[00:00:01.450] - Announcer
Do you wonder if others are dealing with the same project management challenges as you? Not sure where to turn for guidance and leadership? Office Hours are in session as we discuss project management and PMOs with global leaders, hearing their story and learning their secrets to success. Our goal is to empower you and help you elevate your PMO and project management career to new heights.
[00:00:23.810] - Announcer
Welcome back to Project Management Office Hours with your host, PMO Joe.
[00:00:30.050] - PMO Joe
Welcome, everyone, to Project Management Office Hours. We're the number one live project management radio show in the US. Broadcasting to you today from the Phoenix Business RadioX studios in Tempe, Arizona, I'm your host, PMO Joe. And for the next hour or so, we are going to have the biggest show we've ever had as we have a team of guests joining us. And I'm super excited to finish out our year with the best PMO in the Americas from one like... We'll get to meet all of them shortly.
[00:01:03.750] - PMO Joe
But before we do that, as I mentioned, it's the final show of the year. And it's been an amazing year. We've had an all-star lineup of guests on. And we received tremendous feedback from around the globe with our audience of loyal listeners. So I want to thank you for all of your continuous support.
[00:01:23.030] - PMO Joe
But the show doesn't happen by me alone, right? I may be the person behind the microphone, but there's a team behind me that makes all of this possible. So thank you to Karen, Kendra, Kelly, Angie, Lauren, and Darryl for all of your support throughout the year to make sure that the show is a great success.
[00:01:43.190] - PMO Joe
And also, as we know, I'm the leader of the PMO Squad, and the squad represents our team. We've had a record-breaking year with the PMO Squad, and our future looks fantastically bright with planned growth continue to go into the future. So I also want to do a shout out and thank all of our squad members that helped us grow this year. So thank you Amber, and Caley, Dan, Derick, Dustin, Elton, Eric, Jennifer, Jerome, Josh, Kevin, Kirsten, Lauren, Leslie, Manny, Oliver, and Stephen. All of you have made an incredible impact on our team this year, so thank you so much for that.
[00:02:24.240] - PMO Joe
And then lastly, for my thanks are to everyone who helped us launch the new global community, the PMO Leader this year. That global community is focused not on selling credentials or certifications. I think we're unique out there in the industry, where our mission is to use community to improve PMO leadership around the world. So thank you to my partner on that endeavor, Fatimah, our board of advisors, Billy, John C., Leo, and Shoba. Of course, special thank you to our ambassador leaders, Mate, Remco, and Sharon, and all the global ambassadors from around the world, helping us to spread our vision and helping us grow to be the leading community in our industry and our slogan, One PMO World, One Community.
[00:03:11.160] - PMO Joe
So that's it for the thanks. And that's a lot about teamwork today. So speaking of teams, I'm very excited to have us joined today by the OneLink PMO team. They were the winner this year in the PMO Global Alliance competition for the top PMO in the Americas, made it to the final four. I voted for them to win, but they didn't get the top price, but still, what an incredible honor.
[00:03:35.270] - PMO Joe
Welcome to Luis, Daniel, Marta, Jose, Yvette, Maria, and Lorena, all of you joining us. Thank you so much. And we'll do some introductions to let everybody get to know you a little bit better. Luis, we'll start with you as leader of the team.
[00:03:51.350] - Luis
Thank you. Thank you, Joe. Hi, everybody. Hello to the Project Management Office Hours community. And, Joe, thank you for such a special invitation. It is a great honor to have the opportunity of sharing the space with you, the PMO Squad, and all the PMO community worldwide. And on behalf of an amazing country and the OneLink family, I would like to express our gratitude to you and your team, as a colleague, but mainly as a fan of your show, and also as a friend.
[00:04:25.420] - Luis
Because from the very first time we met, you have been so supportive and empathic with us. And people don't know this, but the first time we met with Joe, we started to talk about PMO practices, then music, then AC/DC records, then vinyl collections. And we concluded that time that the PMO Joe is very badass nickname. So again, thank you for this amazing journey.
[00:04:52.550] - PMO Joe
Yeah. It's my pleasure. And we're so fortunate to have you here. And I think you reference our conversation that we're people. Everybody just puts us into these categories of PMO. But a PMO doesn't exist without the people. And that's why I'm so excited that you have your team here with you today because it is about the people. And this is the first time we've ever had a team this large join us because it's so important for you to be able to have your team share their story as well.
[00:05:23.330] - Luis
Yes. Thank you. Thank you again for this opportunity.
[00:05:26.270] - PMO Joe
Daniel, how about you? Let's have you introduce yourself as well.
[00:05:30.830] - Daniel
Hello, everybody. First, thank you, Joe, for having us. My name is Daniel. I like to be called Danny. I joined the One family when I was finishing the University. I met Lucho there. He was my professor. He taught project management, of course. And for the record, I didn't quite understand everything at that moment.
[00:05:54.350] - Daniel
What can I say? I am passionate about technology, programming, and design. And I always like to be the optimistic person and make a joke to lighten the mood and give a laugh to everyone, even when we are quite overwhelmed or feeling a little down at work. I have been working at OneLink in the PMO for a little more than three years. And I still can say that I fully understood everything that Lucho tried to teach [inaudible 00:06:23].
