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
Danielle Ritter
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Kristin Jones
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Moritz Sprenger
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger

Past Contributers:

Deepa Bhide
Nic Jain
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Sandra MacGillivray
Gina Abudi
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Yves Cavarec
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Michelle Stronach
Laura Samsó
Marcos Arias
Cheryl Lee
David Davis

Recent Posts

How does your behaviour support you in achieving your goals? - PMIEMEA19 Recap

Networking, knowledge and insight: PMIEMEA19

Final Summary of PMI EMEA Congress 2019 – my 3 top Lesson’s Learned

Round up of Videos from PMIEMEA19

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise! Terrific Third Day of #PMIEMEA19

The Third Day with a Grand Finale

I can't believe the congress is over already. However there is so much we have learned, so much we need to digest.

Today I started my day by attending another session on Virtual Teams. Dr. Mike Oliver brought us the session #603 "Enhancing Virtual Project Leadership Effectiveness". He has worked many years from home and virtual teams have become second nature to him. However globally more and more PMs realize they can work anywhere, anytime. After laying out for us why we are having more and more virtual teams and what the characteristics are of virtual teams are, he helped us think through the challenges of virtual teams. The 3 interactive functions of the Complexity Leadership Theory 

- administrative Leadership

- adaptive Leadership 

- enabling Leadership

need to be balanced and the PM needs to know when to use which and how. 

His practical tips:

1. Communication needs to be much more detailed, to ensure everyone gets the same message. Situations like the one in this video need to be avoided:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNz82r5nyUw&t=11s

2. If budget allows, it is best to meet at least once physically with the whole team as early as possible during the project.

3. Set very clear rules that touch on meeting etiquette, use of social media etc

4. Build trust and keep affirming it. 

In Session #609 "Governance: A framework for applying Agile Practices within Projects, Programs & Portfolios" Nicholas Clemens showed us that progressive elaboration has been part and parcel of the PMI Standards since the first PMBOK Guide. The use of Planning Packages helps tackle the unknowns. "Change is your job security", hence we best embrace it. Nicholas reminded us of the Movie "Dead Poet Society" and the central message that changing once standpoint can give us a totally new perspective.

In Session #614: "Collaborating with the Sales Team to delight your Customers" Neil Shorney gave us a refreshing insight into what Sales Teams and PMs think of each other, how they can complement each other and how they should work together. Sales People are not the ogres but the biggest source of information. Their job is:

1. Understand

2. Propose

3. Gain Commitment

They should provide all relevant project information through SPACE CHAMPS. If you ask the right questions following this acronym you get all the information you need. If you contact Neil through LinkedIn he will share the question list with you.

The Closing Session of the Conference was a series of TEDTalks, which were meant to build us up and help us focus on the possibilities not the problems. Often this is shackled by our belief systems and we need to overcome these. 

Mona Chalabi showed us how with 3 simple questions you can check if statistics are trustworthy or not.

1. Can you see uncertainty?

2. Can I see myself in the data?

3/ How was the data collected? - was the sample size representative? For example a sample of 600 might not be big enough if you try to assess the entire population of a country like America. Where key words defined and do all understand it the same way?

Anab Jain  visits the future for a living. No she does not have a time machine. However she and her husband are hired to imagine possible outcomes in the future. They then simulate these in extensive laboratory set-ups and simulations. With that they help clients to find ways of preventing the negative outcomes.

Mark Pollock & Simone George: Mark lost his sight with 22, when he met Simone he was "only" blind. Later he broke his back through a fall from a window. His biggest message is If you can't change the circumstances, you have to change yourselve". He is involved in amazing research and development of robotic walking aides and new approaches. He has seen the possibilities on his own body, including when well aimed electrical shocks made him be able to move his limbs again without the robotic exoskeleton. Now when he walks it is becoming less of the robot walking him and more of Mark walking. 

He stressed that the Optimist often get frustrated along the way. A Realist however accepts the brutal facts and moves on. Be a realist when the going gets tough!

Julia Dhar showed us how debate is healthy if done right. Engage yourself respectfully, separate the ideas from the person and accept that you may be wrong. If there is conflict about an idea / a situation / an issue, have a face-to-face meeting and discuss in the prescribed manner. Practice intellectual humility.

