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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View Posts By:

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
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy

Past Contributers:

Catalin Dogaru
Carlos Javier Pampliega García

Recent Posts

Day Three, a Truly Triple Treat at #PMIEMEA18

#PMIEMEA18 - #DifferenceMakers : We are making dreams a reality !

#PMIEMEA18 – Day 3 : #FutureDefiners :Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human

PMIEMEA18 - Conference Summary

PMIEMEA Conference - Day 3:Time flies by!

PMIEMEA18 - Conference Summary

What a great few days it's been! I've been helping PMI with their social media for the EMEA conference alongside Karthik Ramamurthy and Priya Patra (both very well known individuals in their own right!). We were tasked with the aim of bringing the conference to those who couldn't attend in person so I made sure that I was tweeting (@Em_The_PM) as much as I could to bring you the different sessions that I attended and what a day at the conference looks like.

It's important to know that the PMI conferences are not just about the sessions that you attend or the PDUs that you can earn by attending. It's got so much more value! The opportunities to be able to speak to your peers and Subject Matter Professionals really gives you live advice and coaching (and all included in the conference price!). This is my first time at the EMEA conference and I've really learnt so much about how projects run (and also how they fail) in the EMEA conference area. 

I decided to arrive a day early for the conference and took the time to spend the afternoon picking up my badge (a.k.a finding where the conference centre is and how long it'll take to walk in the morning) and then also enjoying the beautiful weather that we had in Berlin. We were really spoilt with high temperatures, beautiful sunshine and a relaxed environment.

The first day of the conference is ALWAYS jam-packed so I took the time to make sure I knew where everything was (including the lunch location!) and then making my way to the keynote session. The great thing about PMI conferences is that they tend to bring in some awesome keynote speakers and they didn't disappoint with Rowan Gibson (@RowanGibson

He delivered a really motivating talk about his work with Caterpillar, Boeing, Airbus and so many other companies to help focus our mind through the upcoming days about what we need to be looking at.

You can read more about my Day 1 here but suffice to say that it was really enjoyable and they did have to kick us out at the end of the day because we couldn't stop talking to each other!

Day 2 (Tuesday) was another really great day. A full breakdown of my day is here  but whilst others chose to go offsite to visit the central station or the airport, I decided to stay and attend the workshop: Winning Well. Becoming a more strategic Project Manager with the great Karin Hart (@letsgrowleaders) .

It was the first time that I've blown bubbles at the start of a session! This has to be one of my favourite sessions because not only was it very interactive and made you really think about how YOU can become more strategic but it was also about how we can constantly improve ourselves and always look for improvements.

In the afternoon, I presented my own topic "Dude, where's my control. Transitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master" to a packed room of attendees. It was fantastic to see so many engaged people and be able to spend time afterwards to answer questions and help others with their issues. It was a really great day for me and I really enjoyed being able to present my thoughts to others.

Picture courtesy of Priya Patra

My second day concluded by talking to others during Happy Hour. I managed to make a lot of great connections and really connect with them about what they were doing and where I could help.

Happy Hours are one of the best events for me because I'm able to really talk to other people in a more relaxed setting (as opposed to the formal session structure). It's great being able to talk to others over a drink and a few snacks to really get to know each other.

Day 3 was the final day of the main conference and I did a short summary here. Being able to connect with others on the PMI Events app was a great way to round off the entire conference because we ended up sharing a lot of contact details and information with each other that wouldn't have been possible with just exchanging business cards. By being able to message other attendees we could arrange to meet up for a coffee during the break or alternatively message about which session we were thinking of attending next. 

What did I get out of the conference?

  • The main thing for me was Knowledge. I really learnt a lot that I'm going to be able to apply in my upcoming work and projects. It's really motivated me to look at the value that i'm providing as a Project Manager and also to give me more tools to address issues when they occur.
  • Wider network: I've made over 50 connections (as of today) on LinkedIn and Projectmanagement.com. I've received emails from other Project Managers/Scrum Masters to engage with later on and even to meet up for a beer in our 'local' area.
  • Motivated! I'm so pumped to be able to go back to work and apply the things that I've learnt. I'm also really excited to be able to connect with others to share knowledge and get more information.

Is a PMI Conference for me?

I'd say yes ;-) But in all honesty, the PMI conferences are great for being able to get A LOT of information and knowledge in a very short period of time and to make new connections along the way. The conferences are 3 days in total and they're very intense days, but you're well taken of with food, drink and a great atmosphere.

 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 10, 2018 08:44 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

An email surprise, a delightful trip, and being rewarded for doing something you love!

Guten Tag, PMI world!

Thirty-one days ago…

A totally unexpected email popped into my Inbox. An email that really made my day!

As a long-time PMI volunteer, leader and speaker, I attended several PMI events in many countries. Every one of them gave me valuable opportunities to learn, share, network, and indeed grow in the profession.

