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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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

Are you a Champion of Change? What can you do to be one?

PMI Global Conference: What can we do to bring the conference to the online community?

#PMICON18 – The Magic Continues

#PMICON18 – Day 3 Invest in the wisdom of the crowd and crack creativity

#PMICON18 – Day 2 Collecting the GEMS of the Generations

#PMICON18 – The Magic Continues

I am back to Bollywood after spending a week in Hollywood and what a week it has been :

  1. Travelling half the way across the world : a 19-hour flight from Bollywood to Hollywood
  2. Participating as a “Expert” for “Ask The Expert” sessions
  3. Presenting at my third PMI Congress - "Who Wants to Be a More Successful
  4. Project Manager? Here's Your New Lifeline: Ask the Crowd! #askthecrowd
  5. Recording live podcast for PMI on my experience as a speaker and as an attendee
  6. A great support from the #crowd at the conference
  7. Looking at Life as a magic along with  John Dorenbos
  8. Collecting "GEMS" from 5 generations at the workplace from Cam Martson
  9. Cracking Creativity with Abigail Posner
  10. Finally a enjoying a cool sunset by the Pacific Ocean at the Santa Monica Pier

My takeaways ? I have noted them down as quotes that I gathered from the sessions that I attended

1. “I blamed a lot of people when I wasn’t having success, the more I blamed people around me, the more I lost myself, bit by bit, piece by piece.” – John Dorenbos – “Life is a magic” Key note day 1

2. “You will become infinitely more powerful if you can understand your preferences and set them aside and let your colleagues’ preferences shine through,” – Cam Marston

3. “The big part of the equation was to work with the community to understand what veterans wanted in their brand-new veteran’s medical center – Fernando Rivera, Director of Medical center – south Louisiana Veterans health care system, 2018, PMI Project of the year winner Do I hear “crowdsourcing ““Ask the crowd “here as well ?

4. “Creativity changes the world!” – Abigail Posner

My experience at the conference are captured in these blogs

Day 1: #PMICON18 – Day 1 The magic starts!

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/47192/-PMICON18---Day-1-The-magic-starts--

#PMICON18 – Day 2 Collecting the GEMS of the Generations

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/47273/-PMICON18---Day-2-Collecting-the-GEMS-of-the-Generations

Day 3: #PMICON18 – Day 3 Invest in the wisdom of the crowd and crack creativity

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/47341/-PMICON18---Day-3-Invest-in-the-wisdom-of-the-crowd-and-crack-creativity

A yearlong celebration of PMI’s 50th birthday #PMI50 has already begun. Watch this to know more. We even created a live mosaic billboard with the moments of the #PMICON18

And yes, there is more… The experts from “Ask the Expert” group have created some exclusive content just for you.  My exclusive expert content  Projects in the Real World: Agile and Beyond is here.

With this I sign off from Bollywood. I would love to know your thoughts on the coverage. Do post your comments here, also don’t forget to follow me on  twitter , LinkedIn and  Facebook  for other exciting news from the world of agile and project management.

Posted by Priya Patra on: October 16, 2018 04:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

#PMICON18 – Day 3 Invest in the wisdom of the crowd and crack creativity

Yes the secret is out.  #ChampionOfChange you have a new lifeline “Ask the crowd”. I led a session on day 3, on something that many of you were curious to know about – your new lifeline

#517a Who Wants to Be a More Successful Project Manager? Here's Your New Lifeline: Ask the Crowd!

I explored how crowdsourcing can be an option to solve the most complex problems in our projects and how it can improve agility and innovation.

I had a great support from the crowd at my session, both from old friends like Bruce Gay and friends that I made through my interactions last few days at the conference – at the gala dinner, on the hallway, at the breakfast, lunch tables and at the “Ask the Expert” booth. I guess that is the bonus of having your session scheduled on the last day. Thank you everyone! The feedback is captured here.

 

With all that great crowd support, in high spirits I headed back to the exhibit hall. On way I stopped at PMI’s Projectified live podcast booth for  a live podcast on my experience as a speaker as an attendee at #PMICON18.

1.     Be a person of vision, face your own reality and believe in magic

2.     Tap into the collective intelligence of the generations, by understanding the workplace preferences

3.     Passion is one, but that needs to be backed by project management and principles

The last key note of the conference was by Abigail Posner, she provided some amazing tips on how to be creative

1.     #seekthewhy :  Ask yourself why your clients seek your services, answers are the foundations to the creative ideas.

