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
Dan Furlong
Danielle Ritter
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Kristin Jones
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger

Past Contributers:

Deepa Bhide
Nic Jain
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Sandra MacGillivray
Gina Abudi
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Yves Cavarec
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Michelle Stronach
Laura Samsó
Marcos Arias
Cheryl Lee
David Davis

Recent Posts

How does your behaviour support you in achieving your goals? - PMIEMEA19 Recap

Networking, knowledge and insight: PMIEMEA19

Final Summary of PMI EMEA Congress 2019 – my 3 top Lesson’s Learned

Round up of Videos from PMIEMEA19

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise! Terrific Third Day of #PMIEMEA19

Final Summary of PMI EMEA Congress 2019 – my 3 top Lesson’s Learned

Hi everyone, thanks for following me all through the Congress and reading my blogs and Tweets about the Congress. It really has been a privilege to be Community Correspondent for the #PMIEMEA19.

It is a lot of fun, but also hard work. During all sessions you attend, you listen, take notes, tweet and keep your Social Media Updates going. That takes a lot of concentration. Even during the Networking events, you take notes and keep track of who you meet and what you do. Then in the evening when everyone orders their second beer in the Pub of choice for the day, you go back to your hotel room to write a blog about your day.

What an experience! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Especially tweeting on Twitter was a new experience for me. I only opened an account successfully about 1 month ago.

What an eventful few days it has been!

I was privileged to listen to Jamil Qureshi twice, once during the PMI LIMC Alumni Workshop on Sunday and then on Monday again during the Keynote. So much information in such a short time! Then during the Opening Session to hear from Jim Snyder, that his best memories are all about the people. Not the Mega Milestones and achievements, no, the people! Yes his best memories are about you and me. I actually agree with him. Yes in PMI events I have always learned a lot, but the best has always been the people. And you keep meeting again at events. For me they are also the go to Network when I need advice or help.

Meeting Sunil Pashara and seeing him attending sessions, mingling with people and freely networking with delegates was special. Knowing that he is a true citizen of the world, born & raised in Kenya, worked in almost every continent, living in London, working in Philadelphia. When we talk to him, he can relate.

Every session I attended, even then one I felt lost in, since the discussions used a Scrum Vocabulary, that is Greek to me, I took important lessons from. They are all in my notebook, but if I share them all, this will be a book.

So what are my 3 biggest lessons:

  1. We need to identify and dismantle belief systems that hold us back. Jamil Qureshi talked about it, but it came up in several other sessions as well. What really hampers innovation and progress is belief systems. Things like “It can not be done”, “It has never been done”, “this is not how we do it here” and “It will never work” to name just a few, is often what holds us back. We need to figure out what our own belief systems are and those in our team. Then we need to identify the rogue monkey, whose urge to succeed is bigger than the belief system and is willing to try. If we work together with the rogue monkey and achieve even only this 1 degree change, we will succeed.

  1. The future in Project Management in my eyes lies in hybrid projects and virtual teams. We will all handle be involved in hybrid projects and projects with virtual teams at one point or another. When I reflected on it some time back, I realized a lot of my projects ended up using agile elements due to the unique project needs. Often we had at least one Technical Expert who was not in the country (see the virtual team right there). Volunteering with PMI you often end up in a virtual team.

    For both hybrid projects & virtual teams you need to scale your                        communication up a notch. Hence I will concentrate on improving my communication skills and my EQ skills, both will come in handy for both environments. I want to become a Project Motivator and of course I bought the book by Ruth Pearce during the Congress.

  1. There is evidence of successful project management everywhere, just look for it. The seeming side shows of the Congress, like Networking events, including the tours through the host city and off site learning sessions, as well as your own trips exploring the city and surroundings are full of successful projects, with lessons for us to learn.
    1. During Networking Sessions you get to know new people and make new friends. In your exchange with them you hear about their project successes, but also the failures. And you learn right there
    2. Think about the Host Chapter together with the Congress Organizing Team and the PMI Staff involved. Think about how much work they put into the Congress Project. Finding and recruiting the right entertainers, finding and recruiting the right caterers etc, all that are major deliverables in this project. Recruiting and organizing all the volunteers who worked so hard in making us feel welcome, takes a lot of PM skills.

Hat’s off to the Host Chapter, the PMI Ireland Chapter for a job well done.

