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PMO Conference 2022 \\ Building and Scaling an Effective ePMO – Shailesh Sharma

The session will highlight on experiences of establishing Enterprise PMOs (ePMOs) quickly, garnering organizational support, key success factors and holistic enablement approach for the organization
During the first 100 days the focus is to understand the current state, vision of the department through broad stakeholder engagement, deep dive on some of the successful as well as challenged projects, grasp the culture as well as get to know the team’s strengths and opportunities. This helps build a roadmap which even though aggressive is palatable for the current organization culture. The ePMO is structured as a directive PMO wherein there are 2 arms
  • Delivery which ensure end to end project management execution and delivery of programs and projects
  • Quality and Governance which focuses on compliance, controls, reporting, governance, tools, dependencies, etc.

The mandate – ePMO enables strategy execution by planning and managing programs and projects throughout the project management lifecycle underpinned by fit to purpose methodology, tools, human resources and timely reporting to leadership and interested stakeholders.
Ensuring troubled projects are recovered quickly and realizing business objectives where the country’s supreme leadership is the primary sponsor can surely give you sleepless nights.

Recorded Session

Session Notes

Shailesh presented an example of how the visions of a modern PMO can be set up and how it can work in practice.  In this case, it deals with a brand-new programme with its associated portfolios of projects – so there was the opportunity to create a customised PMO and instil new concepts from the start, rather than battle with an established management infrastructure.

The PMO’s programme is to achieve nothing less than the restructuring of the economic basis of an entire nation. Specifically, to reduce Saudi Arabia’s economic dependency on oil and to develop alternative commercial activities such as tourism.  Importantly, the program had to be up and running very quickly, so the PMO had to define management and operating modes that permitted rapid evolution of its capability, while ensuring coherence of hundreds of projects covering a wide range of interdependent national infrastructure elements (education, transport, utilities, etc.).

In a short summary such as this, one can hardly do justice to describing the array of innovative principles and concepts that Shailesh presented for creating an effective PMO in very short order, and for such a giga-enterprise. However, some key features are mentioned below:

  • Recognition and appreciation of the PMO function at the highest levels
  • Defining a clear vision and scope of the program, allowing high-level strategy and project plans to be coherent
  • Governance, including organisational methodologies and processes, are standardised across the program to minimise complexity, while simultaneously optimising status monitoring and control capability
  • Processes established to ensure transparent and timely communication between all organisation levels
  • Employing the best or most appropriate resources for each element of work (for example appointing project managers who have particular expertise in what they are managing, thus allowing the PMO to focus on the business/strategy/governance aspects)
  • Have only two levels of decision making to speed up the process
  • Empower the implementation teams to manage their own projects as necessary (within governance directives) but in a collaborative rather than a competitive environment

Expect constant review and evolution of PMO operations, re-training, adapting to dynamic conditions, agility and leanness (those words again!)

Shailesh Sharma is an accomplished Senior Executive and Board Member with 30 years of success across government, technology, wealth management, financial services, manufacturing, and marketing industries. Leveraging extensive experience in successful product launches, he is a valuable asset for business getting a product ready for distribution and is struggling with the go-to-market strategy and/or distribution planning. His broad areas of expertise include program management, operational excellence, risk management, technology, product launches, and marketing.

Throughout his career, Shailesh has held various leadership positions at organizations including SAE Ltd., Ministry of Electricity and Water, eFunds Corporation, United Online, Morgan Stanley, Meed/GlobeOne, Barclays and Xerox. Currently, he is the EPMO Director at Royal Commission for AlUla, Saudi Arabia where he has been working since 2019. Shailesh has had tremendous success over the years and has served as a key contributor to numerous organizational achievements. He was responsible for analyzing the market and understanding target audiences’ buying habits in order to create impactful context advertising at United Online (now NetZero). In his role at the Ministry of Electricity and Water, Shailesh served as the lead in the implementation of GIS technology to better support the country’s electrical networks. At Xerox, he has been instrumental in the company’s transformation initiative to enhance the legacy supply chain and customer experience as well as for establishing the risk management function for the IT department. Since joining Royal Commission for AlUla, Shailesh has been leading the Enterprise PMO (EPMO) delivering transformational and Strategic programs as apart of Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 program.

Shailesh studied at the Indian Institute of Technology and received his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Power from VNIT. He regularly participates in continuing education and professional development opportunities in an effort to stay ahead of industry trends and informed of changing regulations. Shailesh also has an abundance of knowledge in the roles and responsibilities of a board member having worked alongside board leadership on numerous projects throughout his career as well as by serving on the boards of the Oak Park Instrumental Music Association and local community schools

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