Project Management

Final Summary of PMI EMEA Congress 2019 – my 3 top Lesson’s Learned

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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:

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
    1. 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
    2. 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.

  1. 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!  
  2. 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:

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 18, 2019 01:54 PM | Permalink

Comments (17)

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Bruce Gay Principal Consultant| Astrevo Labs Pittsburgh, Pa, USA
Stephanie - Thanks for sharing your insights from PMI EMEA in Dublin. The three lessons ring true to me too. You were spot on that each PMI conference/event has its own character. I enjoyed the size of PMI EMEA (800 attendees) as it allow a great mix of networking, learning and having fun. - Bruce

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Stéphane Parent Self Employed / Semi-retired| Leader Maker Prince Edward Island, Canada
Glad to be experiencing the PMI EMEA, albeit vicariously. I have fond memories of Dublin, though it was not for a conference.

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
@Bruce thanks for your comments. It was fun to share the time with you and all the others.
@Stephane Dublin and Ireland is amazing. I hope to come back some day and explore more. But the Congress was also very special

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Priya Patra Delivery Director| Capgemini India Technology Services Ltd Mumbai, India
Stephanie, great write up, the three takeways resonates with me as well. And I must say you did a great job in getting the updates on social media. Good job !

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Thanks @Priya. I was a bit worried about getting the hang of using Twitter, but it was easier than I thought, since I was already used to LinkedIn etc.

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Rami Kaibni
Community Champion
Senior Projects Manager | Field & Marten Associates New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Great write up Stephanie, very nice. Loved it !

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
I am glad you liked it @Rami

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Karthik Ramamurthy Author, Say YES to Project Success| Founder KeyResultz Chennai, Tamilnadu, Tamilnadu, India
@Stephanie: Thanks a million for your excellent post!
Keeping it to three key learnings is a great idea. All three certainly struck a chord in me too,
It was truly terrific working with you, Emily, and Moritz as Community Correspondent at #PMIEMEA19.
I certainly look forward to more such team efforts in the future.
Meanwhile, keep smiling, keep shining, and keep inspiring!

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Thanks @Karthik, I learned a lot from you in these few days and also thoroughly enjoyed the team work.

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Amitabh Pathak Head of Business Operations| BVS Trans Tech India
Thank you for sharing

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Maya Kalach Head of PMO, IT| Middle East Airlines Beirut, Lebanon
Thanks for this post.

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
I am glad you enjoyed it @Maya

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Alex Poon Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Amazing read, thanks for sharing

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
I am glad you enjoyed it @Chin

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Tahir Saeed Maqbool Planning Engineer| Essam Kabbani & Partners Co. (KSA) Pakistan
loved it. Amazing read.

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Jochen Thomas Project Manager| SAS Sanford, Nc, USA
Thought your comments on the future of Project Management being hybrid projects and virtual teams we very insightful.

Based on how many organizations have multifunctional personnel doing both operational (tech) and strategic (plans) work it seems that the virtual team idea makes lots of sense both on availability and cost of human resources.

I do wonder if think

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Stephanie Jaeger Lead Consultant| Jaeger Consultants Ltd Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
@Jochen I agree. In my experience many times the project manager is required to be a subject matter expert, but then each company I worked with it ended up that the PM was only doing technical work and never had the time to actually manage projects. That's why in each case I introduced that projects would be lead by a certified PM and a Commissioning Technician in partnership. This worked much better.
At the same time, we often found ourselves in situations where we installed new technical systems, that we did not have the expertise in the country yet. Hence we ended up with a virtual team member, who usually was from the manufacturer. He would then guide the team on the ground on the installation and only come for the commissioning. During that time he would train our team on all they need to know. I wish I had known at the time, what I know now about virtual team management, since I believe we could have made these engagements more efficient and satisfying for our technical teams.
With ever more complex technical systems coming up, I believe this kind of engagement with the specialist being a virtual team member will become the norm in the future.
Thanks for your comment @Tahir

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