[00:06:26.750] - PMO Joe
Whatever Lucho was doing, it worked, because he brought you onboard and you've made a great contribution as well. Jose, how about you as well?
[00:06:36.890] - Jose
Yeah, of course. Thank you, Joe. Well, first of all, special thanks to you and the program for having us. It's more than an honor to be here sharing this space and to the audience as well. My name is Jose Quinteros. I'm based in El Salvador. I have four years in OneLink.
[00:06:58.430] - Jose
And, well, if you allow me, I'm going to quickly share some of my interview experience when I was applying to my job. Actually, Lucho led the interview. So Lucho, be prepared, I'm going to disclose what happened.
[00:07:16.530] - Luis
The secret sauce.
[00:07:18.090] - Jose
Yeah, of course.
[00:07:20.910] - PMO Joe
We can share it.
[00:07:20.910] - Jose
Well, at the time, I was working in the banking industry, a very corporate and formal environment. And I arrived to the interview. And, well, Lucho was on a T-shirt, very relaxed in his office. And we started the interview as any other interview. After just half an hour or so of talking about my professional experience in project management, which I recall that he asked me what happiness and family mean to you?
[00:07:54.640] - Jose
At first, it was a little nerve wracking. This is not a simple question and more in a job interview. It got me totally off guard, to tell you the truth. However, it has been one of the best interviews I have had so far because of the connection that I felt. And in that moment, I knew that OneLink was different from all other companies. It showed me that in OneLink and in the PMO team, the team does put an effort into the people in who we are, to what we aspire, and what are our interests.
[00:08:35.290] - Jose
Everyone knows that I'm a super fan of motorcycles, playing tennis, and wearing long sleeve shirts as you can tell in the video. I guess that some of my bank are coming out of my previous life. Anyways, after four years of enjoying what we do, I can probably say that I wasn't wrong, and that the PMO is a team that looks for each other, and that we really matter as persons. So we are all very fortunate to be here, and many thanks to you in the program, once again.
[00:09:14.320] - PMO Joe
Yes. Well, thank you, Jose, for joining us. Marta, please take a moment to introduce yourself.
[00:09:20.250] - Marta
Yes, sure. Well, first of all, thank you, Joe, and all your team and all the listeners for having us. When Lucho told us about this opportunity, I couldn't be happier because I know that you love music and that you love also the project management. And it's a very special occasion for us.
[00:09:42.350] - Marta
My name is Marta, but I want to give you a brief introduction and background about myself. Maybe some of the listeners can feel related to us to our stories. When I was a child, I was always performing songs, watching all these concerts with my dad. I love to watch and listen like Peter Gabriel, Woodstock, the [inaudible 00:10:08], Genesis. And I was always playing sports with my cousins.
[00:10:14.250] - Marta
But in the meantime, also education was a high priority for me. And I needed to start making a daily plan in order to keep my schedule from school and also my hobbies because I couldn't live without jumping around and listening to music. And I started feeling a blank page with all my plans and my goals. And I think that's how project management became an interesting subject for me.
[00:10:52.410] - Marta
And as my first job, I recall that I got the opportunity to work also in a bank, in a multinational bank. And I was the youngest one in the area, and I got the opportunity to meet Lucho there and other huge professionals. And in 2015, I got the opportunity to join to the OneLink family, working directly to one of our operations. And once again, I was the youngest. I was pretty young for the role that I took.
[00:11:28.890] - Marta
But at this experience, something was pretty different from the other ones that I had, because since day one, OneLink always believe in me. They always ask these personal matters that make you feel that you are very important for them as a person. And looking back, I think that I couldn't be happier working in a field that I really love, which is project management. I really love the company as a second family.
[00:12:06.150] - Marta
Next year, I'm preparing for another marathon. It will be my fifth marathon. I don't know how many more could I do.
[00:12:14.870] - PMO Joe
I've run life. Let's run it together. You pick the spot. We'll see if we can run it together.
[00:12:21.130] - Marta
Maybe in Arizona, we can find something.
[00:12:24.480] - Luis
Yeah, we have an official invitation.
[00:12:26.920] - Marta
Yeah, sounds great. And besides that, we are able to share good music with all these things, so I'm very grateful.
[00:12:37.890] - PMO Joe
Thank you so much, Marta, for joining us. In all honesty, my wife and I were talking last night, and I've gotten way too heavy because I haven't run a marathon in about two years. And I said I need to sign up for a half marathon coming up because I need to get back in shape.
[00:12:52.370] - PMO Joe
And speaking of Woodstock, I wasn't at the original Woodstock because I was only one year old, I think at the time. But I did go to the 25th anniversary Woodstock concert by myself. None of my friends wanted to go with me, but I said, I'm not going to miss it. So we share that fun and joy of Woodstock as well.
[00:13:12.690] - Marta
Well, great to hear.
[00:13:13.240] - PMO Joe
Well, that's interesting fact.
