As you know, I recently spent time in Orlando, Florida hosting ProjectWorld’s 4th Annual PMO Workshop. I love hosting this event, it places me in my sweet spot – mingling with PMO Believers. I find myself completely energized when the workshop concludes; I have rejoiced with other project management evangelists for two days; we have drank from the same cup of PMO lemonade-I am giddy with excitement when I leave the sunny state.
Yet, each time I return to cold, wintery Boston, I find myself in a quick withdrawal. Jittery and nervous, I realize we have not achieved the victory I have envisioned. Sure, we have exchanged best practices and learned from one another. We have shared our battle scars and triumphed in our PMO victories. Yet, when the workshop concludes, I realize we have made little progress in achieving what really matters – gaining the attention and buy-in of key senior executives.
Each year, during opening remarks of the conference, I distribute a survey among participants, asking for their top three issues or concerns. Each year, I receive the same areas of interest: How to Obtain Senior Executive Buy-in; How to Introduce Governance; How to Introduce Portfolio Management.
Think about it – in order for us to be successful in addressing any one of these issues, we ideally need senior leaders and decision-makers in the room with us. After all, we, as project management professionals can violently agree upon ways to address each area of concern; but unless we have all the players on board, our time and efforts may be for not.
As you know, my mantra is all about simplicity-serve vanilla for success. In spite of all the flavors offered, vanilla is still the most popular. Project management is does not need to be complicated or complex to support an organization’s business needs. In fact, keeping it simple actually allows companies to develop project management competency that becomes part of the organizational culture over time.
So, as you send your holiday cards this season and exchange best practices with your project management colleagues, be sure to include your senior leaders on your holiday greeting list. Share a recent PMO victory, shout out a recent project success story; invite senior leaders to an upcoming project status meeting. Let’s revive the focus on project management during the holiday season, a great way to ring in the New Year.