Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Social Future of the PMO

In Delivering Successful PMOs I asserted that true PMO success came from implementing the right mix of initiatives across three streams: People, Process and Technology. Traditionally, you would design an appropriate system of governance and business processes first; engaging and involving key people across the business until the method was understood, adhered to and well embedded. At this point the introduction of enterprise project management technology becomes much easier, empowering and underpinning a proven process and providing the tools for the people to do their jobs.

Emergent social media and technologies are disrupting this. Where PMOs have made steady headway in obtaining visibility and control across the portfolios or initiatives they support, they have done so through a reliance on consistency, compliance and rigour, striving for predictable and repeatable project performance.  Just as order was starting to emerge from chaos, PMOs are now encountering the spectre of ‘Shadow IT’, essentially cloud-based collaborative technologies easily available across multiple devices, often with a social or gamified emphasis. This challenges the role of the PMO as ‘regulator’ and places power back into the hands of the individual project managers who are adopting these tools and finding them easier and more effective than labouring with corporate tools promoted from the centre.

Broadly, this is a good thing. Every project is unique, after all, and each project manager thrives with different styles and has different preferences. The danger is that, as the PMO loses control, the organisation returns to over-reliance on pockets of expertise and individual ‘heroes’ to deliver projects successfully. The social revolution is clearly something to be embraced and, while it is apparently ‘technology-led,’ the balance in those three streams still rings true: we must consider the social implications to our processes and governance and also to our people.

PMOs should be aiming to adjust what they regulate and standardise; they need to become more outcome-driven rather than expecting compliance to specific procedures or templates, for example. More Theory Y than Theory X, if you will. However, this can only occur when there is confidence in two things: the maturity of the organisation and the competence of the PM community. In this way, a well trained project manager who has honed their skills over time into solid competencies should be allowed to experiment with new tools and new ways of working. Similarly, in a mature organisation where good practice and processes have been embedded into the culture, compliance-based PMOs become less necessary and they are free to assume the more valuable roles of facilitator and value-generator.

In the ‘Process’ stream, the whole concept of ‘maturity’ and what it means will evolve with this. Currently, most maturity models revolve around standardisation and an enforced ‘one-size-fits-all’ model but I predict this concept to embrace more flexible, multi-governance systems that account for varying levels of complexity and uncertainty. In short, ‘agility’ will be one of the factors that defines what ‘mature’ means.

Similarly, with our ‘People’ stream, emphasis will shift from skills training to continuous learning and competence development (i.e. the practical application and demonstration of skills over time) and we are now seeing the emergence of new ‘social learning’ technologies to support this. Digital competence will become more and more of a necessity in the modern workplace and a source of competitive advantage for organisations as our three streams continue to converge.

In summary, we shouldn’t panic about the emergence of social technologies, still less attempt to suppress them. However, in the short-term we may wish to evaluate and regulate our social approaches in the same way we regulate an approach to, say, risk management. The degree to which PMOs can step back and relinquish control will be directly related to evolving maturity and the competence of the PM community but these concepts will themselves be shaped by the social revolution. One thing remains true: that all of this takes time. It is a journey that takes careful cultivation so we must be careful of the temptation to run before we can walk.

Ray Mead MBA PMP is Founder and CEO of p3m global, a project, programme and portfolio management consultancy that partners its clients on journeys of capability development. He is author of the recently released book, Delivering Successful PMOs, and of the forthcoming title, The Agile Portfolio: Digital Transformation in a Converging World, both published by Gower.

The Wash-Up - APM PMO SIG: Socialising the PMO

p3m global attended and exhibited at the 2015 APM PMO SIG Conference, Ray Mead, CEO rounds up his thoughts on the event. 

How social would you say your PMO is?

Does it only appear at gateway reviews or when chasing status updates?

Or is it leading the way in promoting new ways of collaborating and communicating in your project community, harnessing the best of emerging social tools and technologies?

