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South African 2018/19 PMO Awards Winners Announced

Friday, 07 December 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Taryn van Olden
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Project Management South Africa (PMSA) is delighted to announce the conclusion of the first annual South African Project Management Office (PMO) Awards, with the announcement of Cummins Africa Middle East as the winner, and Sanlam GTI the runner up.

The PMSA PMO Awards were introduced earlier this year to recognise excellence at a local level, with a winner that could be nominated into the global PMO Awards, an international contest hosted by the PMO Global Alliance.

The call for nominations in South Africa resulted in seven entries, of which six proceeded to the second evaluation. Two finalists were selected after a local adjudication and these finalists were then evaluated by three international judges, to arrive at an ultimate winner.

The announcement was made at the PMSA National Conference Awards Dinner on 15 November 2018, by head of the adjudication committee, Louise Worsley. The evening event was sponsored by information and communication technology powerhouse, NEC XON, represented by their PMO Head, Dayleen Goodman-Lahti who says, “It is important for PMOs to showcase excellence, particularly since PMO teams are fundamentally drivers of project fulfilment. One can only say projects have been fulfilled when they demonstrate project success, and these ‘success projects’ are usually the result of projects or programmes that from start to finish have followed PMO practices within an organisation.”

According to PMSA CEO, Taryn van Olden, “We appreciate the opportunity to provide a platform for recognition of the mature, innovative and value-adding practices of project management offices in South Africa. Our entrants reflected a diversity of industries in which the PMO structure is delivering business value. As always, I am proud that PMSA, as the autonomous, locally recognised professional body for project managers across industries, is in a position to showcase the quality of work and excellence of practices grown and applied in our country. The standard of practice in South Africa is world class and the feedback from judges in this year’s contest bears testimony to this.”

In her message of congratulations to the finalists, Louise Worsley, who herself serves on the judging panel for the PMO Global Alliance, made reference to feedback from the members of the international judging panel, one of whom said, “… I want to say I did expect strong applications, but one of them was mind-blowing! Thank you for making me a part of your team.”

Dayleen Goodman-Lahti reflects on the contribution the lessons imparted by successful PMOs make for companies in Africa, “One of the main challenges maturing project management offices (PMO) will encounter is the need to adapt to market and internal forces, be flexible in how they respond to the changes, and move quickly to counter the challenges. And we absolutely must mature in a brave new world of digitalisation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the Internet of threats if we are to help our organisations innovate the solutions that will meet tomorrow’s challenges.

“Some of the challenges we face as PMOs is adaptability of processes as technologies grows. They need to be tailored to the needs of each business unit as they grapple with increasingly complex solutions, increasingly complex environments, increasingly complex legislation, and a diversity of challenges, cultures, and technologies.”

Goodman-Lahti observes that traditional governance processes and PM systems, tools, and templates tend to interrupt innovation. To be successful, PMOs must prove their value by helping businesses and organisations innovate and that can only be done through tailored PM processes and frameworks that harness the diversity of an organisation’s strengths, those of the departments and businesses served, and collaborate for value that creates ongoing market symbiosis with customers.

Not only does the awards programme offer recognition, but also valuable feedback and insights from the thought leaders making the adjudication, who are hand-picked for their prominence in the PMO space in their respective industries and countries.

With an established process now in place, entries for the 2019/20 South African PMO Awards will be opened earlier, affording a longer lead time to collate entries.

Aspiring PMOs are encouraged to register their interest by completing this form:


Pictured top to bottom:

1) The winning team from Cummins Africa Middle East. From left are Avonisha Parsotham (PMO Head), Eileen Marx, Manatsa Rushika and Khumo Kgositau

2) Head of the adjudication committee, Louise Worsley

3) Marion Baxter representing runner-up, Sanlam, and Lisa Stone (Sanlam) and Dayleen Goodman-Lahti in the background.



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