Innovative PMO Manager Award – Winner

Award Winner
John Donohoe
Director, PMO and Change Management
Project Name
Star Alliance Project Management Office
Project Details

Enterprise PMO provides portfolio management and project management services to all Star Alliance business units. The PMO has a team of dedicated project managers, all PMP certified. Project durations are typically between 6 -18 months, and usually range from supporting large airport facility projects, to building an IT hub, to providing API’s for member carriers to improve digital experiences for travelers. Annually, the PMO manages approximately 15-20 programs and projects. Key stakeholders include Star Alliance product owners such as the Customer Experience department and other supporting business units such as IT, Digital Department, Legal, etc. Project teams are made up of members from the 28 Star Alliance global airlines plus third-party suppliers.

PMO strategic objective: Improve strategy execution by providing a portfolio management framework for selecting projects aligned to strategic objectives, and project managers who execute projects knowing and constantly aligning to the expected strategic value of their projects throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Innovation Areas
Strategic Alignment Management
Innovation Description

Projects and programs are primary tools for strategy execution. Yet the ability to successfully execute often falls short, creating a gap between strategy and execution.

The Star Alliance PMO addressed the strategy execution gap by incorporating strategic portfolio Prioritization metrics into every project, which is a unique unconventional approach in project execution. This provides a direct link between project and strategic objectives. Every project charter includes the strategic prioritization metrics along with the positive impact the project makes to airline customers around the world.

Knowing the link of the project to the strategic contribution (the big picture) plus keeping in mind the positive contribution of project outcomes on people’s lives resulted in many benefits. Primarily improved strategic alignment and execution with reduced project failure rates, increased project performance and benefits realization and a much greater sense of purpose and motivation across all project teams by understanding how their project contributes to the ‘bigger picture’ and the positive contributions of their projects.