The Modern PMO Nurtures an Entrepreneurial Culture

by January 8, 2018

Did you ever hear the phrase “Good ideas are a dime a dozen”? A lot of people disagree with this statement. And the truth is, it’s bad ideas that are a dime a dozen. I could illustrate a few humorous examples here, but instead I’ll direct you to the healthy pool of bad ideas on any episode of Shark Tank.

Good ideas can be incredibly lucrative to your business. The trick is in taking the good idea, measuring its potential against the cost of delivering it, prioritizing it against other good ideas and then executing on it effectively and efficiently. Do these things and you’ve made a good idea into a great—and more likely profitable—product or service.

That sounds like a simple plan, but it’s actually an enormous challenge for most organizations. That’s why the role of the modern PMO has evolved over the past several years—to guide this process. It starts by eliciting and nurturing an entrepreneurial culture, which is synonymous with creativity, agility and innovation—it’s where good ideas are born and raised. The modern PMO looks to leverage these same characteristics.

Team oriented

Start-ups lack strict and extensive hierarchical structures because most new businesses haven’t been around long enough to construct them. That’s a huge advantage when you consider the evidence that teams with flatter structures outperform those with more traditional hierarchies. Flatter, smaller teams with autonomy nurture creativity, drive productivity and improve delivery more effectively than larger teams with traditional structures.

The flatter the team, the more empowered its members are when it comes to decision-making authority. This is important, because bureaucracy has the potential to significantly slow decision-making processes, which can be toxic in a fast-moving market. Further, a flat organization allows you to avoid situations in which rivalries lead to decisions that benefit one department rather than the entire organization.

Adaptive and lightweight

PMOs are continuously tracking team performance and the work in progress and measuring them against both plan and budget. At the same time, the modern PMO is weighing the existing work being done against any new opportunities that may arise. Because of rapidly changing market conditions, disruption may occur.

The modern PMO expects and plans for disruption. It knows it may be necessary to turn on a dime. Because change creates opportunity, it’s in the best interest of the company to keep the team nimble so it can respond to and take advantage of unforeseen circumstances both inside and outside the organization.

Firms organized around small, autonomous teams are much more nimble than large hierarchies. It’s easier for them to quickly respond to changing market conditions, evolving customer demands and adjustments in financial status.

Collaborative and supportive

According to a Nielsen study, 66 percent of product professionals surveyed ranked collaboration as one of the top three critical factors for successful innovation. It was considered more important than strong leadership and access to financial resources.

Modern PMOs nurture team collaboration throughout the delivery process by arming small, flexible teams with tools that include strong collaboration components designed to drive communication and collaboration. This also supports the overarching business strategy by extending collaboration across teams and functions.

As teams grow more innovative, modern PMOs manage as lean coaches, supporting them with continuous guidance, training, mentoring, facilitating and relationship building. They promote an entrepreneurial spirit across the company that guides it in an innovative direction where high-quality products are designed and delivered.

CA Project & Portfolio Management helps drive an entrepreneurial culture

CA Project & Portfolio Management (CA PPM) helps the PMO transform a good idea into a great product. It helps measure the potential of an idea against the cost of delivering it, helps prioritize it against other good ideas and then assists in every step of the delivery process.

A central element of the CA PPM solution is a social collaboration feature that allows teams to communicate in context with other stakeholders to evaluate problems, explore options to address them and take quick action without ever leaving the PPM tool.

This style of communication replicates the start-up environment as it leverages intellectual capital from across the organization and helps to ensure agility, creativity and innovation. It also helps the team adapt more easily to market changes and embrace ad-hoc project management schemes.