#PMIcon17 - A round up.
Education and Training,
Human Aspects of PM,
New to Project Management,
PM Think About It,
Reflections on the PM Life,
Categories: Best Practices, Change Management, Communication, Communication, Documentation, Education and Training, Ethics, Generational PM, Human Aspects of PM, Human Resources, IT, Leadership, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Lessons Learned, Mentoring, New to Project Management, PM Think About It, Reflections on the PM Life, Social Responsibility, Talent Management
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.
This years session really had a few stand out areas of conversation:
Key areas of advice given:
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?
This post is unabashedly about adaptability and agility.
We all want to make a difference. We also want the things we work on and create through our work to make a difference. In order for the things we create to make a difference to our business clients, they have to reflect the knowledge and insights of what is needed we gain as we work on creating products. This recognizes that we can't know everything up front.
One of the challenges with traditional approaches is how to address change to reflect the new knowledge and insights that the business acquires along the way. We know how it works - create a change request, fill in all the necessary sections to talk about what the change means to cost, schedule, scope. risks, who needs to approve, etc. It gets even more complicated and onerous, and expensive when we are dealing with vendors. It often makes you wonder if it's even worth the effort as most changes get rejected due to their cost or schedule implications anyway. Near the end of the project the change requests are often focused on removing things from the project to stay within budgets, timelines, or both.
In my experience, some the things that get dropped under such conditions can have significant value, while some of the things that were done early on actually had far less value, as the delivery approach is not based on an incremental highest value first model.
However, when agile approaches are practiced correctly, change can be free. No really. They can be free.
How can I possibly say that?
Let's use Scrum as the premise. When teams use Scrum they do the highest value things first. The backlog has everything they know so far about what they intend to build into the product. It is a statement of intent though - it is not cast in stone. It can be changed for the next and future Sprints based on new information, changes in team and business understanding of what is possible with the product, as well as priority changes of what is highest value by the business and the Product Owner.
The Product Owner is the one that talks to the business about what the product mus do, how long it will take to build it (the number of Sprints) and the cost. It is not uncommon to fix the number of Sprints and hence the costs at the outset. A good reason for doing this is so that everyone develops a laser-focus on what is truly of highest value first. The premise for this post is this was done.
The Sprint demo is where the business gets to see what was done so far in the latest increment of the product. They also get to reflect on the choices so far about what is in the product. Their reflection is also about what to do next.
The team has a cadence to which it develops and delivers. If you can agree on the number of total points that the product will contain based on the agreed number of Sprints, then any changes you need to make along the way, as long you drop items with the same number of points as the ones you are adding, then the actual cost of a change is free.
This is one of the ways to look at what is so paradoxically different about the thinking in agile versus traditional approaches. It forces you to really think about what matters most and to truly get the idea of being adaptable to what emerges. If something emerges that has a higher business value than what you had previously identified then it must take precedence.
Remember it's about what is valued most, not everything that may have value. What is valued most is based on what we currently know, which can be quite different than what we knew a month or two ago.
So whether it is an internal Scrum team, or one that as put in place through a procurement process, if you're really willing to focus on what has the highest value and willing to drop items that are of lesser value, then you should be able to make changes for free!
Jeff Sutherland, co-author of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the Scrum Guide first suggested the idea of change for free in a class in the Netherlands in 2006.
What do you think - can we do a better job of facilitating others to make a difference today so that our organizations benefit now and continue to do so in the long run?
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:
You can also connect with me at:
How Digital Transformation Leaders will Transform Employee Disengagement Into Individual Happiness and Business Success
The first success variable in The Digital Transformation Success Formula is individual transformation. Countless sources are predicting the disappearance and / or displacement of jobs. But for as long as we exist as humans, we will still need each other's. What if losing jobs was the way we could resolve disengagement and be transformed to a greater state of authenticity that leads to better innovations and happiness?
We have developed a professional mindset in conformance with a few stereotypes of the professional life. It is a mindset that often separates who we really are to show just a small part of us that the business world expects to see. We were programmed this way from our earliest upbringing and later through the corporate world-structure and mindset even more. However, the truth is that the motor that powers our professional life is our individuality, our authenticity.
While our individual programming allows us to reproduce the professional pattern without much effort, this restrained professional mindset limits our potential. For many of us, key personal values like aspiration and dreams are often well outside of this professional patterns, which is an identity that we spend most of our awake time at work. Have you ever noticed how some boldly authentic posts may attract attention on LinkedIn while a few people suggest that Facebook should be used for such posts instead?
Our individual values, passions, interests, and aspirations are the regulators of our energy. When we stay close to or within their influence, we experience the greatest level of energy, positivity, and happiness. The more we move away from them, the less positive energy and consciousness we experience. As a result, the person lacks authenticity and is operating like a robot on autopilot and barely using his / her brain. This is the complete opposite of someone that is mindful and alert.
Our organizations are filled with these robot-like individuals, conditioned to repeat procedures mindlessly. When a change is announced, these are the individuals who resist the changes the most, all while being disengaged. Double the issues!
