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.
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
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
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
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
What a great few days it's been! I've been helping PMI with their social media for the EMEA conference alongside Karthik Ramamurthy and Priya Patra (both very well known individuals in their own right!). We were tasked with the aim of bringing the conference to those who couldn't attend in person so I made sure that I was tweeting (@Em_The_PM) as much as I could to bring you the different sessions that I attended and what a day at the conference looks like.
It's important to know that the PMI conferences are not just about the sessions that you attend or the PDUs that you can earn by attending. It's got so much more value! The opportunities to be able to speak to your peers and Subject Matter Professionals really gives you live advice and coaching (and all included in the conference price!). This is my first time at the EMEA conference and I've really learnt so much about how projects run (and also how they fail) in the EMEA conference area.
I decided to arrive a day early for the conference and took the time to spend the afternoon picking up my badge (a.k.a finding where the conference centre is and how long it'll take to walk in the morning) and then also enjoying the beautiful weather that we had in Berlin. We were really spoilt with high temperatures, beautiful sunshine and a relaxed environment.
The first day of the conference is ALWAYS jam-packed so I took the time to make sure I knew where everything was (including the lunch location!) and then making my way to the keynote session. The great thing about PMI conferences is that they tend to bring in some awesome keynote speakers and they didn't disappoint with Rowan Gibson (@RowanGibson)
He delivered a really motivating talk about his work with Caterpillar, Boeing, Airbus and so many other companies to help focus our mind through the upcoming days about what we need to be looking at.
You can read more about my Day 1 here but suffice to say that it was really enjoyable and they did have to kick us out at the end of the day because we couldn't stop talking to each other!
Day 2 (Tuesday) was another really great day. A full breakdown of my day is here but whilst others chose to go offsite to visit the central station or the airport, I decided to stay and attend the workshop: Winning Well. Becoming a more strategic Project Manager with the great Karin Hart (@letsgrowleaders) .
It was the first time that I've blown bubbles at the start of a session! This has to be one of my favourite sessions because not only was it very interactive and made you really think about how YOU can become more strategic but it was also about how we can constantly improve ourselves and always look for improvements.
In the afternoon, I presented my own topic "Dude, where's my control. Transitioning from Project Manager to Scrum Master" to a packed room of attendees. It was fantastic to see so many engaged people and be able to spend time afterwards to answer questions and help others with their issues. It was a really great day for me and I really enjoyed being able to present my thoughts to others.
My second day concluded by talking to others during Happy Hour. I managed to make a lot of great connections and really connect with them about what they were doing and where I could help.
Happy Hours are one of the best events for me because I'm able to really talk to other people in a more relaxed setting (as opposed to the formal session structure). It's great being able to talk to others over a drink and a few snacks to really get to know each other.
Day 3 was the final day of the main conference and I did a short summary here. Being able to connect with others on the PMI Events app was a great way to round off the entire conference because we ended up sharing a lot of contact details and information with each other that wouldn't have been possible with just exchanging business cards. By being able to message other attendees we could arrange to meet up for a coffee during the break or alternatively message about which session we were thinking of attending next.
What did I get out of the conference?
Is a PMI Conference for me?
I'd say yes ;-) But in all honesty, the PMI conferences are great for being able to get A LOT of information and knowledge in a very short period of time and to make new connections along the way. The conferences are 3 days in total and they're very intense days, but you're well taken of with food, drink and a great atmosphere.
So! It's been Day 3 and I'm writing this blog post from Berlin Tegel Airport where I'm sitting down before my plane leaves for my return flight to Amsterdam. To try and sum up the final day of the conference is really difficult! It's a mixture of sadness and tiredness as I've met so many fantastic people and those who I would still love to collaborate with in future.
This morning I managed to catch a quick coffee with some of the attendees of the conference whilst we chatted about the upcoming day and what we were most looking forward to. There seems to be an ongoing theme of: innovation and improving to keep competitive' from the people that I'm talking to as there is such a motivation to keep working out the best way forward in a landscape of ever changing requirements and technical situations.
I decided to attend the session called: "Delivering real value in Business consulting projects - the agile way" as I was hoping that I could gain some insights into the best way to manage complex projects. The speaker (Maciej Kaniewski) gave us a lot of interesting titbits of information. One of the biggest takeaways that i had was the importance of value and making sure that we're constantly looking at where that value is being delivered.
