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Competition Q&A – Rachel WIltshire, Aon

We recently ran a competition on our Future PMO LinkedIn page for the chance to win a ticket to the event.

On May 26th 2017 we held the prize draw and we are delighted to announce that the lucky winner was Rachel Wiltshire, PMO Manager at Aon. We asked her some questions about her own PMO experience and why she wanted to attend Future PMO. Here’s what she had to say.

What is your experience in PMO?
I have worked in PMO for 9 years, mostly for one company in different areas of the business. After a company takeover and ensuing voluntary redundancy, I then contracted for 9 months before recently taking a permanent role again.

How did you get into the field?
By luck! I was working as an Office Manager of 3 estate agents in central London and the housing market fell through the ground in 2008. Unsurprisingly I was made redundant. My friend saw a role for a PMO Administrator in her company and sent me the details. I thought I could do that,  applied through the refer a friend scheme and my soon-to-be Manager decided to take a chance on me. When I first started I remember being so confused by project terms, but slowly and surely I began to find my way. I do remember once googling JFDI (Just Focus and Do It) as I was too embarrassed to ask what it mean.

If you could go back in time and give yourself some PMO advice what would it be?
Network – you are not just there for Project Managers, you need to liaise with every supplier/team that touches a project. Find out who they are – what they do and ask to shadow them if you want to find out more. That way you will get the full project life cycle picture and become the linchpin of the projects.

What’s the biggest challenge your PMO is faced with?
Financial management, resource management and not being seen as an Admin team!

What are the top 3 things your PMO does for your organisation?
Governance, Quality Management and Process Improvement.

Could you please provide a little background in the PMO you are currently connected to (size, scope etc. Whether you are in the PMO or work alongside)
I have been in my current role, as PMO Manager, for just over a month. The Change team have only been together as a central team since the beginning of 2017. The team is lean, made up of  16 resources who between them are responsible for business change within the company.

What are the key challenges for PMOs?
Biggest challenge it not to be seen as an overhead and to actually demonstrate the value of the PMO. Some Executives understand the value PMO’s bring and some struggle to see us more than an admin function.

What do you hope to get out of following us and attending the Future PMO event?
I am looking forward to seeing the speakers and getting some good ideas to takeaway and develop. I look forward to networking, sharing ideas and problems and hopefully coming away with some solutions to problems!

From your perspective, what does the Future PMO look like?
I think PMO’s need to become more flexible. Agile has been the buzz word for a few years now, and I think the PMO needs to be agile in their processes. We should be the go to people for the change teams and lead with hybrid methodologies. We don’t want to be seen as the project police or paper pushes anymore!

If you would like to join Rachel at Future PMO on the 12th September then buy your tickets now. We regularly run competitions over on our Future PMO LinkedIn page too so make sure you’re following to be in with a chance!

“This is a very interesting conference specifically tailored towards PMOs, it provides you with a chance to interact with PMO professionals from so many industries – if you are in a PMO – do not miss it!” Jaguar Landrover

“The last two continue to have been the best conferences I have attended and that its a great opportunity to learn, get tips, get inspired and network.” The University of Edinburgh

“Good conference without people trying to sell you stuff all day or get your contact details to sell you services after!” AON

“Great networking opportunities and interesting speakers, worth attending” Gate One

“FuturePMO is insightful, thought-provoking, fun and well worth attending!” KBR

“FuturePMO was an enjoyable day and great for sharing experiences.” Severn Trent Water

“You must attend the FuturePMO at LEAST once in your life!” Waltham Forest Council

“FuturePMO is a great conference and I look forward to returning each year. It is great for anybody working in a project environment but if you work for or within a PMO then it is a must-attend event.” JD Sports

“A great interactive conference, relevant to anyone working within a PMO or looking to set one up.” Victrex

“For a truly inspiring, involving and invigorating PMO experience, attend FuturePMO 2018!” University of Cambridge

“The 2017 event was exceptional – enjoyable and thought-provoking. Well worth the time investment.” Kings College London

“It’s a fun and informative event run by experts who are serious about PMOs.” South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

“It was really good to have an event purely focused on PMO. The structure of the day worked well and the length of sessions were good.” Yorkshire Water

“Overall there was a very good balance of plenary presentations, workshops, networking, and a well engaged set of attendees.” BOC

“FuturePMO is the best conference I’ve been to, you should definitely book yourself a ticket!” Compass Group