Tatra Banka - Europe's PMO of the Year Finalist

This month we asked Lubos Praznovsky who is Head of Project Management at Tatra Banka to give us an overview of their PMO and how his team won Europe’s PMO of the Year in the PMO Global Awards 2018.

PMO people like detail so we thought we would start with an overview of the Tatra Banka PMO.

“Our PMO was established in 2005, when Tatra banka, a member of Raiffeisen Bank International, reached more than 3000 employees. Today, our bank has more than 3500 employees, more than 160 branches, has almost 800.000 clients, and is seen as the leading innovative bank in central and eastern Europe.  In our Project management department team, we have 15 members, covering PMO functions and project delivery; with 10 full time project managers. We are a mix of former B-1/B-2 managers, former project managers and IT project managers, relationship managers, PMO specialist, Risk analytics, HR specialists, IT Operations and IT Development, Process management and IT software testing managers.

We are providing support to the organisation by operating  as a partner of the Management Board in achieving the banks strategical goals. We manage a portfolio of approximately 20 concurrently running projects within a yearly budget of 15 million Euros including internal IT effort. As an enterprise PMO, we are dedicated to serving the whole company covering IT, business, organisational, regulatory or innovation changes.

We help Tatra banka to pursue our vision – to become the 1st in all segments we serve through exceptional project delivery.”

The PMO has achieved some amazing things since its inception so Lubos told us what they are most proud of.

“Definitely becoming Europe’s Best PMO in 2018!

But we usually do not think of our achievements. We immediately look into the future, the next improvement, and next work assignments. To maximize performance, once we deliver a project, we already have initiation works for other projects happening. Going the extra mile and achieving alignment is crucial to delivering exceptional results, and this is why we have achieved long-term success in portfolio management – by putting 5 litres into 1 litre bottle so that our bank reaches its expected business results. Be it net profit, cost income ratio or innovative leadership recognition.”

Running an enterprise portfolio office, it cannot always be plain sailing so we spoke to Lubos about the challenges that the team has had to overcome.

“Over the last years in the EU, the banking industry is vastly affected by legal changes. With almost 60% of legal projects needed, we were hardly able to invest in innovation and revenue growth projects.

Heavy regulatory hit our portfolio planning capabilities as well and made us re-think the way we plan projects. This is why we changed our yearly planning process to a rolling approach at the end of 2016.

We are still refining the ongoing process as it is not fully embedded, but we could see the results (particularly) in flexibility – we have the right amount of resources for new projects and we can decide in the when the time is right who will do what with up-to-date information.”

“This is the first year of the PMO Global Alliance Awards and for the team I was a surprise to be nominated by their representative in the nominating committee.

We have never participated in such competitions and would not proactively seek do so. We have just enough of work, and we needed a really big challenge for another extra effort. But being representative of our country? That was the challenge we chose to take on.”

For others thinking of getting involved next year, we asked Lubos for some inspirational advice.

“I would advise other PMOs to join communities to exchanges with their peers.  And to be open to your peers. If you are open, they will share in discussions too. Be a partner and give first, only then you can both get real value. Be aware of company culture differences, because if something works there, it might not work for you.

For example, we have this opportunity to openly exchange our experiences within our Raiffeisen Bank International group. Our Group PMO organises a PMO Summit twice a year to regularly discuss PMO topics within network units of RBI.

As a local PMO we also offer reference visits for other network banks to share ideas and get feedback. As a PMO, you need to be an example of change adoption and improvements implementation. And you need to have the courage to drive or at least help the identified improvements and changes within your company.”  

The Global PMO of the Year will be announced at FuturePMO on 4th October in London.

At the conference Ľuboš Práznovský will be presenting more about their story and how you can incorporate some of their successes into your day to day. He will also be supported by his team members; Kristína Poláková, Janka Škovirová and Róbert Vokál

You can learn more about the PMO Global Awards HERE.

Book your tickets to hear from the best PMOs in the world now!