These questions and more were put to the attendees of the APM PMO Special Interest Group on Thursday 22nd  October in London. The theme was ‘Socialising the PMO’ and we heard from a diverse array of speakers on the subject:

Jonathan Norman, Publisher at Gower Publishing enlightened us on social learning principles, while Carol Osterwell used fascinating revelations from the world of neuroscience to demonstrate how we are all physiologically ‘hard-wired to be social.’ We heard from Jonnie Jensen who showed how the digital revolution is transforming social interaction at work while pointing out that organisations not embracing these social concepts will be forever left behind – “Go social or die!” was the ominous warning echoing in my ears over my cold meats mezze.

This was all then brought to life by representatives of GCHQ, who talked us through their long and impressive journey of PMO maturity development and how the organisation was adapting to the social challenge.

In the afternoon I was fortunate enough to be asked to host one of the roundtable workshops, the subject being ‘Social Methods.’ In a series of engaging conversations and contributions, we discussed how the systems and methodologies that we PMOs have developed, evangelised and enforced will be impacted by this brave new social world. There seemed to be a general agreement that the PMOs role is evolving and that the social revolution is accelerating this process but the challenge lies in pinpointing the shifting balance between regulation and empowerment. I have put some thoughts on this into a new blog article called The Social Future of thePMO but would welcome the opportunity to continue and widen the discussion, so please give us your thoughts.

We could distil Jonnie Jensen’s warning into P.W. Botha’s more general and more well-known adage, ‘adapt or die,’ and the stakes could be no higher than this. Getting the balance right is key to the future prosperity, and indeed survival, of the PMO. 

Friday, 16 October 2015

APM PMO SIG Conference 2015 - Socialising the PMO. The PMO as a builder of P3M communities.

We hope you can join p3m global and APM at the APM PMO SIG Conference held at Holborn Bars on Thursday 22nd October.

This years theme is Socialising the PMO. The PMO as a builder of P3M communities.

"Throughout the day, we will reflect on the evolution of the PMO, debating and defining the role of the PMO in line with today’s emerging requirement to work in a more 'social' and less bureaucratic way; whilst acknowledging the elevation of PMO into the APM Competence Framework and what this means for the industry." APM PMO SIG

p3m global CEO, Ray Mead will be holding a series of workshops focused on Social Methods in the PMO. Discussing how methodologies and frameworks provide a lot of the grounding for the structure of a PMO, and the roles and responsibilities therein.

Tickets are still available for the event from APM  https://www.apm.org.uk/event/socialising-pmo-pmo-builder-p3m-communities


Welcome to our new series #p3mTips

Each week the Client Services team will share valuable tips they've picked up through their P3M experience. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Delivering Successful PMOs

p3m global have great pleasure to announce the publication of Delivering Successful PMOs, the first book from CEO, Ray Mead. 

The book explores, from proven practice and live application how to do the right things, in the right way, in the right order, with the right team and identify what makes a good PMO leader. 

Read below what Ray had to say about his book.

Delivering Successful PMOs

You may have seen by now that Peter Taylor and I have just released our new book (and my debut), Delivering Successful PMOs. This book was originally conceived as a counterpart to Peter's previous book, Leading Successful PMOs(also published by Gower).

The difference is that Delivering offers a practical framework for designing and developing a PMO; a set of steps to follow based on our experiences, Peter's in his varied career and mine from working with our clients at p3m global. The main message is that the PMO needs to demonstrate value and that this needs to be built into it from the outset.

Value needs to be reflected in its remit, its metrics, how it is sponsored and governed and how it conducts its day to day business. The central concept of 360 degree value discusses the importance of demonstrating value both to senior management and to the PM community it serves. If a PMO slips on either of these, sooner or later it will fail. 

Emphasis is also given to the need for the PMO to market its services throughout the organisation. By building a service catalogue, advertising its services and broadcasting its successes it is putting its customers at the heart of everything it does and will thrive as a result.

