Two PMO Awards This Month

There were two different award ceremonies this month which saw two winners taking the PMO of the Year accolade.

The PMO Global Alliance held their ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and a number of PMO awards were handed out. Taking the top spot was Capitec, a banking organisation in South Africa. Their story covered the move from just supporting IT projects to all business projects and now it is an Agile PMO.

Meanwhile in the UK, the annual awards ceremony from the Association for Project Management (APM) presented Openview FND PMO with their PMO of the Year Award. Again, the winning team had a similar story of evolution, accumulating in a portfolio driven PMO.

Launched in March 2020 the Openreach Transformation PMO is a portfolio, programme & project management office supporting the delivery of the Fibre and Network Delivery (FND) transformation strategy to enable a £0.5bn cost reduction whilst improving service, customer and colleague experience. The PMO vision and strategy were co-created with our business stakeholders and the PMO has been on a transformation of its own. Evolving its maturity, iterating its delivery lifecycle, increasing its service offering, automating previously manual reporting to now support the full portfolio and its 6 programmes and over 200 projects. Our results demonstrate we’re a world class PMO.

Copyright: Catherine Lumb, 2022


Next Generation PMO 

It was the 17th Project Management Hack event – better known as Project:Hack – in London (28/29th November) where over 300 people came together to learn more about the role of project data analytics and artificial intelligence in the future of project management.

The Project:Hack has been running for five years now and is organised by Projecting Success and the Project Data Analytics Community. It brings together project management professionals, data scientists, developers and students to work on challenges which could really change the way projects are delivered.

There were three challenges submitted on behalf of the PMO community which included:

  • Project Performance – Can I Believe it? We take PPM performance reports as a true reflection of the status but how can we be sure? This challenge invited hackers to create a suite of tools that validate the quality of project information being reported (Assurance) and automatically produces reports on project performance, the PMO can switch to higher value add activities such as driving up PM quality through coaching, and supporting projects in recovery.
  • Smart Assist – Clippy 2.0. This challenge invited hackers to imagine a new version of Microsoft’s helpful paperclip of the 90s. This time the BOT would be advising on all manner of PM tasks such as assistance in creating business cases; incorporating previous lessons when developing the risk register; using the right template for minutes of meetings and so on.
  • Optimising Delivery Using Collaborative Insights. This challenge focused on the insights we can find when using everyday project tools such as Microsoft SharePoint and Teams. But a filing system isn’t just the files – it’s the meta-data: who wrote what, when? Who modified it, and why? These insights can power a new generation of PMO.  One where we can mine the data to understand our project performance, the degree to which our team collaborate, and the well-being of our teams.


Next Generation PMO Task Force

Within the Project Data Analytics Community there is a bigger vision – a 10-fold increase in project performance from the 0.5% of projects that deliver expected benefits, on time and within budget. That 10-fold improvement will be delivered by the Task Force (which includes UK government, professional associations and leading PM firms).

Currently the manifesto for data-driven projects includes:

  • All projects are data designed and enabled. ​
  • We all pool our data. ​
  • We collaborate opensource solutions tackling priority challenges. ​
  • We bust myths and misguided habits. ​
  • We re-skill for a digital and data-enabled world. ​
  • Analytics is codified in all aspects of project delivery best practice and culture.

Core theses covered by individual task forces includes governance, reporting, controls and delivery support. One of those Task Forces is the Next Generation PMO.

At the Project:Hack over 20 PMO professionals came together to discuss the vision for PMO with the output being a mandate that all PMO professionals would be able to be united and inspired by.

Further work is being carried out by the Task Force in readiness for the next Hack event which takes place in February 2023.

Together the PMO community can learn more about the opportunities that project data analytics will offer their organisations, and more crucially, understand what steps need to be taken to really utilise these advances in technology.


This news article was previous featured in the PMWorld Journal – a monthly e-zine focused on project management news from around the world. [Find out more and subscribe]