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
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger

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

From Whiskey to Virtual Team Development. Another packed day at PMIEMEA19

Categories: Agile

Day 2 has really kicked off with a bang! This morning, I joined one of the offsite activities that PMI offers at their EMEA Conference. The options available were: A visit to the Microsoft Campus, A visit to the Royal College of Surgeons and finally a trip to Teeling Whiskey Distillery. As a fan of Whiskey, this last option was the biggest highlight for me!

Everyone was really excited and enthused to go to the distillery! I presented a video live from the Distillery on Twitter for everyone and I hope some of you managed to see it! The Distillery tour itself took you through how Whiskey is made but on a boarder level about how the Teeling company has overcome a lot of adversity and challenges to be in the strong market position they are in today and what this means for us as Project Managers. The biggest takeaways for me can be summed up in this picture.

After coming back from the Distillery, it was already time for lunch and I love being able to use this time to Network with other PMs. I always find a table of people that I have never met and just start talking to them about their morning session. It was really fun to be able to see how different people take in different things from each session. During this networking break, we had quite an open discussion about the functionality and practicality of hotdesking/open space working in a project team environment and what worked for them in their projects. I find it fascinating to see how many different ways people can approach challenges in their projects and organisations.

After Lunch, it was time to for us to contribute in the Virtual working /leadership session. I really liked that there was such a large audience interaction and participation in this session as it really showed the wealth of knowledge and experience in the room but also the facilitation skills of the speakers to be able to handle such a passionate group of Project Managers. It was a constant stream of sharing knowledge/ asking questions and giving their feedback which really made this session very worthwhile. I posted a series of pictures live on my Twitter feed (@Em_The_PM) that I can strongly recommend that you look at.

The final session of the day was: Why women make better Project Managers and I felt that this title was a big misleading for the topic that it covered as it was more about the Leadership style needed for 21st Century projects and although the topic was well covered from a Leadership perspective, I wished there would have been more of some takeaways for why and how you can utilise women in your project teams/environments.

The day ended with a fabulous celebration from PMI for their 50th Birthday and what a celebration it was! Live music, acrobatics, fabulous food and networking. This was a really lovely end to the day and although you can see that everyone is very tired from an intense two days of conference, they are really emboldened by what's to come!

It's going to be the last day of the conference today and we are looking forward to some more great sessions and what we're able to learn in this last jam packed day! I'm really looking forward to the TED Talks closing ceremony and can't wait to see what more I can learn today!

Please don't forget to follow me and the other correspondents on Twitter and make sure you're checking the Projectmanagement.com Twitter for the latest snippets!

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 15, 2019 01:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

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)

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)

Think-Feel-Act, Design Thinking, Governance, AI in PM, and the importance of Sponsorship at #PMIEMEA19 - Day 1

What a first day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. A single blog post won’t suffice to cover all the learnings of one day. I chose to pick out some of the key points that stuck in my head of each session I attended – so here it is:

“Most of people define themselves through what we actually do: I am a Project Manager, I am a Fire Fighter, I am a School Teacher. Also, most organisations define themselves through what they sell, and not what customer values.” Jamil Qureshi told the story of a Fire Fighter, who, given the question what he did for a living, said: “I let the future take place, I build communities”. He believes that if he saves a family or a house from a fire, that family can live happy lives and the house will remain to exist. The firefighter defines himself through what he thinks and feels, rather than what he actually does, namely fighting fire.

 

Jamil made an important point: It is all about perspective. We are drawn to our most dominant thoughts and feelings. If we change the way we think and feel about something, we can change the way we act.

 

 

Denis Vukosav is a passionate project manager from the banking industry. That industry may not be known specifically for their ability to deploy Design Thinking and Agile methods in their projects, but Denis is challenging this: “When Design Thinking and Agile methods merge, you can combine best of both worlds. Design Thinking devotes an entire process step to developing customer empathy, which is often minimized within the agile framework for the benefits of speed.” You can make your projects become more successful by incorporating the needs of the customer with design thinking early on in your projects.

 

Denis continues to investigate how Design Thinking will enrich project management processes and will talk again at the global Congress in September. 

 

Michael Knapp presented his research findings from a study on the importance of governance in 3P (Portfolio, Programme, Project Management) in managing innovation in organisations. “One common mistake management and project managers often do is confusing governance and management. Management is about the execution of tasks and processes. Governance is about decision-making.  Today, we have good standards and processes defined for the execution, and research shows, there are very little standards and processes on Governance in organisations.” The lack of maturity and metrics in governance can often lead to barriers to manage innovation effectively. If a project manager experiences the following barriers, there is a high chance that these symptoms are the result of a lack of governance maturity: Under-funding, culture clashes, sclerosis, politics and poor alignment, lack of strategy and vision, and lack of executive commitment.

 

“The best thing you can do as a project manager working in innovation is to grab management and sponsors and drag them down to the shop floor where the action takes place basis”, said Michael. This will make them start to rethink their commitment.

 

 

What will the future of work look like for a project manager? The next session I attended was organized as a panel discussion formed by three industry leaders in their field of expertise (project management). Hilary Baker from Airbus, Jim Robinson from the Ministry of Defence UK, and Dieter Butz from Bosch.

 

“Knowledge management, empathy, and anticipation are probably the key competences that distinguishes a good project manager from any future AI-driven tool in the profession”, says Hilary. Jim adds, that: “Hard project management skills such as scheduling, risk management, planning, and reporting the right information may become less manual, but need to be understood by a PM”. “Role perceptions will constantly change, and we need to change with the changing needs of the organisation to stay competitive, as an organisation, and as an individual”, concludes Dieter.

 

The gist of the talk for me: Now is the time to rethink standard role models in a project in order to shape the profession in 2030. AI will support, but cannot compete with the human intuition, passion, and creativity of a project manager.

 

 

Olivier Lazar, one of the very few people in the world holding each PMI certification, made an inspiring talk about the role and the need of the sponsor in a project.

 

“41% of projects fail because there is a lack of sponsorship”. Especially in Change Management the role of the sponsor is inevitable. The project manager does not have the credibility to effectively sponsor change and convince negative influential stakeholders.

 

Furthermore, he stresses a vital point: “The project charter is a contract between the organisation, the sponsor, and the project manager. It is the accountability of the sponsor to write and own the project charter”. This is sometimes forgotten. Olivier reminds us that the Initiation Process Group of the PMBOK 6th is owned by the Sponsor.

 

The sponsor is a tool to the project, a good project manager applies this tool effectively in their projects.

 

 

Now I am looking forward to a great 2nd day.

 

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 we will be covering the sessions live so you don’t miss a thing!

Posted by Moritz Sprenger on: May 14, 2019 03:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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