E01 - The PMO Squad
September 23, 2021
Host, Julianne Wolfe speaks with Joe Pusz, CEO from The PMO Squad. Watch to Learn about The PMO Squad organization, their Purpose Driven PMO, the Project Management Journey and how The PMO Squad supports customers with project delivery solutions and resources. Host Julianne uses a series of creative questions to gain insight and understanding about The PMO Squad and how they support clients.
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Okay, I got it. Alright, everyone. Well, welcome to all of you. Sorry for that little technical blip there at the beginning. I want to welcome everybody to the first episode of Spotlights on Driving Services. So in this monthly series, my cohost Gabriella Pop and I shine the spotlight on service organizations so you can learn about what they have to offer. We hope our set of quirky questions that we have in store will serve not only to inform but also entertain a little bit and just a little bit of what you can expect.
So we're going to start out every session with a short overview of the folks that we're speaking to, and then we'll dive into a little more detail and our questions about leadership, problem solving, collaboration and other topics. And then we'll have a quick wrap up. So joining us today is the PMO Squad, and the PMO Slide is a US based PMO and project management consulting firm that specializes in agile project management and PMO solutions, all centered around a purpose driven approach. And representing the PMO spot today is founder and President Joe Paz.
Say, Hi, Joe. Give us an internationally recognized speaker, author Project Management Innovator. And he was named one of the top 15 PMO influencers in the world in 2020 and 20 and 21 by the PMO Global Alliance. Joe is also a co founder of the Veteran Project Manager Mentor Alliance, which is a nonprofit organization that assists veterans seeking the transition into civilian project management careers. So welcome, Joe. It's so wonderful to have you today.
Thank you so much. It's great to be here for the first episode and we'll see how it goes, right? I mean, I saw the questions and they're not easy, everybody. So this is going to be fun.
We have some excitement in store. And also I would just want to say a quick Congratulations on being named a top influencer. That's quite an accomplishment.
Yeah. Thanks so much. I don't know what I do to do that. I'm just trying to help be helpful in the industry. So if that makes me an influencer, I gladly accept that. And the PMO Global Alliance does a great job working with PMOs out there in the world, and it's really an honor to be nominated by them for such a distinction. So it's been great super.
Okay. So why don't we go ahead and get started with some of our content? If you'd like to share with us an overview of what the PMO Squad has, the offer, we can start there.
Yeah. As you had mentioned, we do all things project management, and it doesn't matter the traditional approach or an agile approach focusing on PMO, we don't do anything else. When I was a PMO leader back in corporate world, many times we would reach out for consultants to come help us, and they didn't specialize in project management. They were just general consultant, firms, management consultant and they would come in and they would do a good sales pitch. And they would have a senior rep on the sales team.
After they won the engagement. They would bring in this junior resource who didn't know anything about PMOs. And ultimately, we would end up training him or her on what we were doing, and they would take the information back to the boss, and they come up with some solution that we paid way too much money for. That really was our solution to begin with. So after years and years of doing that, I finally said, there has to be a better way to help PMO leaders and project managers and agile out there.
So we created the PMO Squad, and that's been nine years ago. Now where we have focused on that one thing we just do, project management.
And then over time, we thought about how how should we do this better? Right. We've all seen the stats project success rate. We can do better than that. And what we found talking with our peers and in the industry and doing our own research was the purpose driven mindset and the purpose driven approach. Too often there's a disconnect between the people doing the project and the executives of proving the project, that they're not aligned on purpose. And those disconnects that we felt with the research we've done in the interviews we've done was driving that wedge between leadership team and project teams and causing those project failure rates.
So everything we do now has a purpose driven mindset to it awesome.
Do you want me to advance the slides?
Yeah. It's go on to the next one. Here another thing that we've recently come up with here is after nine years of workmen clients, they all want to be at number five in six months. Right. And what we've recognized is what we want to make public and talk through with people to help them understand organizational maturity for project management is a journey, right? It's just like us as humans as an infant. You're not a teen as a toddler. You're not an adult, right? I mean, you have to mature and you need to go through the steps of maturation to actually be prepared for the next step.
