Project Management

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

Past Contributors:

Deepa Bhide
Chris DiBella
Nic Jain
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Te Wu
Jamie Champagne
Esra Tepeli
Randall Englund
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Sandra MacGillivray
Gina Abudi
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Bruce Gay
Michel Thiry
Heather van Wyk
Barbara Trautlein
Steve Salisbury
Yves Cavarec
Benjamin C. Anyacho
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Norma Lynch
Michelle Stronach
Sydni Neptune
Laura Samsó
Marcos Arias
Cheryl Lee
Kristin Jones
Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
Annmarie Curley

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Viewing Posts by Kimberly Whitby

Covid-19 is eating Strategy for Breakfast

          

By Norma Lynch, PMP

As 2020 began, we never realised that this global pandemic would be on the menu, invading both our lives and livelihood. As we try to process the implications of living and working under the shadow of Covid-19, we are all trying to rethink and reframe how we do business whilst at the same time safeguarding our lives. We are going through unprecedented change.

What is required is rapid innovation and time is of the essence. In the absence of a crystal ball, we have to consider all the possible scenarios and lead through strategic ambiguity. Success depends on moving the organisation forward precisely at times when the path ahead is hazy. We need to take pragmatic action in order to survive in this period of strategic uncertainty. We need to lead through change.

Communication is critical and leaders need to be visible and maintain frequent dialogue. It must be open and honest to maintain credibility. Even though leaders don’t have all the answers, communication is important to put everyone’s mind at ease and provide hope for the future. We need to communicate through change.

At the upcoming Virtual Experience event on 9 September I will be presenting the rollercoaster of emotions that people go through when adapting to change and how to successfully navigate through the crisis by leveraging change management principles. We explore:

  • The Five Stages of Disruption Denial
  • The Burning Platform
  • Successful Innovation  
  • Decisive Action
  • Leading the New Strategic Direction

Interested in learning more and furthering the dialogue? Join me on 9th September 2020 at the next PMI Virtual Experience Series event for this presentation and take part in the question and answers with me and the rest of the PM community.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 03, 2020 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Agent of Self

                   

By: Dr. Evelyn Brisibe, PMP, CBAP

Change management is key to implementing and sustaining frameworks and mindsets in any organization.

In today’s world where the word change is synonymous with the word adapt, we are constantly at the crux of influx of unprecedented disruption to our normal course of living and doing business. It is no wonder the one who leads and supports projects/programs may sometimes be disassociated from these changes. This presentation will highlight three areas the Project/Program manager needs to be aware of how these changes are impacting self. These include sustaining focus on the desired goal of the project/program, managing expectations of self and others and owning the message. As a professional that has witnessed three major shifts in management and focus around the implementation and sustainment of process management framework and mindset, whilst leading and supporting other projects, I am sharing how change management beliefs and tactics have kept me focused on the goal and ultimate prize.

As we engage with one another, we create experiences about whatever it is we are communicating, these experiences create beliefs about the subject that are acted upon to yield results.

As you lead and support project management efforts, you need to be aware that at every opportunity you have to engage, the principles of your project goals need to guide your interactions with others. Be aware that you may not have a second time to change the narrative about the subject. For example, when I was implementing a business improvement framework, the case was for simplicity; in addition, incremental improvements were critical pieces of the framework, so it was intentionally woven in every communication that I had with colleagues and management.

When you are impacted by a change, pause to DETERMINE what the change is. How does the change impact the current? When is the change taking effect? When you determine the change, DRAW the connection between change and the goal, then DEFINE the new strategy to achieve desired results. Then DECLARE what needs to GO; adaptation is at the heart of the agent of self. 
To achieve this, it is about having a strategic mindset to see the organization at 50,000 feet, be tactical in your approach to every required task while being operationally respectful at all times when supporting the organization.
Sustaining focus on desired results requires the professional to step up and be a Trusted Advisor, not just an expert consultant engaged by the business or organization to lead and support a project/program. What’s the difference between an expert consultant with many years of experience and skills, and a trusted advisor with a similar pedigree? Distinguished Professor Dr. Jagdish Sheth, the Charles H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing at Emory University, offers these distinctions:

  • Expert Consultants provide knowledge; Trusted Advisors provide depth and breadth of knowledge
  • Expert Consultants tell; Trusted Advisors listen
  • Expert Consultants provide good answers; Trusted Advisors ask great questions
  • Expert Consultants control; Trusted Advisors collaborate
  • Expert Consultants provide expertise; Trusted Advisors provide insight
  • Expert Consultants analyze; Trusted Advisors synthesize

There shouldn’t be sacred cows in strategic and tactical approaches to leading and supporting short, mid to long term projects/programs. Determine, Draw, Define and Declare as you review and adapt self to planned, unplanned, seen and unforeseen changes. 