[00:13:15.510] - Marta
Yeah. And if you need some tips about getting back to your training plan, let us know.
[00:13:22.770] - PMO Joe
Yes, absolutely. Thanks so much. And Yvette, please take a moment to be able to say hello as well.
[00:13:30.390] - Yvette
Thank you. Thank you, Joe. So my name is Yvette. I joined the OneLink family almost five years ago. It has been an amazing journey because it was my first job experience. So I started really young. And actually, they gave me the opportunity to develop my professional career. Also, I love teaching, learning, reading, and also volunteering.
[00:13:55.050] - Yvette
So I believe that I make instant click with OneLink because it also has those interests in people first company. And also with the team, it was an instant click because their hearts, their essence, they have different interests and hobbies. So you're never going to run out of topics. So for me, it's like you learn something new every day.
[00:14:20.080] - Yvette
So when I was at University, I realized that I didn't like monotonous activities. I discovered that, actually, in project management, you have surprises every day. So I said this is my place.
[00:14:35.010] - Luis
And her dreams have subtitles. You have to talk a little bit about that.
[00:14:40.360] - Yvette
Yeah. Actually, when I was little, I used to dream with subtitles, like in a movie. So it was weird, but I believe that it takes you here.
[00:14:55.530] - PMO Joe
Well, I've never had a dream with subtitles, but if I start, now I know who to blame for that. So welcome, Yvette. Thank you for joining us as well. Maria, please say hello and take a moment.
[00:15:09.040] - Maria
Hello, Joe. Hello, everyone. And it's a huge honor being here. My name is Maria, but I can simply go by Mari. I joined the OneLink team two and a half years ago. And with previous experience in BPO and high rise construction, I was not expecting to land a job that would put me so deeply into project management, because I was super shocked to find a job that would be this challenging, but yet safe at the same time. So I was surprised to find a group of professionals who can be excellent at their job, and perform under pressure, and still be friends like we are, and talk about music, and TV shows, and movies, and books, and have references from The Simpsons to every conversation that we have on daily basis.
[00:16:04.550] - Maria
So it was extremely surprising for me to find a place that is amazing, especially because I moved to a new city due to this job. So finding here a family away from home was perfect for me. This has been a place where I keep learning and growing every day, and I couldn't be prouder to be part of this team.
[00:16:31.050] - Maria
Music, it's always a conversation for us. And we have the ability to mix that type of topics and still be professional. So it's a great mixture because based on my previous experience, not everywhere, you can find that. Well, it's great to be here and be able to share our experience with everyone.
[00:16:54.340] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Thank you so much, Maria, for joining us. And there's a theme building between everybody who's talking and sharing their experience. So we'll see if that continues with Lorena. Welcome, Lorena.
[00:17:06.450] - Lorena
Thank you. Hello, my name is Lorena Mora. And after 10 years of experience in project management, coming to OneLink allowed me to better explore my knowledge and skills. OneLink is my daily challenge. I was surprised with the environment when I arrive and the family feelings and friends that I make. I enjoy the company with many expectations. And now I can say that it's my happy place.
[00:17:38.610] - PMO Joe
That's fantastic. And Lucho, I'm going to call you that from now on. So if you're now Lucio to me as well, hopefully, I'm part of the family as well.
[00:17:47.970] - Luis
[00:17:50.370] - PMO Joe
You guys, as a company, have a great name for your employees. You're Incredibles. It just goes and speaks to that. So, Lucho, can you tell me a little bit about family and Incredibles and what that means at OneLink?
[00:18:05.110] - Luis
Yes, of course. Well, I was planning to do... That's something within our conversation. Thank you, Joe. For us, the most important thing within our company culture is the wellbeing of all our community. We call our employees Incredibles. So that being said, I'm the Incredible number 00001. I have been within the family from the very beginning of this adventure back in 2012.
[00:18:35.320] - Luis
And I have a very funny story regarding how I joined the OneLink family.
[00:18:41.330] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Let's hear it. We love funny stories.
[00:18:44.210] - Luis
Yes. Well, back in 2011, one day, I received a call from a recruiting company, inviting me to participate in a process for a regional position in the BPO industry. At that time, I didn't know anything about the industry, but I decided to listen and participate. As any of us would have done, I prepared myself. I did some research about the company, the shareholders, goals, expansion plans, and all the stuff. I just did my homework.
[00:19:15.450] - Luis
And then a couple of days later, the day of the interview arrived, I put on my best suit, this is where the funny part starts, I put on my best suit. My shoes were shining. I had a red tie because I remember that I saw an article on LinkedIn that said that red was a very good color for interviews.
[00:19:37.800] - Luis
So long story short, I was prepared as a champion. I knew my resume in every detail. I went to the office as indicated. I went up to the elevator. I was greeted by the person who was assisting the country director, the person who was going to interview me.
[00:19:54.350] - Luis
And I walked into the office and saw the person sitting at his desk, and I said hello, and I extended my hand. And from nowhere, he told me, "No, go back. Take off your jacket, roll up your sleeves. You are making me feel stressed already."
