The PMO’s First 90 Days – Post COVID-19

HotPMOIn last week’s #PMOwfh we took inspiration from the bestselling book, The First 90 Days from Michael D. Watkins.

John has done a great write up about the book itself and you should head over there immediately for a great read.

The book specifically focuses on critical success strategies for starting a new role as a leader.

We thought how useful is this as we emerge from the pandemic so we set about getting PMO practitioners to think about this themselves.

Whether you are a contractor starting a new gig, or a PMO person returning from a period of being furloughed, or you’re going to be starting something completely new in a permanent role – we explore the first 90 days.

How will you create value? What are you there to do? What is your mandate? What do key stakeholders expect of you… over what time-period? How will your performance be measured?

The critical success strategies outlined fall into 9 key areas:

  • Promote yourself
  • Accelerate your learning
  • Match strategy to the situation
  • Secure early wins
  • Negotiate success
  • Achieve alignment
  • Build your team
  • Build coalitions
  • Keep your balance

To find out more about each area you should really head over to [The first 90 days are crucial to success post Covid19]

You can also watch John deliver his 10-in-10 – 10 slides in 10 minutes, a regular feature each week, great for those with attentions that wander.

The Video Session

Top Tips from PMO Flashmobbers

Another regular feature from the afternoon sessions are the breakout rooms where PMO Flashmobbers get to chat to others about certain themes.

So what tips did they have to share about the first 90 days?

Starting as a Contractor / New Employee

  • Crucial to identify stakeholders quickly
  • Understand the current team, what the structure is and carry out a SWOT analysis to work out the skills and responsibilities of the team
  • Identify some quick wins using the stakeholders and teams to get their buy-in
  • Ask the noddy questions a lot in the first few weeks – after that, it’s too late, you’ll lose credibility
  • Understand the priorities and plan accordingly – understand expectations of you
  • Learn how to get the information you need without coming across all wrong
  • Develop networks of coalition so you’re not isolated
  • Learn from the behaviours of others
  • Work hard to understand the culture from different people you meet – ask them!
  • Be prepared for the difference between what you were brought in to do vs what they expect
  • Understand the objective of the PMO – and how it is contributing to delivering the business strategy
  • Understand “how things are done around here” and what’s been done before
  • Understand how your own skills and experience can be used and also adapted to the new environment
  • Avoid the office politics – there’ll be plenty of time for all that after 90 days!
  • Find out the lessons learnt from organisation’s past experiences – how they got to where they are now and understand the roadmap of where they want to go
  • Find out who the important people really are, it’s not always immediately obvious.
  • Don’t be that person that says, “Well in my last company they….”

Coming Back into Work

  • Create a new plan for the longer team
  • Reinforce what good habits and processes have been used whilst out of the office
  • Consider using the exercise – Stop/Start/Continue

Being Promoted

  • Make sure you fully understand the new objectives and the differences from the old role
  • Work out a balanced transition plan
  • Carry out a gap analysis of where you are now and where you want to get to.

For Anyone

  • Set SMART targets for the 90 days (30/60/90 days)
  • Demonstrate value early

Join us every Wednesday afternoon in lockdown [#PMOwfh]

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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.

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