Hi, and welcome to PMO Planet (Portfolio Management Office or Programme Management Office). PMO Planet is a free source of Portfolio, Programme and Project Management information and templates.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away...

...people kept asking where can we find good PMO, Project, Programme, and Portfolio Management information. So the objective is to make this the best Portfolio, Programme, Project and PMO Management site in the Galaxy. Please bookmark this site, have a scan through our existing pages, and keep coming back as we'll keep adding new and interesting information.

PMO Planet can only be made better and more useful with your input. Please feel free to make suggestions and we’ll do our best to search the galaxy and add in things you want to see, or go the the contact section on the right, and leave me your email address for the monthly email newsletter with updates to the site.

...and may the force be with you


the Daily ‘Project’ Planet

October 31st, 2013 | News

PMO Planet has now launched a daily newspaper on Twitter….. log on to Twitter and follow us at PMO Planet


The Daily ‘Project’ Planet – and yes we do wear a cape and our underpants outside our trousers!!! – though we are still working on seeing through objects

or follow our paper on the link below to get all the latest news and trends in the wonderful world of project, program, and portfolio management including all the latest on PMO’s




“What does Project Management mean to me? – a Project Managers Sermon”

September 24th, 2013 | PMO Blog

“What does project management mean to me – a Project Manager’s sermon”

Project Management made simple and easy


Three people are arguing over who has the oldest profession in the world. A Doctor, an Engineer and a Project Sponsor were all arguing…

The Doctor stated that God removed a rib from Adam, and therefore must have required a surgeon; surely his was the oldest profession in the world?

The Technical Engineer shakes his head and says ‘no, no, no!’; the bible states God created the world out of void and chaos, and therefore engineering is the oldest profession in the world….

Then the Project Sponsor says, that God would have sponsored the Project, and who do you think created the Chaos?

Finally, there is a small voice from the corner of the room, and the PMO moves from the darkness into the light, and says ‘This world is one of many in the Portfolio, and who do you think facilitated the sanctioning of the project in the first place by aligning it with the overall strategic objectives? Oh and by the way, you lot never delivered it right in the first place, because we are all still trying to fix the bloody thing, and the benefits have yet to be realised!!! and one last thing…. Where’s all the change request forms for all the changes you have made to the planet?’


So what does project management mean to me?

It shouldn’t be this complicated; projects are becoming more relationships and politics rather than delivery. When did we all change these rules????

I have now been involved in project management or 20 years, 15 of this in a leading role, and 10 years as a PMO; I have been privileged to have worked many organisations, I have worked with over a 1000 people and over a 1000 projects, yet over these years, with all the training courses, we don’t seem to be getting any better at delivering projects?



One common trend I regularly see is that the vast majority of projects are not complicated, yet people make them complicated.

Many, many, years a go, I studied for a degree in Project Management at university and after 3 very long years, graduated with an honours degree. I came out of university feeling full of optimism to join the masses, expecting we would all be fully trained to tackle most project related situations; I also felt others with experience would be just as well trained, through their experiences.

From planning, to business cases, project financials, risks, issues, change control, configuration management, requirements definition, quality management, lifecycle and methodology, tracking and reporting, team building, stakeholder management, value management, earned value, PPM enterprise software, contracts and legislation, health and safety, governance boards, resource management… is it any wonder that we sometimes get it wrong?

As an industry we have all become fixated on training people on project management; yet, most people don’t apply the very basics.

Over 30 years ago we designed and built nuclear submarines and power plants, built sky scrapers, designed and built Concorde… we put a Man on the Moon!!!

All without Project Management Software or any Project Management training courses.

For some of these projects, I’m sure there were complications and delays on the way, but my point still stands, they all used the basics.


Should Project Managers become more….. simple?

Project Management to me, means avoiding the current trend of turning a project managers job from what could be seen as a pure relationship role back into a project management role; doing the basics and doing them well.

