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PMO SIG Winter Newsletter

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A word from the PMO SIG Chair
PMO SIG Out and About
PMO SIG Volunteers

Welcome to the latest edition of the APM PMO SIG Newsletter and the first of 2016!

In this quarterly issue you can find out about what have we been up to, including a preview of our 2016 plans, upcoming events, and all the latest news from around the industry.

If you have any comments on the newsletter or would like to contribute an article to a future edition, please contact us

A word from the PMO SIG Chair

As they say new year, new start. For PMO SIG it’s more New Year, new plan of events. Following on from the research completed by PMO SIG and Wellingtone Project Management at the tail end of 2015 (you can download the results here), and the feedback we received from our members during and after our Autumn conference; Socialising the PMO, the team have put together a calendar of events that we believe will help both established PMO and those new to the industry to develop and hone their skills further in some key areas.

Thanks to our APM SIG siblings, we have also taken the opportunity to get involved in some exciting and key events that will support our hot topics for 2016.

So 2016 is all about… drumroll please…

Benefits Realisation, Lessons Learned, PMO Back to Basics, and Transformational Change!

Although some of these topics may seem fairly pedestrian, I believe they are the right topics to choose from an events perspective to support the industry and our APM members. Why? Well, here are my thoughts:

Benefits realisation was awarded the most troublesome PMO process to embed into organisations with over 45% of respondents to the survey agreeing, and 54% of our conference attendees asking us to do some work around it. So what are we doing about Benefits Realisation? We have hooked up with our friends in the Benefits Management SIG and are working with them in two ways:

  1. Defining the role that PMO play in benefits realisation for our own members to understand the value we can add as true business partners following completion of a project or programme
  2. We have been invited to be involved at both the Benefits Summit and the EVA 21 Project Controls event. These invitations, help us to get the PMO word out to others in our industry and we hope will inspire other disciplines to collaborate further with their existing (and new) PMO offices in this area

Our research team will also be picking up on this topic as they look to complete some insight on PMO maturity. Benefits Realisation is bound to be an important topic in the debate of what a mature PMO might look like.

If you already downloaded the results to our survey, you will have read about my surprise to see Lessons Learned as the third most troublesome PMO process to embed. As more than 30% of respondents agreed, the result gave me a conundrum to ponder – how can more than 60% of PMO’s rate themselves as being of a maturity level 2 or 3 with such a high proportion of respondents not have Lessons Learned embedded? I would argue that although not insignificant as a process to implement, it is a definite ‘must have’ for a PMO to be at level 2 or 3.

As this topic is so important, PMO SIG are planning something totally new. A Lessons Learned Roadshow – held over an evening in three locations across the country (South, Midlands, and Scotland) at the same time! Our technology friends, Wellingtone have been engaged to help us with potential technology needs on the night. Definitely one to come along and experience!

The basics are fundamental to what we believe our role to be within the APM. And with a high proportion of corporate members joining all the time, it makes sense that a decent number of new members are new to their role in project management, PMO, and all the surrounding disciplines.

The fact is we still always get asked what the ‘P’ stands for in PMO (we always try to keep it clean)! Three PMO 101 webinars in 2016 and a follow up one in 2017 will help us and you to hone in on a specific ‘P’. We are hoping to run the three this year as a Summer School (Project Office, Programme Office, and Portfolio Office), where delegates will be able to attend to learn about their specific type of PMO. For completeness, we have again reached out to our APM SIG siblings to help us and you really get to the bottom of each type of office.
The fourth event in 2017 will tie the previous three webinars together to give some focus to the tangible links, dependencies, and support those working within the P3O spectrum.

When is change transformational? How is a PMO able to continue to operate in an ever changing world of organisational change?

Two questions we discussed at our last PMO SIG Committee meeting – and two questions that we want to answer this coming year.

Lots of PMO people are working in a constantly changing environment, enabling change for the business and its customers. We want to delve into the PMO psyche and are working to organise two events that will help PMO’s to help themselves in times of change.

  1. Following on from our Autumn Conference; Socialising the PMO, we received a lot of interest from delegates who wanted to spend more time with Carole Osterweil to understand how people react to, handle, and adapt to change. A half day intimate event is being prepared to provide delegates with the opportunity to learn and work with some of the techniques that can help PMO people support their business, as well as provide an opportunity to work with Carole on a 1-2-1 basis following the event.
  2. The Enabling Change SIG continuously strive to provide a platform for delegates to understand how different aspects of the project management industry can enable business to change and to make that change stick – we are hoping to work with them to organise a half day event that will allow delegates to understand more about the different types of change and what it means to be the PMO in middle.

In addition to these two events, we have taken the opportunity to speak at the Programme Management SIG conference in March. We hope that we can help Programme Managers understand how PMO are integral to their role (and their organisations) to initially implement and thereafter make the change stick. PMOs provide the glue, facilitate and communicate the change and ensure it becomes both the norm and thereafter it continually evolves.

There are more events and research to come, not in the least our annual conference which will tie the year together in an a-typical slightly random PMO SIG way... No, we won’t give you details just yet – we want you to keep reading our newsletters!

So, as you can see, we plan to be busy supporting you; our members, to develop your existing, and learn new skills. If you have any ideas on how we can improve, want to get involved, or have ideas for other events then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at For more information on the APM PMO SIG, please visit the APM website.

Emma Arnaz-Pemberton

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Webinar - The PMO in the APM Competency Framework

PMO SIG webinar

The PMO SIG delivered a webinar in October 2015 on the topic of The APM Competence Framework: PMO competences and career paths, which explored the competences required to be successful in your current and future PMO roles, as part of the recently revised and updated APM Competence framework.
If you didn’t have the opportunity of viewing the webinar, please access the APM member resources page here.

