The best PMO in the world - an interview


An interview with the best PMO in the World!In 2023, the PMO Global Alliance PMO awards were hosted by Americo Pinto in Paris. I was there, in person, to see my friend Heba Al Shehhi, head of PMO for the Dubai Municipality, win the gong (congratulations!)

So, of course, it was natural for me to invite her to do a webinar in order to see what it is that enables her PMO to help deliver the strategy of Dubai so effectively. With her unique blend of generosity and humility, she agreed and the video at the bottom of this page is the result.

We heard about Heba's journey from section lead in IT to The Best PMO In The World (she hates me doing that... <g>). There were several real jewels of "good practice" that came out of the discussion;

  • It starts with executive sponsorship. You have to talk to the leadership, listen to the leadership and help them understand what's in it for them. Then you have to deliver quick wins to build trust... and don't ever stop this communication / value-delivery process.
  • Project prioritization is the foundation of building a PMO that delivers strategic value. You have to have a process to align investments and resources with your strategy and that means you need a proper decision-making forum and a good process. I'm biased, of course, because this is the heart of our company and what we do, but I couldn't agree more with Heba on this point. If you want to learn how to do project prioritization properly, download our Ultimate Guide to Project Prioritization.
  • Good data matters. Whether it's about strategic alignment or project performance, it's all data driven. What's key is that the right data goes to the right person - I was really struck with how Heba has a dashboard for everything.
  • I left the best 'til last. A good PMO is all about the people. Picking good people, people who complement each other, building a culture and spirit of "can do," nurturing and helping people achieve their goals... to me, knowing Heba, I believe this is her special sauce. Lots of PMOs put in place processes and tools, but forget about the people.

This summary can never do justice to the knowledge, wisdom and humility that comes across in this interview. My goal in writing it down is to encourage you to spend an hour (~40 minutes on 1.5x speed) to listen to the interview.

And if you do, and you want to follow the links mentioned in the video, here they are;