October 2023 saw 250 PMO and PPM professionals come together to learn, share, and grow at Wellingtone’s flagship sellout conference, FuturePMO. Now in its sixth year, the event again upheld its reputation for top-quality speakers, cutting-edge content, entertaining theming, and value-adding networking in an intimate, fun, no-sales environment.

This year, the conference celebrated a new era of space exploration with the theme, ‘PMO: The Final Frontier’, reflecting the PMO’s pioneering role in today’s – and tomorrow’s – world of work. A packed agenda provided plenty of lively presentations and professional guidance to support PMOs as they look to the future of project, programme, and portfolio management (PPM).

Helen Sharman - The First British Astronaut - FuturePMO Astronaut Helen Sharman, CMG OBE, took to the stage with her unique perspective on the role of human endurance, cooperation, and teamwork in navigating the extraordinary challenges of space travel. A pioneer, role model, superb communicator, and world-class inspirational speaker, Helen became the first British Astronaut in May 1991, aged 27, when she spent eight days orbiting the Earth. “Helen is invited to speak worldwide,” Emma Arnaz-Pemberton, Wellingtone’s Director of Consulting, explained. “So, we are fortunate that she chose to accept our invitation today, to share her story, to inspire us to push boundaries, and to take our project management forward to the next frontier.”

Adam Boddison - APM - FuturePMO 2023Also front and centre on the agenda were Abu Ansary and Nikki Lee (UK Space Agency), exploring continuous learning from space exploration; Roberta Borgognoni (Médicins Sans Frontières), with insights into managing projects in extreme environments, and Simon Davis (KBR), sharing his story of successful PMO transformation in the sustainability sector. Presenting for Rolls Royce Aerospace was Alex Darvill, the Association for Project Management (APM)’s Project Professional of the Year 2022. Rose Young, Head of Portfolio Gift, Liz Earle & Botanics at No7 Beauty Company, spoke about her project management journey, which saw her win APM’s Young Project Professional of the Year 2022. “Alex and Rose were powerful spokespeople for the next generation of PMO professionals,” Emma commented. “Their energy was infectious as part of an agenda focused on new ways of working to drive the PMOs of the future.”

On the technology front, Microsoft’s Krishna Iswaran updated updated on the tech giant’s ahead-of-game offerings for PMOs. He showcased how deploying Microsoft Viva Goals alongside the wider Microsoft Platform supports PMOs to ensure alignment between the defined Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and project portfolios. Plus, Wellingtone’s Commercial Director, Baz Khinda, co-hosted a session with Project Specialist Huma Qadri from Microsoft UK. Together, they updated on the latest capabilities from Project for the Web – the light-touch yet powerful PPM platform that transforms PMO portfolio control and visibility.  “As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we are passionate about Microsoft’s continuously evolving Project Platform capabilities,” Baz commented. “In today’s Cloud-based environment, offerings like Viva Goals and Project for the Web are game changers for professional PMOs and ‘accidental project managers’ alike. We are particularly proud of Wellingtone’s Accelerator+ Power App. It transforms Project for the Web into enabling PMOs and project teams to work in a more efficient, joined up way via full Teams integration within their native Microsoft 365 tenants.”

FuturePMO 2023Professional bodies were out in force, too. Representatives from APM and the Project Management Institute (PMI) networked enthusiastically with delegates throughout the event. Wellingtone’s Managing Director, Vince Hines, welcomed APM’s CEO, Professor Adam Boddington OBE, for an engaging ‘fireside chat’: ‘Project Management and PMO Next Frontiers’. “I never cease to be inspired by the hard work, imagination and dedication of the Wellingtone team in delivering FuturePMO,” Vince said. “We made the courageous decision to prioritise an intimate atmosphere over our commercial gain, and it proved wise. Keeping the conference small and without sales allows delegates to unite as a genuine community, exploring the best innovative PMO and PPM practices and sharing their experiences in a safe, supportive environment. And we never stand still. Every year, we push our frontiers with new initiatives and content. This year, for example, we interspersed the main agenda with a bonus, eighteen-minute ‘seminar shorts’ delivered on stage by Wellingtone’s experts. These were filmed live and will be released on demand shortly. FuturePMO is so much more than one day. It has become part of an integrated PMO support and learning eco-system, from our half-day Tech Summits to Dr PMO Clinics. It’s all part of our growth, which anyone can join. I was pleased to close the conference by announcing that, in 2024, we’ll be diving into the ‘World of PMO’, celebrating the PMO’s power to work its magic in a world where change and transformation are key to success. I hope that PMO and PPM professionals will secure their places early and join our FuturePMO Community to seek support, guidance, and new inspiration in the coming year.”

  • FuturePMO 2024 takes place on 3rd October 2024. Delegates are advised to register now to enjoy early bird discounts and guarantee their place. Book your early bird place here.
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Monthly Newsletter

By: Hannah Francis

Hannah Francis

Published: 2 November 2023

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