Once your new Project Management Office is set up, you need to find ways to tell people that it exists and what it can do. Promotional activities can feel a bit uncomfortable, especially if you have come from a project delivery organization or an established PMO where this wasn’t needed.
But think about it: how useful is your new PMO if no one knows about it? You can’t deliver value to people who don’t know you are there. Promoting your PMO is a way to talk about the capabilities of the team, the services provided and the expertise on offer, in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y.
Here are 10 suggestions for how to get the message out there.
Most companies have a way to communicate with the whole business, or a section of it. That might be a company magazine or a divisional newsletter, or a newsletter that goes to a particular community, for example, the project management community.
These are good places to start spreading the word about the PMO both to say that it exists and also to highlight the services that it can offer to project teams.
While many people find it nerve-wracking to stand up and present to a group, it’s an effective way of getting the message across and raising your profile as a team.
Presentations can take many forms. Here are some of the options:
- Exhibition-style stands in common areas at work
- Lunch and learn (“brown bag”) sessions
- Case studies as part of a larger presentation
- Workshops during training days
- Conference presentations as part of larger employee conferences or events.
Seek out opportunities to do short presentations to other departments about your work. Keep your overview short and include some good news stories about tangible results and the benefit your team has delivered for others.
3. Providing Support
There’s no better way to gain support than to be supportive! Getting out there and doing the things your team can do shows what you are capable of. Offer to attend meetings and facilitate, run lessons learned sessions for project managers, step up and re-engineer that report no one thinks is any good – and anything else that demonstrates the services and skills you have to offer.
4. Online Tools
Most businesses have online communication tools like an intranet or social network. Be active on that. Share good practice, be part of conversations, offer up your expertise and build relationships with people. This all helps you become more visible as a team, so that when someone does need your services they know who to call.
5. Internal Awards
Many organizations host internal awards. Have you achieved anything notable that would make you eligible for one? Don’t be modest!
6. External Awards
Most industries have awards and you may be able to find industry or PMO specific awards that you can enter. This is a good way of raising your profile internally and it rubs off on the business as a whole. Typically, you’d want a decent level of PMO maturity and some solid results under your belt to justify the entrance and be in with a chance of making the shortlist.
Testimonials are huge in online marketing and sales, and there’s no reason why that shouldn’t be the case for any service, even those provided internally like what your team offers through the PMO. Solicit feedback from your colleagues and customers, and get their permission to use their comments as a testimonial in support of your work.
You can put these anywhere: at the bottom of your emails in the signature section, alongside a newsletter article, on your team’s intranet page or within a presentation. You might not see an immediate use for them, but capture them anyway. If nothing else, they are incredibly helpful when you come to have meetings with senior staff or at appraisal time, because this is first-hand evidence that you are doing a great job.
8. “Official” Exec Messages of Support
A declaration of support from someone in authority isn’t exactly the same as a testimonial: it’s not the kind of thing you are going to slap on a report you’re writing. But the power of having a charismatic and well-respected leader introduce you to the stage before your presentation should not be under-estimated.
Where you can, consider how you can get explicit messages of support from people who are influential leaders in your business.
As a PMO team, you are perfectly placed to deliver training. You can support the project managers through targeted training, coaching and mentoring. You can also reach out more widely with support to people who are leading projects alongside their day job – those accidental project managers who probably need the support even more.
Put together a half-day program on task management and project fundamentals and make this available to delegates from across your organization. It’s a good way to build your reach and show your value, and once you’ve put your training together you can run it regularly.
Leading a training course is also a good way to provide development opportunities to the PMO team.
10. Promotional Items
Because who doesn’t love a new mouse mat? This would only work in a business culture where this kind of thing was tolerated and not considered a waste of resources. With many companies cutting back on promotional items and freebies, it might not be appropriate for your environment. However, a drink mat with the intranet site address for your template library or a number to call to book training would be very helpful for some people.
These are 10 examples of how you can promote your PMO and the work of the team proactively. They won’t all work for every organization, but you should be able to find a couple to do that will raise your profile and ensure the message about what you offer reaches as many people as possible.