Are our Young PMOs Threatening or Strengthening our Organisations?

Recently I trained a PMO team with an average age of 24. A PMO made up solely of Generation Z (Gen Zers) allowed an insight into how our teams could be different in the future, especially since at the Association for Project Management PMO SIG conference last week, Mike Belch from RSM UK spoke about exploring the Five Generation Workforce that we are starting to experience in the workplace.

With technology available to Gen Zers from a very young age, the ‘enable yourself with technology’ conversation wasn’t really needed; but where did the team really stand out from the norm? Their behaviours towards each other and the rest of the organisation.

As a team they appeared to work together more as a tribe, a band of friends rather than a team of colleagues who happen to work in the same place. When put under pressure (right before their assessment) they took the time to stand together for a gratefulness session to calm the nerves, and support each other – something that I personally do, but have never seen in any other PMO.

The PMO team have been in place for a while and to started off their road to transformation by completing a SWOT analysis of their current PMO to understand their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

A SWOT is an analysis tool that helps teams and organisations measure the attractiveness of a business, proposition, or opportunity. It is often used in project and programme business cases to help the Senior Leadership to make informed investment decisions.

As the SWOT exercise went on, the team discussed whether their young age was a help or hindrance, and it got me to thinking about (and researching) the difference that One Generation teams would make in terms of their approach to PMO.

So, what does this all mean?

As with all things PMO and project management, there is no one size fits all and a balance needs to be achieved. But whilst considering multiple generations working together and making that a success, we also need to think about the impact that a one (young) generation team can have on an organisation and its people.

If the organisation buys into the mentality, the entrepreneurship, the leadership approach, and the inclusiveness that comes with a team of Gen Zers, a young PMO team could really change the way we ‘do’ PMO in our future organisations.

Over the next few weeks we will be exploring more about some of the aspects covered here in more detail, but I suspect these young teams are some of our awards winners of the future.

By Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton