For the past year, PMI has been going undergoing a strategic transformation to be able to support Project Managers in every aspect of their career journey.
This has really made me think about myself and my own career journey and I've asked myself: What am I doing to invest in myself? What am I doing to become a stronger, better Project Manager? Here are a few suggestions that I'd recommend
1. Develop your career strategy
One thing that I'd recommend you start with is looking at where you want your career to go. If you can see where you want to be in 3,5,10 years then it'll help you analyse how you can get there. Do you want to move towards Program Management? Diversify your skills as a Project Manager and become an expert in a specific area (agile/ transformation etc)?
2. Know your resources!
Your PMI membership can be a great way for you to know and utilise resources at your fingertips. Free On-Demand Webinars, Virtual conferences, in person conferences and great Career Development blogs are all available for you to be able to support and help you along the way. Don't forget that there are many Vendor offers available for you that might be useful to find available resources.
When it comes to the renewal cycle for PDUs, I try to plan to achieve a minimum of 20 PDUs every year. Within that, I break it down into topic areas where I want to personally improve and then I look for resources that can support me in this area. So it could look like this:
4. Ask the right questions:
Here's a few questions that might help you understand / learn where you want to develop/progress to:
Why is this important?
I completely agree with the PMI strategy of focusing on the individual Project Manager and their career path. It's important to remember and really look long term about our career path and how we can get there. I also think that it's important to have this discussion with your company/ manager about where you want to go and how you want to develop.
During my recent yearly discussions with my boss I discussed that my interests over this year have developed and change and this is where i'd like to move/develop towards. My company appreciates that I take control of my career path and let them know how this will link with their wider strategy/organisational goals.
When it comes to career planning, I think that it's important that you take the time out of your daily work to think really hard and honestly about the answers and work out what's best for you in your long term career. What does your career plan look like? How do you plan your career development? One great thing is that the PMI will be there to support you on your journey and keep providing you great opportunities to help you be the Best Project Manager that you can be!
Are you a champion of change? Do you set a good example to your team, your colleagues and your company for how change should be managed? During the recent PMI conference, I've been learning more about what i can do to become a champion of change and using what I've learnt at the conference to benefit me and my projects. There was a lot of great presentations and keynotes and for me, it really motivated my desire to push myself to become a better change advocate and "Change-seller".
During this blog post, I'll give you some ideas for what you can do to become a champion of change and what you can do to make a difference within your own "world" but I'd also like to start a discussion in the chat about what YOU do already to make change work in your projects? What helps makes you unique?
Here's some of my suggestions:
1) Be active, open and transparent
Change is scary and frightening for most people. But not for you! You thrive on change and to do this, you are active about communicating the change and being transparent about what's going on. This has to happen with everyone you see in your working day to be successful!
2) Show the value
With any sort of change management, you're on a PR selling mission. One way to promote the change is to show the value to the interested parties. Make it relevant to them and relevant to what they need to know and it'll help you get the message across. Perhaps ask yourself the question: "What's in it for them?" and "Why is this important for them?". This always helps me think about how I can best show them the value.
3) Communicate, communicate, communicate!
One thing that you can't do enough of is communicate. Communicate in an effective manner, in the right ways (for your industry, company) and look at the best way of delivering your message. Communication doesn't just need to be verbal! A recent idea was to communicate the upcoming project go live over the company screensavers. So that every time you shut your PC or were idle, you'd get a visual showing you the Go Live date and some important graphic information. It's given us an additional way of communicating to people and something that they'll see several times in their day. If you can make it eye catching, all the better!
4) "Be the change you want to see in the world" - Ghandi.
This is true for many areas of your life and especially when it comes to projects! If you're stalling, being negative, talking negatively then it'll transfer to your team and that's not worth it!
5) Look at what you can do differently
Try different things, different strategies to see if your team/ organisation reacts to that more positively. When I'm coaching Project Managers I say: There is more than one way to get from A to B, if the first way doesn't work, then try another way". Sometimes to see what could be done, you need to think outside of the box for what might work with your team. This could be different visuals, broadcasting in different ways, using other media (instead of powerpoint slides, use video).
Being a champion of change is something all of us can strive to achieve and strive to accomplish. How do you make yourself a champion of change? Let's connect and discuss more.
This year will be second PMI Global Conference so I wanted to give you some ideas and expectations for what you can expect at this upcoming conference.
One of my favourite parts of PMI conferences are the networking opportunities. At the recent EMEA Conference, I not only met new colleagues and connections that I could talk to but I was also able to make new like-minded friends! During the conference, you'll have a series of different networking breaks that give you an opportunity to grab a drink, snack and meet other PMs doing the same thing!
There are also some great lunches where you can sit down and eat with the speakers that you've just heard lecturing with and there's the ability to ask further / personal questions for advice. In the evenings there are usually some great activities and networking events to make sure that you're getting the most of these sessions.
Every presentation that you see at the conference has been peer reviewed, processed, rehearsed and given a lot of attention! The talks that you see will be the best of the project management community at the moment and allow you to access some of the latest thoughts from the most experienced SMEs in the world.
I will always bring a new notepad to the conference and by the end of it, it is jam packed with notes, actions, ideas, further learning opportunities.In every talk that I go to, I like to write down: What is my biggest take away from this topic? and really try to focus on what I will be getting out of it. This could be an action to learn more or it could be a question that I want to raise with the presenter.
Advice from Ask the Experts:
During this years conference, you have the ability of being able to book into a session with some of the leading Project Management Professionals in the world. There is the stand called: Ask the Experts where you can get personal and private access to some of the best minds in Project Management today... and you can ask them whatever you want! Do you want to ask about career advice? An issue in your project? Networking opportunities? Certification advice? or just to talk about how they managed to get where they did today. I will be there as well and I'll be ready to ask and support you with any of your Project Management queries! You can sign up here!
This conference is presented by people like you. They're normally all Project Managers with extensive experience in their industries and they want to share their knowledge with you!
So, let's start a discussion: How do you prepare for conferences? Do you take a notepad along with you? Do you just like to 'go with the flow'and see what happens?
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.
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?
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.
#PMIEMEA18 – Day 2 : #BoundaryPushers : Learn to push boundaries, embrace change, and think in an innovative way
My day 2 at #PMIEMEA18 started with the offsite tour to the BER – Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, originally planned to open in October 2011, the airport has encountered a series of delays and cost overruns. It was amazing to see how a team is pushing boundaries, embracing change to fix a project that is gone so wrong. “Three things that you think can contribute to the success of the project ?” asked one of our congress attendees to Thomas the project manager of the BER – airport project. The answer
A walking tour of the BER - Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg an unique learning experience to get the feel of the project at the site. For more insights on the offsite tour to BER airport read the blog Project Management to the Rescue
Back in Berlin convention center I attended the session “Digital Transformation: Leading Organizations to the Promise Land” by Dan Lefsky, the key to succeed in a digital transformation program is not technology, but to do with culture said Dan. Dan’s tips to a successful digital transformation were
Now that I have some tips to lead successful digital transformation, I wonder how the project teams of the future would look like? They would be tech savvy, would need flexibility and empowerment, value human interactions, global perspective, bite size knowledge and prefer work life balance- says Muhammad A. B. Ilyas, Mohamed Khalifa in their session Reforming Transfer of knowledge on the projects of the future. So how would be the transfer of knowledge be like for project teams of the future
This interactive and innovative session transformed us from transferring knowledge through documentation, presentations to interesting techniques like
Keeping with the theme with the “projects of the future” I look forward to the closing key note by Inma Martinez - "Developing Creative Approaches to Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalisation" on the final day – Day 3 of the #PMIEMEA18.