Project ManagementProject Management Office

How PMOs Can Improve Project Management Capability

Imagine “competence” and “process” as the axes on a graph, and you will discover the fundamental challenge that plagues the project management office, or PMO. Though every PMO will be the best judge of what fits its particular organization and work culture, there are some general tips that apply to just about every situation. An article by Lindsay Scott for Business 2 Community attempts to fill in that space between X and Y.

PMO Skills

For starters, the PMO must cope with uncertainty. Chaos is the reality of the project world, where one is constantly faced with a series of decisions, complex ideas and processes, and sudden changes that disrupt your path to a desired goal. It therefore goes without saying that the PM needs confidence in the face of uncertainty, the ability to see things through and to know when all efforts are futile. This requires a general capacity for self-awareness that extends to the areas of communication and creativity when dealing with team members and stakeholders alike.

How to Get Them

The important thing to remember is that the above mentioned skills can only be acquired through experience. In more concrete terms, this involves modeling the actions of successful PMs, coaching and mentoring to solidify these skills, and facilitating events that provide a form of collective or social learning to the team.

Helpful Motivators

Furthermore, you won’t get very far if you enter the learning process willy-nilly. It takes considerable motivation to improve on top of the daily requirements of the job. Scott lists six prime motivators:

  • Status
  • Reciprocity
  • Job satisfaction
  • Support
  • Technology

Experts are always useful when trying to develop PM capabilities – as are networks of people drawn together through reciprocity. See if teams can learn from one another, from you, or vice versa. And never underestimate the power of self-efficacy, the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.

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