This was my 3rd PMI Congress and first EMEA Congress. My experience is every year the Congress is different. This year I particularly loved the “offsite” learning sessions – the BER airport and the Hauftbanhof excursions. An opportunity to experience the projects under the skin right at the site.
So what did I learn this time ?
As I write this post, midair on my way home to Mumbai, I retrospect on my learnings at the #PMIEMEA18 – Berlin.
Being a project manager of the IT industry, I focused on “Projects of the future” and sessions which provided insights on artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital transformation. What do we need to do different in the era of digital disruption? What I learned was the solution lies in us, the humans. We humans need to start being “more” human.
Thommas Wallenta’s opening note:
“We are making dreams a reality. We are the #DifferenceMakers !”,
“Our volunteers make it all happen!”
Rowan Gibson’s opening key note:
“Build a great team, the right people in the right roles at the right time”
Read more about the opening note and Rowan Gibson’s opening key note here
The BER – airport project manager Thomas’s presentation:
“I spend most of my time in stakeholder management”
More on my Day 2 experience is here
Inma Martinez’s closing key note:
“It is okay to be imperfect, machines are perfect, so we can afford to be imperfect, be more human”
Read more about Inma’s closing note and Day 3 highlights here
It was all about people, teams and being human.
I have had an extraordinary time with everyone at #PMIEMEA18.
It is much more than the PDUs.
It is about the networking, learning and being inspired by world renowned experts to become a #DifferenceMaker
If you were in-person at the event or have been following our team online, we would love to know
How was your experience?
What did you learn from the conference?
What is it that you are going to do different tomorrow, next week and in the coming months?
Till next time I leave you with this twitter moment on my experiences of #PMIEMEA18- Berlin.
Auf Wiedersehen – Good bye in German
#PMIEMEA18 – Day 3 : #FutureDefiners :Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human
Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human sums up my day 3 in one sentence.
My first session was on Delivering value in consulting projects – The Agile Way: Maciej Kaniewski took us through the journey of a life cycle of consulting projects. His take on delivering value in consulting project – the agile way?
Maciej Kaniewski presented the Agile manifesto for Consulting projects as follows
So how do we measure value from consulting projects? Through outcomes, feedback, observations, measurements and decisions.
And what about the value to the consultant? It is the experience and the learnings.
He ends with a quote from Janis Joplin Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
Now that I was all armed with tips for success in consulting projects I wonder “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could predict our cost overruns for our projects ?” Werner Meyer session on Beyond Humans: Using Machine Learning to Calculate Contingency for Systemic Risks introduced us to machine learning and how it can help us to improve our chances of success. An amazing story of Man Vs Machine, where machines learns from historical data and predict the systemic risk overrun. So does this mean our jobs would be at risk? Per Werner Meyer there is a low probability for construction managers and IT managers like me. What a relief!
Later that afternoon I attended a panel discussion on Leading effective virtual teams: Fiona Charonnat, Hagit Landman, Sunday Faronbi and Ibrahim Dani. Some tips for successfully leading virtual teams :
The grand finale was the closing key note on Developing Creative Approaches to Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalisation Inma Martinez . Ms. Martinez took us through the journey of HPC to Exascale - Tianhe-3, a supercomputer which is capable of at least one exaFLOPS, or a billions and billions of calculations per second, from AR augmented reality to VR virtual reality to SR sensorial reality. So what does this mean for us human beings ? Will we be replaced by machines ? Ms Martinez says “ Machines will always be machines, they can never outperform the human brain. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That is why humans will remain relevant: ” She adds on to say
That wraps up #PMIEMEA18 in Berlin, the next edition of #PMIEMEA19 would be in Dublin, Ireland. Maybe we will we have some robot participants next year ? What do you think?
“Every industry and every organization will have to transform itself in the next few years. What is coming at us is bigger than the original internet and you need to understand it, get on board with it and figure out how to transform your business”
— Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
The world is transforming with light speed, it is getting better and progress is coming faster than ever, which means the quest for perfection is our projects is at it’s limit and beyond? So how would the projects of the future look like ? What would the role of a project in this uncertain future ?
These are the questions that keep coming back to me, as I notice an evolution of a revolution around me.
Keeping the above in mind, I planned my schedule for #PMIEMEA18 congress as follows:
Key Note: Rowan Gibson - Winning in the Innovation Economy
Want to know more on the projects of the future? Have any questions which I can ask on your behalf in these sessions? Please shoot out here or direct message me. I will be there at #PMIEMEA18 Congress to share insights into the “Projects and Project management of the Future”
#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: