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PMO Conference 2022 \\ The Continuous Evolution of the PMO – Kerri Maciver

In this session we hear from Police Scotland about PMO journey in the last five years and what’s driving them forward to keep evolving.
The Police Scotland, Transformation Change PMO was enhanced to support the 2026 Strategy to support and enable the successful implementation of the Transformation Portfolio.
The key objectives initially were to:

  • Look at ways of Improving, Governing, Controlling, Supporting and  Assuring  to enable successful delivery of change
  • Provide effective support to the Police Scotland Change portfolio
  • Ensure compliance and adherence to agreed Police Scotland Governance processes
  • Continually look to improve Police Scotland processes through innovative thinking and adoption of Best Practice
  • Build trust and instil confidence in PMO
  • Behave in a professional manner, work collaboratively and ensure all work  is delivered with a high level of accuracy

Growing in size and capability over five years, meeting and overcoming challenges to embed the changes required – we heard about the tough times and the pleasant surprises, the lessons learnt and find out what they’re focusing on right now and how that is setting themselves up for the next part of their journey.

Session Recording


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Session Notes

Kerri presented on the development of the PMO function at Police Scotland tracing the ups and down of the journey from 2017 to the present day, reflecting on her own professional development along the way.

The aim of the Police Scotland PMO is to enable change and to be a team that ‘adds value to the processes by being pro-active rather than reactive’.  This aim is underpinned by transparency, reusability, delivery support/guidance, governance and traceability.

Two key events over the five years impacted the pace of evolution, but the strong foundation created in the early years enabled the team to respond quickly and effectively to the Covid epidemic in 2020 and the resource impact caused by Police Scotland’s role for COP26 in 2021.

Kerri identified five elements that most influenced stakeholders:

  • Value Add – Highlight the value delivered and ensure Stakeholders see the difference the PMO is making
  • Perception – Pay attention to perceived costs, but concentrate on the benefits delivered
  • People – pay attention to stakeholder experience by building credibility and confidence
  • Process – Solve stakeholder problems and get things done
  • Product – pay attention to quality and ensure products and services meet Stakeholder expectations, remembering to take time to understand those expectations.

The lessons learned, and for me the takeaways from this session, are:

  • Biggest challenge – culture (two-fold being the command and control found in policing organisations and the more general public sector)
  • Taking people on a journey – fundamental to change don’t forget to involve people in the change so they don’t fell as though change is being done to them
  • Consistency – in delivery, in standards and in the way the PMO assure and govern projects and services.

Kerri is currently Head of Portfolio Management in Police Scotland, her remit includes Portfolio Management Office (PMO), Portfolio Assurance and the Continuous Improvement Team in addition she is a non-executive Board Director at SACRO.
Since starting in Police Scotland in January 2017 she has held three roles, Head of PMO & Chief of Staff before moving to her current post in November 2019.

Kerri has 20 years’ experience is Change Management undertaking various roles throughout this time however in the last 10 plus years this is has focused in and around PMO’s across both the Private (RBS & Tesco Bank) and Public (Police Scotland) Sectors in both Permanent and Contractor roles.

She has had extensive experience in both establishing and enhancing PMO Functions, supporting large change portfolios that have been established.
You can connect with Kerri here.

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