How to Step Outside of the PMO Comfort Zone

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is one of the best ways to help yourself to grow and evolve, but it is also one of the easiest ways to get stuck personally and professionally. 

Some PMOs and organisations have spent years perfecting their approach to PPM practice, their way of doing things. The effort it takes to get to the point where a PMO can ‘turn the handle’ on its services often means that the team do not want to change many things. 

This reluctance to change often comes from one of two areas: 

  • By building a culture within our PMOs we also build and get comfortable in a comfort zoneAs a member of the team, it can be difficult to consider changing anything without also thconsequences of failure.  
  • The culture that PMOs often build is done so based on the experience and capability of the team members. This can also mean that the ability to innovate has a ceiling which cannot be broken through without investment and vision for the team.

The future of PMO teams is under scrutiny in many organisations so it is important for PMOs to look at their roadmap and provide value through the continued delivery of new and enhanced services for their customers to take advantage of. 

To make PMOs strong and future-proofedindividuals need to be brave and step outside of both their comfort zone and their capability. 

Stepping outside of these barriers will support individuals in their personal growth journey as it usually means an upskilling of capability which brings a more diverse set of services for PMO Customers as well as diverse skills for the team. 

Taking small steps over a period can add up to big gains over time. This causes momentum psychologically for the individual as well as for the team, leading to more services and maturity growth in the organisational PPM practice. 

Fear is the underpinning emotion that sits beneath stepping outside of the comfort or capability zones. For individuals, the simple act of taking a chance begins to erode that fear and provides a mechanism for discovering what works for the individual and the team, and then replicating it for continued growth. 

How to step outside the comfort and capability zones?

To work on the future of PMO, it is key that the individuals within the teamwork and understand themselves better first. 

So firstly, it is important to do some reflective practice and understand yourself a little better. Identify what is inside and outside of your comfort zone, and how making changes will benefit you 

Once you understand this, you can become clearer about what you want to achieve (or overcome) and create a personal roadmap with learning outcomes and targets. 

When individuals begin on a brand-new journey, it can feel very uncomfortable. This is totally normal but it is important to accept that this is the new normal for a while. Learning in groups with your peers (as opposed to by yourself on a virtual platform) is important to share experiences, fears, and provide a new perspective. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable! 

One of the ways to do this is to surround yourself with people who inspire change and innovation, and who will continue to support and make you accountableThis will help you to not make excuses when motivation fails (which it will) and you need a hand to get you back on track. 

The PMO will benefit from its team members stepping out of their comfort zone with the addition of new capability and services, so the next steps are focused on the team comfort zone and capability. 

Complete a gap analysis of the new skillsets in the team, and what services they could support in the future. Incorporate those services into the roadmap and develop them. 

Remember that it is important to review the landscape and identify when the best time is to release new services for the PMO Customers to begin using. 

The law of diminishing returns demonstrates that the perceived value of services will diminish over time. So, ensure that your roadmap is designed to continually add value. 

It takes 13 weeks for a habit to be developed, so whilst on this journey of exploration and learning, it is important to remember that growth might be uncomfortable, but it is also supposed to be fun!  

We will be exploring this topic more during our free webinar with Paul Sculthorpe ‘How to Navigate THAT Difficult Conversation’ on November 19th 2020. Why not register now and learn more about how to develop yourself and your team, getting you ready for 2021.