With over 430 PMO Practitioners and Leaders trained through the Wellingtone PMO Academy since its inception, our community is growing all the time.
As our work in Spain continues, we have identified some factors that affect PMO in this developing industry, and so it made sense to us to expand our community reach to support the PMO Superheroes here too.
So in February 2020, with thanks to our friends at Microsoft, we had the opportunity to run our second PMO Practitioner course for PMO Leaders in Madrid and its surrounding areas; as well as a community event bringing PMO people together for the first time.
It was great for Wellingtone España to meet some of our PMO peers and discuss some of the challenges faced by PMO and their corresponding opportunities (because we all know that a challenge is just a chance to make things better!).
Feedback from our Spanish PMO Superheroes
- Lack of understanding of the PMO as a business entity by Senior Teams, including the services offered by PMO teams and how they can add value to the organisation.
- Perception of the PMO as an administrative function leading to PMO teams performing executive or personal assistant roles, rather than enabling beneficial change supporting the delivery of strategic objectives.
- Perspective that the organisation is not impacted by or in need of projects and project management as a discipline because things ‘have always been done this way’.
- Busyness leading to work being done in a reactive way, with industry specific examples providing legitimate excuses why ‘it won’t work here’, compounded by the perception that the organisation or industry is unique.
Insights from Spain
The industry is like the UK, in that many people have ‘fallen’ into PMO (and some might say, never managed to escape!), but there are some notable differences.
- The Journey: Whereas in the UK, the PMO existed as an administrative function in many organisations first, it seems that many PMOs have skipped this stage, and moved straight to a Portfolio support office.
- Demographics: Looking back at our UK PMO training statistics, there is a clear bias towards female PMO practitioners (69% versus 31% male). In Hispanic countries, we can see a clear shift in the other direction where 85% of delegates male.
- Maturity: Although many of the PMOs are working in a Portfolio capacity, there is commonality around the organisational challenges they are facing; the feedback for which we have covered already in this article, which reflects the relative maturity of the industry as a whole.
Overall, the challenges cited sound very familiar to experienced PMO ears, the difference being that the UK has managed to surmount some of the biggest mountains around perception and perspective.
Challenges and opportunities exist still, of course, but one could argue that the journey is a little further on.
The lack of established community in Spain, also provides a breeding ground for internal navel-gazing instead of taking a wider view. And this is where the
Wellingtone PMO Principles come into play:
- Instrument of Integration
- Enabling Capability
- Serving the Customer
- Supporting a Learning Organisation
- Single Source of Truth
If we take these principles and apply them to our new PMO Community, it will enable the industry to take the leaps that have been taken by its predecessors, encouraging a step change in maturity that everyone can benefit from.
Get involved in the conversation. Join the Spanish LinkedIn community Comunidad PMO.