Emotional Intelligence and the PMO

Emotional Intelligence and the PMO

Insights | 20 March 2012

Emotional Intelligence: “The capacity for recognising our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships” – Daniel Goleman, 1998

An effective Project Management Office (PMO) could be compared to an ecosystem; comprised of essential, symbiotic elements that should ideally benefit the PMO as a whole. The four key dimensions of this ecosystem are seen as service management organisation, process, and most importantly, the people.

A PMO is an organisation-wide implementation that is designed to make project management within the organisation unified, efficient and cost effective. Some of the core business functions of a PMO include reporting directly to senior executives to effectively complete objectives, and ensuring a continual process of analysis, self-optimisation and refinement, which is part of what separates a PMO from other forms of project management. The effectiveness of a PMO is measured by international professional bodies, which have developed certification pathways as well as strict competency standards that must be upheld.

The undoubtedly most crucial resource a PMO has however, is the people both in the PMO and organisation, and as such is dedicated to encouraging positive and constructive communication, driving innovation, and progressively raising skill levels. Emotional intelligence is something that is an often underestimated yet vitally important aspect of management; as it allows greater understanding of people, meaning that among other benefits, that they will have greater job satisfaction. This in turn can lead to more effective communication, collaboration, efficiency and overall project success.

Our research has shown 58% of organisations have an Enterprise Project Management Office (PMO Trends, 2011-2012, PM-Partners group). The establishing, developing, maintaining and maturing of the EPMO ecosystem has many challenges with the objectives of improving productivity to achieve benefits.

According to research by the Standish Group, evolving PMO’s must improve their organisational maturity through greater emotional intelligence in order to succeed. It is only with an effective balance of positive leadership and a structured governance mode that the ecosystem of an Enterprise Project Management Office can thrive and ensure project success.

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