9 Tips For An Agile PMO

9 Tips For An Agile PMO

Delivering value is a key goal for Project Management Offices. Yet, this is especially difficult in a world that becomes ever more complex.

Agile Project Management Offices however succeed better than others to face this complexity challenge.

Why? What makes Agile PMOs different? Here are a few insights. First, Agile PMOs anticipate the trends and the needs of the organization they support. They adjust in advance their structure, their service offers (hard and soft), and their capabilities. By doing so, they enable the future.

Secondly, how do they deliver better value? Here again are a few thoughts. Agile PMOs explore, learn and promote 9 key characteristics (among many others) that contribute to delivering value in a complex environment:

  • Ceaselessly understand and practice the agile mindset (a mental state involving beliefs, feelings, values, and dispositions to act in ways that favor agility). At the same time, understand that an optimum exists between total agility and total “control”.
    • Example: The PMO mesures its impact with a Balanced Scorecard that positions the “people dimension” (the project stakeholders and customers, project team, community) on top as a result of processes and resources.
  • Explore, test, and learn the characteristics of complexity, for example: self-organization, emergence, sensitivity to initial conditions, nonlinearities, acceleration of time, fractals, and scaling proprieties to cite a few.
    • Example: the PMO invests upstream time and energy to understand the project objectives, constraints, and context and gets knowledge from similar past projects in order to limit the risks of later gaps in (budget, time…) forecasts.
  • Prefer a community of decentralized PMOs / change agents acting as proxies to a heavy centralized PMO when supporting major transformation programs.
    • Example: the (central) PMO applies the principle of subsidiarity and does nothing that can be decided, done or controlled locally. At the same time, this PMO animate a community of decentralized PMOs that are well embedded in their terrain.
  • Learn and practice network analysis, social dynamics, cognitive biases detection, and generally speaking everything related to human dynamics like why tipping points emerge in social transformations.
  • Learn cultural traits, develop multicultural understanding (functional, geographical, generational…) and adjust postures accordingly.
    • Example: the agile PMO adjust the meetings’ agenda to the cultural preferences of the participants. Among these preferences are the participants action orientation or relationship orientation, their attitude regarding status, risk-adversity, or time (long-term versus short-term)…
  • Rely on proven methodologies but adjust these methodologies to the specific needs of the projects, programs, and portfolios.
    • Example: agile PMOs master the PMBOK body of knowledge and adapt its processes to the requirements of the organization, its environment, and of the project. They do not manage an information system project like an Olympics infrastructure project.
  • Break the silos between the different schools of thought in project management and master a variety of methods and tools.
    • Example: agile PMOs have onboarded experts of SCRUM or Design Thinking as well as experts of Waterfall. They know how to mix the approaches in a major program requiring go-to-market processes, manufacturing plants, and people hiring and training projects.
  • Implement nimble management systems that are nimbler than the organization’s management system (Ashby’s law).
    • Example: agile PMOs implement different steering systems at each level of their governance process, each adapted to its audience (senior executives, …, operational levels), that are forward-looking, and faster than the legacy system.
  • Replace the cost-scope-time orientation by a value orientation (impact on customers, community, team, organizational sustainability…). Everything else is an unsolvable “three-body problem”.
    • Example: agile PMOs push their project leadership to use a single goal, that is clearly defined, with a handful of accompanying principles. This the best (if not only) way to drive to success a complex system. Everything beyond this is surplus.

And, why not read also why Agile PMOs are similar to hummingbirds.

To your continued success

Philippe

Note: You can read more on agile PMOs in the 5th version of my book The High-Impact PMO – How Agile Project Management Offices Deliver Value in a Complex World.

A Variety of Project Management Approaches

A Variety of Project Management Approaches

A Complexity / Uncertainty grid positions a variety of project management bodies of knowledge, frameworks, and tools according to the levels of complexity and uncertainty in their environments.

Of course, no grid can describe the world. No grid will ever be perfect.

But, the goal of this grid is simply to introduce discussions within a project management community of practitioners whose degree of experience in the domain is highly diverse.

This is a version 2 of the version 1 grid I have recently posted on LinkedIn. The v1 grid received an amazingly large number of views as well as many likes and important comments.

I have learned a lot with all these comments. I felt comfortable with many, uncomfortable with some.

But all helped to progress and develop an improved version.

