Dec 18, 2017

Trends in Project Management: An Interview with Bruce Miller

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin | 0 Comments

" ... project management now is in a more strategic and business-focused role."

Bruce Miller rejoined PM Solutions/PM College as our President in early November and jumped right into the fray by attending the PMO Symposium. We caught up with him by phone to ask him if there were any surprises there for someone who had stepped away from working in the project management consulting field for a few years.

Miller: I’m excited to be back and lead the company. My previous work with Xavier University was with their leadership programs, which involved some aspects of project management, but the focus was broader and included leadership, change, culture, strategy and innovation. I wasn’t as engaged with PMI, and wasn’t seeing the global picture. So, at the Symposium, it was exciting to see the advancement and maturity of the PMOs. There are so many sophisticated PMOs in the corporate world, taking responsibility for more strategic work. The keynotes were more about innovation, agility, change, and customer satisfaction … that in itself tells you that project management now is in a more strategic and business-focused role.

But there are still constraints on the success rate when an EPMO does not perform up to expectations. It seems that many organizations are not successful with EPMO rollout.

Cabanis-Brewin: How much of that is due to lack of performance measurement, with no baseline pre-EPMO to compare results with, though?

Miller: That is certainly a factor, and one of the things PM Solutions excels at is helping companies to benchmark maturity and value, and then rebenchmark how maturity has advanced.

Cabanis-Brewin: Were you surprised at the diversity of the attendees at the conference?

Miller: Yes, pleasantly surprised: I saw a greater diversity of industries, more government, more healthcare, and also more international professionals. I see that as a sign of the reach and penetration of project management across cultures and industries.

I’m really happy about the cross-industry perspective. I’ve seen a heavy adoption of project management across insurance and finance and utilities. And the emergence of health care as an application area. It’s not as mature but there’s a lot of emphasis. I met many PMO directors within the healthcare space. And, of course, the PMO of the year winner was a Canadian health care firm. We took a field trip to a health care provider in Houston who talked about how they rallied the troops to respond to Hurricane Harvey.

Not only at the Symposium, but I have been traveling around and meeting with clients for several weeks, several of whom were health care firms trying to expand their project management functions and expertise. I missed this while I was working for Xavier! Now I am remembering how much I liked being out in the field, meeting with clients, understanding their issues and environment.

Another topic in same vein is that I am seeing much more competency demonstrated by seasoned project managers. Today there is a fair amount of investment by organizations in improving the skills of their project managers. Plus, PMI has placed more emphasis on the soft skills, and there is a high demand for that from the project managers themselves. There is a gap and a hunger for rounding out those skills.


(1 votes. Average: 5.0 out of 5)


No comments yet. Be the first one!

Leave a Comment

search blog:

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Most Recent Posts
Blog Authors

view all authors

Blog Archives

Other project management blog sources: