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PMO


I have worked at a fortune 500 company’s Project Management Office (PMO) for several years. The PMO, is a central place in an organization that oversees projects for various departments. It ensures that every project is completed within budget, on time, and with best quality. Another function of a PMO, is to act as a traffic controller of all projects, ensuring departments within a company, don’t initiate projects that go against another department’s goals. It aims at ensuring everyone is working towards the overall mission of the organization while assessing the risks involved with new initiatives.


I find it quite fascinating, that many companies, don’t have a centralized Project Management Office. Many of them (companies) have departments that operate in silos, and none are aware of what project each department is working on, or how each project links to the organizational goals. These enterprises tend to have a chaotic environment, high employee turnover, fewer customer satisfaction, and ultimately less success. You may ask why I am discussing the PMO concept with you on this note. Here is why: I think we as humans are like a corporation. Our being consists of four departments: Intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual. (These four parts are discussed in Stephen Covey's book called The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People )


It goes without saying, that all our four departments are interconnected, so, if one of our four departments is off track, it impacts our whole being. That is why, it is essential to manage them and zoom in on the functions of an internal PMO. For example, I am sure, you have seen folks whose main focus is on their physical department. Most of which can’t handle emotions, intellectual and even spiritual aspects very well. A cultivated internal PMO, would create a state of balance, and allow equal amounts of attention to the other three areas. The balanced approach in the long run has been proven to create a happier life and ultimately a more successful life. ( I am cognizant that each person's definition of success varies, but to me, success equals a happy life).


Then there are those who focus on their intellectual sides, and completely ignore the other three aspects, resulting in yet another unhappy situation. Most ignore their bodies, leading to weight issues, leading to emotional issues, and unlikely to connect with their spiritual department. We have those who appease to their emotional needs, always in need of attention from others, jumping from one relationship to another, or are overly sensitive and neglecting the other departments. And finally, there are folks who focus mainly on their spiritual needs and become lost in a world that not many can relate. The dogma that overly spiritual folks carry, leads to constant need to pleasing and serving, while neglecting their own emotions, physic, and intellectual needs.


Our being, needs a PMO, When our four departments are in synch, we tend to radiate out an aura of confidence. Balancing our four departments would require some effort. For instance, we can improve our intellectual department by reading more. joining a book club, or taking courses at our local college. We can boost our emotional department by starting group or individual therapy to address some of our past issues, or talking about our feelings with friends and family. Our physical department can be polished, by taking mindful walks or eating healthier.


Then comes our spiritual department which normally requires an external lift. This department is perhaps the most ambiguous department among the four. Many avoid it all together because they don’t understand it. They equate spirituality with organized religion, which has been a source of disappointment for many in recent years. Many avoid the topic altogether until a major life event causes them to seek and pay attention to their truth. The first step to nurturing our spiritual department, is paying attention to our breath. Becoming aware of our breath, leads to mindfulness. Taking meditation classes, and learning to hear our inner loving self, is the best way to enhance this department.


The PMO concept can work in our households too. However a family is shaped, with one or two parents, same sex or not, with kids or not, is also considered an organization. The members of that household are the departments and their projects also have to aim at empowering the mission or goals of that household. Let's not pretend that we live in a perfect world. We all know, that many households have chaotic environments, some households have members (or departments) that live in a silo. Every project, collides with another members project and the success of the household is forfeited in order to accommodate individual needs.


Balancing all our departments, will give us the tools to see and understand ourselves, This consequently leads to self-actualization. Interestingly, people who are always content seem to have mastered all four parts or departments. Their PMO is functioning smoothly and every aspect of the individual seems to know what the other part needs and does. Hence, these individuals or families seem to "penetrate into the essence of all being and significance and release the fragrance of that inner attainment for the guidance and benefit of others, by expressing, in the world of forms, truth, love, purity and beauty — this is the sole game which has intrinsic and absolute worth. All other happenings, incidents and attainments in themselves can have no lasting importance," (From M.S. Irani's quote called The Game)


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