UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for September, 2014

Just What is a Strategic PMO?

Written by Paul Rosien on September 29th, 2014 at 7:26 am

UMT360’s recent webinar schedule has focused on enabling PMOs to be strategic. Great topics, with some world-class PMO professionals including Learning How to Establish a Strategic PMO with Carl Souchereau from SNC Lavalin T&D, and Changing the PMO Status Quo with Frank La Rocca from ConEd. In fact, we’ve seen so much interest in the Strategic PMO idea that we’ve created a local breakfast series, starting initially in Chicago and Houston.

But we also thought it would be good to step back and define just what makes up a strategic PMO. We reached out to some industry folks to get their views, and one response stood out in particular. Andy Jordan is the president at Roffensian Consulting, and has over 20 years within the portfolio, program, project and PMO space. Andy’s response aligned very closely with our view, and so we thought we’d let Andy share directly! You can reach Andy at, and we thank him in advance for the guest post! – Paul

Just What is a Strategic PMO?

By Andy Jordan

In the last few years PMOs have been asked to take on much more ‘business critical’ functions. Some have embraced this opportunity, some have not. The idea of a project focused central services style PMO (people, process, tools, training) is rapidly losing favour because it is not delivering business results. Instead, the idea of a PMO more aligned with the business is gaining traction, and that is what PMOs should always have been. A Strategic PMO is a project centric business department and should be structured and managed in the same way as other business departments – goals and objectives set by enterprise leadership that help the organization as a whole succeed. That’s what we expect for sales, or operations, or fill in the blank other department, and that’s what we should expect of PMOs.

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Cumulative Update 5 (CU5) for UMT Project Essentials 2012

Written by Alexandra Schiopu on September 19th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

We are pleased to announce the release of the UMT Project Essentials 2012 Cumulative Update 5 (CU5). UMT strongly recommends that you test this in a non-production environment first before applying the fix live in production.

Here’s the list of fixes and improvements addressed:

  • Performance and Reliability
    • Running multiple queue services on the same farm is now fully supported
    • Improved queue reliability with jobs running indefinitely (not completing)
    • Addressed reliability issues with Data Import sessions running concurrently
    • Improved performance for the Financial Approval Settings page
    • Addressed reliability of the financial grids when using copy-paste from Excel or other data sources
    • Addresses issued with Change Requests not being created after applying the Microsoft Windows KB2894844 patch
  • API
    • Exposing a new method for programmatically redistributing financial values after changing the start or end dates (RedistributeFinancialValues)
  • Other Fixes and Improvements
    • Addressed issues with email notifications for financial approvals (for Actuals) not being sent
    •  Improved reliability of email notifications not being sent when users have special characters in their names (semicolon etc.)
    • Added the ability to select alignment for values displayed in the financial grids, with right-align as the default option
    • Fixed inconsistencies with selection of cost centers that include values
    • Added the ability to push-refresh values for mapped custom field
    • Addressed cases where financial values are not properly maintained when synchronizing data from Project Server Schedules or Resource Plan

Visit the version history page for version details.

Customers and Partners can download CU5 via the online portals on

Calling All Strategic PMOs (And Those Looking to Become One)

Written by Paul Rosien on September 8th, 2014 at 8:14 am

Back in July, we ran a successful webinar discussing what it takes to create a strategic PMO. The webcast, led by Carl Souchereau, formerly of TransAlta and now Project Director at SNC Lavalin, provided practical advice around mastering the important yet tactical aspects of project management as well as taking strategic responsibility for managing the investment decisions for the portfolio. (If you missed the webcast, it is archived here.)

Because interest in the webinar was so strong, we wanted to extend the conversation and have created the UMT360 Strategic PMO Breakfast Series. We’re fortunate in that Carl has signed on to present his wisdom again, but we’ll also take some time to look at the latest product developments that help the Strategic PMO fulfill the vision Carl will present, including:

  • Integrating investment planning and controls across the PPM life-cycle that result in optimized spend and maximized ROI
  • Streamlining capital planning and building stronger business cases
  • Automating financial tracking and variance analysis to enable dynamic planning
  • Establishing a benefits realization framework to measure results

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