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.

About this Blog

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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

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.

What from PMI Global Conference will you put to work this week?

 

 

Hello PMI Family

Hope you are having a great work week after the hectic last weekend at the PMI Global Conference. It was great pleasure to see many of you there. PMI had multiple live events last week: Leadership Institute Meeting, Global Conference, Seminars World. No matter which sessions you were on, they were loaded with lots of practical experience nuggets.  

Do you have any thick binders that you got from some training that is gathering dust right now? I sure have many of those in my basement from early in my career. Now I have learnt how to make live training to work. Take one item and put it to work immediately till it becomes second nature.  I am going to get better at building on my strengths, use of technology, social media to improve my effectiveness and productivity and get better at project selection. Note that these are only the top 3 to start with. Like you, I learnt much more but I need to start somewhere immediately.

Yes, now that I have made it public, I am accountable to all of you to execute to the plan :-)

Think about what are your top three and share it. It will make you go thru the process and program your subconnscious mind to do something about it.

TIll I see you next time, stay connected.

Posted by Nic Jain on: November 05, 2017 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Agility of PMI

Now that I've had a couple of days at home after the close of PMI Global, I wanted to reflect on the positive things I observed, heard and otherwise inferred about PMI, based on the actions of the organization. Of course, this is my own opinion, but I'm hoping many of you will also agree with me!

Overall I feel that PMI has finally, officially, opened the door on true agility and applying flexible, adaptable project management processes, in our ever-increasing world of ongoing change.

I believe this is a very positive shift, and not only validates the many methodologies that exist, but also allows project managers to be at peace with the methodologies they choose to apply to their unique situations. 

I have to admit that, in previous years, it seemed there was a bit of resistance to change in methodologies by PMI - something I disagreed with. There seemed to be a hold out, to hang on to the remnants of a waterfall-driven approach to projects.

As a change agent, I find this understandable, given the heavy focus of past issues of PMI's PMBOK and standard practices that have given steady direction to many a project manager over the years. In their defence, why change a good thing, right?

But, as I always encourage, change is here, and change is good! It is our only way to continue to succeed in our changing world!

I believe these shifts started a while ago, with the exploration of Agile, and then the introduction of the Agile Certified Practitioner, alongside the other certification options. I would say, however, that the application of Agile methodologies had still been referred to as something practiced primarily in the IT sectors. As if agility is not relevant for everyone - but this, too, I see continuing to shift, as all agile things should.

With the inclusion of some language around agility in the newest PMBOK edition, there seems to be more acceptance that agility is more of a way to work through any type of project - with collaboration, flexibility, and iteration - so that we can simply achieve the best solutions, and deliver those valued benefits each of our customers want and need. With this, I can agree - and it doesn't stop with Agile.

Upon being asked to partake in the Expert series, and with the acceptance of my presentation abstract (focused on Lean approaches), it became even more apparent that PMI is moving to a world of supporting Change in the project management world.

The entire conference was framed around "Difference Makers, Change Makers" - asking all of us how we will forge new paths moving forward. The lineup of presentations included highlights about many different approaches, including various combinations of hybrid agile, lean, and waterfall.

There was also plenty of focus on the softer side of things, including engagement, collaboration, communication, emotional intelligence, and other leadership skills - to help facilitate the creation of positive team environments and applying various strategies successfully.

In all of this, I have a much stronger appreciation for PMI and it's open-mindedness to embrace such change. In its ambitions to be able to both continue to support its membership with change, and to help lead it too.

I look forward to continuing my support for the membership - whether it be through strategizing and implementing ongoing changes, by way of blogging, hosting webinars, or otherwise training and coaching folks who just might get a little lost along the way with all of these shifts.

If you want a little help, you have a way to reach me...simply connect and send me an email!

Change and collaboration are my forte, and in my opinion, the only perspectives to start with.

I urge you to open your minds, and engage with your peers - what is your opinion? And what is theirs? What is the best strategy to deliver the greatest value from the unique project that you've taken on?

And how can you work together to make your project sing? 

Posted by Karen Chovan on: November 02, 2017 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

#PMIcon17 - A round up.

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.

Key elements:

This years session really had a few stand out areas of conversation:

  • Career advice: A lot of people wanted to talk to us for career advice as well as knowing where to go next or issues that they had in their career
  • Growth plans/ development: This was a really hot topic for a lot of people. They were struggling to know how to establish a development plan and knowing what they really wanted from their career.
  • Transitioning to a Scrum Master/working in an agile environment: This came from several people who weren't sure where to start or where to go in their agile career. There seems to be a gap between when you have your training and when you really start using agile in your daily career.

