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
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

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
Kristin Jones

Recent Posts

Crowd Sourced Inspiration

My parting thoughts on PMI's 50th anniversary Global Conference

My impressions from day one of "Ask an Expert" at #PMIcon19

Ask The Experts -- at the global conference

What Does an Invitation to the ‘Ask the Expert’ Panel Mean to Me? #PMIcon19 #Inspiration

The grand Finale - Day 3 of PMIEMEA19

Today was another packed day and you could see that everyone was getting tired but was still energised to take part in the sessions and contribute.

Session 1: Cutting Edge Project Management: the future of Technology in Project Management - Dan Lefsky

My first session was with Dan Lefsky. I have a great admiration and respect for Dan as not only does he provide a lot of practical advice but he really goes all-out in a session including some wonderful live demos to see how things could be done in reality. During his session on: Cutting Edge Project Management: the future of Technology in Project Management, he showed possible technical solution to build out your solutions within your company. He really challenged us with how we work today and what the limitations could be in the future with regards to the reliability of data/ questioning the data that we have. This really resonated with me during the TedTalks Closing keynote as one of the presenters was talking about how we can critically look at the data and studies that we see in every day life.

Dan gave me a few minutes of his time to record a short video about his session. You can find it here.

Networking lunch:

During today's lunch session, I sat with some of my peers and discussed 'conflict resolution'. This came about as one of the table was working during lunch on an escalation and asked the table: How would you handle this sort of situation? Where a vendor is more focused on the contract than delivering the project? It really gave a lot of valuable insight into how other Project Managers would handle the situation and we had quite a lively debate!

I also managed to catch up with Laurel and got her insight into the conference, you can view the video here

Ted Talks - Closing Keynote:

I will first admit that I am a massive fan of TED Talks and regularly use them to learn about new topics/interesting topics. During this closing keynote, PMI and TED partnered together to cover a series of talks that covered every aspect of Life, Career and the possibilities of the future.

This end to the PMIEMEA Conference was not just an inspiring end to a fantastic conference but also an amazing opportunity to be inspired to what is really possible.

In the final closing, we found out that the goal that PMI had set itself at the start of the year to record 50,000 hours of volunteering had been met ALREADY! So they announced that it was going to be increased to 100,000 hours. I really hope that you'll get involved in the Year of the Volunteer to be able to contribute to the UN Goals. This is my video of volunteering for PMI when I was in Philadelphia earlier this year.

Over the next few days, I'll be writing a summary post of my time at PMIEMEA19, so if you have any questions, please feel free to write them below and I'll answer them in the summary post.

Do you want to know what the food was like? What was it like to network with so many people? How were the breaks? There's nothing off limits! 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 16, 2019 03:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

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)

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)

Wow - the first day is already over

The first day of the #PMIEMEA19 is already over. It is unbelievable. Reflecting back on the day's events I realize it is difficult to summarize without writing a book. I will try my best.

In the morning it was fun watching people network, reconnect with old friends, pick their badges and generally get ready for the conference. I also had a chance to connect with many new people. Of course there was Coffee, Tea and Biscuits. It is amazing to see that 800+ people made it to the conference.

Opening Session:

Beth Partleton, a PMI Fellow and 2019 Board of Directors Member led us through the session. In a video Jim Snyder, one of the 5 founders of PMI, reflected on the History of PMI. Jim's greatest memories of 50 years of PMI is all about the people. He is excited to see what the next 50 years will bring. 

Sunil Prashara the new PMI President & CEO reflected briefly on his first 67 days in office. His biggest first impression is also the people and the community spirit within PMI. He is truly impressed what is happening in the Chapters and especially with the Ireland Chapter putting this amazing event together. He promised to be available throughout the event and attend sessions with all of us. And sure enough I met him in some of the sessions I attended. I also managed to briefly chat with him and saw many others do the same. Yes he wants our input, reach out to him!

The first Keynote by Jamil Qureshi, was packed with information, tips & tricks in a very relaxed talk. Jamil the Scribbler, as he calls himself. In order to get amazing success in your life you only need to do a 1 degree change. Find that one thing you want to change a bit. The 3 principles that with change your life are simple:

1. Inner Dialogue - reflect and do the 1 degree shift

2. Check on your response to events in your life and see the outcome change

3. Look into the belief systems of yourself and others to see what is blocking you from being truly innovative. Dismantle these belief systems by using the "Rogue Monkey" to proof that the belief systems are wrong.

Influencing without Authority:

If you use IQ & EQ together you can easily have influence without having formal power. Norma Lynch& Pat Lucey how with the help of a influence plan, using 11 steps one can successfully influence stakeholders and with that project outcomes. This talk will come up tomorrow again.

HamdanBin Mohammed Awards for Innovation in Project Management:

These international awards were introduced by the Crown Prince of Dubai, to encourage innovation in the way project management is done. There are 8 different awards in 4 categories. Awards are given to Individuals, Organizations, Teams and Academia. There is full time team, that judges applications by clearly defined rules. Check their website for details. www. hbmaipm.com

Leading Change Adoption at a Glance:

Change projects are only successful, if the implemented is adopted. The What and the How needs to be sorted out. Adrian Mulvanerty reduced it to a simple formula, based on the William Bridges Model:

Q + A = E  

Q = Quality, A = Adoption, E = Effectiveness

His leading Change Adoption Toolkit offers 7 tools in 3 process groups. Check with him or the Schneider Electrics Website for the tools.

PM 2030: Your Project Management Toolkit for the Future:

Philip Diab led a Panel Discussion between Dieter Butz of Bosch, Hilary Baker of Airbus and Jim Robinson of the British Armed Forces. This discussion showed clearly that AI is not likely to replace project managers, since projects need the human factor of project management. However there seem to be clear differences between what the private industries need from a future project manager and what the armed forces expect to require.

Forecasting Project Performance with Control Account Value Analysis (CAVA)

Douglas Bower explained the principles of Control Account Value Analysis with practical examples and compared it to EVM clearly showing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The day ended on a high note with a Networking Social, with fresh Guiness and wonderful snacks. Thereafter, those who had signed up and paid for Networking Tours left for the tours. I will talk about the one I attended in a separate Blog

As you can see the day is packed with information, different sessions and it is often difficult to decide which session to attend. The PMI Event App can guide you in selecting the sessions you want to attend.

I have learned a lot of practical things today

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 13, 2019 06:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)
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