We are not in Kansas anymore! Actually it's Washington DC where this week I attended the Gartner PPM and IT Governance summit. The theme of this year's event was the discovery of the equilibrium in today's whirlwind of economic uncertainty, shifting priorities, and constrained resources. In the morning keynote delivered by Gartner's Audrey Apfel, Dona Fitzgerald and Tina Nunno paralleled the 1939 movie characters and the movie in their keynote "State of the Art: What's Hot and What's Not in PPM and IT Governance".
First, it is my experience that there has been a rapid transition from simply reducing and controlling costs to growing market share with rapid innovation. The PMO has taken a little time to transition making innovation and growth the fundamental driver with cost being the secondary goal and compliance a distant third. You may be shocked that compliance is in third place, which I believe is due to most organizations having automated processes fairly much in place.
So back to the Wizard of OZ and the PMO a combination that I had never joined together before. So cast your mind back to the movie, I'm sure you have seen it, and imagine your traditional PMO. These folks are in their safe house, building processes, holding meetings, obvious to the tornado that is developing around them. Then suddenly and totally unexpectedly, the tornado hits (don't they watch the weather channel) whisked off away from Kansas to the land of Oz.
Now lets get onto the roles within the environment:
This is the employee who appears to lack brains as they are spinning, thinking and working too hard to gain consensus. Characteristics include priorities based on the last person they spoke with delegation equates to a decision. The new Scarecrow should be focused on big picture, balancing tradeoffs with impacts, communicating the direction (even if they disagree). To management our Scarecrows effectively don't use status reporting as punishment, leverage for guidance.
Give me data! Our Tin Man believes they are data-driven rather than emotional or irrational decision-makers. With emotion removed approval must be based on the nothing but data. When process is missing or broken, they get frozen in place with no ability to do what's next. They need their oilcan which is another process to solve the problem. The Tin Man needs to focus on passion. Passion for the business and business results and NOT the process, creatively engaging with others dispelling the notion that they are "process-only" people must he their mantra!
Our "yes" people who cannot say "no"! These folks will not enter into conflict and will micro manage to assure their feeling of self worth and security. Our lions need to get courage. Courage in development of skills to gather knowledge and domain expertise to say no, where appropriate. Courage to communicate the vision to lead people in the right direction. Courage to have faith in their decisions and standing behind them.
In summary, PPM professionals are viewed as leaders in their organizations and as leaders they must stand up and lead to ensure business outcomes!
So I am off to the wizard, the wonderful wizard of PPM!
This blog also appears on the CA Service Management blog.