How PMOs can become more agile

by Elise Stevens | Futureproof Your Career Podcast

In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks to Syed Ali – a project manager with more than ten years experience – about how PMOs can become more agile.

The word agile gets thrown around a lot in project management. But what does it truly mean to be agile and how can a PMO fully embrace it?

Ali is currently Principal Program Manager at Ripple, a San Francisco-based company that provides global financial settlement solutions. He’s adept in project management, relationship management, team leadership and team building, resource management and staff training.

Points raised in this podcast:

  • Agile means different things to different people.
  • To Syed, change is the only constant in life. Being agile means making friends with change.
  • For Elise, agile is a state of mind. It’s important to always be looking for ways to improve.
  • PMOs need to constantly reinvent themselves to be ahead of their competitors. This is part of being agile.
  • Agile PMOs work as one team, not as separate departments.
  • Sometimes an agile organisation will decide they don’t need their PMO. Therefore, it’s not just about how PMOs can become agile, but how they can bring value to the agile project delivery process in order to avoid being seen as obsolete.
  • It’s important project managers know what an organisation wants from its PMO. Once a PMO has its organisation’s support it is easier to have conversations about what being agile means across the entire organisation.
  • One team can struggle to be agile if the rest of the organisation is not. But small changes can still be made, and hopefully, this will slowly influence other teams to become more agile.
  • PMOs should strive to lead the organisation in being agile.
  • PMOs sometimes get lost meeting everyone else’s expectations and fail to meet their own.
  • Being agile doesn’t mean a lack of reporting or strategy. It means constantly looking at how outcomes are being met and reassessing or adjusting where necessary.
  • Rather than attempting to implement sweeping changes, a PMO leader should implement agile changes in bite-size pieces and nudge the team along with constant reassurance.
  • The team that has to execute the project needs to have fully embraced being agile for it to work.
  • Leaders need to accept that in order for PMOs to become more agile they need to be open and ready for change on a daily basis, in all aspects of life – work and personal.

You can connect with Syed on LinkedIn.