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
Danielle Ritter
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Kristin Jones
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger

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
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

Final Summary of PMI EMEA Congress 2019 – my 3 top Lesson’s Learned

Hi everyone, thanks for following me all through the Congress and reading my blogs and Tweets about the Congress. It really has been a privilege to be Community Correspondent for the #PMIEMEA19.

It is a lot of fun, but also hard work. During all sessions you attend, you listen, take notes, tweet and keep your Social Media Updates going. That takes a lot of concentration. Even during the Networking events, you take notes and keep track of who you meet and what you do. Then in the evening when everyone orders their second beer in the Pub of choice for the day, you go back to your hotel room to write a blog about your day.

What an experience! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially tweeting on Twitter was a new experience for me. I only opened an account successfully about 1 month ago.

What an eventful few days it has been!

I was privileged to listen to Jamil Qureshi twice, once during the PMI LIMC Alumni Workshop on Sunday and then on Monday again during the Keynote. So much information in such a short time! Then during the Opening Session to hear from Jim Snyder, that his best memories are all about the people. Not the Mega Milestones and achievements, no, the people! Yes his best memories are about you and me. I actually agree with him. Yes in PMI events I have always learned a lot, but the best has always been the people. And you keep meeting again at events. For me they are also the go to Network when I need advice or help.

Meeting Sunil Pashara and seeing him attending sessions, mingling with people and freely networking with delegates was special. Knowing that he is a true citizen of the world, born & raised in Kenya, worked in almost every continent, living in London, working in Philadelphia. When we talk to him, he can relate.

Every session I attended, even then one I felt lost in, since the discussions used a Scrum Vocabulary, that is Greek to me, I took important lessons from. They are all in my notebook, but if I share them all, this will be a book.

So what are my 3 biggest lessons:

  1. We need to identify and dismantle belief systems that hold us back. Jamil Qureshi talked about it, but it came up in several other sessions as well. What really hampers innovation and progress is belief systems. Things like “It can not be done”, “It has never been done”, “this is not how we do it here” and “It will never work” to name just a few, is often what holds us back. We need to figure out what our own belief systems are and those in our team. Then we need to identify the rogue monkey, whose urge to succeed is bigger than the belief system and is willing to try. If we work together with the rogue monkey and achieve even only this 1 degree change, we will succeed.

  1. The future in Project Management in my eyes lies in hybrid projects and virtual teams. We will all handle be involved in hybrid projects and projects with virtual teams at one point or another. When I reflected on it some time back, I realized a lot of my projects ended up using agile elements due to the unique project needs. Often we had at least one Technical Expert who was not in the country (see the virtual team right there). Volunteering with PMI you often end up in a virtual team.

    For both hybrid projects & virtual teams you need to scale your                        communication up a notch. Hence I will concentrate on improving my communication skills and my EQ skills, both will come in handy for both environments. I want to become a Project Motivator and of course I bought the book by Ruth Pearce during the Congress.

  1. There is evidence of successful project management everywhere, just look for it. The seeming side shows of the Congress, like Networking events, including the tours through the host city and off site learning sessions, as well as your own trips exploring the city and surroundings are full of successful projects, with lessons for us to learn.
    1. During Networking Sessions you get to know new people and make new friends. In your exchange with them you hear about their project successes, but also the failures. And you learn right there
    2. Think about the Host Chapter together with the Congress Organizing Team and the PMI Staff involved. Think about how much work they put into the Congress Project. Finding and recruiting the right entertainers, finding and recruiting the right caterers etc, all that are major deliverables in this project. Recruiting and organizing all the volunteers who worked so hard in making us feel welcome, takes a lot of PM skills.

Hat’s off to the Host Chapter, the PMI Ireland Chapter for a job well done.

  1. When we were taking the Teeling Distillery Tour and heard how the Teeling Family, after selling off their old distillery, that had moved out of town, worked on building a new – but old style – distillery in Dublin, I was thinking about the enormity of the project they were undertaking. While the guide was telling us about the history, he did touch on a lot of points from their project planning and some of the risks they encountered. What a project!  
  2. Dublin is full of successful projects. Look at Christ Church Cathedral, which dates back to the time of the Vikings. Look at Guiness Brewery, but also look at the City’s history, where the different centuries can be seen in the different parts of town. Look at the history of the Irish people – in Epic Center you could find more of it, see where Irish Emigrants settled, what they achieved and you could also trace your family if you have Irish roots. Look at the successful city expansion in Dublin into the docklands & quays – recovering land, that was previously thought of as not inhabitable. Look at the Famine Boats – that helped evacuate thousands of starving Irish people into other countries for a better future. There are museums and statues that remind of it everywhere. Imagine the logistical nightmare. And did you know that Landlords paid for their starving squatters to emigrate? Next time you go through your city look for the historical epic projects and think about the risks and unknown unknowns they faced. That puts your own projects in perspective.

