IMPACT Insights: PMO Types

Welcome you to another Impact Insight. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of avoiding a type when you’re setting up your PMO or trying to determine your services and how you might need to evolve to support the changing business needs.

Here’s the thing, there are a couple different ways to look at PMO types and we’ll explore both of them today. I want you thinking about your PMO, and what services and capabilities you provide now or want to provide, and how fitting into a type isn’t really going to help you.

Show Notes:

Welcome you to another Impact Insight. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of avoiding a type when you’re setting up your PMO or trying to determine your services and how you might need to evolve to support the changing business needs.

Here’s the thing, there are a couple different ways to look at PMO types and we’ll explore both of them today. I want you thinking about your PMO, and what services and capabilities you provide now or want to provide, and how fitting into a type isn’t really going to help you.

On the one hand, there are what I call, “behavior types,” and those are, as many of you may have heard, supportive, controlling, directive, as examples. Now, to me, those are a lot more about your behavior or the role you’re playing in a certain situation, as opposed to actually being a type of a PMO.

Think about your own personal behavior. Sometimes you’re in a situation where you have to be more directive, other times you need to be more supportive, sometimes controlling, all of those are covered when you’re trying to be a parent. It all depends on the situation and the needs in that situation.

With that in mind, why would you typecast your PMO into one certain set of behaviors when the business needs could evolve, and you might find yourself in a position where one service you’re providing is being very supportive, and cultivating and building capability, for example? Other times, or in another service you might need to be more directive. As in, driving the direction of the organization, for example, with a portfolio service that you’re providing.

So, that’s one set of behavior types that I think PMOs want to avoid. We really need to be looking at, what are the services and capabilities that we need to create to support the business, and let that do the talking.

Now, the other set of types that you might have heard of are the “what capabilities or services you’re going to provide” type. For example, well, we’re going to be a center of excellence PMO, or we’re just going to be a strategic PMO, or we’re just going to be a project execution PMO.

Here’s the challenge with that, again, you’re limiting yourself to the kinds of services you can provide, and if the needs of the organization shift or as you’re building our your PMO you realize, “You know what, we can help here, but we can actually provide even more support over here, or this is another service capability we need to deliver.” And if it doesn’t fit into your model or your mode operating, then you may just discard it and miss out on a huge opportunity to support the organization where the needs are. If you want to ensure sustainability with your PMO, you’ve got to be able to shift and build capabilities and services as the needs of the organization shift.

We limit ourselves to just being a strategic PMO, then does that mean we don’t provide any capabilities around furthering the organizational competencies? Or, if we’re just going to be a project execution PMO, does that mean we can set some standards or best practices to ensure that people are doing things consistently thereby increasing productivity and throughput?

Let’s just throw all of those categories or buckets out the window and take a step back to say, “Why are we here and what business problems are we solving?” Where are the pain points and where are the opportunities to serve the organization? We are a service function, let’s service the organization in a way that’s going to get high impact. If you do that, then you are good to go. So, sometimes that means doing a little bit of center of excellence stuff. Sometimes that means we’re doing a little bit of project or program execution. Usually, well always that means we should be looking at strategy.

Here’s the thing, we should all be a strategic office. Even if you’re doing a lot of center of excellence or execution type activities, if you’re not focused on where the strategy of your organization is going and how you can help drive that strategy, then your PMOs probably not going to be around that long anyway.

Throw out the types, just look at where the opportunities to serve, provide value and make an impact quickly and let that be your guide to where you go with your PMO.

All right, that’s it for today. Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to seeing you again on another Impact Insight.


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LauraBSignature_black

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