The project management office (PMO) of Capitec Bank has won the PMO Global Alliance’s (PMGOA) World PMO of the Year award for 2022, making the South African retail bank the first-ever African recipient of the most prestigious worldwide award for PMOs, projects and PMO professionals.As winner of the 2021 South African PMO Award, Capitec was pitted against 31 other leading PMOs from across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas, in a football tournament-style competition featuring several rounds and evaluated by a 400-strong judging committee of PMO professionals representing more than 120 countries. Capitec beat finalists from Puerto Rico, Indonesia and Greece to take the main prize.

“We’re still riding the wave of incredible energy levels since being crowned as the top PMO in the world,” says an ecstatic Adriaan Bakker, Head of the Agile PMO (APMO) at Capitec. “We were humbled to have been named as the South African winners last year, and were excited to see how we compared in the international arena. We were very interested to see how we stacked up, and the real value for us lay in being able to reflect on our journey, make sure that we’re following best practice, and show that there is indeed method to the madness.

“Capitec is thrilled to now have won the global award, particularly as the first African PMO to have achieved this auspicious title. This type of recognition highlights the value that we’re bringing to the business and plays a key role in our PMO, building a professional brand within the greater Capitec organisation.”

Jacqui Richardson, Capitec’s Head of Value Products, echoes Bakker’s sentiments: “By winning the World PMO of the Year award, Capitec has proven that our local PMOs do indeed operate at a global level. We did not expect to be the winners, but are delighted as this does demonstrate how far ahead we really are, and proves that African PMOs do measure up to our counterparts across the globe.

“The mindset we had when entering for the awards was that would we learn from the journey, and this has certainly been the case. Our PMO team members across the organisation are energised and proud to have been a part of this process. It has been incredible.”

Encouraging PMOs from all regions

Says Americo Pinto, founder and chair of PMGOA: “The PMO Global Alliance was founded in 2017, and has since become the largest global community of PMOs and PMO professionals, with 2,000 active members in 126 countries. We established the PMO Global Awards in 2018, with the most important category being World PMO of the Year.

“The characteristics of the competition, and key to its success, is the fact that as a global community we want to ensure that all regions are represented, instead of some more traditional competitions that are concentrated on specific regions. It is important that every country has the opportunity to showcase what they are doing, connect with one another, and share these experiences with the rest of the world. This is the real differentiator of these awards.”

The competition goes far beyond a vanity title, he explains, it is an excellent opportunity for learning. “All entrants to the awards provide video motivations for the judges’ evaluation, rather than written documentation. These videos are then added to the PMGOA’s knowledge base, which can be accessed – at no cost – as a way to allow others to share in and learn from these amazing experiences. Every judge is also required to provide feedback, which is then consolidated into a final report for all competitors.

“These insights and recommendations are incredibly valuable, regardless of the level of maturity or size of your PMO, as is the connection with other professionals across the globe.”

According to Pinto, Capitec clinched this year’s World PMO of the Year award by impressing judges across six categories, including: PMO journey, client service, best practice, innovation, community, and value generation. “Our judges look at these categories and evaluate all competitors comparatively. With four strong finalists, our judges this year felt that Capitec best exemplified the winning PMO.”

The year ahead

Looking ahead to the new year, Bakker maintains that the major focus for the Capitec PMO in 2023 will be its people. “As your organisation grows, it is critical for the PMO to listen to the business and its needs and pivot accordingly. The other important point here is that the PMO must also be able to maintain its professional brand when scaling up. Thus, as our PMO moves forward next year, we will be reinforcing understanding, the ‘why’ within our PMO team and embedding knowledge in the business in order to continue driving excellence. “

Entries for the South African PMO of the Year award, managed by Project Portfolio Office, have opened, with South African PMOs able to make their submissions between February and May 2023.

A project and portfolio management (PPM) tool and solutions provider, Project Portfolio Office is committed to growing the project management profession. “It is for this reason that we continue to manage the SA PMO of the Year award, as well as our involvement in the PMO Forums, which we encourage all PMO Leaders & Executives to join” notes Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office.

“Our mantra has always been that African PMOs more than measure up to their global counterparts, and Capitec’s global win proves this,” he says. “We encourage PMOs across the continent – regardless of your size or maturity level – to enter for next year’s awards. There is immense value to be gained by looking inwardly at your PMO’s journey, as well as from looking at the learnings of other PMOs across industries, as well as the world.”

To enter the 2023 South Africa PMO of the Year competition, please visit:

Share This