New year resolutions for PMO

What will be the new year resolutions for your PMO?

Well the end of another year and most of us will be reflecting on the events and achievements for the year as well as the plans and goals for the year to come.  Many see the start of a new year as the opportunity to make new year resolutions on how we want to make important changes in the coming year to their personal life.  For example to stop smoking, lose weight, get fit, etc.

There is no reason why you should not make similar resolutions for your business / professional life.  This includes have new resolutions for setting up and running a PMO!

The post. PMO performance – make sure you are measuring success, covered the importance of being able to measure and demonstrate the value that has been added by a PMO (if not, there is no reason for a PMO to exist).  In order to do this it is important to select suitable key performance indicators (KPI’s) to measure the performance.  Having an understanding on what you want to improve or establish should provide great guidance for defining your PMO new year resolutions.

PMO New Year Resolution Ideas

Quality

Aim to improve the quality of the data that is consolidated and provided by your PMO.  A PMO is only as good as the information that it provides to it’s stakeholders.  If the stakeholders do not believe the information is trustworthy they will look to other sources.  Even if the data is good, there is always room to improve.

Timeliness

Aim to improve the time it takes to complete the different PMO reporting cycles.  Stakeholders rely on the reports produced by the PMO to make important decisions.  It is an unfortunate truth that the data in the majority of reports is out of date by the time it is distributed or presented at a steering committee.

By reducing the data collection, consolidation and production cycle, you will be able to provide the stakeholders with more up to date information making them more confident in making decisions based on the data.

Engagement

Projects are delivered by people.  Therefore, good communication and engagement is critical for successful delivery.  The PMO typically acts as the central hub (“the glue”) pulling together and joining up all of the different stakeholders.  It is very important that the PMO builds very good working relationships and communication channels.

Committing to review the current state of engagement, identifying where improvement is needed and then building a plan to make the improvements would be a very valuable resolution to commit to in the coming year.

Professionalism

Look to improve the professionalism of your PMO.  It is amazing how much engaging in a professional manner can change the perception of stakeholders.  When I worked in consultancy, I learnt how important it was to engage with stakeholders so as to promote confidence and to spend time on both the content and design of reports and presentations.  Moving to a set of standard, professional templates can make such a difference very quickly.

Maturity

If you have only just set-up your PMO it is likely you may be operating as an Administrative / Reporting PMO.  You could set a resolution take the next steps on the maturity cycle by adding additional services, etc.

Tips to keep the new year resolutions

Don’t make too many

It is very easy to be over optimistic at the start of a new year and feel that you can change the world.  While this is the attitude you need, you must be realistic.  If you decide to focus on too many resolutions, some may be achieved but many will not.  The ones that don’t get achieved will present an enormous risk to all of the others.

It makes more sense to decide on 2 – 4 resolutions that you are passionate about and will make a big difference to you.  This will then allow you to focus your attention.  It is far better to achieve 2 – 4 very well than many average best or not achieved at all.

If you are looking for support and guidance, you may want to take a look at the PMO Maturity Framework.  A complete tool set to help assess and define a plan for the maturity of your PMO.

Be specific

Like the scope of a project, it is important to be specific.  The reason for this is that by being able to clearly define the resolution, it allows you to make the appropriate plans to achieve.  It also means that you will be able to define measures to monitor and demonstrate success.  If you cannot be specific, it is probably not the right resolution to commit your valuable time and energy.

Write them down

There is a higher likelihood of keeping a resolution if you write it down.  The process of committing the resolution to paper makes it more real and important.

Take time to write the 3 or 4 resolutions you want to achieve on a small piece of card and then place the card somewhere you will see it regularly throughout the day.  An ideal place for work resolutions is close to the computer screen of phone.  Then every time you see the card it will act as a ‘trigger’ helping to reinforce the behaviour.

Teamwork

The help and support of your friends and colleagues will greatly improve your chances to stick with the resolutions, especially when the going gets tough.  Take the example of going to the gym, if you are going on your own and don’t feel like going, it is very easy not to go.  However, if you have a shared commitment with a friend to go together, neither will want to let the other down.

For your PMO resolutions, make them shared with your fellow PMO co-workers so that you all work together to achieve them through support and holding each other to account.

Don’t be too hard if some slip

It is a fact that however hard you try, some resolutions may not make it through the year.  Circumstances change and other ‘stuff’ has the habit of getting in the way.  It is important not to be too hard on yourself if this happens.  Just because 1 or 2 slip, it does not mean they all should.

For this reason it is important only to select 2 – 4 resolutions that are really important to you and that CAN be realistically achieved (so go easy on choosing world peace).

If circumstances change, see if you can change the resolution to make it appropriate for the change.  If not, remove the resolution and focus your energies on those that remain.  Do not dwell on the one that has been removed.

Finally….

Hopefully this article helps you with your thinking on what you would like to achieve with your PMO in the coming year.  Please don’t forget the importance of What will be your project / PMO new year resolutions?friends and family.  A very good quote is, “never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”.

Wishing you a successful, rewarding and most importantly happy new year.