Local project, programme and port- folio management practitioners’ association Project Management South Africa (PMSA) has introduced the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Year Awards Programme to honour and promote local innovation in project management offices.
“This is an exciting step that celebrates the great work being done by local PMOs within a range of industries in South Africa,” enthuses PMSA CEO Taryn van Olden.
She tells Mining Weekly that nominations for the awards opened in August this year, with nominated parties given until the end of September to submit final motivations. The PMSA has identified project management offices of industrial equipment supplier Cummins Africa Middle East, private hospital group Mediclinic, financial services provider Sanlam Group Technology and Information, and railway company Transnet as the finalists.
The nominees represented a diverse array of PMO industries, including the mining project consultation, healthcare, financial services, and information and communications technology in logistics providers, as well as business services for the construction industry.
These four finalists will now enter a full submission, which will then be evaluated in a final round of judging. Van Olden enthuses that the winning PMO will be announced during the PMSA national biennial conference, which is taking place from November 14 to 16 at the Wanderers Club, in Johannesburg.
Expanding International Impact
Van Olden posits that the awards ceremony is a way of not only honouring local PMOs for the adoption of innovative best practices but also encouraging South African and African PMOs to pit their abilities against their international counterparts, further promoting industry excellence.
The PMSA intends to use the awards programme – which it hopes to make an annual programme – as a platform to identify strong PMOs on the African continent, which will be capable of competing in the global PMO Alliance awards.
“By showcasing the excellence of Africa’s PMOs, we uncover continentally established best practices and find case studies of how different organisations have dealt with unique scenarios in South Africa and Africa, which can then be benefited from and expanded upon internationally,” she outlines.
Van Olden further states that, to aid the PMSA in achieving this goal, the new awards ceremony’s requirements have been aligned with those of the PMO Global Alliance awards. The PMO Global Alliance is an international community of professionals with a common interest in promoting the people and practices in the PMO space. Initial entrants responded to a range of questions that uncovered their PMO’s mission and vision, how they deliver and measure strategic value in their organisations, how PMOs are structured for effectiveness and how individual project managers are perceived strategically in their organisations.
For the final full submission process, this year’s contestants were required to create a presentation. The aim of the presentation was to gather in-depth information of each PMO’s unique journey, their client service capabilities and proficiencies, their overall best practices, the use of innovation in project management, their approach to community in-house and externally, and their holistic value generation. The judging criteria for the presentations use the PMO Global Alliance awards judging standards as a framework.
The PMSA hopes to identify a local winner in good time – by establishing the local winner prior to the international awards ceremony – and further mentor and support the local company to improve its submission for the global PMO Alliance awards by the international ceremony’s March deadline.
“A member of the global PMO community was quoted as remarking that he did not know that South Africa was familiar with PMOs. This is indicative of the country’s modesty on the one hand, but also its lack of active promotion of how its industries work their projects,” laments Van Olden.
The PMSA hopes to encourage local PMOs to become more adept at demonstrating their value in organisations through the awards programme, and wants to ensure that continental project management competency is increasingly seen – locally and globally – as a competitive advantage and a means of delivering strategy.
“Showcasing the capabilities of local PMOs illustrates the link between mature project management processes, structures on the African continent and return-on-investment for organisations.”
With international project management day having been celebrated globally on November 1, Van Olden hopes to see the industry arrive in numbers at this year’s national conference to improve upon and support excellence in the project management industry.