The Four Corners of PMO Networking

2015-04-24 09.56.37Last night’s PMO Flashmob was a great success. A mix of returning flashmobbers and some new faces. We decided for this month to return to our roots, just get in a pub and do some networking over drinks and nibbles.

I think its good to try and help people network, especially while you’re waiting for the first drink to kick in before people feel chatty.

So this time we decided to go for the Four Corners of PMO Networking.

Which is basically four different types of networking ‘devices’ in each of the corners of the room 🙂

Corner one, we had the good old fashioned speed networking table.

In the other we had a simple question and answer corner. Pick up a question and then chat about it.

2015-04-23 19.31.28Some of the questions:

  • Should the PMO be renamed to CMO, the Change Management Office? If not, why not?
  • What kind of PMO would you say most of your experience has been gained in? Project, programme or portfolio?
  • Is the Portfolio Office just another gimmick for an organization? If not, why not?
  • If you had to report on just one thing, what would it be that the business really needs to see?
  • What one thing could your PMO stop doing tomorrow that wouldn’t be missed?
  • What one thing you would you like to see your PMO start doing? Money, time and resources being no object?

In the third corner we had the Debate. This was a new one – not tried before with the PMO Flashmobbers. The instructions were simple:

For or against? You choose which corner you want to take. Regardless of your own true opinions this corner is about forming arguments for and against a PMO topic area.

We want you to disagree, regardless of how outlandish your argument might be, just do not agree with each other until you absolutely have to concede a point!

2015-04-23 18.44.47We put together a few debating topics to pick from:

  • PMOs should be responsible for training project managers
  • Benefits management is a waste of time
  • PMO practitioners have to be PRINCE2 qualified
  • MS Excel should be banned in the PMO
  • PMO practitioners should be trained in a business area i.e., finance, HR, marketing, quality
  • PMO practitioners should cut their losses and become Business Analysts
  • PMO practitioners need to deliver a least one project in their lifetimes

Judging by the raised voices in one corner the Debate Corner seemed to work!

In the final corner we had Appreciative Inquiry Corner (thanks to Chris W for the idea and Wikipedia for the explanation)


Click to find out what its all about

Now this corner was a little quiet (read, no one wanted to venture over there) which is either because its new and no one knew what it was about OR we’re not used to thinking about what we do exceptionally well in our PMOs and therefore thinking about building on what we do well is all a bit alien. Either way eventually we had an attempt at it which pulled out three conversations. Three areas were identified:

  • Financial reporting
  • Local PMO works but the global one needs help
  • Training Project Managers

The only one I took part in was the financial reporting one. Even though that PMO is doing really well in that particular service, most of the work is Ms Excel. Imagine how much better it could be if there was a tool involved that allowed real-time automation?

2015-04-23 19.17.19We tried different networking ways to get the room talking PMOs. What is interesting is we only needed these for about half hour before people start getting on with networking without any help. Occasionally a Question & Answer was picked up off the table to stop people talking about boring things like the commute or mortgages (!) but on the whole the conversations were an eclectic mix of all things PMO.

I personally had some great conversations and I’ll create another post which covers what I was chatting to people about.

So all in all, this PMO Flashmob was all that’s great about it. A good bunch of people who are brilliant at making other people feel welcome and just chatting about PMOs.


About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay is the founder of PMO Flashmob and a Director at PMO Learning - the sister company to PMO Flashmob and the best training company for PMO people in the world! She's also the creator of London's first dedicated PMO Conference; Director of Arras People and PMO enthusiast. Loves dogs and gin.

One comment

  1. Sounded like a great night with some great conversations! Ashame I missed out (wife’s birthday 🙁

    Look forward to seeing you guys and joining the conversation again soon though!

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