In my role, I talk to a lot of frustrated PMO leaders. Most of them want the PMO to have an impact on their organizations, but feel like IMpact is IMpossible.
It's not impossible, as I was reminded in a recent interview with Laura Barnard. Laura is a PMO leader, coach and trainer and now she's launching a FREE online summit aimed at helping PMO leaders deliver impact. The main point of this blog post, in fact, is to make sure as many people as possible benefit from this free resource. Essentially, Laura is bringing together a load of really smart people, people who have real experience and strong records of helping PMO leaders succeed, and having them give away their best tips. She's acted as all good curators do. There is an overall theme (Delivering IMPACT) and has built a broad panel of speakers to tackle that problem from different directions (no surprise, I'll be talking about prioritization and how that can have a massive impact).
Putting it all online and making it free is an interesting twist - I'd recommend signing up.
It was in preparation for the summit that I interviewed Laura - I wanted to know what she meant by impact and, before putting together my contribution for the summit, I wanted to know what she felt PMO leaders can do to change things around so the PMO really can deliver value to the business.
Larua's point is that, fundamentally, deliveringvalue in the PMO is about delivering business value to the business.
Well that's obvious, so why do so few PMO leaders focus on delivering business value? To answer that question, I'll ask a few questions. What do we measure? We measure our ability to deliver projects on time. We track budget and even delivering scope. So what?
The triple constraints (on time, on budget, on scope) are simply a means to an end. They are not the end in themselves. So let's not get focused on being a cost-and-control function and shift the focus to removing barriers and on identifying and delivering business value.
Laura's view is that the PMO is uniquely positioned to ensure value is delivered, but few take that opportunity. The PMO is around before the project, during the project, after the project. They can (or should) see the big picture and can identify the common roadblocks. They can hold people accountable.
The key is to work out how to actually make this happen, and that's what the Impact Summit is all about.