 

 

It was also very exciting to see and be inspired by live TED Talks. I am looking forward to seeing more of the new engagement between PMI & TED. Karthik had shared the links to all the original TED Talks, so you can watch them yourself.

This was for me the first time attending the PMI EMEA Congress. I had previously only attended PMI Africa Conferences, the first day of 2 PMI Global Conferences and a host of Leadership Institute Meetings (LIM, RLIM). What they said is true. Each Conference / Congress has its own character. In Africa it is all about Networking and the social events are attended by all, it is like a big carnival with learning sessions. In the US it is more about Business, and the Conference is so big (up to 5000 people), that you are happy to see your Network Friends. However it is fun, and somehow you do meet your friends. The EMEA Congress I had been told is all about the Learning and the PDUs. But in Dublin I saw that the fun counts as well in Europe and the parties were great. I think each has its big positive sites and I will definitely attend any of them again.

See you at the next Congress:

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 18, 2019 01:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise! Terrific Third Day of #PMIEMEA19

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

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise!

These phrases bring out my key learnings from what I felt was a terrific third day of #PMIEMEA19 at delightful Dublin.


Agilely Vaulting Over Waterfalls – Sripriya Narayanasamy and yours truly.

My day three started the same way that day two had ended: Presenting an EMEA Congress session on a completely different topic..

Many PMs mistakenly think that Agile and Waterfall are like oil and water that don’t easily mix, However, as Jesse Fewell, Agile Evangelist once wrote, “Many of us have been told that agile approaches are an all-or-nothing collection of techniques. However, true agility is defined by the agile manifesto… Don’t fall into the trap of only-this and only-that. A little agile can help anyone!

I presented two stories of Walter the Waterfall PM and Agata the Agile PM to highlight eight points on how Agile techniques can be used in Waterfall projects and vice versa:

  • Customer Engagement. Waterfalls projects see drastic drops in customer engagement after scope is defined. Increased levels of engagement can help project teams be more flexible, and avoid late-stage changes which can be extremely expensive!
  • Minimum Viable Features (MVFs) to deliver phased Minimum Viable Products (MVPs): Project Managers can get great results from grouping the customer’s highest-priority features into shorter project phases. This way, the clients actually get quicker value for money.
  • Avoid the ICU! Incomplete, Unclear, and Complex scope can be perilous for projects. Walter could effectively leverage user stories for the most critical 20% of requirements to derive advantages for 80% of project scope.
  • Poker, Anyone? Inaccurate Time, Cost, and Resource estimates imperil project success. Waterfall PMs can leverage the power of the “Wisdom of Crowds” to increase the accuracy of estimates, stakeholder buy-in, and sponsor confidence.
  • Meetings are events where the minutes are kept and the hours are lost! Countless hours are lost in unproductive meetings full of long monologues, arguments, and conflicts. Walter could derive considerable benefits from the agile technique of short, effective stand-up meetings.
  • Bonus Methods: I also briefly mentioned Ownership, Kanban Boards, “Just-enough” documentation, and Gamification as Agile techniques that could be effectively leveraged.

  • Don’t miss the forest for the trees: When there are several agile projects/sprints within a program, teams risk the possibility of the “big picture.” Kick-off meetings and frequent reinforcement of the overall program goals can really help.
  • Don’t Desert Design Discipline: Design discipline could be a casualty in environments of extremely high pace. Increased peer reviews and quality checks could go a long way in improving the quality of deliverables.
  • The Deadly Disappearing Design Dependencies! Missing dependencies between Agile projects, programs and sprints can be really deadly. Increased coordination between teams could help reduce these issues.


Creating Collective Value through Generativity: A Leadership Approach for Complexity

Stefano Setti, President of the PMI Northern Italy Chapter spoke of the challenges project managers face in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. Emphasizing the difference between “Complex” and “Complicated, he spoke of the relevance of Complex Adaptive Systems to project managers.

