19 October 2017
09:00 - 16:00
Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts
  • 2017-10-19 09:00:00 2017-10-19 16:00:00 Europe/London The PMO goes hands on - bringing clarity to the dark arts Please ensure you have booked onto this event via the APM website. Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts
Corporate employer ticket: £144.00
Corporate member ticket: £144.00
Non member ticket: £172.80
Member ticket: £144.00


The PMO goes hands on - bringing clarity to the dark arts

Venue: Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury, Coram Street, Bloomsbury, London. WC1N 1HT

Did you complete our State of Project Management UK survey this year? Did you ask us to run practical events covering those tricky processes that are difficult to embed into an organisation?

The PMO SIG annual conference for 2017 follows on from a year of going back to basics.

Because of what you told us, we know that there are some parts of the PMO scope that continue to elude professionals. This years’ annual PMO SIG conference is designed to provide delegates with a bespoke experience suited to your journey and defined by your needs with a chance to get both inspired and involved with the future of the PMO industry. 

We know that it is not just metrics that bring PMOs to the next level so delegates to this conference can tailor part of the day to truly respond to the needs of their organisation; from benefits realisation to influencing skills.

Because every organisation wants to gain efficiencies we know that your time is valuable. So we have made sure that this day has great transport links and is specifically designed to provide a knowledge base of PMO peers to network, share experiences and get the very most out of your day.

To support you in getting the most out of your day, we have also organised a series of webinars. One before the conference, on 3 October so you can understand how to get the most out of the day, and two following the conference so that you can delve deeper into specific topics.

So, struggling with benefits, maturity, or organisational learning? Come along and gain some practical knowledge that you can use the next day!

Announcing our key note speaker:

Joanne Roberts, Director of Research and Professor in Arts and Cultural Management, University of Southampton
Professor Joanne Roberts is Director of Research and Professor in Arts and Cultural Management within Winchester School of Art at the University of Southampton. She gained her PhD at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, Newcastle University, UK, and she has held academic posts at the Universities of Durham, Newcastle, and Northumbria Universities, UK. Her areas of expertise include knowledge management, international business, creativity and innovation, and luxury. She is an active member of several national and international scholarly networks, including the British Academy of Management.

Joanne has written extensively in the fields of business and management. She has published widely in leading international academic journals including ‘Journal of Management Studies’, ‘Journal of Business Ethics’, ‘Management Learning’, and ‘Research Policy’. She is author of ‘Multinational Business Services Firms’ (Ashgate, 1998) and co-editor of ‘Knowledge and Innovation in the New Service Economy’, with A. Andersen, J. Howells, R. Hull and I. Miles (Edward Elgar, 2000), ‘Living with Cyberspace’, with J. Armitage (Continuum, 2002), ‘Community, Economic Creativity and Organization’, with A. Amin (Oxford University Press, 2008), and ‘Critical Studies in Luxury’, with J. Armitage (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). Her most recent sole authored  book is ‘A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Knowledge Management’ (Sage Publications, 2015).

Session Title: Knowledge Management for the Modern PMO World
In the world of PMO Knowledge Management has always focused on learning our lessons at the end of the projects our Project Managers successfully deliver. Given the importance of this is it surprising to know that lessons learned has been named one of the top 3 most difficult processes to embed two years running?
What if Knowledge Management was recognised as more than lessons learned? What if a true strategy focused in this area could help PMO to support the changing culture of their organisation?
Joanne Roberts a Professor and Author on the topic of Knowledge Management will bring this topic to life from an organisational perspective, lifting it from the realms of lessons learned. Her session will give delegates the concepts and experiences of other organisations to understand Knowledge Management at a level that helps PMO support their organisation to be better, faster and stronger with the intellectual property held in people's head.

Our first confirmed speakers:

Ben Ganney, Benefits and Value Functional Lead, Transport for London
Ben is the “professional head” of benefits and value management across TfL. He is responsible for developing and promoting consistent and best practice benefits and value management, assessing maturity and subsequent competency development and providing support and advice to Sponsors and project staff in developing scalable and appropriate strategies to ensure successful benefits realisation and demonstrable value improvements. He has also developed the project and programme benefits management and Whole Life Value (WLV) policies and processes, as part of the single TfL Pathway PPM methodology, in line with external best practice and internal lessons learnt.