So, Thank You to Everyone For the Likes and Comments on the Version 1 of the Grid.

Of course this version 2 is not perfect. This version contains a few improvements and clarifications. I hope they will help whoever looks for different project management approaches in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world.

It shows bodies of knwoledge, frameworks, and tools. Since a project accomplishes products among other outputs, the grid contains also project management frameworks and product delivery frameworks. Thus, it should taste like a burger with its different constituents and their specific baking time.

Please also note that project management relies on technical, leadership, and business and strategy capabilities. Separate grids will describe the last two domains, while this one concentrate on the technical domain.

 

About Complexity and Uncertainty

Complexity has many sources. Among these sources are three fundamental characteristics that make an endeavor complex: the high number of variables involved, the nonlinearity of the interactions between these variables, and the irreversibility of phenomena within complex systems.  Here are a few other characteristics of complex systems:

  • Emergence (look at termite hills)
  • Co-evolution (impact on the environment)
  • Sub-optimal (relative fitness)
  • Requisite variety (resilience)
  • Connectivity (feedback loops)
  • Simple rules (flight of bird flocks)
  • Self-organising (no (apparent) hierarchy)
  • Edge-of-chaos (maximum diversity)
  • Nested systems (fractal scales)

More on complexity at http://complexitylabs.io/ More also at https://www.santafe.edu/

Uncertainty means here the indeterminacy of the future. It is a situation in which something is not known, a state of limited knowledge where it is impossible to exactly describe the existing state, a future outcome, or more than one possible outcome. Volatility and uncertainty are equivalent.

 

About Projects

project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to accomplish a unique product, services or results (PMI). The European Commission has defined a project as a structure which is setup to create a unique product or service (output) within certain constraints such as time, cost, and quality. Each project’s goal is to introduce a new product or service or to change an existing one. achieving the goal is expected to bring about benefits to the organisation. A project can also be seen as a transformational process, turning ideas into reality.

Organizational Project Management (OPM) is a strategy execution framework that utilizes portfolio, program, and project management as well as organizational-enabling practices to consistently and predictably deliver organizational strategy to produce better performance, better results, and a sustainable competitive advantage (PMI at www.pmi.org).

Project teams improve performance when they benefit from a wide range of available solutions fitting the level of complexity and uncertainty of their environment. It is up to these teams to adjust the solutions to their needs, to their culture, and to their capabilities. The approaches cited in the grid are largely used in the Americas and in Europe. I wish project practitioners from other regions will bring their own contribution and confirm or improve the grid with what they do there.

 

About Project Categories

A megaproject is only a category of projects. I is an extremely large-scale investment project. Megaprojects are large-scale, complex (both in technical and human terms) ventures that typically cost $1 billion or more, take many years to develop and build, involve multiple public and private stakeholders, are transformational, and impact millions of people. Examples of megaprojects are here or here.

Complex projects are characterized by a degree of disorder, instability, emergence, non-linearity, recursiveness, uncertainty, irregularity and randomness, and dynamic complexity where the parts in the system they act upon can react / interact with each other in different ways. More for example at ICCPM. ICCPM Ltd was established by Australian, UK and US government bodies and major defence industry corporations. It is now a substantial network of global corporate, government, academic and professional organisations dealing with Complex Project Management.

Innovation projects are a very important and specific category of projects. Innovation is precisely something that gains from uncertainty. And some people sit around waiting for uncertainty and using it as raw material.

 

About Project Management Approaches

The PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge is a set of standard terminology and guidelines for project management. The body of knowledge evolves over time and is presented in “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”. The Guide is a document resulting from work overseen by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which offers the CAPM and PMP certifications. The PMBOK Guide is intended to be a “subset of the project management body of knowledge that is generally recognized as a good practice. ‘Generally recognized’ means the knowledge and practices described are applicable to most projects most of the time and there is a consensus about their value and usefulness. The 6th Edition of the PMBOK Guide now includes an “Agile Practice Guide”. There are also a guide for program management as well as a guide for portfolio management. More at www.pmi.org

PM2 (stylized PM², sometimes pronounced as P M square) is the official project management methodology of the European Commission (EC). It incorporates elements from a range of widely accepted best practices in project management, and builds heavily on PMBOK, Prince2, IPMA-ICB, CMMI, TEMPO, and operational experience from EC institutions. More at https://ec.europa.eu/isa2/solutions/open-pm2_en

