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Kimberly Whitby
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PMO Symposium® 2018

Categories: development, events, PMO

PMO Symposium® 2018

PMO Symposium brings together PMO leaders and senior decision makers from leading global organizations across various industries and government sectors. They attend both as speakers and as participants. PMO Symposium takes place from 11-14 November 2018 at the Marriott Marquis, Washington D.C.

The event’s core theme, Mastering Value Delivery, has two areas of focus:

The Resilient PMO: how you can develop new capabilities and incorporate tools and techniques to accelerate value delivery for your organization in the long term.

Harnessing Disruptive Forces to Evolve Best Practices to Next Practices: how to leverage and adapt project management methods and technologies to address ongoing disruption from new technology, market shifts, and social change.

Attendees share experiences, build valuable connections, develop practical solutions, and gain a deep understanding of the focus areas and a broad view of how other organizations manage their projects. In addition, attendees are the first to receive a hard-copy edition of the 2018 PMI® Thought Leadership Series, a comprehensive set of five research reports exploring disruptive technologies and how organizations are using them to achieve their goals in these changing times.

Benefits to attendees include:

• Learning actionable insights

• Modernizing approaches and maximizing resilient PMO capabilities

• Bringing concepts to life in meaningful ways through leader-to-leader discussions

• Making valuable connections and expanding professional networks

• Learning from speakers to stimulate new thinking and activate PMO excellence

  PMO Symposium Speaker Morten Sorensen, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, Vice President, PMO, Peraton, shares his insights.

What are a few key takeaways from your presentations?

Leading PMOs are uniquely positioned to play a critical role in ensuring that all initiatives undertaken by the organization are aligned with strategic goals and geared to deliver benefits and value while maintaining overall portfolio balance in terms of risks and investments.

We will look at practical examples of how we can identify and illustrate gaps, risks or other sources of imbalance in our portfolios. We will look at key elements and process steps in a balanced intake analysis and importantly examine what some of the typical process risks are.

Solid practices around benefit analysis, risks assessments and deep engagement with portfolio sponsors and business leaders are key. PMOs can provide game-changing data and insight to allow the best possible portfolio planning as well as value delivery.

What is the biggest challenge in PMOs right now?

The seemingly ever-increasing rate of change is a significant challenge for most organizations, including PMOs. Keeping up with internally driven change, like reorganizations, M&A and strategic initiatives, new opportunities for better process tools, need for new skills, experimentation and adoption of new processes and delivery frameworks as well as externally originated demands all make for challenges that must be addressed effectively and timely.

With the breadth of activities most PMOs support or lead, many struggle to maintain an effective focus on driving benefits planning and benefits realization management. Solid benefits realization planning also enable much more effective overall portfolio management, which also is a very common challenge. Many organizations develop proper business cases but fall short in benefit realization planning and delivery management/follow-up.

What is a trend you see in PMOs?

I see trends at multiple levels and in multiple areas:

Need for subject matter knowledgeable PMs as well as skilled project leaders able to handle large transformational initiatives with depth and sensitivity to related organizational change dependencies.

In addition, PMOs must continue to demonstrate how they add value within the organization. They must remain agile and be able to successfully pivot to drive potentially rapid changes in strategy or lead new critical organizational initiatives. M&A and market opportunities remain large areas of value-add for PMOs.

New technology and business intelligence tools enable increasing use of continuous analytics of key project processes and related performance indicators, and they provide critical insight and decision support.

What effect has new technology had on PMOs and organizations?

All organizations face increasing demands to innovate, grow and lead change on a continuous basis. Since new technology is everywhere and changing tomorrow's products and services - and facilitating increasing competition - organizations need to stay educated, involved and drive innovation and change to maintain their own competitive advantage. Organizations and their PMOs must consistently dedicate skills, resources, and management attention to innovation initiatives and look to innovate at multiple levels simultaneously - for example, short-term efficiency gains, midterm enhancements to existing products and services and innovate to drive longer-term expansion into completely new products or markets. Given the pervasive presence of new technology no organization is immune or will stay relevant in the long term if they do not learn to master innovation and change – the competitive advantage of many leading firms is their ability to change effectively.