You would probably not have a successful PMO. If you start out as an ad hoc and then immediately jump into strategic, you wouldn't have developed the skill sets and the capabilities required in steps two and three on the journey. So for us, the old Rome wasn't built in a day. Well, neither is a PMO, and what we try to do is help organizations understand where they are today in their journey. And just like when you go on a vacation, hiking through the mountains or rafting down a river, you have a guide that comes and helps you on that.
That adventure. And that's what the PMO Squad is. We're a guide that comes and helps you navigate your journey no matter where you are and where you're headed, not everybody has to get to stage five on the journey. Maybe your endpoint is stage three, and that's okay. We can help you get there. So for us, it's helping the organizations and PMO leaders out there know there is a journey you're about to go on. We've traveled that journey many times over with organizations and various industries, and we're here to help you to navigate and be able to go through that journey.
That's awesome. I really appreciate that you guys recognize that not everybody has to get to that same endpoint. I think that's really important, really important message. So I really appreciate that.
Yeah, absolutely. And then next thing you know, you had asked us to supply some information about the company, and often times when I attend these rate, the people talk about their services they offer like we just did, but they never talk about the company, right? I mean, what's at the core of who you are and for us, the PMO Squad, we believe anything is possible and that's our core values were purpose driven, as we mentioned, both internally and externally with clients. We come out there and we do everything starting with purpose.
We believe in outcomes over audits, and therefore we have an outcome focused approach. You mentioned at the top. Here our relationship with VPMA, the veteran Project Manager Mentor Alliance. So we're service minded. We give back to the community. I can see one of our attendees is involved in VPMA, so it's nice to see one of them joining. Thank you. Integrity. Always. If we don't have trust of our clients or with it in our teammates, we're going to break apart. We need to be able to stay together.
We build inclusion. We have a very inclusive workforce. We believe our clients should be inclusive. Our industry should be inclusive. So we work actively to be an inclusive organization. Leadership enabled outcomes over audits. But people over process. We want everybody to be able to be a leader at project management is so important because you are leading a project that was intentionally chosen by an organization. So you have to be a leader and then ultimately empower people that at the core of who we are. So all of those together help you understand who the PMO Squad is, right?
We believe anything and everything is possible when you work together, bonded over a common purpose.
That's awesome. Yeah. Leadership is something near and dear to my heart. So that's getting a little more visibility in the project management community lately, especially with all the revamp we see PMI and everything. So it's super exciting. And I think really, really important, something that maybe have been a little overlooked previously. So that's awesome to hear awesome. Alright. So we do have a chat open. So I'll encourage our participants that if you have a question or need clarification on something, go ahead and type it in the chat.
We'll try to keep an eye on that as best we can. But now we're going to go into our questions now that we've heard from Joe about the CMO spot, and that really helpful information to set the context about who they are, what they do. And so I mentioned we have this quirky question set, but it focuses on some of those things that we would typically engage in discussion when we're trying to partner with the service organization. So our first question, as our industry evolves, so do the challenges that we face.
They will also evolve with it. And so I'd like to know, Joe, which superhero or role model would you call to face the biggest challenges for POS today? And why?
I love this one. Right? I'm a big Marvel fan and watch all the different Marvel movies. So it'd be easy to pick a more modern superhero. But I'm going to go old school because I got a little Gray in my beard. But for me, it's Batman, right? If we think about and again, they've got all the modern Batman movies. But the real ones go back to the Seventies when they came out. Batman was just a guy, right? He didn't have superpowers, but what he had was, in his case, he was a rich guy.
So he had a lot of money, and he built this amazing utility belt that no matter the situation, he always had the gadget to be able to get him out of the situation he was in. And I think as project managers, that's who we are. We need to have a belt full of experiences and gadgets and tools that if it's an agile project or traditional project, or we have an angry stakeholder, or we have a vendor that's non responsive, or we have teammates that need assistance, or we need to do something differently.
We have to be able to reach into that belt and be able to pull out the proper tool at the proper time. And we believe in project delivery more than a project management approach. Right. If you do stuff agile, I guarantee in your agile approach you're doing something traditional as well. And if you're doing something traditional, I bet you've done something agile. And if you're doing something hybrid, I bet you're doing something lean. Every situation is going to be unique. Every project is unique. Every organization is unique.
So for us, I think the key is be a Batman. Don't rely on just one superpower. Rely on a tool belt full of different tools that's going to help you get through any of the situations that you face.
That's awesome. We often talk it where I work now PPG about tools in the toolbox. Right. And we kind of use that metaphor. But I love the Batman metaphor by going to steal that at some point when I'm talking with people about using tools in the toolbox, that's awesome.
We don't have a sidekick, right? We don't have Robin, I guess, but hey, we all do right for everybody out there. We all have our own sidekick as well. So we have the superhero, but never forget the sidekick, right? Ever since the hero has a sidekick.
That's awesome. Alright. So our next question, when we're looking for somebody to partner with frequently, we want to understand approaches the problem solving. So can you tell us in terms of the PMO squad? What's your problem solving tagline?
Yeah. For us, you can maybe see it in my background empowering people to deliver results. People solve problems. Right. And for us, we we find working with clients back to when I was running PMO in the corporate setting or back when I was a PM working in a PMO. Everybody, when there was a problem, everybody would point to a process and say, well, what's the process say you're supposed to do, but process is static. It's usually not dynamic. It doesn't have the ability to flex on the fly for an immediate need.
And at the core of that, when we examine that, we said it's people who are delivering on that process, it's people who are coming up in the process and again going back to VPMA. And we think about military, whether it's the US military or the military in any country, when there is a military exercise or mission that takes place, they train and train and train and train on what to do. But when the exercise is in place, something invariably goes wrong and they have to be able to react to that.
And they react based on the training they received in the trust that their leaders have in them to be able to execute his people to solve the problem themselves. So borrowing from our brothers and sisters in the military, we try to ensure that we've trained our team and have them prepared for the unknown. How do you prepare for the unknown? You don't know what's coming. How can you prepare for that? When you build leaders, you enable leaders to be able to make decisions without you. We've already given them the guidance and the tools to be successful.
So for us now we empower them. You have the dot. We say that you've got the responsibility to be able to solve the problems on your own and know with an outcome driven approach. Right? Results matter. So for us, our tagline empowering people to deliver results. That's what people want. We want to give them that power. That's what clients want. They want results. So we focus on those two things.
Awesome. That's awesome. Now, one of my favorite books is Team of Teams by Stanley Crystal. You ever read that one?
And it talks a lot about making leaders and taking some cues from from our armed forces. And I think that's a great analogy and really good advice for anyone. Okay. So next question, let's move on to the next one. We've seen a shift. As you mentioned, we've talked a little bit about this here from process driven methods. And project Manager is team member more into value driven framework. Folds in the toolbox. Pm is leader. Project manager is leader. So leadership. You know, again, we talked about this before becoming very much more associated with project management and spotlight there.
So I'm interested. I'm curious to know say, you're making a movie on what it takes to leave describe the plot for us.
Again. It was great. I had these questions in advance because these are hard, right? I love movies. It's one of my favorite things. Music and movies. I love them both. So it's great. We have another music question coming up later. Rather than describe the pot, I'll actually say the movie that I think is potentially, in my view, the best project management movie ever.
And of course, it has nothing to do with project management. It's Moneyball. So I'm a big sports fan. And if you haven't seen Moneyball, the plot line is there's an organization Oakland as who are in a small market, so they don't have as much money as the big teams, and they have to figure out a way to be competitive without having money. And everybody on their staff is trained in the current process. How do we run a baseball team? But they have a new leader comes in.
The new project manager comes in Billy Bean, who still the general manager of the Oakland A's, by the way. So it's based on a real life situation, and they encourage everybody to find a different way, forget the way we've always done it and find a way that gives us the outcomes we want. And they stop relying on scouting. They start using data analytics and metrics. They start looking at culture and personality fit. They move players from positions they are comfortable playing into positions they never played before.
They had a catcher who they moved over to first base. And he's like, I've never played the infield before. I can't do this. But data Analytics said that person has has to be on our team. So they use data. They use analysis. They didn't rely on old school process. They went out and looked for results and the way the movie progresses. And again, this is based on real life events. The team went from a seller dweller rate, a team that didn't perform well. They're consistently year after year, successful.
And now other teams have adopted the way that they run projects or the way that they run their team. Think of it almost as the way they used to do it was traditional project management. They came in with a more agile approach, developing what we won't call it traditionally agile, but more hybrid, maybe a water scrum fall or some other sort of hybrid approach to delivery. And they executed that. And again, the best form of flattery is when people copy you. So even the big money teams now copy them or another small market team, the Tampa Bay Rays copy them and they do the same approach.
