Implementing A PMO Is Often Facing Challenges. Expert Interview With Bill Dow

Bill Dow

BILL DOW is a result-oriented, industry recognized, passionate professional who has a strong background in PMO management, development methodologies, and tactical project execution.

Why you should listen to him:

Bill has successfully built several PMO’s, as well as having ran large industry impacting projects. His IT industry background spans government, health care, real estate, software, and wireless. He has strong organizational and planning skills, and focus on building customer partnerships. He has a proven track record on being able to drive strategy, vision, and be forward looking. He is also focused on staying on top of the latest project management industry trends. Through the books that he has published, he has created PMO and Project Communication tools that are used in companies all around the world.

He is the co-author of the Project Management Communication Bible. This is an 801 page reference manual, published in 2008 for Wiley publishing. It can be found on and consistently in the Top 100 for Project Management books.

The second book he wrote is called “The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO” . The book takes his personal experience in building and implementing PMO’s over a 10 year period and puts it into a format that is easy to read and use for any PMO Manager. This book can also be found on

His third book “Project Management Communications Tools” will be release in the June 2015 timeframe. More information on this book can be found on his website in the coming weeks.

Bill is, also a part time Adjunct Professor at Bellevue College where he teaches several project management classes in the certification program. “I have a deep passion and enthusiasm for teaching and mentoring, so my work at Bellevue College is one of my great accomplishments.” – he says.


Mirla Ferreira: Hi Bill, as an author of “The Tactical Guide for Building a PMO” book, What do you think is the highlighter obstacle to implement a PMO that really works?

Bill Dow: I think that PMO Managers throw away process to quickly. Process is a good thing, too much process is not good, but too little doesn’t work either. There is something to be said for all project managers to be managing their projects in a repeatable and consistent manner. So many PMO managers are quick to throw out process because of the growing pressures to be agile, and I would say those folks have the biggest obstacles to be successful.

Mirla Ferreira: In your opinion, what are the best benefits of PMO as a service? In what circumstances should a company choose a PMO as a service approach?

Bill Dow: PMO as a service is a brand new concept that is just starting to take off. I would say that we are far too early to have this model working consistently across companies. Companies are so different and I think this concept of PMO as a Service has a long way to go before it is proven and we see consistent results. If companies are going to go with this concept, then they would be one that are much smaller and want to have outside experts driving their end to end efforts. Still too early frankly and not yet proven.

Mirla Ferreira: For you, what is the biggest challenge that professionals have when leading an effective, value driven PMO?

Bill Dow: The challenge is around executive support. I see PMO’s fail all the time and even document it in my book with a term called the “PMO Cycle”. Basically, it states very simply, when you lose your executive support, you lose your PMO. I have seen it happen many times myself and to my PMO Manager peers. It is a way of life of this profession and something that we to live with. So, go out there and secure the support from multiple executive for the best chance of your PMO succeeding into the future.

Mirla Ferreira: Thanks Bill, it was a pleasure talking to you today”.

Share your experience implementing a PMO!

Sustainable Development And The Project Manager

Sustainable Development And The Project Manager

Sustainability is an interesting concept and has been used more in the sense of planet environment but on March 20, 1987 the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations uses a different concept of sustainability as a part of the concept sustainable development  “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

It is funny how we need a concept that remember us how to be a better human person, in order to get a better society.  ” Common sense is not common action”, Shawn Achor says.

People involved in projects should think in a socially responsible way, making decisions which benefit not only the businesses but also the society and the environment. We as project manager professionals have to maintain the balance of the three pillars of sustainability: Economic, Social and Environmental in all of our projects.

At this point and with this responsibility a lot of questions coming to our mind: How can I integrate the best practices of Project Management, Social Responsibility, Energy, Environmental, Quality, Stakeholders, Finance, Procurement etc? sounds confusing. It is a lot of information and at the end it is not easy to implement. Fortunately we have a framework that integrates all these concepts, it is a framework that guide us how to integrate sustainability with our projects.

How Joel Carboni says “Sustainability Starts with Project Management!”

The GPM® Reference Guide to Sustainability in Project Management.

“With over 65 years of combined project management experience, authors Joel Carboni, Monica Gonzalez, and Jeff Hodgkinson deliver a reference guide to project management with best practices for sustainability integration based on the PRiSM Project Methodology.

The belief that Project Management can drive—in practice, not just in theory—a sustainable planet and economy, this 157 page manual covers key aspects of sustainability related International Standards, the new ISO 21500 Guidance on Project Management, as well as how to construct a sustainability management plan using the GPM® P5™ Method “

Take a look in:

Are you integrating sustainability into your projects?

We were at the ECFI in Munich

European Conference on the Future of Internet -ECFI

In the past 17th and 18th of Setember 2014, we were attending the 2nd European Conference on the Future of Internet – ECFI . The event was taken place in the Research Centre of the TUM – Technical University of Munich, in Garching. Also on the second day there was a TechnoBruch at BMW Worldwhere it was discussed how the Future Internet will revolutionise the manufacturing sector and particularly the automotive industry.

The main objective of the event was to inform the advances that have been made ​​through FIWARE program and the launch of the FIWARE Accelerator Program. Starting this September, 16 accelerator projects will provide 80 million euros in direct funding through Open Calls for small and medium-sized enterprises that build innovative products, solutions and applications based on FIWARE technology, the pan-European open platform for the Future Internet.

The 16 Accelerators are distributed in different areas: eHealth, Smart Cities, Multimedia, Smart Manufacturing, Smart AgriFood, Smart Energy, Creative Industries, Social Interaction, Food Chain Logistics, Media & Content and Learning & Training.

