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

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
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

Digital Transformation or Death, Our Only Options!

As I prepare for the launch of my book “The Digital Transformation Success Formula”, I am often asked by friends who are not in the technology field “What is Digital Transformation?” That is a great question to ask and a great place to start. I say “start” because digital transformation will impact your life one way or another, like the industrial era had impacted your life and that of our parents. Whether you are aware of it or not, you will be making a choice between “digital transformation or death”. Leaders will have to decide first. I help them make the right decisions and guide them to succeed when they choose digital transformation.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is how the latest digital technologies combined with strategic business innovation are reshaping the actual era, reinventing businesses, organizations and our lifestyles.  Many professions as we know them today will disappear in a couple of years. Many of you have already changed careers or experienced the loss of a job. We see many “ends” but digital transformation also offers many “beginnings” and that is what I want to guide you to take advantage of.

 

Digital Transformation and Leadership

Technology itself is evolving fast, but it will not create the transformation by itself. I have as proof the many millions euros/dollars technology and business projects that I had the opportunity to either manage, lead, participate in or witness in the corporate world (and especially in Fortune 500 companies) over the last 20 years. In fact, relying too much on technology is the number one reason for technology project’s failure.  Leaders are creating the transformation. Our lifestyles, businesses, and organizations will be how our leaders shape them. My new book, “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” is aimed at leaders so they can transform themselves first, and then transform our organizations, businesses, and lives efficiently.

 

Are you a leader?

Every leader, no matters your title, your industry, or your work status as an entrepreneur or an employee, you want to be involved. Join my group of Digital Transformation Leaders by opting in for the 1st report, “The N°1 Formula for Digital Transformation.” Just click the link to the portal below. Check out the blog on the site as well. I’ll keep you posted soon about the launch event for the Digital Transformation Leaders platform, as well as the book launch.

 

You won’t want to miss the launch event.

I’ll bring together a great panel of experts to deliver value to you on several aspects of digital transformation. Furthermore, for one hour, you will be able to download the Kindle version of the book for free. That’s not all. You will also be able to purchase the printed “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” book at a reduced price, all during a limited period of time. Additionally, there will be several other gifts to win.

 

Opt-in and join our group at www.digitaltransformationleaders.com.

Once you opt-in, I’ll then send you a private invitation for the launch event, coming in November and the Digital Transformation Report. You’ll also receive a video training on how to “Create Your Digital Transformation Vision in 7 Days”, for free.

See you there!

Nadia Vincent

Posted by Nadia Vincent on: October 24, 2016 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

What you don't like about someone is what you like about them.

Tips for managing a cross-functional team

This sounds very self-conflicted.  But it’s not.  I’ve found that with a project team of highly skilled people, there’s at least a few people that will *really* bug you.  They’ll get under your skin and annoy you in team meetings.   The project manager’s first instinct is to “deal around” them.  In other words, don’t get them involved important aspects of the project.  Leave them out, don’t ask them questions, don’t get their opinions.  You’re hoping that maybe they’ll get the message and leave the rest of you alone.

This is absolutely the wrong thing to do You need the pests, you want the pests, the pests are your BEST friends!  LOVE THE PESTS!  Don’t get annoyed, simply smile and say “thank you!)  When these people annoy you and the project team, they’re showing a unique quality that will, most likely, be very useful to everyone.

The best way I can think to explain what I mean is by picking a few personalities that stick in my mind.  These are my recollections of real people, and there’s a chance they’ll recognize my description of them.  That’s OK.  They know we’re all friends that worked long and hard together.

Here are some of the best and most frustrating team mates I’ve ever worked with

ANNOYING TEAM MEMBERS

Always Wanting More Detail

I must say this is typically considered an engineering oddity.  I have it myself.  Some of the best engineers are NEVER EVER satisfied with the information they have.  This behavior isn’t just restricted to engineers though.  But, when I’m typing this, I’m thinking of our reliability / maintainability person.  He never had enough detail to calculate reliability numbers or to insure we met our maintainability goals.

