A quick look at PMO events, summits and workshops in 2019
First of all we would like to thank each of you who attended our inaugural road show conference and launch of The PMO Value Ring in Australia June 2018. We had three fantastic events in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, our amazing hosts “Tesla”, one of the most innovative companies in the world, proved to be the perfect venue for networking and inspiring conversations. It was great to see old friends and make new ones.
PMO Value Ring the most practical and convenient way to successfully drive and highlight the activities of an adding value PMO . Going forward, The PMO Value Ring certification training is anticipated to be held every month in different places, training PMO professional to learn how to set up, manage and lead an efficient and value adding PMO.
True to the event’s name, we added further value to the PMO community by establishing a partnership with PMO Global Alliance, one of the worldwide leaders in PMO practices. The affiliation provides PMO Solutions with greater credibility, exposure to recognised PMO training courses and certification programs - allowing us to better service our customers and up skill PMO professionals. Our varied event topics and scope means it addresses companies’ different project management maturity levels and improvement requirements.
PMO Solutions’ choice of alignment with the auto-industry leader, Tesla, emphasises the focus on a perpetual model of innovation, detailed customer focus and a progressive forward thinking attitude. Tesla’s cars are designed to benefit their customers, environments and make people’s life easier. Similarly, our training and services are designed around the customer and how to make their business life easier and successful.
Showcasing the PMO training courses to leading professional members, consultants and businesses highlights how innovative PMO services can add value to their businesses. A key focus was centred on the introduction of our set of PMO training courses, exclusively designed to improve each of their PMO services and processes in order to be future ready.
The PMO training courses centred on the following:
1. PMO Value Ring practitioner certification training
2. Facilitation, Communication and Presentation Skills for PMO
3. Requirement Management and problem-solving techniques for PMO
The launch evening consisted of speakers and training plus the innovative introduction to the sharing of knowledge through interactive comic story-telling to promote the importance of visual communications in PMO services and solutions.
As PMO surfaces in any business and affects any decision makers of a company, the roadshow welcomed people from various industries. We wanted to share our latest PMO solutions with all groups and spread the message that PMO is a part of ALL businesses. Just like our comic book story we shared, PMO affects several stakeholders, we just need to learn the right tools to tailor solutions for them.
For more information about our training programs, any subjects discussed or discount cards and promotional codes received at the event please visit
We also would like to share with you the moments we captured during the events.
The Digital Transformation session's principal objective was to highlight five areas which are not commonly discussed, let alone challenged when embarking on a Digital Transformation journey.
One of the key objectives of Project Management Office (PMO) is to provide PMO solutions and services that help businesses grow and meet their strategical objectives. In this evolving digital world, PMOs need to be future-ready, identifying the big picture and able to propose the best solutions.
Your PMO might already be involved in technological transformations or support the business in moving forward with digital solutions. In any situation, however, there are some vital elements one needs to be aware of regarding PMOs role in facilitating the change in a business.
In February PMO Sydney Meet up session, organised by PMO Sydney Meet up organising team and sponsored by EPM Partners, Ralf Finchett Jnr presented the five main challenges commonly encountered in the digital transformation journey, suggesting the following actions:
What is Digital
And what is the difference between User Experience or new Service Design?
Today the meaning of 'digital' is more than taking a paper-based transaction and placing them online. As a PMO advisor, it is necessary to define digitalisation in the business and propose a value-add solution to the business to improve efficiency and effectiveness'. This is an essential component of PMO encountering Digital Transformation.
Defining the Transformation has to come from the very top, does the Executive Leadership truly understand what transformation means to their organisation and their customers? Has a team been empowered to ensure the customer is at the centre of the new user experience?
Does the organisation's leadership understand the various channels of support (Omni channel) and the ways the organisation needs to evolve to give the most appropriate support for digital transactions?
More than just Agile!
Agile is predominantly a team-based approach for iterative design and development of usable products (use cases). Agile works best when operating within a defined outcome. Using a Delivery Approach such as the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) or Government Digital Services (GDS-UK) helps to set expectations of what outcome will be derived from the sprints in an Agile approach.
Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live is such an approach whereby the sprints can fit within the lifecycle phases.
Not everything should be delivered with an Agile approach. Sometimes making an informed decision upfront can save pain later down the line. Asking yourself such questions up front:
- How complex is the legacy platform?
- Is the desired outcome fixed or flexible with its design?
- Is the environment complex? What are the dependencies? Are there too many to handle?
- Can the outputs/products be iterated or thrown away to be restarted?
Not everything suits an Agile Delivery method, and not all organisations are Spotify, Facebook or Uber. These 'poster' examples of Agile tend to have one or two channels, one product, and new(ish) systems. Many organisations have multiple channels, aging legacy systems, highly legislative environments, and complex use cases. Be an Agile realist, not an Agile evangelist.
One of the primary roles of the PMO is to create an interactive environment, define the reason for the change and the methods of delivery. It suggests agile or waterfall and accommodates in a way that best suits the corporate environment, which in turn allows a sufficient creation of the production line.
'Understand the different pace of change and delivery across policy / legal areas, new user interfaces and integrations/change into legacy systems. Try and break these dependencies to ensure efficient delivery.
To efficiently implement the change, PMO needs to provide analytical data and due diligence to decision makers. The data presented here will be a reliable and referable guide to the business, particularly for enterprise companies who have large amounts of historical data.
The next step is to prioritise this data through volumetrics and value-metrics. to enable the decision making regarding the prioritisation, sequencing and development of the user journeys or transactions.
The PMO can also be best placed to ensure that decisions, especially design decisions are made on data and information. Design can be subjective but capturing the right metrics to prove if the new digital experience is superior to other designs can be critical in driving the model which brings the most value.