To practice this in your team you can start by devoting 10min in every meeting to debating and idea or issue.

Ingrid Fentell Lee showed us easy ways to find joy. Joy is a little short blimp of "feel good right now" as apposed to happiness which is "feel good over longer time". Joy begins with the senses. Pops of color, rounded shapes, patterns, symmetry, abundance will put joy back into your life. This will then lead to your team being more alert, more productive and happier. Each moment of joy is small, but these joyful dots add up and have many positive long term effects. Look for joy in your life, don;t chase the elusive happiness. It will come by itself.

Roberto Toledo, of the PMI Board of Directors brought us the great news that the pledged 50,000 hours of community service for the UN global sustainability programs has already been reached! The Goal has now been doubled. Lets all work together to reach 100,000 hrs - check on PMI.org for details, or ask your chapter!

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 15, 2019 06:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

AA & Mi7 (Ambition, Achievement, Motivation and Inspiration in Seven Steps). My Day Two at #PMIEMEA19

Dia daoibh ar maidin! (“Good morning all” in Irish/Gaelic)

Ambition, Achievement, Motivation, and Inspiration!

These phrases bring out my key learnings from Day Two of #PMIEMEA19 at delightful Dublin.

Turning Ambition into Achievement – A Workshop by Jamil Qureshi

Jamil Qureshi was truly a Rockstar of this event. On 13th May, my fellow team member Stephanie Jaeger and I had enjoyed his exclusive workshop for alumni of PMI’s Leadership Institute Master Class (LIMC).

Jamil started today’s workshop with the thought-provoking group activity to suggest global impacts of all humans mandatorily changing sex at age 30. Several impacts came up: a. Increased gender neutrality b. Increase in sales of unisex clothing c. Booming demand for sex-change surgeries, with specialist doctors becoming billionaires!

The speaker stressed how important it was for project managers to provide time & space for team members to get their work done. “It's about driving productivity, not simply activity,” he said.

Jamil pointed out that it was perfectly normal for people to make mistakes. Excellent lessons could be learned from detaching the action from the person.

Having several bobble-heads on the team is detrimental to project success. Instead, he recommended that project managers could play the imaginable/provable game to explore ideas. The game was a safe way to generate healthy conflict.

Mi7! Motivate and Inspire with Seven Proven Leadership Techniques for Project Success by Sripriya Narayanasamy and yours truly.

It was now time to reverse roles. To take the stage, presenting the first of my two sessions at the #PMIEMEA19 event. It was extremely gratifying to see almost a hundred people in our session. My co-presenter and I felt bad that there were almost 20 people who had no chairs for our session. Here’s a summary of what we presented:

  • Project Success is elusive. Motivational and Inspiring Leadership is a necessity, not an option. Here were seven practical, proven success secrets:
  • Serve as the CEO or your project. Create a compelling vision and communicate clearly. Develop project logos and catchy slogans for project success.
  • Understand & Leverage Diversity: Culturally diverse teams won’t magically “gel” well. As PM, you need to proactively build cohesiveness and work hard to ensure trust, teamwork.
  • Catch them Doing Things Right: Far too often for comfort, project pressures force us to find fault and assign blame. This negative atmosphere drags morale down. Make it a habit to catch people doing things right and praise them for it. This attitude can work wonders in increasing team morale.
  • Cultivate Ethical Behavior: Unethical leaders lose respect and trust. Be open and honest with all your stakeholders. Follow the four pillars of PMI’s Ethics Code: Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, and Honesty.
  • Elevate with Empathy: Emotional Intelligence and Empathy are two of the most important skills in a project manager’s success toolkit. Thinking from your stakeholder’s point of view can vastly improve your leadership effectiveness.
  • Embrace Social Media: Social Media connections can be leveraged to understand team members’ interests, passions, and motivations. This understanding can be invaluable in customized motivation plans.
  • Drive Motivation With Visibility: Almost all humans respond positively to visibility and being assigned important work. However, not all project roles can guarantee these. Leverage WBS-Building, Risk Ownership, and the Critical Path to give visibility to team members with the right attitude.

