Announcing the semi-finalists for the 2020 South Africa Project Management Office (PMO) awards

10 PMOs, 15 judges, 16 hours of webinar sessions, 36 evaluations, 54 hours of viewing, and we have our finalists for the last stage of the 2020 South Africa PMO Awards competition!

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the 4 semi-finalists moving on to the evaluation stage of the world’s largest professional competition for PMOs, their organisations, and leaders. Many congratulations to:

  • City of Cape Town
  • Direct Axis
  • Old Mutual and
  • South African Revenue Service

These PMOs, joined by FNB Botswana, go through to the last round of the competition, where they will be evaluated by a team of international judges, themselves leaders in the PMO profession.

A big thank you to all the entrants for taking the time to make their submissions:

  • FNB South Africa
  • Dark Fibre Africa
  • Nampak and
  • Nedbank Insurance

Louise Worsley, PPPM consultant, author of ‘Stakeholder-led Project Management’, project management lecturer at the University of Cape Town (UCT), and chair of the PMO Award judging committee for South Africa explains that one of the benefits for organisations making a submission is that every PMO, regardless of their placement in the competition receives expert feedback from highly qualified and experienced PMO professionals. Each entrant receives improvement recommendations that will hopefully see them coming back better and stronger in next year’s competition!

The quality of the entries increases every year

“This is the third year of the South Africa PMO Awards competition. With 10 PMOs including pilot entrant, FNB Botswana, it is the largest number of entries we have seen. This made the judges’ jobs difficult, not only because of the numbers but also because of the genuinely great practices demonstrated.  It was exciting to see how project management and the PMO have adapted to the shutdown challenges – in many cases reporting increased, not decreased, efficiency and effectiveness.

This year’s competition was different

In 2020, Project Portfolio Office (PPO) took over management and coordination of the PMO Awards competition. As an active player in growing the project portfolio management profession and facilitating the PMO forums (invitation only series aimed at PMO Leaders and Executives) across the country, PPO provided excellent access to our PMO communities.

The first round of judging was changed to allow PMOs supported by their teams to interact directly with the judges through online discussion sessions.  This is the first time this approach has been tried, and from both the judges and the participants, we’ve received an overwhelming thumbs-up”, says Worsley. Feedback from our participants:

“I wanted to say thank-you for facilitating such a great process, it was relaxed and interactive and really enjoyable. Both L and M were great panelists and they were attentive and engaged throughout. They asked some really great questions! Both M and I have also expressed how much value we have gained from taking the time to really reflect on our journey and how far we have come in the past 5+ years as a PMO. So thanks for the experience. It has been very valuable in and of itself.” Jane Fraser, Direct Axis PMO

“This format and process are enabling a high quality review.” Lynn Keeys, Judge, PMI Chair South Africa

“The SA process is an improvement on the PMO Global Awards as you can validate the information first hand.” Marion Baxter, Judge, Sanlam

 Continuing the learning and sharing

According to Worsley, “Organisations in the evaluation stage will be evaluated against 6 criteria. In line with the PMO Global awards competition, each PMO is allocated a mentor and coach from the judging committee members to provide support and guidance during the development of their final presentations.

South Africa has done well!

The Stanlib Group Investment Platform programme’s PMO INN8 was placed in the top four in 2018, and in 2020 the Shoprite PMO also was  selected as best in Africa PMO, and placed in the final 4 PMOs globally”.

Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office states, “Our PMOs don’t get enough recognition for the good work being done, and the ongoing value added to business overall. It is of great importance therefore to ensure that they receive the right level of acknowledgement, and also that we encourage the extension of this energy into southern Africa and beyond.

PPO’s role in the PMO Awards moving forward will be one of support. We will continue to assist with the award process by creating simpler mechanisms for submissions, leveraging the lessons learnt through this year’s process and offering ongoing coaching and guidance to our PMOs.

We look forward to announcing the winner in February 2021 and sharing more about the journey, capabilities and innovations being led by these phenomenal PMOs so watch this space!”

Interested in joining us next year?

If you want the chance to build a local and global reputation for your organisation’s PMO, benchmark yourself against other South African PMOs or celebrate your journey and recognise your team then submitting your PMO for the 2021 SA PMO Awards is your answer! For more information on the PMO of the Year award submission process, please visit

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Author: Guy Jelley

Guy is one of the founders of PPO and is the company’s CEO. He is very passionate about the Project Management industry, and through this also very driven. Guy is a husband & father of 2, loves jazz, soccer and is a huge Spurs fan.

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