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

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

How to seek the links and make those valuable connections

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

This is one part of my summary of the PMI Conference. I've been connecting with other Project Managers from the Conference both online and in person and i've been asking a question that i'd like to bring to this community. During this years conference, I (and the other experts) tried to tweet a lot more about what we do during the conference, what it looks like, the people that we speak to etc... but is this what you want? Is there something else that you'd like to see? 

What would bring the conference closer to you? or be an incentive to join so that you can see what goes on and perhaps tempt you to join another future conference.

Would you like to see more articles about what we're doing at the conference? Would you prefer more videos/ pictures? 

Now, my challenge for you is to comment on a minimum of 1 thing that you'd like to see more of during a PMI Conference? 

Let's start a chat so that we can make future conferences as valuable and useful to remote attendees as possible.

- Emily.

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 16, 2018 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments (19)

#PMICON18 “Abigail’s” Challenge

“Abigail” popped by the Ask the Expert booth to see me yesterday (day 1). Abigail is a fairly new project manager; she has worked on a number of project teams – but only recently was put in charge of a project with all remote team members.

On a team meeting call last week, Abigail and two team members called in from one location while four other team members called in from two other locations. The team was trying to solve a particularly knotty problem and were pretty vocal about how the problem occurred and the best way to solve it. Abigail shortly lost control of the meeting. It got contentious and there were arguments, blaming, and side conversations going on – not just in Abigail’s location but also another location where three members were calling in. One poor team member calling in from her home office was very quiet (probably because, as Abigail noted, she couldn’t get a word in edgewise!) Abigail never got control of the meeting and it ended within 45 minutes with no decision made on solving the problem and no plan to move forward.  Since then, the problem has been solved by the sponsor who gave the team a solution to implement.

Abigail asked how she could have managed the situation.

What Could Abigail Have Done?

Abigail could have started with her own location and asked everyone to stop the side conversation and remain quiet. She then could stop the meeting and ask everyone to minimize the side conversations as they are distracting and don’t enable for full participation. She should also remind them that they are a team and pushing blame back and forth would not solve the problem.

Once she got everyone quieted down, Abigail can “reset” the meeting, ensure understanding of the problem and reiterate the goal to solve it in a collaborative way for the good of the project.  She might use a “round robin” approach, calling on each individual to share their thoughts on the problem. By using a “round robin” approach, each team member will be able to share their ideas and thoughts and then more easily come to a collaborative solution.

What are your challenges? Stop by the PMI Ask the Expert booth in the Exhibit Hall at the Congress and meet with one of the experts. #PMICON18

Posted by Gina Abudi on: October 07, 2018 04:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

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)

It's the final countdown!

Tomorrow is the day! It's the start of the PMI Global Conference and the Ask The Experts team are ready and waiting to help you with your project management queries.

We're all slowly arriving in Chicago (which by the way is a bit chilly so i'd recommend bringing a coat, gloves and scarf!) and it's really exciting to see all of the displays being erected and attendees starting to arrive. 

What can you look forward to at the "Ask the Experts" stand? 

Knowledge

Primarily, the main thing to look at is our knowledge! PMI have assembled a great team of experts with knowledge covering all the major aspects of Project Management.

Experience

I dare not try to calculate the number of years experience that the entire group has and with this experience comes wisdom and support for any issues that you might be having

Expertise

We're all experts in our field and we've been around the block when it comes to projects. 

Who to see?

Take a look here and see all of the experts that will be on offer this weekend and come and make a booking

What about me?

I'm available to chat about anything... but i'm really interested in: agile practices, talent management, virtual teams, communication, professional development, Next-gen project management

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: October 27, 2017 10:21 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Rethinking the Charter

Since I retired after 26 years in one company, I have had assignments in various PMOs in different industries.  I’ve been in the energy sector, the insurance sector, credit card services, industrial/manufacturing, and now healthcare.  Every industry has struggled with the project charter.  What does baselining it mean? Does it ever get updated? Who should issue it? And the list goes on.  And while PMOs in all these industries try to invent the perfect process – we are ignoring one important aspect.

The project charter, as defined by PMI, does not meet the needs of today’s business!

