We hear a lot about “how much value does the PMO bring to the business” or versions along those lines and I got thinking about the subject whilst listening to something which, on the surface of it, has no connection whatsoever.
I was listening to the TED talk “Know Your Worth and Ask for It” from Casey Brown [Link to the session]
The session is all about the fact you’re never paid what you think you’re worth – only what other people think you’re worth.
And that earning what you’re worth is a simple equation of:
“Definition of Value” + Clear Communication
Definition of Value
He goes on to highlight some key value questions, and that’s where my thinking around the PMO stuff.
Here are the original questions:
- What do my clients need and how do I meet that need?
- What is my unique skillset that makes me better qualified to serve my clients?
- What do I do that no-one else does?
- What problems do I solve for customers?
- What value do I add?
You can probably see where my thinking was going.
The trick is to answer these questions then define the value you add and from that, you can work out what return on investment they get.
So that’s the definition of value part. We talk about the value the PMO adds, or we want to add value – it’s these simple four questions that need answering first before we can formulate what that value is and what the return on investment is.
From that thinking – the TED talk moves to communication of the value (remember, the original TED talk is aimed at individuals and what they get paid for the job they do)
When you have a decent idea about what value you bring or add, you can often diminish that value because you diminish yourself when you try to communicate it (read self-doubt, lack of confidence, arrogance etc)
Language and style – your natural style – and the style of everyone within the PMO who at some point will be communicating the value of the PMO in everything they say and do – is key.
It’s about self-confidence and self-respect and knowing that when you’re communicating in your natural style it’s being driven by you loving what you do for a living, that you’re passionate about it, that it excites and motivates you.
It’s about believing in what you’re doing and wanting to make the world around you a better place by role within it.
I found this fascinating – that the PMO can be adding fantastic value to the organisation in the work it does yet people don’t see and appreciate that value because of the way the PMO may be communicating whilst doing it.
I mean I can see it, not everyone working in a PMO is passionate and excited by what they do. The question is, if you’re not feeling it and your PMO is struggling with the whole value questions now, maybe there’s a link to think about there.
Sometimes we get new ideas and insights from other areas of life or business, why not take a look at some TED talks yourself.
Here’s the Know Your Worth talk here to get you started: