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Bill Dow presented at the PMO Conference on June 13, 2018, about PMO maturity, reporting, and building credibility as a PMO Team through the use the right metrics.
I spoke to him after his presentation, to learn more about his workshop on the PMO Lifecycle and what he was up to.
Listen to the interview in the video (about 3.5 minutes). You can also read the transcript below the video if you prefer.
Are you unable to see the video? You can watch it directly on YouTube.
Elizabeth: Good morning everyone. I’m Elizabeth here, and I’m now with Bill Dow, who has come from Seattle. Did you not do a one-day workshop at the PMO Conference?
Bill: Yes, I did. It was on how to run, build, and shut down an PMO. It was amazing.
Elizabeth: Tell us more about that.
Bill: So we basically broke down. I had, I don’t think, too many slides clearly. But it was an eight-hour class. We walked people through how build, then how run, and then how shut down which is actually reversing building, running, and running.
It went well, and so many people were focused on building. We were also talking to the class about “Hey, what happens to running? How do you actually manage a PMO once it’s built?” People were very excited about that part of it. Then we moved on to shutting down. This is a reverse of the steps of building and running. It went very well.
Elizabeth: That’s great, because I think of building a PMO. When you think about PMOs it’s always all about setting-up, engaging stakeholders and the rest. Then you don’t really think about what it means for a company to be in steady state.
Elizabeth: That point in your life where you say, “No, this doesn’t work.” How can you stop it from happening and maintain morale?
Bill: Yes. It’s hard. I go into it in great detail and the emotional side. As a PMO manager, you have the responsibility of moving people to their next job. However, you also have to think about your own job and your mortgage. It’s really… I say, the PMO manager is a leader when they help their people through that process.
Bill: It’s really frightening, Bill.
Elizabeth: They started to play music for me.
Bill: Nice, awesome.
Elizabeth: Do you agree that a PMO can only do a great job if its products are being delivered?
Bill: Yes, I agree. And I think the fundamental… We’re at this conference, and there’s some exciting stuff in digital, and where we’re heading with PMOs, but I think it’s rooted in project management. This is where you have really concentrated, helping people deliver their projects on schedule and successfully. You have to start there.
Bill: Then you can go to programs, right? Then, you can go to portfolio. It all starts with project management.
Elizabeth: The PMO is basically useless if it doesn’t deliver anything.
Bill: That’s right. There are many types of PMOs. You could be a supportive PMO that gives best practices and doesn’t necessarily have to be involved in the delivery. There are many types of PMOs. However, most conferences that we attend tend to be project delivery-oriented. There are many types. There are two types of PMOs: a reporting one and a supporting one. You just need to provide the data.
Elizabeth: Okay, so your presentation at the conference today is over.
Bill: Yes, thankfully. It’s always a lot of fun.