What next? Following from the latest committee meeting, the Research team will have as priorities for 2016 investigation on the topics below:

1.  Development of a PMO maturity matrix
2.  Guidance and Case Studies on embedding PPM tools
3.  Guidance and Case Studies on design and implementation of PMOs

Want to know more and/or get involved? Just get in touch with us, we’d love to hear from you!

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   LinkedIn hot topics 

 Some of our favourites from LinkedIn

Been out of the LinkedIn loop recently? Here are some of the conversations we felt would be valuable if you could give your opinions/experiences.

Sustain Your PMO: Nine Easy Lessons
Jonathan Norman
Some of the lessons are simple and intuitive, others less so, but this extract from Peter Taylor and Ray Mead's latest book “Delivering Successful PMOs” is a great piece of wisdom and inspiration for anyone interested in sustaining a PMO.

The CEO’s Secret weapon – a kick ass PMO!
Neil Shah
A short article that sets the scene on how a PMO is much more than a backward looking admin function and can actually be your CEO’s best friend.

Top Ten Trends for PMOs in 2016
Lindsay Scott
Want to be ahead of your game? From the importance of networking to analytics, find out what’s in store for the PMO in 2016.

National Audit Office - The Challenges of Major Projects
Mike Belch
Our own Mike had a read of the report on the challenges of major projects, recently published by the NAO, and believes that many of the challenges identified could be addressed by an effective PMO. Do you agree?

PMO Curator
For each publication, we like to pick out a selection of PMO related news and interesting media from other sources and neatly package them so they are easy for you to locate. 

For this newsletter we are particularly interested in the results from The State of Project Management Annual Survey, which covered a number of important topics including project management maturity, tools & techniques, project success rates and of course PMO maturity. Wellingtone 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, which happened to be the largest ever non-salary focused project management survey in the UK. The insights and results may surprise you!
The report can be downloaded from Wellingtone’s website here.

 What next? The Marketing team has now put together their annual plan, with the objective of increasing the SIG reach and engagement with peers. Planned activities include, among others, the expansion to additional marketing channels or the promotion of interactive and continuous communications such as polls, interviews with PMO practitioners, or reviews of PMO-related books. Stay tuned!

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Upcoming events and Dates for your diary

Fundamentals of project planning, scheduling monitoring and control, 2nd March, Bristol
Planning, Scheduling and control are at the heart of successful project management. This event, from the APM South Wales and West of England branch, is a must for project staff starting their careers and professions who are looking for the latest thinking in good practice.

Equipping Programme Managers for Global Success, 10th March, London
The APM Programme Management SIG invites you to attend their annual conference to participate in what is building up to be an exciting, engaging and interactive day covering many aspects of programme management that will lead to success.

APM Presents... Project Management in practice, 17th March, Coventry
This interactive professional development event will provide you with the opportunity of essential insight into the fundamentals of project management from the perspective of each of the APM SIGs. Come, ask questions and learn from our specialist practitioners!

How to make your PMO tool implementation successful and deliver real business value, 7th April, Coventry
The APM Midland branch bring us a session on how previous PMOs and organisations have successfully designed, implemented and deployed their automation tools and share insights into how your own PMO can get ready for high profile change.

APM Project Management Conference 2016, 21st April 2016, London
Under the theme of World-class: transforming your organisation and our profession, this year, the award-winning APM Project Management Conference will bring together the world’s most influential and thought-provoking speakers from our profession to explore how the project profession can transform into one recognised as being world-class.

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PMO SIG Out and About

APM Wessex branch - PMOs: People, Styles and Lifecycles - 10th November 2015
Chris Mills
Chris Mills, representing the APM PMO SIG, spoke to an attentive and enthusiastic gathering at the Ageas Bowl on 10th November. He presented on a range of related PMO topics, such as P3O – Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices, the services provided by PMOs, characteristics of PMO, PMO people and skills, and the Future of PMOs. There was a useful discussion about potential PMO research topics to help direct the SIG’s research effort.

APM SWWE branch – So you think you need a PMO?11th February 2016
Chris Mills
Chris also represented the APM PMO SIG, at a well-attended presentation to the SWWE branch at the Copthorne Hotel in Plymouth. He used a couple of Case Studies to demonstrate how PMOs have been implemented as part of major transformation programmes in the Defence sector. There followed a good discussion about the services and career experience that PMOs provide.

What next? The Events team has been working hard to provide you with an offer of exciting and relevant events that could help you advance and excel as PMO professionals. Planning is well underway but how does PMO 101 webinars, Lessons Learned Roadshows, and Brain Science evening events sound? Keep your agenda free!

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PMO SIG Volunteers

Are you interested in getting involved with the PMO Specific Interest Group?

Becoming a volunteer is very rewarding! With access to like-minded individuals, PMO SIG (and other) events and opportunities to drive the PMO industry forward, it can help to increase your knowledge and expertise and will do no harm to your personal career path!

You will need to commit some of your spare time when you volunteer to be a committee member, but there are plenty of things to get involved with of all shapes and sizes; from contributing to the newsletter to helping to develop best practice and organising events.

If this sounds like you then it starts with just one step, contact a committee member today, and submit your application for the annual AGM in the Spring.

Want to check us out first? Alternatively, you can join as a member to receive news and information on PMO SIG.
Use the Link on the APM Website (you may need to login or register first) and clicking on the "Join this Group" button.

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