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  • Maria Muir

Future of ways of working - A story from the day-in-a-life of a VRO

A Project Manager hand adjusting a roadmap on a board

Earlier this year, it occurred to me that we talk a lot of the problems that we need to solve when it comes to ways of working, but we don't quite talk enough about the vision.


What is the future that we are aspiring to create? What does it look like? What are the key differences day-to-day?


So, I took pen to paper to write a story. In the day-in-the-life of a Value Realisation Office, a view of what the future could be. A future that is possible. A future that can be now.


For those who aren't familiar with a VRO, a Value Realisation Office is the modernised traditional Project Management Office. This team is a key enabler to support the shift from output to outcome and project to product.


The story


As a Value Realisation Office team member, you wake up in the morning with a smile on your face because you are motivated, you just can’t wait to start the day.


There is clarity in your purpose and how your work connects to the impact that your organisation is aspiring to make.


This impact is about the value that you will create. The impact that you will enable for customers.

It is much more than the dollars/cents that you will generate. It is much more than the actual products that you sell.


It is about value.


As a Value Realisation Office team, when you start work for the day, the teams that you are working with place customer at the centre of everything that they do. Customer is all they talk about!


Through the work, they are able to sense, respond, and adapt to customer needs. They have a clear product vision that sets the course and looks for competitive advantage in the marketplace. This is for all teams – Tribes and Platforms.


They are clear on the hypotheses that they want to test and they go after it. They are empowered and accountable to make these decisions. With each experiment, there is even greater learning and impact.


This means that you are able to ‘do better with better’. This means you’ve increased your throughput and can get more into the hands of your customers.

As the Value Realisation Office, you are helping teams run their experiments because the data, the insights is at your fingertips. It is at your fingertips because the tools you have are enabling this! AI is serving these up on your integrated system of work platform. Gone are the days of manually putting together reporting and governance papers.


This also means that the conversations you are having with leaders is all about learnings and insights. This is about making decisions.


This isn’t about if you are over or under budget. Or if you are spending change or BAU funds. This is about value.


Leaders in the organisation recognise that you don’t know if your hypothesis will prove right or wrong. They know that you will need to fail 9 times, until you get it right the 10th  time. They celebrate your failures, and can’t wait for you to learn more, learn faster. Hungry for intelligent failure.


There is a regular heartbeat that keeps the organisation steady and on even keel to check and challenge if it is making the progress it needs to and adapting to the learnings it is receiving. This means that annual planning and QBRs are non-events. Meaning that it is just part of the regular rhythm, not needing more work and long hours. This too is enabled by tooling and insights.


Leaders are flexing their strategic muscles even more – making the calls to keep going, to pivot or to stop. Most importantly, when to stop. They are unblocking flow and creating even greater clarity of focus to enable the team.


Everyone is incentivised to improve the ‘how’ and strive for quality. This kind of improvement is no longer an afterthought. It is just part of the doing. Improvement is no longer the responsibility of a few. It is the responsibility of everyone. Workarounds are a thing of the past. They are the exception, rather than the rule.


At the end of the work day, you go enjoy quality family time, to go for exercise, or to enjoy your hobby, whatever you choose. But you leave with a smile on your face. You shut the laptop down because there is no work to be done outside of the hours that you’ve set.


The pace is sustainable and you leave feeling energised, rather than depleted. It has been a good day – a day filled with tough problems to solve, robust, radical candour conversations with your trusted team on how to solve them, and you have celebrated the small wins, the learnings you’ve uncovered.


You can’t wait for the next day.


The end.


What do you think? What would you change? What did you like?

Do you think is this future is possible? What needs to change to make this future a reality?


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