2.     #lookforthelinks : Ideas don't come from nowhere. Look for the links between disparate ideas.

3.     #discoveryourmission: What are you offering that is going to make lives better?

Then wrapping up with energetic Hi fives from the Los Angeles chapter members and volunteers. The moment captured well by my friend Karthik Ramamurthy here

As they call in Hollywood “that was a wrap” of   the PMI Global Congress 2018, hope to see you next time to celebrate PMIs 50th birthday in Philadelphia. Till then let’s keep the conversation on , on  twitter , linkedIn and  Facebook .

Posted by Priya Patra on: October 10, 2018 08:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (24)

Troubled Project? #PMICON18 Ask the Experts!

Ask the Experts - #PMICON18

#PMICON18 is just a week away now!   I’d like to encourage all of you to visit “Ask the experts” either by skipping a session or during a break.  You can pre-schedule time online

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Life after NASA

I’ve rambled on about NASA and the great things I learned while growing up there in other writings.  But, I’ve had a life after NASA too.  A group of us decided we could help troubled projects, programs and operations turn-around their troubles. So, we left NASA-Houston (and other places) and moved to Orlando, Florida (why not?) to start a company. 

Most of our work came from companies both large and small that had won US Government contracts and weren’t able to perform.  Why them?   Because there are very strict Federal procurement laws in-play that pretty much insist (legally) that for a fixed price contract, you MUST finish what you started.  It doesn’t matter what it takes, it must be finished and meet the customer’s needs.

At first, that was our niche.  We’d swoop in, understand the problems, give the poor company a bid for our services, put some of our key people in place and do our best to recover the project.  We never had one fail!  It was clear that after a few years of doing this, we saw the same reasons for failure over and over.  There were a few creative ways in which companies crashed while performing a project but not many. 

Well, word spread.  We started taking on commercial contracts (a different world from Federal contracts).  Surprise!  Commercial companies made nearly the same mistakes in their projects and programs as Government-suppliers.  There’s a continuity there, that would be an interesting study to do.  

Mistakes that stick out in my mind:

  • A software company decided that no existing database application would fit their needs, so they decided they needed to write their own database system
  • A systems integrator decided to save money off the final sale price by NOT conducting inspections of custom items that were ordered from vendors.  They just bolted things together and *knew* it would work.
  • A large supplier to the project was “bankrupt and didn’t know it.”  Neither did the people that had the contract to include their product in the final deliverable.  They just couldn’t believe it when I told them.  We ended up buying the bits and pieces and hiring key employees. 

What’s common in these stories? (there are many, many  more)

  1. Where is the boss?  Where is the Project Manger?  Where are the executives?  “Oh, we never talk to them except during our every 6-week review cycles. “
  1. The executive desire to never hear bad news.  Or, “Don’t tell me what your problem is, tell me what your problem was.”  This is totally wrong-headed approach.  Executives exist to knock down the problems workers are having, not to shove them back at them. 
  • This created a saying on our team “Bad news is good; Good news is Great" (the subject of a PMI paper I wrote years ago)
  • You as the PM – NEED to hear bad news, all the bad news there is!  If you don’t hear it, you can’t do anything about it. 
  1. Poor / no status tracking Many of these companies had a very high-level Gantt chart that they met once a month about and everyone said it was fine.  Risks were not discussed, budget was not discussed.  (see item one above).

The flip side of this was companies that had people planning down to the minute every action the project team should take.  Bathroom breaks, lunch… whatever.  That’s just plain silly and won’t work.

  1. No or poor communication between groups working on the project.   It was common on troubled projects that one group had no idea what another group was doing.  Yet, both groups had components that needed to work together for the product of the project to work.
  1. No WBS:  This used to get me very hot under the collar.  It clearly points to nearly zero project planning.
  1. No cost accounting: No idea what was spent for what or when.  Overrun?  Maybe.  Funds remaining to help a failing area?  Maybe…

These are all true.  I could get a group of people on the phone to explain these and much, much more. 

I’d better stop now – I want to create a nice chart like my best buddy EM THE PM did.

-- Dave  (or DAM PM [my initials are DAM] not to be outdone by EM the PM) 

 

Posted by David Maynard on: September 30, 2018 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

#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 (11)

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 (8)
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