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2014 IPMA Summit of PMO SIG Leaders celebrates Project Management Offices as key enabler for project-oriented organisations

REPORT

By Reinhard Wagner

Munich, Germany
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The Project Management Office is not an invention of this century, but it is getting more and more recognition throughout the world. This is the main message of IPMA´s 2014 PMO Summit. End of June about twenty experts from twelve countries met in London to share their experiences. PMOs are a hot topic for IPMA´s member associations; about twenty of them have a Special Interest Group (SIG), more are considering forming such a group in near future. The 2014 IPMA Summit of PMO SIGs aimed at bringing together key people of the PMO SIGs within the context of IPMA, informing about respective activities, exchanging ideas as well as forming an international network of PMO SIGs.

As all IPMA events, the PMO Summit was planned for a maximum of interaction using a variety of facilitation methods, such as Elevator Pitch, World Café and Workshops.

The participants of the 2014 IPMA PMO Summit (Source: Les Squires, IPMA)

After a general introduction, the participants shared their understanding what a PMO is. The answers demonstrated the huge variance in PMO practices. Some see a PMO as standard setting body. Others define the PMO as support unit, helping the practitioners to apply the standards according to their needs. Only a few participants defined a PMO as project management unit, performing project management (e.g. for internal projects) and being accountable for the results. PMOs have definitely a role in managing multiple projects, portfolio management or as support for the Governance function / body in the world of projects, programmes and portfolios (e.g. supporting the decision making). The participants claimed, that a PMO typically is responsible for the performance in project management, identifying synergies and helping the Senior Management to lever these. A PMO should enable the change in an organisation whilst developing the maturity in project management from an initial to a professional state. It could be seen as a PM Excellence Center developing the eco system of projects, programmes and portfolios. 

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About the Author

pmwj17-dec2013-wagner-IMAGE2 AUTHORReinhard Wagner flag-germany

International Correspondent – Germany

Based near Munich

Reinhard Wagner is an International Correspondent for PM World Journal in Germany. He is also CEO of Projektivisten GmbH; a service provider specialized in the field of project, program and portfolio management. He studied Electrical Engineering and Business Administration in Germany and the USA and looks back to more than 27 years of project related work and leadership experience. His career started in the German Air Force, where he served as Air Surveillance Officer in NATO Air Defense performing projects like the establishment of a Systems Operations Center. 1995 he entered the Automotive Industry and managed several major design projects and programmes, developed specific methodology for Automotive Engineering activities and published the first book on Project Management in Automotive Industry. In 2002 he founded a Special Interest Group for Automotive Project Management within GPM German Project Management Association and leads these activities since then. In 2006 he entered the Executive Board of GPM being responsible for all R&E activities as well as the International affairs. Today he is Chairman of the Executive Board. As Chairman of the respective DIN committee for the development of PM standards he is responsible for several standardization projects in Germany. From 2007 until 2012 he acted as working group Convenor in ISO for the development of ISO 21500 Guidance on Project Management. Within GPM and IPMA, he developed tools for the assessment and certification of organisations (e.g. GPM3 and IPMA Delta) and acts as Lead Assessor for PM-ZERT and IPMA in this field. Reinhard Wagner teaches project management at different Universities in Germany. He has published more than 150 books and articles, speaks to national and international audiences and is elected as IPMA Vice President for R&D / Awards. Reinhard is living close to Munich, Bavaria and can be contacted via [email protected]. 

To view other works by Reinhard Wagner, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/reinhard-wagner/