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
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!

Day Three, a Truly Triple Treat at #PMIEMEA18

Guten Tag (Good day in German)!

The third day of #PMIEMEA18 gave me and Berlin Congress attendee a truly Triple Treat! 

I learned about TMOs, the Half-Double technique, and the Copernican revolution in Project Management. A terrific bonus was the thought-provoking closing keynote by Inma Martinez.

For those who could not be there, here are short videos interviews that summarize the key takeaways from some of the sessions:

Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig, “The Half Double System for Project Success”: http://bit.ly/MPEMEA18

Olivier Lazar, “Ethical Leadership & Decision Making: The Business Case & The Construction Tools”  bit.ly/OLEMEA18

Jack Duggal, “The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management”:

The TMO (Testing Management Office): Amruta Oak

We’ve all heard of PMOs. What are TMOs? In a fascinating session, Amruta Oak made the case for Testing Management Offices.  Here were some key points in her session:

  • Test teams in projects are often put under extreme pressure in completing a lot of work in very little time. Many project managers do not entirely understand the unique challenges faced by test teams.
  • Investing in a separate Test Management Office can go a long way in improving the probability of project success.
  • Typical roles in a TMO include Test Leaders, Test PMs, Project Coordinators, Defect Managers, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
  • Ten specific steps involved in implementing a TMO.
  • Case Study of Success implementing a TMO in a large Pharmaceutical Benefits project

The Half Double Project: Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig

Achieving DOUBLE productivity in HALF the time? That is indeed a bold proposition! Michael and Per presented concrete results from the bold “Half Double Project” initiative to significantly improve project success rates. Key pointers from their session:

  • While 34.7% of German GDP came from projects, only around 30% of projects are successful.
  • The “Half Double” project is all about placing extreme focus on three core elements: Project Impact, Project Flow, and Leadership.
  • Halving the time to “Impact Creation” has the potential of “Doubling Impact.”
  • Case Study of a successful implementation of the “Half Double” approach: Reducing baggage handling defects in a European airport by 33% from 12/1000 to 8/1000.
  • Research results of nine pilot projects compared to a few using the “Half Double” method showed that the approach brought vastly improved results.

The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management: Jack Duggal

What does Copernicus have to do with a revolution in Project and Business Veteran PMI Conference speaker Jack Duggal started the session with this interesting question.

Jack made this important point. Copernicus controversially postulated that earth orbited around the sun. Today’s most successful projects and businesses put the customer at the center of their compared to others that have their projects or businesses at the center. Other key points in the engaging presentation:

  • Mike Tyson’s famous quote, “Everybody has a PLAN until you get punched in the face!” is very relevant to project managers. Many well-crafted plans may fail when a PM came face-to-face with an angry stakeholder.
  • Transparency to stakeholders is crucial. Jack gave the idea of the Reichstag building where tourists could go right to the top and watch elected representatives work. Similarly, many German government buildings had glass facades to signify transparency.
  • A case study of a situation where a project crisis was creatively handled with a note of apology and candy bars to stakeholders.
  • A practical 11-point “Application Checklist” on implementing the learnings from the session.

Developing Creative Approaches in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalization – Closing Keynote Speaker Inma Martinez

Are robots set to take over our jobs, maybe even the world? What will then happen to humans? In a terrific keynote laced with excellent humor, Inma Martinez candidly answered these questions that are in the minds of many.

  • Can a hearing-impaired person enjoy a musical concert? Can a car drive itself to the mechanic when it has a serious issue that needs fixing? Can machines outdo humans?
  • Answering all these questions in the affirmative, Inma said Artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to revolutionize the world in ways we cannot even start to imagine.
  • However, all human jobs are not at risk. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That's why humans will remain relevant.
  • With many repetitive manual jobs being better done by machines, humans will truly have time to spend on relaxing and important activities such as meditation, listening to music, reading great books, and so on!

I hope you enjoyed the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates were also posted on the Twitter handles of our team members, @PriyaPatra, @KarthikPMO, and @Em_the_PM

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


Please look for my summary of the Conference in the next blog post. Look for a special surprise on a thought-provoking conversation with a project management legend.


