Submissions open for the 2020 South African PMO Award

Project Portfolio Office, a solution provider that helps organisations achieve greater project success, has announced that it will be managing the South African Project Management Office (PMO) Awards for 2020 and beyond.

What are the South African PMO Awards?

It’s an annual competition managed to identify and recognise PMOs in South Africa that are delivering value to their organisations. The winners get to suit up and tango with the best on the global stage through the annual PMO Global Awards. This is the world’s largest professional award for PMOs, their organisations, and leaders. Organisation are evaluated by both local and international judges, all highly qualified professionals, carefully selected from different industries and sectors

Project Portfolio Office’s role in the PMO Awards moving forward will be one of support; the company will be assisting with the award process, creating a simpler mechanism for submissions, putting the local judging panel in place and coaching and guiding PMOs through the process.

According to Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office, local PMOs labour under the misconception that they are lagging behind international organisations, but this is not the case. “Our African PMOs are just as good – if often not better – than their global counterparts, our results in the last 3 years at the Global Awards have shown this. This sentiment is also borne out in the results of the first South African PMO Insights Report, released in 2019, which found that organisations are seeing real value from their investments in improving portfolio and project management (PPM) practices. We’ve also dramatically simplified the process and effort required from PMOs to enter this year, to encourage more submissions.”

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 the PMO of the Year award was officially introduced to the local market after the STANLIB Group Investment Platform programme’s PMO INN8 excelled at the global awards held in London in 2017.

“The following year was won by Cummins Africa Middle East. The winners of the South African title are then entered for the PMO Global Awards, which are hosted by PMO Global Alliance, and feedback from our international administrators is that they have been impressed thus far.”

The global awards, says Worsley, are run like a football match, where competitors from Europe, Africa, Asia and North America are knocked out over various ‘heats’, starting from March 2020. The final ceremony is then traditionally held in London in October.

“The winner of the 2019 South African PMO Awards, Shoprite, was entered for the global PMO of the Year award in 2020 and have already beaten all other African countries to be named the 2020 Africa PMO of the Year, we’re eagerly awaiting the final global winners.”

The decision to enter was an easy one and made with the view of its submission being another step to consistently working on the PMO’s maturity, explains Benio Franceschi, IT Portfolio Management Office (PMO) manager at the Shoprite Group. “The process of entering for the PMO Award was easy and informative, with clear criteria and guidelines. It gave us an excellent opportunity to benchmark ourselves against other local PMOs, looking at trends and lessons learned, identifying gaps, seeing what other companies are doing right, and comparing other PMOs’ practices and standards with our own.

“It allowed for reflection on our journey, and how the PMO has matured since its inception in 2014 to now. The submission was also a good exercise in terms of collaboration, and provided us with the chance to present what our PMO does, and what is has achieved, to the business at large.”

“We would certainly encourage smaller and less mature PMOs to enter, not only because feedback received from the PMO Award judges is extremely valuable, but also because it allows you to take stock of your PMO journey. Winning this was award was a real highlight for Shoprite.”

The 2019 South African runner-up, Mediclinic Southern Africa, agrees. “Putting your award presentation together might seem like a daunting process, but it’s totally worth it,” states Mediclinic South Africa enterprise project office manager, Michael Reynders. “The Mediclinic team is relatively small, with 12 team members including contractual staff and business analysts, and we can attest to the fact that it doesn’t matter what the size or complexity of your PMO is, you’re really measured on how your service offering has been tailored for the organisation.

“The type of recognition offered through the PMO Award is a serious motivator, as it elevates the status of the PMO within the business. For Mediclinic, our management has been very congratulatory, with specific recognition received from the CEO.

“A real take-away was that the process of putting the submission together was very cathartic. Not only was it a collaborative team effort, with a positive effect on our cohesion, it furthermore shed light on the next step in our PMO roadmap,” Reynders adds.

“It has been heartening to hear such positivity from local entrants, and we’re looking forward to seeing more African companies taking us on the journey of their PMO, and gaining the value that this process has to offer,” Worsley concludes.

Your chance to build a local and global reputation for your organisation’s PMO has finally arrived! Start the journey by making your submission before 30 September 2020. For more information on the PMO of the Year award submission process, or to nominate a PMO, please visit

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