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In an earlier post, I said I was a fan of PMOs ‘in principle’.

By that, I meant I have seen PMOs that let down the organisation or Project Managers. And I was conflating idea and implementation. ‘Doing something badly doesn’t make it a bad thing’. In other words, my experience of poor PMOs doesn’t make the concept of a PMO wrong. Far from it

Have you ever seen a group of people push back on a solution to a problem? Obviously, it could be a poor solution. But sometimes the team is reacting to their experience of a previous solutions.

That is not to bad mouth our predecessors. Innovation often fails. Perhaps we don’t have the right resources, be that a good sponsor, an honest teammate or technology that matches our aspiration. Sometimes command-and-control organisations impose change. And we have all seen someone with a mandate run roughshod over all concerns.

To help a once bitten – twice shy team embrace change we need to understand what went wrong last time.

It didn’t work last time – how root cause analysis can save the day

Reviewing the previous situation will yield valuable lessons learnt. Often they are not about the solution. You will improve your probability of success with communications, complete requirements capture, appropriate scoping and by respecting all your stakeholders.

So next time you hear the dread phrase ‘didn’t work last time’. Or see a slow shake of the head to signify ‘they will never learn’. Don’t be rude. Listen and resolve the issue at the bottom of that pit of despair.

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