Categories: Agile, Best Practices, Career Help, Change Management, Communication, Complexity, Education and Training, EMEA Congress Reflections, Ethics, Human Aspects of PM, Innovation, Leadership, Lessons Learned, New to Project Management, Nontraditional Project Management, PM Think About It, PMI, Program Management, Project Delivery, Reflections on the PM Life, Stakeholder, Strategy, Virtual Teams, Volunteering
Hi everyone, thanks for following me all through the Congress and reading my blogs and Tweets about the Congress. It really has been a privilege to be Community Correspondent for the #PMIEMEA19.
It is a lot of fun, but also hard work. During all sessions you attend, you listen, take notes, tweet and keep your Social Media Updates going. That takes a lot of concentration. Even during the Networking events, you take notes and keep track of who you meet and what you do. Then in the evening when everyone orders their second beer in the Pub of choice for the day, you go back to your hotel room to write a blog about your day.
What an experience! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially tweeting on Twitter was a new experience for me. I only opened an account successfully about 1 month ago.
What an eventful few days it has been!
I was privileged to listen to Jamil Qureshi twice, once during the PMI LIMC Alumni Workshop on Sunday and then on Monday again during the Keynote. So much information in such a short time! Then during the Opening Session to hear from Jim Snyder, that his best memories are all about the people. Not the Mega Milestones and achievements, no, the people! Yes his best memories are about you and me. I actually agree with him. Yes in PMI events I have always learned a lot, but the best has always been the people. And you keep meeting again at events. For me they are also the go to Network when I need advice or help.
Meeting Sunil Pashara and seeing him attending sessions, mingling with people and freely networking with delegates was special. Knowing that he is a true citizen of the world, born & raised in Kenya, worked in almost every continent, living in London, working in Philadelphia. When we talk to him, he can relate.
Every session I attended, even then one I felt lost in, since the discussions used a Scrum Vocabulary, that is Greek to me, I took important lessons from. They are all in my notebook, but if I share them all, this will be a book.
So what are my 3 biggest lessons:
- We need to identify and dismantle belief systems that hold us back. Jamil Qureshi talked about it, but it came up in several other sessions as well. What really hampers innovation and progress is belief systems. Things like “It can not be done”, “It has never been done”, “this is not how we do it here” and “It will never work” to name just a few, is often what holds us back. We need to figure out what our own belief systems are and those in our team. Then we need to identify the rogue monkey, whose urge to succeed is bigger than the belief system and is willing to try. If we work together with the rogue monkey and achieve even only this 1 degree change, we will succeed.
- The future in Project Management in my eyes lies in hybrid projects and virtual teams. We will all handle be involved in hybrid projects and projects with virtual teams at one point or another. When I reflected on it some time back, I realized a lot of my projects ended up using agile elements due to the unique project needs. Often we had at least one Technical Expert who was not in the country (see the virtual team right there). Volunteering with PMI you often end up in a virtual team.
For both hybrid projects & virtual teams you need to scale your communication up a notch. Hence I will concentrate on improving my communication skills and my EQ skills, both will come in handy for both environments. I want to become a Project Motivator and of course I bought the book by Ruth Pearce during the Congress.
- There is evidence of successful project management everywhere, just look for it. The seeming side shows of the Congress, like Networking events, including the tours through the host city and off site learning sessions, as well as your own trips exploring the city and surroundings are full of successful projects, with lessons for us to learn.
- During Networking Sessions you get to know new people and make new friends. In your exchange with them you hear about their project successes, but also the failures. And you learn right there
- Think about the Host Chapter together with the Congress Organizing Team and the PMI Staff involved. Think about how much work they put into the Congress Project. Finding and recruiting the right entertainers, finding and recruiting the right caterers etc, all that are major deliverables in this project. Recruiting and organizing all the volunteers who worked so hard in making us feel welcome, takes a lot of PM skills.
Hat’s off to the Host Chapter, the PMI Ireland Chapter for a job well done.
- When we were taking the Teeling Distillery Tour and heard how the Teeling Family, after selling off their old distillery, that had moved out of town, worked on building a new – but old style – distillery in Dublin, I was thinking about the enormity of the project they were undertaking. While the guide was telling us about the history, he did touch on a lot of points from their project planning and some of the risks they encountered. What a project!
- Dublin is full of successful projects. Look at Christ Church Cathedral, which dates back to the time of the Vikings. Look at Guiness Brewery, but also look at the City’s history, where the different centuries can be seen in the different parts of town. Look at the history of the Irish people – in Epic Center you could find more of it, see where Irish Emigrants settled, what they achieved and you could also trace your family if you have Irish roots. Look at the successful city expansion in Dublin into the docklands & quays – recovering land, that was previously thought of as not inhabitable. Look at the Famine Boats – that helped evacuate thousands of starving Irish people into other countries for a better future. There are museums and statues that remind of it everywhere. Imagine the logistical nightmare. And did you know that Landlords paid for their starving squatters to emigrate? Next time you go through your city look for the historical epic projects and think about the risks and unknown unknowns they faced. That puts your own projects in perspective.
It was also very exciting to see and be inspired by live TED Talks. I am looking forward to seeing more of the new engagement between PMI & TED. Karthik had shared the links to all the original TED Talks, so you can watch them yourself.
This was for me the first time attending the PMI EMEA Congress. I had previously only attended PMI Africa Conferences, the first day of 2 PMI Global Conferences and a host of Leadership Institute Meetings (LIM, RLIM). What they said is true. Each Conference / Congress has its own character. In Africa it is all about Networking and the social events are attended by all, it is like a big carnival with learning sessions. In the US it is more about Business, and the Conference is so big (up to 5000 people), that you are happy to see your Network Friends. However it is fun, and somehow you do meet your friends. The EMEA Congress I had been told is all about the Learning and the PDUs. But in Dublin I saw that the fun counts as well in Europe and the parties were great. I think each has its big positive sites and I will definitely attend any of them again.
See you at the next Congress: