Nov 7, 2017

PMO Symposium Conference: Beyond Agile

Posted by Johanna Mickel | 1 Comment

Drivers of agility are people first and process second

We are excited to be attending the PMO Symposium again this year! If you can't be in attendence, here are some quick thoughts from the first day's schedule of events.

The CEO of PMI, Mark Langley gave a keynote that defined the theme of the conference. According to Langley, Organizational Agility (“OA”) is an organizational mindset, not a suite of tools; more of a cultural shift than anything. He gave a few examples of process changes that can assist in that cultural shift: shortening the approval cycle, or increasing the level of authority. He also stressed how making the "voice of customer" central to projects is a key for success.

PMI's Global Executive Council's consensus on organizational agility is that the ability to respond rapidly relative to competitors creates a competitive advantage; and, echoing presentations I have heard from others in years past at this same event, they identified that the problem with projects isn't technical, but a "people problem" ... and of course, my bias is that this means a skills gap, primarily!

The four key foundations of OA:Our PMO Symposium team, l to r: Matt Crawford, Kent Crawford, Bruce Miller, Johanna Mickel

  1. Organizations with higher agility get better results regardless of methodology!
  2. Organizations with higher agility are more likely to execute on critical people drivers. People are critical – need to hire right AND train / develop people (train or mentor); if people are trained, smart people can get it done [might be a nice launch to something on training]
  3. Organizations with high agility report higher revenue growth (year over year growth) and better results
  4. The role of the PMO is evolving. PMO is becoming a “beacon for driving light”. PMI research showed 94% with high agility have PMO {irony – 80% with low agility have PMOs too}; PMOs enable organizational agility in sustainable way

PMI's research on the topic has identified several key findings:

  • Agility is a balance – not a battle of choices (methodologies); interesting that the most agile organizations are standardized.
  • Adaptability is key
  • Drivers of agility are people first and process second (Yes!)
  • Agility levels can determine the success of an organization

Back to my note-taking! More tomorrow ...


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1 Comment on PMO Symposium Conference: Beyond Agile

jcabanis-brewin says:

Wow, thanks Johanna! Wish I were there. Something I would add to those data points about agile and organizational success is that, according to PM Solutions Research studies, all the top performing PMOs use agile processes! See our State of the PMO 2016 study for details…

Posted on November 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm

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