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 (20)

#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 (7)

#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)

#PMIEMEA18 – Day 2 : #BoundaryPushers : Learn to push boundaries, embrace change, and think in an innovative way

My day 2 at #PMIEMEA18 started with the offsite tour to the BER – Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, originally planned to open in October 2011, the airport has encountered a series of delays and cost overruns. It was amazing to see how a team is pushing boundaries, embracing change to fix a project that is gone so wrong. “Three things that you think can contribute to the success of the project ?” asked one of our congress attendees to Thomas the project manager of the BER – airport project. The answer

  1. Proper planning
  2. Enforce accountability
  3. Have the will to get it done

A walking tour of the BER - Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg an unique learning experience to get the feel of the project at the site. For more insights on the offsite tour to  BER airport read the blog Project Management to the Rescue

Back in Berlin convention center I attended the session “Digital Transformation: Leading Organizations to the Promise Land” by Dan Lefsky, the key to succeed in a digital transformation program is not technology, but to do with culture said Dan. Dan’s tips to a successful digital transformation were

  1. Strong communication
  2. To go digital be digital
  3. Automate, measure and decide

Now that I have some tips to lead successful digital transformation, I wonder how the project teams of the future would look like? They would be tech savvy, would need flexibility and empowerment, value human interactions, global perspective, bite size knowledge and prefer work life balance- says Muhammad A. B. Ilyas, Mohamed Khalifa in their session Reforming Transfer of knowledge on the projects of the future. So how would be the transfer of knowledge be like for project teams of the future

This interactive and innovative session transformed us from transferring knowledge through documentation, presentations to interesting techniques like

  1. Emotional seismograph
  2. Celebrity interview
  3. Project Archeology
  4. Passive Analogy
  5. Healing the wounds

Keeping with the theme with the “projects of the future” I look forward to the closing key note by   Inma Martinez - "Developing Creative Approaches to Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalisation" on the final day – Day 3 of the #PMIEMEA18.

Keep watching this space for insights of the final day of #PMIEMEA18, alternately keep following me and my team .@KarthikPMO, @Em_The_PM and myself @priyaPatra for more

Posted by Priya Patra on: May 08, 2018 04:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (16)

Backward Expert

backward

This is a backward blog posting!

This will be my final post before leaving for Chicago tomorrow morning.  So, I wanted to do this one more like the way I think about things – BACKWARDS.  Instead of telling what areas I can help with, I thought I’d ramble about what areas I like to talk about!  I guarantee it would be an entertaining discussion.  Just make select an open appointment here:  then wander over, say hello and lets just talk about one of MY favorite things.

1.  Project failure.   I know more than I ever wanted to know about this.  There was a group of us that Left NASA at the same time and moved to Orlando to start a company dedicated to turning around troubled projects, programs and operations.  When we started, we thought we’d seen just about all the problems that project can get into.  WRONG.  For the next 5 or 6 years we only worked on turning around projects that were at least 100% over budget, perhaps 3 or 4 years late, had irate customers… or simply failed to deliver anything of value. 

It’s not easy to judge project failure!  EVA won’t do it.  It’s a very subjective thing.  “Could anyone have done better in the same situation?” is a basic test, but there are many more. 

So, we fired, hired, replaced, improved… bought contracts, had contracts “novated” to us, and were very successful ending up with a stand-along building and 70 employees.  There’s a lot of trouble out there!   There were project mistakes made that I didn’t think cold be made.   We worked on Casino projects, entertainment projects, airline projects, and many other types.  

Our group learned a lot!  I love to talk about a failed project and how it can be recovered.  Number 1: be ready for stress.  We called being personally ready “the full wax job.”  Exercise, diet, mental toughness, how you dress…  no kidding!  But you need to be prepared.

2.  Working with a team that has widely diverse skills.  If the team gets diverse enough, sometimes you can’t understand what the other people are saying.  I’ve managed teams with theoretical physicists, mathematicians, brilliant engineers and more – of course, they were totally convinced they were ALL CORRECT, don’t even think about doubting their work.  This was great fun.  I loved it and learned a whale of a lot about things they didn’t teach me (a humble engineer) in school.

3. Project risk.  How to think about it, how to predict it, how to anticipate it, how to communicate it, how to budget for it, how to look for the often-neglected positive risk.  It’s CRITCAL that project managers and their teams master this skill.   I’ve had friends die a horrible death  because we (in a larger sense) didn’t manage risk well.

4.  Have the courage of your convictions.  Tell people what you believe, tell the bosses what your project team believes.  Don’t fall into the trap of “drinking your own bath water” or the “echo chamber.” 

Well, I feel better!   Wander over and chat with me!

-- Dave Maynard

GOING TO THE 2017 PMI GLOBAL CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO?  

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Stop by and talk to Dave Maynard or one of the other experts.  There’s more information about it at https://tinyurl.com/y7ff8f3g

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Posted by David Maynard on: October 26, 2017 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
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