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January 2015 newsletter

Welcome to the Technology Enabled, Technology Disabled edition of the APM PMO SIG Newsletter.

In this issue, we give you an insight into the upcoming Winter PMO SIG Conference which will be held in Milton Keynes on the 10th & 11th February.

When should technology be introduced to support PMO processes? Should it be a home grown system or a proprietary product?

The focus of the Winter PMOSIG conference is to look at the use of technology within PMOs and what are the critical success factors in ensuring the technology is an enabler rather than a disabler.

In the run up to the conference, this newsletter will give you the opportunity to view more information on the agenda, and the speakers, as well information on how you can get involved with the team organising the event.

If you have any questions on the event or would like to get involved, please contact us.

We hope to see you there! Click here to book

Who should attend?

The PMO SIG Conference is designed to follow on from our 2014 May Conference “PMO in Practice”. It is not designed to help delegates decide on specific products, but on the critical success factors for implementing technology within PMOs.

The team has reviewed the content of the event in line with CPD for the following APM Body of Knowledge reference sections:






Project office
Technology management



Success factors and maturity
Information management

Delegates who would benefit from the event include:

• Individuals who work within a PMO who have manual or automated processes and want to make ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of those processes

• PMO managers who want to be inspired by their peers and thought leaders, to drive improvements in the value of their PMO

• PMO users (senior managers or project and programme managers) who wish to influence the structure and services of the PMO within their organisation
Free parking is available for all delegates. Milton Keynes station is 11 miles from the venue and mini buses will be provided 1 hour and 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the conference.


The PMO SIG Winter Conference is being held at Horwood House Hotel, set on the outskirts of Little Horwood Village, between Buckingham and Milton Keynes.

Whether travelling by air, rail or car, Horwood House is just 11 miles from Milton Keynes and easy to reach just off the A421.

Free parking is available for all delegates who are arriving by car. However, Milton Keynes train station is close to the venue so mini buses will be provided 1 hour and 30 minutes prior to the commencement of the conference as well as at the end of the conference to return to the station.

As the conference spans two working days one night's accommodation on Tuesday 10th February, and all meals (including coffee and snacks) are provided for the duration as part of the booking fee.

If you need more information on the logistics, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


The Agenda

Over the two days, delegates will be treated to presentations from practitioners who use home grown, and proprietary products. They will focus on their journey as well as the pros and cons of each approach.

The conference also includes some presentations from proprietary producers who will talk of the products, their ethos, challenges and successes of some of their clients.

The agenda is designed to begin with registration at 09:30 on Tuesday February 10th. The first day presentations will end at 16:45 to allow delegates to select any vendors that they want to visit during the Vendor Stall Open House. This time has been included to give delegates and vendors alike a chance to meet, ask questions, or view specific areas of the products.

The second day begins a little earlier at 9:00 with close scheduled for 16:00.

Tuesday 10th February

Wednesday 11th February




Morning introductions



Parish notices


The theory


Systems: Light & Effective


Success Factors


PMO Story


Going Social


Systems: Going Mainstream


Community of Practice


Systems: Strategy


PMO Story



17.00 –18:30

Vendor stall open house







The two days will be interspersed with a number of activities during which delegates will be able to share their own insight and experiences within the world of PMO and technology.

The Speakers

The companies and speakers selected to present at the PMO SIG Winter Conference bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in the PMO world. They will also provide their unique perspective on the broad range of topic(s) to be covered.

Below you will find a biography, and a brief description of the speaker’s presentation.


Presentation: A Community of Innovation
Jonathan Norman – Gower Publishing

Jonathan Norman is Publisher at Gower Publishing where he is responsible. amongst other things, for working with over 200 authors to develop the changing programme of over 120 books on projects, programmes and portfolios. During his 25 years at Gower, he has developed books, metrics and questionnaires as well as training resource products including games, activities and videos. He is currently leading the development of GpmFirst a subscription-based community of practice that is designed to facilitate learning, sharing and collaboration in the context of projects, programmes and their management.


Presentation: PMO and Critical Success Factor (power tools)
Steve Robinson MSc, FAPM – The Learning Project

Steve is a professional programme and project manager with extensive experience in managing technical projects, developing human resource policy, and implementing programmes centred on the development of knowledge and skills.  He has well developed business consultancy and lecturing skills having lectured on all aspects of programme and project management in the UK, Europe and Asia. He is a senior lecturer in project management at Southampton Solent University, an associate lecturer at Cranfield University and director of his business learning consultancy, The Learning Project.
He is qualified to Masters Level in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, a Managing Successful Programmes (MSP)® Practitioner, Association for Project Management Professional (APMP) and Fellow of the APM.  He was the Chairman of the UK Engineering Project Management Forum, acts as a judge for the APM Project Manager of the Year Awards and has articles on UK/French Project Cooperation, Developing a Project Management Culture, Project Management in Schools and Benefits Realisation Management published in the national media.


