What a last day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. The last two days have been packed and I am somewhat exhausted due to information overload. But there is still room for another full day of promising sessions and hopefully inspiring TED Talks.
After a very large and strong coffee I was energized for the morning session with Erik Agudelo. Erik provided some insights on his research on transformation projects: “50% of large organisational transformation projects fail. One reason is poor collaboration between small and medium sized projects in a company that are not visible to large and well-structured projects. The smaller unstructured and invisible projects can undermine, diminish, and oppose large-scale change initiatives”. These results led him to develop serious training and coaching games to better simulate the challenges of project collaboration.
Thank you Erik for all the practical examples and the fun and interactive session. You transfer passion for what you do, and this really engaged the audience.
I will remember the second session for a very long time and will certainly address the key take-aways in my own organisation. Nicholas Clemens is training governmental officials to be able to manage multi-billion dollar projects.
“PMI can take credit for one of the most important element in supporting the profession: developing a worldwide acknowledged standardised vocabulary for project, programme, and portfolio management.” Nicholas now urges PMI to standardise terminology for agile practices beyond the small task group level. Agile will and does transform the way organisations manage the 3Ps. During his session he checked how the four prominent agile methodologies cover the 4 levels of organisational governance (Scrum@Scale ®; Large-Scaled Scrum (LeSS®); Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®); Disciplined Agile (DA)).
A top take-away of that very interesting session: Check on what level you operate and tailor your approach within the 3Ps, apply focused agile processes where best suited, and avoid the baggage (overhead).
At lunch I met Miranda, a project manager from the states with a very difficult but rewarding challenge: To develop a PMO for a university online library. Great to hear that she will visit my home town Hamburg for a conference next month.
The third session raised the highest amount of questions from the audience, as it is something that affects all project managers: Robotic Automation of Project Processes and its effect on the PMO. Robert Allen and Rhys Lancaster provided a good testimony on how they have transformed their customer facing PMO. “We have made the decision to invest in a really flexible platform, on which we are able to quickly and without much coding effort automate processes through effective machine learning.” However, they pointed out three very important pre-requisites: You need to have structured and quality data, you need to have very mature processes, and the more repetitive they are, the more value you can create by automating them.
And finally: TED Talks!
The three talks I were able to attend were astonishing. They inspired me to change the perspective, become realistic about the world we live and work in, accept this world, and from this new stance: Make the world better for me and everyone around me one step at a time. Nothing is impossible: Mark Pollock’s story is incredible - he became paralysed and now is fighting together with his wife to cure paralysation within his lifetime. Accepting the circumstances and being realistic about the probability of success he fights a new fight everyday – and is again enjoying life.
All in all, it was a great experience. I have a learned so much from fellow project managers and speakers. I will go back to work with a long bucket list of things I need to address.
Thanks to Kristin, Emily, Stephanie, and Karthik for their correspondence and support during the three days.
I will hopefully see you all soon.