Project Management Office: Invest in Your People
By Woody Walker
A successful Project Management Office (PMO) is made up of many things: great people, solid processes, simple effective tools, etc. But to me, people are the most important piece. Investing in your team takes time and energy but is well worth the effort in organizational loyalty, project management effectiveness and delighted clients. These are a few tested and proven examples of low cost ways to build a strong team of PMs in your PMO.
- On-boarding – Ensure you have a thorough on-boarding process. If you spend the time up front setting expectations and familiarizing your new employees with the PMOs processes, their ramp up period will be shorter and they will be able to perform at the necessary level in a faster time period.
Mentoring – Connect your new Project Managers with a mentor – someone that understands how your organization works and someone that is willing to devote time working closely with new employees to answer questions and help them navigate the new landscape.
Education – Spend time on a monthly basis sharing a different knowledge process area with your Project Managers such as risk management or scope management. Host a conference call or a video based lunch and learn. Encourage two-way conversation and pick lively topics to get everyone engaged and excited. You will find that everyone on your team has something valuable to contribute.
Lessons Learned – Collect and discuss lessons learned across all projects. Have a different Project Manager present monthly and review what went wrong, what went right and how we could improve tools and processes to ensure these lessons can be prevented in the future. Document these lessons learned in a common database and report on learning and process improvements to the executives on a quarterly basis.
Business Training – Train your PMs in your organization’s core business. Invite guest speakers from the business to share challenges faced by the organization and educate the PMs on industry knowledge.
Soft Skills Training – Expand your Project Managers’ communication and interpersonal skills by encouraging them to present to each other. We learn best by doing. Find something outside their comfort zone and encourage them to become an expert in that topic and to teach others what they have learned.
How do you invest in your Project Managers? I would love your feedback!
Woody Walke is a Senior Director - Project Management Office at Ciber North America. Ciber helps clients solve problems and grow by driving tangible business results from their technology investments.
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