What a great few days it's been! I've been helping PMI with their social media for the EMEA conference alongside Karthik Ramamurthy and Priya Patra (both very well known individuals in their own right!). We were tasked with the aim of bringing the conference to those who couldn't attend in person so I made sure that I was tweeting (@Em_The_PM) as much as I could to bring you the different sessions that I attended and what a day at the conference looks like.
It's important to know that the PMI conferences are not just about the sessions that you attend or the PDUs that you can earn by attending. It's got so much more value! The opportunities to be able to speak to your peers and Subject Matter Professionals really gives you live advice and coaching (and all included in the conference price!). This is my first time at the EMEA conference and I've really learnt so much about how projects run (and also how they fail) in the EMEA conference area.
I decided to arrive a day early for the conference and took the time to spend the afternoon picking up my badge (a.k.a finding where the conference centre is and how long it'll take to walk in the morning) and then also enjoying the beautiful weather that we had in Berlin. We were really spoilt with high temperatures, beautiful sunshine and a relaxed environment.
The first day of the conference is ALWAYS jam-packed so I took the time to make sure I knew where everything was (including the lunch location!) and then making my way to the keynote session. The great thing about PMI conferences is that they tend to bring in some awesome keynote speakers and they didn't disappoint with Rowan Gibson (@RowanGibson)
He delivered a really motivating talk about his work with Caterpillar, Boeing, Airbus and so many other companies to help focus our mind through the upcoming days about what we need to be looking at.
You can read more about my Day 1 here but suffice to say that it was really enjoyable and they did have to kick us out at the end of the day because we couldn't stop talking to each other!
Day 2 (Tuesday) was another really great day. A full breakdown of my day is here but whilst others chose to go offsite to visit the central station or the airport, I decided to stay and attend the workshop: Winning Well. Becoming a more strategic Project Manager with the great Karin Hart (@letsgrowleaders) .
It was the first time that I've blown bubbles at the start of a session! This has to be one of my favourite sessions because not only was it very interactive and made you really think about how YOU can become more strategic but it was also about how we can constantly improve ourselves and always look for improvements.
In the afternoon, I presented my own topic "Dude, where's my control. Transitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master" to a packed room of attendees. It was fantastic to see so many engaged people and be able to spend time afterwards to answer questions and help others with their issues. It was a really great day for me and I really enjoyed being able to present my thoughts to others.
My second day concluded by talking to others during Happy Hour. I managed to make a lot of great connections and really connect with them about what they were doing and where I could help.
Happy Hours are one of the best events for me because I'm able to really talk to other people in a more relaxed setting (as opposed to the formal session structure). It's great being able to talk to others over a drink and a few snacks to really get to know each other.
Day 3 was the final day of the main conference and I did a short summary here. Being able to connect with others on the PMI Events app was a great way to round off the entire conference because we ended up sharing a lot of contact details and information with each other that wouldn't have been possible with just exchanging business cards. By being able to message other attendees we could arrange to meet up for a coffee during the break or alternatively message about which session we were thinking of attending next.
What did I get out of the conference?
Is a PMI Conference for me?
I'd say yes ;-) But in all honesty, the PMI conferences are great for being able to get A LOT of information and knowledge in a very short period of time and to make new connections along the way. The conferences are 3 days in total and they're very intense days, but you're well taken of with food, drink and a great atmosphere.
So! It's been Day 3 and I'm writing this blog post from Berlin Tegel Airport where I'm sitting down before my plane leaves for my return flight to Amsterdam. To try and sum up the final day of the conference is really difficult! It's a mixture of sadness and tiredness as I've met so many fantastic people and those who I would still love to collaborate with in future.
This morning I managed to catch a quick coffee with some of the attendees of the conference whilst we chatted about the upcoming day and what we were most looking forward to. There seems to be an ongoing theme of: innovation and improving to keep competitive' from the people that I'm talking to as there is such a motivation to keep working out the best way forward in a landscape of ever changing requirements and technical situations.
I decided to attend the session called: "Delivering real value in Business consulting projects - the agile way" as I was hoping that I could gain some insights into the best way to manage complex projects. The speaker (Maciej Kaniewski) gave us a lot of interesting titbits of information. One of the biggest takeaways that i had was the importance of value and making sure that we're constantly looking at where that value is being delivered.
One of the interesting things that I took from this presentation was the "octopus" mentality and as you'll see from the picture below. The definition of what it means and what you need to do to make sure that you're keeping on top of everything.
The important thing for me from this is that you need to remember the different 'tentacles' and not just favour one specific method of communicating or working with your clients.
After this session, I had to leave the conference but I'm sure that my other volunteer counterparts will be able to give you more information about the day and what the closing keynote was like.
My next blog post will go into a summary of the conference and what I found the most important aspects to take from it.
Did you feel like you were attending the conference through us? Could we have done anything different/better? Please let me know!
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.
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!
What I've learnt at #PMIcon17
Education and Training,
Human Aspects of PM,
PM & the Economy,
PM Think About It,
Reflections on the PM Life,
Categories: Agile, Best Practices, Career Help, Change Management, Communication, Communication, Documentation, Education and Training, Generational PM, Human Aspects of PM, Human Resources, Innovation, Innovation, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Lessons Learned, Mentoring, PM & the Economy, PM Think About It, Reflections on the PM Life, Stakeholder, Strategy, Talent Management, Volunteering
It's been a week since #PMIcon17 started and it's been a time to reflect on a few things that were really visible to me during the conference that I think is valuable to share with the wider community.
Personally, I felt that the Conference not only highlighted the opportunities that we have as Project Managers to learn and develop as stronger Project Managers but also showing the possibilities that are available in the PM world to contribute and grow.
Where will I be going from now? I'll be continuing to connect with everyone that I met to make sure that we can continue collaborating and sharing knowledge. I'll also be making sure that my 'contribution' to the Project Management industry remains involved, active and giving back just as much as I have been learning!
What will your contribution be? How can we collaborate together?
I've just finished my final slot on the "Ask the Expert" booth and it's been a jam packed morning! The overriding theme this morning has been coaching people to understand what their value is and what they really want from their careers and lives. It's been a really interesting journey to see how people want to develop and progress in their professional careers and how differently that this looks across the Project Management spectrum. Here's a quick summary of who I met with today*:
Here's some pictures from today:
*Please note all names have been changed for privacy reasons.