The tips were an acrostic that forms the word “SUCCEED”


I hope you’re enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2019 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates are available on the Twitter handles of our team members, @heykristinj, @Em_the_PM,  @StephanieJaeg10, @moritz_sprenger and yours truly, @KarthikPMO.

Please follow, like, comment, and retweet our continuous coverage on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KarthikPMO), LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/kramamurthy) and Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/forkarthik )


On the last day of the conference. I plan to attend and cover these great sessions. Look for detailed coverage of these sessions tomorrow!

  • Strategic Analysis and Decision Making for Complex Projects by Esra Tepeli
  • Creating Collective Value through Generativity: A Leadership Approach for Complexity by Stephano Setti
  • Closing General Session and Keynote Speaker: TED Talks, Curated for PMI by TED

I will also be presenting this session at 9 am (first session of the day).
If you are at the Congress, I’d love to see you there!

  • Agilely Vaulting Over Waterfalls: Applying Agile to Waterfall and Vice Versa

See you soon with updates of the final day.

Meanwhile, have a great day, or as they say in Irish, “Bíodh lá maith agat”

Keep smiling, keep shining, and keep inspiring!


 

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 14, 2019 08:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Coaching as a powerful tool, the cat-metaphor on agility, and the crux in project monitoring at #PMIEMEA19 Day 2

What a second day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. Not only did the sun shine again in Dublin. PMI also celebrated it’s 50th birthday with us. Half a century of caring about the people and the profession; I am happy to have witnessed just over a tenth of that time. PMI also brought on a stage the most incredible Irish a-cappella-band for the evening celebrations. They would certainly be in the final of any X-Factor show.

Here my short and punchy summary of the key take-aways of the three sessions today with Maria Fafard, Leonor Viturro, and Anderson Gordon – three very inspiring speakers.


It was the first time Maria Fafard spoke at a PMI Congress, and it will not be the last. As an Executive Coach, Maria’s goal was to emphasize the value of coaching techniques in project management.

“What’s wrong with you?”

Does this question ring a bell? Avoid this question if you want to effectively coach. Coaching is essentially about helping the one being coached to change their beliefs, and with it, their behaviour. Because you touch the belief system of a person, the strongest tools in coaching are open powerful questions: How is your behaviour serving you to achieve your goals? Ok, you received feedback from peers, how are you going to use it? Why is this important to you? A common misconception: As a coach “you are not there to be liked, you are there to give a service. Kindly and firmly state what you observe”, says Maria.

Maria also highlighted to overcome the urge to provide a solution that worked for you in a similar situation. Descriptive support will not provide a change of the belief system in the person being coached. People are not vested in the success of a solution that was brought to them from external. 


In the afternoon Leonor Viturro demystified organisational agility and described the three basic layers of agility needed in today’s organisations to respond rapidly to change: (1) Project Agility, (2) Personal Agility, and (3) Agile Decision Making, of which Personal Agility is the pre-requisite, and also the most difficult to obtain in organisation. Leonor applied a metaphor of a cat to distil the key characteristics of personal agility:

  • A cats’ flexible spine: Constantly review your set of beliefs, as a belief system always restricts choice and options
  • A cats’ curiosity: Understand and learn from your context to be able to apply the right leadership approach in a given situation
  • A cats’ vestibular system for orientation: Define your career growth through developing a clear vision beyond factual goals and know what motivates you.

In order to increase organisational agility, starting to push processes to become agile (project agility) will most certainly fail, if the other levels are not addressed (personal agility and agile decision making).


The last session of the afternoon was highly engaging and sparked a lot of discussion. Anderson Gordon introduced a systematic approach to project monitoring: He extended the common Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to include the importance of studying the data being collected and then using the insights to constantly review and adapt the monitoring system.

Anderson mastered the task to facilitate discussion and lead the audience to come up with the key take-aways themselves. He showed examples of performance indicators that lacked completeness and were rightfully challenged by the audience. Performance Indicators should combine two set of criteria: CREAM and QQT. Meaning Clear, Precise, Economic, Adequate, and Monitorable indicators, which can be collected in the right Quality, Quantity, and Time.

And don’t forget to evaluate the indicators you have selected before adopting them.


Let’s see what day 3 holds ready for us.