Interested in learning more and furthering the dialogue? Join me on Wednesday, 9 September 2020, 11 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) at the PMI Virtual Experience Series event for this presentation and take part in the question and answer session with me and the rest of the PM community.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 02, 2020 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

The Skills Stack for Resilience

                                        

By: Greg Githens, PMP

I’m looking forward to presenting about resilience at the 9 September Virtual Experience Series: A Deep Dive in Organizational Agility: Adaptability, Resilience and Learning.

In case you haven’t heard the phrase, “skills stack,” it is similar to how organizations use the jargon of “technology stacks” or “solution stacks.” It is a way of inventorying and describing the capabilities that can be brought to bear on the needs of a situation. The concept of an individual skills stack is particularly important because the workforce of the future is more focused on matching skills to situations rather than role (position descriptions) to situations. So, rather than searching for a generically-described “project manager,” organizations will look for people with specific skills.

For an example, imagine an organization that is trying to incorporate resiliency principles in its work. It would benefit from managers who are skilled in recognizing emergence and learning from experimentation.

Celebrities and writers everywhere are talking about resilience and I believe it will be the word of the year for 2020. Resilience is not another word for perseverance, “grit,” or optimism. The fundamental feature of resilience is that it is a response to trauma. I use the word trauma to capture a range of concepts: discomforts, injury, insults, unpleasantries, anxieties, etc.

It’s helpful to note that resilience is not limited to individual psychology. Personal resilience also has aspects of physical and financial, manifesting in a person’s disease resistance or in their choices to hold funds in reserve for the unexpected.

When we enlarge our view to larger systems, we find that resilience is found in ecosystems, for example, a resilient forest will quickly show emergent growth after a forest fire. Business continuity and disaster preparedness are also expressions of resilience.

Now, to the skills stack for resilience. There are three microskills that are particularly important for resilience. They are ambition, anticipation, and reframing.

The microskill of ambition captures an individual’s desire to make a positive impact on her world. Individuals with higher levels of drive have more personal resilience. They prevail over adversity. They are determined to achieve their goals.

The microskill of anticipation is that of looking into the future, knowing that your decisions today will bear their consequences in the future. This microskill is developed by identifying and examining yours and other’s anticipatory assumptions. What do you think the future will be like? What “pockets of the future” are now emerging? When you are hopeful, what is the source of your hopes? When you despair, what is the source of your despair?

The microskill of reframing is a behavior of intentionally adopting new points of view and explanations. An example of a reframed understanding is seeing how a threat to safety might become an opportunity for growth. Another reframing is the observation that trauma helps individuals and societies grow stronger.

You can increase your resilience by developing these microskills. As a bonus, you also enhance your strategic thinking, which is a rare and valuable competency that can help you have more influence and impact in your organization.

There are three resilience capacities of individuals and organizations. They are absorption, adaptation and transformation (AAT). Sometimes we need to be stronger so that we can absorb the trauma and keep functioning. Sometimes we need to pivot and work around the trauma.

Resilience includes adaptation, but adaptation alone is insufficient for the demands of the coming decade. Sometimes, we must embrace fundamental change by taking a new and unproven path to growth.

Our capacity for resilience helps us – individually and organizationally - bounce forward to a better future. And it’s worth emphasizing: it is much better to bounce forward than it is to bounce back. The future is going to be different and we want to be proactive in making choices that are going to better ourselves and our organizations.

Our society is in a period of great change. Project managers need to step up to the challenges and consider that resilience is welcoming emergence every day.

I close with this observation,

“Ordinary leadership involves perfecting the known, whereas the chief task of extra-ordinary leadership is imperfectly seizing the unknown.”

Interested in learning more about resilience, bouncing forward, and extra-ordinary leadership? Join me on 9 September at 11 a.m. EDT (UTC-4) for The Skills Stack for Resilience at the PMI Virtual Experience Series. I’ll be providing pragmatic tips for improving resilience and I look forward to answering your questions.

Posted by Kimberly Whitby on: September 01, 2020 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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