The Spiral model is a risk-driven process model generator for software projects. Based on the unique risk patterns of a given project, the spiral model guides a team to adopt elements of one or more process models, such as incremental, waterfall, or evolutionary prototyping. This model was first described by Barry Boehm in his 1986 paper “A Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement”. More at https://www.sei.cmu.edu/reports/00sr008.pdf

About Agile

Agile software development describes an approach to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end users(s). It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery, and continuous improvement, and it encourages rapid and flexible response to change. The term Agile was popularized, in this context, by the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. The values and principles espoused in this manifesto were derived from and underpin a broad range of software development frameworks, including Scrum and Kanban. More at http://agilemanifesto.org/

Scrum is a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. It is founded on empirical process control theory, or empiricism. Empiricism asserts that knowledge comes from experience and making decisions based on what is known. Scrum employs an iterative, incremental approach to optimize predictability and control risk. More at https://www.scrum.org/

High-Impact PMOThe Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) helps businesses address the significant challenges of developing and delivering enterprise-class software and systems in the shortest sustainable lead time. SAFe synchronizes alignment, collaboration, and delivery for multiple Agile teams. SAFe is scalable and configurable. And it allows each organization to adapt it to its own business needs. It supports smaller-scale solutions employing 50 – 125 practitioners, as well as complex systems that require thousands of people. As an extensive body of knowledge, SAFe describes the roles, responsibilities, artifacts, and activities necessary to implement Lean-Agile development.  More at http://www.scaledagileframework.com/

There are a number of scaling frameworks available, such as SAFe and LeSS (Large Scale Scrum)Horizontal scaling works with the largest adoption of the agile mindset. Vertical scaling goes up to the executive team. It connects with strategy management systems. The goal there is more “Agile at Scale” than “Scaling Agile”.

 

About Strategy

Sustainable organizations develop through operations and projects that sustain their strategy. Operational excellence and project excellence are two indispensable pillars.

There is a direct connection between Project Management and Strategy Management. For this reason, the project management community benefits from understanding the strategy management systems. I have cited in the grid the very few a Strategic Initiative Officer may like for example: the Kaplan Norton Execution Premium System (XPP), or Nassim Taleb’s bimodal strategy described in his book Antifragile. Both have been alive for a long period of time. That proves their value.

It seems that there is no framework or approach which works for an extreme uncertainty and complexity. However Nassim Taleb proposes a solution. Indeed, about all solutions to uncertainty are in the form of barbells. The barbell is a bar with weights on both ends that weight lifters use. Thus, it illustrates the idea of a combination of extremes kept separate, with avoidance of the middle. And in our context it is not necessarily symetric. It contains two extremes, with nothing in the center. One can also call it, more technically, a bimodal strategy, because it has two distinct modes rather than a single, central one. So, the barbell is a domestication, not the elimination, of uncertainty More in Nassim Taleb”s book Antifragile.

 

Thank you. To your continued success.

Philippe Husser

Author of the book :

The High-Impact PMO, How Agile Project Management Offices Deliver Value in a Complex World

 

Read Real Life Stories of PMO Who Delivered Value in a VUCA World

Read Real Life Stories of PMO Who Delivered Value in a VUCA World

Read real life stories of PMO who delivered exceptional value to complex projects, programs, and portfolios in a VUCA world.

Explore a variety of capabilities that will make you navigate in the most complex environments.

Coverage includes:

    • Dealing with nonlinearities
    • Surfing on transitions, bifurcations, and avalanches
    • Thriving with uncertainty and unpredictability
    • Understanding power laws and tail effects
    • Adapting your approach to the thermodynamic cycles
    • Learning direct and indirect strategies
    • Focusing on people and great causes
    • Escaping the Procrustean bias
    • Being a challenger and a coach
    • Finding your buddy
    • Bridging cultural gaps
    • Capitalizing on technology
    • Analyzing your network
    • Getting to tipping points
    • Building your Enterprise PMO
 More at www.philippehusser.com
Why Agile PMOs Are Comparable to Hummingbirds

Why Agile PMOs Are Comparable to Hummingbirds

A few years ago, I have been given the chance to become the PMO of an exciting program. My wonderful boss proposed that we use the name Hummingbird for one of the most important initiatives of this program. The hummingbird is for me the very symbol of what is an agile PMO. So here is a selection of characteristics of this amazing bird for your weekend reading. I wish you a continued success!

