PMI Global Insights

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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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Cameron McGaughy
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Jack Duggal
Saurayan Chaki
Danielle Ritter
Marcos Arias
Dan Furlong
Karen Chovan
Lawrence Cooper
David Maynard
Deepa Bhide
Marjorie Anderson
Michelle Stronach
Nadia Vincent
Sandra MacGillivray
Laura Samsó
Cheryl Lee
Emily Luijbregts
Karthik Ramamurthy
Sarah Mersereau
Nic Jain
Priya Patra
Yves Cavarec
David Davis
Fabio Rigamonti
Gina Abudi
Kristin Jones

Past Contributers:

Catalin Dogaru
Carlos Javier Pampliega García

Recent Posts

Day Three, a Truly Triple Treat at #PMIEMEA18

#PMIEMEA18 - #DifferenceMakers : We are making dreams a reality !

#PMIEMEA18 – Day 3 : #FutureDefiners :Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human

PMIEMEA18 - Conference Summary

PMIEMEA Conference - Day 3:Time flies by!

Day Three, a Truly Triple Treat at #PMIEMEA18

Guten Tag (Good day in German)!

The third day of #PMIEMEA18 gave me and Berlin Congress attendee a truly Triple Treat! 

I learned about TMOs, the Half-Double technique, and the Copernican revolution in Project Management. A terrific bonus was the thought-provoking closing keynote by Inma Martinez.

For those who could not be there, here are short videos interviews that summarize the key takeaways from some of the sessions:

Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig, “The Half Double System for Project Success”: http://bit.ly/MPEMEA18

Olivier Lazar, “Ethical Leadership & Decision Making: The Business Case & The Construction Tools”  bit.ly/OLEMEA18

Jack Duggal, “The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management”:

The TMO (Testing Management Office): Amruta Oak

We’ve all heard of PMOs. What are TMOs? In a fascinating session, Amruta Oak made the case for Testing Management Offices.  Here were some key points in her session:

  • Test teams in projects are often put under extreme pressure in completing a lot of work in very little time. Many project managers do not entirely understand the unique challenges faced by test teams.
  • Investing in a separate Test Management Office can go a long way in improving the probability of project success.
  • Typical roles in a TMO include Test Leaders, Test PMs, Project Coordinators, Defect Managers, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
  • Ten specific steps involved in implementing a TMO.
  • Case Study of Success implementing a TMO in a large Pharmaceutical Benefits project

The Half Double Project: Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig

Achieving DOUBLE productivity in HALF the time? That is indeed a bold proposition! Michael and Per presented concrete results from the bold “Half Double Project” initiative to significantly improve project success rates. Key pointers from their session:

  • While 34.7% of German GDP came from projects, only around 30% of projects are successful.
  • The “Half Double” project is all about placing extreme focus on three core elements: Project Impact, Project Flow, and Leadership.
  • Halving the time to “Impact Creation” has the potential of “Doubling Impact.”
  • Case Study of a successful implementation of the “Half Double” approach: Reducing baggage handling defects in a European airport by 33% from 12/1000 to 8/1000.
  • Research results of nine pilot projects compared to a few using the “Half Double” method showed that the approach brought vastly improved results.

The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management: Jack Duggal

What does Copernicus have to do with a revolution in Project and Business Veteran PMI Conference speaker Jack Duggal started the session with this interesting question.

Jack made this important point. Copernicus controversially postulated that earth orbited around the sun. Today’s most successful projects and businesses put the customer at the center of their compared to others that have their projects or businesses at the center. Other key points in the engaging presentation:

  • Mike Tyson’s famous quote, “Everybody has a PLAN until you get punched in the face!” is very relevant to project managers. Many well-crafted plans may fail when a PM came face-to-face with an angry stakeholder.
  • Transparency to stakeholders is crucial. Jack gave the idea of the Reichstag building where tourists could go right to the top and watch elected representatives work. Similarly, many German government buildings had glass facades to signify transparency.
  • A case study of a situation where a project crisis was creatively handled with a note of apology and candy bars to stakeholders.
  • A practical 11-point “Application Checklist” on implementing the learnings from the session.

