Diageo is a worldwide leading player in the alcoholic beverages industry selling it's produce in over 180 countries and operating from 132 sites across the globe. The maker of well-known brands such as Smirnoff vodka, Baileys liqueur and Johnny Walker Scotch whiskey, Diageo sets the pace among other multinational distributors, leading in spirits sales in 2021.

Project Context

Diageo recognised the need to elevate the maturity of their central Project Management Office (PMO) function and incorporate a scaled agile approach to enhance its value. The company aimed to overcome the challenges of a distributed model across various countries and foster a more collaborative and efficient environment. To help achieve these aims Diageo brought in the help of Nine Feet Tall to drive the change and ensure a smooth maturity process.

Project Delivery

Nine Feet Tall implemented a ‘Just Enough Governance’ approach, thereby enabling the Diageo team to remain involved, engaged and empowered throughout the change journey. It was important to first understand the current PMO’s maturity in order to chart a forward roadmap, outlining the necessary steps and initiatives that could be used to elevate the PMO’s capabilities and embrace a scaled agile approach.

An initial focus was placed on the organisational design to establish the Strategic Portfolio Management Office (sPMO). This would strategically align stakeholder teams to enhance strategic portfolio management and project/program support. This structural shift aimed to break down silos and encourage collaboration across different teams and locations.

Diageo collaborated with Nine Feet Tall to then develop and implement standard charters. These charters provided a common understanding of expectations and established a foundation for effective communication and collaboration within the PMO.

The final piece of the puzzle focused on defining, piloting, and implementing common PMO processes. A core focus was placed on governance frameworks, plan management, and resource management. By establishing consistent and efficient processes, the new PMO approach would promote a culture of standardised practices, eliminating ambiguity and reducing miscommunication. This allowed team members to work cohesively towards shared objectives.


The outcomes of Diageo's PMO transformation were significant. The PMO uplift facilitated and enhanced collaboration, leading to improved efficiency and effectiveness. The implementation of a Portfolio Dashboard ensured that project-level engagement and dashboard reporting were seamlessly aligned, providing stakeholders with a comprehensive view of progress and performance.

The enhanced PMO offers advanced resource planning, management, and forecasting capabilities, enabling optimal utilisation of resources across projects. Furthermore, the now established standardised processes and framework promotes a single version of the truth, minimising discrepancies and fostering trust in project management practices and reporting.

With streamlined processes and automation, the PMO would reduce redundant administrative tasks, freeing up valuable time and resources for value-adding activities. This shift allowed the PMO to focus on strategic initiatives and contribute more meaningfully to the organisation's overall success.

Through their journey of PMO maturity enhancement and scaled agile adoption, Diageo not only transformed their PMO but also laid the foundation for a collaborative, efficient, and value-driven project management culture within the organisation.

Enhanced collaboration

Optimal utilisation

Throughout the engagement, impressive levels of drive and enthusiasm have been evident. The Nine Feet Tall Consultants have a great style and engage positively, sensitively challenging, demanding clarity whilst pushing forward transformation. Should the opportunity arise for Nine Feet Tall to get involved again, I wouldn’t hesitate.

Jeremy BailesHead of Portfolio, Diageo