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
Cheryl Lee
Emily Luijbregts
Karthik Ramamurthy
Priya Patra

Past Contributers:

Catalin Dogaru
Carlos Javier Pampliega García

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.

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)

What I'm looking forward to at the Global Conference

#PMIcon17 is coming! I can’t wait for the Global Conference and have already been planning what I’d like to see. I’ve really been spoilt for choice in presentations this year! I’ll be working around my time on the Ask the Experts stand but here’s a few speakers/events that I hope to see.

I’m a big fan of Sir Tim Berners-Lee and I cannot wait to see his Opening Keynote. It will certainly be a really good presentation and I can’t wait to hear what he says. I’d then like to head over to Gina Grear and her presentation on Waterfall and Agile and Lean. I think that this presentation is hugely relevant to a lot of Project Managers today.

When I’ve got time; I’ll be heading over to the PMI Wellness Pavillion. I think that all Project Managers could benefit from meditation and relaxation techniques and I think it’s a great way to spend a few minutes or hours working on your meditation strategies. Then I’ll be heading over to the PMI Escape Room to brush up on my team building techniques and doing a bit of ‘practice what you preach’

I’ll be on the Ask the Experts stand on Saturday afternoon but if I have time, I’ll be seeing Andy Kaufmann’s presentation on: “How to make better choices for you, your team and your projects”. If you can, don’t miss the Happy Hour on Saturday night. It’ll be a great way to network and relax with fellow Project Management colleagues.

Sunday will be a fantastic day for presentations in the PMI world. I’ll be trying to get to the presentation by Steve Mayner on: Opportunities for Project Managers in the Lean Agile Enterprise with SAFe. I’ve done one project with SAFe and it was definitely a difficult process for us so I’ll be looking to learn more! Another presentation I’ll be looking forward to is Jeanine Izzo’s presentation on “Fire Prevention 101: Four traps that keep you fighting fires

Monday will be another day full of fantastic presentations. I’ll be starting early with Jim de Piante’s presentation on “I see what you are saying: How to communicate better visually” followed by George Jucan’s presentation on: “Stakeholders: The ultimate key to project success”.

I think this year’s conference will be one of the best yet as I’ve never seen such a varied and comprehensive offering!

Don’t forget that I’ll be on the Ask the Experts stand at the following days/time if you’d like to come and connect with me.

Saturday, October 28th 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Sunday, October 29th 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Monday, October 30th 9:00am – 12:00pm

Who are you looking forward to seeing?

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: September 30, 2017 07:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Let's Connect!

The countdown to the Global Conference in Chicago is on! If you're already planning what you're going to be doing in Chicago via the Events App or by checking out the list of speakers, don't forget to look at the symposium where the "Ask the Experts" will be.

Take a look below and see where I could help you with any of your questions or concerns about your career, the next step or coaching you through any issues that you might be having in your project at the moment. I'm also around outside of these times if you want to talk Marathon training, the best running routes in Chicago or Baking 101.

 I'll be at the Ask the Experts stand at the following days/time:

Saturday, October 28th 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Sunday, October 29th 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Monday, October 30th 9:00am – 12:00pm

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: September 21, 2017 02:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

We're the Ask the Experts Team.

"In 2017, a crack expert unit was put together by the PMI for a task so great, that only the best could be called upon. These PMPs promptly got together, started having some fantastic E-Mail banter and collaborating together to prepare for #PMIcon17. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them....maybe you can visit the PMI Ask the Experts Team."

OK....so I may have rewritten the starting intro to one of my all-time favourite TV shows but it’s also very true for the set of experts that are being lined up to be at the PMI Global Conference in Chicago next month. We all have a special set of skills and expertise to be able to support and help you with not only your Project Management issues but also any questions that you might have around being a Project Manager and maybe even career advice.

Why do you need an expert in your life?

It’s an interesting question. Why are experts valuable to you? What value do they add? To me, being an expert isn’t just about knowing the answer to a problem, it’s about coaching you to find the solution that would work best for you and supporting you in your end goal. That’s why I think it’s a great initiative of the PMI to have Experts at the Global Congress because not only can they be a source of information and guidance but also a great source of support for you throughout the investigation and resolution process.

So who am I?

I’m Emily 😊 I’m a Project Manager and Scrum Master and my aim is to help people and project develop and become stronger, leaner and more efficient. I’m a huge advocate for the ‘people’ behind projects and encouraging a strong team to deliver a successful project. My specialties include agile and agile practices, talent management, working and leading virtual teams, communication (both local, international and with cultural sensitivities), professional development and next gen project management.

I've been working in Project Management for over 10 years in various roles and I'm passionate about sharing knowledge and empowering teams with the knowledge for them to be successful.

Come to see me or any of the other experts in Chicago. We’ll be very noticeable in our fabulous polo shirts and enthusiastic smiles. I’m around throughout the conference but you can reserve a slot with me during the following time periods:

Saturday, October 28th 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Sunday, October 29th 1:00pm – 3:00pm

Monday, October 30th 9:00am – 12:00pm

 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: September 11, 2017 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)
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