Prior to joining TfL in 2012 Ben was Head of Demand, Benefits and Capital Programming for the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Information. He was responsible for driving forward operational efficiency through comprehensive management of benefits from ICT investment, robust and consultative capital investment planning and prioritisation and the management of value delivered ensuring that opportunities and outcomes from change were optimised. He has a BA Hons degree in Business Studies from the University of Kent, and an MSc in Information Technology from Kingston University.

Session Title: PMOs and Benefits Realisation
Synopsis: The journey to benefits realisation is difficult for all PMOs. As the second hardest process to embed according to the State of Project Management Survey 2017 Ben has taken on the challenge of letting delegates explore the Benefits Realisation journey for Transport for London. This session provides an opportunity to hear what worked, what challenges the team faced, and how they made it work in one of our largest transport organisations.

David Rodgers, Greenfield PMO
I've been working in PMO for 13 years, and always dreamed of specialising in the exciting adventures of greenfield PMO creation and set up. Luckily, I've been able to live the dream for the last 6 years and my passion for pushing the boundaries of PMO's continues, especially as we live with an increasingly varied demand for change, improvements in technology, and characteristics of key stakeholders are changing too.

Session Title: Interpersonal and influencing skills: The path of least resistance
Synopsis: People are generally amazing, and sometimes people can be a real pain in the rear. But, we can't implement change without help of other humans and you'll find that some will want to help, and some will not. In my session I'll share with you some basic insights about how building rapport with people helps to influence, the power of language and how to deploy it.


Samantha Blunt, Head of PMO Samworth Brothers
Samantha Blunt is the Head of the Portfolio Management Office at Samworth Brothers; a group of food manufacturing companies spread across the UK.  Samantha has been working in the PMO industry or 10 years now and has been involved or overseen successful implementations of governance in the form of Project, Programme, and Portfolio Offices.

Samantha has long been a friend of the APM PMO SIG as her innovative approach to both the introduction, management, and measurement of PMOs helps her to lead the way with a collaborative style.

Session Title: PMOs and Prioritisation
Synopsis: During this session, Samantha will be focusing on one of the key functions of a PMO that you have told us is not only difficult to get ahead in, but at the same time is critical to your PMO success. Samantha has proven in her work that the step that is often missed in prioritising projects is often the definition of the work itself so during this session she will give you the theory and practicality of the process she has successfully embedded in organisations.

“We focus so much on the financial return on investment (RoI) or strategic alignment that we miss some critical questions for effective project prioritisation”

Ken Burrell, Pragmatic PMO
Ken Burrell started his project management career as a PM in beer dispense equipment manufacturing (he is also a trained beer taster). He moved into insurance, and then across to PMO (where he ran an enterprise PMO), then into contracting – and has never looked back! He now provides specialist PMO services mostly to City of London insurers through short to medium term engagements of his company Pragmatic PMO. He gives strategic programmes the support they need to run more robustly and efficiently, and provides senior management with the analysis they need to make decisions, and the strategic application of the right PMO knowhow. Ken tweets links to interesting PPM articles as @PragmaticPMO, and every now and then publishes his own insights on his

Session Title: PMOs and Learning your Lessons
Synopsis: Where you ever told as a child to take your medicine? During this session, Ken will share the results of a survey on the topic of learning our lessons; in our opinion a fundamental role of any PMO. Whether you call them lessons learned, identified, or maybe ignored; this insight will take the conversation of this session into key aspects of the successes and failures of embedding one of the top three most difficult processes to embed into organisations.
Delegates of the day attending this session will also be given the detail and the ability to note an interest in getting involved in a piece of work to be launched on the day; where PMO SIG will be specifically targeting PMOs and Lessons ‘whatever you call them’.


Who should attend?
This years’ conference is suitable for at existing PMOs who are at a crossroads in their journey and struggling to define the path to bring new services and disciplines to their organisation.
Also the day will add value to those working closely with PMOs or decision makers on behalf of PMOs, to provide clarity to the relationship between their PMO and their stakeholders and customers.

This conference is suitable for those with a beginner to intermediate level of experience.
Previous presentations and webinars can be viewed on the APM Slideshare and YouTube channels.

APM Body of Knowledge reference

Section Description


Project management


Upcoming workshop: 7 December, London
Topic: PMOs and organisational change
The PMO SIG are busy working on a joint half day workshop with the Enabling Change SIG. Details will be available shortly.


Login or Register to book onto an event:

Share this page

Join APM

Sign up to the APM Newsletter.