The title of a book I read in college has always stuck with me: Philosophy in a New Key. It marked the beginning of a new conversation about how philosophy was done. I am intending something similar with a new whitepaper about PMOs in the Agile age.
My attempt to frame a new discussion about PMOs was inspired by a client request, as well as conversations with my friend and colleague, Lyssa Adkins. The client–we’ll call him Jack–wanted to know how to run a PMO at enterprise scale in light of the changes brought by Agile. This started me on a quest to find something I felt comfortable giving Jack from the recent literature on Agile PMOs. What I turned up did not satisfy me, so I felt compelled to write my own. (By the way, you probably know Jack: he’s typical of PMO directors everywhere.)
I approached Lyssa about collaborating with me on this idea. I ended up writing it alone, but Lyssa provided very valuable feedback, the kind a good editor does: not about the grammar or punctuation or other tactical matters. Rather, Lyssa helped me find my own voice. As she reflected, what I was articulating was more related to the being of a PMO than the doing of one. She also encouraged my bluntness, telling it like it is: PMOs are generally disliked by many of the people they are supposed to serve. It does not have to be that way. Getting there does require a fundamental shift in mindset and values.
The whitepaper is entitled The Principled PMO: Creating a PMO that Matters. If you are interested, it is available here by request.