Project Management

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
Dan Furlong
David Maynard
Marjorie Anderson
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger
Kimberly Whitby
LORI WILSON
Drew Craig
Brantlee Underhill
David Davis
Heather McLarnon
Kiron Bondale
Lorelie Kaid
Laura Schofield
Michelle Brown

Past Contributors:

Johanna Rusly
Deepa Bhide
Chris DiBella
Nic Jain
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Carmine Paragano
Te Wu
Katie Mcconochie
Fabiola Maisonnier
Jamie Champagne
Esra Tepeli
Mel Ross
Geetha Gopal
Randall Englund
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Sandra MacGillivray
Gina Abudi
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Bruce Gay
Michel Thiry
Heather van Wyk
Barbara Trautlein
Steve Salisbury
Yves Cavarec
Benjamin C. Anyacho
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Norma Lynch
Michelle Stronach
Sydni Neptune
Laura Samsó
Marcos Arias
Cheryl Lee
Kristin Jones
Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
Annmarie Curley

Recent Posts

Presentation Recap: From Organizational Agility to Business Agility: A Real Experience of Digital Transformation

Presentation Recap: Driving Innovation through Diversity

SPARK: How to Ignite It for Greater Connection, Meaning, Purpose, and Impact!

How to Succeed in a Disruptive World

Do You Know that Your Feedback Can Be Worth a Million Dollars?

Presentation Recap: From Organizational Agility to Business Agility: A Real Experience of Digital Transformation

By Carmine Paragano

I recently presented at the PMI Virtual Experience Series event held on 2 June.  This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities.

My presentation was entitled “From Organizational Agility to Business Agility: A Real Experience of Digital Transformation” and focused on how business agility demonstrated from within the team brought about significant value to the company, while respecting the guidelines but focusing on value creation based on a unified culture. It was necessary to not only cultivate an agile mindset but tailor new ways of working. Agility has been evolving from the Lean and the Agile Manifesto and has been applied throughout the company. It was also important to understand methodologies and the context in which they can support a transformation.

During my presentation, several great questions were raised that we didn’t get a chance to cover. I am including some of them here along with my responses.

Q:  How relevant was the Agile mindset being multi-and-hetero-cultural?
A:  
Agile mindset is the key for the success of an Agile adoption. Using tools and methodologies without understanding the value they bring is not useful and can create a lot of problems during the transformation. It’s recommended to spend a lot of time setting the mindset.

Q:  What about Agile methodologies?
A:
 Methodologies can support the transformation. According to Disciplined Agile, context counts and different methodologies can be applied. It’s relevant to know the different methodologies to choose how to support the value creation.

Q:  What tool was used during continuous improvement?
A:  
Continuous improvement is the key to applying the agility starting from the approaches like Guided Continuous Improvement or the relentless improvement. Some tools can be adopted in accordance with the context, especially in global projects.

Q:  How relevant was the role of glocalization?
A:  
Glocalization means balancing global with local. It’s the key for maximizing the value that can be shared globally and customized locally. It’s very difficult to set the perfect balance, but the continuous improvement can support the right set.

Q:  What was the biggest problem you encountered during the project?
A:  
The main problem related to this experience was how to spread the mindset to all the stakeholders, spending time sharing as well as leading by example.

I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2022.  Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2021 for more details.

Posted by Carmine Paragano on: June 14, 2021 03:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Presentation Recap: Driving Innovation through Diversity

By Geetha Gopal

Last week, I was invited to the PMI Virtual Experience Series event held on 2 June 2021 to share my thoughts on the impactful topic of “Driving Innovation through Diversity.” It was a wonderful session with Idan Tobias, and we discussed why we think a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) mindset strengthens project and organizational performance.

Idan had a great set of thoughtful questions such as what the role of DE&I in driving innovation was, and what is one piece of advice I would give to project leaders on this topic, to recount a few. We deliberated on the strong influence of cognitive biases and the results of various studies which indicate that being aware of and acknowledging them is the first step in addressing them. I shared that I am always keen and willing to explore the unknown and untried, take up projects and solutions that are risky as long as their benefits outweigh the risks. In recent times, we have seen organizations setting DE&I as key goals which are more inclined to gender, racial and sexual diversity. I highlighted that generational diversity is often overlooked and must be considered as well. There are at least five different generations in today’s work environment, so we must be inclusive in that aspect too.

We discussed examples of organizations whose inclusive culture has resulted in their tremendous growth. As leaders we can embrace diversity by creating the right atmosphere in our teams and organization, so that anyone is able to adapt, perform their best and complement the system. Open communication, addressing concerns, promoting awareness and having a feedback culture will positively influence and make it sustainable. We also discussed on how active learning, curiosity and diversifying our skillsets will help us to grow as individuals.