Developing Creative Approaches in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalization – Closing Keynote Speaker Inma Martinez

Are robots set to take over our jobs, maybe even the world? What will then happen to humans? In a terrific keynote laced with excellent humor, Inma Martinez candidly answered these questions that are in the minds of many.

  • Can a hearing-impaired person enjoy a musical concert? Can a car drive itself to the mechanic when it has a serious issue that needs fixing? Can machines outdo humans?
  • Answering all these questions in the affirmative, Inma said Artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to revolutionize the world in ways we cannot even start to imagine.
  • However, all human jobs are not at risk. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That's why humans will remain relevant.
  • With many repetitive manual jobs being better done by machines, humans will truly have time to spend on relaxing and important activities such as meditation, listening to music, reading great books, and so on!

I hope you enjoyed the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates were also posted on the Twitter handles of our team members, @PriyaPatra, @KarthikPMO, and @Em_the_PM

Meanwhile, have a wonderful day, or as they say in German, “Ich wünsche ihnen einen wunderbaren Tag!”


Please look for my summary of the Conference in the next blog post. Look for a special surprise on a thought-provoking conversation with a project management legend.


 

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 12, 2018 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (22)

#PMIEMEA18 - #DifferenceMakers : We are making dreams a reality !

This was my 3rd PMI Congress and first EMEA Congress. My experience is every year the Congress is different. This year I particularly loved the “offsite” learning sessions – the BER airport and the Hauftbanhof excursions. An opportunity to experience the projects under the skin right at the site.

So what did I learn this time ?

As I write this post, midair on my way home to Mumbai, I retrospect on my learnings at the #PMIEMEA18 – Berlin.

Being a project manager of the IT industry, I focused on “Projects of the future” and sessions which provided insights on artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital transformation. What do we need to do different in the era of digital disruption?  What I learned was the solution lies in us, the humans. We humans need to start being “more” human.

Starting from

Thommas Wallenta’s opening note: 

“We are making dreams a reality. We are the #DifferenceMakers !”,

“Our volunteers make it all happen!”

Rowan Gibson’s opening key note:

“Build a great team, the right people in the right roles at the right time”

Read more about the opening note and Rowan Gibson’s opening key note here

Day 1 : #GameChangers

 

The BER – airport project manager Thomas’s presentation:

“I spend most of my time in stakeholder management”

More on my Day 2 experience is here

Day 2 : #BoundaryPushers

 

Inma Martinez’s closing key note:

“It is okay to be imperfect, machines are perfect, so we can afford to be imperfect, be more human”

Read more about Inma’s closing note and Day 3 highlights here

Day 3 : #FutureDefiners

It was all about people, teams and being human.

 

I have had an extraordinary time with everyone at #PMIEMEA18.

It is much more than the PDUs.

It is about the networking, learning and being inspired by world renowned experts to become a #DifferenceMaker

If you were in-person at the event or have been following our team online, we would love to know

How was your experience?

What did you learn from the conference?

What is it that you are going to do different tomorrow, next week and in the coming months?

Till next time I leave you with this twitter moment on my experiences of #PMIEMEA18- Berlin.

Auf Wiedersehen – Good bye in German

Posted by Priya Patra on: May 12, 2018 06:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

#PMIEMEA18 – Day 3 : #FutureDefiners :Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human

Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human sums up my day 3 in one sentence.

My first session was on Delivering value in consulting projects – The Agile Way: Maciej Kaniewski took us through the journey of a life cycle of consulting projects. His take on delivering value in consulting project – the agile way?

  1. Be in touch with reality, be that Octopus when dealing with customers
  2. Harmonize the project management and business analysis
  3. Fast forward with agility

Maciej Kaniewski presented the Agile manifesto for Consulting projects as followsAgile manifesto for consulting projects

So how do we measure value from consulting projects? Through outcomes, feedback, observations, measurements and decisions. 