And the Rays have the best record or second the best record in the American League right now. So it works. So for me following that movie, I kept watching it and thinking, Man, this is great project management movie to the point where I had our team at the time watch that movie. Right. We took time out of our day, brought a copy into office and we watched the movie and talked about it afterwards. So for me, the plot is understanding how to be able to react, how to be able to take traditional and make it modern and use what's going to be results based, outcomes focused and giving the people in your organization the power to change the way it's always been.
I love it when we go to a client and I asked him, Why do you do that? And he said, Well, that's the way we've always done that. So why have you always done it that way? And they get that look in their eye, right? It's like, well, I don't know. It's just always been that way. So questioning the norm, using leadership skills to not just accept what's there, but to understand why it starts with purpose. If you have to ask why to be able to identify purpose and to me, Moneyball identified purpose and then was able to take the actions afterwards to lead from there.
So if you haven't seen everybody out there, if you haven't seen Moneyball this weekend, everybody run out and rent money ball and then send me a message on LinkedIn to let me know what you thought and and let me know if you think it's a good project Management moving.
I'll have to do that. I've never seen that movie I got. My husband has, though.
It's actually a great movie, right. Aside from that Brad Pitt in it and some other well known actors, it's not, you know, a second hand movie. It's actually a good movie to watch as well.
Awesome. Well, that will be on my weekend Uster this weekend. Yeah.
Let me know what you think.
Great. Alright. So let's move on to the next question. Collaboration is essential to success in any partnership. So if you had to write a book on promoting and sustaining collaboration within teams between teams, what would be the title?
Yeah, I think this one I had to think long and hard about, right? It makes me. And then I wanted to write a book afterwards. But the title I came up was Catch me when I fall because this goes back to the military part of it again. Right. We build trust in people. And when you trust somebody, you'll do anything for them and it's sustainable because you don't have to work at it. It's just there will be ups and I'll be down. I will fall, and I trust that you will catch me.
And to me, that's sustainability. So when I think about just personal situations or professional situations, excuse me, whenever we're collaborating, I always want to be with people I trust. And then there's the team building exercise where you stand with your back to somebody and you lean back and they catch them. Right. So that was the image that came to mind when you ask this question was they do those team building exercises intentionally it's to build trust in your teammates. And what better way than to create a visual and then follow it up with a book to talk about that, because as project managers or PMO leaders working with clients or even just internal, you don't do it by yourself.
You can't a project manager has a team, a PMO leader has an organization that supports him or her. So without that trust, without that understanding that I'm going to fall at some point and you're going to fall at some point, I will be there to catch you. And please let you know that I have trust in you that you're going to catch me. Those are the sorts of things that I think are really impactful and deal with leadership. So for me, that's the book I want to write.
That's awesome. That's awesome. You know, I've had the fortune of working in a couple of high performing teams over my career. They're kind of few and far between where all the plan on a line and everything comes together and you kind of find yourself in that situation. And I say that's one of the things that makes the difference in terms of trust, and it's not only trust, like many, almost every team that I'm involved in, I trust my teammates are going to do their work. They're going to collaborate with me.
But there's like a level beyond that, too, when I was having a bad day or my teammates are having a bad day, we just do these little things to kind of swoop in and help each other. And I think the root and basis of that was trust that we could do that. And we knew that people would do that for us. I think that's really awesome.
There's a story I've told in some other webinars about Rich Carlton. They consistently year after year when the award for top customer service, and they have a part of their mission is they empower their employees to do whatever is right. Every employee is empowered. I think it's to spend up to $2,000 without manager approval to make sure the customer experience is good. And I'm out here in Arizona, down in Tucson, there's a Ritz Carlton, and this was in the press where a little boy had his Thomas the Tank train that he lost.
He couldn't find it. And they went to check out and the parents said, hey, if you happen to find our toy. Let us know we'd like to get it back. Our child is really upset over this. So they went and looked and they couldn't find it anywhere. And most hotels would stop right there. That would be the end of it. But that front desk clerk after work that day went out and bought a brand new Thomas the Tank train for the boy. And again, most would stop there.
