- Announcing that some poor victim was the PMO
- Giving the PMO a giant office with nice furniture and lots of whiteboards
- Giving all a life-time subscription to MS Project Galactic (no, there really isn't such a thing) and requiring its use
- Implementing SharePoint Scorecards with Red/Yellow/Green status indicators for all current projects.
The predictable results? Way worse project results. Projects that drag on and on. Eventually, project management is declared The Evil Cause and it fades away leaving a history that won't soon be forgotten. Everything is blamed on the PMO. All project data in MS Project and SharePoint goes out-of-date quickly.
People today struggle with their workload. They leave work feeling more and more overwhelmed each day. Even at home, their lives are consumed by guilt and frustration as they attempt to be present for their families while keeping an eye on the email pestering them from their smart phone. They know the quality of their work has suffered with all this multi-tasking which adds to the angst. Consider another approach.
One person learns simple, minimal techniques to manage their workload. They learn how to differentiate between tasks, projects and processes. They admit to themselves that when they estimate how long it takes to do a task the number assumes uninterrupted, full focus but their work is actually done in constant interruption. A 4 hour task will really take 2 days. By creating a quick (45 minutes or less) Project Charter (tie to business strategy), a Project Plan (identify who is doing what by when = accountability), a Change Management / Governance Process (to manage churn), and a simple Excel dashboard, projects go more smoothly, rework is reduced and quality is increased. Invest and reap the rewards.
Someone else notices and says "Teach me how to do that!" Pretty soon, people are sharing templates and talking about how to reuse these project deliverables and techniques, jump-starting their projects even more. Eventually, teams combine their project deliverables into folders so they can back each other up, and there is less dependence on the physical brain of each project manager. The boss finds out about these folders, and loves them. Now she knows what's going on, and starts to figure out ways to help the projects be more successful.
The maturity of project management as HELPER vs. CONTROLLER looks like this:
- Start with individuals. Help them do their job better, easier, faster and so, feel better.
- Help them connect. Create opportunities for them to learn from each other.
- Practice reusability as much as possible. Share previous project deliverables to jumpstart new ones in shared folders.
- Use the collected data to measure and drive improvement. Create an organizational dashboard.
If this is something you wish you could do, it's what we do best. Whether you grab a copy of one of our PM books, attend our workshops or give us a shout for a custom solution, things can be a lot better if you have the discipline to make the first step. To get a free copy our PM Charter Template, email Brittney at firstname.lastname@example.org