From PMO to P.O.O. … ?


By Sandra Rijswijk-van Tilborg

The Netherlands

In the past couple of month the questions about the Agile Way of Work and PMO have risen sky high. In the Netherlands we see more and more organisations working with Agile Scrum or other Agile ways of work and more and more full Agile Transformations.

Questions arise concerning the role of project management, program management and PMO? Looking at the definition of PMO, Project Program or Portfolio Management Office, it does not fit within an Agile environment without Project and Program managers.

On the internet you can read a lot of articles from opponents and supporters of PMO on this topic. Very few give experiences. In this article I’d like to discuss my experience when it comes to PMO-work in an Agile environment.

PMO is all about doing the right things and doing them the right way. Theories about PMO do not state or even pretend to know what the right way is. PMO’s advice, support and facilitate the structure and way-of-work best suitable for the organization.

Originally organizations were very project based. The past years brought a shift in focus towards product focus and eventually business value focus. Adding value to business is the ultimate goal of a PMO! That’s what we’re about.

Most of the work is also being dealt with within the scrum teams or tribes. To be quite honest, I am very happy with this progression. Now the activities, risks, lessons learned are being owned, registered and felt by those who deal with them every day. That can do nothing less than improve quality and it makes no sense what so ever to include a PMOfficer in these processes. Now, this doesn’t mean there is no role for PMO.


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About the Author


pmwj38-Sep2015-Tilborg-PHOTOSandra Rijswijk-van Tilborg

The Netherlands



Sandra Rijswijk-van Tilborg is a PMO Manager with Sogeti Netherlands. After finishing International Business and Management Studies and Business Administration, Sandra joined Sogeti in the Netherlands in 2008. After several successful assignments in Information Security as project management and PMO, she became expert manager on PMO. Together with her team she set up several PMO-services and advises companies on how to improve or set-up PMOs. She coaches PMO officers in their tasks.

Sandra can be contacted at [email protected]