We want to show that the
PMO isn’t there to point out
project managers’ mistakes.
We’re there to help them
projects and for ensuring that they fall under the
company’s strategic objectives. We provide on-demand project management support. We establish
project management methodologies and standards
with different departments, such as the infrastructure development, finance, human resources, and
information and communications technology (ICT)
departments. We track and report projects to senior
management. We’re also responsible for promoting
project management best practices. We do that by
facilitating project management training and certification, and by coaching project managers.
How did you and senior management
determine the kind of PMO BAC needed?
We presented different options to senior management—different roles the PMO could play. One of
them was a basic PMO that just provides on-demand
support. Another option was a hybrid PMO where we
not only provide support, but also help the departments establish their project management methodologies, collect the statuses of the projects, facilitate
project management training and provide mentoring.
The third option was what we called the advanced
PMO. It involves everything in the hybrid, plus
being the source of project management resources.
So when, say, ICT wants to initiate a project, that
department would borrow a project manager from
Senior management decided to go with the second option. It’s great to start as a hybrid while
the PMO matures. We might evolve into a more
advanced PMO in the near future.
How does the PMO ensure projects’
We created six different program boards within the
PMO, one for each of the company’s six strategic objectives. All of the projects under each board share the
same strategic objective. We also have a steering committee that will oversee all of those boards and will align
and prioritize projects within each.
What does your training of project managers
aim to address?
General project management competency—being
able to plan and plan and plan before going and
doing things ad hoc. Also, prioritizing—how to prioritize tasks within projects instead of trying to do
everything at once.
What’s the greatest challenge you’ve faced
while implementing the PMO?
Buy-in. Getting project managers to buy into the PMO.
We’ve proven to senior management that the PMO will
bring in benefits, but with the project managers, we’re
trying very hard to show those benefits and that
we’re not creating an extra level of bureaucracy
to fill out more forms.
How do you demonstrate that,
especially since the PMO is new?
We created a communications plan to launch
the PMO. We sat down one-on-one with each
project manager and his or her functional manager, answered all of their questions regarding
the new PMO, and explained its benefits—it
will help improve your competency level, it will
help certify you so you’ll have a better career, it
will help you resolve issues you’re facing.
Are you trying to have all practitioners
earn the Project Management
Professional (PMP)® certification?
Yes, mainly PMP® and Certified Associate in
Project Management (CAPM)® certifications.
We believe this will prepare project managers
for what needs to be done and how it needs to
be done to ensure that we achieve projects on
budget and on time.
You previously worked as a web
developer and designer for years. How
did you transition from IT into project
I realized I was more interested in managing
IT projects than the technical side, so I took
a university course on project management
and really liked it. When I graduated, I got the
CAPM® credential, which few people in this
region had at that time. Then I started volunteering for
the PMI Arabian Gulf Chapter Bahrain Branch, which
opened a lot of doors for me. PM
What’s the best
Don’t take no for
an answer. There’s
always a way.
What’s the best
book you’ve read
The Autobiography of
Malcolm X. You see
how a person changes—just as organizations can evolve and
Favorite thing to do
in your spare time?
Design websites. Creating something from
scratch that almost
every single person in
the world can access