More about #ECFI2 in:

Mudamos o Escritório Para o Algarve Durante Dois Dias

Mudamos o Escritório Para o Algarve Durante Dois Dias

O Algarve é uma região do sul de Portugal, com 5 412 km². Perfeita para o verão, com muitas praias, lindas paisagens, e boa comida.

Com a finalidade de testar o nosso serviço de forma totalmente remota, decidimos criar um mini-projeto e mudar o nosso escritório para o Algarve durante dois dias. A experiencia não deixa de ser interessante, cheia de coisas boas e outras menos boas, que nos trazem muita aprendizagem e ideias para melhoria. O elemento de sucesso é sempre o mesmo, o cliente.

O desafio não é só dar suporte de forma remota, porque isso já acontece hoje em dia, o desafio é testar a nossa capacidade de mobilidade e avançar como programado nos projetos ativos que atualmente tem a empresa.

Quais são as nossas lições aprendidas? Muitas, deixamos aqui as mais importantes, para que possam servir de experiencia para outras iniciativas:

Toda a equipa deve definir as expectativas.
Todos os elementos da equipa devem definir as expectativas, mas para isso seguimos os seguintes passos:
a) Toda a equipa deve participar na experiência.
b) Confirmámos primeiro que todos sabem o verdadeiro objetivo da transferência de escritório.
c) Definimos uma expectativa geral como equipa.
d) Cada pessoa da equipa definiu as suas expectativas

Ligação a internet rápida e disponível.
Escolhemos uma ligação a internet, com todas as caracteristicas necessárias. Infelizmente, não tivemos muito sucesso. A ligação à internet que tínhamos não permitiu o suporte adequado. Em alguns projetos, certas reuniões tiveram que ficar como mensagens no Skype.

Seleccione as ferramentas mais eficientes.
Estamos habituados a trabalhar de forma remota, pelo que não tivemos de seleccionar nenhuma ferramenta nova. Skype, google docs, e a nossa aplicação de gestão de projetos PMISapp foram as mais utilizadas.

Mantenha o mesmo horário de trabalho.
O horário foi fácil de manter, pois a mudança ao Algarve não nos trouxe transtornos de horário. Os nossos clientes estrangeiros estão habituados ao nosso horário. Não tivemos problemas neste sentido, no entanto, é um ponto a considerar caso a experiência se repita no estrangeiro.

Viaje sem perturbar o horário de trabalho.
Nós escolhemos sair no dia anterior, e chegámos ao Algarve bastante tarde. O importante era estar antes do inicio do novo dia de trabalho. A equipa estava cansada, mas entusiasmada com a experiência. O ideal é viajar durante o fim de semana, e fazer a experiência a partir de uma segunda-feira. Tem de ter em conta a duração das viagens, e o transporte disponível.

A paciência é uma virtude a desenvolver.
O ambiente de trabalho não é feito só de tecnología, sempre temos material impresso importante no dia a dia. Faltaram alguns documentos, apontamentos esquecidos e ainda alguns post-its de trabalho. A única coisa a fazer é desenvolver a paciência, apontar os esquecimentos, guardar em formato digital algumas coisas, e seguir em frente.

Uma atividade de team-building
Esta é uma magnifica atividade de team-building. Os beneficios são muitos: melhora a comunicação, aumenta a motivação, permite-nos conhecermo-nos melhor uns aos outros, partilharmos estratégias, tudo isto num ambiente descontraído, diferente, enquanto realizamos o nosso trabalho.

Liberdade para criticar o projeto.
Tem de existir liberdade para criticar o projeto, caso contrario não se obtém a aprendizagem desejada. Durante estes dias a equipa conseguiu criticar de forma construtiva o projeto, melhorando assim a fluência do mesmo.

Foi uma experiência extremamente satisfatória… Quem sabe o destino … mas para o ano esperemos repetir!

Project Management Is Essentially About Change

Project Management changes the workplace

Project Management changes the environment: If we execute and deliver our projects with ethics we can produce a positive impact in society, preserving our natural resources and producing changes in the social and economic level.

Project Management changes opportunities: With a project management culture in place we only choose profitable projects that are aligned with organizational strategy, thereby increasing opportunities. We focus only on what matters to the organization.

Project Management changes profit: Stop any surprises in the project. Stop losing time and money in projects. Project management help you to finalize your projects with the expected monetary value calculated in planning.

Project Management changes people skills: Project management takes time and effort to
plan how you will improve the performance of human resources involved in the project, either individually or as a team.

Project Management changes conflict: conflict is inevitable, is a consequence of organizational interactions, but good project management practices help to avoid many of them.

Project Management changes quality: a lack of attention to quality adds considerable risk to the project, which results in rework. This means time and money wasting. With a focus on quality, you can spend time preventing rather than dealing with problems, delivering a product or service with the quality expected by the customer.

Project Management changes risk: Performing risk management helps prevent many problems on projects and helps make other problems less likely. When you eliminate uncertainties, the estimates for work are more accurate, saving time and money on a project.

Project management changes success: the ability of an organization to achieve the goals of the project significantly impacts their ability to thrive.

Project Management changes the workplace: project management is the best way to integrate people and process, with a comprehensive approach: learn, comprehend and take action.

With project management we can create a positive impact in society, increase our opportunities, increase profit, improve people skills, minimize the conflicts, improve the quality of products and services, prevent and minimize risk and increase our success.

Definitely, with project management we can change the workplace! Every organization deserves to be the best it can be.