Presentation: Implementing i-nexus into Office Depot
Paul Docherty – I-Nexus

Paul Docherty started his career in Marconi, where he held a wide range of senior management roles covering manufacturing, IT, sales, product development, project management, Operational Excellence and corporate strategy as well as having P&L responsibility for the growth of a regional telecoms equipment business.
Passionate about helping organisations to execute more effectively, Paul's deep understanding of the challenges of establishing robust strategy execution disciplines comes from his experience coaching senior management teams in over 100 global organizations. He is a regular speaker at conferences and has delivered keynote presentations and the IQPC Annual Process Excellence (PEX) Global Summit and at the thought leader global Annual Strategy Execution Conference. Regularly averaging over 1000 registrants for each of his quarterly webinars on Strategy Execution Best Practices, Paul is the architect of the Strategy Execution Maturity Model which has been used by over 100 global organizations to benchmark their strategy execution capabilities.
In addition to his role as a thought leader in the Strategy Execution space, Paul is also the founder and lead facilitator of the Strategy Execution Consortium – a group of 40+ Global 2000 companies that meet annually on both sides of the Atlantic to share and benchmark Strategy Execution Best Practices.
In 2001, Paul founded i-nexus with the goal of building cloud-based software that could help organizations successfully manage the complexity involved in translating their vision into reality. This software is now the "de facto" standard for large enterprises when it comes to driving execution of their strategy. Paul holds an MEng. in Computer Systems and Software Engineering from the University of York and an MBA from the University of Warwick.

Joined by..

_MG_9071David Powell, Office Depot
Having worked in Quality Management and Business Improvement for 20 years, David made a transition to Project Management in 2008. He has managed projects ranging from office relocation, retail set up, software implementation and organisational review. In early 2014 David moved to European PMO, managing the governance and development of the Project Methodology. 
Now in 2015 David has moved to a role as Continuous Improvement Manager. In this role he drives the development of innovations and improvements to ensure Office Depot can achieve its strategy and support sustainable long term business results. David coordinates, manage and delivers a programme of Lean Six Sigma projects to enable continuous improvement.
David has a broad experience of many different industries including IT, Automotive, Aviation, Manufacturing and Retail. He is passionate about effective project and change management and pragmatic alignment with corporate objectives.
David is a certified Prince2 Practitioner and is working towards Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification.
David is married and lives in Worcestershire. He is an avid football fan and enjoys cycling around the beautiful British countryside.

Presentation: The Coventry Way to deliver projects - The technology journey of a new IT PMO
David Rodgers – Coventry Building Society

David Rodgers is currently working at Coventry Building Society as the Head of IT PMO, building a greenfield PMO. Originally starting in PMO as a step stone to become a project manager, David soon realised the project manager role wasn’t actually what he wanted to do and instead decided to remain in PMO. Since 2003, David has been treading the PMO boards in Financial Services and Telecoms while working through each of the PMO disciplines, converging into a pragmatic and honest approach to PMO development.

Presentation: Warfighting in the Business Environment: a technology-lite approach to programme support at Army HQ
Lieutenant Colonel Steven Tracey

Steven Tracey was commissioned from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December 1996.  He has served at Regimental duty as a Squadron Second-in-Command, an Operations Officer, a Squadron Commander and a Commanding Officer, mostly in Airborne/Air Assault formations.  As a staff officer, he has worked in four higher Headquarters, including the Ministry of Defence, mostly in financial programming and reporting.  He has undertaken operational tours in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Afghanistan.  A fan of many sports, more now as spectator than participant, he skis, shoots and goes sub-aqua diving when time and family commitments allow.  His current role involves setting the conditions for Army Headquarters to manage its military capability change programmes in accordance with P3M best practice following delegation of the task from the MOD.

Joined by..

Pierre Morel has 20 years’ experience working for Local and Central Government. He held different Strategy and Programme Management positions, in Government and Education sectors. His positions often required bridging technical and business streams and involved a lot of stakeholder management!
In 2007 Pierre joined Serco Consulting and has worked for many large public and private sectors customers. Following a two-year secondment for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills where he was leading on stakeholder engagement and compliance management for the EU Services Directive, Pierre has since focussed on helping large public organisations in the UK and abroad setting up their Programme Offices and more generally their programme environments, using his background in Information Management as a key facilitator. He sees this activity as a perpetually renewed challenge as no two organisations are the same!