 

Hummingbirds Belong to a Variety of Species

 

Hummingbirds are small and agile birds from the Americas. They constitute the family Trochilidae. Hummingbirds fall into nine main clades, the Topazes, Hermits, Mangoes, Brilliants, Coquettes, Patagona, Mountain Gems, Bees, and Emeralds. They count between 325 and 340 species.

 

So are the PMOs. Counting the PMOs in the world is difficult. However, PMOs can belong to several families (usually 3-7?), from project management office to program management office and enterprise management office. These families count a huge variety of situations defined by the domains, the level, the scope of control or the experience and capabilities they show.

One difference though is that we find PMOs all over the world and not only in the Americas. LinkedIn gives more than 830,000 results when you search for people with the word PMO, including tens of thousands outside Americas.

 

Hummingbirds Are Among the Smallest of Birds

 

They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. Female hummingbirds tend to be larger, requiring more energy, with longer beaks that allow for more effective reach into crevices of tall flowers for nectar. Thus females are better at foraging, acquiring flower nectar, and supporting the energy demands of their larger body size.

Agile PMOs should be very small too. I cannot imagine a heavy PMO being agile like a hummingbird. The best PMOs I have seen were made of only a few people. In a very large initiative, the PMO was made of a community of decentralized lean PMOs. The central PMO had not more than 2 members. But highly dedicated, motivated, and professional.

 

Hummingbirds Love Flowering Plants They Cross-pollinate

 

Hummingbirds love nectar-bearing flowering plants. They depend on flower nectar to fuel their high metabolisms and hovering flight. Many plants pollinated by hummingbirds produce flowers in shades of red, orange, and bright pink.

PMOs love great projects. There is nothing worse than a dull project where the PMO has neither challenge to overcome nor great purpose to contribute to. At the same time, a PMO going from an exciting project to another one cross-pollinates these projects.

 

Hummingbirds Fly with Breathtaking Agility

 

The hummingbird has a number of adaptations that allow it to fly with breathtaking agility and precision. Of all the known species of birds, the hummingbird is perhaps one of the most iconic because of its unique ability to hover. When they hover, hummingbirds move their wings more like a buzzing insect than a flapping bird. Some experts found that hummingbird’s wings have aerodynamic properties similar to helicopter blades. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest. Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speed exceeds 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).

It is why they are able to fly straight, in reverse, upwards, downwards, and even upside down.

An agile PMO is also capable to fly straight, in reverse, upwards, downwards, and even upside down. It supports complex projects with a remarkable agility allowing them to navigate the most VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) environments. They interact with stakeholders in every direction, vertically (up and down), laterally (with different functions, geographies, roles). They, like the Russian Sukhoi Pugachev’s Cobra, avoid opponent maneuvers and missiles.

 

 

Hummingbirds Hover for Very Long Periods of Time

 

Hummingbirds have also the ability to simply hover for very long periods of time. During flight, oxygen consumption per gram of muscle tissue in a hummingbird is about 10 times higher than that measured in elite human athletes. Hummingbirds are rare among vertebrates in their ability to rapidly make use of ingested sugars to fuel energetically expensive hovering flight.

Some projects are very long (more than 10 years). Some meetings are very long too (several days). It is important that PMOs demonstrate the ability to “hover” for very long periods of time.

 

Hummingbirds Acquire Vocalizations through Imitation

 

Consisting of chirps, squeaks, whistles and buzzes, hummingbird songs originate from at least seven specialized nuclei in the forebrain. In a genetic expression study, it was shown that these nuclei enable vocal learning (ability to acquire vocalizations through imitation), a rare trait known to occur in only two other groups of birds (parrots and songbirds) and a few groups of mammals (including humans, whales and dolphins and bats).

 

PMOs also imitate other professionals. By imitating, they learn to use a variety of approaches, methods, and tools from all sorts. Practicing this variety of solutions, they become able to use the most adapted of them to support their projects. They become able to adopt indifferently lean start-up or waterfall, hard or soft skills, project or portfolio management approaches.

