“For the leader of a Project Management Office, much of the working day is taken up with operational issues and ensuring that projects, programs and portfolios are operating as they should. From time to time you’ll have to face difficult conversations to ensure that you can still deliver those projects, programs and portfolios as a team. For those of us who deal with projects day in, day out, thinking in ‘project’ terms comes naturally after a while. But that isn’t the case for everyone.
One of the hardest conversations for a PMO leader to have is with stakeholders, executives or others who don’t understand how projects work or what their role in them should be. It’s the first-time project sponsor who wants to manage the project. It’s the senior manager who doesn’t understand how her delayed decision costs the company money while the project team put other work on hold.
Talking to someone in a position of authority about the fact that they don’t have the skills or awareness to do their job is not a comfortable thing to have to do. It’s easier to manage these situations if your PMO offers sponsor or executive training and this is mandated for everyone taking on a leadership role on a new company. It could be incorporated into project initiation or the kick-off tasks.
In smaller organizations, however, it might not be feasible to mandate training for senior level team members. You’ll end up offering on-the-job support and this needs to be done in a way that doesn’t undermine their authority on the project or make them feel bad.
You’ll have to adapt your strategies to the individual, their experience and position but the risk of not having this conversation is that their project will suffer”. – Excerpted from TenSix Consulting, “5 Difficult Conversations for PMO Leaders“, click here to read the entire article. Ten Six Consulting specializes in implementing Enterprise Project Management (EPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM) and Earned Value Management (EVM) solutions.