In this Voices on Project Management roundtable, two bloggers discuss their top takeaway from PMI® Global Congress -- from the perspective of an attendee and a presenter.
Every time I attend a PMI Global Congress, I am ready to discover exciting learning opportunities. Congress gives me the opportunity to interact with peers, discuss best practices, common issues and the latest trends in project management. But my biggest takeaway is the networking.
But networking opportunities do not start at the congress -- you can start contacting attendees in advance and use the congress as a venue to meet them and interact with project management practitioners from all over the planet. Many of them stand out from the crowd with ribbons color-coded to their credential, so you can network more easily with targeted groups (for example, PgMPs have a specific ribbon).
Attending pre-sessions also provides the opportunity to support and recognize peers, such as the awards gala on Saturday night (of North America congress) or attend Sunday morning workshops where the state of project management is discussed. Here, I've found inspiration from fellow project managers to continue engaging in volunteer opportunities.
Even the Exhibit Hall is a great opportunity to network with vendors and educational institutions and learn more about the products and services they offer. And you never know, from those interactions you may find potential job opportunities.
In conclusion: Network, network, network! That's my advice for getting the most value from congress.
Your value as a project professional is determined by how much value you can create for others. This value is a function of two factors. The first is your personal capability to supply a need. The second is your ability to reach people. That increased reach would increase your ability to create value.
PMI Global Congress is about increasing our ability to create value by increasing along both of those dimensions. Each of us brings to congress the value of our own experiences, our own learning, our own knowledge. So one of the most valuable things we can do is to share that with others. When we share what we know with others, we are creating value for them. Likewise, when they share what they know with us, they are creating value for us.
Certainly, there is much value to be created from participating at congress as an attendee in terms of increasing personal capability as you learn from others and as others learn from you. But participating as a presenter provides the possibility to create considerably more value because you are able to reach so many more people.
For me, the top takeaway at Congress isn't what I can take away, but rather what I can give away! And as a presenter, I can increase my reach and share the value of my experiences with many more people.
What was your top takeaway from congress? Did you attend as an attendee or presenter?
PMI's The High Cost of Low Performance 2014 reveals the major issues that organizations and leaders worldwide are facing. This year's Pulse research exposes a wide chasm between an organization's actual state and the state of success. Projects, including those focused on an organization's highest priorities--its strategic initiatives--are suffering. And while strategic initiatives are essential to success in today's increasingly complex business world, an alarming 44% of initiatives fail in implementation.
To remain competitive, organizations must focus on three critical areas:
The full 2014 Pulse of the Profession® report is available on PMI.org. Know what's keeping your executives up at night. What you'll learn will help you start a conversation with them on the importance and value of aligning project and program management with your organization's strategic goals.
The newest edition of the Pulse features feedback and insights from over 2,500 project management leaders and practitioners across North America; Asia Pacific; Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and Latin America and Caribbean regions.
|Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of the Project Management Institute, asks "Are you ready?" to become a project leader? Do you have the skills that the executives in your organization are looking for? Do you know what those skills are? Can you connect what you do every day to your organization's business objectives?|
Long-time Voices on Project Management blogger Conrado Morlan, PMP, PgMP shares how attaining a PMP certification helped his career.
Project management practitioners like me, with more than 20 years of experience, learned about PMI and the PMP® certification in ways much different from today.
My first exposure to PMI, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and PMP certification was in the late 1990s. It was during a training program to attain PMP certification -- and in Spanish, no less -- at the company I worked for in Puebla, Mexico.
My colleagues and I questioned the benefits of this certification, which at the time was not well known in Mexico. In addition, the written exam was in English. That did not make the PMP more attractive.
I left the company before taking the exam. Yet in my new job, I discovered that the knowledge I acquired in the training program was very helpful. Without prompting, I used some of the best practices in the PMBOK® Guide, especially those related to risk and project integration.
As I progressed professionally, I moved to the United States and learned more about PMI chapters and global congresses. I became a member and a regular at chapter meetings.
By this point -- even with eight years of practical experience in project management and applying best practices in my work -- I realized I needed to take it to the next level: earning PMP certification. Sure, professional experience and on-the-job-training are important -- but I was only recognized for that at my company. Attaining the PMP meant that the world's largest association for the profession would validate my professional experience.
In the lead-up to my exam, I was traveling intensively for my job, and the PMBOK® Guide became my travel companion. While abroad, I visited local PMI chapters and learned about running projects in different settings. The interaction with members of PMI chapters in other countries helped me tweak my project plan. The combination of studying and exchanging ideas with practitioners internationally were fundamental for my PMP exam preparation.
In December 2005, I attained my PMP -- and I have never regretted it. Achieving the certification brought me immediate benefits. After I notified my manager, he awarded me an incentive bonus. A week later, I was selected to lead one of the most challenging projects of the portfolio.
Over the years, I also became more involved in my community, volunteering at events such as PMI item-writing sessions. In 2011, I was honored with the 2011 PMI Distinguished Contribution Award. I'm not saying that getting my PMP awarded me recognition and experience overnight, but I needed it to get to the next stage in my career.
I still find project professionals who think the same as my colleagues and I did in the late 1990s. The most frequent questions I hear are: Why should I earn a certification or a credential, if I am a senior project manager with many years of experience? How does a certification or credential make me different?
To these, I respond with a question (Why not step out of your comfort zone?) and a thought (What made you successful in the past will not make you successful today).
The truth is that, just like doctors, project professionals need to update their knowledge to face the challenges in today's project world. PMP certification and PMI membership give you access to share and acquire project management knowledge, stay up to speed on new trends, and join a group of global volunteers contributing toward the advancement of the profession. Most importantly, certification helps you reach the next step in your professional life. At least that is what it has done for me.
How did getting a PMP help your career? Are you still considering getting one, and why?
Help Celebrate Project Management Achievements
|There are some stunning stories of success out there -- too many of which go unheralded. Here's your chance to change that with the 2012 PMI Professional Awards.|
You've got plenty of options -- from project and individual awards to research and literature awards.
Consider that peer you've seen contributing to the advancement of the project management profession or PMI. Now's the time to acknowledge all that hard work by nominating him or her for the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award. Nominee(s) don't have to be a PMI member and may work in any field.
Doing well should give project professionals more than just that "warm and fuzzy" feeling. Shine the spotlight on projects that improve the wellbeing of a community, or achievements that apply project management principles to the pro bono delivery of goods and services. The PMI Community Advancement Through Project Management Award is offered in Individual, Organizational and PMI Chapter categories.
Nominations for both awards must be submitted by 1 April 2012.
All awards are presented among your peers at the PMI Awards Ceremony, which is held in conjunction with PMI® Global Congress 2012 -- North America (20-23 October in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada).
No one knows excellence in project management like you and your peers. So nominate a deserving colleague today.
Learn more, download applications, and watch videos of past award winners and nominees.
Read more about PMI awards.