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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
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield
David Davis
Andrew Craig
Lorelie Kaid
LORI WILSON
Kiron Bondale
Heather McLarnon

Past Contributors:

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
Kristin Jones

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Knowledge Transfer Culture for Succession and Resilience

Formalized and Systematic Risk Management for Complex Projects

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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)

Date with Delightful Dublin!

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

Forty days back (Rewind)…

Time certainly flies when you’re having fun or anticipating it! Forty days back, an unexpected email tantalized me, promising a date with delightful Dublin, a date that would last at least five days!

As a PMI volunteer and volunteer leader since 2005, I’ve been an attendee to 30+ events in several countries, presenting at many. Every single one of them gave me valuable opportunities to learn, share, network, and grow.

PMI was inviting me to cover the EMEA Congress 2019 in Incredible Ireland, a country that I had never visited before!

My mother tongue is Tamil, the world’s oldest living language. Skeptical? Go ahead -- Fact check it online!

“Do you want to be paid to eat sweet, delicious sugarcane” is a well-known Tamil phrase.

Would anyone in their right mind refuse this offer? 

First steps…

Registration was very simple. However, it wasn’t at all easy to select sessions from the amazing variety of topics and speakers for each time slots. You can't have your cake and eat it too, can you?

40 Shades of Green!

It was exhausting traveling on a red-eye flight to London, waiting at Heathrow for four hours, and then learning that the connecting flight to Dublin was delayed by an hour.

All that fatigue cleared when the pilot announced that we'd shortly land at Dublin. Acre upon acre of many shades of green told me that Dublin was certainly delightful. 'Emerald Isle” is certainly a very apt name for Ireland! Celebrity singer Johnny Cash certainly wasn’t exaggerating when he famously sang about Ireland’s “40 Shades of Green.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0oTDS9ur_U)

Ireland's charm was further enhanced by the genuine warmth of everyone I met, from the immigration officer, the airport employees who guided me to the taxi lines, and the staff who cheerfully and efficiently arranged cab rides.

Mohan, the cab driver, told me how the area around the Dublin Convention Centre had transformed from a seedy area with crumbling warehouses. It is now a thriving Finance and IT hub with swanky modern buildings!

Let me fast forward back to the present!

Day One of the big event has dawned!

I really look forward to joining my amazing team members, Emily Luijbregts, Stephanie Jaeger. and Moritz Sprenger in taking you, our valued PMI community member in front of, and behind the scenes of PMI EMEA Congress 2019.

We'll cover the key points made by speakers in all important sessions, interview speakers where possible, chat with your peers.

You can participate in a mystery online quiz THREE TIMES every day. Winners will get a HAPPY prize and be featured in our Social Media coverage.

Our team coverage will be on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. On this blog too!

Stay tuned to for continuous updates all day! Give us feedback and ideas on how we can make our coverage even more exciting!

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

Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions:

  • "The Disruptive Leader!" Opening General Session and Keynote Speaker: Jamil Qureshi
  • “Project Managers – Get Your “Game On” to Usher Success" by Priya Patra
  • “Mastering Project Management Technical and Leadership Skills Through a Simulation Games” by Vered Holzmann
  • “Social Intelligence: Why We Need It and How to Get It!” by Ruth Pearce
  • "The Journey Towards Agility: Lessons Learned From Successes and Failures" by Simona Bonghez

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 )

Meanwhile, keep smiling, keep shining, and keep inspiring!

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 13, 2019 02:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)

What to expect at the PMICON18

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.

Networking:

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.

Great talks:

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.

Learning

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!

Summary:

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?

- Emily

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: September 23, 2018 07:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (26)

Day Three, a Truly Triple Treat at #PMIEMEA18

Guten Tag (Good day in German)!

The third day of #PMIEMEA18 gave me and Berlin Congress attendee a truly Triple Treat! 

I learned about TMOs, the Half-Double technique, and the Copernican revolution in Project Management. A terrific bonus was the thought-provoking closing keynote by Inma Martinez.

For those who could not be there, here are short videos interviews that summarize the key takeaways from some of the sessions:

Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig, “The Half Double System for Project Success”: http://bit.ly/MPEMEA18

Olivier Lazar, “Ethical Leadership & Decision Making: The Business Case & The Construction Tools”  bit.ly/OLEMEA18

Jack Duggal, “The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management”:

The TMO (Testing Management Office): Amruta Oak

We’ve all heard of PMOs. What are TMOs? In a fascinating session, Amruta Oak made the case for Testing Management Offices.  Here were some key points in her session:

  • Test teams in projects are often put under extreme pressure in completing a lot of work in very little time. Many project managers do not entirely understand the unique challenges faced by test teams.
  • Investing in a separate Test Management Office can go a long way in improving the probability of project success.
  • Typical roles in a TMO include Test Leaders, Test PMs, Project Coordinators, Defect Managers, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
  • Ten specific steps involved in implementing a TMO.
  • Case Study of Success implementing a TMO in a large Pharmaceutical Benefits project

The Half Double Project: Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig

Achieving DOUBLE productivity in HALF the time? That is indeed a bold proposition! Michael and Per presented concrete results from the bold “Half Double Project” initiative to significantly improve project success rates. Key pointers from their session:

  • While 34.7% of German GDP came from projects, only around 30% of projects are successful.
  • The “Half Double” project is all about placing extreme focus on three core elements: Project Impact, Project Flow, and Leadership.
  • Halving the time to “Impact Creation” has the potential of “Doubling Impact.”
  • Case Study of a successful implementation of the “Half Double” approach: Reducing baggage handling defects in a European airport by 33% from 12/1000 to 8/1000.
  • Research results of nine pilot projects compared to a few using the “Half Double” method showed that the approach brought vastly improved results.

The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management: Jack Duggal

What does Copernicus have to do with a revolution in Project and Business Veteran PMI Conference speaker Jack Duggal started the session with this interesting question.

Jack made this important point. Copernicus controversially postulated that earth orbited around the sun. Today’s most successful projects and businesses put the customer at the center of their compared to others that have their projects or businesses at the center. Other key points in the engaging presentation:

  • Mike Tyson’s famous quote, “Everybody has a PLAN until you get punched in the face!” is very relevant to project managers. Many well-crafted plans may fail when a PM came face-to-face with an angry stakeholder.
  • Transparency to stakeholders is crucial. Jack gave the idea of the Reichstag building where tourists could go right to the top and watch elected representatives work. Similarly, many German government buildings had glass facades to signify transparency.
  • A case study of a situation where a project crisis was creatively handled with a note of apology and candy bars to stakeholders.
  • A practical 11-point “Application Checklist” on implementing the learnings from the session.

Developing Creative Approaches in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalization – Closing Keynote Speaker Inma Martinez

Are robots set to take over our jobs, maybe even the world? What will then happen to humans? In a terrific keynote laced with excellent humor, Inma Martinez candidly answered these questions that are in the minds of many.

  • Can a hearing-impaired person enjoy a musical concert? Can a car drive itself to the mechanic when it has a serious issue that needs fixing? Can machines outdo humans?
  • Answering all these questions in the affirmative, Inma said Artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to revolutionize the world in ways we cannot even start to imagine.
  • However, all human jobs are not at risk. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That's why humans will remain relevant.
  • With many repetitive manual jobs being better done by machines, humans will truly have time to spend on relaxing and important activities such as meditation, listening to music, reading great books, and so on!

I hope you enjoyed the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates were also posted on the Twitter handles of our team members, @PriyaPatra, @KarthikPMO, and @Em_the_PM

Meanwhile, have a wonderful day, or as they say in German, “Ich wünsche ihnen einen wunderbaren Tag!”


Please look for my summary of the Conference in the next blog post. Look for a special surprise on a thought-provoking conversation with a project management legend.


 

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 12, 2018 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (31)

More than Double the Learning, Sharing, Networking & Growing! Day Two of #PMIEMEA18

Guten Tag (Good day in German)!

Play to your Strengths. Resolve Conflicts using Brain Science. Teach the Machines to help you!

These phrases bring out my key learnings from Day Two of #PMIEMEA18 at historic learning.

For those who could not be there, here are short videos interviews that summarize the key takeaways from each session:

Conor Traynor, Strengthsfinder Workshop Presenter: http://bit.ly/CTEMEA18

Phil Bristol, presenter of the session “Pivot-Point – From ME to WE – A Leadership Transformation”:  http://bit.ly/PMEMEA18

Werner Meyer, presenter of the session, “Beyond Humans: Using Machine Learning to Calculate Contingency Reserve for Systemic Risks”: Adding soon

Conor Traynor in Strengthsfinder Session

Play to your Strengths - Conor Traynor

  • Quick: Try writing your full name with your non-dominant hand. How many seconds did it take? Now try with your dominant hand. One-third the time? That’s a good reason to play to your strengths rather than waste time reducing weaknesses!
  • Based on the Gallup Strengthsfinder system, this very engaging workshop involved not one, but two treasure hunts! Participants raced against time meeting other attendees to find their strengths and how it helped them in their jobs.
  • What happens when you overuse your strengths? And what are the ill-effects?
  • Understand the unique strengths of your team members to help them be most productive as a team.
  • Does your current role allow you to leverage your strengths to be at your productive best? If not, you might want to think of a change!

 

Helping Machines Learn to help calculate Contingency Reserve – Werner Meyer

  • Can machines consistently beat humans? One machine indeed did. Though the machine got off to a slow start, it indeed outsmarted a session attendee by guessing whether the human would choose “Heads” or “Tails” across 100 coin tosses!
  • Compared to machines, humans are much more unpredictable and suffer biases. Machines are therefore very useful in some decision-making situations.
  • Calculating Contingency Reserve for Systemic Risks is an ideal scenario where machines can consistently be more accurate.
  • Werner walked the participants through a simple and elegant example of machine learning using as rudimentary a tool as Excel!
  • Not all human jobs are at risk with machines. Some such as “Construction Managers” and “IT Managers” have a low probability of being taken over by machines.

Use Brain Science to Resolve Conflicts and Excel as a Leader – Phil Bristol

  • Do you know about the extreme impacts chemicals have on your Brain? An intense conflict can increase Cortisol levels and make you unproductive for up to eight hours!
  • You can consciously reduce that time by increasing your Oxytocin levels.
  • A classic story of two project team members in severe conflict and how it endangered the project.
  • Deep dive into their motivations and mindsets helped resolve the conflict.
  • The resolution took several months but was well worth the effort since it created a long-lasting solution.

I hope you are enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 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, @KarthikPMO, @PriyaPatra, and @Em_the_PM

Meanwhile, have a wonderful day, or as they say in German, “Ich wünsche ihnen einen wunderbaren Tag!”

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

  • Complex Project Success: Practical Steps to Create Problem Solving Teams by
  • Half-Double Methodology: Creating Double Impact in Half the Time
  • Speak with Confidence – Learn with a European Champion of Public Speaking (@FreeTheOCP)
  • Developing Creative Approaches to AI in the Workplace: Inma Martinez, Keynote Speaker
Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 09, 2018 01:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (15)
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