 

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 12, 2018 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (22)

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

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.

Starting from

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

Day 1 : #GameChangers

 

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

Day 2 : #BoundaryPushers

 

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

Day 3 : #FutureDefiners

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

Posted by Priya Patra on: May 12, 2018 06:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

#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?

  1. Be in touch with reality, be that Octopus when dealing with customers
  2. Harmonize the project management and business analysis
  3. Fast forward with agility

Maciej Kaniewski presented the Agile manifesto for Consulting projects as followsAgile manifesto for consulting projects

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 :

  1. Get to know your team even before the project
  2. Understand the culture of others if working in a multi-cultural team
  3. Care for your team member as an individual and not as a team
  4. Be flexible
  5. Set expectations, agree and repeat again and again

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

  1. Machines would do the heavy lifting like crunching the numbers
  2. Use that data to pin- point a cancerous cell, or mental health
  3. Data can transform our living to smart urban living e.g as in Boston, MA
  4. And with all these time at our hands we will have time to be human

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?

Posted by Priya Patra on: May 11, 2018 08:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (16)

More than Double the Learning, Sharing, Networking & Growing! Day Two of #PMIEMEA18

Guten Tag (Good day in German)!

Play to your Strengths. Resolve Conflicts using Brain Science. Teach the Machines to help you!

These phrases bring out my key learnings from Day Two of #PMIEMEA18 at historic learning.

For those who could not be there, here are short videos interviews that summarize the key takeaways from each session:

Conor Traynor, Strengthsfinder Workshop Presenter: http://bit.ly/CTEMEA18

Phil Bristol, presenter of the session “Pivot-Point – From ME to WE – A Leadership Transformation”:  http://bit.ly/PMEMEA18

Werner Meyer, presenter of the session, “Beyond Humans: Using Machine Learning to Calculate Contingency Reserve for Systemic Risks”: Adding soon

Conor Traynor in Strengthsfinder Session

Play to your Strengths - Conor Traynor

  • Quick: Try writing your full name with your non-dominant hand. How many seconds did it take? Now try with your dominant hand. One-third the time? That’s a good reason to play to your strengths rather than waste time reducing weaknesses!
  • Based on the Gallup Strengthsfinder system, this very engaging workshop involved not one, but two treasure hunts! Participants raced against time meeting other attendees to find their strengths and how it helped them in their jobs.
  • What happens when you overuse your strengths? And what are the ill-effects?
  • Understand the unique strengths of your team members to help them be most productive as a team.
  • Does your current role allow you to leverage your strengths to be at your productive best? If not, you might want to think of a change!

 

Helping Machines Learn to help calculate Contingency Reserve – Werner Meyer

  • Can machines consistently beat humans? One machine indeed did. Though the machine got off to a slow start, it indeed outsmarted a session attendee by guessing whether the human would choose “Heads” or “Tails” across 100 coin tosses!
  • Compared to machines, humans are much more unpredictable and suffer biases. Machines are therefore very useful in some decision-making situations.
  • Calculating Contingency Reserve for Systemic Risks is an ideal scenario where machines can consistently be more accurate.
  • Werner walked the participants through a simple and elegant example of machine learning using as rudimentary a tool as Excel!
  • Not all human jobs are at risk with machines. Some such as “Construction Managers” and “IT Managers” have a low probability of being taken over by machines.

Use Brain Science to Resolve Conflicts and Excel as a Leader – Phil Bristol

  • Do you know about the extreme impacts chemicals have on your Brain? An intense conflict can increase Cortisol levels and make you unproductive for up to eight hours!
  • You can consciously reduce that time by increasing your Oxytocin levels.
  • A classic story of two project team members in severe conflict and how it endangered the project.
  • Deep dive into their motivations and mindsets helped resolve the conflict.
  • The resolution took several months but was well worth the effort since it created a long-lasting solution.

I hope you are enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates are available on the Twitter handles of our team members, @KarthikPMO, @PriyaPatra, and @Em_the_PM

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

Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions. Look for detailed coverage of these sessions tomorrow!