Employee disengagement is the biggest challenge that organizations around the world face today. But, these organizations created or contributed to such situations as well. Starting at recruitment, many HR departments already have their restrained criteria established, like a box to fit employees, and then the employees do their best to fit in the box to get the job. While this is a way to standardize an organization, it is an approach that restrains creativity and authenticity.
Can an individual be that great without authenticity? Brain science and neuroplasticity reveals otherwise. The statistics about global employee engagement, which is down to 13% according to Gallup, proves this. With digital transformation, we have the opportunity to empower our people to release their fears, find their inner values and passions so they can embrace them. As a result, they will become mission-driven and innovate in their professions. Creativity and authenticity are much needed today to increase innovation in our businesses and organizations. Losing jobs but gaining mission can be a great solution to disengagement.
I encourage every leader to embrace their authenticity by engaging in self-transformation so that they inspire their organizations to do so as well. This is the best way we can turn around disengagement and create organizations with individuals on missions, who are energized, happier and productive in the digital age. Many disengaged individuals will at this point release themselves from jobs that they are tied to but dislike, and are wasting both their resources and that of their organizations, to embrace their individual missions, which may be another position, another view of their contribution, or else, with great enthusiasm. As a result, the mission-driven workforce will transform our organizations to experience more business innovation and success. Everyone will experience greater individual happiness.
If you are a digital transformation leader, I invite you to join my mastermind coaching program, Leaders on a Digital Mission here.
Find out more about my book The Digital Transformation Success Formula here.
Your coach in transformation,
As I prepare for the launch of my book “The Digital Transformation Success Formula”, I am often asked by friends who are not in the technology field “What is Digital Transformation?” That is a great question to ask and a great place to start. I say “start” because digital transformation will impact your life one way or another, like the industrial era had impacted your life and that of our parents. Whether you are aware of it or not, you will be making a choice between “digital transformation or death”. Leaders will have to decide first. I help them make the right decisions and guide them to succeed when they choose digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is how the latest digital technologies combined with strategic business innovation are reshaping the actual era, reinventing businesses, organizations and our lifestyles. Many professions as we know them today will disappear in a couple of years. Many of you have already changed careers or experienced the loss of a job. We see many “ends” but digital transformation also offers many “beginnings” and that is what I want to guide you to take advantage of.
Digital Transformation and Leadership
Technology itself is evolving fast, but it will not create the transformation by itself. I have as proof the many millions euros/dollars technology and business projects that I had the opportunity to either manage, lead, participate in or witness in the corporate world (and especially in Fortune 500 companies) over the last 20 years. In fact, relying too much on technology is the number one reason for technology project’s failure. Leaders are creating the transformation. Our lifestyles, businesses, and organizations will be how our leaders shape them. My new book, “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” is aimed at leaders so they can transform themselves first, and then transform our organizations, businesses, and lives efficiently.
Are you a leader?
Every leader, no matters your title, your industry, or your work status as an entrepreneur or an employee, you want to be involved. Join my group of Digital Transformation Leaders by opting in for the 1st report, “The N°1 Formula for Digital Transformation.” Just click the link to the portal below. Check out the blog on the site as well. I’ll keep you posted soon about the launch event for the Digital Transformation Leaders platform, as well as the book launch.
You won’t want to miss the launch event.
I’ll bring together a great panel of experts to deliver value to you on several aspects of digital transformation. Furthermore, for one hour, you will be able to download the Kindle version of the book for free. That’s not all. You will also be able to purchase the printed “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” book at a reduced price, all during a limited period of time. Additionally, there will be several other gifts to win.
Opt-in and join our group at www.digitaltransformationleaders.com.
Once you opt-in, I’ll then send you a private invitation for the launch event, coming in November and the Digital Transformation Report. You’ll also receive a video training on how to “Create Your Digital Transformation Vision in 7 Days”, for free.
See you there!
The digital era is the time for inspiring and impactful leaders. We are no longer in a time where only the top manager commands, and everyone obeys or follows regardless anymore. Therefore your organization expects you to inspire them and make a positive impact in their organization and their future. Otherwise, you may quickly lose your shirt and more in this volatile market.
You’ll need real support from experienced leaders and facilitators while personalizing things for your business and most importantly, taking action. You position calls for a truly evolved and transformed person with a harmonious blend of skills and a broad personality. You are one of the brand new inspiring and insightful leaders of the digital age: you are a Digital Transformation Leader.
Therefore, being a Digital Transformation Leader who wants to live up to the highest expectations, here are 10 rules to act on so that you can succeed in your mission.
To support you and help you live to your organization’s expectations, I make it my commitment for you to succeed personally, professionally and holistically.
Join our community that is a place for coaching, exchanging, and creating more transformed and successful leaders.
Attending the PMI Global congress in San Diego? You can schedule an individual session with me in the “Ask An Expert” sessions and meet me in the Solutions Center (exhibit hall). Book your session here.