Regarding the technology we use across the organization, PMOs must devote enough time and resources to evaluate and experiment with PMO relevant tools and services on an ongoing basis. The options to collaborate, share and leverage critical analytics across disperse teams, organizations and business processes have never been better and improved technology solutions let us focus more time in high-value areas and interactions with clients and stakeholders.

Morten Sorensen’s sessions include:

Managing Your Innovation Project Portfolio

How PMOs Drive Value in Effective and Strategy-Aligned Project Portfolio Management

PMO Symposium is a unique event for PMO leaders and those who direct an organization’s portfolio of projects, programs, and initiatives.

See the full program schedule today.


Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 26, 2018 11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Where the Gurus Are!

Categories: events, PMI, PMO

Access to project management's thought leaders: PMO Symposium 2017

Transition. Transformation. Conversion. Change. These words are chiseled into today’s Project Management lexicon, but so is the word, “success” – the end goal for every project. As adaptive PM methods become more ubiquitous in organizations around the world, we recognize that no one approach will do. Rather, project leaders embrace and apply multiple approaches—predictive, Agile, or some hybrid thereof—to get their project across the proverbial finish line, all while trying to build sustainable benefits and agility. As one colleague commented after a project meeting last week, “It would be nice to just climb to the top of the mountain and ask the guru how to achieve project management nirvana!”

Ok, so let’s go with that concept for a second. Where do we find the guru, or gurus? How do we get an audience with them, pick their brain, learn from and apply their wisdom? Dr. Rita McGrath, a keynote speaker at this year’s PMO Symposium, might suggest that the ability and willingness to seek out actual information, confront bad news, learn fast from failure and design appropriate approaches is critical; that rapidly changing, volatile environments require us to adopt an entrepreneurial mind-set, what we need to learn even if we can’t visualize the outcome at the onset. This may sound like more uncertainty at a time when the quest is to seek more clarity. There is, however, a method to this perceived madness. McGrath’s talk on transient advantage is just one of the many mind-opening presentations on the agenda at the 2017 PMO Symposium (#PMOSym), November 5-8, in Houston, TX.

Nearly 80 industry thought leaders will share their perspectives, relevant strategies, and in-depth case studies at the Symposium, and will also give their insights on the future of project management and how the PMO—a change agent now more than ever—can build a rock-solid foundation for successful outcomes, leadership, and lasting value in a rapidly-evolving environment. The 2017 agenda allows for peer-to-peer interaction throughout the 4-day event, and is stacked with multiple breakout sessions and essential Knowledge Hubs. This year’s speakers and panelists span the globe and represent a wide swath of industries, organizations, and government agencies.

The Symposium’s host city of Houston is, by recent events, emblematic of change and transition as it now deals with the aftermath of last month’s Hurricane Harvey damages. Projects like the City’s reconstruction of a 38 mile stretch of US Highway 290 is one that has required an adaptive approach to manage the project. This timely and highly relevant case study has now been added the Symposium’s Learning Excursion series. The professional trip to The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) offices will illustrate how the agency has faced numerous challenges with the project’s reallocation of inter-agency responsibilities and evolving funding sources. PMOs from various organizations will be able to see and evaluate the project’s evolution that has resulted in implementation adjustments during construction.

Coupled with topics on successful, transformative project management are talks on the qualities that change-driven leaders possess. According to Adrian Gostick, a leadership guru and #1 best-selling leadership author, it is culture that drives innovation and execution. Strong cultures encourage leadership from everyone in the organization and as the project leader, you are the core influencer of the kind of culture at play in your team, division, or whole company.  Gostick will deliver a keynote address at the Symposium that focuses on developing a “Culture of Belief” to drive results, especially within a dynamic work environment. Each of the Symposium’s four keynote speakers not only bring recognized expertise, but will also elicit thought-provoking discussions on Agile Transformation and The Evolving PMO, as well as the practical application skills needed to help lead an organization’s transition to a more adaptive culture.

Project management nirvana? Perhaps this is an oxymoron. But, finding one’s own sense of PMO competency and assuredness in today’s climate is achievable, as the Symposium’s many gurus will attest. So in a sense, mission accomplished: access to the project management gurus and PM enlightenment – and, no exhaustive mountain climbing required.

PMO Symposium  |  Houston, TX  |  November 5-8, 2017

Posted by Marjorie Anderson on: October 10, 2017 08:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

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