PMO must be transparent to show the reliability metrics for early decision-making steps. In digital transformation, the reactive firefighting approach is not the right approach!
One of the digital transformation challenges is how to present the transactions which can deliver the highest value or ROI from day one, especially for non-IT industries. The problems here surround showing the value and advising on the journey. This is not a straightforward discussion!
Skills and Knowledge
Technology and skills move quickly. PMO as the centre of excellence and the business enabler must continuously be looking to the future and identify skills required. With the current trend of AI (artificial intelligence), Block Chain, Voice Activation, the skills necessary for delivering digital often fall behind the current requirement.
Improving your PMO's competencies to be agile learners and integrated mentors will help to support the Digital Transformation.
Digitalisation is a mind shift for some people and change management helps to up-skill and implement these new skills.
Procurement is almost the forgotten piece of digital transformation puzzle, especially at the beginning of the journey, yet the right procurement approach can help Digital Transformation success, and the wrong path could bring the whole transformation to a close. The integrated PMO Solution engages commercial and procurements from the outset, looking to avoid fixed price contracts when the early design and iterative development require flexibility with suppliers, partners, contractors and vendors.
The value add PMO in digital transformation understands that 'Change is a Constant' and helps planning with Value and Outcomes, but most importantly, helps create a new environment which creates new products, propose the right and suitable solutions and support business to deliver the services both effectively and also efficiently.
Our workplace culture, employee skillset and PMO practices are changing in ways we have not witnessed since the early 19th century. To be a future-ready manager, we need to learn the necessary management skills to adapt to these changes.
An assessment has been made on three famous philosophers’ approach to leading and the subsequent PMO solutions that are required in a workplace to achieve business goals. Drawing on these philosophies can guides managers to reach their leadership aspirations.
Homer- Management by performance
is the Greek philosopher who believed in Heroism and a society bound by roles. Based on this Homeric philosophy, you are defined by your actions in order to assert your ‘Hero’ status.
For a hero manager, the only way to establish his status is through his performance as a hero in combat on the battlefield. Hero Managers are constantly in fear of disgrace and they fear the judgement of their community
PMO within the Homeric management style
In a Homeric organisation, obtaining PMO solutions and its scope of influence within this hierarchy is often limited. PMO services and efficient office management is a double edge sword in this management style.
Are you a heroic leader?
1- Do you like to swoop-in and save the day?
2- Do you see yourself as the leader who can solve any problem or challenge?
3- Do you believe on top-down reporting line hierarchy?
4- Do you believe that “If you want it done right, do it by yourself”?
5- Do you believe that you can do everything better that anyone else?
If you answered ‘yes’, your management philosophy is Homeric. To position yourself favourably for future success you may need to alter your management approach to focus on two-way communication, meet and respond to questions and engage with challenges / conflicts, viewing these as opportunities to learn from.
Plato - Management by education and reasoning
believed a leader is a human instructor who needs to omit the conflict between its segments to create an ideal state. This is called the FORM theory, which is the ability to see the good, be better and seek the truth.
PMO within Plato’s philosophy of FORM style
A vital task as a PMO manager is to educate and assist people to achieve their strategic objectives. . Training and mentoring should be one of the PMO strengths in your organisation and PMO solutions should be delivered with adequate training and performance measurements.
Are you a Plato-based leader?
1- Do you believe in peak performance?
2- Do you consider the knowledge as a virtue?
3- Do you believe in education so that it may be a better way to discover the truth?
4- Do you see yourself as committed true role model?
5- Do you believe in reasoning?
If you answered ‘yes’, your PMO leadership approach is emerging in Plato’s Idealist theory. To be successful in this position, you must obtain the charismatic ability to influence people, be a good listener, be patient and have passion to educate people while designing PMO Solutions and Services.
Hume - Management by experience
Hume is one of the philosophers who believed in Empiricism, claiming that learning is acquired by observation and result of our perception. Hume also argued that our understanding of whether an action is right or wrong should be based on the response that it receives.
PMO within Hume philosophy management style
An organisation with Hume philosophy management supports PMO in developing solutions and services by engaging different SMEs across the business. To be successful with this type of management philosophy PMO needs to be a role model of facilitation, requirements management and stakeholder management skills and competency.
Am I a leader with Hume philosophy?
1- Do you consider truth based on observation?
2- Do you sympathise with people and their circumstances?
3- Do you consider probabilities?
4- Are you open to others' experiences?
5- Do you trust people's thoughts and impressions?
6- Do you involve people in making decisions?
If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, as a leader you will need to set clear goals and objectives, monitor the time it takes more for group decisions to be made, evaluate solutions and can clarify peoples roles. This philosophy provides an effective way to generate new ideas, but without proper management, it can also lead to improper solutions.
PMO’s main role is leading a team and people to achieve business objectives so all these three different philosophies can shape a PMOs vision. To help PMO establish an effective relationship with people, facilitate the right decisions and strengthen team’s ability to deal with dilemmas, a variety of management philosophies need to be factored. There is not a one path solution for all PMO office practices. To take the right approach we need to:
· Discuss out of the box solutions
· Remain loyal and stand by business commitments - Be a fighter
· Have the ability to influence people when necessary
· Educate and encourage people to learn and seek for truth by reason – Plato
· There is no justification that the future will be like the past
· Avoid judgement based on habit and past experiences
· Be open to other people ideas with an appropriate management style
· Trust and delegate our team to promote team accountability
· Believe in your organisation values
These cannot be achieved unless we as leaders educate and evaluate ourselves constantly and be a leader that people follow because of who we are and what we represent.