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
#PMIEMEA18 – Day 3 : #FutureDefiners :Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human
Trust your team, lead with agility, befriend the machine and be human sums up my day 3 in one sentence.
My first session was on Delivering value in consulting projects – The Agile Way: Maciej Kaniewski took us through the journey of a life cycle of consulting projects. His take on delivering value in consulting project – the agile way?
Maciej Kaniewski presented the Agile manifesto for Consulting projects as follows
So how do we measure value from consulting projects? Through outcomes, feedback, observations, measurements and decisions.
And what about the value to the consultant? It is the experience and the learnings.
He ends with a quote from Janis Joplin Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.
Now that I was all armed with tips for success in consulting projects I wonder “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could predict our cost overruns for our projects ?” Werner Meyer session on Beyond Humans: Using Machine Learning to Calculate Contingency for Systemic Risks introduced us to machine learning and how it can help us to improve our chances of success. An amazing story of Man Vs Machine, where machines learns from historical data and predict the systemic risk overrun. So does this mean our jobs would be at risk? Per Werner Meyer there is a low probability for construction managers and IT managers like me. What a relief!
Later that afternoon I attended a panel discussion on Leading effective virtual teams: Fiona Charonnat, Hagit Landman, Sunday Faronbi and Ibrahim Dani. Some tips for successfully leading virtual teams :
The grand finale was the closing key note on Developing Creative Approaches to Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalisation Inma Martinez . Ms. Martinez took us through the journey of HPC to Exascale - Tianhe-3, a supercomputer which is capable of at least one exaFLOPS, or a billions and billions of calculations per second, from AR augmented reality to VR virtual reality to SR sensorial reality. So what does this mean for us human beings ? Will we be replaced by machines ? Ms Martinez says “ Machines will always be machines, they can never outperform the human brain. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That is why humans will remain relevant: ” She adds on to say
That wraps up #PMIEMEA18 in Berlin, the next edition of #PMIEMEA19 would be in Dublin, Ireland. Maybe we will we have some robot participants next year ? What do you think?
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.
#PMIEMEA18 – Day 2 : #BoundaryPushers : Learn to push boundaries, embrace change, and think in an innovative way
My day 2 at #PMIEMEA18 started with the offsite tour to the BER – Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg, originally planned to open in October 2011, the airport has encountered a series of delays and cost overruns. It was amazing to see how a team is pushing boundaries, embracing change to fix a project that is gone so wrong. “Three things that you think can contribute to the success of the project ?” asked one of our congress attendees to Thomas the project manager of the BER – airport project. The answer
A walking tour of the BER - Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg an unique learning experience to get the feel of the project at the site. For more insights on the offsite tour to BER airport read the blog Project Management to the Rescue
Back in Berlin convention center I attended the session “Digital Transformation: Leading Organizations to the Promise Land” by Dan Lefsky, the key to succeed in a digital transformation program is not technology, but to do with culture said Dan. Dan’s tips to a successful digital transformation were
Now that I have some tips to lead successful digital transformation, I wonder how the project teams of the future would look like? They would be tech savvy, would need flexibility and empowerment, value human interactions, global perspective, bite size knowledge and prefer work life balance- says Muhammad A. B. Ilyas, Mohamed Khalifa in their session Reforming Transfer of knowledge on the projects of the future. So how would be the transfer of knowledge be like for project teams of the future
This interactive and innovative session transformed us from transferring knowledge through documentation, presentations to interesting techniques like
Keeping with the theme with the “projects of the future” I look forward to the closing key note by Inma Martinez - "Developing Creative Approaches to Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalisation" on the final day – Day 3 of the #PMIEMEA18.
“Every industry and every organization will have to transform itself in the next few years. What is coming at us is bigger than the original internet and you need to understand it, get on board with it and figure out how to transform your business”
— Tim O'Reilly, Founder and CEO, O'Reilly Media
The world is transforming with light speed, it is getting better and progress is coming faster than ever, which means the quest for perfection is our projects is at it’s limit and beyond? So how would the projects of the future look like ? What would the role of a project in this uncertain future ?
These are the questions that keep coming back to me, as I notice an evolution of a revolution around me.
Keeping the above in mind, I planned my schedule for #PMIEMEA18 congress as follows:
Key Note: Rowan Gibson - Winning in the Innovation Economy
Want to know more on the projects of the future? Have any questions which I can ask on your behalf in these sessions? Please shoot out here or direct message me. I will be there at #PMIEMEA18 Congress to share insights into the “Projects and Project management of the Future”