FROM REPORTING CHANGE
TO CHANGE ENABLER
Abid Mustafa is the author of In the Age of Turbulence: How to Make Executive PMOs Successful,
available in paperback and on Kindle.
department puts the PMO in a comfortable position not only to complement change activities but
also to lead them.
A TRUSTED PARTNER
Large-scale change initiatives are sometimes met
with fear and uncertainty by employees. For those
initiatives to be successful, trust is extremely
important. The PMO’s project delivery approach
makes the PMO staff more accessible to employees, and having a trusted partner by their side can
help workers ease into potentially difficult transitions. The PMO can also galvanize support for
change activities among key groups of workers.
Rallying behind a trusted employee who can sympathize with the burdens of organizational change
makes the changes more bearable.
The PMO has the unique ability to integrate
organizational change management tools and
techniques with project management methodology. Treating large-scale changes as a project to be
managed, the PMO can minimize resistance and
ensure a smooth transition for the entire organization. Applying project management skills within
the organization means everyone is informed, budgets are kept and schedules are met.
For the PMO to become an enabler of change,
executives must utilize the PMO beyond its
reporting functions. PMOs can play a significant
role in ensuring that change among the target population takes a permanent hold—and the intended
benefits of the change are realized for the organization. The PMO staff can reduce the gap between
the company’s appetite for change and the capacity
to support change. PM
When an organization undergoes company-wide
changes, the project management office (PMO) is
usually tasked with reporting progress to executives. This means the PMO keeps track of the
implementation of executive decisions, monitors
program teams and keeps the executive steering
committee informed. However, the PMO can utilize its close relationship with executives to play
a much more constructive role in the process,
making the move from a spectator to an enabler
Some may argue that organizational change
management is for the HR department, and
they’re partially right. HR is good at managing
changes, but the PMO can take it one step fur-
ther by ensuring the
tation and adoption.
has a department or
two that functions
in a silo. That can
be challenging when
changes occur. But the
nature of the PMO’s
functional disposition means it can more easily
navigate organizational barriers and engage with
all types of employees at all levels to complete
project work. Its consistent interaction with each
During organizational changes, the PMO
is often viewed as a record keeper. But it’s
capable of playing a much grander role.
BY ABID MUS TAFA