Project Management

Lessons from PMI Global Congress

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is an experienced project manager, author and consultant who works for PMI as a subject matter expert. Before joining PMI, Mike consulted and managed innovation and technology projects throughout Europe, North and South America for 30+ years. He was co-lead for the PMBOK Guide—Seventh Edition, lead for the Agile Practice Guide, and contributor to the PMI-ACP and PMP exam content outlines. Outside of PMI, Mike maintains the websites about leading teams and, which teaches project management for visual learners.

Guess what…I went to a project management conference and it was not boring! In fact, it was very memorable; this article recalls some thoughts from attending the recent PMI Global Congress 2016—North America in San Diego from September 25-27.

Conferences are an opportunity to leave your regular work setting and think about your craft, away from everyday interruptions. For me, traveling from Canmore in the Alberta Rocky Mountains—where we have had our first winter snow already—arriving to San Diego’s hot spell (in the 90s and up to 102 one day) felt positively sweltering. After arriving at my hotel room and cranking the air conditioning to cool the place down, I headed out to see the sights on the hot Saturday night before the conference.

After a few drinks in a seafront bar with an attractive woman, we headed back to my hotel room. I swear what happened next is 100% true: I awoke at 3 a.m. with an icy pain down my left side and only one kidney! Fumbling in the dark, I eventually found the light switch, set the air conditioning to a more reasonable setting, covered my naked left side and tried to get warm again.

Luckily for me, I had not been the target of an organ theft; I was born with only one kidney, and the attractive woman I had been drinking with was my wife. I know…that was a lame setup, but the fact that you probably …

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"In opera, there is always too much singing."

- Claude Debussy