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
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield
David Davis
Andrew Craig
Lorelie Kaid
LORI WILSON
Kiron Bondale

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
Kristin Jones

Recent Posts

What Does an Invitation to the ‘Ask the Expert’ Panel Mean to Me? #PMIcon19 #Inspiration

What does being part of the Ask the Expert panel at #PMIcon19 mean to me?

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

What Does an Invitation to the ‘Ask the Expert’ Panel Mean to Me? #PMIcon19 #Inspiration

When contacted as a potential candidate for the Ask the Expert panel, I felt proud and had somewhat a sense of validation. Let me explain. Eleven years ago, during the recession, I was laid off and on unemployment. To that end, I chose to look at the other side of the coin, as an opportunity to reinvent myself and my career.

In the span of these eleven years, I have focused diligently on my professional development and career growth to have a voice. My voice is one of many, however, with a level of effort required to be in the choir, a level of commitment to not simply make oneself better, but to take it as a chance to share, grow, and contribute back to the professional community as a way to fortify and inspire.

After earning my PMP designation, I decided to put myself out there in this community, to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, to actively engage with the community as a way to solidify and expand on my understandings, assumptions, and experiences.

That was in 2016. Three years later, coming up to four, I am happy to now have this amazing opportunity to actively partake and engage in such an amazing event such as the Global Conference as an invited member of the Ask the Expert panel. It is an honor to sit amongst my peers in this fashion, with not just the ability to meet some of my online cohorts in person, but to meet others in the community as well to discuss interesting topics and learn from one another.

I look forward to being amongst the community and part of the celebration. See everyone there!

Andrew Craig

Posted by Andrew Craig on: September 15, 2019 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

What does being part of the Ask the Expert panel at #PMIcon19 mean to me?

When Laura contacted me in mid-August to invite me to join the Ask the Expert team for the 2019 PMI Global Conference, I experienced a wide range of emotions.

Happiness at the chance to (re)connect with PMI staff & fellow practitioners whom I have only interacted with briefly in person in the past.

I've been involved with PMI since 1999, and while I had many in-person interactions in my first few years when I served as a director on the board of the PMI Lakeshore Chapter and helped contribute to the PMP exam in three exam item writing sessions, over the past few years it has been virtual with my work on some of PMI's standards and practice guides and my engagement in this community.

Pride that I was one of the folks selected out of all the great contributors to the Projectmanagement.com community. It reinforces my belief that if you pursue recognition it will escape you, but if you try to help out and do the "right thing", it will be a natural outcome.

As is the case with most social media, interaction in this community are low risk. At worst, someone will criticize a blog post or take exception to a discussion thread response. Being part of a team of "experts" almost paints the target on your back to be challenged in person. Well, in the immortal words of Barney Stinson: Challenge accepted!

I look forward to seeing you at the 2019 PMI Global Conference!

Posted by Kiron Bondale on: September 13, 2019 08:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Networking, knowledge and insight: PMIEMEA19

It's been a week since PMIEMEA19 and since I've been back at work, I've had the chance to really let the conference sink in. I think it's really important that after any conference or intense knowledge gathering, that you allow yourself time to process all of the knowledge that you've received and see what what you can learn from in your daily life.

I've been really fortunate to be part of a great group of correspondents who really have shown such different sides to the conference which I really hope the online audience has found useful.

Here are some of my key takeaways from the conference.

  1. Everyone is a potential ally. The first session with Pat Lucey and Norma Lynch gave me some of the biggest takeaways from the conference with regards to influencing potential stakeholders. Since the conference, I've been trying to see how I can really influence those around me and in what ways would be the most beneficial to my projects. The slight shift in mentality has really affected how I talk to people and look at them from a more positive mindset.
  2. Seize every opportunity when it happens: This was something that came up during both the TEDTalks but also the offsite experience at the Teeling Whiskey Distillery. During the TEDTalks we were inspired with tales of human perseverence and endurance, whereas The Teeling Distillery we learned about utilising the opportunities that appear in your industry. For me, this has really hit home about changing my outlook towards any opportunity that could appear (both positive and negative!).
  3. Understand the impact of your network: There are great things that can be achieved with utilising and understanding your network and it's capabilities. After listening to some of the talks and attending the different networking events that were available, it's really made me appreciate how valuable the contacts are in my network and who I could really call on for advice/support. During one of the lunches, we were having a discussion about issue resolution and it was a 'live' coaching session with some of the most experienced Project Managers I know. You couldn't buy this sort of knowledge! It also highlighted to me that there are networking opportunities available everywhere! During lunch, at the coffee machine, walking to the bus etc. You can really use this to your advantage in furthering my first point: Everyone is a potential ally.
  4. What can you do to simplify your life? On the last day, Dan Lefsky presented his topic on which technology we can use as Project Managers to reduce down the complexity of our communications and to make our lives easier.

Since the Conference, this has really been on my mind and I've been talking to my colleagues about how we can be more effective and efficient in our communications both externally and internally. This has started some really positive discussions and I'm really pleased that I'm working in a team where this behaviour is encouraged.

If you've not already had a look, I can recommend the videos that I have uploaded sharing my perspective of the conference. Please comment below if they are the sort of videos that you like to see or if you'd like to see anything else.

Perhaps the most important thing for me coming from this conference was just how inspiring a profession I am a member of! This was made very clear during the closing keynote when we were told that PMI has surpassed the initial plan of 50,000 hours of volunteering. If you want to read more about the Global Celebration of Service - please check out this website and see how you can contribute.

What's next?

This conference has given me a new appreciation to share ideas and experiences that we have in our projects and daily lives. Since the conference, I've already looked at the 1% of change that I can make to become a better Project Manager.

If you're looking for a similar development opportunity, then I can highly recommend the PMI Global Conference. This conference will not only build on the great networking opportunities but also fantastic knowledge sessions that you can participate in to develop your skills as a Project Management Professional. This year's conference is being held in the home of the Project Management Institute; Philadelphia. Make sure that you're there to take part in the networking, knowledge and support over the three days.

Signing off from an amazing 3 days and a wonderful experience!

 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 22, 2019 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

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 (17)

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 (22)
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