During the session, there were interesting questions from the participants, and I am sharing a few of them along with my response.

Q: Would cultural diversity foster creativity in a project team and what are the factors that are needed?

R: Cultural diversity WILL increase creativity in projects. I see it as a kaleidoscope whose different views make it even more beautiful! As Idan says about his own experience coming from an organization which fosters diversity, they have seen an increase in employee participation and their overall growth has been tremendous. What's needed to encourage cultural diversity is first understanding our setup. If we don't measure, we don't know where we stand.

Q: Which is first - diversity or inclusion?

R: Inclusion comes first for me! As humans, it’s in our natural self to go out of our way to support those who make us feel included... Humanizing is a very important step in driving inclusion. Giving opportunities to those with the right attitude, willingness to learn and go the extra mile will see better results that hiring purely for technical skills.

Q: Would the speakers agree that disciplinary diversity (think cross functional teams) presents a great metaphor for cultural diversity? We're able (at least sometimes) to appreciate differing perspectives in cross functional teams in these situations and we can apply that sort of awareness sprinkled with cultural humility to our conversations and project interactions.

R: Yes, absolutely! That’s a great perspective! To give my own example, we see this all the time in IT projects where non-technical project members are as important as the technical ones, but this inclusion is not natural. The generic balance they bring to highly specialized discussions is important, and so is the disciplinary diversity aspect of it. We will miss out by excluding such diversity. I firmly believe that this is also a cognitive bias that is prevalent in practice and must be acknowledged and addressed.

It was heartening to see so many positive responses on our views. Here are some of their comments:

“I think it takes an open mind. Not everyone is willing to share with other people of different identities. (To assure ourselves that we) are not to be afraid.”

“Sometimes the obstacles to overcome are ourselves/our biases.”

“Humanizing the experience is a really powerful idea.”

“(The) danger is shutting people out by considering people ‘too old’ (with) age discrimination.”

Overall, I had a great experience, and the full presentation will be available on demand through 31 January 2022.  Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2021 for more details.

Posted by Geetha Gopal on: June 09, 2021 09:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

SPARK: How to Ignite It for Greater Connection, Meaning, Purpose, and Impact!

By Jack Duggal, MBA, PMP

Have you thought about the need for greater connection, meaning, and purpose recently? If you have, you are not alone, and if you haven’t, you should! It is a life changer and can lead to greater results, impact, and satisfaction. Particularly in the last year, the pandemic has pushed us to reflect on these questions to find a sense of meaning and purpose. Over 40 percent of the global workforce is in pivot mode and considering leaving their employer this year, according to a Microsoft 2021 Work Trend Index report.

But how do you pivot with purpose? Do you feel stuck in your current situation, or do you have a bunch of options? Are you unsure if you are on the right track? How do you decide and make tough choices? How do you connect your project to purpose?

To address these questions, we have to go to the source of what ignites our spark. Just like a light bulb needs a connection to a power source to light up, what do we as humans need to light up?

“Powered by Intel,” “Powered by AWS” or “Powered by Google” are ubiquitous stamps and stickers on products and systems. What would be a similar sticker for homo-sapiens? The more you think about it, the more you will realize that we are “Powered by Purpose” – we are a purpose-driven species. Purpose is what makes us get out of bed in the morning instead of dragging. Purpose is what we need to bounce back, and not just bounce back but bounce forward. Without purpose we are designed to self-destruct. So, if you feel like you have lost your mojo, you need to reconnect with your purpose.

We have all gone through a rough time with the pandemic, but some people have gotten stronger by reflecting and reigniting their spark. They have changed their priorities and carved a new path based on their purpose.  

Since the 1980s, there are over 750 studies that mention “purpose in life” examining the psychological, behavioral, and biological benefits of purpose. From stress reduction to resilience, more antibody production to longer life, more money, and greater life satisfaction are some of the benefits highlighted in these studies. Think of purpose as a vitamin; the strength of vitamin P energizes and lights us up, and the lack of purpose can drain and weaken us.

What is purpose?

Purpose is the flame that ignites the spark. It inspires and enables action to create or do something that is meaningful to yourself and consequential to others. It is energizing because it helps you to connect to your highest self. It provides a clear why based on the central theme of who you are, your skills, and your goals.

How do you find it? You will discover purpose at the intersection of what is interesting to you, what you are good at, and what the world needs. You have to dig into your curiosity that fuels passion that sparks purpose. In this PMI Virtual Experience Series session on 2 June, we will unpack this in detail and find out how to light the spark by discovering what powers and inspires you, connecting your projects to purpose, and using purpose as a skill to find meaning and connection. Move from me to we to thee and impact not just yourself but your family, team, community, or the planet. 