The speaker then discussed “Generativity,” a term coined by Erik Erikson in the book “Childhood and Society.” Generativity denotes “a concern for establishing and guiding the next generation.”

Comparing Erikson’s work with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he said that both conceive a person as moving from a “self-centered” to “other-centered” orientation.

Stefano emphasized the importance of “Servant Leadership” in Agile projects, mentioning 12 key virtues.

He concluded by stating that the real mark we can leave as leaders is to have project team members grow and flourish.


Closing General Session with Roberto Toledo and TED Talks curated for PMI

Roberto Toledo, member of PMI’s Board of Directors, opened the closing session.

Stating the vision statements of PMI (Making Ideas a Reality) and TED (Ideas worth spreading), he mentioned that this partnership was indeed “a match made in heaven!”

Session attendees were then treated to five fabulous TED speakers, each enchanting us with amazingly amazing and practically useful ideas.

I’ve added brief summaries. You can view the entire talks in their entirety through the YouTube links I’ve added for each speaker:

Mona Chalabi emphasized the importance of being skeptical about numbers. She said it was important to determine whether one could see uncertainty and relate to data. She said it was also critical to check the veracity of data by carefully looking at whether sample sizes were representative.

Mona also showed us excellent examples of how information could be effectively presented to us, including, visuals, voice, animation, and so on.

Interested? Watch a full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwwanld4T1w

Anab Jain started with the startling statement, “I visit the future. Not one future, but many possible futures. I don’t have a time machine!” She spoke about how she’s almost like the Avengers’ Dr. Strange, working to visualize many possible outcomes of the future based on current trends.

Anab gave us details of how she created a case study of a possible future lawsuit based on trends in genetics, insurance rates, and crime.

Fascinated? Watch more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYjWLqE_cfE

Mark Pollock & Simone George This amazing couple’s extremely inspirational and moving story brought most in the audience to tears. Simone had met Mark when he was blind. They fell in love and married. Tragedy struck when Mark fell from a second-story window, taking him to the doorsteps of death.

Mark and Simone narrated the extraordinary story of how he miraculously survived. He spoke about how realism, determination, and an undying spirit helped him achieve what doctors had said was impossible. He exhorted attendees to follow his mantra: “When the going gets tough, succeed as a REALIST rather than fail as an OPTIMIST!”

You can watch and get inspired by this amazing story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvfydcUeXls

Julia Dhar spoke passionately on the importance of healthy debate. She spoke about her journey from her early stages of debating to being a motivational TED speaker. While it was important to convince the audience of one’s extreme position, she said it was key to be “intellectually humble.”

Julia exhorted project managers to disagree respectfully, separate ideas from personalities, accept that they could be wrong, and find common ground.

Learn more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phgjouv0BUA

Ingrid Fentell Lee spoke about her experience as a design student. She narrated how terrified she felt when a group of professors examined all her design work in a full year. When one of the professor’s verdict was “your work gives me joy”, she could not quite understand.

Ingrid said there was a difference between “joy” and “happiness. While “joy” was a little "feel good right now, " “happiness” was "feel good over a longer period of time." Joy could begin with sensual insights such as pops of color, rounded shapes, patterns, and symmetry

She stressed the importance of actively and frequently looking for several small moments of joy rather than keep searching for elusive long sequences of happiness.

To get more on Ingrid’s excellent advice, you can watch her talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_u2WFTfbcg


The session ended with a very sweet surprise. Roberto Toledo spoke about PMI’s “Global Celebration of Service” pledging 50,000 hours towards the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) 17 Sustainable Goals.

What had happened in under five months? Watch here: https://youtu.be/jHvny4MlYPw and here: https://youtu.be/FfOz9s0frlg

If you didn’t watch, you really missed something!

Roberto Toledo announced that PMI volunteers all over the world had exceeded the 12-month goal of 50,000 hours of Celebration of Service in under five months! “We’re doubling in Dublin,” he said, adding that the new goal was now 100,000 hours.

Confetti was showered on the delegates and hundreds of coloured balloons of various descended on us. We erupted with applause. For a while, we all became kids, throwing the balloons at each other and enjoying every moment of the sweet surprise!


I hope you have enjoyed the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2019 by our team of Correspondents Team of Emily Luijbregts, Stephanie Jaeger , Moritz Sprenger, and me, Karthik Ramamurthy.

