Podcast Episode #167: Jools Barrow-Read – Building a successful PMO
A successful PMO is one that’s tailored to the needs of the business.
That might sound simplistic, but Jools Barrow-Read believes that’s the only definition a PMO needs. Jools has been working in PMOs for 15 years. Five years ago, she started her own PMO consulting business, RedWizard, which helps organisations set up project, change or transformation management solutions.
She’s obsessed with making change a positive experience and believes there’s great scope for evolution of the PMO function into the trusted change partner of the future.
Jools is on a mission to find out why the failure rate for PMOs beyond three years is so high. In this podcast, she speaks with Elise Stevens about how we can help PMOs evolve and remain valuable assets to their organisations.
Points raised in this podcast with Jools Barrow-Read:
- RedWizard’s four focus areas for a PMO are People, Communication, Agility and Insight.
- Transforming the PMO begins with identifying who your customers are and getting out from behind the desk and opening a line of communication that allows you to build relationships.
- Then, a PMO must have the agility in its decision-making and resource-planning to deliver what the customer really needs; insight not simply data.
- Developing relationships and building trust allows you to regularly check in on how your customers are using the information you provide and what more you could be doing to help.
- Once you are immersed in your organisation’s business, its challenges and the factors motivating it, you can then develop the services that the business needs to succeed.
- Without a grasp of the organisation’s strategy, you will not be able to give insight about whether a project should live or die.
- The type of people working in PMOs is changing. PMO managers are now more outgoing, and enjoy talking to people and listening to what they need.
- Organisations should embrace the digital tools that enable flexible working, such as virtual teams and video conferencing, but always be mindful that behind all technology is people. Ultimately, business is about people.
About Jools Barrow-Read:
Jools Barrow-Read has worked in the project management space for most of her professional career, undertaking a variety of roles along the way from Project Support to Project Manager, PMO Lead to Enterprise PMO Manager.
After seeing first-hand, the fear poorly managed change can cause within the workplace and serious impact it can have on a business, she decided to make a big change of her own. In 2014, Jools founded RedWizard, a management consulting firm that helps organisations set up project, change or transformation management solutions, from uncovering the right model to meet their needs to embedding the model in their business’ ways of working.
You can connect with Jools on LinkedIn.
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