These are just some of the topics discussed in the book and I sincerely hope those who pick it up are able to take something practical away from it that they can implement in their PMO; even if it a small change in outlook or behaviour - it all helps.

Delivering Successful PMOs by Ray Mead & Peter Taylor is published by Gower and available from their website at https://goo.gl/RRer86 or on Amazon from 28th September at http://goo.gl/hquu3K 

Monday, 3 August 2015

PRINCE2 Agile: Empowering the Agile Business

On Thursday 30th July, p3m global  hosted PRINCE2 Agile: Empowering the Agile Business. The event was held in partnership with AXELOS and explored PRINCE2 Agile and Organisational Agility.

It was an interesting and insightful evening, which started with p3m global Consultant, Drake Gearheart presenting "Empowering the Agile Business through Organisational Agility".  Drake explained how accelerated market demand and increased pressure on organisations to get products and services out the door in near real-time is driving them to be more adaptable. 

This agility demands flexibility and needs to flow through the veins of the entire organisation, as a way of being or doing business and relies on its people, processes and technology to be synchronised and optimised to support the mission. 

Guest speaker, Keith Richards lead author of  PRINCE2 Agile, went on to explain that organisations using structured project delivery methods such as PRINCE2, can quickly develop their talent to be most effective in this agile world by adopting methods such as PRINCE2 Agile.

The team at p3m global, an AXELOS strategic partner, are well positioned to help todays organisations adapt their ways of working to meet this agile demand, and train and accredit their teams in PRINCE2 Agile.

For further information about Organisational Agility please contact us today or visit p3mtraining.com to book a PRINCE2 Agile training course. 

If you have any thoughts on Agile you would like to share, please visit our LinkedIn group, where there is an Organisational Agility discussion.

p3m global will be hosting further events similar to this one, if you are interested in attending please contact hannah.burgess@p3mglobal.com

Drake Gearheart presenting -Empowering the Agile Business through Organisational Agility

Guest Speaker, Keith Richards discussing PRINCE2 Agile

Members of the p3m global team - Stewart Ball, Oana Pop, Ray Mead, Drake Gearheart, Hannah Burgess, Emma Dewar & Glenn Jones

Guests from AXELOS and EE, with the p3m global team
Hannah Burgess, p3m global and Susan Lin, AXELOS

Guest Speaker and PRINCE2 Lead Author, Keith Richards and p3m global, CEO, Ray Mead

Friday, 30 January 2015

PRESS RELEASE: p3m global selected as an AXELOS Strategic Partner

In partnership with AXELOS, p3m global are delighted to announce they have been selected as one of the first AXELOS Strategic Partners.

The Strategic Partner scheme is a new initiative from AXELOS, to enable growth and drive of the Best Practice Portfolio, which includes PRINCE2, MSP, P3O, MoR, MoP, MoV, ITIL and P3M3.  Working in partnership with AXELOS on this scheme, will allow collaborative best practices to be shared with AXELOS and the wider ATO community.  

“The AXELOS portfolio has always been integral to both our training and our consulting offerings so I’m especially pleased with this recognition” said Ray Mead, p3m global CEO. 

“The aspiration, ethos and geographic footprint of AXELOS closely matches our own, as does the belief that best practice should be applied to further both the careers of individuals and the performance of organisations. We are very excited about working with AXELOS on this range of initiatives in the coming years.

p3m global are a specialist project, programme and portfolio (P3M) management consultancy. They are focused on empowering their clients to realise successful change and deliver on their strategic promises. In partnership with their clients they optimise investment by applying the right blend of solutions, drawing from the most comprehensive, integrated and coherent range of P3M services in the World. p3m.global

AXELOS is a joint venture company, created by the Cabinet Office on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and Capita plc to run the Global Best Practice portfolio. https://www.axelos.com/

Please contact Hannah Burgess Communications Executive at p3m global for further details.

t: +44 (0)1962 676 321