In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute @ProjectMgtCom and @PMIEvents, we provided regular updates through Twitter handles of our team members, @heykristinj, @Em_the_PM,  @StephanieJaeg10, @moritz_sprenger and yours truly, @KarthikPMO.

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 )

See you soon with a wrap-up of my overall experience with #PMIEMEA19!


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

Keep smiling, keep shining, and keep inspiring!

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 16, 2019 06:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

AA & Mi7 (Ambition, Achievement, Motivation and Inspiration in Seven Steps). My Day Two at #PMIEMEA19

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

Ambition, Achievement, Motivation, and Inspiration!

These phrases bring out my key learnings from Day Two of #PMIEMEA19 at delightful Dublin.

Turning Ambition into Achievement – A Workshop by Jamil Qureshi

Jamil Qureshi was truly a Rockstar of this event. On 13th May, my fellow team member Stephanie Jaeger and I had enjoyed his exclusive workshop for alumni of PMI’s Leadership Institute Master Class (LIMC).

Jamil started today’s workshop with the thought-provoking group activity to suggest global impacts of all humans mandatorily changing sex at age 30. Several impacts came up: a. Increased gender neutrality b. Increase in sales of unisex clothing c. Booming demand for sex-change surgeries, with specialist doctors becoming billionaires!

The speaker stressed how important it was for project managers to provide time & space for team members to get their work done. “It's about driving productivity, not simply activity,” he said.

Jamil pointed out that it was perfectly normal for people to make mistakes. Excellent lessons could be learned from detaching the action from the person.

Having several bobble-heads on the team is detrimental to project success. Instead, he recommended that project managers could play the imaginable/provable game to explore ideas. The game was a safe way to generate healthy conflict.

Mi7! Motivate and Inspire with Seven Proven Leadership Techniques for Project Success by Sripriya Narayanasamy and yours truly.

It was now time to reverse roles. To take the stage, presenting the first of my two sessions at the #PMIEMEA19 event. It was extremely gratifying to see almost a hundred people in our session. My co-presenter and I felt bad that there were almost 20 people who had no chairs for our session. Here’s a summary of what we presented:

  • Project Success is elusive. Motivational and Inspiring Leadership is a necessity, not an option. Here were seven practical, proven success secrets:
  • Serve as the CEO or your project. Create a compelling vision and communicate clearly. Develop project logos and catchy slogans for project success.
  • Understand & Leverage Diversity: Culturally diverse teams won’t magically “gel” well. As PM, you need to proactively build cohesiveness and work hard to ensure trust, teamwork.
  • Catch them Doing Things Right: Far too often for comfort, project pressures force us to find fault and assign blame. This negative atmosphere drags morale down. Make it a habit to catch people doing things right and praise them for it. This attitude can work wonders in increasing team morale.
  • Cultivate Ethical Behavior: Unethical leaders lose respect and trust. Be open and honest with all your stakeholders. Follow the four pillars of PMI’s Ethics Code: Responsibility, Respect, Fairness, and Honesty.
  • Elevate with Empathy: Emotional Intelligence and Empathy are two of the most important skills in a project manager’s success toolkit. Thinking from your stakeholder’s point of view can vastly improve your leadership effectiveness.
  • Embrace Social Media: Social Media connections can be leveraged to understand team members’ interests, passions, and motivations. This understanding can be invaluable in customized motivation plans.
  • Drive Motivation With Visibility: Almost all humans respond positively to visibility and being assigned important work. However, not all project roles can guarantee these. Leverage WBS-Building, Risk Ownership, and the Critical Path to give visibility to team members with the right attitude.

The tips were an acrostic that forms the word “SUCCEED”


I hope you’re enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2019 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, @heykristinj, @Em_the_PM,  @StephanieJaeg10, @moritz_sprenger and yours truly, @KarthikPMO.

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 )


On the last day of the conference. I plan to attend and cover these great sessions. Look for detailed coverage of these sessions tomorrow!

  • Strategic Analysis and Decision Making for Complex Projects by Esra Tepeli
  • Creating Collective Value through Generativity: A Leadership Approach for Complexity by Stephano Setti
  • Closing General Session and Keynote Speaker: TED Talks, Curated for PMI by TED

I will also be presenting this session at 9 am (first session of the day).
If you are at the Congress, I’d love to see you there!