But they didn't. They went around different places in the resort and took pictures. So it looked like Thomas the Tank without having an adventure. And he then get back to the room and time to leave with the family. So they sent the toy to the family with all these pictures in a letter about how he was on an adventure and that he was upset because he missed his family, too and wanted to get home. That sort of feeling right there catch me when I fall, right?
That family fell, that little boy fell, and that employee took the extra effort because they were empowered to deliver a result for that family. To me, that's the epitome of what we need to be doing as consulting firms. We have to be able to catch you when you fall, just like Ritz Carlton does over and over again. And that's why they win all these awards for customer satisfaction.
That's awesome. That's a great story. I enjoyed that. Okay. Next question. You know, ESG policies or environmental social governance policies are kind of more and more in their own spotlight these days, and sustainability is a big part of that. So I'm interested to know if receiving an award, how would your customers thank you for influencing their sustainability?
Yeah. This is probably the hardest question, right? The industry we're in isn't naturally a sustainability, but I've got a buddy up in the Boston area, Rich Altman who makes a living out of this now, right? He's known for his project management on sustainability, so I was thinking, trying to build my inner rich Maltzan. What would I say here and for us? I think one thing we try to do is MoS and project managers over report or report the wrong things, and it leads to paper waste different.
And, of course, we've gone to electronic tools, and there's not as much printing, but there's still a lot of printing that takes place out there.
So we should be thinking and we work with our clients on building the appropriate dashboards so that it's self service as opposed to printing and sending and having people waste paper. That doesn't need to be with a lean mindset and a waste reduction mindset using the right tools, using the right data, using the right dashboard to be able to get you to be able to be prepared to show what value your PMO is generating, not just what's the status of a project. There's a very big difference between that.
And I would say probably of the clients we work with. I ask always to see their PMO dashboard. Let me see what your dashboard is. Red, yellow, green, the list of projects, budget, scope and schedule. How are we doing? And I always ask, Well, what would an executive do with that if you have 50 projects in your dashboard, that 49 project that the executive probably doesn't even know exist? What does it matter to him or her that that project is red, yellow or green? Where's the value we're providing?
So I always work to say, let's redo this dashboard, thinking about what can we talk about and present to executives that actually will have meaning to them? Right? Stakeholder engagement is the number one lead to project success. Well, let's engage stakeholders with proper dashboards. For instance, how many open executive issues need to be resolved? And what's the aging of those issues on a project that's now read that's an immediate item and executive can take action on and by presenting a dashboard that way, because I guarantee that executive gets that dashboard, the current one prints it out, looks at it, crumbles up in a ball and throws it into garbage can and we're wasting and killing trees.
So for me, I'm making a bit of a stretch. I think on this one, but I think using the right dashboards and the right data would be where clients would say thank you for getting us to focus on this.
Wait, I think that was a great answer.
Alright, so we mentioned before collaboration was a key factor in contributing to success, but so is culture. As a service organization. I'd be willing to bet you had to work with many different cultures with your clients and have had to integrate with that. So let's say you're hosting an event to celebrate that culture integration with a partner organization. Tell us what the theme of that event might be.
Yeah, for us, it's going to be purpose. It's going to be tied to that. Let me tell you another story. We had a client and they're in the industry where they take homes and prepare them for renters at an affordable rate so that people don't have to rent out of an apartment complex. They can rent into a home and a large percentage of their clientele. The renters are first time homeowners, oftentimes single parents and on occasion, single parents who are leaving an abusive relationship. So when we went in to help them build a PMO unrelated to any of that stuff, right?
I asked. I interviewed where we as an organization interviewed every manager, every director, vice President, and some of the employees in their It Department because this PMO is for the It. And I said, What's the purpose of your organization? And they said, Well, in our NIT, our purpose. I'm summarizing their bottom line answer was it. Our purpose is to enable the software to help our organization function. Typical answer that I would expect from an It Department, then went and asked the director of marketing for the entire company.
I said, What's the purpose of your organization? And they told me it was to provide safety to those in need who never had an opportunity to own a home before.
So I went back to the CIO and the leaders in the It Department and I said, do you understand the disconnect you're running projects to enable technology when you have a company that's trying to provide safety for first time homeowners? What if we change the purpose of your PMO and the measurements in your projects? Instead of saying, are we on time or on budget? We could have a metric that says, how many lives did we save today? How many homes did we put people into today? And we start measuring projects that way because when we ask at a go live people to work on a weekend or maybe work long hours because of projects behind.