 

Don't forget to follow my fellow Community Correspondents for updates during PMI EMEA 2019: Emily, Stephanie, and Karthik.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn were we will provide live coverage from the sessions.

Posted by Moritz Sprenger on: May 14, 2019 07:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

My slightly different day 2 at #PMIEMEA19

Interesting how even at a conference, where you mapped out your session attendance, everything can change suddenly. In this case it made for a slightly different, yet fun day.

Initially I had wanted to start my day attending one of 3 offsite sessions that were on offer: A visit to the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI). Since I worked the first 24 years of my career in the medical field and the RCSI won an award last year during the PMI Award Gala, I really wanted to attend this outing. However the offsite sessions are very popular and I was late trying to register. So I put my name on the waiting list. The waiting list was only for the Session at the Teeling Distillery. So I kept my fingers crossed and waited. Late last night I got an email, informing me that I had managed to get onto the Distillery Tour. So both @Emily & myself got to take part in this treat.

Did you know that there was a time when Dublin had over 40 distilleries, and then there was a time there was none? Until Teeling decided to open a small distillery again in Dublin in 2012. The tour takes you right into the distillery and you can see the entire process from end to end. 

Did you know that Irish Whiskey is triple distilled, Scottish Whisky (note the difference in spelling) is double distilled and American Bourbon is only distilled once? Did you know that Whiskey gets its color from the wood of the casks it is stored in, while it matures? That's why older whiskey has a darker color. 

We learned all about the 5 step process of making whiskey and the different kinds of whiskey. What is the difference between Blend, Small Batch, Single Grain and Single Malt. In the end we got to taste 3 of the Super Premium Whiskeys Teeling is famous for. 

We were back to the Dublin Convention Center in time for lunch. I used the lunch break for more networking and meeting new people. One of my techniques is that I often either open a new table and sit there waiting to see who will join me, or purposely go to a table where I know nobody and join them. You end up meeting wonderful people and having deep discussion about project management in general, the sessions attended during the conference or your experience in your career as a project manager.

In the afternoon I attended a session by Dirk Doppelfeld and Nataliya Wiedemeyer about creating your virtual Band. Virtual Teams have their own challenges and the fact that you do not see each other face to face brings a whole lot of unique issues. It is very important that you pay special attention to and effort to getting to know each other, setting clear rules, reconfirming peoples attention and scheduling time for bonding. Dirk & Nataliya shared a set of 11 processes that help you assess the Virtual Team Maturity and position yourself for better collaboration. A great and practical session!

During the afternoon break I got into a discussion with Jim Snyder about progress in the medical world and how robotic surgeries are being done. He has amazing knowledge about it and it was great to discuss with him.

Unfortunately that made me miss the beginning of the next sessions and I found all the 3:15pm sessions full to capacity. So I was unable to attend any session. Instead I had another great discussion with Dirk Doppelfeld about Project Management Training, REPs and our experiences with classroom and virtual training.

As Jim Snyder said during the opening sessions, PMI is about the people. I could not agree more, even PMI Conferences are also all about the people. You meet amazing colleagues and peers, you have deep discussions with strangers.

The day ended on a high note again, we had the #PMI50 celebration party. It was good fun with great food, great drinks - lots of Guiness - and fun entertainment.

  

And true to his word Sunil Prashara was there, mingling with all of us, enjoying himself and chatting with many of the delegates.

What a great day at the conference! Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Let us know if you want us to talk in more detail about some of the sessions we attended or those we want to attend tomorrow.

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 14, 2019 05:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

First Day of PMI EMEA Congress 2019: Agilely Playing Games with Rogue Monkeys using Social Intelligence?

Dia daoibh ar maidin! (“Good morning all” in Irish/Gaelic)

Can you Agilely Play Games with Rogue Monkeys while using Simulations of Social Intelligence?

That sentence about rogue monkeys may sound bizarre. Why do I have it there? It includes the broad themes of the sessions I truly enjoyed on the fabulous first day of the PMI EMEA Congress 2019 at delightful Dublin!

Got your attention? Please read on for my key takeaways from each of those sessions.