  • Agilely Vaulting Over Waterfalls: Applying Agile to Waterfall and Vice Versa

See you soon with updates of the final day.

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

Keep smiling, keep shining, and keep inspiring!


 

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 14, 2019 08:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

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)

Think-Feel-Act, Design Thinking, Governance, AI in PM, and the importance of Sponsorship at #PMIEMEA19 - Day 1

What a first day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. A single blog post won’t suffice to cover all the learnings of one day. I chose to pick out some of the key points that stuck in my head of each session I attended – so here it is:

“Most of people define themselves through what we actually do: I am a Project Manager, I am a Fire Fighter, I am a School Teacher. Also, most organisations define themselves through what they sell, and not what customer values.” Jamil Qureshi told the story of a Fire Fighter, who, given the question what he did for a living, said: “I let the future take place, I build communities”. He believes that if he saves a family or a house from a fire, that family can live happy lives and the house will remain to exist. The firefighter defines himself through what he thinks and feels, rather than what he actually does, namely fighting fire.

 

Jamil made an important point: It is all about perspective. We are drawn to our most dominant thoughts and feelings. If we change the way we think and feel about something, we can change the way we act.

 

 

Denis Vukosav is a passionate project manager from the banking industry. That industry may not be known specifically for their ability to deploy Design Thinking and Agile methods in their projects, but Denis is challenging this: “When Design Thinking and Agile methods merge, you can combine best of both worlds. Design Thinking devotes an entire process step to developing customer empathy, which is often minimized within the agile framework for the benefits of speed.” You can make your projects become more successful by incorporating the needs of the customer with design thinking early on in your projects.

 

Denis continues to investigate how Design Thinking will enrich project management processes and will talk again at the global Congress in September. 

 

Michael Knapp presented his research findings from a study on the importance of governance in 3P (Portfolio, Programme, Project Management) in managing innovation in organisations. “One common mistake management and project managers often do is confusing governance and management. Management is about the execution of tasks and processes. Governance is about decision-making.  Today, we have good standards and processes defined for the execution, and research shows, there are very little standards and processes on Governance in organisations.” The lack of maturity and metrics in governance can often lead to barriers to manage innovation effectively. If a project manager experiences the following barriers, there is a high chance that these symptoms are the result of a lack of governance maturity: Under-funding, culture clashes, sclerosis, politics and poor alignment, lack of strategy and vision, and lack of executive commitment.

 

“The best thing you can do as a project manager working in innovation is to grab management and sponsors and drag them down to the shop floor where the action takes place basis”, said Michael. This will make them start to rethink their commitment.

 

 

What will the future of work look like for a project manager? The next session I attended was organized as a panel discussion formed by three industry leaders in their field of expertise (project management). Hilary Baker from Airbus, Jim Robinson from the Ministry of Defence UK, and Dieter Butz from Bosch.

 

“Knowledge management, empathy, and anticipation are probably the key competences that distinguishes a good project manager from any future AI-driven tool in the profession”, says Hilary. Jim adds, that: “Hard project management skills such as scheduling, risk management, planning, and reporting the right information may become less manual, but need to be understood by a PM”. “Role perceptions will constantly change, and we need to change with the changing needs of the organisation to stay competitive, as an organisation, and as an individual”, concludes Dieter.

 

The gist of the talk for me: Now is the time to rethink standard role models in a project in order to shape the profession in 2030. AI will support, but cannot compete with the human intuition, passion, and creativity of a project manager.

 

 

Olivier Lazar, one of the very few people in the world holding each PMI certification, made an inspiring talk about the role and the need of the sponsor in a project.

 

“41% of projects fail because there is a lack of sponsorship”. Especially in Change Management the role of the sponsor is inevitable. The project manager does not have the credibility to effectively sponsor change and convince negative influential stakeholders.

 

Furthermore, he stresses a vital point: “The project charter is a contract between the organisation, the sponsor, and the project manager. It is the accountability of the sponsor to write and own the project charter”. This is sometimes forgotten. Olivier reminds us that the Initiation Process Group of the PMBOK 6th is owned by the Sponsor.

 

The sponsor is a tool to the project, a good project manager applies this tool effectively in their projects.

 

 

Now I am looking forward to a great 2nd day.

 

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 we will be covering the sessions live so you don’t miss a thing!

Posted by Moritz Sprenger on: May 14, 2019 03:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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