On October 7 and 8, a team of ORR associates met in Louisville to discuss the kickoff of the new Project Management Office (PMO) Transition Team. For a day and a half, we trained, examined, and planned what could be one of the most significant organizational changes for ORR Protection in many years. Throughout the event, I was reminded of the tremendous journey and the contributions of many dedicated ORR associates over the last 18 months. One of the highlights of the meeting was the return of one of our legacy leaders, Dave Friedson. You will be hearing more about this transition in the coming weeks, but I did want to acknowledge the hard work of the participants who helped prepare the way for the next few years.
For the past 10 months, ORR has been exploring a change in its project management practices to prepare for new growth. A PMO is “a group or department within a business, government agency, or enterprise that defines and maintains standards for project management within the organization. The PMO strives to standardize and introduce economies of repetition in the execution of projects. The PMO is the source of documentation, guidance and metrics on the practice of project management and execution.”
A few months ago we posted some internal positions in anticipation of building a PMO Transition team. Several of the individuals who responded to those postings were invited to Louisville this past week to discuss how a transition might work, and to provide training on Odd, our new ERP system. The sessions were started with a joint meeting with other key operational stakeholders to explore how the PMO would work in conjunction with Operations. Dave Friedson, Dave Fox, Kyle Hoffer, Steve Nelson, and Cory English joined us to provide some table-top explorations of the various issues and processes we would likely encounter.
Special recognition should be given to Dave Fox, who did an outstanding job leading the group through a detailed review of one of our complex installation projects, and the team identified key responsibilities, workflow and communication issues, and implementation guidelines. The conversations were frank and productive, and several of us couldn’t help but remember the David Friedson concept from a few years ago called OneTeam.
In the next few weeks we will announce the team members as we finish building the Transition Team and begin the implementation process. To make sure we don’t miss vital steps, we will be taking a crawl-walk-run approach to the full PMO transition, culminating in our company-wide adoption and deployment of Odoo in February. I cannot emphasize enough how great the conversations were, and the excitement we are all feeling as we move into the next phase of bringing PMO to life.
It was a bittersweet session, as the meetings were also our final days with Kate White. As previously announced, Kate is transitioning to another opportunity, and while we are sad to see her go, we wish her the best of luck in her new venture. In the meantime, Jerry Grant, her close work partner and an extraordinary project manager in his own right, will pick up the mantle and help us move the Odoo deployment into reality.
It was wonderful to see Operations, IT, Engineering and now the PMO Transition Team all joining forces to begin building a new framework for success in 2022. For me, it has been a long journey trying to prepare the organization for these changes - planning a new ERP system, transitioning to the Cloud, adopting Open Source solutions and moving away from manual systems and Excel spreadsheets. We have asked so much of the OPS organization this last year. Added to that were the consequences of the sale of ORR Safety and the effects of a global pandemic. As has been the case historically, ORR associates responded to all those challenges with great professionalism and patience. Planting season was truly challenging, but we are about to reap a very productive harvest. Thank you for being a part of this historic change.