I’m not saying that relationships and politics are not important, or managing stakeholder expectations should be ignored (and at your peril!!), yet so many projects seem to be just about this, and have less focus on leading a team to design and deliver.

In my PMO role, I am responsible for mentoring and coaching Project Managers, and too many times, I ask the very simple questions and often get a complicated answer, and sometimes I don’t get an answer.


Projects should be able to tell a simple story:

–       ‘Why’ are we doing this?

–       ‘What’ are we delivering?

–       ‘When’ and ‘How’ are we going to deliver this?

–       ‘How’ are we doing?


Now over play some project techniques:

–       Business Case – ‘Why’ are we doing this?

–       Project Initiation Document and Requirements Captured – ‘What’ are we delivering?

–       Plan, Risks, Resources – ‘When’ and ‘How’ are we going to deliver this?

–       Tracking and Reporting – ‘How’ are we doing?


Isn’t this what stakeholders want to know?

So, if a Project Manager does the basics, and does them well, surely this makes the relationship and stakeholder management situation easier?

When a Project Manager has to report on potential issues or problems, the same message applies:

–       What has caused the problem?

–       What is the impact?

–       What can we do about it?

–       When can this be done by?

–       What decision are you asking me (the project sponsor) to make?

Project Management is all about Managing Deliver

Most stakeholders want a project to deliver.

Project Managers should be able to cover the basics e.g. agreed design of the products, how much has been spent? How much is forecast to spend? When will the products get delivered? Any potential problems?

My old Martial Arts instructor used to say to me when I was competing in tournaments…. (think Micky from the film Rocky) “Stop doing the flash and fancy stuff, you’re getting caught out… do the basics and do them well, that way you won’t get you’re ass kicked!!!”

Project Managers – do you want to avoid getting you’re ass kicked at work? – do the basics and do them well!

Project Management is capturing all of these essential points and displaying them in a simple and effective message, then leading a team to build really great and cool stuff……. afterall …

…It ain’t rocket science 😉


(catch all the #pmflashblog, #pmot or #ftpm  activity on twitter today – 25th September 2013 – there are over 70 of us all preaching Project Management)




PMO Flashmob – Larn Darn Tarn and MADchester

September 12th, 2013 | Events

PMO Flashmob

Join us at the PMO Flashmob in London 19th September or Manchester on 3rd October 2013 – see the link for details

It’s free, and a chance to have a drink with other PMO professionals, and get done informal coaching from others about the challenges and opportunities that PMO’s are experiencing

Looking forward to seeing you all


PMO Planet – How to manage Project Close Down’s

July 3rd, 2013 | PMO Blog


One area which is often done in a light touch fashion – if at all – is the Close Down review of a Project; some call it ‘post implementation review – PIR’

PMO’s add immense value by recycling lessons learned from the past, and bringing them into new projects starting up. Ultimately, this activity can increase an organisations capability in managing, leading and delivering projects.


In our new page on Close Down, there are recommendations on what to review, how to collate and re-use the information, and also how to have fun sharing the lessons learned with Project Managers by also offering them doughnuts!


Have a read through, and let us know if your organisation has been successful in making Project close Down reporting part of the Knowledge Management strategy?




PMO Flashmob – London

May 30th, 2013 | Events

Ever wanted to meet other PMO People in an informal environment? and have a bit of fun and a drink?

The first PMO Flashmob was held in London on 22nd May 2013…. we discussed the world of Agile PMO’s, Resource Planning using Rocks, Pebbles and Sand, and also where PMO’s have had difficulty in establishing themselves…. all challenges faced today by varying types of PMO’s

Our next PMO Flashmob is on 20th June, in Westminster London on the 20th June 2013.

Come along for a pint or glass of wine, and lets talk PMO’s – Project – Programme – Portfolio Management, but, in a fun and informal way

See our sister site for more details



PMO Conference – UK – People are the Greatest Assets

May 30th, 2013 | Events


PMO Conference held in Birmingham was an outstanding success. Over the years, the conferences have focused on Portfolio PMO’s, PMO set etc etc, but this one covered the most important topic of all – People.