Identifying your spark and igniting your purpose is a life changer. Find out how by joining me on 2 June for the Virtual Experience Series where I will be responding to your questions and comments as you start to identify your big why and what you offer to the world.

 

Posted by Jack Duggal on: May 21, 2021 02:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

How to Succeed in a Disruptive World

By Fabiola Maisonnier

The whole world has lived through many challenges since 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, leaders from different countries and businesses have been faced with making an unprecedented number of responses to their many challenges.

We have few good memories from 2020, and because of repeated lockdowns, curfews and downturn, people have been impacted, leading to discouragement and even mental health disorders.

Moreover, people stopped travelling and meeting friends. Restaurants, fitness centers, cinemas and theaters were closed. Businesses that depended on travel and people getting together were severely impacted, along with those businesses which were dependent on their workforce being 100% in the workplace with no ability for employees to work from home. And what about the companies that were not technologically prepared to have their employees work from home? It was a real disaster!

People then changed their ways of living and working. We avoided taking airplanes, and it was no longer possible to go out with friends to bars and restaurants. We are now spending more money on home improvement as we are working from home, eating at home and asking for food delivery, doing online shopping on a regular basis, as well as video streaming and gaming. As a consequence, a global recession was imminent because of these new habits and ways of living.

Even though vaccination has started in some countries in 2021, the pandemic is not over and we do not know how long the coronavirus immunity will last after receiving a vaccination. Risks remain as vaccines do not provide 100% protection against contracting COVID. Likewise, new coronavirus variants are emerging, and past infections may intensify the risk of another surge.

Therefore, we need to adapt, react and pivot with quick solutions. We cannot be waiting until the whole world has been vaccinated. The pandemic is still here, and we do not know for how much longer.

We need people who can manage and lead during these unprecedented times and during any other upcoming crisis. We need people who can encourage their communities, colleagues and families to be prepared for a world during and beyond COVID. We need pivotal leaders!

My session on 2 June, “The Pivotal Leader: How to Succeed in a Disruptive World,” will present key elements for adapting to crisis and using it as an opportunity to pivot and bring possibilities for bold new prospects for us to survive in a disruptive and changing world!

Interested in learning these elements to identify habits and elements that will help you surpass all obstacles to become an Influencer and a pivotal leader? Join me on 2 June for the PMI Virtual Experience Series 2021 when I will be answering your questions during my session, Session 302: The Pivotal Leader: How to Succeed in a Disruptive World.

Posted by Fabiola Maisonnier on: May 20, 2021 04:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Do You Know that Your Feedback Can Be Worth a Million Dollars?

By Johanna Rusly

Have you ever pondered a question regarding how valuable your feedback is? In today's growing global marketplace, there is an increasing need to grow and improve, both personally and organizationally, and your feedback greatly helps to make it happen.

In this consumer and producer’s world, each one of us can possibly wear multiple hats. Maybe you’ve given feedback on the products or services that you use, or you’ve received feedback from others. Remember on the reviews that you gave on the any products that you’ve purchased online? Or the feedback that you received from your family members on the new recipe that you’ve just tried? Each of the feedback helps the receivers in learning the strengths and weakness of their respective products and services, formulating the plan and strategies to creating the “next” version of products and services that offer improved values to their users or customers. I’ve also discovered that there are also many famous people who have shared great quotes regarding feedback:

  • “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” (Bill Gates)
  • “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” (Ken Blanchard)
  • “Average players want to be left alone. Good players want to be coached. Great players want to be told the truth.” (Doc Rivers)
  • “I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” (Elon Musk)
  • “Mistakes should be examined, learned from, and discarded; not dwelled upon and stored.” (Tim Fargo)
  • “Make feedback normal. Not a performance review.” (Ed Batista)

In my session, I'll start with understanding the drive and motivation behind feedback. How does feedback drive personal, project teams, and organizational growth? As with everything else, it’s easier and simpler to start from small – at the personal level - your direct community members or team members. How can we make continuous improvement to create more values for others or help others in achieving their personal or professional goals? For example, how can I improve from an average singer, musician, cook, writer, speaker to be a better one? Then, we can aim for a broader scope; for example, the goal can be to bring the value of the tasks that we typically perform or the products and services we deliver to the next level.

Learning to give and receive feedback can be a daunting task. That’s why in this session, I’ll also share some tips to help us harness the power of some common or uncommon feedback sources, plan an effective feedback cycle, give valuable feedback, and leverage the power of feedback to support your personal, project team’s or organization's success.

Interested in learning more and furthering the dialogue on this topic? Join me on Wednesday, 2 June for the Virtual Experience Series 2021 and take part in the question and answers with me and the rest of the PM community during Session 322: Do You Know that Your Feedback Can Be Worth a Million Dollars?

Posted by Johanna Rusly on: May 19, 2021 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
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