Each of our program managers now reviews all the projects in
their respective program. Now reporting has more meaning,
and the governance and final decisions ownership are clearer.
What is the one skill
that every project
manager should have?
The ability to
understand project risks
and what can be done to
What’s the best
you ever received?
Look at someone you
admire, and imitate
What’s your favorite
activity off the clock?
Photography. With your
eyes, you see the whole
picture. But when you
photograph, you just
take a small piece and
make it beautiful.
What’s an especially
The Clan of the Cave
Bear. It’s the story of
a girl in prehistoric
times who struggles
with new ideas and
changes. She eventually
becomes the leader of
a new clan. It’s about
changes, evolution and
What oversight do you provide as
When I receive new IT project requests from our
client, I review them from a high-level perspective,
decide which program each project should go to,
and assign a project manager to it. Then, the PMO
provides the client with reports on the statuses of
projects and programs, and I provide the overall
How were this client’s projects handled
prior to the ATOS PMO? How has the PMO
We weren’t monitoring our overall project activity.
Our team wasn’t classified into programs matching the client programs. Before, each project was
reported to the final requester, and the management
team was not aware of the changes they requested.
And since we reported to a single source for all
projects, sometimes things were missed.
After we divided the team into the five programs, we were able to better monitor the projects, from getting the project request to closing
the project. Each of our program managers now
reviews all the projects in their respective program.
Now reporting has more meaning, and the governance and final decisions ownership are clearer.
We also have just one point of decision making on the client’s side, and we create a synergy
between their projects and what we do with them.
How did the PMO improve the team’s project
We created new tools to track the delivery of each
project phase, so we can tell the client exactly what
we need. The tools track when we receive a project
request and when we start on it and so on. So now
we know if the team is running late. And when we
go over schedule on the initiation phase, we can
see where the problem is: if we’re taking too long
to get the project started, if we haven’t received
all the information from the client, if we don’t yet
have our solution in place, or if one part of the
project has been completed but the client hasn’t
yet provided the needed approval.
When we come across lessons learned, we now
document and file them in a single repository so
the team can go there and see what was done in
the past. We also hold meetings where we review
all the lessons and closure documents.
What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome
as PMO manager?
Getting the stakeholders to understand the life
cycle of the projects is one of the biggest challenges we have.
We made sure to involve them in the process.
For instance, by monitoring the phases in a project
or program, we’ve been able to tell the client we’re
spending too much time in the planning phase
because we don’t have the correct feedback from
them. Putting all that onto paper has been a great
challenge and success.
How has the PMO helped improve
Before the PMO, the client answered a survey
about a project, and only the project manager saw
it. We also didn’t monitor how many surveys we
received. Now, we know how many we’re getting
back and share them with the entire team. We can
see which projects are doing better and which ones
aren’t, and if we’re down one point in ratings or up
As a group, we have a better perspective of
how the client thinks we’re doing and have more
answered surveys than before. On a scale of 1 to 5,
the client recently gave the PMO a 4. 3. PM