Make us better
I wonder how many times people in PMOs have heard something similar to this. You get pulled aside by one of the senior managers in the department and get asked to improve what you are doing. It’s simple they explain, if you are such an expert, then all you need to do is suggest a few things, get them implemented and the world will be a better place.
So where to start?
I received one of these challenges the other day, so I thought it would be easy to ‘just make the PMO more mature’. However that seems sometimes like saying to a kid to ‘grow up’. Does it mean that the kid should get a job, worry about the mortgage rate and pensions? Or does it mean something completely different?
So when looking at the maturity level of the PMO I started by looking to see if I could find anything about PMO Maturity levels. I was very surprised to find only one thing that directly related to a PMO maturity level, something called a PMO Maturity cube, which did help to a certain extent, but I couldn’t see it tie up with other things I had read.
I then fell back on the good old P3O manual, and that advised when improving a P3o where you needed to start with was a P3M3 assessment, and there is one of those in the P3O manual, however I thought that it would be good to see if I could download one from the AXELOS website. At the time of writing this is no longe available as a free download from their store, but if I wanted to pay several hundreds of pounds I could have access to one.
Having drawn a blank there I decided that perhaps I could make do with the information that was in the P3O manual. Having got my assessment, and bear in mind that the P3O manual suggests that at level 3 or above we would have a virtual model, and I was definitely not in one of those, then I had to be below level 3, what things could I get the PMO to do? If should therefore be quite simple. All I would need to do is have a look in the wonderful Appendix F and it would tell me that in orer to increase my maturity here are the simple things I need to do at a level 1, then I can add the following things in for level 2 etc, all nicely split down into categories such as risk, benefits i.e. nicely aligned to a P3M3 assessment model. After all they all come from AXELOS right, so everything should be nicely aligned.
Well I was sadly disappointed. In Appendix F of the P3O manual then there is nothing that mentions a P3M3 level, so that has drawn a blank.
So if I can’t do something so simple then do I have to make it up each time. Is there nothing out there that suggests how we can improve from level to level. After all if the PMO aren’t helping the organisation improve, who is doing it. Yes the senior management can suggest and promote ‘betterness’, but they aren’t the people who actually get involved in the detail.
So I welcome sensible suggestions in the comments below for where I (and anyone else reading this) can go to to find out the steps to improve their maturity within their PMO