The Wellingtone PMO Leader course, recently Accredited by the Association for Project Management; the Chartered body for the project profession, is something I’m really proud to have co-created.

After all, it’s not everyday that a course revolutionises the way PMO professionals learn.

Bold statement, I’m aware but my claim is not without support.

Let me introduce you to the powerful world of Project-Based Learning, the learning approach used by the course.

How to prepare PMO Leaders for a VUCA world?

While the world around us continues to change, the learning and development arena hasn’t changed that much, at least when it comes to project management, I argue.

Think about it. Sure, we have e-learning and for a while MOOC was popular, we have a variety of courses and some of them are actually good fun such as Lego Serious Play or Management 3.0.

However, with a very few exceptions (e.g. IPMA), most project management certifications are still based in the old, paper-based, multiple choice assessment approach.

Of course, it is one of the simplest ways of assessing if delegates made sense of the course content but, at the same time, very often it simply rewards individuals with good memory, makes everyone stressed and too focused in just passing the assessment and it doesn’t tell us anything of what happens after one gets the certificate at the end.

If you do it, do it with impact

We need new ways of learning. Learning that is competence-based and where return on investment/development exists and is quickly noticed. Almost as going to the gym. You don’t go to the gym just to say that you’ve been to the gym (unless your name is Marisa Silva); you go because you want to see the impact of your effort and, ideally, you want that impact to sustain overtime and not simply go away the moment summer holidays starts (unless, again, your name is Marisa Silva).

We need learning with a real impact.

It is no chance that my tagline reads “making PMOs critical to business”.

Impact, whether in the way PMOs operate, the way they contribute to the organisational vision, or in the way PMO practitioners learn, is a key concept to me and one of my work motto – leading with impact and passion.

That’s also the reason why I like the idea of Project Based Learning so much and why we at Wellingtone decided to base our PMO Leader course in this demanding but very rewarding pedagogical approach.

Supported by the principles of Critical Thinking and Reflective Practice, this makes it, to my knowledge, the first of its kind, designed with impact at the heart to ensure that your PMO and organisation get solid return on an investment in training while you also have a fantastic learning experience. It is only when you think of impact, that you can prepare for the future.

Training. But Not As You Not Know It.

Right, but what is Project Based Learning?, I hear you ask.

We want you to enjoy our training courses, obviously.

We love when you say lovely words about us in the feedback forms, it makes us smile.

But that is not enough. What really leaves us over the moon and with a rewarding feeling that lasts forever is when you go back to your workplace and implement all the great stuff we share during the course (that portfolio prioritisation model, the resource management heatmap, a knowledge management system, or finally start taking benefits realisation seriously).

We care about impact. And you should too.

Project Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching method in which delegates ‘gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.’ (

No, there are no written or multiple-choice assessments in the PMO Leader course. We trust you have a great memory that doesn’t require proving. Don’t just tell us that you have learned; show us.

The PMO Leader course is not just a 3-days course, it is not your typical training, and I’m really proud of it. Because it is based in PBL, it demands commitment and delegates need to use critical thinking, problem solving and consulting skills, collaboration, and various forms of communication to create high-quality work that will be used by their PMO and organisation, based on a real problem.

This approach addresses one of the key shortcomings of traditional training and follows the Kirkpatrick model of evaluation, which goes beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge towards the magic word of this article: you got it, IMPACT.

Kirkpatrick Model of Evaluation
But what makes it powerful and supports the idea of PBL nicely is that delegates are not alone in their journey: while working on their problem, delegates have mentoring sessions for 2 months. How cool is that?

Fortunately, I had the luck (Lucky PM!) of having been mentored by best-in-class professionals when I started but I appreciate that not everyone is as lucky.

During that period, the mentors are someone to exchange ideas with, guide them in the right direction, act as a sounding board, re-assurance, or simply to ensure that they are still focused and accountable for creating impact (one of the delegates from the pilot course, with a smile on her face, even referred to it as “those bloody Friday calls!”).

Think of it as a free advisory service – yes, we are that interested in your success!

We want to be part of your story and help you build a legacy with a training course that tackles real issues and provides undeniable return on your investment.

OK, we cannot change the world in just 2 months (I tried once) but great journeys start with little steps, small achievements. That’s what the PMO Leader course aims to do – to make your PMO critical to your business.

We are pushing the boundaries of how PMO professionals learn.

Are you ready to be part of the revolution? Find out more about our PMO Leader course or get in touch to discuss more.

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By: Marisa Silva (The Lucky PM)

Marisa Silva (The Lucky PM)
PPM specialist with extensive experience in industry with a focus on collaboration, PMO conception & strategy, method and capability development. Marisa also retains depth expertise in Microsoft PPM having led a large number of client deployments.
Categories: Consulting, PMO, Training

Published: 13 November 2019

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