The most important ingredient to a project or PMO is the people. Without the right mix and number of resources, the project will not be a success.
It is because of this, many organisations invest a lot of time and effort in identifying, interviewing and recruiting the right resources for the task. It can often take months to complete the process and for the new project team member to arrive on their first day.
Unfortunately, this is just the start of the journey. To make the new recruit productive, you need to quickly get them up to speed with what they need to do. How the organisation works. The project goals. The project structure. The tools and processes to be used. What they are expected to do and by when.
If you do not help guide the new team member and quickly provide them with the knowledge they need, the longer it will be before they provide the required benefit.
Take a moment to think about a builder. You have given them the start day, the location, tools and material. However, you have not told them what is needed. How can they start to build the house you have designed without the plan? Even worse they could start building without knowing and you come back a couple of months later expecting to see a 3 story townhouse. The builder and built a bungalow. A house has been built but the expectations have not been met.
Good news….the solution is the PMO Induction Process.
PMO Induction Process
This is the steps that take place when a new resource joins an organisation. It can also apply when an existing employee moves to a project or PMO role. The objective is to provide the information to the new resource so that they can quickly become effective within an organisation.
What does it include?
The exact induction process will vary from organisation to organisation. Most should have a general onboarding process that provides new recruits with the important information that need about the organisation.
However, a robust induction process specific to the project, programme or PMO should include the following:
- Overview of programme / objective
- Overview of programme / PMO structure
- Details of specific programme / PMO where the resource will work
- Details of tools / processes / calendars
- Key contacts
- Links to information i.e. SharePoints
This information should provide the new resource with a good background to the objectives and where they fit in to the overall structure.
How to provide induction
One of the most effective ways to deliver the induction is in a 1:1 meeting typically with the resources manager. This can be as simple as on the first day, the manager meets with the new recruit after they have had the general induction to the organisation
The manager then steps through each of the items providing the appropriate level of information. This approach allows for the new recruit to ask questions to help ensure understanding.
PMO induction tools and resources
It is a good idea to use a presentation to walk through the topics. It is especially useful to use diagrams to present organisation structures and programme structures.
Tip: As you know, at PM Majik I try to create frameworks that allow the quick re-use of information so as to ensure consistency and save time. My recommendation is to use the PMO Handbook as the basis of the induction pack and add in the appropriate slides on role, etc as appropriate.
This will save you a lot of time by not having to recreate information.
Remember when a resource joins a new organisation they will be taking in a lot of information. There is a risk of information overload.
- Make sure that you only provide the information that is needed at that point in time.
- Make sure they know that it is OK for them to ask questions and seek clarification. In fact tell them you expect them to do this.
- Check-in with them at regular intervals to see that they are OK and if they have any questions.
Investing in a good PMO induction process will deliver a big pay back to your organisation. It will also help you as a PMO manager as the quicker you get a new resource up to speed, the quicker you get the benefit. Finally re-using artefacts like the PMO Handbook will save you a lot of your valuable time.