Before you call me a heretic and an incompetent – hear me out.  The problem I have with the charter is it becomes a reformatting of existing information, bloated, and redundant – and it doesn’t provide the project team with the most important information it needs.  Shouldn’t the charter give the team a definition of what success looks like?

I propose the charter should be extremely streamlined.  After all, how many people, let along executives, will read a 14 page charter?  Many charter templates contain information that is already in one artifact and will no doubt be included in another.  I propose we throw away the bloated all-inclusive charter of today and replace it with a simple charter.

Project Organizational Wrapper

You need to have the organizational wrapper of project control structures.  If the project pipeline has a defined Demand Process and there is a demand id, it should be in the charter.   This should also be aligned to the business case information – what went into the approval, and other justifications.  No need to repeat them in the charter – they already exist in a corporate database of record.  If information is in two places – that doubles the risk of inconsistency, confusion, and delay.

If you have an integrated project management system (IPMS) that tracks project work in process – then that project id should be there. Projects assume titles and identify from the ideation phase through project initiation.  That title, or name, should be included in the charter because that’s the lingo that has defined the initiative.

Should be results focused

Once the project is ready to kick off, the work initiative needs to be focused on the results.  If your organization is mature enough to be doing Benefits Management Realization, the charter should map directly to the benefit register.  The next section of the charter should be:

What does success look like?

Quite simply – what is the vision in reality?  Knowing what success is far outweighs the value of several scope bullet points.  The definition of success can be expressed in several ways including:

Critical success factors

The essential areas of activity that must be performed well if you are to achieve the mission, objectives or goals for your business or project.

What can we do in the future that we can’t do now?

How do we measure success?

Not calling for specific key performance indicators here, but should have an idea of how we will measure success.  It also provides requirements for the product and what are the critical success factors.

External/legal requirements

If you are driven by a legal requirement or an industry standard (HIPPA or an ISO requirement comes to mind) than that should be identified.  The charter must identify conformation to external factors.

What benefits are being realized?

Again, if you have a mature benefits realization process, then the entire benefits quantification/qualification should be in place and your project is delivering outcomes and capabilities to realize the defined benefits.

Organizational RACI

The charter must be able to identify all the organizations that are impacted by the initiative.  After all, how did you get high level estimates for the business case if you didn’t have a means of identifying organizations involved?  This RACI should then be driven to know which groups need to receive and approve the charter. 

Time Frame

What time frame is expected for the organization to start to realize benefits?  Let’s avoid the charade of bottom up estimates and defining the schedule after you have all requirements defined etc.  We are driven by budget cycles and funding is only approved to last so long.  This isn’t to say those things can’t and shouldn’t happen, but at a Charter level – the approval has a defined end time.  This also helps define the scope.

I have purposely omitted several pieces of what is considered part of a charter.  Not that I don’t think they are important, I do, but they belong in defined sections of the project plan.  There is no need for budget as that should already be in the business case approval – and I don’t know if it directly contributes to the definition of the outcomes and capabilities.    Scope is implied in what success looks like and the Critical Success Factors.  If during requirements definition, a question is raised that doesn’t directly support the definition of success, than it is out of scope.  Assumptions, risks, issues, and constraints are all important, but they live elsewhere.  The charter should identify the future state, not dwell on the challenges of the present state.  And the charter should be a onetime document that is not modified or have addendums.  It initiates the work – other artifacts ebb and flow during the project life cycle.

In closing – the purpose of the charter is to authorize the project manager to start delivering on the project.  It is not to cut and paste from all over to make an all-inclusive summary of all business intelligence that justified the project.  I propose to make it a lean document focused on the outcomes and capabilities and the definition of success.  Items that have a workflow/life cycle (risks, assumptions, issues, etc.) do not need to be in a charter, they are taken care of elsewhere.  A lean, concise, and easy to read charter allows the team to focus on delivering within the success criteria.

 

 

Please sign up for a 1:1 with me while at the PMI Global Conference! We can talk about PMOs, healthcare project management, teaching project management, or any other topic related to project management!

To schedule a 1:1, use the SIGN UP button on this page.

Posted by David Davis on: October 21, 2017 06:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
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