If our projects behind, we're only putting technology in, who cares? Right. And it doesn't matter. But if you say, can you work late today, there's that one family out there that's going to need to get into that home today. And if this project is able to get them over to that point, then we had a successful outcome. Who's going to say no to that? When we bond around purpose, when we bond around that common thinking of there's a greater cause for what we're doing, we start accelerating.
So after time, when you have that mindset in place, all of a sudden your results start improving because you get to see that outcome. I'll give you one more example here. There was a company that hired a consulting firm, wasn't us. So I can't take credit for this one. I love the idea. And they produce heart valves, right? Somebody has to manufacture the heart valves. That when people need open heart surgery, they get out there. Right? And the organization has been around for a long time and their production had kind of become stagnant.
They weren't able to increase output. So they hired a consulting firm to come in and they asked them, what can we do to increase efficiency, output and improve profitability at the same time? We want to improve employee satisfaction. So a pretty big lift that they're asking from this consulting firm. And after a month of analysis and observation, they came back to the executives and said, alright, we have the solution. Executives are all jazzed up. And they said, what is it? We want you to put two posters up in your building.
Really? What a let down. I mean, if you want us to to post yourself, why would we do that? What's going to be on the poster. And they said, because everybody in your organization on that assembly line and the production facility is producing heart valves, what they don't know is their saving lives. So I want a poster at the doorway where everybody comes in. That is a picture of a person who receives your heart valve and they will know every day why they're coming to work.
And then in your cafeteria, we want to have a picture of some of your employees, which you don't even know. Some of your employees have the heart valves that you produce inside them right now. Well, we want pictures of those employees up in your break room. So every time somebody goes in, they'll see one of their coworkers that they've helped with, what they're manufacturing, what they're producing again, all of this is subtle changes with a giant impact because you're rallying around purpose of what we're doing.
We don't do it because it's just a job. We're doing it with an outcome. It could be saving lives. It could be any other item that is important to your organization. But I guarantee you, it's not just delivering a project, right? We don't implement a CRM system. There's something bigger than implementing a CRM system. And that's what you have to attach to. So any sort of cultural event we have with a partner absolutely would be tied to purpose.
Awesome. That's great. Heard the purpose driven PMO a while back. You know, when I maybe attended a conference where you were speaking or one of your colleagues of speaking and I heard it, I understood it. But until I heard some of those examples, it didn't quite hit home for me. And that was a really good example that helps to hit him exactly what that means and how to use it and incorporate it into your organization. It's really good stuff.
Alright. So I'm going to dive a little bit kind of into one of the purpose points for the PMO leader community. Right. So one of those purpose points is building a community which, you know, doesn't happen overnight and doesn't happen in isolation. So I'm curious, what would be your signature song for what it takes to build a community?
Yeah. This one was a little bit easier. Again. I love music, all kinds of music. And the song that immediately jumped out to me was imagined by John Lennon. Right.
Imagine what's possible when we're sharing. I mean, that's the whole spirit of that song. There's a world without borders. When we think in the PMO space. Again. Earlier we had mentioned the PMO Global Alliance was a great organization. There's the House of PMO. That's a great organization, Imam. There's a whole bunch of organizations out there and we all build borders around our space. And for the PMO Leader, right. When we think about that, it's actually saying, let's break down those borders. We're all PMO leaders and imagine what it would be like if we could all live in peace, if we could all share, if we could all give to one another, regardless of my allegiance or where my certification came from.
I'm still a PMO leader. Right. And to me, that's something that we have to imagine because it doesn't exist until we created the PMO Leader. So that was the mindset for this song is when we build community. Don't build community based on what's happening today. Build community around what is possible, what we can imagine to be. And that's the whole point of it. Right. If I'm in the United States or I'm in Malaysia or I'm in Abudabi, doesn't matter where I'm located, we have the same problems trying to lead a PMO.
I may have gotten a certification or I may have a methodology, or I may have an approach that's completely different than yours. Because guess what? I'm Batman. There's multiple ways to be able to solve a problem. But where do I go to ask somebody about their experiences? I go to my community. I want to go there and find out. So to me, we imagined it and it exists now. The PMO Leader is now a community where you can go that's borderless in border list, both figuratively and literally.
