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
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Jack Duggal
Saurayan Chaki
Dan Furlong
Marcos Arias
Danielle Ritter
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Sandra MacGillivray
Deepa Bhide
Karen Chovan
Nadia Vincent
Lawrence Cooper
Michelle Stronach
Kristin Jones
Yves Cavarec
Laura Samsó
Fabio Rigamonti
Sarah Mersereau
Gina Abudi
David Davis
Nic Jain
Emily Luijbregts
Cheryl Lee

Recent Posts

Interview to Thomas Walenta, PMI Board of Directors

What from PMI Global Conference will you put to work this week?

What I've learnt at #PMIcon17

The Agility of PMI

#PMIcon17 - A round up.

What I've learnt at #PMIcon17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's been a week since #PMIcon17 started and it's been a time to reflect on a few things that were really visible to me during the conference that I think is valuable to share with the wider community.

  1. Volunteering: A really valuable way to connect with others and give back to the community is through Volunteering. Either with your local chapter or with other professional organisations.
  2. Talent Management: It's vitally important to understand your own worth in your organisation and also as a Project Manager. Make sure that you understand what you're worth and also where you can still develop as a Project Manager.
  3. Innovation: Be innovative, be a 'bar raiser', 'thought provoker', 'change maker' and be this not just for one day, but constantly. Analyse what you're doing and what you can do better. What can your organisation do better? Are you thinking about how Project Management could be better?
  4. Collaboration: As Project Managers we can be stronger within the community if we collaborate together to give more knowledge to each other. Are you collaborating enough?
  5. Generational Project Management: Project Managers seem to have a longer more valuable shelf life than other industries and roles. During the conference, there was a great combination of younger Project Managers just starting their career with other more seasoned Project Managers who had so much knowledge and information to share. As an organisation and industry we need to be aware of this and work on sharing this knowledge together.

Personally, I felt that the Conference not only highlighted the opportunities that we have as Project Managers to learn and develop as stronger Project Managers but also showing the possibilities that are available in the PM world to contribute and grow.

What next?

Where will I be going from now? I'll be continuing to connect with everyone that I met to make sure that we can continue collaborating and sharing knowledge. I'll also be making sure that my 'contribution' to the Project Management industry remains involved, active and giving back just as much as I have been learning!

What will your contribution be? How can we collaborate together?

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: November 04, 2017 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

#PMIcon17 - A round up.

I've finally arrived back in the Netherlands and it's been a whirlwind few days! I consider the "Ask the Expert" sessions to really be so beneficial to the wider community as well as the individuals involved. I wanted to provide a summary of the main things that really struck me over the weekend and some final thoughts about the conference.

Key elements:

This years session really had a few stand out areas of conversation:

  • Career advice: A lot of people wanted to talk to us for career advice as well as knowing where to go next or issues that they had in their career
  • Growth plans/ development: This was a really hot topic for a lot of people. They were struggling to know how to establish a development plan and knowing what they really wanted from their career.
  • Transitioning to a Scrum Master/working in an agile environment: This came from several people who weren't sure where to start or where to go in their agile career. There seems to be a gap between when you have your training and when you really start using agile in your daily career.

Key areas of advice given:

  • Your value: Spend some time understanding who you are, what talents you have and more importantly, what you want to do in your career. Then make any move that you want to make
  • Investigate! Research your local job market, look at the area that you're in and see what's available and open to you. Reach out to some recruiters in your area and see what's available.
  • PMI Chapters: Look at your local PMI Chapter and see what they can do to help. Network with your other Project Management colleagues and see what opportunities you can get from them.
  • Talk to your HR: Ask them what's available for you at your company and tell them what/ where you want to go.

Looking forward at your career and path is the most important thing that you can do for your professional development. You need to understand and analyse within yourself what you want to do and what's important for you. 

Did you attend #PMIcon17 and did you enjoy it? Did you come to the Ask the Expert area? 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: November 01, 2017 05:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Day 3: #PMIcon17

I've just finished my final slot on the "Ask the Expert" booth and it's been a jam packed morning! The overriding theme this morning has been coaching people to understand what their value is and what they really want from their careers and lives. It's been a really interesting journey to see how people want to develop and progress in their professional careers and how differently that this looks across the Project Management spectrum. Here's a quick summary of who I met with today*:

