Many project management consulting veterans have experienced the frustration caused by the sometimes Sisyphean task of maintaining an experienced and motivated team within their PMO. A legendary king from Greek mythology, Sisyphus was crafty and self-serving. His actions eventually landed him on the wrong side of the gods, and they cursed him to an eternity spent rolling a huge boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down just before it reached the top. When key members of a PMO leave the team for other opportunities, the remaining project professionals often feel as though they’re starting over at the bottom of a long and difficult slope.
High performers may leave the PMO for any number of reasons, including a position in another area within the organization or a compelling opportunity with a different company. Whatever the cause, it’s a certainty that staffing changes will continue to occur. By supplementing your internal team with an experienced external project management consulting team, your PMO doesn’t need to suffer the loss of expertise, damage to team morale and reduced mentoring capabilities that might otherwise occur. Rather than viewing these transitions as obstacles to success, you can instead cultivate an environment that continues to provide growth opportunities for less experienced members, along with a steady and extensive knowledgebase for the entire team. Your organization will benefit from the continuity of a core team of experienced project professionals, and your internal team members will prosper from the expertise available to help them expand their own skill sets.
Core of expertise
The loss of expertise among the project team is often the greatest stumbling block when dealing with staffing changes. Maintaining a strong core of experts within your PMO translates into significant benefits to your internal team. Every project undertaken leverages a knowledgebase that is substantial as well as highly stable; methodologies are carried out in a standardized fashion; and objectives are successfully met through practiced, repeatable efforts. Each completed project adds to the team’s cumulative bank of experience, making future projects leaner and the group more capable of proactively managing potential issues.
Employee growth and mentoring
Another major advantage of populating your PMO with a core of experts is that your internal employees will benefit from an abundant source of readily available experience and knowledge. Employees have ongoing access to senior-level professionals while continuing to gain valuable project management experience. These opportunities for growth provide long-term benefits to your entire organization – high performers who leave the ranks of the PMO for departmental transfers or promotions continue to leverage their expertise in support of internal efforts, and members of the PMO retain the motivation to increase their skills. Instead of losing a member’s expertise, the rest of the project management team can continue to leverage the foundation of knowledge and experience offered by the external consultancy.
Team morale is often a secondary victim of employee turnover, as remaining members may feel that the loss of a highly experienced coworker leaves them with fewer available mentors. Maintaining a strong commitment to success and personal accountability is difficult if members aren’t sure their current situation adequately prepares them for advancement. The project professionals available through an experienced project management consultancy have the necessary expertise and project management training to continue providing team members with ample opportunities for individual growth and advanced project-specific education.
There’s no need to resign your PMO to an eternity of Sisyphean frustration. Through careful planning and a partnership with an experienced project management consultant, your team’s dynamics will be less unsettled as a result of staffing changes, and transitions will occur without significant impact on your group’s ability to tackle its objectives.