Interview with Heba Al Shehhi


Lessons from an Award-winning Enterprise PMO
During a Global Pandemic

Interview with Heba Al Shehhi

Head of PMO
Dubai Municipality
Dubai, United Arab Emerates

Interviewed by Obi Omoregie
International Correspondent, PM World Journal
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Introduction to the interviewee

Heba Al Shehhi, Head of PMO at Dubai Municipality, is a highly committed leader with an extensive experience in the Government and Technology Sectors, and has proven abilities in PMO, portfolio and project management, business development, and strategy execution. Al Shehhi holds a Master’s degree in Project Management from The British University – UAE, and is CAL, PMP, ACP, TOGAF, ITIL, and Business Agility Assessor Certified from TIBAI.

Heba began her career with Dubai Municipality in 2005 as a technical member in multiple major projects in the Systems Development Section and a member of the PMO at the IT department. She served over 16 years in several professional and leadership roles ranging from heading the PMO Unit at the IT Department in 2009, Head of Application Design and Development Unit in 2011, Head of Application Development Section in 2016, Head of User Support Section in 2017 where she recorded a number of ground-breaking changes in the organization over the years through her mastery in enterprise architecture, IT service management, software development lifecycle and project management, user experience and design.

Throughout her professional career, Al Shehhi has received multiple awards in recognition of her successful leadership such as being member of the team that enabled DM to win the best Innovative entity in 2014, and 2nd Best Government Employee of the Year in the Technical Category in 2018 as part of Dubai Government Excellence Program.

In 2018, Heba lead the establishment of the Enterprise PMO at Dubai Municipality which was tailored for their wide and varied portfolio of businesses and in line with the best portfolio management practices where she managed to raise the organizational maturity significantly within a short period of time.

On the personal level, Heba lives a busy life as a wife, mother and entrepreneur. She volunteers at the Higher College of Technology in Dubai that reviews the curriculum every year to ensure it is in line with business demand, she is a certified personal development coach and guides many students in high school to choose the right major to study. Her hobbies are growing indoor plants and creating pieces of art.

Heba is also the recipient of the 2021 PMO of the Year award, awarded by PMO Global Alliance.


Q1.      Tell us about the transition from a technical role which you played in, to a leadership role in projects, leading an enterprise PMO. How was that transition like?

Heba Al Shehhi:     I think if I can go back in time, it would be about the wisdom of the people who selected me to be in a technical role and at the same time heading a PMO. I was lucky to have had head of departments who appreciated the work I did, who wanted me to go for a technical role and a managerial role, to have this balance of technical and leadership knowledge.

I started in 2005; from the second day I worked at Dubai municipality I was involved in major projects, as a team member learning in the design technical side of things. I was purely learning how project managers were working and then more projects were added and within a few months, a new PMO was established in the Systems Development section, and I joined that team. After a few years an IT PMO was established, for which I was a member of the establishment team, and eventually I headed that PMO.

After that a new head of department suggested we have more senior management roles and I was the head of unit at that time, with major projects executed under my unit, the Application Design and Development unit.

Q2.      On staying with DM (Dubai Municipality)?

Heba Al Shehhi:     I have realized that it’s not about salary, or status or anything like that; it’s about finding your passion, the thing that you are very happy to work for every day. That is the only thing that mattered to me…. And of course working with and building my team (more about that later on).

Q3.      Your PMO journey is one characterized by a structured mentorship program with challenging assignments and roles along the way which you thrived at. In the world of accidental Project and PMO leaders, what would you consider a pathway to a PMO Career?


To read entire interview, click here

How to cite this interview: Omoregie. (2021). Lessons from an Award-winning Enterprise PMO During a Global Pandemic: Interview with Heba Al Shehhi; PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/pmwj113-Jan2022-Omoregie-Interview-with-Heba-Al-Shehhi.pdf

About the Interviewer

Obi Omoregie

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates



Obi OmoregieMSc, PgMP®, PMP®, ACP®, IPMO-E, is an experienced PMO Leader and Program Manager, with more than a decade leading solution delivery in a diverse portfolio of organizations including the Nuclear Industry, Finance, Software and Manpower Services.

Graduating with a computer science degree from the prestigious Covenant University, Nigeria, he kicked off his career at Nigeria’s Leading software house SystemSpecs before exploring opportunities within the UAE. Despite being accredited with multiple PMI® certifications such certified Program Management Professional PgMP®, Project Management Professional® and an Agile certified Practitioner certificate ACP®, Obi maintains the need for individuals to develop and pursue competence over earning certifications.

Obi currently Heads Project Management Competency development at the Middle-East’s First Nuclear Power Plant, Nawah Energy Company, where he leads a multi-national team of certified project professionals in delivering competency-based project management development packages (trainings, mentoring, assessment, governance) that enable a culture of effective project and program delivery enterprise wide.

Obi is an active voice in providing thought leadership through his writings and public speaking sessions within the Project Management Community of Practice in the UAE and across the African continent where he leads a self-initiated coaching program in partnership with PMI® chapters.

When he is not engulfed in projects, you will find Obi in an outdoor physical activity as he frequently engages in hiking, cycling and snowboarding. He recently completed an 11hr, 309km endurance cycling ride across all 7 states in the UAE in a campaign to spread the message of physical fitness.

Obi Omoregie can be contacted at obiomoregie@gmail.com or via his website www.obiomoregie.com