Book review: The PMO as a pop-up shop

cover popup pmo ukI just received from Mertine Middelkoop the English version of her book The PMO as a pop-up shop.

I already reviewed the Dutch version of her book on my blog. See: boekrecensie: project management office als pop-up shop

Because I really like the content of this book, and it’s really complementary to already existing PMO books, I will give an updated English review so my English readers can benefit too!

And I am in good company. This English version has forewords from Sue Vowler, the author of P3O and Peter Taylor, the author from Leading Successful PMOs.

Sue Vowler: “…The PMO as a pop-up shop is a great analogy and perfectly describes the world of temporary programme or project office. It fills the gaps in P3O, answering the ‘how do I do this?’ question” and is a true practitioners guide to setting up, running and closing down temporary PMOs…”

Peter Taylor: “…The book provides many practical examples as well as tools and templates that readers can use at their will as they follow along the roadmap to PMO success… ”

The book offers a 10-step recipe to get your own temporary PMO up and running:


  1. Intake(s) between the PMO employee & project manager
  2. Establishing PMO objectives and services
  3. Gather information and further acquaintances


  1. Set up PMO plan of action
  2. Configure project processes (services)
  3. Configure the pop-up PMO organization
  4. Configure PMO tools and techniques
  5. Configure PMO information & communication


  1. Verify and implement PMO plan of action
  2. Communicate the temporary PMO services

Mertine uses the metaphor of a pop-up shop. A pop-up shop is a temporary venue popping up one day, and then disappearing anywhere from one day to several weeks later delivering added value to one or more stakeholders. The permanent PMO with functions or services as the Centre of Excellence and portfolio management can be seen as a permanent store metaphor.

The heart of the book describes the building blocks you can use to manage your pop-up PMO. You will get planning related building blocks e.g. project set-up and closing, stakeholder management planning, resource management and benefits management. Delivery building blocks like reporting, risk, issue and change management, finance, quality assurance, information, configuration and knowledge management and secretariat activities.

A specific chapter describes competences and personal goals based on several career and function models for PMO, like the one I created together with Bert Hedeman and Jan Willem Donselaar for IPMA. See: Competence profiles, Certification levels and Functions in the Project management and Project support field

The last chapter is about passion for PMO. “Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it. by Hardy D. Jackson”. What can I say more? We need passion in our profession and without passion this book wouldn’t be there!

The appendices offer you some handy checklists and intake forms to make a jump start with your pop-up PMO.

For those working in a temporary PMO or when you are just assigned to start working in a PMO role this is a great book to read. The supporting blog offers you all templates, checklists. See:

One response to “Book review: The PMO as a pop-up shop

  1. Pingback: Book reviews in 2015 | Henny Portman's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s