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2015 Round-Up

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Posted by APM on 4th Jan 2016

As Chair of the PMO SIG and the year concludes, I cannot help but reflect on the 15th year of the SIG and what we have achieved.

In June this year, the committee voted in six new members to uplift our numbers to 10 (the most since I have been involved); and especially following 2014 where we lost a number of long-standing and new members due to personal circumstances.

To go along with the new experiences of the committee, the team and I proposed and put in place a new structure which included specific streams of work for Marketing, Events, Research, and Knowledge Management. This has enabled the individual sub-teams to focus more keenly on one or two key things, instead of all being involved in all things.

This has resulted in the Marketing and Research teams putting together plans for 2016 (and beyond); plans that can be passed from committee to committee as the face of the PMO SIG inevitably changes.

By creating a more focused environment, the Events team were able to concentrate (for what was probably the first time ever) on developing and creating an annual conference with a current topic, a varied and diverse speaker base, as well as an interactive format.

Our Socialising the PMO conference focused on PMO as an enabler to building and supporting Portfolio, Programme, and Project environments in business. It was designed to look back over the years and inspire delegates to think about the future of their PMO.

In the current world we live; and that which we are swiftly moving towards, there is no such thing as waiting for information, analysis, or points of view. The instantaneous nature of social media (in all its' forms – love or hate it) is fundamentally changing the way the PMOs operate. And if it isn’t for you, it should be!

The traditional administrative view of PMO died with the introduction of the newest Portfolio, Programme, and Project Offices guidance (2013), and  the inclusion of PMO in the APM Competency Framework (two things the PMO SIG is very proud to have been a part of – albeit there is still a long way to go!). 

That being said, there is still a fine balance to be drawn between the conflicting process driven, methodical nature of PMO (in whatever guise), and the need for quick response times, and the 'live' information needs of the modern world.

It is this key balance that we wanted to address at our Socialsing the PMO Conference. We wanted to provide PMO people with a platform and the thinking space to step out of the day to day and really begin to think about what this means for them.

You can read my overview of the conference here. It is fair to say we have learned our lessons (like any good PMO should!) and we will ensure that we take these forward as well as make them available to our APM partners.

All in all 8 out of 10 delegates would recommend the same event – so I'm happy with that as our first conference with the new team and structure!

In the world of APM, as part of our role, all SIGs must prepare a presentation that hones in a particular topic. SIGs need to be available to present at branch and other SIG events so it is important to focus on one thing at a time so as to avoid conflicting/sporadic messages.

During 2015 we were invited to attend several branch and SIG events to present our 2015 presentation which has enabled our own relationships to develop (in a more social and collaborative way... See what I did there?!). PMO cuts across all facets of project management so we are very happy and humbled to be asked to be involved with any SIG or Branch.

2015 Presentation? We decided to go back to basics. With so many corporate partners joining the APM, it was very clear to us that we have lots of 'newbies' that we need to support. An aspect that was clear to see in the last APM salary survey – the demographic is changing as young, new blood gets involved with the industry and is keen to learn.

So the age old question of "what does the P stand for" reared its ugly head. We answered with 'Whatever you need it to be at that moment in time'!

Anyone involved in PMO, knows (or should know) that the face of PMO changes constantly. So we derived a model from reading and discussion which we believe supports whatever P you need in your organisation, and allows you to think about what model your PMO fits into (a profile of sorts):

In the coming year, this model is something the Research team will explore further to provide a more workable model. In the meantime, you can view our 2015 presentation below

Representation across the APM has been very positive for us in 2015 – we had attendees to the APM Conference, we judged some APM Awards, and Volunteers Forums. We like to be seen to be active and are already involved in several Non PMO SIG events planned next year. 

Top tip: Keep your ear to the ground regarding APM Presents, Portfolio Management, and EVA events.

Social media has been a great success for us this year, hitting 2,500 followers on Twitter (over 1,000 more than any of our SIG counterparts) tells me that we are doing some socialising right!

Lastly, did you complete our State of the PMO UK Survey? Wellington Project Management and PMO SIG got (banged) our heads together to try to understand why all PMO surveys tend to be globalised. We really care about the experience our local members are having so created the first survey. Thank you to those that completed it and congratulations to the winners of prizes. We will be back with the survey next winter so we can compare and contrast – output from the 2015 survey is being collated into a digestible format as we speak.

So what does 2016 hold? Planning is well underway and we will publish all the details following our January committee meeting. Keep your linkedin/twitter/APM website eyes open but as a taster how does PMO 101 webinars, Lessons Learned Roadshows, and Brain Science evening events sound? There might be some stuff in there about Benefit too!

I want to thank all our followers, group members, generic readers for you continued and re-energised support during 2015 – I hope to see you at an event in 2016! #getinvolved

Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton

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