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We Make It BetterOn projects, you no doubt develop a charter document – and in the charter, you define the scope of the project.

Why haven’t you done that for your EPMO?

Kind of ironic that you haven’t, don’t you think?

Without defining what is in-scope and what is out-of-scope for your EPMO, how do you know if a project is something that your EPMO should do?  How do you explain your reasons for accepting (or not accepting) a project request – if you have not defined the scope of your organization, decisions about which projects to take become subjective and very difficult to defend.

Just like for a project, you have to define the scope of your EPMO or you will be dragged into things that will derail your ability to be successful.  Your effectiveness will decline, your focus will be diluted, and your results will suffer.

The answer…

Create a scope document for your EPMO.  Your document should include at least five things:

  1. An intro paragraph about your EPMO that includes the roles within the EPMO
  2. A list of what is in-scope for your EPMO
  3. Examples of activities that are performed by your EPMO
  4. A list of what is out-of scope for your EPMO
  5. A tag line, which in just a few words, conveys what your EPMO does for the enterprise

How to do it

Actually, let’s start with what not to do:  Do not sit down and write the EPMO scope by yourself.

Involve the entire EPMO in the creation of the scope document.  This is a great opportunity to have everyone think though this together.  Facilitate a conversation about what exactly is it that the EPMO provides for the organization.  What doesn’t your EPMO do?  What types of work do you do and not do?

You won’t figure all of this out in one session.  It will take a number of conversations to determine this, but in the end, your entire team will be in agreement (and have a deep understanding) of what the EPMO provides to the enterprise.

And here is the most powerful thing you can do with your scope:  Don’t create a scope that just covers the easy stuff (e.g., managing projects).  Write your scope so that your EPMO takes on high-value activities.  Improve processes, consult with your clients on solutions, help analyze problems and figure-out answers when the answers aren’t apparent.

Anybody can create an EPMO that just leads projects.  Don’t be average like everybody else – be better.  Be much better.  Be different.  Be bold.  Be irreplaceable.

After you have documented your in-scope items, your EPMO activities, and your out-of scope items, then think about a tag line.  Look at everything you offer, and decide how to sum it up.  What do you offer?  What do you do?  How do you easily explain it?

Anybody can create an EPMO that just leads projects.  Don’t be average like everybody else – be better.  Be much better.  Be different.  Be bold.  Be irreplaceable.

In my EPMO, we decided to use the tag line, “We make things better.”

Once you have documented all of this (It should all fit on one-page), review it with the executive of the organization under which the EPMO falls.  Get their buy-in and agreement on what the EPMO does and does not do.  Help them understand why a focus on the things you have documented are the most powerful ways to utilize the EPMO.

Then use your documented one-pager all around the enterprise.  Make copies of it and then when you meet with executives around the enterprise, help them understand what the EPMO does – discuss your scope with them, and give them a copy.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?  And now that you think about it, you are surprised you haven’t done it before.

Set a date 30 days from now when you will have this complete.  Now go do it.

The tag line speech 

A beautiful way to utilize your tag line goes like this…

You meet someone from your company, and they ask what you do.  If you start with, “Well, I work in the Enterprise Project Management Office….” Before you even finish that opening, they are already bored, and to top it off, they don’t understand a word of what you just said.

What if you led with your tagline instead?

Here is what I do when someone asks me what I do.  “My group makes things better.  We do that by helping our customers across the company identify and implement solutions to their problems.  I work in the Enterprise Project Management Office.”

Wow.  Much better.  Don’t you think?

When I start with “My groups makes things better,” people listen.  If my first words are “Enterprise Project Management Office,” they immediately lose interest.

So work with your team.  Complete your scope document.  Create a tagline.  Be bold.  Get agreement from your leadership.  And then start spreading your message and see how much more influence your EPMO will have on the entire enterprise.

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