  1. They are really annoying when the goal is foggy (you don’t like them)
  2. Great when the goal is identified (you like them!)
  3. Helps drag all the dreamers back to reality (you like them a great deal)
  4. Can’t get them onto the next task (you really don’t like them)

Whiner / Complainer

These folks will complain about every step in the project, every deviation, every change, everything that’s not what they think it should be.   These folks are the first choice to work-around, do without or leave out of any project decision.  That would be a big mistake.  Here’s a few test cases:

  1. Awful to work with in a high-pressure environment (you don’t like them)
  2. Great for helping identify risks! (you like them wonderfully!)
  3. Helps avoid “group think” problems (you not only like them – they may save the entire project.)
  4. Not good with the customer (you really, really don’t like them)

Negotiator

These folks want to negotiate every detail in the project.  “Can’t we do it differently – everyone does it this way?”  “Let’s get the two teams together and work out a solution.” This is *after* it’s all be decided. 

  • Irritating during a team decision making session (you don’t like them)
  • Wonderful when dealing with suppliers (you like them!)
  • Great when the project gets in trouble (you like them!)
  • Not fun when you can’t get something to work as it should (you REALLY don’t like them)

THE LIST GOES ON AND ON…

We all have a list like this of different personality types we’ve worked with on teams.  The key is when the annoy you and everyone on the team -- remember this when you DON’T like them.  But sooner or later, this person will help the project a great deal. 

Embrace the jerks on your projects – they may be your best friends!

Please comment with a list of your favorite project jerks! And remember that's what you like them for.  

MEET ME IN SAN DIEGO NEAR THE PROJECTMANAGEMENT.COM BOOTH.

MAKE AN ONLINE / EARLY RESERVATION TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR EXPERTS HERE! 

Posted by David Maynard on: September 18, 2016 07:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

How to Not Lose Your Shirt while Leading Digital Transformation

The digital era is the time for inspiring and impactful leaders. We are no longer in a time where only the top manager commands, and everyone obeys or follows regardless anymore. Therefore your organization expects you to inspire them and make a positive impact in their organization and their future. Otherwise, you may quickly lose your shirt and more in this volatile market. 

You’ll need real support from experienced leaders and facilitators while personalizing things for your business and most importantly, taking action. You position calls for a truly evolved and transformed person with a harmonious blend of skills and a broad personality. You are one of the brand new inspiring and insightful leaders of the digital age: you are a Digital Transformation Leader.

Therefore, being a Digital Transformation Leader who wants to live up to the highest expectations, here are 10 rules to act on so that you can succeed in your mission.

  1. Don’t look to please everyone but set to inspire everyone to be transformed.
  2. Understand that your people do not want the changes but they want the rewarding transformation.
  3. Do not force them to accept change, for you won’t experience success this way, rather you can lead them to embrace the changes themselves and succeed together.
  4. Never fire anyone, but instead release individuals from their end-of-cycle positions, and sometimes reassign them.
  5.  Don’t be responsible for everyone’s individual happiness but for the business performance and sustainability. On the other hand, create an environment that promotes individual happiness, performance improvement and therefore organizational success.
  6. Invest in the best digital technologies for your business, without relying too much on the technology but making the business the true driver.
  7. Invest as much in people as you invest in digital technology, because as rewarding as it can be investing in technology, investing in people is even more rewarding for your organization both in the short and the long term.
  8. Start the digital transformation with your personal transformation first, because you will be shaping the future of your organization and it will be a reflection of your mindset.
  9. Create the best leadership support team that you can, because you can’t do it alone.
  10. Innovate and leverage the organization, customers and prospects innovative potential.

To support you and help you live to your organization’s expectations, I make it my commitment for you to succeed personally, professionally and holistically.

Join our community that is a place for coaching, exchanging, and creating more transformed and successful leaders.

Attending the PMI Global congress in San Diego?  You can schedule an individual session with me in the “Ask An Expert” sessions and meet me in the Solutions Center (exhibit hall). Book your session here.

