The last few posts, have been focusing on the move from one PMO role to a new PMO role.  To build on this, this post will spend some time considering some of the Do’s and Don’t for the first week in the new PMO role.

Build understanding

If the role is in a new organisation or different part of your current organisation, you will need to get up to speed on what is going on.  Without doing this, there is a risk that any decisions you make, may not be appropriate.  Remember, when you start a role, there will be a number of people watching how you perform.  If you make some rash decisions without taking time to understand, you will struggle with support.

Good ways to build understanding are:

  • Key documents
  • Meet stakeholders
  • Meet the people doing the work (they know what is going on)

Ask questions

While you are building your own opinion through observation, you also need to seek feedback.  As you go about the day, you will be interacting with different internal and external stakeholders.  Take each opportunity to ask how they think things are going – what works and what does not work.

This is the best time to get honest feedback.  As you are not responsible for what has happened before you joined, people probably be more candid with providing feedback as it will not be in respect of what you have put in place.  They will also be aware that this presents an opportunity to influence changes to current processes.

Test feedback

People always have specific items that are important to them or what they are doing.  It may not always be representative of the wider picture.  Make sure that you test the feedback and inputs with other people.  As you speak to more people you will soon identify emerging themes and what items are unique to individuals.

Take action

While it is important not to make rash decisions, you do need to make an impact and demonstrate leadership.  When you have enough data to make decisions, don’t be afraid to push ahead.  It will demonstrate to your manager and your team that you have the courage to make decisions and lead.

In summary

All of the above is very practical and straight forward and no clever / complicated tools or processes.  It really comes down to asking the right questions and (most importantly) listening.  Doing this will set you up for success.