 

Hummingbirds Have A High Spatial Resolution in Lateral and Frontal Visual Fields

 

During evolution, hummingbirds have adapted to the navigational needs of visual processing while in rapid flight or hovering by development of an exceptionally dense array of retinal neurons allowing for increased spatial resolution in the lateral and frontal visual fields. The enlargement of the brain region responsible for visual processing indicates enhanced ability for perception and processing of fast-moving visual stimuli which hummingbirds encounter during rapid forward flight, insect foraging, competitive interactions, and high-speed courtship. Hummingbirds can even see wavelengths into the near-ultraviolet.

The more complex a project, the more VUCA an environment, the more information is important for a PMO. Complex systems are highly sensitive to initial conditions. Early information gathered upstream is vital. They are also very much unpredictable to targets. Getting the most precise understanding of how a system behaves is necessary. The perception (reasoned or intuitive) of a PMO is a key success factor.

 

Hummingbirds Keep Their Head Positions Stable in Turbulences

 

During turbulent airflow conditions created experimentally in a wind tunnel, hummingbirds exhibit stable head positions and orientation when they hover at a feeder. In natural settings full of highly complex background motion, hummingbirds are able to precisely hover in place by rapid coordination of vision with body position.

The agile PMO demonstrates the same vital capability to maintain the head above water. Turbulences strike the project. Uncertainty and instability shake the course of the project. Conversations with colleagues, during meetings, or with executives can be difficult. However the PMO stays confident, calm, focused on the mission.

 

Hummingbirds Can Enter Hibernation-Like States

 

To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.

 

PMOs may go through hard times. Projects may be missing or slow moving. They may be on an initiative that is stopped, momentarily or not. I remember a construction site not far from where I live. When workers began digging the foundations, they found bones from the time Romans where there. Of course the project was stopped. It was time for the PMO to hibernate (in reality, do not do this, study and learn, apply for a new PMO role, or take long vacations).

 

Hummingbirds Have a Lifespan of 3 to 5 Years

 

Many hummingbirds die during their first year of life, especially in the vulnerable period between hatching and fledging, those that survive may occasionally live a decade or more. Among the better-known North American species, the average lifespan is probably 3 to 5 years.

Not too different from PMOs’ life spans on a project? Some leave a project early. Others last longer. A key difference with hummingbirds though is that PMOs have the privilege to find new lives every time one is gone. Still better, their new lives are increasingly exciting. They support larger domains and endeavors (think of the PMOs in mega-projects or consider Enterprise PMOs). They master more and more state-of-the-art approaches to project management (look at the recent progress in project management science).  They have larger scope of responsibilities. They truly get great personal development and satisfaction. This is really what I wish for you.

Philippe

 

To Your Continued Success!

 

Check out my New Book

The High-Impact PMO, How Project Management Offices Deliver Value in a Complex World

This book explores a series of real life snapshots showing how project management practioners and especially PMOs can confront a VUCA world.  It gives valuable insights that will allow you to more successfully navigate the wave of complexity that is coming our way.

You can also contact me at www.philippehusser.com

CHARACTERISTICS OF AN AGILE PMO

CHARACTERISTICS OF AN AGILE PMO

Can and Should a PMO Be Agile?

Becoming an agile PMO is a hot topic today in an ever more complex and fast changing world.

There is no doubt that reality shows PMOs looking like horses and PMOs looking like squirrels. Both have value. However both do not add the same value when you want to climb trees or when you need to pull the plow. Horses and squirrels do not show similar levels of agility.

Why label a PMO as agile? Isn’t agile merely a delivery method and shouldn’t a PMO be much more focused on helping projects deliver organizational strategic value” recently asked a project manager. This sort of question is very usual indeed. It shows how difficult it is to use the word agile when speaking of PMOs.

A PMO is an organization serving a project, or several projects, programs, portfolios, and a whole organization. As such a PMO can and must show certain characteristics of agility in what it does. What are these characteristics?

 

An Organization Is Agile (More or Less)

 

agile

An agile organization?

Lower case “a” agile is a characteristic of who we are. Something agile is able to move quickly and easily. Someone who has an agile mind is able to think quickly and clearly. A squirrel is agile, a cow is not really. A trader has a mental agility, a back office bureaucrat from the social security has not. An agile business like Alibaba is always in a position to take account of market changes, while a more traditional business like […] is not (anymore).

