By: Priya Patra
I am back after attending PMI Global Summit 2023, and it was just as amazing as ever. The theme of this year's summit was "The Future of Your Work," packed with knowledge and practical tips on how to embrace the changing world of work and prepare ourselves for the future.
Here is a summary of my takeaways from the four days at Summit:
Here are some of the things I will focus on after attending Summit:
What would you do differently? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
By: Mayte Mata-Sivera
Imagine two project managers from Utah—one of them Black and the other Spanish—sharing an Uber ride to the PMI Global Summit in Atlanta. Overhearing our conversation, the rideshare driver chuckles, assuming it's a joke that both of us live in Utah. After that awkward yet fun conversation is when I decided to pay close attention to the diversity on display at the conference.
Here is what I observed…
In summary, the PMI Global Summit in Atlanta marked a significant leap in diversity and inclusivity, especially considering my attendance dating back to the Los Angeles conference in 2018.
Attendees hailed from diverse backgrounds and industries, fostering cross-cultural connections. Notably, speakers and workshop leaders addressed critical topics, emphasizing the importance of inclusion. The commitment to representation was demonstrated by speakers like Stuart Easton. Inclusivity extended to food options. These improvements are promising, and I hope to see further enhancements in the coming years—including gender-neutral bathrooms, mother lounges, and more diverse dietary choices as halal or kosher.
By: Somnath Ghosh
I presented at the PMI Global Summit 2023 in Atlanta. This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities. My presentation Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) to Align Enterprise Strategy focused on data-driven decision making, disciplined intake mechanisms, incremental funding, and consistent feedback loops to inform portfolio planning.
We discussed how LPM aligns your organization's strategy with initiatives, enabling you to prioritize them based on their value to your customer and increase your ability to pivot when necessary. It enables you to fund projects based on performance and customer feedback rather than just blindly following a plan, ensuring you build value, see results, and meet customer expectations.
Attendees learned to leverage data to enable Lean Portfolio Management, build guardrails for their portfolios, measure what matters, and establish value flow to the customer, while taking advantage of a modernized Portfolio Management approach.
During our sessions, we delved into a few intriguing themes, such as “How long does it take to change traditional portfolio management to a LPM”, “Culture and the need to maintain status quo will be a challenge”, “How to get started on making the change”, and “How do you handle initiatives that do not make the cut or get defunded”. The questions posed and the active participation were exceptional.
I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 1 January 2024. Visit PMI Global Summit 2023 for more details.
By: Michelle Venezia
Each year I look forward to the PMI Global Summit as an opportunity to bring home innovative ideas, profound insights, and, most crucially, to network with like-minded colleagues from around the world. 2023 did not disappoint! As a PMO leader, this may have been my most exciting global conference to date. Right away, from the exciting announcement on Day 1, the event felt as if it was tailored just for me!
Taking Center Stage: PMOs
Let’s start with the exciting Day 1 announcement from PMI’s CEO, Pierre Le Manh, which set the tone for me from the beginning. During the opening session, Pierre unveiled the acquisition of PMO Global Alliance (PMOGA), an organization well known by PMO leaders around the world as a community focused on meeting our needs. Founded by Americo Pinto, PMOGA has grown tremendously over the last several years as an organization that fosters a community for those of us serving the Project Management Office (PMO) space, while advocating on our behalf and recognizing the unique contributions of the many strong PMOs around the world. I’ve long looked to PMI as my “home” as a project professional, as a place to find “my people” when I need to collaborate or explore new ideas. This announcement underscored for me that I also have a home in PMI as a PMO leader.
Coming off this announcement, I was excited to join a small group session hosted by PMI Chief of Staff Lenka Pinkot, PMI Board Member Sarina Arcari, and CEO of PMOGA Americo Pinto, as well as other PMO thought leaders and professionals to immediately begin brainstorming on how we can leverage this new alliance to support PMO practitioners around the world and create immediate impact in 2024. There were many amazing thoughts generated, and I can’t wait to see the impact moving into 2024.
Change management has been a key topic of discussion in my daily role at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and Cassandra Worthy’s keynote did not disappoint. While many of the change models I’ve been using have focused on the “process” of change, Cassandra tapped into the emotions associated with change. I loved how she started with emotions first, and the need to focus on people and equipping ourselves to have resiliency as we inevitably continue to face change in our work and our daily lives. Rather than addressing the process of changing others, I loved how she shifted the perspective to leveraging inclusion and emotional intelligence to help our teams through change.