And what about the value to the consultant? It is the experience and the learnings.

He ends with a quote from Janis Joplin Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.

Now that I was all armed with tips for success in consulting projects I wonder “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could predict our cost overruns for our projects ?” Werner Meyer session on Beyond Humans: Using Machine Learning to Calculate Contingency for Systemic Risks introduced us to machine learning and how it can help us to improve our chances of success.  An amazing story of Man Vs Machine, where machines learns from historical data and predict the systemic risk overrun. So does this mean our jobs would be at risk? Per Werner Meyer there is a low probability for construction managers and IT managers like me. What a relief!

Later that afternoon I attended a panel discussion on Leading effective virtual teams: Fiona Charonnat, Hagit Landman, Sunday Faronbi and Ibrahim Dani.  Some tips for successfully leading virtual teams :

  1. Get to know your team even before the project
  2. Understand the culture of others if working in a multi-cultural team
  3. Care for your team member as an individual and not as a team
  4. Be flexible
  5. Set expectations, agree and repeat again and again

The grand finale was the closing key note on  Developing Creative Approaches to Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalisation  Inma Martinez . Ms. Martinez took us through the journey of HPC to Exascale - Tianhe-3, a supercomputer which is capable of at least one exaFLOPS, or a billions and billions of calculations per second, from AR augmented reality to VR virtual reality to SR sensorial reality. So what does this mean for us human beings ? Will we be replaced by machines ?  Ms Martinez says “ Machines will always be machines, they can never outperform the human brain. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That is why humans will remain relevant: ”  She adds on to say

  1. Machines would do the heavy lifting like crunching the numbers
  2. Use that data to pin- point a cancerous cell, or mental health
  3. Data can transform our living to smart urban living e.g as in Boston, MA
  4. And with all these time at our hands we will have time to be human

That wraps up #PMIEMEA18 in Berlin, the next edition of #PMIEMEA19 would be in Dublin, Ireland. Maybe we will we have some robot participants next year ? What do you think?

Posted by Priya Patra on: May 11, 2018 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

PMIEMEA18 - Conference Summary

What a great few days it's been! I've been helping PMI with their social media for the EMEA conference alongside Karthik Ramamurthy and Priya Patra (both very well known individuals in their own right!). We were tasked with the aim of bringing the conference to those who couldn't attend in person so I made sure that I was tweeting (@Em_The_PM) as much as I could to bring you the different sessions that I attended and what a day at the conference looks like.

It's important to know that the PMI conferences are not just about the sessions that you attend or the PDUs that you can earn by attending. It's got so much more value! The opportunities to be able to speak to your peers and Subject Matter Professionals really gives you live advice and coaching (and all included in the conference price!). This is my first time at the EMEA conference and I've really learnt so much about how projects run (and also how they fail) in the EMEA conference area. 

I decided to arrive a day early for the conference and took the time to spend the afternoon picking up my badge (a.k.a finding where the conference centre is and how long it'll take to walk in the morning) and then also enjoying the beautiful weather that we had in Berlin. We were really spoilt with high temperatures, beautiful sunshine and a relaxed environment.

The first day of the conference is ALWAYS jam-packed so I took the time to make sure I knew where everything was (including the lunch location!) and then making my way to the keynote session. The great thing about PMI conferences is that they tend to bring in some awesome keynote speakers and they didn't disappoint with Rowan Gibson (@RowanGibson

He delivered a really motivating talk about his work with Caterpillar, Boeing, Airbus and so many other companies to help focus our mind through the upcoming days about what we need to be looking at.

You can read more about my Day 1 here but suffice to say that it was really enjoyable and they did have to kick us out at the end of the day because we couldn't stop talking to each other!

