Business Agile and the EPMO

Something changed at the start of 2016. Concepts┬áand trends that we’ve been encouraging clients to adopt for years suddenly became the aspirational norm. On the PPM front that has resulted in the emergence of what we have chosen to call “Business Agile.” To give this term some context, I’ll generalize the standard call I’ve had with several PMO leaders. It goes something like this ÔÇŽ

“The CEO has asked us to become more agile. They say we need to be more flexible, more scalable and we need to become more involved in assuring that projects actually deliver value.”

So what does being flexible, scalable and delivering value mean in the context of a PMO? To quote the head of an EPMO in Australia “It meant throwing away everything I spent years building. All my nice gates and all my vast number of required documents. It meant changing out the tools we use. It also meant that we needed to change our mindset about what was important and what the organization actually wanted us to do”.

This particular conversation has stuck in my mind primarily because of his honesty in sharing how hard it had been to turn his back on the things that had gotten him praised and promoted at various companies in the past. I’ve reflected on his comments multiple times since our conversation, and I’ve reached what to me is a profound conclusion. Agility starts with a personal willingness to change. As PPM and Change Leaders how can we expect other’s to deal with the profound organizational changes that will be required by life in the digital age if we aren’t willing to show the way by changing our way of doing things?

The second thing required of us on the road to achieving agility is a willingness to lead others through the changes we have committed to make. Notice the word lead. It implies movement. It implies action. Both of these terms will figure heavily in our continuing discussion on business agile. 

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