The virtual programme management office (VPMO) is a relatively new concept, but it is becoming increasingly popular due to the many benefits it offers. In addition to the advantages related to cost savings, efficiency, and flexibility, a VPMO can also provide significant benefits related to diversity, equality, and inclusion. In this article, we will explore some of the diversity, equality, and inclusion benefits of a VPMO.
Diversity is an essential aspect of any successful organisation. A diverse workforce brings a range of perspectives, experiences, and skills that can lead to better decision-making, improved innovation, and increased creativity. A VPMO can provide many benefits in terms of diversity, including:
1. Access to a global talent pool
One of the significant advantages of a VPMO is the ability to access a global talent pool. When an organisation hires resources from different parts of the world, they are more likely to have a diverse workforce, which can lead to more innovative solutions and improved decision-making. Virtual work also provides opportunities for individuals who may have been excluded from the workforce in the past, such as those with disabilities or caring responsibilities, to participate fully in the workforce.
2. Reduced bias in hiring
Virtual PMOs can reduce bias in the hiring process. When recruiting for a virtual role, organisations are less likely to make assumptions about an individual based on their appearance or background, as they will be evaluating the candidate solely based on their skills and experience. This can lead to a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
3. Inclusive communication
Virtual PMOs can provide more inclusive communication channels. Virtual communication channels can remove barriers to communication that may exist in a traditional office environment. For example, virtual communication channels can provide real-time translation services, ensuring that individuals who speak different languages can communicate effectively. This can lead to more inclusive and collaborative work environments.
Equality is another essential aspect of any successful organisation. Equality ensures that all individuals are treated fairly and have access to the same opportunities. A VPMO can provide many benefits in terms of equality, including:
4. Accommodations for different needs
Virtual PMOs can accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities or other needs. For example, virtual work can provide individuals with mobility issues or those with caring responsibilities the opportunity to work from home. This can increase accessibility for a diverse range of individuals, allowing them to participate in the workforce and contribute to the success of the organisation.
5. Increased flexibility
A VPMO can provide increased flexibility for individuals who may face barriers to working in a traditional office environment. For example, virtual work can provide individuals with childcare responsibilities the opportunity to work around their schedule. This can lead to a more diverse workforce, as individuals who may have been excluded from the workforce in the past can now participate. By offering increased flexibility, organisations can attract and retain a more diverse workforce, leading to increased creativity, innovation, and better decision-making.
6. Reduced bias in performance evaluation
A VPMO can reduce bias in performance evaluation. Performance evaluation can be based on objective metrics such as productivity, rather than subjective evaluations that may be influenced by bias. This can lead to more equitable and fair evaluations, ensuring that all individuals are evaluated based on their performance.
Inclusion is the third essential aspect of any successful organisation. Inclusion ensures that all individuals feel valued and respected, and that their contributions are recognised. A virtual PMO can provide many benefits in terms of inclusion, including:
1. Increased collaboration
Virtual PMOs can increase collaboration between team members, regardless of their location. Virtual work can provide opportunities for individuals to connect with colleagues they may not have had the chance to work with in a traditional office environment. This can lead to increased teamwork, better communication, and more innovative solutions.
2. Encouraging employee feedback
Virtual PMOs can encourage employee feedback, ensuring that all employees feel heard and valued. Virtual communication channels can provide opportunities for employees to share their ideas and opinions, without fear of retribution or exclusion. This can lead to a more inclusive and collaborative work environment, where all employees feel empowered to contribute to the success of the organisation.
3. Increased diversity of thought
Virtual PMOs can provide increased diversity of thought. Virtual work can provide opportunities for individuals with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives to collaborate on projects. This can lead to more innovative solutions and improved decision-making, as teams are more likely to consider a range of perspectives and ideas.
In conclusion, a VPMO can provide significant benefits related to diversity, equality, and inclusion. By accessing a global talent pool, reducing bias in hiring and performance evaluations, accommodating different needs, increasing flexibility, and promoting collaboration and feedback, organisations can create more inclusive and diverse work environments. By creating more inclusive and diverse work environments, organisations can attract and retain a diverse range of employees, leading to improved innovation, better decision-making, and increased creativity.
Author: ChatGPT (on behalf of Mike Hooper, APM PMO SIG)
A note on this blog
The words above were ‘written’ by the ChatGPT AI in less than a minute after being asked to: ‘Describe the diversity, equality and inclusion benefits of a virtual programme management office (PMO).’
The ‘virtual’ element was included to test the ability of ChatGPT to go beyond the typically cited benefits of ED&I. Asking ChatGPT the same question but excluding ‘virtual’ delivers a fairly bland response that really doesn’t demonstrate the abilities of the technology.
This blog is a very simple demonstration of how AI can support and enhance the activities of a PMO – by sharing new ideas and learning.
The ‘trick’ now is to figure out how best to use such technology in a PMO context. Obvious candidate applications are written reports, proposals, business cases and bids expanding into application areas we do not yet comprehend.
I will certainly be exploring the potential of this technology. Don’t get left behind!