PMO World Caf Manchester

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Posted by APM on 6th Feb 2014

Last week I hosted another APM PMO World Caf for the PMOSIG. I wrote about hosting a World Cafe in a previous post. Not only is it a great way to get people talking, it can also be a real eye opener of what can come out in sixty minutes.

In this session (the image below captures three main points on each topic area) I enjoyed chats about, could technology replace the people in the PMO?

After a resounding no in all three sessions we got onto key areas in a PMOs work where technology could play a bigger and better part. We talk about the current situation in a lot of organisations where the PMO spends a large proportion of their time just feeding the beast. By being the group that provides monthly metrics and reports on project status or programme progress have we made a rod for our own backs with the sheer amount of time required to get this accurate and meaningful?

Why do we have to take progress updates from project managers in one format just to take that information and add it into another system? If we cant get project managers feeding their status straight into one system what chance have we got at doing some of the more clever analysis? Real-time reporting could be possible if all the team were using one system perhaps with smartphones and cloud technologies for example.

Before we get clever we have to be better at defining what a PMO sausage factory could look like. These are the processes on the project which could be automated and just requires a crank of the handle to get the data converted into information. The PMO then focuses on the more important part of interpreting the information and informing the right parties about future risks or issues coming down the line.

We had another great analogy about the PMO brain we take data, create information, which in turn creates knowledge. Knowledge that then helps our organisation do better in future. The PMO brain provides the wiring in the project organisation, carrying out different functions, sensing safety and danger. I like that on the inside it can be complex supporting a project organisation, on the outside we run like a well-oiled machine? Well almost, its good to have a goal!



The next PMO SIG event is on 5th March and full details can be found here



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