Strategy: Seeing the Forest and the Trees
Another personal highlight on Day 1 was the honor of leading the session, "Organizational Strategy: Seeing the Forest and the Trees." In this presentation, I emphasized the importance of enabling an intentional leadership culture where staff is included, engaged, and supported to create an environment where culture can thrive (or as I called it, planting the seeds for strategy to thrive). We then moved into the success factors for creation of organizational strategy (your organization’s forest) while also having the tools in place to achieve that strategy through strong program and project execution (taking care of the trees). The participants in my session brought amazing energy and questions, and I walked out with a larger network of colleagues who I’m continuing to engage with even as I return home.
The URMC team continued to shine on Saturday morning, with Agile Coach Lori Gacioch and Enterprise Data Warehouse Program Manager Barb Ryan, leading a session on “The Marriage of Program/Project Management and Agile.” They drove home the story of strong execution in realizing our data & analytics strategy at URMC, effectively marrying program management structure with Agile ways of working to achieve extraordinary results.
Networking and Connections
The connections made at PMI Global Summit 2023, the exposure to cutting-edge ideas and global thought leaders, and the opportunity to share my expertise in my session have left a lasting impact. I return to my organization with a renewed sense of purpose, armed with the knowledge and inspiration needed to drive positive change and elevate our PMO’s strategies. PMI Global Summit 2023 has been a testament to the ever-evolving nature of project management, and I am excited about what the future brings.
By: Yasmina Khelifi, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PMP
When my taxi driver picked me up at the airport after coming home from the United States, he asked me: "What did you visit in Atlanta?" I answered, " I didn’t really get to visit the area. I was in a conference." With a surprised face, he replied: "It is a pity."
But I probably couldn’t have conveyed what the PMI Global Summit truly meant. I wouldn't have understood it if I hadn’t taken part myself. You feel the energy, the power of being part of such a worldwide community. It takes time and money to take part, but words cannot express all the happy learnings you take with you. You must experience it!
PMI Global Summit is a mega-networking event. More than 3,000 project managers from around the world take part. It is so impressive to meet the world in such a benevolent and friendly atmosphere. I’m also a volunteer at PMI chapters, and am a global volunteer—which increases the number of friends I make.
At my hotel (where the PMI staff was also staying), I bumped into some peers. At breakfast, I took a PMI bag to hopefully create opportunities to meet people…but because I ate early and was almost the only one in the breakfast room, I had to utilize other opportunities to network. Here are some lessons that stood out to me from Global Summit; practice them next year when you go (or for any conference you attend):
1. Choose how to connect quickly. LinkedIn provides a QR code for your profile. The event app enabled you to customize your profile (which I discovered afterward; next time, I’ll try to add my LinkedIn profile).
Some people also still have business cards, which can save you some time at the event.
Have a pen and notepad or a digital tool to take notes about people you meet (the event app also enabled users to add notes to people’s profiles).
2. Choose your plan to network with participants. You need to develop a plan to make the most of it.
For people you know and are in contact with on Linkedin:
I know so many people from the PMI community, so my question before the trip was: "Are you going to Atlanta?" I wrote down their names and the dates of their arrivals and departures.
I also made a list of people I wanted to meet, but there were so many that I couldn’t meet them all. You must accept you cannot meet everyone—time flies too quickly. Yet once the event begins, you will meet new people.
For people you don’t know:
I sat next to a different person every time (whether in a session or while eating), and I introduced myself by my name and country. It was a great way to improve my networking skills. Then I exchanged LinkedIn contacts right away. (The LinkedIn profile also opens up new questions like, “You earned the PMI-ACP? I’d like to know more about it.”)
Whether you know people before or not, try to follow up after the event. If you promised to send a document or an article, do it (it looks unprofessional to say, “I’ll send it to you later”…and then not do it.). I jotted down my action points and followed through.
3. Choose your plan to network with speakers. When you attend a session, you can connect with the speaker to share your takeaways and feedback. At the end of the session, you can liaise with the speaker—but sometimes you need to be patient (everyone wants to talk to them!). This is a bit trickier with some speakers.
4. Seize every opportunity! During breaks or lunches, you can talk more. You can learn so much from these casual encounters. That is part of the networking game—to talk to strangers, laugh with people you otherwise would have never met, take pictures to remember the experience, and connect on LinkedIn. I am confident about networking online, but I had some fears before the Summit about live networking. During the event, I was able to experiment in a safe environment—and now I’ve gained more confidence for participating in live events.
Atlanta was my first PMI Global Summit, and it was also my first time in the United States as an adult (I went to New York when I was 10). I not only embarked on a tourist trip in America; more importantly, I embarked on a learning journey about project managers as humans, thanks to PMI. I hope to take part in Los Angeles in September of 2024!