Key areas of advice given:

  • Your value: Spend some time understanding who you are, what talents you have and more importantly, what you want to do in your career. Then make any move that you want to make
  • Investigate! Research your local job market, look at the area that you're in and see what's available and open to you. Reach out to some recruiters in your area and see what's available.
  • PMI Chapters: Look at your local PMI Chapter and see what they can do to help. Network with your other Project Management colleagues and see what opportunities you can get from them.
  • Talk to your HR: Ask them what's available for you at your company and tell them what/ where you want to go.

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? 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: November 01, 2017 05:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Conference - Day 1

It's been Day 1 of #PMIcon17 and I think most of us now have sore throats from speaking so much! It's been a fabulous day of learning about our peers and helping with their queries. A few of my highlights from today:

  • Helping Anne who was struggling with knowing the way to go with her career progression and what was the best next step to make
  • Coaching Chris in understanding the agile methodology and what agile is and isn't
  • Chatting to Brian regarding cultural issues and the different types of cultures in his team

The most exciting thing about today was seeing how much passion my peers have in their careers and how much they are looking to learn over the next two days of conference.

If you can't secure a 1-1 slot, please feel free to come by the booth as there are normally a group of us sitting around, ready to chat!

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 28, 2017 05:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Maybe you need to help your people Make a Diffference

On Monday through Wednesday of this week I was teaching our PMI-ACP course in Toronto. Over the three days, as we walked among the different frameworks, methods and practices that are part of the course, a common theme started to emerge among the participants.

While the students could see the clear benefits of each framework, method or practice, they also began to recognize the challenges they faced in being successful at applying them in their organizations; Organizations that still operate under traditional management approaches.

Some of the more obvious challenge areas noted included:

  • Finance – budgeting processes would still be based on the big upfront estimates that cover multiple planning years.
    • Traditional cost accounting operates over long time horizons.  
    • The budgeting process focuses on controlling variances over focusing on what may be the right thing to do  
    • Operating and capital expenses are segregated; Often  times this I fairly arbitrary to order to meet prescribed percentages of what should be in each
    • Audit is focused on looking for the “smoking gun” rather than working with teams to avoid the smoking gun in the first place
  • Procurement – the current RFP processes rely on being prescriptive and transferring most of the risk to the vendors
    • Vendors bid to win and then use the Change Request process which often drives final costs to be two-to-three times the original bid price
  • HR – existing HR policies are primarily based on hiring to skill rather than hiring to behaviour and compensation policies are reward individual rather than team achievement
    • People are called  resources, assets and capital as if they are interchangeable like furniture and computers
    • Competition is valued over contribution to value creation
  • Executive level – see this “agile thing” as just an IT team level thing that will somehow increase the productivity of these groups but has no bearing on how their level of the organization

It is interesting to me that organizations are willing to invest in having their people learn about more agile ways of thinking and working, while they somehow believe that outside of these teams (usually within IT), that it’s OK to keep doing what they’ve always done.

The people who show up for these classes do want to do things differently because they genuinely want to make a difference. They recognize the folly of continuing to use outmoded ways of thinking that rely on prescription in an increasingly chaotic and complex world.

Yet here they are. In a class that will validate what they already have come to know about why things don’t work. Where they will learn some new ways of thinking and some new ways of working that offer the possibility of handling the complexity and chaos they know their organizations face.  

And now they have to go back to organizations that, outside of the teams that these people belong to, want to keep doing what they have always done.

The IT industry and those in the agile space have tended to focus on the team-level with their educational thrusts. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it does leave the part of  every organization that can actually make the real difference in meeting the complexity and chaos challenges to pretend that agile is a IT-team thingy. It isn’t. It’s an everyone in the organizational thingy – and that starts at the top.

Are you a leader in an organization where your teams are learning about and/or starting to use agile approaches? Do you  recognize the crucial role you will play in how successful or not these teams will be? Do you realize that in order for them to make a difference, that you will also need to make a difference by eliminating challenges such as those above?

In our course on Adaptive Leadership we refer to that part of leadership your need to be the CSR (Chief S**t Remover). Whatever impedes your teams' ability to help you achieve organizational and business agility needs to be removed. As a leader are you up to being a CSR?

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:

  • Saturday the 28th from 1:30 to 4:30
  • Sunday the 29th from 3:00 to 5:00
  • Monday the 30th from 9:00 to 12:00

You can also connect with me at:

  •     https://twitter.com/cooperlk99
  •     https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencekcooper
  •     www.TheAgilitySeries.com
Posted by Lawrence Cooper on: October 26, 2017 10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)
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"Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited while imagination embraces the entire world."

- Albert Einstein