, and using their own words, describe the common themes of why the PMO should be created. Once this is done, you are ready and armed to go about with setting up your PMO.
This a Guest Blog Post from Hussain Bandukwala