The Impossible PMO™: Lessons Learned from Running an All-Volunteer PMO

The Impossible PMO™: Lessons Learned from Running an All-Volunteer PMO


Laura Barnard, PMP


PMO Strategies

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Event Date: 
Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 11:30am - 1:30pm
Event Location: 
Greensboro Station Conference Center, Curie and Drew Conference Rooms
1710 SAIC Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102
Agenda and Cost: 

This session is free of charge. Pre-registration is required.

About the Presentation

The Project Management Day of Service™ took on the monumental task of changing the perception of the Project Management profession by asking “What’s next for Project Managers?” Wanting more for the profession, this group believed that Project Management deserved to sit among the industries called upon to provide pro bono services to the community.

How do you build an organization and create endless enthusiasm with a group of volunteers trying to do something that has never been done before? Internationally recognized as an unprecedented event to bring together hundreds of nonprofits and project managers from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, the PMDoS™ was an idea aimed at raising the profile of the project management profession, while serving those organizations that work tirelessly to make a difference in our community.

Our speaker, Laura Barnard, PMP, a long time veteran in the PMI community, with a long track record of building PMOs in this region was faced with a challenge she had never seen. How do you take an idea, no…a dream, and make it a reality with no initial budget, no resources, but a lot of passion?

Our journey begins with a simple conversation and ends with a record-setting event that changed the project management profession. We will explore the challenges, tribulations and energy building excitement created in the region and what it took to build and run an all-volunteer PMO of over 40 passionate individuals that believed we could do more.

Special Instructions: 


In Tysons Corner, entries into parking from Hwy 7, near intersections of Westpark Drive or Greensboro Drive. Photo ID is required. Conference center can be directly and quickly accessed from the Metro's (Silver Line) Greensboro Station stop. Covered garage parking will NOT be validated as before, but parking is free in the above ground parking lot next to the building marked as 'Event Parking.'
PDUs Available: 
1 PDU for Certified PMs

Event Keywords

Soft Skills


Effective communication, in general: audience, media / message, attention vs. "noise", etc.


Managing diverse teams: effects of culture, generation, gender, etc., on management / communication needs

Team Building

Techniques for building trust, team identification, common purpose, etc.

About the Speaker

Laura Barnard, PMP

PMO Strategies

Laura, Founder and CEO of PMO Strategies, has spent more than 20 years creating impactful and sustainable change for a broad range of organizations, from nonprofits to global financial institutions. She combines her deep experience in the PMO and Change Management space with her passion for helping people create effective and sustainable change to transform how organizations realize business strategy. She shares her experience and stories in her blog titled, “I wish I had me when I was you...”

Laura believes that Project Managers are uniquely positioned to assist nonprofit organizations in having a greater impact in the local community. She is the Founder and President of Project Management for Change™, a nonprofit organization


Risk Management and the PMO


Most project managers understand the basics of managing project-level risks, using the tried-and-true risk matrix that prioritizes risks according to probability and impact, so that we can then work risk management strategies. If this is done well on each project, it might be tempting to conclude that our risk management job is done. But is it? Are we leaving ourselves open to broader risk exposure by looking at each project on its own?

About the Tyson's Corner Luncheons

PMIWDC holds free monthly luncheon meetings in Tyson's Corner, hosted by SAIC Corporation.

Bring your lunch, or visit the onsite cafeteria. PDU credits are be available for Project Management Professionals (PMPs).

Membership in PMI is not required, but all guests should pre-register to attend. Due to security requirements at the facility, guests who are not U.S. citizens are asked to request an escort by checking the appropriate field in the registration form.