The new PMO will be the old project manager of the future…

Last week I joined an IPMA/PMI meeting for Young Professionals, about the role and development of PMO’s.

Project Management Offices.

Although PMO isn’t common in every project based organization, the discussion about their role and responsibility becomes more and more clear. For me it is obvious: the profession PMO started as a humbly supporter, because a lot of PM’s were able to manage the projects by their selves. But nowadays, we are living in a shift of competences for a good PM, so the PMO is more important than ever!

Let me explain. We all know the phrase: ‘Well, a good project manager twenty years ago needed just four legs. Nowadays, he has to be a sheep with five legs shanks. Or maybe even seven they say.’ It is the combination of knowing how a project works and being able to plan and structure the work PLUS being able to manage the process between people. Aren’t the best projectmanagers not just peoplemanagers?

Well, if you look at this: how long would a sheep with five or seven shanks walk or even live?

So, let’s create two sheep who run the project. First we have the sheep with the four shanks as the PM did have at the start of project management. That is the PMO sheep. And then we have the sheep with the new three shanks and there is even one shank to fill with new insights! The PM sheep. Isn’t that great!?

So PMO’s will be in control of the hard skills, the PM of the soft. In that way they don’t do the same work, are depending on each other and non of the competences are forgotten or pushed away. The only questions in the development of the profession PM are: What is the best way to change the way we search for, raise and train PM’s? And last but not least, do you want to discover the fourth shank of the new PM with us?

Let’s make it a world of healthy sheep with four legs!

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