Presentation: Live or Die - what is the reality of going social?
Jonnie Jensen – Live and Social

Jonnie is a digital coach, social strategist and founder of social business agency Live and Social. His work has involved the internet, mobile and all things digital since 1999. This work helped him recognise that social media was going to transform the way we communicate and operate in business, as well as our personal lives. Since 2007 Jonnie has been consulting and training companies and individuals in the use of social media. Live And Social provides content marketing, social media and lead generation services to large B2b companies. His breadth of experience gives him a great deal of relatedness to businesses of all sizes and sectors. Jonnie prides himself on helping businesses understand and utilise social media across their entire business, from boardroom to reception. A husband, father and Christian, Jonnie enjoys the mountains, the beach, live music and a beer with friends.

Knowledge Management: #GetInvolved

The PMO SIG has always been passionate to ensure that delegates who attend our events take away something practical from the day.

The upcoming conference includes a practical approach in a number of ways:

  • The presenters have built a practical element into their presentation or their Vendor Stall Open House to provide delegates with something that they can take away for their day to day role.
  • As part of the upcoming PMO SIG Winter Conference, delegates of the event have the opportunity to review the new Project Management First Community of Practice created by Gower Publishing. Once you book to attend, a unique link will be provided to you to Beta test and feedback – your input will be utilised by Gower both internally during the continued development of GPMFirst, and as part of the presentation content on the day.

  • Activities throughout the day have been designed to provide delegate input into an article for Project Magazine which will focus on PMOs and their critical success factors. The conference output will feed directly into the technology section.
  • Output from the day such as comments, questions, experiences, and ad-hoc input will be collated as part of the PMO SIG Knowledge Management. This collation exercise will culminate in PMO SIG content being added to the BoK+ on the APM website.

Cost to attend

 Including full board & vat

Early bird booking 
before 10th Jan

Standard price from 10th Jan

 APM members: 
Employees of 
APM Corporate Members
Non members:


£250.00 £250.00 £275.00

If you would like to enquire about other non-standard booking options, please contact us directly and we will get back to you.
Additional information will be released prior to the conference via our email flyers.

We hope to see you there! Click here to book

PMO SIG review

Gower Project Management First


Community of Practice





Emma Arnaz-Pemberton

I took the opportunity to enter the new GPMFirst Beta Site and have a play with the functionality that is available for Beta testers to look through and provide a brief overview with the help of Jonathan Norman (our speaker).

Published content By including published content from initially over 120 books, Gower are offering users a resource that combines the formal (published content) with the informal (user-generated content and experience). This is a great way of helping users to apply the lessons and the ideas offered through the site.

Formal and informal training and development The vision for Gower is to bring industry bodies and training organisations into the site. In the future, this will allow users to gain professional accreditation from their activity in the community and also allow Gower to create the requisite knowledge to develop further accredited qualifications for elements within and related to project management such as, for example, value management or cost management.

Public and private networks Alongside individual subscribers Gower are keen to encourage corporate or institutional subscribers and then use the community to enable these organisations to develop their employees via the public content and activities available on the site as well as through content and activities that are private to their corporate network.

For me, the introduction of a Community of Practice which is tailored to published (formal and informal) content will be extremely useful for those who (in particular) are new to the industry, or those who have identified their own development opportunities.

I particularly like the functionality that identifies specific chapters or articles, as the majority of people I know in the industry don’t have all the time in the world to read a full book, but often need a short, sharp answer to a key challenge.

Follow Up PMO SIG Events

Can’t get enough of PMO SIG? Check out these follow on events available for booking:

Young PPM professionals new perspectives on old problems
25th February 2015, London
This event is aimed at professionals at the start of their career - ideal for PwC PPM senior associate community and APM associate members. The event aims to provide the opportunity to meet long standing PPM professionals in a relaxed environment and to learn from their experiences. The evening will provide attendees with the opportunity to hear about challenging 'real life' PPM experiences of some of PwC and APM's most experienced PPM practitioners from the PMO (Emma Arnaz-Pemberton), and People SIGs.

Everything you wanted to know about PMOs and assurance, but were too afraid to ask
26th February 2015, Bristol
This joint event is one of a series of annual seminars organised by APM's SWWE branch with input from the PMO (Chris Mills), and Assurance Specific Interest Groups (SIGs). It will explore what a programme or project manager needs from PMOs and assurance; what are the benefits; and how programme and project managers make best use of PMOs and assurance. The speakers will identify the latest thinking on PMOs and assurance, including agile projects, through presentations and case studies.
This event will cover:

  • What a PMO is, and what it is not, including the 3P's
  • What is meant by programme and project assurance, and what it is not


Emma-Ruth Arnaz-Pemberton

Stay connected with the PMO SIG

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