Ralf Finchett opened the conference, and also wrapped up the event with a ‘Banana Theme’…… read more about it on the APM website here, or use the link below




War on Project Failure

March 28th, 2013 | PMO Blog


Keep Calm and Manage the Project

To kick off the ‘War on Project Failure’ we’ve attached some propaganda posters for you to download….

click here to see all the ‘Keep Calm’ posters

or go to http://www.pmoplanet.com/war-on-projects

The idea was formed from an article produced on the PM Hut, listing 31 reasons why projects fail. The list was not a detailed explanation, but literally a simple list.

So as a bit of fun, we’ve started adding to this list….. and feel free to suggest any posters you would like to see

Keep Calm…. it’s only a Project!

p.s. for those wanting to know more about Keep Calm posters… they was created in 1939 by the British Government to prepare citizens of the UK for war, asking everybody to remain calm. There is more about these posters on Wikipedia



PMO Planet wins a PM Oscar !!!!

February 25th, 2013 | News

Yesterday (24th Feb 2013) saw the annual PM Oscars on Twitter, hosted by PDU of the Day….

We are glad to announce that PMO Planet won the Oscar for ‘Being A Great Community Area To Find PM & PPM Blogs’, and we was more pleased to be sharing it with another legend @ppmcommunity.

Thanks to all our supporters, and to PDU of the Day for hosting an amazing virtual event

If you’re not already following @pmoplanet on twitter, you’re missing out on valuable PPM blogs to follow

The full list of PM Oscar winners can be seen here


Life after Death PMO 2.0

February 17th, 2013 | News
Ralf Finchett from PMO Planet adds to the debate on Life after Death PMO's and why PMO's fail

PMO 2.0 – three PMO experts from around the world, discuss – can there be life after death with failed PMO’s











Ralf Finchett from PMO Planet was recently interviewed alongside two other PMO experts from around the world, to discuss ‘is there life after death with PMO’s?’

Ultimately, the debate circled around why PMO’s fail and can they be resurected following a failure within an organisation, and how can this be achieved?

To read more on the outcomes from the debate, please go to the PMI website or subscribe to the PM Network magazine (available free on an iPad app)


Project Face Cream

December 3rd, 2012 | PMO Blog

A Husband and wife go shopping. The husband picks up 24 cans of beer for £10, and his wife asks to put them back for they can’t afford it.
On the next aisle his wife picks up a face cream for £20. The husband asks ‘why do you need face cream?’, and the wife reminds him that it makes her look beautiful. The husband replies ‘so does the beer, and it’s half the price!’

There has to be ‘some’ truth in the above tale… How many times does an organisation go with an idea, that is expensive, has been well packaged and sold to them, so they convince themselves that it is the only way.

PMO’s working at a portfolio level, often fall for the trap of prioritising a list of projects, but in most cases the issue lies with every project being accepted in some way. The result is every project going on ‘the list’ and its a matter of the order which those projects appear on ‘the list’.

Sooner or later, the sponsor of that ‘lower priority’ project either forgets about it, or submits it under a new name!

Prioritising projects is important, and a role the PMO should be part of in facilitating a decision. But, the PMO can really add value if they took the process back a stage, and facilitated the management thinking in getting right solution to a problem or opportunity that REALLY exists… Don’t let the business come to the PMO to prioritise projects, instead, go to the organisation and state where there are ‘gaps’ in achieving strategic objectives, and facilitate the brainstorming of ideas to help plug the gaps. Using simple techniques like PESTLE, Return on Investment, Cost / benefit (using NPV%) or whatever the organisation feels us most suitable for them, will help. Prioritisation will be easier, more effective, and have greater success in getting people behind the right projects.

Some organisations are often sold face cream, yet face cream has not had the scientific testing rigour to prove it really works, but, its packaged well, looks great, and people believe it works…. Trust me…. Sometimes beer works better!! 😉
Face Cream – enjoy the show below…..