[00:20:14.850] - PMO Joe
[00:20:15.730] - Luis
Uncomfortable silence. I did my best poker face. And I did what he asked me to. I went back to the office, entered again, sat back again. And I had these two copies of my resume in two impeccable folders, as if they had come from the best law firm, New York, the kind that Harvey Specter used in Suits. And I sat down and told the person, "Here I have a copy of my resume as a reference for our today's conversation."
[00:20:48.810] - Luis
And immediately, the person put the palm of his extended hand on the folder and slide it to the other side of the desk. And again, with my best poker face, I waited. And he said, "Hey, the experts have already reviewed your resume and they have told me that you are the one for the job. But that is not what matters the most to me. I want to get to know you." Pretty cool.
[00:21:24.910] - Luis
I can say that today, but in that moment, I was a little bit scared. He asked me, "How do you like to be called?" And I told him, "Luis," and he said, "Yes, that's what your resume says. How do your friends or your family call you?" And a little bit nervous, I told him, "Lucho. Everybody calls me Lucho."
[00:21:51.080] - Luis
And he said, "Okay, Lucho, who are you?" Yes, uncomfortable silence again. And in my head I thought, that is the most difficult question in all the humankind history. That's the one question that the philosophers have been asking themselves, and no one has been able to answer it. And that's it, who am I?
[00:22:14.770] - Luis
When he saw my face, he told me, "Lucho, what makes you happy? What makes you smile in the morning?" And at that moment I thought, this is the interview that I had been waiting for my entire life, and I just relaxed, enjoyed. And we had a three hours conversation, where we talked about aliens, stoic philosophy, and obviously music. And if that wasn't enough, we cried together in the interview.
[00:22:50.920] - Luis
At the time, my father had just passed away from cancer, and this person who has interviewed me experienced a similar situation in his family. So there was a lot of empathy on that matter.
[00:23:04.360] - PMO Joe
Sure, I can imagine.
[00:23:05.960] - Luis
Yeah. Either way, we finished our conversation. We exchanged contacts and after a big hug, we said goodbye, and I got back to my car. And when I was about to turn it on, I thought, this was the best interview of my life or the worst interview of my life, and they will never speak to me again. That happened on a Thursday afternoon, December in 2011. How convenient, we are in December.
[00:23:36.310] - Luis
And the next day, first thing in the morning, I received a call from the HR director and she told me, "Lucho, welcome to the family." And part of this family is now with me, with you, and all the PMO Squad and the community, sharing a little bit of what makes us OneLink.
[00:23:55.360] - PMO Joe
And I think that's awesome. That's an incredible story. Incredible. No pun intended. But that speaks to the culture of the company, right? And all of you spoke to that as well as you were doing your introductions. You called each other family. So many organizations, that's not the case. And that came through so much in your introductions.
[00:24:19.330] - PMO Joe
So who is OneLink? Who's the company behind the story of that interview and the culture you're talking about? Jose, what's your take on that?
[00:24:30.250] - Jose
Yeah. Well, OneLink was founded 2012. For the audience that don't know, we provide outsourcing/contact center services. In 2012, we began with that. And now we have evolved in delivering technological and tailored-integrated solutions also. And through our service portfolio, we can do customer care, tech support, sales, and also some of automation and tech services like RPAs, chatbots. Basically, any process that can be outsourced and can be escalated, we can do it.
[00:25:18.190] - Jose
We, from the PMO, we can probably say that we deliver operational consistency for clients all sizes. And something that I want to mention also, like Lucho said previously, we recently were acquired by Webhelp, one of the top and big players in the BPO industry. So we're in the middle of the integration process extending the family. And now we are Webhelp America as part of the global Webhelp family.
[00:25:57.970] - Jose
With this, we added the United States market in Peru besides the six countries that we already had under our management. We have Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil, so we are very excited about this new adventure.
[00:26:15.100] - Jose
But coming back for the culture, a big part of this success story is one, the high growth that we had, also, the people first culture that we have in OneLink. In 2021, this year, we achieved the 14,000 employees or Incredibles, as we call ourselves. We do that because we think that that's what we are, Incredibles on what we do, but most of all, because of who we are, right?
[00:26:54.260] - Jose
And we genuinely believe that the thing that differentiates us from all the other BPOs is precisely that. We think that we have changed the BPO/contact center industry dynamics from a process-based to people-based operation, putting our colleagues or Incredibles' happiness in the center of our purpose. Why we do that? It's because experience for the past years, operating in this industry has allowed us to understand that our primary focus should be and actually is making sure that our agents are the most critical part of our organization.
[00:27:44.470] - Jose
So we have developed a service culture that begins by serving them if the agents are well or our clients are well, and we are basically all well in the community gains, right? And as a PMO, we can probably say that we are a key element and we live under that culture also in our team. Ultimately, we make tangible this culture by a very special blueprint and design. So it has been a really good story. And the culture, as the presentations, you may have noticed, it's a really big part of our lives.