Agile organizations or agile systems present specific characteristics. They are, among many characteristics:

  1. Oriented by the ends of a system more than by its structure
  2. Adaptive more than predictive
  3. Favoring innovation more than status quo
  4. Incremental and iterative more than cascading and waterfall
  5. Explorative and experimental more than analytical and descriptive
  6. Systemic and heuristic more than discursive
  7. Holistic more than reductionist
  8. Interested more by the effect than by the nature of interactions
  9. Thriving to reduce their entropy (being open to the outside) rather than increasing it (being closed)
  10. Confronting continuously their model with the reality rather than confronting test proofs or copies of this reality

An organization sustainably develops through the degree of excellence of its operations and the degree of excellence of its projects. The degree of agility of an organization is by construction related to the degree of agility of its projects.

 

Projects Are Agile Too (More or Less)

 

agile

An Agile project?

“Upper case “A” Agile is more often used to define what we do. It is born from an iterative approach to software development and project management with articulated principles (12) and values (4) defined by a Manifesto for Agile Software Development[1]. Agile brings together numerous methods, roles, processes and tools. The Manifesto states that the four Agile values are the following:

  1. Individuals and interactions are over processes and tools,
  2. Working software [or product] is over comprehensive documentation,
  3. Customer collaboration is over contract negotiation,
  4. Responding to change is over following a plan.

At its heart, Agile with “A” upper case is a set of characteristics that can be summarized into five[2]:

  1. Agile teams complete manageable chunks of work and produce a minimum viable product within rather short fixed time periods. On the basis of feedback on the prototype, the team moves forward to a new set of tasks.
  2. The team develops its knowledge by means of observation and experimentation, often without due regard for system and theory. Frequent testing is a cornerstone of the Agile approach. It ensures that product quality remains high and development activities are run efficiently.
  3. Cross-functional. The idea is to put on board the different functions required to develop a product, while limiting membership to those individuals who possess essential and complementary skills so that the team remains lean and can accomplish real work.
  4. The “product owner” is empowered to make decisions about scope, timing, allocation of budget, and product features. He or she is ultimately responsible for delivering value to the customer. He or she divides his or her time between working with the team and coordinating with key stakeholders.
  5. Continually improving. Agile teams rely on retrospectives, obstacle removal processes, and lean experts or scrum masters to continually identify opportunities to enhance productivity by tweaking and tuning their environment and way of working.

 

The Agile PMO At the Crossroad

 

PMO

An agile PMO?

Agile, lower case “a”, organizations are capable to handle the pace of change in a manner that is effective and minimizes disruption, resulting in sustainable competitive advantage. Organizational agility belongs to the DNA and the culture of the organization. A squirrel is more agile than a horse.

Agile, upper case “A”, methods are effective at increasing visibility and adaptability, quickening business value, and reducing risk over the duration of an initiative. Agile methods can be put into practice quite quickly, so long as the team is adequately prepared and has effectively engaged the users who will be involved.

“Agile” and “agile” are related so much that in reality they form only one family that is agile. Developing the use of Agile makes an organization more agile, at least partially within the domains where Agile is practiced. On the other hand, an agile organization uses Agile as a preferred set of project approach. However both Agile and agile approaches develop in a ceaseless oscillation around critical points. Such critical points exist for example at each interface between a waterfall program like a plant construction and its Agile components in the domain of the plant information systems or between two departments being at different maturity degrees of agility.

Therefore, to go back to the initial interrogation about what an agile PMO is, I would propose that an agile PMO is an organization presenting the 10 characteristics of an agile system, embodying the 4 Agile values and its 12 principles, and promoting any specific state-of-the-art methods and tools required to make projects successful.

An agile PMO wants to deliver valuable increments early, frequently, and to a robust level of quality. It works in small increments rather than in a big planned way. It wants the opportunity to learn as it goes along, to test assumptions, and to make changes in what it does when needed. By working in an iterative and incremental way, such an agile PMO can evidence a better control of risk and get an earlier return on investment than otherwise done.

Your reactions and comments are welcomed.

To Your Continued Success!

Philippe

[This article is inspired by the book: “The High-Impact PMO, How Can Agile PMO Deliver Value in a Complex World” I have published in October and that is available on Amazon]

      

If you want to contact me, please get to www.philippehusser.com

 

 

 

[1] http://agilemanifesto.org/

[2] Five Secrets to Scaling Up Agile, BCG, Feb. 2016