“In the PMO team alone, we’re in six di;erent countries across multiple time zones. Everyone
has their own slightly di;erent, slightly local way of working,” Mr. McIntyre says. “We chose to
Asking project managers to take ownership of the guidelines has also kept them engaged with
the process, Mr. McIntyre says.
“If the PMO had gone in and said, ‘Here is a framework. Here are the rules. You must follow
these processes to deliver your projects,’ we probably wouldn’t be around today. In fact, we prob-
ably wouldn’t have been around a week after we formed.”
By integrating itself into Ticketmaster’s culture, the PMO has been able to ;nd new ways for
project teams to collaborate and communicate across the business.
For instance, the PMO created a web-based tool called the Dependency Master. Known
informally as the “Death Star,” the tool outlines dependencies between global projects—and
highlights red items that are putting related initiatives at risk.
“Managing dependencies before the PMO got involved was a
very di;cult thing,” says Ms. Plumb. “A project would be going
full-speed, but then something would come out of nowhere and
blow all the delivery dates out of the water.”
Now project managers can easily identify cross-departmental
issues that could impact delivery dates. And the PMO engages
executive sponsors through project steering group meetings to
help teams prevent these risks from being realized.
“We introduced steering groups because we wanted to put the
level of accountability for delivering the project with the people
that were able to in;uence that the most,” Mr. McIntyre says.
By training executives on what they were accountable for—
and mentoring project managers on how to manage up—the
PMO ensures these expensive meetings, held every two to four
weeks, run e;ciently and e;ectively. Although the meetings
often are just minutes long, they give project managers the
opportunity to get direction from key stakeholders.
For instance, if the project’s scope, schedule or budget needs
to be changed, the project manager creates an impact assessment and sends it out to the steering group for review. ;e
group can then make a decision on the issue in the next meeting.
“It means that any changes that need to happen can be made,”
says Ms. Plumb. “And it means that the projects are much more
likely to be on track because you have that support when you
Getting buy-in each step of the way has helped the PMO keep
the company’s entrepreneurial spirit alive—while still improving
processes and performance.
“;e Ticketmaster corporate culture is a funny one,” Mr.
Ticketmaster International’s PMO comprises four
sections spread across six
countries. The PMO Hub
and the process office are
located in London, while
the project managers are
based in several other
European countries and
Canada. Its US$10 million
portfolio of approximately
25 projects is managed
by a staff of 30 project
The PMO Hub focuses on
ensuring a “portfolio view”
through reporting and
strategic planning, while
maintaining and assuring
Project managers in this
section work long-term on
specific projects. They are
“agile evangelists” focused
on continuous delivery.
Project managers in this
section use a combination
of agile and traditional techniques to deliver technical
projects (e.g., new products)
and change projects (e.g.,
launching the organization
into new markets).
The process office focuses
on process improvement
projects, Kaizen and process