It's for all countries and it's for all organizations. We don't promote one over the other. We're agnostic in our approach. We're agnostic in our certification mindset. We just believe that you have to be able to go. I think we pop up something on screen that was my screen. Something popped up on my screen. That was weird. So that's my song is imagine it's a great song. Also, I always love listening to that song.
I agree. Awesome. Alright. I really appreciate that. So we're down to our last question and I think this is my favorite and it's really simply just for fun. But to learn a little more about you guys at the same time as the PMO Squad. So if your company were food, what would it be and why? I.
Love music. I love movies and I love food. Right. So this is great for me. It's ice cream, right. Because ice cream is great, but it doesn't matter what flavor. Everybody has their own taste. Right. So that's what I think we are. We have a purpose driven approach for everything we do. So that's our ice cream. But the flavor of ice cream becomes unique based on the client and situation we're working with. Sometimes it's vanilla, sometimes it's chocolate, sometimes it's strawberry, or sometimes it's all of them combined.
Right. Sometimes it's Rocky road. Right. So for us having the ability to be core to what we are, right. We're ice cream where the purpose driven mindset, but being adaptable to fit into which each organization needs so that we're able to satisfy their hunger for what their problem is. So for us, it's ice cream. Now my stomach was just grumbling and it's early here in Phoenix, but I want to get some ice cream.
So what's your favorite type of ice cream for me?
Butter pecan or butter almond is my for Mint chocolate chip close behind, but butter almond. I love it.
Nice. I'm a chocolate girl. I got to have chocolate somewhere in there.
Chocolate is good. I have no problem with chocolate either. There are very ice cream flavors that I know.
Same here. Alright, so that was the last question we had. I encourage everybody to if you have a question for Joe or a question about the PMO glad, type it into the chat. But we do have a couple of minutes here and I wanted to maybe just ask a couple other things with you, Joe. I know there's this other thing called Project Management Office hours that you may be involved in. So I was wondering if you could just speak about that for a minute. And what that's all about?
Yeah. So the PMO Squad sponsors a live radio show that we also released as a podcast, Project Management Office Hours. And that shows now been around for four years. We're over 40 million downloads, which blows my mind. I can't believe that that's possible, but that just shows the power of project management and the interest around the world. So every other week we interview live project management leaders from around the world. We've had guests on from Vietnam, Israel, Brazil, Germany, Honduras, Zambia, the US, Canada, the UK. Again, it's Australia, a truly global list of people we've had and we try to talk to them about being people.
What is it like to be a person in our industry? And what have you learned?
Check it out. I think their phone Marissa Silva was on and you had mentioned I was in the top 15 PMO influencers in the world. That comes from the PMO Global Alliance, America Pinto as a guest bill out in the Final four. He is a guest, Laura Bernard in the Final Four. She's a guest. Peter Taylor, one that award last year. He's been a guest. We interview lots of folks Portugal, India, again, all over the world. So if you're interested in being a guest or listening to the show, check it out.
Yeah, I've listened to a few episodes. A working mom of two. So my free time is a little bit limited, but I've really enjoyed and have learned something listening to the few episodes that I've been able to. So I highly recommend it to everybody. We did get one question in the chat. So the question is, have you mature clients in the PMO quickly and sustainably? How have you matured clients in the PMO complain? Sustainably.
Yeah, this is the frequent requests from clients. We want to mature quickly. Well, again, that's hard to do, right, because a maturation takes time. So a lot of variables come into play. What's the size of your company? Which the purpose of your PMO? Not all PMOs have the same purpose. Where are you trying to get in the journey? Are you currently out of one and only trying to get to a two? So we always caution at the beginning to say maturation takes time. Another thing that I do for our community is I'm a judge in the PMO Global Awards, and right now we're down to the final four of the best four PMO in the world.
And the part of their presentation to say to be judged is what is their journey? How long have they been in their path and all of them to get to be the best have taken a decade. It's taken a long time to get mature. So we try to understand that there's a need to improve quickly and we try to accelerate the maturation process. But we also want to set expectations with our client up front. This will take time. This will take patients and you have to be able to support the organization to be able to get their organizational change.