Posted by Nadia Vincent on: September 13, 2016 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

10 Tips to Best Prepare For Your PMI Global Congress Participation

Attending the PMI Global Congress 2016 in San Diego?  You can schedule an individual session with me in the “Ask an Expert” sessions and meet me in the Solutions Center (exhibit hall). Book your session here. http://congresses.pmi.org/NorthAmerica2016/sponsors/hours-overview

Posted by Nadia Vincent on: September 12, 2016 03:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Things That Have Worked Leading Project Teams @ NASA

This is the fifth blog in a series dealing with the challenges and excitement managing “informationally diverse teams” of experts.   My goal is to communicate the challenges, fun and “things that have worked” in managing projects team that has widely different backgrounds, experiences, education, and understandings.  Informational diversity is based on different functional, educational and industry backgrounds that constitute information and knowledge resources upon which the team draws

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/6e/c2/31/6ec2316abc09b4c67ec915981f096395.jpg

THE FIRST FOUR CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAM BLOGS:

1. Herding a group of cats, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and llamas…. http://bit.ly/2cr0ddH

2. How hard is it to herd a group of cats, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and llamas?  http://bit.ly/2c6n3Gv

3. Cats, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and llamas *CAN* be herded.   -  http://bit.ly/2cLpS2w

4. Things that have worked leading Informationally Diverse Teams - http://bit.ly/2cfkKka

 

NASA PROJECTS

Projects are the means by which NASA explores space, expands scientific knowledge, and performs research on behalf of the nation” - from the NASA Project and Program Management handbook.  NASA/SP-2014-3405 which can be downloaded (free) http://go.nasa.gov/2chNXuO 

While the NASA project management handbook is very closely aligned with the PMBOK guide, there are some important exceptions.  One being the absolute requirement for monthly status reviews (more on this in a later blog)

PROBLEMS WITH CROSS FUNCTIONAL TEAMS

Managing a cross-functional team can be very difficult.  People are certain they are right, they KNOW they are right and everyone else just can’t see the truth.  There are many well-documented studies showing some of these frustrations.  When I give a talk on this topic, I ask people to raise their hands if they’ve experienced any of these issues.  A lot of hands get raised!

  • Cross-functional new product teams had difficulty getting their products to market (Steiner, 1972; Hackman, 1990, Dougherty 1992)
  • Innovativeness is actually lower with cross-functional teams (Ancona and Caldwell, 1992)
  • Managers express frustration with the time and resource demands of functionally diverse teams
  • Cross-functional teams often prove ineffective at capitalizing on the benefits of their informational diversity (Stasser and Titus, 1985, 1987)
  • Difficulty motivating members to work together effectively (Dumaine, 1994)
  • When groups benefit from informational diversity –  members report the experience frustrating and dissatisfying (Baron, 1990); Amason and Schweiger (1994)
  • Workgroups disagree about task content or how to do the task (Jehn, 1997)
  • Groups with members of diverse educational majors experience difficulty defining how to proceed (Jehn, Chadwick,and Thatcher, 1997)

THINGS I’VE TRIED THAT HAVE WORKED

Again, I didn’t start off knowing these things – I had a lot of mentoring (formalized), plus I failed a lot.  So these tips come from years of “falling forward.”

Number 1: Establish a sense of Mission (blog 4)

Number 2: Establish a Communications Framework That Works 

Neville Chamberlain famously established a set of war rooms in 1939.  Churchill visited the Cabinet Room in May 1940 and declared: 'This is the room from which I will direct the war'. In total 115 Cabinet meetings were held at the Cabinet War Rooms.  What were the advantages of a war room?  COMMUNICATION.  Everyone saw the same maps, the same schedules, the same plans and could talk about them.  It was “total emersion” into the project problem. 

Today there are many electronic, internet-based versions of war rooms, and they can work well.  But the physical war rooms still exist.  Google has used its war rooms for over 80 startups

Not matter what technology you use - do it – CREATE A WAR ROOM.  A central repository of information where everyone can see the same material at the same time.

Here’s a corner of one of my own war rooms from a $46-million-dollar project.  What you are seeing is actually the network diagram of the project – along with a LOT of notes, photographs of the progress to date, completed “nodes” of our network.  

 

 

MEET ME IN SAN DIEGO NEAR THE PROJECTMANAGEMENT.COM BOOTH.

MAKE AN ONLINE / EARLY RESERVATION TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR EXPERTS HERE! 

Posted by David Maynard on: September 10, 2016 04:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
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