Bottoms Up! Our PMO to SRO Journey



By Sue Severns

North Texas, USA


A PMO Director without a PMO. That was the situation a year ago. I posted on LinkedIn and one of my connections said he would help me find another job. He missed the point! We realized our vision. “How?” you might ask. Let’s talk about the PMO (Program Management Office) to SRO (Strategic Realization Office) journey at Inspirus.

Inspirus hired me to implement a PMO three years ago. At the time, Inspirus was implementing agile software development practices. The 3 Ps of project management – Project, Program, and Portfolio – were the next set of practices to implement. My evaluation started with what existed, who was doing what, and what was needed. In an organization of one hundred people that means people are wearing many hats. Implementing a traditional PMO that was top-down and governance-based didn’t fit. My answer was to try a bottom-up PMO as it fits this situation.

The PMO was launched with one PM (me!) instructing the organization on how to manage projects using tools, processes, and techniques. Then a suggestion was made by the very people I trained to evolve the PMO into the Process Center. We evolved yet again this year to the Strategic Realization Office (SRO) working with the C-suite and V-suite. We are defining processes to align strategic planning with agile software development. Learn about our successes and challenges, and how you may apply these to your organization.

Remember this Bottoms Up is not a drinking game! We will be sharing experiences!

Learning Objectives:

    • Understand what a bottom-up PMO is and how it is different from a top-down PMO
    • Explain the functions of a PMO, Process Center, and Strategic Realization Office
    • Learn techniques to plan strategically in an agile software development company

About Inspirus

Employees play a large part in defining a company’s culture: their everyday experiences create the foundational structure that drives an organization to be strong, high-performing, and ultimately successful. Inspirus helps organizations harness the power of their greatest resource — their people — ensuring they feel valued and connected, fostering greater loyalty, performance, productivity and success. Through a SaaS-based technology platform and the support of tenured customer success experts, Inspirus’ recognition, communication, and community building solutions foster engagement to help workplace culture evolve and thrive.  For more information: www.inspirus.com

Inspirus is a Pluxee company.


Our PMO to SRO Journey has taken place over the last three (3) years. When I started three years ago there was no Project Management Office (PMO) or project governance. I interviewed key stakeholders to gather the current state and requirements. With only one hundred employees, it is fair to say that each person performs multiple roles. The Scrum teams have shared resources and they are not dedicated to one product. The people managing projects had processes that were repeatedly used but without an emphasis on process effectiveness and efficiency.


To read entire paper, click here

Editor’s note: This paper was originally presented at the 15th UT Dallas PM Symposium in May 2023.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Severns, S. (2023). Bottoms Up! Our PMO to SRO Journey; presented at the 15th University of Texas at Dallas Project Management Symposium in Richardson, TX, USA in May 2023; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue XII, December. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/pmwj136-Dec2023-Severns-Bottoms-Up-Our-PMO-to-SRO-Journey.pdf

About the Author

Sue Severns

North Texas, USA


Sue Severns, PMP, is Senior Director of the Strategic Realization Office at Inspirus. Sue is a resolute and proven leader who combines a strong work ethic along with creativity, exceptional critical thinking skills, and over 30 years of experience to deliver value to the customer. Sue has a technical background including experience at Hewlett Packard, Perot Systems, Dell Services (acquired by NTT DATA), and Unisys. Sue motivates agile teams to deliver exceptional quality, while keeping stakeholders engaged and informed. Sue is responsible at Inspirus for driving standards, executing projects, and achieving organizational excellence with respect to Inspirus’ strategic initiative delivery. She can be contacted at sue.severns@sodexo.com