Day 2 (Tuesday) was another really great day. A full breakdown of my day is here  but whilst others chose to go offsite to visit the central station or the airport, I decided to stay and attend the workshop: Winning Well. Becoming a more strategic Project Manager with the great Karin Hart (@letsgrowleaders) .

It was the first time that I've blown bubbles at the start of a session! This has to be one of my favourite sessions because not only was it very interactive and made you really think about how YOU can become more strategic but it was also about how we can constantly improve ourselves and always look for improvements.

In the afternoon, I presented my own topic "Dude, where's my control. Transitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master" to a packed room of attendees. It was fantastic to see so many engaged people and be able to spend time afterwards to answer questions and help others with their issues. It was a really great day for me and I really enjoyed being able to present my thoughts to others.

Picture courtesy of Priya Patra

My second day concluded by talking to others during Happy Hour. I managed to make a lot of great connections and really connect with them about what they were doing and where I could help.

Happy Hours are one of the best events for me because I'm able to really talk to other people in a more relaxed setting (as opposed to the formal session structure). It's great being able to talk to others over a drink and a few snacks to really get to know each other.

Day 3 was the final day of the main conference and I did a short summary here. Being able to connect with others on the PMI Events app was a great way to round off the entire conference because we ended up sharing a lot of contact details and information with each other that wouldn't have been possible with just exchanging business cards. By being able to message other attendees we could arrange to meet up for a coffee during the break or alternatively message about which session we were thinking of attending next. 

What did I get out of the conference?

  • The main thing for me was Knowledge. I really learnt a lot that I'm going to be able to apply in my upcoming work and projects. It's really motivated me to look at the value that i'm providing as a Project Manager and also to give me more tools to address issues when they occur.
  • Wider network: I've made over 50 connections (as of today) on LinkedIn and Projectmanagement.com. I've received emails from other Project Managers/Scrum Masters to engage with later on and even to meet up for a beer in our 'local' area.
  • Motivated! I'm so pumped to be able to go back to work and apply the things that I've learnt. I'm also really excited to be able to connect with others to share knowledge and get more information.

Is a PMI Conference for me?

I'd say yes ;-) But in all honesty, the PMI conferences are great for being able to get A LOT of information and knowledge in a very short period of time and to make new connections along the way. The conferences are 3 days in total and they're very intense days, but you're well taken of with food, drink and a great atmosphere.

 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 10, 2018 08:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

PMIEMEA Conference - Day 3:Time flies by!

So! It's been Day 3 and I'm writing this blog post from Berlin Tegel Airport where I'm sitting down before my plane leaves for my return flight to Amsterdam. To try and sum up the final day of the conference is really difficult! It's a mixture of sadness and tiredness as I've met so many fantastic people and those who I would still love to collaborate with in future.

This morning I managed to catch a quick coffee with some of the attendees of the conference whilst we chatted about the upcoming day and what we were most looking forward to. There seems to be an ongoing theme of: innovation and improving to keep competitive' from the people that I'm talking to as there is such a motivation to keep working out the best way forward in a landscape of ever changing requirements and technical situations.

I decided to attend the session called: "Delivering real value in Business consulting projects - the agile way" as I was hoping that I could gain some insights into the best way to manage complex projects. The speaker (Maciej Kaniewski) gave us a lot of interesting titbits of information. One of the biggest takeaways that i had was the importance of value and making sure that we're constantly looking at where that value is being delivered.

One of the interesting things that I took from this presentation was the "octopus" mentality and as you'll see from the picture below. The definition of what it means and what you need to do to make sure that you're keeping on top of everything.

The important thing for me from this is that you need to remember the different 'tentacles' and not just favour one specific method of communicating or working with your clients.

After this session, I had to leave the conference but I'm sure that my other volunteer counterparts will be able to give you more information about the day and what the closing keynote was like.

My next blog post will go into a summary of the conference and what I found the most important aspects to take from it.

Did you feel like you were attending the conference through us? Could we have done anything different/better? Please let me know!

 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 10, 2018 08:10 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)
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