A lot changed in the world of work during the COVID pandemic, and no doubt your PMO looks at least a little different to before. While it may seem daunting, have you considered changing project methodologies for your post-COVID hybrid PMO?

Lessons were learned during the pandemic, and everyone had to adapt and get the job done in uncertain times. As your workplace is adapting to a new way of working with a hybrid model, it’s also time to consider if your project methodology is fit for purpose.

To help you understand whether you should evolve your project methodology, we’re going to check out:

  • How the pandemic affected project methodologies
  • The lessons you can learn from changing project methodologies
  • How to hybridise your project methodology

To help you keep on top of your rapidly changing working environment.

How did the pandemic affect project methodologies?

Whichever industry you operate in, no doubt you experienced a huge shift in your way of working during the pandemic. Things that would have been different include:

  • Less planning at the early stages of projects due to tighter timelines
  • More adaptable roles due to increased absences
  • Reporting and data gathering being side-lined as less important with limited resources
  • Project governance and compliance are losing focus in favour of pushing out deliverables

For your PMO, these changes may feel dangerous – if projects still get delivered with your functions reduced, will your PMO survive?

If you’re able to work with the changes and have your PMO support a different set of processes and frameworks, you should be able to continue your work in the business.

What can a PMO learn from COVID changes to project methodology?

Two years after the changes wrought by the pandemic, you should have an idea if projects your office supervises were more or less successful based on their KPIs.

It’s time to untangle what worked and what didn’t during the pandemic in terms of what your office is responsible for. Hopefully, you were able to get at least basic data and reporting completed whilst everything was changing so fast!

PMOs still working with waterfall may have noticed a shift towards a more agile way of working. A project team that was once co-located may have started a daily huddle in the same vein as Scrum to keep everyone in the loop during remote working.

Now is the time to see what worked and make changes such as:

  • Streamlining processes that were skipped over without any overall detriment
  • Collecting different data to support the changing project landscape
  • Bring in different elements from different methodologies that worked

How to hybridise your PMO methodology

You’ve looked at what has and hasn’t worked during the changing and unpredictable times of the pandemic. Now it’s the time to be precious about your frameworks and carefully-crafted, step-by-step processes.

Speak with your project managers and their teams and understand what they think worked and why. Some may be relieved to get back to what they know, while there may be things that have needed changing for a while, such as

Change your mindset from being wedded to your specific methodology and change processes where it makes sense. You can decide to offer more flexibility and freedom to your project managers to choose a methodology they want.

What would this look like?

You may want to have two different methodologies available with different supporting details. This will increase your workload to adapt processes and frameworks, but it should increase productivity.

Taking the best of two different ways to run a project and assess which method will work best for that project. Large government contracts may need the rigidity and process of an old-school waterfall method, while an IT project for a start-up may want the pace and fluidity of Scrum.

Project methodologies post-COVID

Now it seems we are emerging out of the other side of the pandemic; it’s time to take stock of what worked and what didn’t. Your office working style is likely moving to a hybrid remote/in-office model, and it’s also a chance to look at changing project methodologies in your post-COVID hybrid PMO.