[00:28:48.150] - PMO Joe
Unfortunately, we haven't started doing our live streaming on shows yet. We're going to start that next year. But right now, I'm blown away. This hasn't happened before, but every one of the OneLink members, every one of the Incredibles has a background that's consistent.
[00:29:06.110] - PMO Joe
And it's not of just the OneLink branding. On there, they've added the PMO Squad. They've added the PMO Global Alliance. It just speaks to the inclusiveness that you all have within your culture that you are that considerate to think to add that to this conversation.
[00:29:24.690] - PMO Joe
Every encounter that I've had with Lucho, and Danny earlier as well, and now all of you, it always feels like you're just in the middle of a big hug. There's a big embrace that you are aware of everybody around you, that you're including them in part of that discussion. So when OneLink has a culture that calls their employees Incredibles, it's a testament to the entire company to be able to do that and and putting their people in such high regards.
[00:29:54.130] - PMO Joe
So hats off to not just your team for winning your award as one of the best PMOs in the world, but what an outstanding place it must be to work where that culture really provides that environment, where during an interview, they say, take the jacket off, I want to get to know you, where they call you Incredibles, and where they give you room to be able to grow as individuals. It's fantastic to be able to hear that.
[00:30:16.810] - PMO Joe
And again, for all of our listeners, think about your own companies. Whether you're in a PMO, or project manager, or your own consulting firm, whatever it means, think with the people are saying and how they're saying it. All of these people are really embracing this people first mindset and the impact that has.
[00:30:35.210] - PMO Joe
But we'll take a step back away from the culture for a moment because culture is super important. And I think you guys have done a great job sharing that. But you're also a team. You're part of the PMO. And part of the PMO, they're all unique, no matter where they are in every company. So how was your PMO design? How did that design come to be? And what is that design?
[00:30:59.080] - Luis
Yeah, that's a hard question. And when it comes to our PMO design, conceptually speaking, our recipe for generate value, because at the end of the day, our main duty as a PMO is to deliver and create value, be a value generation unit and all the fancy words, the link between the strategy and the reality. But basically, we follow three different principles. The first one is keep it simple. That allows us to develop adaptability, flexibility, and a sure scalability, and hit the numbers. Well, that's the big part at the end of the day.
[00:31:42.200] - Luis
We are pragmatic on what is useful or not. If it works, we keep it, and if not, we delete it. We are constantly looking to generate organizational efficiencies based on the results of well-managed portfolio program and project management. We always try to act as a gymnastic organization following a multi-model approach and always open to constant change, because what fits best for the organization right now won't be the same the next year and on. So we are very pragmatic on that point of view.
[00:32:24.530] - Luis
That's the first principle. And don't get me wrong, we do love methodologies and frameworks, but what we do love the most is value generation. That's the reason why we are here. The second principle is act as a one-stop shop. Our intention is to be something similar as a goalkeeper for the company and for the strategy.
[00:32:49.530] - Luis
And I don't want to abuse on technical concepts, but based on our design, we deliver our value proposition of being a one-stop shop through different strategic services. The first one is strategic PPM. We are involved since the strategy conception as owners and hosts of the strategic planning process for the company and also to study on the perfect balance scorecard.
[00:33:15.440] - Luis
The other strategic services change management, which means we'll enable the organization to change faster, because at the end of day, we are transformational units. Risk and performance, obviously, we have to reduce uncertainty as much as we can from the early stages of the value chains. And also measure the strategy execution and all the adherence because we need to stick to the goal as much as we can.
[00:33:44.310] - Luis
The other service is Incredible management, which means taking care of our people. And the last one is innovation because we are always trying to transform our own business model. We make this tangible through five different units. The first one is the corporate strategy unit. The second one is presales unit, business development and solutioning unit is the third one, implementations unit, which is hardcore project management on strategic efforts, and also the digital transformation unit. And that's the academic part of the design.
[00:34:24.900] - Luis
But the third and most important principle is our people first approach that enables us to focus on what really matters, the wellbeing of all of Incredibles. And this topic is the main reason why we are here today because we are really convinced that culture is an inside job. And it's built and sustainable through testimonies, and worth mentioning that these last two years have been pretty much different for all of us living on a new reality.
[00:35:02.730] - PMO Joe
Yeah. And we're in the Zoom era, I guess, right? And you guys are multi-country organization, so you're not necessarily working with people in just a single location. So you have to be able to interact with each other without perhaps traveling like you may have been able to do. And of course, COVID's had such a great impact on us. In this Zoom era with integration and trying to work together better, how do you do that?
[00:35:29.140] - Daniel
Well, if I can take that question. Well, I feel like being together is a big part of what we do, because for example, before I started working in OneLink, I also worked on a bank just like Martita, Jose, and Lucho. So it was sit and tied the whole day. I remember that my first day at the office at OneLink, I tried to go and wear more casual clothes, but when I first entered the office and got to meet my coworkers, I saw that I wasn't casual enough. Everyone was wearing T-shirts, jeans, sneakers.
[00:36:09.100] - Daniel
And I said to myself, this is where I belong. Then I never wear anything remotely formal to go to work. I believe everyone here can account for that.