  1. When we were taking the Teeling Distillery Tour and heard how the Teeling Family, after selling off their old distillery, that had moved out of town, worked on building a new – but old style – distillery in Dublin, I was thinking about the enormity of the project they were undertaking. While the guide was telling us about the history, he did touch on a lot of points from their project planning and some of the risks they encountered. What a project!  
  2. Dublin is full of successful projects. Look at Christ Church Cathedral, which dates back to the time of the Vikings. Look at Guiness Brewery, but also look at the City’s history, where the different centuries can be seen in the different parts of town. Look at the history of the Irish people – in Epic Center you could find more of it, see where Irish Emigrants settled, what they achieved and you could also trace your family if you have Irish roots. Look at the successful city expansion in Dublin into the docklands & quays – recovering land, that was previously thought of as not inhabitable. Look at the Famine Boats – that helped evacuate thousands of starving Irish people into other countries for a better future. There are museums and statues that remind of it everywhere. Imagine the logistical nightmare. And did you know that Landlords paid for their starving squatters to emigrate? Next time you go through your city look for the historical epic projects and think about the risks and unknown unknowns they faced. That puts your own projects in perspective.

 

 

It was also very exciting to see and be inspired by live TED Talks. I am looking forward to seeing more of the new engagement between PMI & TED. Karthik had shared the links to all the original TED Talks, so you can watch them yourself.

This was for me the first time attending the PMI EMEA Congress. I had previously only attended PMI Africa Conferences, the first day of 2 PMI Global Conferences and a host of Leadership Institute Meetings (LIM, RLIM). What they said is true. Each Conference / Congress has its own character. In Africa it is all about Networking and the social events are attended by all, it is like a big carnival with learning sessions. In the US it is more about Business, and the Conference is so big (up to 5000 people), that you are happy to see your Network Friends. However it is fun, and somehow you do meet your friends. The EMEA Congress I had been told is all about the Learning and the PDUs. But in Dublin I saw that the fun counts as well in Europe and the parties were great. I think each has its big positive sites and I will definitely attend any of them again.

See you at the next Congress:

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 18, 2019 01:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (10)

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise! Terrific Third Day of #PMIEMEA19

Dia daoibh ar maidin! (“Good morning all” in Irish/Gaelic)

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise!

These phrases bring out my key learnings from what I felt was a terrific third day of #PMIEMEA19 at delightful Dublin.


Agilely Vaulting Over Waterfalls – Sripriya Narayanasamy and yours truly.

My day three started the same way that day two had ended: Presenting an EMEA Congress session on a completely different topic..

Many PMs mistakenly think that Agile and Waterfall are like oil and water that don’t easily mix, However, as Jesse Fewell, Agile Evangelist once wrote, “Many of us have been told that agile approaches are an all-or-nothing collection of techniques. However, true agility is defined by the agile manifesto… Don’t fall into the trap of only-this and only-that. A little agile can help anyone!

I presented two stories of Walter the Waterfall PM and Agata the Agile PM to highlight eight points on how Agile techniques can be used in Waterfall projects and vice versa:

  • Customer Engagement. Waterfalls projects see drastic drops in customer engagement after scope is defined. Increased levels of engagement can help project teams be more flexible, and avoid late-stage changes which can be extremely expensive!
  • Minimum Viable Features (MVFs) to deliver phased Minimum Viable Products (MVPs): Project Managers can get great results from grouping the customer’s highest-priority features into shorter project phases. This way, the clients actually get quicker value for money.
  • Avoid the ICU! Incomplete, Unclear, and Complex scope can be perilous for projects. Walter could effectively leverage user stories for the most critical 20% of requirements to derive advantages for 80% of project scope.
  • Poker, Anyone? Inaccurate Time, Cost, and Resource estimates imperil project success. Waterfall PMs can leverage the power of the “Wisdom of Crowds” to increase the accuracy of estimates, stakeholder buy-in, and sponsor confidence.
  • Meetings are events where the minutes are kept and the hours are lost! Countless hours are lost in unproductive meetings full of long monologues, arguments, and conflicts. Walter could derive considerable benefits from the agile technique of short, effective stand-up meetings.
  • Bonus Methods: I also briefly mentioned Ownership, Kanban Boards, “Just-enough” documentation, and Gamification as Agile techniques that could be effectively leveraged.

  • Don’t miss the forest for the trees: When there are several agile projects/sprints within a program, teams risk the possibility of the “big picture.” Kick-off meetings and frequent reinforcement of the overall program goals can really help.
  • Don’t Desert Design Discipline: Design discipline could be a casualty in environments of extremely high pace. Increased peer reviews and quality checks could go a long way in improving the quality of deliverables.
  • The Deadly Disappearing Design Dependencies! Missing dependencies between Agile projects, programs and sprints can be really deadly. Increased coordination between teams could help reduce these issues.


