Like many of you out there, I landed in the PMO by accident.

Back in the summer of 2008 I was job-searching, and was approached by a recruiter about the role of Senior PMO Analyst with a big insurance company.  I didn’t know what PMO was, but my application led to an interview and the conversation went well resulting in an offer.  It was a portfolio management office, and I soon realised that no two days were ever the same; I felt like I had the opportunity to apply the skills, knowledge and experience I had gained across all my previous roles at once whilst simultaneously learning many new ones.

I was also frequently heard to mutter “if only I’d known then what I know now about projects”.  This is ultimately what led me to discover the PMO Flashmob – but that’s a story for another time!

During the time I spent in that Senior PMO Analyst role, I managed project and programme reporting and resource management for the team; I also developed and implemented a financial management process which included time recording, represented the portfolio office at the weekly Release Board, and project managed the implementation of PlanView Enterprise for the division.

It was that project – alongside acting as ongoing system administrator – that sparked my initial interest and has led to a specialism in PPM tooling. Over subsequent years I have become well-known in PMO circles as the go-to person for anything PPM tool-related, and have had the opportunity to implement and optimise multiple PPM solutions for clients across a variety of industry sectors. I am proud to be independent from any vendors, offering advice and guidance that is geared towards what is right for the business and is based on real-world experience of working within and managing PMO teams.

At this point it is also worth mentioning that I have helped several organisations that have been unable or unwilling to invest in a PPM tool at that particular time, to make better use of what they already have available to them to get the job done.  Implementing a PPM tool isn’t always the answer – especially in an environment that isn’t ready for one. The marketplace is full of solutions that offer multiple features and functionality which just aren’t needed right now and could potentially confuse your change community.  It’s much harder to recover from a failed implementation than it is to wait a bit longer, taking a tactical approach that brings others along on the readiness journey.

I look forward to helping you on your own journey with PPM tooling, and have shared some of my ideas for future topics below:

  • Tactical vs. Strategic approaches to PPM tooling
  • How will you know if you are ready to implement a PPM tool?
  • Tips for improving your adoption of PPM tooling
  • Are you in the “Trough of Disillusionment”? What you can do NOW to plan a way out
  • Why the Gartner Magic Quadrant isn’t the only place to research PPM tools!
  • What is Second Line support – and why it should sit with the PMO
  • Why your PMO needs a data strategy

I’d love to hear about what content YOU would find most valuable here in the Tool Shed, so let me know in the comments!