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PMO Challenges in a Global Environment

In this session we hear a different perspective on building the maturity of the delivery organisation and what the PMO did to support that. The session also covers the cultural clashes that can happen and the language barriers of global PMOs.
Manuel López joins us from Mexico City where he managed the Latin American PMO in a global insurance organisation.
Projects were always late; projects only got approved once per month; several people didn’t speak English; executives had no view on when their projects would start; high techinical debt; no standard reporting; all projects were waterfall and often not starting until 3 months after approval.
Just some of the many things that most PMO professionals will be familar with. We loved the FAIL (to the right!)
In this session we hear how Manuel and the team started to overcome the challenges:

Video Session



The Slidedeck

>> Download here
During the session there was much chatter as usual – here are just some of the themes:

  • Does anyone here also deliver projects as well as PMO duties? We are sometimes asked to get involved in large scale projects which sometimes turns into a PM role and I am a PMO analsyst, my goal is to become a PMO lead so I’m trying to work out how managing small projects will add to my goal. The general consensus was project management experience is valuable in a PMO role but it shouldn’t be a part of the PMO’s responsibilities.
  • Stopping projects – This is one of the issues I have faced in the past . Execs promising board deliverables and paying for projects only for the delivarables not to be achievable down the line but not being bold enough to close the project because of repercussions with the board due to still having cost to pay because of the way the contracts have been agreed. Has anyone seen this problem before?
  • Change! Do you think PMO practitioners utilise change management principles and approaches in their work? Yes, in my PMO we do and have a dedicated change manager too. I work for a globally located SME. I see change management as being a really critical part of my role to support project delivery improvement as we scale.
  • Not having a centralised tool really caused headaches in this PMO – or centralised tool exists but other locations still doing their own thing at times. Yes it is disparate across the board, so we all make do. I think the tool also needs to come with Global processes for it to really work.
  • I used to think that using Powerpoint was a bad thing but actually it can deliver a clear,simple message – I bet execs love Powerpoint more than Excel! Yes, making data, etc easier to read I have realised with my 6 months of being in a PMO, makes the job much easier. Nice pictures, short sentences!
  • Does your PMO train people? Yes we call it enablement
  • Measuting effectiveness – Yes, wrestling with how to effectively measure TTFV (Time To First Value) for my business at the moment. More difficult where they are very long, large projects.
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Previous Agile PMO Series – Planning and Estimating
Next Agile PMO Series – Removing Blockers

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