For Organizational Innovation, Develop a New Project-Centric Culture

In our previous article, we discussed why innovation is so important, and why organizations generally do a poor job of it. The projectoffice could be the ideal team to help the C-suite realize their dreams and goals. This article will address the question: If there is a great need for innovation-focused skills and change within departments, and if the Project Management Office(PMO) has these skills, why aren’t departments asking for help from the PMO? This article will show you why the opposite is true and how to fix it. In our final article, we will present a real-life example that demonstrates how best to drive innovation.
AiDepartments are often reluctant to trust the PMO when they address the Elephant in the room.
So first let us address the uncomfortablereality, that departments often do not trust the PMO. You are likely to have been in one of these two positions if you are reading this article. Either you have worked with a team or someone from the PMO or you have been a project manager for the PMO.
I have seen both sides of the coin. The PMO was not regarded as the hero of the organization in the majority of cases. I have had to deal with situations where the PMO was not viewed as the hero of the organization. My experience with department managers giving direct instruction to their team members to undermine the PMO is confirmed by research. (2)
Problem is perception. How the PMO operates often is a problem.
The current model is for a team of PMO employees to come in and bring about change in the department. This approach has several problems. First, the authority of the PMO is crucial for the change team. This authority is not given by the department, but is enforced by an external PMO. That is significant. The departments view the PMO as an independent entity. They believe the PMO’s focus on governance is incorrect. They believe that the PMO is more concerned with governance than it is about implementing innovation and driving change. They are also concerned about the consequences of the PMO making changes and pushing for them to be implemented. They don’t like losing their authority. Uncertain of the impact on their sphere of influence and what it will mean for them, department heads fight it.
The PMO is a temporary partner. It’s only there for a brief time, causes disruption, and then leaves. It has caused a lot of conflict, and managers must deal with the strained relationships. Research has shown that managers prefer to maintain the status quo rather than face the conflict that may arise from new ways to work. This is because there is a lack trust. Because they don’t know or understand the situation in the department, the PMO is perceived as not being in the department’s best interests. They believe that the PMO’s main focus is on implementing a project, process, or innovation, rather than bringing real value to the department. Unfortunately, they are often right. The PMO can often act like a mother-in-law who comes around every now and again to tell you how to manage your day without having any idea of the daily challenges you face. She thinks she knows better.
Change the way you approach things and you’ll change the culture.
The Project Management Office must demonstrate what it can offer. It must convince the department that it is not going to disrupt the team but will be part of it.