[00:36:23.310] - Luis
Just Jose, I guess.
[00:36:31.510] - Daniel
I guess Jose is [crosstalk 00:36:32]. Okay, so that sense of belonging is the thing that I felt that makes us go up every day and go to work because we really felt comfortable there. In Lucho's office, for example, we had a bean bags, and we used to go and work there, used to keep this company, even though we were working on different teams.
[00:36:55.600] - Daniel
Then COVID struck, and we had to go back to our houses. And I could tell you how was the transition and the amount of work that he presented to us who had almost no experience in working from home. But the thing that I want to tell you is how important is to be together even when we are not physically together, because I feel like we lost a lot when we transition it into this environment.
[00:37:24.250] - Daniel
And don't get me wrong, I love working from home right now. But the first months, we all felt this shock of not being with our friends right beside us. And for example, when I need is someone for anything, I had to hop on a Zoom meeting or give them a call instead of getting up and walking to their place. But in the end, and after everything that has happened in the world, I understand that it is not a bad thing having someone at one call or Zoom meeting distance.
[00:37:58.990] - Daniel
For example, look at us right now. We're all so far apart, but we are having the opportunity to share this space and we all should be grateful of having the opportunity to be together while being apart.
[00:38:16.790] - PMO Joe
You hit a spot on. Gratitude is so important. We've had other guests on in the past talking about gratitude and the Gratitude Institute and different things along those lines. What does gratitude mean to you, Lorena?
[00:38:31.110] - Lorena
I have the same feeling as Danny. I remember how difficult it was at the beginning, and it was hard to see something possible, something positive in all the situation. And if I compare to our job when we find a complex situation, sometimes it's hard to see the good things.
[00:38:53.270] - Lorena
For instance, the first time I manage a project in OneLink was the implementation of a new operation. It was extremely difficult, but at the end, we create new jobs, had super cool spaces, and I was able to see the reaction of the people. The expression of happiness and how they thanked us for having improved all the spaces was awesome. The gratitude of the sponsor and all the stakeholders after the project finalized made me realize that it was really worth it.
[00:39:29.990] - Lorena
I always say an example, what is a cycling team or a cyclist without his windbreaker? We are the windbreakers. And many times, we receive congratulations and recognition from our leaders. Part of what I most passionate about is seeing the effort of all the areas we manage day to day materialized.
[00:39:57.830] - Lorena
We are not the main actors of a project, but we make sure we empower the people who most times bring out their best skills to ensure that things happen, and that everyone enjoys the process of creating and carrying out the project successfully. We are always behind the scenes, directing or managing on the back end, and seeing all the things coming through is our greatest achievement.
[00:40:30.830] - PMO Joe
Yeah. And again, I just love the interaction and shared stories that you all have. It's just a common bond that you're able to create. And I think there must be a link. Is there a common purpose that binds you all together? How are you connected that way, Yvette?
[00:40:50.330] - Yvette
Actually, one of the things that I remember that I heard on the first day that I was at OneLink, it was that we make sure that you are 200 percent in your life so you can give 100 percent. So I share this phrase with new members of the family, because what we try to say is that you're not defined by your work position because we understand that we are part of a family, community, society. And there are just different components in your life that makes you and makes us unique.
[00:41:26.290] - Yvette
So they are not just understanding this, but we are also willing to develop your talents and the talent within the company. And taking care of those things that fit your essence, that makes you happy, and protecting them, it's what makes you finding a purpose, not just for the company, but also for your life. So understand that you have a personal life, that it's part of you, and that we are responsible of protecting that.
[00:42:00.120] - Yvette
And you can see, for example, as I said before, all of our team members have different hobbies. And we know that that complement the work that they do on a daily basis, because at the end of the day, we have different perspectives and opinions, and that's what we try to do. We try to encourage our team voice or the ideas are welcome. Nothing is off the table.
[00:42:27.030] - Yvette
For example, if you see a problem and you find a solution, you are not afraid to reach out your hand and say, oh, we have this risk, we have this alert, or I've made a mistake. That's what we try to do. The purpose in you is that you, as yourself, matter, not just for the family, but also for the company and also for the impact that you are doing with your job.
[00:42:51.990] - PMO Joe
I love that. So many companies today are out there talking about having a work-life balance. And I think they have it wrong. I think they have it reversed. It should be a life-work balance, not a work-life balance. And it's very clear that at OneLink, it's that mindset, right? You're putting life first and work is a part of life. You have it in the right order. You've prioritized the right way.
[00:43:17.330] - PMO Joe
And part of that is to be able to make sure that you're inspirational to your employees. Again, every time I hear one of you talking, there's a sense of inspiration in your voice. It's fantastic. Marta, can you share what that means to you and how that comes about?
[00:43:31.850] - Marta
Yeah, sure. And I think that is pretty related to what Yvette was saying about purpose. And I think that, for us, inspiration is a very important matter. I think that OneLink and the people who are part of this family are an inspiration in many ways and in all levels. Besides respect, you get inspired for every step that you get to know. And as I mentioned before, before being part of this great PMO team, I got the chance to have a leadership position in one of our operations.
