Mike Belch

Senior PMO and Risk practitioner, Harmonic Limited

Mike Belch has been setting up and managing PMOs for over 10 years. After 20 years as a pre-sales engineer in the IT industry, he accidentally fell into PMO work while working at US computer manufacturer Sun Microsystems.

He found that he enjoyed it – especially the need for attention to detail and the challenges of dealing with stakeholders, both in project delivery teams and the wider business.

Mike also has a strong interest in risk and opportunity management. Too many projects, he believes, are sunk because their RAID workbook was either incomplete or ignored. He now works as a senior PMO and Risk practitioner for Harmonic, a company that helps improve the profitability of large organisations by helping them win more and better business and deliver their vital projects more effectively.

His recent engagements have covered areas as diverse as bicycle hire, train refurbishment, and military air traffic control.

You start the project all bright and keen with “Let’s hold a workshop to brainstorm the risks on our project”.

You’re a few weeks into the project already and risks, which are the last item on the meeting agenda, always get bumped because other topics dominate the discussion. Several months in your project goes badly wrong and you recognise a sequence of events that you had captured in the risk register but forgotten all about.

Simply put, many project teams don’t do risk management well.

Mike will share some practical tips for PMOs that will help to keep effective risk management at the core of project delivery; and thus reduce those nasty surprises that wreck projects and make the delivery teams look bad.


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