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 I've learnt at #PMIcon17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

  1. Volunteering: A really valuable way to connect with others and give back to the community is through Volunteering. Either with your local chapter or with other professional organisations.
  2. Talent Management: It's vitally important to understand your own worth in your organisation and also as a Project Manager. Make sure that you understand what you're worth and also where you can still develop as a Project Manager.
  3. Innovation: Be innovative, be a 'bar raiser', 'thought provoker', 'change maker' and be this not just for one day, but constantly. Analyse what you're doing and what you can do better. What can your organisation do better? Are you thinking about how Project Management could be better?
  4. Collaboration: As Project Managers we can be stronger within the community if we collaborate together to give more knowledge to each other. Are you collaborating enough?
  5. Generational Project Management: Project Managers seem to have a longer more valuable shelf life than other industries and roles. During the conference, there was a great combination of younger Project Managers just starting their career with other more seasoned Project Managers who had so much knowledge and information to share. As an organisation and industry we need to be aware of this and work on sharing this knowledge together.

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.

What next?

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?

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: November 04, 2017 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Day 3: #PMIcon17

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*:

  • Frank: Frank has been in the same job for over 27 years and been a Project Manager for the last 12 years. He's looking for a change and a different challenge and has been thinking about becoming a consultant and what this means in reality. We spoke about the reality of life as a consultant and the different mindset that is required from his current position. We also looked at understanding the different culture of consultancy and discussed the next steps for him. What was interesting for Frank was that this discussion was based around: "What does he want to do?" He has no monetary concerns and could happily have no job but he wants to work and he wants to. It's a great position to be in and one that I think a lot of more Senior Project Managers are going through at the moment.
  • Mohammed: He's been working in his current organization and has worked his way up from a technical role to being a Project Manager. He's looking to keep moving forward with his career and wanted advice as his company was theoretically supportive of his growth plan and where he wanted to go but in practice, they were not and were trying to box him into a smaller position that wouldn't be fulfilling for him. Mohammed left with some ideas and plans for what he can do with his management moving forward to secure the growth that he wants in the organization and what he's able to do now to keep learning. We spoke about working with his local chapter on volunteering and improving his soft skills to move forward into a Management opportunity.
  • Sharon: She's currently unfulfilled in her current job and looking at: what next? She's interested in perhaps going independent and we spoke about the initial steps that she needs to do and what to consider before she becomes freelance in: how to market yourself, what do you want to do and what is important to consider in being an entrepreneur in the US.
  • John: John came to see me about the best way to empower his team through their agile transformation and how to get his team more empowered to own their change. We spoke about how the could get the team to own their change and their work across distributed locations.
  • Olivier: My last talk of the day and Olivier is a brand new Project Manager and wanting to know how he can progress and develop as a Project Manager successfully. It was really interesting to help him with his initial career plan and where he'd like to see himself in 5 years.

Here's some pictures from today:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note all names have been changed for privacy reasons.

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 30, 2017 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Did you use 'PMI-in-training' at the Conference?

 

 

 

Hello PMI Conference Attendees,

It has been a lot of fun and learning since we started on Friday. We have learnt a lot and hopefully have been able to share some of our learnings with some of you.

Strengths Finder and Ask The Experts has been a busy booth to manage. Thanks Marjorie, Kristin and PMI team for keeping the place in control and managing the heavy traffic really well so that time was well utilized for all the coaches and participants.

If you haven't stopped by, feel free to do so. Coaches are around until end of the day and you might still be able to get a slot. Coaches have different backgrounds and experiences - so you can find somebody that is in line with what might help you the most. From personal experiences we have found that sometimes,it just helps  to run ideas by somebody that can look at it from an outsiders perspective looking in.

We look forward to seeing you and learning with you.

Karen and Nic

 

Posted by Nic Jain on: October 30, 2017 12:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

#PMIcon17 - Day 2

Today has been a really hectic day but it's been a really exciting day of listening to some great Project Managers and coaching them to a solution. One the best things about being part of the "Ask the Expert" group is being able to see so many different personalities and with such a different array of problems that they need help with. Here's a quick summary from today:

  • Dan: He's working in a government environment that has very limited project management skills and wants to help his organization implement better project management processes. We spoke about how he could sell this to his stakeholders and some pitfalls that he needed to be aware of. He's the only PMP in his organization and is trying to make the case for having his colleagues become PMP certified.
  • Sally: She was a technical project manager who was trying to transition into a Scrum Master. She was getting her certification but just didn't know where to start! How do you start being agile when you're struggling to see where to begin! We went through the initial processes that she could start with and additionally what she needed to NOT do. We then spoke about some of the issues that she's having in transitioning and what she's able to control in her transition.
  • Thomas: Thomas needed some career advice. He's a highly academic individual who works in a company that will not allow him to progress or develop. There's limited opportunity for him to develop and despite repeated requests to his managers, there's been no support or acknowledgement. We went through his options and how he can make himself more employable. We also discussed the various opportunities that networking with his local PMI chapter could provide.
  • Ruth: I spent an hour talking with Ruth about what she can do to 'find the love' in Project Management. She's been a job that isn't ideal for the past 5 years and the company is fine, the job is fine, but she's not enjoying it. We discussed what she enjoys doing and what she can do moving forward to improve her current situation and working environment. It was great to be able to leave Ruth with a list and plan of things that she can actively do moving forward.
  • Miguel: Miguel was struggling with his agile transformation and has been trying to go through the agile change with his traditional organization. We discussed the steps that he can do to help with the change management that he needs to do.

We've also had a few 'drop ins' on the couch as well which has been really fun to work together in a group and do some group coaching with people. We've spoken about: Closed industries and what you can do to break through, communication issues between cultures, working in a corrupt environment and how to talk to Senior Management.

We're going to be around tomorrow in case you want to drop by!

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 29, 2017 04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

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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