29 October 2019


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Back in the summer of 2019 I received an invitation from Americo Pinto, Chair of the PMO Global Alliance, to attend a one-off session he would be running in central London after the annual awards ceremony.

It was pitched as an opportunity to provide feedback on the PMO Value Ring (PMO-CP) certification, and included the option to take the exam to achieve practitioner accreditation if I so wished.

Having been curious about the approach for some time, I duly signed up – and on Friday 18th October travelled up to the offices of our very kind hosts Linklaters LLC to join a truly international group of fellow PMO professionals who were also participating.

For those not familiar with the PMO Value Ring, this is how the website describes the certification in its own words;

The PMO VALUE RING CERTIFIED PRACTITIONER certification aims to ensure that the certified professional has full mastery of the essential concepts of the methodology, as well as the basic techniques for the definition of application strategies, use of the method, analysis of results, decision making, and definition of solutions.

The professional will be aligned with the best practices for PMOs, and fully trained in the methodology, making it possible to use them on a daily basis.

I hesitate to describe it as a “methodology” in the style of something like Axelos’ PRINCE2 – it’s more a very thorough benchmarking exercise, where the configuration of the new or existing PMO is measured against a database compiled using the valuable contributions of experienced PMO professionals from across the global community. It is however very methodical in its approach, as illustrated on the PMO Value Ring website.

I would also say that the certification is definitely not aimed at those without the experience of either setting up or leading a PMO, or who do not typically have access to those at the senior level of an organisation.

The approach depends very much on being able to ask those stakeholders questions designed to identify the perceived value generated from the services provided by a PMO function.

Unlike many one day courses I’ve been on, practical exercises did not really feature and it was very much a day of the instructor talking and the audience listening – but I assume this is what makes the PMO-CP suitable for self-study, as the supporting course materials are usually accessed online before taking a proctored examination via a dedicated platform.

That said, I found huge value in the anecdotes that Americo shared about the journey towards creating the PMO Value Ring approach – which began with his PMO Maturity Cube research in 2010 – and the feedback he shared that has been received from other practitioners during his travels worldwide. It also afforded a rare opportunity for us all to pose questions directly to him, which he graciously fielded after a busy week in the UK.

I’m pleased to report that I passed the exam at the end of the day, and have added the PMO-CP to my collection of PMO professional certifications.  I can definitely see myself applying the approach in future engagements, and I look forward to contributing to the growing database of global PMO experience.