May 20, 2013

Gartner Keynote Challenges Us to "Create Energy": I'm In!

Posted by Johanna Mickel in Project & Program Management, Project Management Events, Project Management Office (PMO) | 0 Comments

The "winds of business" are changing, and the "landscape" of project and program management has to change as well.

We're at the Gartner Summit today and it is exhausting and stimulating, as usual! Well, perhaps more than usual. This is the 10th iteration of this event, and it just keeps getting better. With 1100 attendees, representing firms from (in order of abundance) financial services, government, healthcare and manufacturing, the intensity of the crowd is palpable. And the content offered does not disappoint. This morning's keynote, "Generating Change Energy: The EPMO and the Agile Enterprise"  was one "aha!" after another. Using a metaphor of wind turbines, the presenters noted that the "winds of business" are changing, and the "landscape" of project and program management has to change as well. The progression of the PMO from a reporting entity to an operational one, thence to a strategic PMO, is not over yet: the next step is to make the EPMO into a "Continuous Innovation Center."

What does this mean? My understanding of it is that PMOs must focus on prioritizing investments, tracking their performance and proving value - not just of the PMO itself but of the projects and programs under their guidance. They must also concentrate the majority of their energy on the projects and programs that competitive differentiators for the organization, not just the basic systems that keep the wheels turning (what the presenters call "systems of record.")

The character sketch they provided of tomorrow's PMO was one of agile processes, skilled at manuevering the organization through change - what the presenters termed "organizational liquidity." We've written quite a bit on this blog in the past year about the PMO managing organizational change, and acting as the Change Management Office - this is similar, but ramped up. We are called on, say the Gartner analysts, not only to manage change but to jumpstart it.

I'm ready! As soon as I catch my breath.


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