Viewing Posts by Yves Cavarec
During the discussion, I heard the following sentences. "In my industry where innovation is key, we need to adopt it rapidly and we expect PMs to embrass and support change." "Being creative is natural to people"
Don't you find it weird? Please, have a look at it again. Personally I find is contradictory. Let me show you why.
Innovation is key
Yes! In most (if not all industries) innovation is key to make a difference with competitors.
Adopt it rapidly
Yes! The principle of innovation is to put something new into the market. And the faster you do it, the more benefits the company makes compared to competitors. Once competitors have something equivallent, there is no longer any advantage.
PMs should embrasse ad support change
Here we understand that decisions are made at the top, which is a traditional way of running a business. And when I say traditional I mean a 20th century way to lead a large corporation. Is it the best way to innovate and go fast in such an organization? It would means that ideas are, if not generated, at least selected at the higher level of the organization. Then once decisions are made, PMs are supposed to silently obey and make it possible as fast as possible... Who would like to commit to such a job? Not me.
We are all creative
If this is true (personally I believe it is), people want to use their own ideas. They don't want to ask for authorization, which would leave room for a possible "Next time you have a stupid idea, please keep it for you". Nobody wants to be told what to do, unless you are learning something new: everyone wants to proudly show that they are capable of doing things by themselves rather than beaing treated like a child.
I believe that in large 21st century companies, people should be given clear guidelines and trusted to make decisions in their jobs to decide how to make it. Once you agree with guidelines, you should be free and responsible for reaching the objective.
I believe that when we use words like "embrassing change" or "resistance to change" is an indication that companies don't have clear guidelines and don't trust people to do their job their way. I understand that for such companies innovation is a problem. But I don't know if they have a long future.
Gabor's topic was about re-imagining boudaries and reshaping the future of our organizations. The overall speech is inspiring.
I will keep in mind the following challenge. Let's take 1 minute to create a team of 3 to 4 people around you and formulate a strategy for winning a contest of correctly guessing the flip of a coin the most time in a row...
The exercize is fun and easy to reproduce at your customer or at your PMI chapter event.
Now imagine that each flip represents a critical milestone in your project. Suppose you have 50% of change to succeed at each milestone. This means that you have 50% of chance to be successful at the first one, then 50% to succeed at second one, etc.. Should the project have 12 milestones, you only have 0.025% to be successful the all project...
- 1 flip (milestone in your project) => 50% to be successful
- 2 flips => 25%
- 3 flips => 12.5%
- 12 => 0.025%
My PMI EMEA Congress
Here are the sessions I plan to attend during the congress in Rome. If you have any question to presenters or about session content, just let me know here. I'll post at least one post at the end of each day and I'll do my best to include the answer to your question.
Monday May 1
09:00 - 10:30 Keynote Speaker Gabor George Burt
Tuesday May 2
09:00 - 10:15 Project Failure or Organisation Failure?: Common Causes and Solutions for Project Failure Speakers: Majeed Hosseiney and Mike Frenette
Wednesday May 3
08:30 - 09:45 Enterprise Agile Transformation: Organisational Changes and the Role of the PMO Speaker: Burak, Uluocak
I like to hear 2 types of sessions at PMI Global Congresses:
Real life stories
At the PMI EMEA Congress in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to hear good project management stories that happened for real.
Martial Bellec and Olivier Cottard told us about Contract Manager (CM), a new role in projects that they are currently setting up at Orange Business. They try to define as clearly as possible the roles of CM from the role of PM. They explained how they involve customers and suppliers in their approach. The "implementation" is still on-going so the solution is not completely set yet.
Hakan Olsson and Stefan Bokander told us how their company, Tetra Pak, set-up project, program, and portfolio management over a period of 10 years. Very good story.
Mustafa Dulgerler told us about the relation between business requirements and project at National Bank of Abu Dhabi, in an international context. He had plenty of real life examples to share. I liked it. And he managed to keep the session very interactive!
We hear fashion words like digitalization, collaboration, big data, artificial intelligence... Those buzz words are often very confusing to me. And I'd appreciate to get some keys to understand what to do with them.
Too often, I believe, we tend to become the fashion victims of those buzz words. In order to stay on the page, we run after sessions that deal with fashion issues. And too often, the speaker prefers to avoid risks and hesitates to take a disruptive approach. I can understand that. It is hard to put oneself at risk and to think out of the box.
However, in that case, I like when the speaker gives her/his personal view of the buzz word, even if it is a bit restrictive. At least it makes the session unique. And I hear something here that I dont hear elsewhere.
I want something specific. The contrary to general thoughts. This is why I come to PMI Global Congresses here in EMEA or in North America. And maybe one day in Asia Pacific or Latin America. Who knows.
Why I disagree with this great keynote
Isabel Aguilera delivered a great opening keynote session on Monday. And I completely disagree with her message.
Why she is a great keynote
I think that chosing Mrs Aguilera as a keynote speaker was an appropriate choice. She is really engaging as she talks to her public. Her message is clear and simple. She does not make a thesis. What she says looks obvious at first glance. And, last but not least, as Ricardo Triana (past Chair of PMI) could say, she has this light inviting accent. Our friend Laura Samsó wrote "her words are like water". I would say yes: "sparkling water".
The message of Isabel Aguilera is very simple: "Becoming a leader is not easy, but you have no choice. So put yourself at work." The idea is not new, which is not a problem itself. I even think that this idea has led the world for the last 200 years or more. Mrs Aguilera started her presentation by crossing out a quote of Charles Darwin (The Origin of Species) "It's not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Why? Because, according to her, if you are only responsive to change, it is not enough. Clear!
Why I disagree
Since not everyone can be a sustainable leader (except in a shared leadership model, which was not her meaning), I asked her the question: "Is there room for everyone in your world?" She answered that it is easier for some than for others.
I think our priority should be to reduce the violence. This means better live together and finding room for all. Violence is not the agression. The agression is always the other. Agression is only the conclusion of a process that has started earlier. Violence is not the agression, violence is rivalry.
I thought the message of Mrs Aguilera was violent in that way. And I believe that instead of spreading violence, we should worry about containing violence and develop cooperation.
Project managers are good at putting people around the table toward a common goal. This is a good start to limit violence.