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NHS PMO Connect: Building Bridges, Sharing Insights

This session is for dedicated PMO professionals navigating the UK’s dynamic landscape of health and care.

In the wake of the recent collaboration between the Healthcare Project and Change Association (HPCA) and the House of PMO, this session is not just an event; it’s a pivotal moment for the NHS PMO community.

In the spirit of building bridges, this session places a spotlight on the crucial partnership between HPCA and the House of PMO, emphasising their commitment to supporting your professional journey within the healthcare sector.

Discover how this partnership is geared towards enhancing your career growth and contributing to the robustness of the PMO community specific to health and care.

We also address the immediate challenges and untapped opportunities that PMO practitioners like you face daily within the NHS. This wasn’t just an informational session; it was also an interactive platform that allowed practitioners to shape the conversation, influence the agenda, and contribute to future-focused discussions that matter to you.

Take a look at the session and find out more about HPCA and also the partnership with the House of PMO.

You’ll be listening to Jo Stanford from HPCA and Lindsay Scott from the House of PMO.  >> Find out more about HPCA


Recorded Session

Key Challenges in the NHS Today

The second part of the session was given over to an interactive element where attendees were able to add their own thoughts about working in health and care.

We started off by taking a look at the current challenges that exist – challenges that affect the PMO and the delivery organisation in which the PMO exists.


We then started to see which common themes were emerging.

Here’s the outcomes of that part of the session which will form the basis of the areas to be tackled by the community:

1. Understanding and Communicating PMO Value:

  • Lack of understanding of PMO roles and responsibilities.
  • Identity crisis: People find PMOs useful but struggle to define their purpose.
  • Demonstrating the real value of PMOs to health and care organisations.
  • Emphasising the importance of showcasing return on investment.

2. Perception and Clarity:

  • PMO tasks are perceived as unnecessary admin rather than delivery-focused.
  • Lack of clarity about the PMO’s role and how it adds value.
  • Misconceptions leading to undervaluation.
  • PMOs are seen as an alternative version of the business support/admin function.

3. Challenges in Working Environment:

  • Working alongside individuals without project management skills.
  • Everything is labelled as a project without proper methodologies.
  • Lack of Senior Responsible Officer (SRO) training.
  • Non-project professionals handling projects.
  • Project management is undervalued.
  • Working with networks of clinicians and navigating clinical leadership.

4. Operational Issues:

  • Difficulty in aligning clinical rota schedules.
  • Bridging the gap between a purpose-driven, long-term view and a short-term mindset.
  • Collaborating in a political environment.
  • Managing projects related to reducing health inequalities and developing multi-organisational pathways.

5. Knowledge and Skills Development:

  • Specific knowledge and skills required for PMOs in health and care.
  • Understanding the types and context of projects.
  • Data accuracy and management.
  • Stakeholder engagement.
  • Developing service catalogues for defining PMO roles.
  • Obtaining highlight reports and quality information.

6. Resource and Capacity Challenges:

  • Lack of resources, including reduced headcount and budget constraints.
  • Working across organisational boundaries.
  • Challenges due to a lack of strategic objectives and accountability.
  • Staff turnover and capacity issues.

7. Portfolio Management:

  • Relationship building across large, complex programmes.
  • Addressing unrealistic estimates.
  • Prioritisation challenges.
  • Defining benefits clearly.
  • Establishing maturity levels and matrices for PMO development.
  • Benefits mapping data.


These theme areas cover a spectrum of challenges and opportunities within the PMO community in health and care. Each area highlights specific issues and potential avenues for improvement.

This session was about bringing PMO practitioners together who are working within the NHS, health and care sector – who are interested in being part of a community of practice set up and managed by HPCA.

The House of PMO is supporting HPCA in building the community and providing guidance on how the community can begin to tackle some of these challenges.

Next Steps

Take a look at HPCA and subscribe today – you can also join the House of PMO – there is a special NHS discount available for you.

You can become a part of the NHS PMO Community through the HPCA.

Alternatively, want to be part of the community through your House of PMO membership? Just get in touch and let us help.





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