Project Management

Agent of Self

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The Project Management Institute's annual events attract some of the most renowned and esteemed experts in the industry. In this blog, Global Conference, EMEA Congress and experienced event presenters past, present and future from the entire PMI event family share their knowledge on a wide range of issues important to project managers.

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By: Dr. Evelyn Brisibe, PMP, CBAP

Change management is key to implementing and sustaining frameworks and mindsets in any organization.

In today’s world where the word change is synonymous with the word adapt, we are constantly at the crux of influx of unprecedented disruption to our normal course of living and doing business. It is no wonder the one who leads and supports projects/programs may sometimes be disassociated from these changes. This presentation will highlight three areas the Project/Program manager needs to be aware of how these changes are impacting self. These include sustaining focus on the desired goal of the project/program, managing expectations of self and others and owning the message. As a professional that has witnessed three major shifts in management and focus around the implementation and sustainment of process management framework and mindset, whilst leading and supporting other projects, I am sharing how change management beliefs and tactics have kept me focused on the goal and ultimate prize.

As we engage with one another, we create experiences about whatever it is we are communicating, these experiences create beliefs about the subject that are acted upon to yield results.

As you lead and support project management efforts, you need to be aware that at every opportunity you have to engage, the principles of your project goals need to guide your interactions with others. Be aware that you may not have a second time to change the narrative about the subject. For example, when I was implementing a business improvement framework, the case was for simplicity; in addition, incremental improvements were critical pieces of the framework, so it was intentionally woven in every communication that I had with colleagues and management.

When you are impacted by a change, pause to DETERMINE what the change is. How does the change impact the current? When is the change taking effect? When you determine the change, DRAW the connection between change and the goal, then DEFINE the new strategy to achieve desired results. Then DECLARE what needs to GO; adaptation is at the heart of the agent of self. 
To achieve this, it is about having a strategic mindset to see the organization at 50,000 feet, be tactical in your approach to every required task while being operationally respectful at all times when supporting the organization.
Sustaining focus on desired results requires the professional to step up and be a Trusted Advisor, not just an expert consultant engaged by the business or organization to lead and support a project/program. What’s the difference between an expert consultant with many years of experience and skills, and a trusted advisor with a similar pedigree? Distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth, the Charles H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing at Emory University, offers these distinctions:

  • Expert Consultants provide knowledge; Trusted Advisors provide depth and breadth of knowledge
  • Expert Consultants tell; Trusted Advisors listen
  • Expert Consultants provide good answers; Trusted Advisors ask great questions
  • Expert Consultants control; Trusted Advisors collaborate
  • Expert Consultants provide expertise; Trusted Advisors provide insight
  • Expert Consultants analyze; Trusted Advisors synthesize

There shouldn’t be sacred cows in strategic and tactical approaches to leading and supporting short, mid to long term projects/programs. Determine, Draw, Define and Declare as you review and adapt self to planned, unplanned, seen and unforeseen changes. 

Interested in learning more and furthering the dialogue? Join me on Wednesday, 9 September 2020, 11 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) at the PMI Virtual Experience Series event for this presentation and take part in the question and answer session with me and the rest of the PM community.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 02, 2020 10:48 AM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Excellent article with in-depth insights!!!!

Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

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