By Kashif Choudry

The May PMI Atlanta Governance Forum hosted Magaline Harvey, PMP. Magaline is an accomplished Project Management Consultant who leads Training and Mentoring in her role as VP of ACS Professional. Magaline did a fantastic job in taking a governance topic “Do’s and Don’ts for new PMOs” and making it easy to understand and digest for the audience members, even those that aren’t currently in a Governance role.


If you are starting a PMO, or a program governance body, what are the key success factors to keep in mind? Magaline made note of the following:

  • Executive Buy-In (this is paramount)
  • Defining Strategy
  • Where does PMO Fit within Big Picture
  • Operational Level Agreements / Service Level Agreements and Mapping
  • Management By Objectives

As far as definition of the strategy, one of the key messages is that you need to build a “Leadership Culture” rather than a “Management Culture”. The leadership culture encourages innovation, growth, and fulfillment of potential. To illustrate this idea, Magaline presented this slide which juxtaposed how the two types of cultures compare with each other. This slide resonated strongly with our audience:

Leadership Culture          Management Culture 
 Invest in People  Invest in Tools
 Encourage Risk  Punish Failure
 Collaborate  Compete
 Challenge Everything  Protect Status Quo
 Reward Contribution  Reward Potential
 Close GAPS  Set Boundaries
 Think Span of Influence        Think Span of Control

The highly interactive discussion helped the audience members benefit from the concepts highlighted by Magaline in their roles as Project Managers. The volume of questions prompted Magaline to set up a follow-on virtual session on a later date to help answer open items that could not be addressed in the meeting.

We’d like to give special thanks to Magaline Harvey for sharing her lessons learned and her open hand to take on a mentoring relationship with audience members.

We would also like to thank our sponsors at Global Payments for being our steady and supportive hosts for 3+ years.

If you would like to learn more about Governance and the value it brings to projects, please join us at a future forum. The calendar can be found on the PMI Atlanta website.


PMI Atlanta serves project managers in Metro Atlanta, and we're an active resource to corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. With over 4,000 members, PMI Atlanta is the second largest chapter in the US and fifth largest in the world. Our professional expertise span across industries; we’re the professionals building healthcare information technology systems, the engineers developing smarter public transportation, and the planners growing our communities more efficiently.