Creating Collective Value through Generativity: A Leadership Approach for Complexity

Stefano Setti, President of the PMI Northern Italy Chapter spoke of the challenges project managers face in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. Emphasizing the difference between “Complex” and “Complicated, he spoke of the relevance of Complex Adaptive Systems to project managers.

The speaker then discussed “Generativity,” a term coined by Erik Erikson in the book “Childhood and Society.” Generativity denotes “a concern for establishing and guiding the next generation.”

Comparing Erikson’s work with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, he said that both conceive a person as moving from a “self-centered” to “other-centered” orientation.

Stefano emphasized the importance of “Servant Leadership” in Agile projects, mentioning 12 key virtues.

He concluded by stating that the real mark we can leave as leaders is to have project team members grow and flourish.


Closing General Session with Roberto Toledo and TED Talks curated for PMI

Roberto Toledo, member of PMI’s Board of Directors, opened the closing session.

Stating the vision statements of PMI (Making Ideas a Reality) and TED (Ideas worth spreading), he mentioned that this partnership was indeed “a match made in heaven!”

Session attendees were then treated to five fabulous TED speakers, each enchanting us with amazingly amazing and practically useful ideas.

I’ve added brief summaries. You can view the entire talks in their entirety through the YouTube links I’ve added for each speaker:

Mona Chalabi emphasized the importance of being skeptical about numbers. She said it was important to determine whether one could see uncertainty and relate to data. She said it was also critical to check the veracity of data by carefully looking at whether sample sizes were representative.

Mona also showed us excellent examples of how information could be effectively presented to us, including, visuals, voice, animation, and so on.

Interested? Watch a full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwwanld4T1w

Anab Jain started with the startling statement, “I visit the future. Not one future, but many possible futures. I don’t have a time machine!” She spoke about how she’s almost like the Avengers’ Dr. Strange, working to visualize many possible outcomes of the future based on current trends.

Anab gave us details of how she created a case study of a possible future lawsuit based on trends in genetics, insurance rates, and crime.

Fascinated? Watch more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYjWLqE_cfE

Mark Pollock & Simone George This amazing couple’s extremely inspirational and moving story brought most in the audience to tears. Simone had met Mark when he was blind. They fell in love and married. Tragedy struck when Mark fell from a second-story window, taking him to the doorsteps of death.

Mark and Simone narrated the extraordinary story of how he miraculously survived. He spoke about how realism, determination, and an undying spirit helped him achieve what doctors had said was impossible. He exhorted attendees to follow his mantra: “When the going gets tough, succeed as a REALIST rather than fail as an OPTIMIST!”

You can watch and get inspired by this amazing story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvfydcUeXls

Julia Dhar spoke passionately on the importance of healthy debate. She spoke about her journey from her early stages of debating to being a motivational TED speaker. While it was important to convince the audience of one’s extreme position, she said it was key to be “intellectually humble.”

Julia exhorted project managers to disagree respectfully, separate ideas from personalities, accept that they could be wrong, and find common ground.

Learn more at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phgjouv0BUA

Ingrid Fentell Lee spoke about her experience as a design student. She narrated how terrified she felt when a group of professors examined all her design work in a full year. When one of the professor’s verdict was “your work gives me joy”, she could not quite understand.

Ingrid said there was a difference between “joy” and “happiness. While “joy” was a little "feel good right now, " “happiness” was "feel good over a longer period of time." Joy could begin with sensual insights such as pops of color, rounded shapes, patterns, and symmetry

She stressed the importance of actively and frequently looking for several small moments of joy rather than keep searching for elusive long sequences of happiness.

To get more on Ingrid’s excellent advice, you can watch her talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_u2WFTfbcg


The session ended with a very sweet surprise. Roberto Toledo spoke about PMI’s “Global Celebration of Service” pledging 50,000 hours towards the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) 17 Sustainable Goals.

What had happened in under five months? Watch here: https://youtu.be/jHvny4MlYPw and here: https://youtu.be/FfOz9s0frlg

If you didn’t watch, you really missed something!

Roberto Toledo announced that PMI volunteers all over the world had exceeded the 12-month goal of 50,000 hours of Celebration of Service in under five months! “We’re doubling in Dublin,” he said, adding that the new goal was now 100,000 hours.

Confetti was showered on the delegates and hundreds of coloured balloons of various descended on us. We erupted with applause. For a while, we all became kids, throwing the balloons at each other and enjoying every moment of the sweet surprise!