Allow me to rewind another 30 days…

Online information on the PMI EMEA Congress was very inviting and exciting. Historic Berlin, the venue, was even more enticing. However, with no direct volunteer role to play here, I was resigned to follow the event over social media.

The surprise email changed all that. PMI was inviting me to cover the EMEA Congress onon Soci Media, to interact with peers and provide live social media updates. Here was a chance to let the entire PMI community get a taste of the conference virtually!

Tamil, my mother tongue and the oldest living language, has a famous phrase that roughly translates to “Will you refuse a reward to eat sweet, delicious sugarcane?”

Of course, you wouldn’t. Neither would I!

A hectic few weeks required collating documentation and applying for my Schengen visa, buying flight tickets, and booking a hotel room.

Landing at the Tegel airport, I was impressed with three well-known German traits put into practice: Speed, efficiency, and thoroughness. Immigration processing, baggage collection, and the taxi lines were a breeze. Traveling to the hotel, I couldn’t help notice the clean roads, plus the quaint mixture of modern skyscrapers and historic buildings.

Let me fast forward back to the present.

Here it is. Day One of the big event! I’m really excited!

I really look forward to joining my able team members, Priya Patra and Emily Luijbregts in taking you, our valued PMI community member in front of, and behind the scenes of PMI EMEA Congress 2018.

We will cover the key points made by speakers in all key sessions, interview speakers, chat with your peers, and maybe even post a quiz/trivia question or two.

We will do this over Social Media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, as well as through this blog.

Stay tuned to get continuous updates all through the day!

Meanwhile, have a great day, or as they say in German, “Ich wünsche ihnen einen wunderbaren Tag!”

Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions:

  • Winning in the Innovation Economy,: Opening keynote by Rowan Gibson
  • Stop Managing and Start Leading: The Engaging Leader by Ibrahim Dani ( @ibrahimdani )
  • Project Managers, Change Makers: What Would You Do? Ethical Decision-Making in Global Teams  by Lily Murariu (@murariulily)
  • The servant leadership in you: eight everyday stories to learn from by Dario Morandotti
  • Agile droplets in a waterfall world by Simona Bonghez (@SimonaBonghez)
Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 07, 2018 12:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (18)

Preparing for PMIEMEA18

#PMIEMEA18 is coming up very soon and there are a lot of preparations going on in advance. As someone who will be speaking at the conference for the first time, I'm really excited to be able to present my topic to the audience but I'm also extremely excited to be presenting alongside some absolutely fantastic speakers and knowledgeable experts there!

I'll also be there as part of the Social Media crew helping to bring the conference to those who are unable to be there in person. I'll be sharing my personal experience and highlights from the sessions that I'll be attending and allowing you to follow the conference online.

Before you come to Berlin:

Make sure that you've read through the entire conference schedule so that you've got an idea of what you're looking to attend. I'd also recommend bringing enough Business cards to share out with people at the networking events. 

Monday:

The conference doesn’t end there. Please don’t forget to check out the evening networking opportunities. The evening events are not only a great way for you to mingle with your other Project Management counterparts but they’ll also be a great way to learn more about Berlin’s fascinating history!

Tuesday:

Tuesday is going to be a packed day but it'll be a busy one for sure!

Wednesday:

Wednesday morning kicks off and it’ll be a packed final day of the main #PMIEMEA18 conference!

#PMIEMEA18 has a packed program that will definitely give you the advantage. It’ll give you the tools to develop your skills and broaden your mindset. Moreover, it’ll give you the opportunity to meet other Project Management colleagues and enable you to widen your network.

So, which sessions are you looking forward to?

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: April 26, 2018 04:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)

Project Scheduling Professional Certification | SP - PMI

I have been contacted by a colleague who has a friend that is pursuing the SP-PMI certification.  Is there anybody out there that has the cert that is willing to answer questions for a perspective candidate.   If so, please email me at dldavispmp@gmail.com.

I would also ask that you put a brief summary of the test content on here, so I can talk a little more intelligently on the topic.  I can talk constraint, critical path, slack, lag, float and other rudimentary terminology, but I cannot get into the level of detail that I would expect to be needed to obtain the credential.

I do know one of the biggest challenges in my group is optimizing multiple schedules across projects.  Things such as analyzing change across projects, determining impact to benefits realization when schedule slips, and models are opportunities for my education.

Dave

Posted by David Davis on: October 17, 2017 04:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Best Practices for Creating the Business Process Improvement Project Charter

Develop a document that will help you manage your BPI project!

