You’re Great

We're Grrreat
We’re Grrreat

I am prompted to write this following a few discussions I have seen and contributed to over the past month. It was initially the discussion on Linked In about the value of the PDF CV (apparently from a recruiter’s point of view it’s terrible). Then at the PMO flashmob I was handed a different style business card, which just had PMO on one side, and the person’s details on the other. I then saw the write-up from that flashmob. All of this tumbled around a bit and it got me thinking where are we?

How recruiters see CVs

Chatting to Lindsay Scott from Arras People it was clear that she (as a recruiter) sees things differently from the rest of the people who I spoke to about a CV. In order for the recruiter to see your CV (which is obviously great), then a keyword search is done, so if you don’t have the correct combination of keywords then you aren’t going to appear in the short(er) list that is going to be presented to the recruiter.

Only once you have passed the keyword test, which by the way is done against a database and not your CV will someone then actually look at your CV.

How candidates want CVs to appear

You (like me) have probably spent hours poring over your CV, making sure that aligns to the keywords that are in the job advert. Making sure not only the spelling, but the grammar is perfect. Therefore when you send your CV it is so sparkling everyone is dazzled and therefore it must be the one that is read, and everything else is ignored. You get an immediate pass into the interview round, because it is so obviously you are made for the role.

Reading a CV

I have spent some time reading CVs when I have wanted to recruit. The first thing to say is that I read a CV for a contract role differently from a CV for a permanent role. Why? Well put simply the contract person is one I want to come in and be able to start the job first day. Whereas the permanent person I want to see an element of where they are going to be, what will be their future in the organization? So yes, even at CV reading stage I am looking at career development.

There are other things I look at regarding career history, looking for length of contracts, renewals, drive and ambition as well as technical skills. If I am then interested in them I may do some research on Linked In to find out a bit more about them. I typically get a second opinion as well. This is normally done by getting the other person to read the CVs and then we compare notes, so as not to influence the other person. To ensure a level playing field I try and sort them in surname order as well.

A new generation of CVs?

As we all seem to want different things from a CV, perhaps this is the wrong format. We are using something that is paper based (what ever happened to that electronic office?). Perhaps we should start to go the HTML route (for those non technical think of it as a web page). This would then allow the recruiters to be happy as we could all stuff our web pages with those wonderful META tags which have all of the buzz words. We can get the fancy formatting that the person writing the CV wants. We can even get a nice picture included as well. It then means that the format is contained. If the recruiter then wants to put their contact details as a header & footer, then all they need to do is to put a frame around the CV content and put their information at the top & bottom. For those people who like paper, as it allows it to be scrawled on and the o’s and a’s coloured in during a dull meeting moment, you can print the pages as well.


Hang on a minute though …… this sounds like I have just described linked in? If we have that, then remind me, why do we all have a CV and a business card?

PMO Maturity first steps

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.

Then where?

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.

Where next?

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