January 2013 newsletter



Welcome to the latest edition of the APM PMOSIG Newsletter.

In this months issue details of the new Spring conference are launched; we get a peek into the P3O Refresh; news on our Knowledge Management endeavours and a call out for a couple of book reviewers.

Best wishes for the New Year, it certainly looks like being a busy one.

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

Lindsay Scott

Stay connected with the PMO SIG

Spring Conference details launched

When the committee gets together each month our main priority is making sure that our conferences are tailored depending on the feedback we get from past delegates and members.

Back in November we started planning the Spring conference – which will be taking place on the 25th April in the West Midlands. For this one day conference our overriding thinking was that the PMO is really more about the people and less about the process. Funnily enough it’s also one the hardest parts of PMO to really grasp.

The leadership of a PMO; the way the PMO team members pull together to deliver the service; how the PMO and its people are perceived by their customers – project managers, programme managers, senior execs and board members. All tricky things that need concentrating on, developing and maintaining if the PMO is to be a real success.


The PMO Assets conference aims to uncover the key to improving the calibre and capability of people within the PMO. We decided to split the day, in the afternoon there are two “softer” skills sessions focused on influencing and clear communication. I think we all agree that these two are very much key skills for every PMO member.

Kicking off the day we will be looking at attributes required from people across all types of PMO and the factors that influence these requirements. We will also be looking at what the top attributes of successful Portfolio, Programme and Project Offices are and how these can influence the PMO assets. One of the most important aspects of the PMO are the relationships they form with key stakeholders inside and outside the organisation. We delve into the relationship between the PMO and one particular type of stakeholder – the project manager.

Addressing the “softer” side to PMO is no doubt the “hardest” but through a selection of presentations; interactive sessions and your own experiences we hope we’ll be taking steps to crack it.

Want to join us? Take a look at the event details on the website – early bird rates apply.

The P30 refresh

One of the purposes of the refresh was to ensure that the guidance is balanced between portfolio, programme and project offices, as it was felt there was most focus at portfolio level. The current guidance was published before the Management of Portfolio guidance was available, and has contributed much to the industry for those organisations introducing or considering introducing portfolio management. Now that MoP is here, what, if anything needed to be changed?

I have been an advocate of the P3O guidance since it was first developed by Sue Vowler back in 2008. As a P3O trainer and consultant, I have revisited it several times over the last four years and have found it an invaluable reference book. However, it was not until I set out on this endeavour did I sit and purposely read every word, and question, challenge and evaluate every chapter, diagram and appendix. Unsurprisingly, the guidance does stand up to this level of scrutiny! What I found was that although the guidance provides examples of how it has been applied within a portfolio management environment, the guidance is equally relevant at project and programme level. What project and programme office doesn’t need to:

• Work with key stakeholders to identify the real and perceived needs of the business for more effective and efficient programme and project delivery
• Understand the PPM maturity of the organisation/PMO/PMO resources
• Select the appropriate tools, functions and services
• Design the size, structure, resourcing and reporting lines of the P3O to optimise value to the organisation
• Implement the changes using an appropriate project or programme method

So, along with the other requested changes, the focus has been on providing examples of how it applies at programme and project level.

The second draft of the P3O best practice guidance is now under construction. Following submission of the first draft at the end of November, over 60 esteemed members of the PM/PMO community took time out over their Christmas break to review it and generate nearly 2000 comments. Thankfully, the vast majority were positive and there are lots of good suggestions to make the next draft even better.

Eileen J Roden
Learning Programme Director, QA

We’ll have more news on the P30 Refresh later in the year.

Autumn conference output/knowledge management

We have now collated the output from the Autumn 2012 conference and are looking for volunteers to take this output for the next steps in our knowledge management process, namely, generate and facilitate online discussions on the various topics areas in our LinkedIn and APM PMOSIG forums (and any others you are a member of). The purpose of these discussions will be to:

• Continue the debate on those areas where there are disparate or opposing views
• Fill in gaps
• Glean real life examples/case studies

and, of course, increase everybody’s knowledge along the way!

If you’re interested in helping with any of the following areas:

 Budgeting and Cost Control
 Risk Techniques
 Stakeholder Management
 Benefits Management
 Resource Scheduling
 Communities of Practice
 Life Cycle

Please get in touch contact us

Eileen J Roden

PMO SIG roundup

Following on from the event in Manchester just before the Christmas break, Graham Oakes produced a blog article about what makes a good project reviewer for the PMOSIG blog.

Each year the PMOSIG proposed to create a presentation which could be used at other Branch meetings and SIGs. We often get asked to present at these events and it would be great if members could volunteer to carry out this kind of activity in a location near you. Contact us if you’re feeling brave. This year our presentation will be about “Conflicts with PMOs” and will be available to kick off our new year in April. The presentation we are currently using will be made available on the website in March.

We’re aiming to put on at least four local events this year – all we need to make it happen near you is a suitable venue. Does your organisation have a meeting room we could use for free? Again contact us if you think you can help.

We will be at the Knowledge Management event in March to lead a session on the role of PMOs in KM. PMOs – in all their incarnations – have a special role to play in KM.

We will also be at the APM Scottish conference on the 17th April – if any of you are planning on attending either of these events please come and say hello.

Book reviewers

We’re looking for two reviewers this month to provide a review on Project Ethics and Project Stakeholder Management. This time the books are in ebook format so we’ll be interested to know what your experiences are of that too.

To take up the offer – all we ask is that you provide a review from a PMO perspective – whether this book would be useful to your PMO peers. Contact us if you’re interested and will be able to write a review by the end of February.

Dates for the diary

Spring conference now confirmed Thursday 25th April 2013 Solihull

PMO Curator

Each month we like to pick out a selection of PMO related news from other sources and neatly package them so they are easy to locate. Take a look at this month’s selection by clicking here.

This month there is – the optimal size of the PMO; “product centric” organisations; PMO failures; the Agile PMO book review and the PMBookClub.

Comments and feedback

The PMO SIG would appreciate any comments or feedback you have on our newsletter – let us know whether it was useful, and what you’d like to see in future editions. Email the newsletter editor.



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