Creating a project charter for your business process improvement (BPI) projects are a best practice for a number of reasons:

  • Enables you to get your “head” around the scope of the BPI project
  • Enables for clarification of BPI project needs/expectations
  • Ensures a link between the BPI project and strategic objectives

While we all know that, in theory, the project charter is handed to the project manager from the project sponsor, in reality this never happens! The project manager develops the project charter based on information from the sponsor and other key stakeholders. Too often project managers skip developing a project charter and focus purely on the project scope statement. I prefer to use both documents. I use the charter to develop a list of questions that provide me further information about the BPI project, why it is being undertaken, its link to the organizational strategic goals and the overall objectives for the project.

Once finalized and approved by the sponsor, the charter is then used to develop the project scope statement. This charter, as well as the scope statement, enables me to better manage my stakeholders as the project work takes place. I frequently refer back to that charter to ensure we stay on track with the project, pushing back as necessary when the project is taking the wrong direction or is at risk of doing so. It enables me to have better conversations regarding changes to the BPI project.

BPI Project Charter Components

Components of BPI project charters are described in the table below:

Component of Charter

Description

Project manager authority level

What are the responsibilities of the project manager for this BPI project? Will she have authority to source and manage project team members? Is she responsible for securing and selecting external vendors? Can she manage to the budget or must approval be obtained before money can be spent against the budgeted amount?

Business case

Why is the BPI project being launched? Is it to reduce expenses, increase time-to-market for new products, or merge redundant processes within two divisions? There are any number of valid business reasons as to why a BPI project is being planned.

Project description

This section provides a brief 2 – 3 sentence description of the project. For example, enhance internal communication processes cross-functionally to enable for improved transmitting of information about current projects underway within the organization. Included here, if available at the time of project charter development, will be specific high level tasks associated with the project.

Project objectives and success criteria

Denote here the objectives of the project at a higher level, along with what is considered successful. For example, project will be completed within one year of launch or budget will not exceed a specified amount.

Considering the example project description provided above, also included in this section might be a success criterion such as, departments will share information more readily and early on when projects are initially launched using a variety of approved channels.

Expected risks

When projects are launched, there are usually risks that can be expected. Risks might include difficulty in engaging stakeholders, reduced resources to commit to work on the project, or limited time for completion. Some organizations have common and consistent risks associated with every BPI project. For example, engaging the workforce to change might be a consistent risk within an organization if the workforce tends to resist change.

Department involvement and participation level

Early on in many BPI projects you will know who needs to be involved in the project. For example, if the BPI project is to evaluate Accounts Receivable processes, surely the Accounting Department will be involved in the initiative. Their participation level may include providing information on the current process, participating in design of a new process and testing the new process.

Project benefits and business impact expected

List each desired project benefit in this section, along with the business impact expected. Be specific, ensuring goals are measurable. For example, improve collection of A/R, reducing time from 45 days to collect to 30 days within 6 months of new process launch.

Project milestones

Milestones are major events within the project. For BPI projects, milestones may include documentation of a current process, straw model design of a new process, or completion of stakeholder interviews.

Project expenditures

When possible for the project, provide an estimate (or approved budget allocation) for key components of the project. For example, $5,000 may be set aside to interview stakeholders or $50,000 to hire an external contractor to document the “to be” process.

 

BPI Project Charter Best Practices

Here are the best practice steps I take to create a BPI project charter:

  • Compile all of the information I already have for the project based on emails I have received from the sponsor and others, memos I have received and conversations I have had. I add that information to the project charter – filling in whatever blanks I can based on my knowledge of the business and what the business is trying to accomplish.
  • Review the charter with the project sponsor and any other key stakeholders to validate the information I have and fill in the blanks. I have found that by going in to this meeting with a charter that includes not just the information they have provided but also information that I assume to be valid based on my knowledge of the business, I’m able to have better, more productive and efficient conversations about the purpose of the BPI project. The more I know about the project the better I can manage it and share that information with the project team to get them engaged, committed and excited about the initiative.
  • Revise the project charter with the additional information based on my conversation with the project sponsor and other key stakeholders. Incorporate any new information and identify any new questions or concerns for another conversation with the sponsor.
  • Review the charter one more time with the sponsor and any other key stakeholders. Get any additional questions or concerns addressed.
  • Finalize the charter and get sign off from the sponsor.

While this may seem initially like a large effort, it really is not. Spending this time up front to get the charter accurate enables for me to develop strong relationships with the project sponsor and any other key stakeholders. It also ensures that I understand what we are doing with this project and why – which enables me to have better conversations with team members and other stakeholders. You can’t effectively manage a BPI project – and get others committed to it – if you don’t know the business reason behind the BPI project. You notice that in each conversation with the sponsor I have advanced progress on the charter. Additionally, I have taken some steps in filling in the blanks myself based on knowledge I already have. It may not be completely accurate, but enables for far more productive conversations with the sponsor and other key stakeholders.

In summary, create a project charter for all of your BPI projects, to enable for getting your “head” around the project and developing key questions to ask sponsors to ensure you have what you need for project success.

Posted by Gina Abudi on: October 10, 2017 07:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)
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