The story started back in 2000 when a group of people got together after they had read a new book on the subject of PMOs. The book was The Project and Programme Support Office Handbook. After the book, came a training course. It still exists today and is available through BCS, it’s called the Certificate in Programme and Project Support Office.
For people working in PMOs back in 2000 this was a leap forward. There had been no PMO related training and minimal books to read. Yet many people were working in the roles that supported project management activities in an organisation.
A group of people got together back in 2000 and decided that something else was needed. They arranged a conference. Over 100 people came along.
That group of people thought why not carry on. They gave themselves a name. The PPSOSIG (the Programme and Project Support Office Specialist Interest Group) was formed and staffed with volunteers.
Every year, the PPSOSIG put together two conferences, one in the Spring and one in the Autumn. They were held in the Midlands.
They became popular. More and more people working within PMOs were starting to find the group. They came along to listen to PMO related topics delivered by experts in their fields. They also loved the fact they could meet other people who were also working within the field.
The PPSOSIG changed its name to PMOSIG to better reflect the rise in the PMO title. When the P3O guidance was released in 2008, the PMOSIG were the first to support it. Eight years is a long time between the PPSO Handbook and the P3O!
The PMOSIG finally became a specific interest group of the APM in 2010.
Yet, the PMOSIG never held a PMO conference in the capital of the country.
Fast forward to 2013 and the idea of the PMO Flashmob was created. A simple idea of getting people together in a London pub once a month. The PMO Flashmob is still going strong and it certainly shows that PMOs are still popular in organisations and they still provide a full evening’s conversation on the pros and cons, the ups and downs, the challenges and successes.
Creating the PMO Flashmob and seeing it grow over the last few years has shown me that the time was right for a bigger focus on PMOs. Bringing together PMO experts from across the UK and the globe needs a great platform. The PMO Conference is finally happening in one of the world’s greatest locations. It might be 15 years since I first got involved in conferences for PMOs yet ‘better late than never’ seems very apt!