I hope you have enjoyed the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2019 by our team of Correspondents Team of Emily Luijbregts, Stephanie Jaeger , Moritz Sprenger, and me, Karthik Ramamurthy.

In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute @ProjectMgtCom and @PMIEvents, we provided regular updates through Twitter handles of our team members, @heykristinj, @Em_the_PM,  @StephanieJaeg10, @moritz_sprenger and yours truly, @KarthikPMO.

Please follow, like, comment, and retweet our continuous coverage on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KarthikPMO), LinkedIn (linkedin.com/in/kramamurthy) and Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/forkarthik )

See you soon with a wrap-up of my overall experience with #PMIEMEA19!


Meanwhile, have a great day, or as they say in Irish, “Bíodh lá maith agat”

Keep smiling, keep shining, and keep inspiring!

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 16, 2019 06:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

#PMICon18 Ask the Experts

Several of the experts have created graphics that illustrate areas they can help with.  I didn't want to be left out, so here's mine!   Think about making a reservation (online here) to talk to one of us or just stop by and see if there's a slot open.  

We'd love to talk to you. 

-- Dave

Posted by David Maynard on: October 01, 2018 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

#ChampionOfChange the countdown to #PMICON18 has begun!

#ChampionOfChange, project managers, my fellow projectmanagement.com friends and online followers, I am back again signing in from Mumbai – Bollywood of India. In less than 4 weeks, I would be in the Hollywood – Los Angeles for the PMI Global Congress 2018.

Needless to say, the preparation is in full swing for this great conglomerate of #ChampionOfChange. As I build my schedule I retrospect on my learnings from #PMIEMEA18.

#PMIEMEA18 I focussed on the “projects of the future” and sessions which provided insights on artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital transformation.  What I learned from these sessions that we need to become more “human” in this era of digital disruption.

As a refresher Please check out the #PMIEMEA18 conference summary here. Keeping along the same theme this time, I will focus on area of robotics, artificial intelligence, along with the human aspects of problem solving, virtual teams, knowledge management, change management and diversity.  Here is my schedule:

Oct 6, 2018 : Day 1

#302 Opening General Session and Keynote Speaker: Jon Dorenbos - "Life Is Magic"

#313 Knowledge Management: An Emerging Competitive Advantage—Trends, Urgency, and Techniques

#328 Rogue One : A powerpoint story

#349 There's a Robot in My Meeting!

I plan to wind up my day by attending the Gala dinner, the Oscars of project management, an event which recognizes the best of the best #ChampionOfChange in the field of project management.

Oct 7, 2018 : Day 2

401 General Session and Keynote Speaker: Cam Marston - "Five Generations in the Workplace"

#407 The Future Lies in Diversity and Inclusion: Are You an Inclusive Leader?

#425: The Change lab :Part 1

#439 The Change Lab: Part 2 of 2

#444 Artificial Intelligence and Project Management: Beyond Human Imagination!

Oct 8, 2018 : Day 3

#506 Breakthrough Brainstorming: Fun, Fast Strategies to Unleash Your Brilliance!

Mid-morning, I would be leading a session

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

I will speak on crowdsourcing and how it can improve agility and innovation in this era of disruption. In this regard I would like to know your opinion on crowdsourcing.  Please take the polls to help me to get the voice of the “crowd”.

https://www.projectmanagement.com/polls/462418/Challenges-with-crowdsourcing-project-tasks

https://www.projectmanagement.com/polls/462408/Crowdsourcing-project-tasks---internal-and-external-can-add-equal-value-to-projects

https://www.projectmanagement.com/polls/462405/Do-you-think-crowdsourcing-of-project-tasks-like-design--coding--testing-improves-agility-and-innovation------

 #526-EXH Hands-On Lab: From the Golden Rule to the Platinum Rule the Character-Strengths Way

#532 Closing General Session and Keynote Speaker: Abigail Posner - "Cracking Creativity: Re-Engaging Our Innate Creativity for Greater Productivity and Growth"

Apart from the above, I would be in the exhibit hall at the “Ask an Expert” booth as an expert on Agile, Project management, digital transformation. If you are at the Congress in person, do not forget to sign up for the exclusive 1:1 sessions with me to gain insights from my experience of managing digital transformation programs. Keep checking this space for the schedule.

If you not able to make it to the Congress, fret not, I would keep sharing my experiences at the Congress on twitter , linkedIn or Facebook.  Keep following me as I join thousands of other #ChampionOfChange for three days of learning and fun !

 

Posted by Priya Patra on: September 11, 2018 11:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

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 (31)
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