  • Complex Project Success: Practical Steps to Create Problem Solving Teams by
  • Half-Double Methodology: Creating Double Impact in Half the Time
  • Speak with Confidence – Learn with a European Champion of Public Speaking (@FreeTheOCP)
  • Developing Creative Approaches to AI in the Workplace: Inma Martinez, Keynote Speaker
Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 09, 2018 01:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (13)

Day One of #PMIEMEA18 was full of Learning, Sharing, Networking and Growing!

Guten Tag!

What do Agility, Innovation, Transformers, Ethics, and Leadership have in common?

These were the broad themes of the terrific sessions I attended on Day One of the PMI EMEA 2018 Congress at Berlin yesterday.

While it is impossible to cover all the great insights and learnings in one short blog piece, I will try my best. Short video interviews with speakers from four of the sessions are available at these Youtube links:

Simona Bonghez: http://bit.ly/SBEMEA18

Mohamed Khalifa & Muhammad Ilyas: http://bit.ly/MMEMEA18

Lily Murariu & Alan Richter: http://bit.ly/2I70Bed

Ibrahim Dani: http://bit.ly/IDEMEA18

A warm German welcome!

The event was off to a great start, with a warm German welcome from Thomas Walenta of the PMI Board of Directors. He briefly touched upon how much of what PMI does would not be possible but for the passion and hard work of volunteers from the world over.

Winning with Innovation

In a highly thought-provoking and entertaining session, Rowan Gibson, the celebrity keynote speaker stressed on how important innovation is for business survival. He gave attendees many concrete examples of Business Innovation. A short video on a road accident showed how a proactive insurance company made life a breeze for one of the car owners, with a crash sensor-activated agent call, a drone assessing the damage, plus an Uber driver and tow truck quickly arranged. The other party? Well, he was still on hold with his insurance company!

Rowan also gave attendees great tips on how an innovation project could be initiated, planned, executed and closed.

Ethical Decision-making for Global Teams

In a highly engaging session, Lily Murariu and Alan Richter presented on the results of a global ethics survey. Leveraging an excellent online polling tool, the duo asked session attendees decide on next steps in three typical situations involving ethical dilemmas. Lily then presented PMI’s Ethical Decision Making Framework (EDMF) as a very useful tool to help make better decisions.

Agile Droplets in a Waterfall World

This session by Simona Bonghez simplified a tough topic with excellent expert insights, visually appealing and elegant slides, plus excellent humor. She started with how tough a choice it is to choose between Predictive, Agile, and Hybrid. Providing many real-life examples, she gave practical tips on choosing the right approach for the right project, considering context, complexity, and constraints.

Transformers!

No. They weren’t talking about the famous movie series! Mohamed Khalifa and Muhammad Ilyas started by highlighting the latest trends that are truly transforming the projects of the future. Using many interactive activities, they stressed on the ten key skills project managers need to acquire to stay relevant in a rapidly-changing world. Some were: Social Intelligence, Cognitive Load Management, Virtual Collaboration, Design Thinking.

The Engaging Leader

“Stop Managing and Start Leading. Be an Engaging Leader,” was Ibraham Dani’s opening phrase. Mentioning key differences between managers and leaders, he listed various categories of team members such as “Doers,” “Thinkers,”, “Carers.” Ibrahim warned attendees that one disengaged and toxic team member could undo the productivity of three others. Ibrahim ended with several practical pointers on the importance of proactive leadership for project success.

I hope you are enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates are available on the Twitter handles of our team members, @KarthikPMO, @PriyaPatra, and @Em_the_PM

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

Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions. Look for detailed coverage of these sessions tomorrow!

  • Workshop: Applying your Strengths to Build Productive Teams by Conor Traynor
  • Beyond Humans: Using Machine Learning to Calculate Contingency for Systemic Risks by Werner Meyer ()
  • Pivot-Point – From ME to WE: A true story of Leadership Transformation by Phil Bristol (@PhilBristol_CMC)
Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 08, 2018 01:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (12)
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