  • Frank: Frank has been in the same job for over 27 years and been a Project Manager for the last 12 years. He's looking for a change and a different challenge and has been thinking about becoming a consultant and what this means in reality. We spoke about the reality of life as a consultant and the different mindset that is required from his current position. We also looked at understanding the different culture of consultancy and discussed the next steps for him. What was interesting for Frank was that this discussion was based around: "What does he want to do?" He has no monetary concerns and could happily have no job but he wants to work and he wants to. It's a great position to be in and one that I think a lot of more Senior Project Managers are going through at the moment.
  • Mohammed: He's been working in his current organization and has worked his way up from a technical role to being a Project Manager. He's looking to keep moving forward with his career and wanted advice as his company was theoretically supportive of his growth plan and where he wanted to go but in practice, they were not and were trying to box him into a smaller position that wouldn't be fulfilling for him. Mohammed left with some ideas and plans for what he can do with his management moving forward to secure the growth that he wants in the organization and what he's able to do now to keep learning. We spoke about working with his local chapter on volunteering and improving his soft skills to move forward into a Management opportunity.
  • Sharon: She's currently unfulfilled in her current job and looking at: what next? She's interested in perhaps going independent and we spoke about the initial steps that she needs to do and what to consider before she becomes freelance in: how to market yourself, what do you want to do and what is important to consider in being an entrepreneur in the US.
  • John: John came to see me about the best way to empower his team through their agile transformation and how to get his team more empowered to own their change. We spoke about how the could get the team to own their change and their work across distributed locations.
  • Olivier: My last talk of the day and Olivier is a brand new Project Manager and wanting to know how he can progress and develop as a Project Manager successfully. It was really interesting to help him with his initial career plan and where he'd like to see himself in 5 years.

Here's some pictures from today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note all names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 30, 2017 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Conference - Day 1

It's been Day 1 of #PMIcon17 and I think most of us now have sore throats from speaking so much! It's been a fabulous day of learning about our peers and helping with their queries. A few of my highlights from today:

  • Helping Anne who was struggling with knowing the way to go with her career progression and what was the best next step to make
  • Coaching Chris in understanding the agile methodology and what agile is and isn't
  • Chatting to Brian regarding cultural issues and the different types of cultures in his team

The most exciting thing about today was seeing how much passion my peers have in their careers and how much they are looking to learn over the next two days of conference.

If you can't secure a 1-1 slot, please feel free to come by the booth as there are normally a group of us sitting around, ready to chat!

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 28, 2017 05:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Maybe you need to help your people Make a Diffference

On Monday through Wednesday of this week I was teaching our PMI-ACP course in Toronto. Over the three days, as we walked among the different frameworks, methods and practices that are part of the course, a common theme started to emerge among the participants.

While the students could see the clear benefits of each framework, method or practice, they also began to recognize the challenges they faced in being successful at applying them in their organizations; Organizations that still operate under traditional management approaches.

Some of the more obvious challenge areas noted included:

  • Finance – budgeting processes would still be based on the big upfront estimates that cover multiple planning years.
    • Traditional cost accounting operates over long time horizons.  
    • The budgeting process focuses on controlling variances over focusing on what may be the right thing to do  
    • Operating and capital expenses are segregated; Often  times this I fairly arbitrary to order to meet prescribed percentages of what should be in each
    • Audit is focused on looking for the “smoking gun” rather than working with teams to avoid the smoking gun in the first place
  • Procurement – the current RFP processes rely on being prescriptive and transferring most of the risk to the vendors
    • Vendors bid to win and then use the Change Request process which often drives final costs to be two-to-three times the original bid price
  • HR – existing HR policies are primarily based on hiring to skill rather than hiring to behaviour and compensation policies are reward individual rather than team achievement
    • People are called  resources, assets and capital as if they are interchangeable like furniture and computers
    • Competition is valued over contribution to value creation
  • Executive level – see this “agile thing” as just an IT team level thing that will somehow increase the productivity of these groups but has no bearing on how their level of the organization

It is interesting to me that organizations are willing to invest in having their people learn about more agile ways of thinking and working, while they somehow believe that outside of these teams (usually within IT), that it’s OK to keep doing what they’ve always done.

The people who show up for these classes do want to do things differently because they genuinely want to make a difference. They recognize the folly of continuing to use outmoded ways of thinking that rely on prescription in an increasingly chaotic and complex world.

Yet here they are. In a class that will validate what they already have come to know about why things don’t work. Where they will learn some new ways of thinking and some new ways of working that offer the possibility of handling the complexity and chaos they know their organizations face.  

And now they have to go back to organizations that, outside of the teams that these people belong to, want to keep doing what they have always done.

The IT industry and those in the agile space have tended to focus on the team-level with their educational thrusts. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it does leave the part of  every organization that can actually make the real difference in meeting the complexity and chaos challenges to pretend that agile is a IT-team thingy. It isn’t. It’s an everyone in the organizational thingy – and that starts at the top.

Are you a leader in an organization where your teams are learning about and/or starting to use agile approaches? Do you  recognize the crucial role you will play in how successful or not these teams will be? Do you realize that in order for them to make a difference, that you will also need to make a difference by eliminating challenges such as those above?

In our course on Adaptive Leadership we refer to that part of leadership your need to be the CSR (Chief S**t Remover). Whatever impedes your teams' ability to help you achieve organizational and business agility needs to be removed. As a leader are you up to being a CSR?

If you’d like to talk strategic intent, adaptive strategy, back-casting over forecasting, outcomes over outputs, any of the agilities, or pretty much anything you think I may be able to help you with in making a difference in your world, here is my availability during the conference:

  • Saturday the 28th from 1:30 to 4:30
  • Sunday the 29th from 3:00 to 5:00
  • Monday the 30th from 9:00 to 12:00

You can also connect with me at:

  •     https://twitter.com/cooperlk99
  •     https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencekcooper
  •     www.TheAgilitySeries.com
Posted by Lawrence Cooper on: October 26, 2017 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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