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.
Preparing for PMIEMEA18
Human Aspects of PM,
New to Project Management,
PM & the Economy,
PM Think About It,
Reflections on the PM Life,
Categories: Communication, Communication, Generational PM, Human Aspects of PM, Leadership, Leadership, Mentoring, New to Project Management, PM & the Economy, PM Think About It, PMI, Project Delivery, Project Planning, Project Requirements, Reflections on the PM Life, Stakeholder, Strategy, Talent Management, Teams, Tools
#PMIEMEA18 is coming up very soon and there are a lot of preparations going on in advance. As someone who will be speaking at the conference for the first time, I'm really excited to be able to present my topic to the audience but I'm also extremely excited to be presenting alongside some absolutely fantastic speakers and knowledgeable experts there!
I'll also be there as part of the Social Media crew helping to bring the conference to those who are unable to be there in person. I'll be sharing my personal experience and highlights from the sessions that I'll be attending and allowing you to follow the conference online.
Before you come to Berlin:
Make sure that you've read through the entire conference schedule so that you've got an idea of what you're looking to attend. I'd also recommend bringing enough Business cards to share out with people at the networking events.
The conference doesn’t end there. Please don’t forget to check out the evening networking opportunities. The evening events are not only a great way for you to mingle with your other Project Management counterparts but they’ll also be a great way to learn more about Berlin’s fascinating history!
Tuesday is going to be a packed day but it'll be a busy one for sure!
Wednesday morning kicks off and it’ll be a packed final day of the main #PMIEMEA18 conference!
#PMIEMEA18 has a packed program that will definitely give you the advantage. It’ll give you the tools to develop your skills and broaden your mindset. Moreover, it’ll give you the opportunity to meet other Project Management colleagues and enable you to widen your network.
So, which sessions are you looking forward to?
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?
On Monday through Wednesday of this week I was teaching our PMI-ACP course in Toronto. Over the three days, as we walked among the different frameworks, methods and practices that are part of the course, a common theme started to emerge among the participants.
While the students could see the clear benefits of each framework, method or practice, they also began to recognize the challenges they faced in being successful at applying them in their organizations; Organizations that still operate under traditional management approaches.
Some of the more obvious challenge areas noted included:
It is interesting to me that organizations are willing to invest in having their people learn about more agile ways of thinking and working, while they somehow believe that outside of these teams (usually within IT), that it’s OK to keep doing what they’ve always done.
The people who show up for these classes do want to do things differently because they genuinely want to make a difference. They recognize the folly of continuing to use outmoded ways of thinking that rely on prescription in an increasingly chaotic and complex world.
Yet here they are. In a class that will validate what they already have come to know about why things don’t work. Where they will learn some new ways of thinking and some new ways of working that offer the possibility of handling the complexity and chaos they know their organizations face.
And now they have to go back to organizations that, outside of the teams that these people belong to, want to keep doing what they have always done.
The IT industry and those in the agile space have tended to focus on the team-level with their educational thrusts. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it does leave the part of every organization that can actually make the real difference in meeting the complexity and chaos challenges to pretend that agile is a IT-team thingy. It isn’t. It’s an everyone in the organizational thingy – and that starts at the top.
Are you a leader in an organization where your teams are learning about and/or starting to use agile approaches? Do you recognize the crucial role you will play in how successful or not these teams will be? Do you realize that in order for them to make a difference, that you will also need to make a difference by eliminating challenges such as those above?
In our course on Adaptive Leadership we refer to that part of leadership your need to be the CSR (Chief S**t Remover). Whatever impedes your teams' ability to help you achieve organizational and business agility needs to be removed. As a leader are you up to being a CSR?
If you’d like to talk strategic intent, adaptive strategy, back-casting over forecasting, outcomes over outputs, any of the agilities, or pretty much anything you think I may be able to help you with in making a difference in your world, here is my availability during the conference:
You can also connect with me at: