I’ve been asked a few times – what exactly is an Unconference?
Unconferences started to become an alternative to traditional conferences in the early 2000s.
The format for them is less structured and more driven by the people who attend the unconference.
The flow of an unconference day is based on something called Open Space Technology – which essentially means different approaches are used to help people learn from each other and exchange ideas [have a read]
The agenda for the day is set by the people attending – at its heart is the promise that:
“The questions you want to explore will be covered… provided you bring your passion and commitment to the table”
We know that people get a lot of value from connecting and speaking with other PMO practitioners at events like conferences and Flashmobs.
We’re just taking that idea further and making it easier for people to connect, speak and learn from each other.
Then we thought – we’d still like to have a few presentations too so that’s why the day also includes those.
And then another thought – wouldn’t it be great if anyone in the audience wanted to share some of their own insights and learnings too – to the audience – from the stage.
That’s when Stand Up for PMO started to become something that we know PMO Managers and their teams could really get into.
We’re using a number of different approaches and Open Space techniques throughout the day to make sure all the questions will be explored.
So it’s Not About Being Funny?
Ha – no! Although if you’re funny, great, you’re in the right place, it’s at the Comedy Store.
The Stand Up for PMO is about sharing your stuff from the stage if you’re up for that (we have 5-minute lightening slots available) or getting involved in the Break Outs at the Bar sessions where PMO topics are explored in groups. Either way, you’ll be standing up 🙂
So There’s No Structure?
It would be crazy to have no structure whatsoever. We have a structure for the day – it’s just that we don’t know what the details of the sessions are because they get generated first thing in the morning.
We have four theme areas for the day – setting up, running, shutting down and evolving the PMO:
Each one of these theme areas are driven by the agenda set in the morning – the agenda above gives some insights into what’s likely to come up – but it’s not guaranteed unless someone on the day chooses these as the questions they would like to explore.
Each theme area has a stand-up session – that’s delivered by someone for about 20 minutes. You’ll not see any hour-long presentations on this day. It’s quick, snappy and full of insights before we move on to another Open Space approach to keep our energy levels up.
Do I Have to Get Up There?
No of course not. There’s plenty of people who are going to have a go and they’ll need you to support them from the audience. Be a cheerleader, please!
There’s also plenty of opportunities to connect with others throughout the day which doesn’t involve any ‘mortifying standing up in public’ activity – but if you are feeling braver throughout the day – there are opportunities to change your mind and get more involved.
All of you. Bring your team – your manager.
Anyone who wants to pick up some brilliant insights and inspiration from other people just like you.
Want to understand how other PMOs do the job and grapple with aspects of the job – come along and find out.
Best of all – it’s great value for money.
Manchester is a great place to visit – not too far from the South (you’ll not get a nosebleed!) – with great travel connections.