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

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

The APM PMO SIG annual conference for 2017 provided delegates with a bespoke experience suited to their journey and defined by their 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 could 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 made sure that that day had great transport links and was specifically designed to provide a knowledge base of PMO peers to network, share experiences and get the very most out of your day. 

List of speaker's presentations

Joanne Roberts

Session Title: Knowledge Management for the Modern PMO World

Synopsis: 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 brought this topic to life from an organisational perspective, lifting it from the realms of lessons learned.

Her session gave 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.

Ben Ganney

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 took on the challenge of letting delegates explore the Benefits Realisation journey for Transport for London.

His session provided 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

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 shared some basic insights about how building rapport with people helps to influence, the power of language and how to deploy it.

Samantha Blunt

Session Title: PMOs and Prioritisation.

Synopsis: During this session, Samantha focussed 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 proved 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 gave you the theory and practicality of the process she has successfully embedded in organisations. 

Guy Giffin

Session Title: Foresight is better than hindsight: improving project performance via“pre-mortems”& project rehearsals.

Synopsis: Consider how a theatre company ensures that their first night performance goes well: they perform, normally the day before, a dress rehearsal.

In contrast, project teams do not usually have the opportunity to practise doing their project in a safe environment, and so they face the hazardous prospect of doing something novel and unpredictable without any“dry-run”

If after completing a project you have ever had the feeling of:“if only we could do that again”, or if you have ever repeated any mistakes that were made on previous projects, this session shared some ideas about how to avoid such mistakes, how to actually apply lessons“learned”, and how to develop project foresight, as opposed to the much less useful hindsight; n.b. crystal balls are not included with the session.

Robert Hobbs

Workshop: Changing demands on the PMO: integrating project reporting with business data.

Customers are beginning to require from the PMO and Project Managers that project reporting information is integrated with operational business information for the benefit of the business managers and board directors.

In this presentation we discussed and illustrated how we address the demands when PMO are being asked to support our customer’s project sponsors and operational managers better in terms of both simplifying the project initiation and management process, and creating more useful reporting throughout the project.

Mike Belch

Session Title: Risk management for PMO's.

Synopsis: Mike shared some practical tips for PMOs that helped to keep effective risk management at the core of project delivery; and thus reduced those nasty surprises that wreck projects and make the delivery teams look bad.

Marisa Silva

Session Title: The PMO Maturity Journey: If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Synopsis: Age is a number, maturity is a choice. A high percentage of PMOs continue to fail after 2 years, not being able to progress in their maturity journey. With a thought-provoking approach, this workshop discussed why do PMOs need to be serious about maturity assessments, demystified conventional assumptions relating to PMO maturity, and provided you with tips and hints for transitioning your PMO from the moody level 2 to the uncharted land of level 3 and 4, where mature PMOs live.

Ken Burrell

Session Title: PMOs and Learning your Lessons.

Synopsis: Were you ever told as a child to take your medicine? During this session, Ken shared 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 took 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 were 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’.

Material from the rest of the speakers is unfortunately not available for sharing.


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