One of the interesting things that I took from this presentation was the "octopus" mentality and as you'll see from the picture below. The definition of what it means and what you need to do to make sure that you're keeping on top of everything.
The important thing for me from this is that you need to remember the different 'tentacles' and not just favour one specific method of communicating or working with your clients.
After this session, I had to leave the conference but I'm sure that my other volunteer counterparts will be able to give you more information about the day and what the closing keynote was like.
My next blog post will go into a summary of the conference and what I found the most important aspects to take from it.
Did you feel like you were attending the conference through us? Could we have done anything different/better? Please let me know!
What I've learnt at #PMIcon17
Education and Training,
Human Aspects of PM,
PM & the Economy,
PM Think About It,
Reflections on the PM Life,
Categories: Agile, Best Practices, Career Help, Change Management, Communication, Communication, Documentation, Education and Training, Generational PM, Human Aspects of PM, Human Resources, Innovation, Innovation, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Lessons Learned, Mentoring, PM & the Economy, PM Think About It, Reflections on the PM Life, Stakeholder, Strategy, Talent Management, Volunteering
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.
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.
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?
Now that I've had a couple of days at home after the close of PMI Global, I wanted to reflect on the positive things I observed, heard and otherwise inferred about PMI, based on the actions of the organization. Of course, this is my own opinion, but I'm hoping many of you will also agree with me!
Overall I feel that PMI has finally, officially, opened the door on true agility and applying flexible, adaptable project management processes, in our ever-increasing world of ongoing change.
I believe this is a very positive shift, and not only validates the many methodologies that exist, but also allows project managers to be at peace with the methodologies they choose to apply to their unique situations.
I have to admit that, in previous years, it seemed there was a bit of resistance to change in methodologies by PMI - something I disagreed with. There seemed to be a hold out, to hang on to the remnants of a waterfall-driven approach to projects.
As a change agent, I find this understandable, given the heavy focus of past issues of PMI's PMBOK and standard practices that have given steady direction to many a project manager over the years. In their defence, why change a good thing, right?
But, as I always encourage, change is here, and change is good! It is our only way to continue to succeed in our changing world!
I believe these shifts started a while ago, with the exploration of Agile, and then the introduction of the Agile Certified Practitioner, alongside the other certification options. I would say, however, that the application of Agile methodologies had still been referred to as something practiced primarily in the IT sectors. As if agility is not relevant for everyone - but this, too, I see continuing to shift, as all agile things should.
With the inclusion of some language around agility in the newest PMBOK edition, there seems to be more acceptance that agility is more of a way to work through any type of project - with collaboration, flexibility, and iteration - so that we can simply achieve the best solutions, and deliver those valued benefits each of our customers want and need. With this, I can agree - and it doesn't stop with Agile.
Upon being asked to partake in the Expert series, and with the acceptance of my presentation abstract (focused on Lean approaches), it became even more apparent that PMI is moving to a world of supporting Change in the project management world.
The entire conference was framed around "Difference Makers, Change Makers" - asking all of us how we will forge new paths moving forward. The lineup of presentations included highlights about many different approaches, including various combinations of hybrid agile, lean, and waterfall.
There was also plenty of focus on the softer side of things, including engagement, collaboration, communication, emotional intelligence, and other leadership skills - to help facilitate the creation of positive team environments and applying various strategies successfully.
In all of this, I have a much stronger appreciation for PMI and it's open-mindedness to embrace such change. In its ambitions to be able to both continue to support its membership with change, and to help lead it too.
I look forward to continuing my support for the membership - whether it be through strategizing and implementing ongoing changes, by way of blogging, hosting webinars, or otherwise training and coaching folks who just might get a little lost along the way with all of these shifts.
If you want a little help, you have a way to reach me...simply connect and send me an email!
Change and collaboration are my forte, and in my opinion, the only perspectives to start with.
I urge you to open your minds, and engage with your peers - what is your opinion? And what is theirs? What is the best strategy to deliver the greatest value from the unique project that you've taken on?
And how can you work together to make your project sing?