While it is impossible to cover all the great insights and learnings in one short blog piece, I will try my best. Short video interviews with speakers from three of the sessions are available at these Youtube links:

Priya Patra: https://youtu.be/7Z70-vlxNzo

Simona Bonghez:  https://youtu.be/L_jkeLysZuU

Ruth Pearce: Video will be added soon…

Warm welcome!

Entering the Dublin Convention Centre, we were welcomed by two jovial gentlemen, each 12-feet tall. How? They were on Irish stilts! They threw me a few “PMI50” stressbuster toys.

The packed meeting hall was welcomed by Beth Partleton, member of the PMI Board of Directors. She introduced PMI’s new CEO, Sunil Prashara. He was asked why he moved from the business world to head a not-for-profit. His reply was amazing: “I prefer to say PMI is a ‘For Purpose’ organization. And its purpose can make a meaningful difference all over the world!”

Jamil the Scribbler and Celebrity High-Performance Coach

“I don’t use Powerpoints. I just scribble. I’m Jamil, the Scribbler! There, I feel so much better!” That was the rousing start to the Opening Keynote of #PMIEMEA19. In an amazingly inspirational, humorous and practically useful session, Jamil emphasized the importance of inner thinking. He exhorted attendees to make just one degree of difference. He mentioned how two perfectly parallel lines could be made to meet by rotating one of them by just one degree.

Jamil spoke about “Rogue Monkeys,” people who are 1/78 of the human population. These are people who are invaluable since they think differently. The speaker exhorted all attendees to encourage “rogue monkeys” in their teams, adding that every valuable invention in history came from such thinking.

Gamify to Amplify!

Priya Patra displayed high-energy in presenting the session titled “Project Managers – Get Your ‘Game On’ to Usher Success." She emphasized the critical importance of gamification to project success.

Priya spoke about how gamification elicits six key human emotions: Achievement, Altruism, Competition, Cooperation, Recognition, and Self-Expression.

In highly stressful projects, project managers could leverage this tool very effectively, adding a fun element to deliver superior results.

Playing to Win

Vered Holzmann and Daniel Zitter presented the next session,Mastering Project Management Technical and Leadership Skills Through a Simulation Games.”

Each group of nine people played the PMZone game. The game featured three projects simulations with three elements: Cost, Resources, and Value. Players could be hit by issues, benefit from opportunities, and had to plan carefully to succeed.

Social Intelligence, anyone?

We’ve all heard of Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). But have we heard of Social Intelligence (SI)?

In a session titled “Social Intelligence: Why We Need It and How to Get It,” Ruth Pearce, spoke about the importance of understanding others well enough to relate with them.

Ruth presented 24 hum strengths, and the amazing results she had got from taking the time to spot other’s strengths.

She ended with a powerful story written by a fellow course attendee on her experience dealing with her husband’s sudden heart attack.

Agility

Simona Bonghez is a seasoned speaker at PMI events.

Following-up on her “Little Drops of Agility” session at the Berlin Congress in 2018, she presented the session, "The Journey Towards Agility: Lessons Learned From Successes and Failures." Simona stressed on the importance of learning from failures and recovering quickly. She presented case studies of her experience with large organizations.

Simona asked attendees to consider what would happen if you were asked to play a game of chess with some pieces completely removed from the game, the knight moving like a queen and the rook like a bishop. Would you decline to play the game? To win, your only option would be to be flexible, adjust to the new rules, and try to outwit your opponent.

This, she said, was the essence of Agility and Agile Thinking!


I hope you’re enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2019 by the Community Correspondents Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates are available on the Twitter handles of our team members, @heykristinj, @Em_the_PM,  @StephanieJaeg10, @moritz_sprenger and yours truly, @KarthikPMO.

Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions. Look for detailed coverage of these sessions tomorrow!

  • Turning Ambition into Achievement by Jamil Qureshi
  • Influencing Without Authority – An Essential Survival Skill for Project Managers by Pat Lucey

I will also be presenting this session at 3.15. If you are at the conference, I’d love to see you there!

Mi7! Motivate and Inspire with Seven Proven Leadership Techniques for Project Success by Sripriya Narayanasamy and Yours Truly!

Please follow, like, comment, and retweet our continuous coverage on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KarthikPMO), LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/kramamurthy) and Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/forkarthik )

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 14, 2019 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (24)
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