The Wash-Up – APM PMO SIG: Socialising the PMO

Posted: October 27, 2015 at 10:24 am

p3m global attended and exhibited at the 2015 APM PMO SIG Conference: Ray Mead, CEO rounds up his thoughts on the event.

How social would you say your PMO is?

Does it only appear at gateway reviews or when chasing status updates? Or is it leading the way in promoting new ways of collaborating and communicating in your project community, harnessing the best of emerging social tools and technologies?

These questions and more were put to the attendees of the APM PMO Special Interest Group on Thursday 22nd  October in London. The theme was ‘Socialising the PMO’ and we heard from a diverse array of speakers on the subject:

Jonathan Norman, Publisher at Gower Publishing enlightened us on social learning principles, while Carol Osterwell used fascinating revelations from the world of neuroscience to demonstrate how we are all physiologically ‘hard-wired to be social.’ We heard from Jonnie Jensen who showed how the digital revolution is transforming social interaction at work while pointing out that organisations not embracing these social concepts will be forever left behind – “Go social or die!” was the ominous warning echoing in my ears over my cold meats mezze.

This was all then brought to life by representatives of GCHQ, who talked us through their long and impressive journey of PMO maturity development and how the organisation was adapting to the social challenge.

In the afternoon I was fortunate enough to be asked to host one of the roundtable workshops, the subject being ‘Social Methods.’ In a series of engaging conversations and contributions, we discussed how the systems and methodologies that we PMOs have developed, evangelised and enforced will be impacted by this brave new social world. There seemed to be a general agreement that the PMOs role is evolving and that the social revolution is accelerating this process but the challenge lies in pinpointing the shifting balance between regulation and empowerment. I have put some thoughts on this into a new blog article called The Social Future of thePMO but would welcome the opportunity to continue and widen the discussion, so please give us your thoughts.

We could distill Jonnie Jensen’s warning into P.W. Botha’s more general and more well-known adage, ‘adapt or die,’ and the stakes could be no higher than this. Getting the balance right is key to the future prosperity, and indeed survival, of the PMO.

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