[00:44:09.350] - Marta
And one of the things that I enjoy the most, it was to hear our people, learning from them, getting to know their personal goals, the challenges at work. And in one of those conversations, I remember that the past weekend, we had the [inaudible 00:44:28] race during a Sunday morning. One of the agents told me that he saw me running and that they were surprised to see me there waking up maybe that early in the morning. I'll never forget that big smile that we share the both of us because we felt inspired that we got that common hobby. And also, we exchanged some running tips.
[00:44:57.860] - Marta
From that short story, what I can say or what I can summarize, is that what I have learned, not also in sports, but also in the professional area, is that in order to achieve long term goals, first of all, you need to know you, you need to understand you, and you need to get to know your team. That's a very important fact. You also need to understand your why. And that is something very related to the inspiration, why you are doing something, and the purpose related to that why in everything that you do.
[00:45:38.630] - Marta
And also, when things are not going that well, you will need to go back and find the inspiration that put you in that place at the beginning. You need to keep going with your journey for your training. And when that thing happen, I think that, and I can recall when someone else ask me just to do something, I need to get into myself and I need to understand if it is something aligned to my life goals.
[00:46:11.290] - Marta
So you, as a leader, I think that you need to be in the first step. Your team needs to know that you are part of the team, that you're also a human with weakness, with friends, that we are working for common goals. Also, well, the most important thing, it is to keep going while you find inspiration from you and your team and vice versa.
[00:46:37.250] - PMO Joe
Yeah, obviously the PMO Squad, our signature services, the purpose-driven PMO, where we help other companies find purpose within their PMO. And unfortunately, OneLink won't be one of our customers because you already have that within your PMO, right? You've done it so well.
[00:46:52.570] - PMO Joe
But I can't agree more that you're a runner, I'm a runner. And oftentimes when you're training for a long race, there's so many days where you don't want to go run 10, 12, 16 miles, but you do because you have a purpose to what you're doing. It keeps you moving. It keeps you moving forward. And it's the same as you're explaining within the PMO and within your business as well.
[00:47:15.650] - Marta
[00:47:17.990] - PMO Joe
Lucho shared the vulnerability during his initial interview, having a moment where he talked about his father passing, and that can be hard as an individual, especially in the workplace. But, Maria, how does that play throughout OneLink? And what's your thoughts on that vulnerability piece?
[00:47:39.590] - Maria
Well, honestly, for me, being in OneLink has changed a lot about how I perceive vulnerability. Well, to give you a little background, when I had my interview with Lucho, and we discussed the whole Incredible term, I was skeptical. I was like, this cannot be real. Because in my experience, companies tend to be always excluding emotions. So having this person telling me all this speech about happiness and having a good place to work, the happy place to work, I was like, it cannot be real. He's joking, and it's not like that.
[00:48:24.230] - Maria
Especially because as an adult, I think that we often find ourselves in the need of showing that you are super fit to do everything as a grown up, that you can face taking care of your bills, works, chores, relationships. Adulthood can be extremely overwhelming, and you always feel obligated to show that you're in control. So emotions and being vulnerable was not part of my previous work experience.
[00:48:56.030] - Maria
So finding a spot here where you can be open and say, I don't have all the answers. I might feel overwhelmed by some situation, or I don't know specifically how to handle this situation and having a team to rely on and work with you through a solution. It was amazing, and it was honestly life-changing for me. Because I always felt that you needed to be tough, that you needed to have all the answers every single time, and that if you didn't have that, you were not useful for the company.
[00:49:35.550] - Maria
So here, there's always room for improvement. And you always have a team to back you up to improve in the way that you need and to learn and find new experiences out there. So being able to be in a company where being vulnerable, it's not being weak, it's amazing. I think it bonds us together. It makes us trust each other, and it facilitates us to have open conversations of what we can do better and actually work as a team to get there.
[00:50:09.420] - Maria
So I think it's amazing that we can apply that to our work environment. It might sound cheesy, but we do have that.
[00:50:20.150] - PMO Joe
I think it sounds great. I mean, I want to come work there. I own my own company. I want to leave my company and come work for your company.
[00:50:26.270] - Maria
We will welcome you whenever you want.
[00:50:29.690] - PMO Joe
The unfortunate part about this show is there's time frames. We're bound by time so we can't get through everything that we always want to. But that just means we have to have an invitation for next year and have everybody come back and continue the discussion.
[00:50:45.420] - PMO Joe
So a couple of things I wanted to touch on that speaks to the great job that you guys do. Lucho, at the beginning, you talked about value. Part of your design is that you're delivering value. And in the presentations that you guys did for the PMO Global Awards, something that I think was very impactful was you created an added commentary from some of the leaders within your organization.
[00:51:12.890] - PMO Joe
So the CEO of your company, Eduardo Salazar, had added commentary to the presentation. And he said, "Having our EPMO support C-level functions allows us to reduce uncertainty from the very beginning of our value chain. Having a strategic and holistic view of the companywide capabilities as a one-stop shop."