Management components need to come into play. But if you're a level one organization in that journey with ad hoc project management and you're trying to get to level three organizational project delivery, that's probably a minimum of twelve to 18 month effort to just get to that stage, not to excel in that stage, right. Probably another year to be good within stage three. We don't encourage speed, we encourage outcomes. And for us, that's more important. And getting the organizational buy into that is essential. That's the purpose driven component upfront having the organization by end of that.
So another question I had is there anything that you want to highlight coming up for the PMO Squad next year in 2022, any big events or speaking or.
Yeah, absolutely. And I don't know if we have a final list yet, but one item we actually just wrapped up yesterday the Plan View user conference called Plain View Acceleration.
And they are a global company with solutions from around the world. And we were sponsors. Pmo Squad sponsored was one of the sponsors for that event, and it was awesome. It was great to be able to interact with PMO leaders around the world. So we'll be sponsoring that again next year. Out here in Arizona, the Arizona State University put on a project management summit, and PMMA is involved in that. We have a track for veterans this year. In that conference, PMO Global Alliance again will be with that, we speak at PMI chapters all around the world.
I know you're in Pennsylvania. We had spoken at the Pittsburgh chapter and others. So for us, I don't have the complete list for 2023, but guarantee will be at industry events. We'll be at PMI chapters will be within the PMO leader and different events that have been going on there. So lots of stuff coming up in 20 and 22.
Awesome. Awesome. So I think the last question I want to ask today is, well, first, let me thank you for your time. This information has been super helpful in understanding what you guys have to offer and about the PMO Squad. If people are interested in learning more and tapping into your services or just getting into contact with you or the PMS Squad, what's the best way for them to do that?
Yeah, I'm going to answer that question, but I just saw a question pop up in the Q and A section. Okay, not in the chat, but in the Q amp a. So I'm going to answer that because it is a great question. How do you convince senior management who does not see a value or ROI and setting up a PMO? And this probably isn't the answer that you're going to expect. But I say you don't convince them. Why would you ever want to set something up that executives don't support?
You will fail. There is no question in my mind that you will no longer be the leader of that PMO in probably two years time because executives do not support it. So until you get to the point where they do support it. So I don't think convincing the right word. Maybe its influence is a better word there, but that's sitting down and doing the purpose driven mindset at the beginning of building a purpose driven PMO is a facilitated session with your executive team, and we go through a series of exercises to understand what they think a PMO should do, because PMO leaders frequently build PMOs for themselves, and that's why they fail.
We should be building PMOs for the organization and that's when they succeed. Those are purpose driven PMOs. So the convincing or the influencing to me is a discussion up front about what are the goals and objectives that we want to achieve? What is the span of control that the PMO has? What's the authority that it has, what would be successful outcomes that would show that a PMO is successful and then creating like a 15 2nd sound bite that the executive signed off and say the PMO does X to generate value for our organization to ensure that we gain competitive advantage.
What's the X right. And that's what you have to do to convince your executive leaders. It's an influencing them to build a PMO to achieve something. It's an outcomes. Focus mindset with a purpose driven beginning. That would be the exercise I would offer up. But if they're not on board with that, don't even build a PMO. It won't work. Now go back.
Your other question is the PMO Squad dot com. Of course, our website to go out there and connect with us. I'm out there on every social media channel you can connect to the radio show through the podcast, any podcast platform that you listen to has it and on LinkedIn certainly go out there and connect with us on LinkedIn. My email. If you want to connect with me on email, I'm open to that as well as Joe PU P-U-S-Z at the PMO squad. Com so we're open. We're transparent.
We're out there to help the industry. We're trying to be service minded. We're trying to be inclusive within the industry. So we're available. However you want to get to us, we'll connect and be happy to respond.
Awesome. Well, thanks again, Joe. I really appreciate your time and this great information that you've supplied for us today. I'm going to say this, everyone. Thank you also as well for attending this kind of concludes. Our spotlight on the PMO Squad today. But be sure to join us for our next event, which will be happening. Our next episode will be happening on October 21, when my co host, Gabriel on top shine the spotlight on another great service organization. So more details will be coming out on the PMO leader on who will highlight there and in social media.
So until then, be sure to check it out. And again, thanks for your time and take care. Stay safe and have a great day, everyone.
Thank you so much. It was fun.
It was. I agree. Take care.