Key Takeaways from the PMO Conference 2024

Written by Jonny Baber on

I recently spent the day at the annual PMO Conference organised by House of PMO - self-styled 'Home to PMO Professionals' and a great source of knowledge and insight for all things PMO related.

Now I know what you are thinking, a day spent at a PMO conference is probably not at the top of most people’s list of things to do, and to be honest, there were certainly times during the day when I would have agreed with you! However (and as always at this type of event), there were some great speakers with wonderful little nuggets of information to reflect on.

My personal favourites were the slot from Tony Dunn talking about his dual life as a PMO Lead by day and stand-up comedian by night (believe it or not – there are a surprising number of synergies to be found in those 2 seemingly opposing worlds), a session by Gero Renker diving into the capabilities on the new Microsoft Planner Tool, which merges features from their previously separate Task Management, Planner Board, and Project for the Web Tools into a single user-friendly application, and the final keynote from Kate Atkin exploring the challenges of imposter syndrome - “Success: what lies behind the mask” being the very appropriate title for the talk.

I also learned a new word – “Nemawashi”, which loosely translates from Japanese to mean “Laying the groundwork” in corridors, not rooms. In other words – get your tricky stakeholders fully briefed offline before you bring them into formal meetings and risk a disruptive implosion!

The final keynote session triggered what was perhaps my biggest overall reflection from the day - PMO as a professional area (and arguably the wider change delivery space in general) is still too focused on process and tools and doesn’t pay nearly enough attention to how it can improve its approach to the people-centric cultural and behavioural challenges that so often get in the way of change delivery.

This is an area close to our heart at changemaker, so much so that in addition to our core service lines of Change Design, Change Delivery, and Resourcing for Change, we have a dedicated and thriving Human Change service line that compliments the other areas. Improving your understanding of the human side of change delivery can make all the difference – whether that be shifting organisational cultures and behaviours, creating the right environment to underpin the successful delivery of complex change programmes, or improving your organisation's leadership capabilities by releasing the power of “Human IQ”.

Please do get in touch if you are interested in finding out more.