The PMO Supporting Change

Projects, supposedly, are all about delivering change, but it can often feel that the primary focus is on producing the deliverables to time, cost and quality. Change in the context of a project has many connotations – business change, change management, management of change, change control.

During this webinar we did with the British Computer Society (BCS) we looked at change from three different perspectives – that of the Project Sponsor, the Project Manager and the Business User and how they are ALL required for project success.

During the session, Eileen covered off some theory and some practical hints and tips.

Key Takeaways for PMO Practitioners

The webinar was for all types of project management practitioners but here we highlight some specific takeaways for PMO practitioners.

1.Understand what complexity means in the context of projects and programmes.

Supporting Project SponsorsWith the project sponsor being a key role on any and every project – understanding the complexities is key for the sponsor being successful. The PMO should be supporting sponsors as much as they do Project and Programme Managers, we should also understand the latest insights on project complexities.

There are a couple of resources to get you started – including this paper How Hard Can It Be? Actively Managing Complexity in Technology Projects and the Complexity Assessment Tool (CAT)

When the PMO has the understanding, there is a role for the PMO to play in helping to develop a specific complexity matrix with sponsors and the business.

2. Situational Leadership is something we can all learn

Situational leadership enables you as a manager to lead people in the way that best works for the individual. Adopting different styles – such as coaching, directing, support or delegating – means you have to flex and adapt.

It comes down to the ability to pick the right style for the right moment, here’s some tips on how you can do just that:

  • take time to get to know your team
  • have frequent discussions with the team
  • celebrate small successes
  • focus on the objectives of what the PMO is there to do
  • be aware of unconscious bias

If you’re interested in learning more about situational leadership – why not take a look at the free eBook from Ken Blanchard


3. We need to be resilient through times of change

During 2020 we’ve all experienced vast and often unpleasant change and understanding the field of emotional resilience can not only help us as individuals but also as a PMO team and as a business. It’s all about the ability to bounce back or recover quickly after experiencing difficult situations or experiences.

Those with emotional resilience:

  • Remain engaged and focused
  • Make opportunities
  • Are curious and keep learning
  • Evolve and move with the times

WRAWThe Five Pillars of Resilience developed by The Wellbeing Project and WRAW (‘Workplace resilience and wellbeing’) is a new psychometric measure of resilience and its impact on individual wellbeing. The five pillars also include


Sustaining and renewing physical energy to have the capacity to keep going through challenging times. Includes:

  • Physical activity
  • Sleep
  • Boundaries
  • Healthy consumption

Future focus

Having a clear sense of purpose and direction to help to move forward without getting stuck or feeling held back. Includes:

  • Purpose
  • Personal control

Inner drive

Sustaining self-belief when times get tough, displaying confidence, motivation and perseverance. Includes:

  • Motivation
  • Self-belief

Flexible thinking

Having an open and optimistic mindset, enabling a positive and adaptive response to change and challenges. Includes:

  • Open minded
  • Positive framing

Strong relationships

Building open and trusting relationships and being willing to call on these for help and support if facing a challenge. Includes:

  • Building trust
  • Accessing support


Further Highlights from the SessionCrazy Little Thing Called ChangeThe Video Session

The Presentation Deck

> That Crazy Little Thing Called Change


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