[00:51:35.530] - PMO Joe
How amazing is it that the person that's leading your organization has such an understanding of what you provide to the organization and even uses the phrases like the one-stop shop, which was one of your design elements. That shows the immediate impact that your leadership has. And your Chief Operating Officer, Manuel Aparicio said, "Their companionship has led the company to a different horizon of opportunities, taking the company to the big leagues in the BPO industry."
[00:52:04.570] - PMO Joe
Now post that, you've recently been purchased. So again, others in the industry probably think the same thing. But he uses the word companionship. How often is it that leaders use a word like companionship when they talk about a team or a function within an organization? Again, I think that goes to speak to the incredible culture that you guys have built within OneLink.
[00:52:27.170] - PMO Joe
And then he also points to the reference of, "the PMO has helped take it to the opportunities," right? So often PMOs are perceived as overhead and a drag-on in an organization. But in your organization, it's seen as an enabler to be able to help you go drive to what those are.
[00:52:45.260] - PMO Joe
So as we wind down, I want to salute what you've done. I think it's been fantastic. It's been great to get to know all of you a little bit better. I love the fact that Lucho wanted his team to come in and share this experience because it isn't about him. It was about the collective. So thank you all for sharing your story.
[00:53:06.710] - PMO Joe
And also keep in mind for all the listeners out there, they're from El Salvador. It's the smallest country in Central America. For those here in the States, it's about the size of Massachusetts. There's only 6.5 million people there, and they built the best PMO in all of the Americas.
[00:53:25.650] - PMO Joe
So when you put people first, when you drive with purpose, amazing results can happen. So Lucho, and Danny, and Marta, and Jose, and Yvette, and Maria, and Lorena, thank you so much all for joining me. And is there anything that we didn't get to today that we can get to quickly before we have to say goodbye?
[00:53:48.710] - Luis
Evie is the one that always make all this amazing closings in conversations. So I don't know, Evie, if you have something to share.
[00:54:00.680] - Yvette
What I want to share is that, you should find your greater purpose in your job. We tend to think about the benefit the stakeholders have, but you also have to think the one with a greater impact. For example, for us, it's not just a project. It's not a project on a piece of paper, on a file, on an email, but also, we understand that we are helping creating opportunities, jobs or opportunities for other people to have a stable job in a company such as ours.
[00:54:37.010] - Yvette
So I believe that the best advice that we can give you is that find the greater benefit and find the greater impact, such as the butterfly effect, that leader actions have great impacts in the future. So that email that you're going to send, the format that you're going to have, that following session, think about the greater benefits outside the stakeholders. And think about you're helping families, you're helping children getting educated, you're helping young people finishing their careers, and you're also helping, on these holidays, having great time with their families.
[00:55:23.970] - Yvette
So find a greater purpose and you are going to see that that's what is going to help you continue when you feel overwhelmed on a daily basis.
[00:55:32.990] - Luis
Do you remember the last question that we have on our interview, Evie?
[00:55:40.670] - Yvette
Yes. I remember that Lucho asked me in my interview here, he said something like, "What do you think that we mean to the world?" And I remember I said, "We are tools. We are tools to help others. We are tools to do things better." So keep that in mind. And I think that every day is going to be easier.
[00:56:03.110] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Thank you so much all for joining us. And Jose, if you have to continue wearing the long sleeve shirts, at least roll up the sleeves and relax them. Marta, let's find a way to be able to maybe team up and go run that marathon somewhere.
[00:56:20.240] - Marta
[00:56:23.030] - PMO Joe
The open invitation for when you guys do make it appear to the States is certainly to connect and find a way to be able to get together. And of course, all of you are out on LinkedIn. We have all of your LinkedIn connections tagged out there on our social media posts. So for people who want to get in touch with Lucho and his team, please do so and hear more about their story. And we'll certainly extend an invitation again next year to come on and continue this discussion as well.
[00:56:50.390] - PMO Joe
So that's it for this year. 2021 is over, which is amazing. Thank you to all of our listeners. And be sure to go out to projectmanagementofficehours.com. Check out all of our shows and guests. Next year, as I mentioned, we're going to go live streaming, so we'll be able to get some direct interaction from people out there while we're having our interviews.
[00:57:14.120] - PMO Joe
We have another great line up of guests planned. Nigel [inaudible 00:57:18] from the UK will be joining us with our first show of the year. The Smart PM, Melissa McDonald will be joining us in February, and of course, a whole bunch more PMs throughout the year.
[00:57:28.550] - PMO Joe
We're live, of course, as you know, but we do record these shows, so please go out and subscribe to Project Management Office Hours Podcast on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, Speaker, Spotify, et cetera, or whatever your favorite platform of choices. And of course, thank you to our sponsors, the PMO Squad and the PMO Leader. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, whatever holidays you celebrate with your families. Please be in good health and I look forward to reconnecting with you in January as well.
[00:58:00.440] - PMO Joe
So that's it for now. Office hours are closed. Until next time, PMO Joe, and you've been listening to Project Management Office Hours.
[00:58:09.830] - Announcer
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