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
Danielle Ritter
Marjorie Anderson
David Maynard
Kristin Jones
Fabio Rigamonti
Emily Luijbregts
Priya Patra
Karthik Ramamurthy
Stephanie Jaeger
Moritz Sprenger

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
David Davis

Recent Posts

Final Summary of PMI EMEA Congress 2019 – my 3 top Lesson’s Learned

Round up of Videos from PMIEMEA19

Agility, Generativity, Terrific TED, and a Sparkling Shiny Surprise! Terrific Third Day of #PMIEMEA19

Serious Gamification, the power of 3Ps in an Agile world, RPA, and TED Talks at #PMIEMEA19 Day 3

The grand Finale - Day 3 of PMIEMEA19

Round up of Videos from PMIEMEA19

One thing that I asked the community before the conference was what would like they to see during the conference? What was the best way to share the conference with you all? The feedback and answer that came from several of you was that you wanted to see various points of the conference via video. To be able to have this in a format that could be watched by everyone, I have uploaded to Youtube all of the videos and would really appreciate your feedback.

Are these the videos that you wanted to see? Would you want to see any others/different ones?

- Emily.

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 17, 2019 02:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (8)

The Third Day with a Grand Finale

I can't believe the congress is over already. However there is so much we have learned, so much we need to digest.

Today I started my day by attending another session on Virtual Teams. Dr. Mike Oliver brought us the session #603 "Enhancing Virtual Project Leadership Effectiveness". He has worked many years from home and virtual teams have become second nature to him. However globally more and more PMs realize they can work anywhere, anytime. After laying out for us why we are having more and more virtual teams and what the characteristics are of virtual teams are, he helped us think through the challenges of virtual teams. The 3 interactive functions of the Complexity Leadership Theory 

- administrative Leadership

- adaptive Leadership 

- enabling Leadership

need to be balanced and the PM needs to know when to use which and how. 

His practical tips:

1. Communication needs to be much more detailed, to ensure everyone gets the same message. Situations like the one in this video need to be avoided:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNz82r5nyUw&t=11s

2. If budget allows, it is best to meet at least once physically with the whole team as early as possible during the project.

3. Set very clear rules that touch on meeting etiquette, use of social media etc

4. Build trust and keep affirming it. 

In Session #609 "Governance: A framework for applying Agile Practices within Projects, Programs & Portfolios" Nicholas Clemens showed us that progressive elaboration has been part and parcel of the PMI Standards since the first PMBOK Guide. The use of Planning Packages helps tackle the unknowns. "Change is your job security", hence we best embrace it. Nicholas reminded us of the Movie "Dead Poet Society" and the central message that changing once standpoint can give us a totally new perspective.

In Session #614: "Collaborating with the Sales Team to delight your Customers" Neil Shorney gave us a refreshing insight into what Sales Teams and PMs think of each other, how they can complement each other and how they should work together. Sales People are not the ogres but the biggest source of information. Their job is:

1. Understand

2. Propose

3. Gain Commitment

They should provide all relevant project information through SPACE CHAMPS. If you ask the right questions following this acronym you get all the information you need. If you contact Neil through LinkedIn he will share the question list with you.

The Closing Session of the Conference was a series of TEDTalks, which were meant to build us up and help us focus on the possibilities not the problems. Often this is shackled by our belief systems and we need to overcome these. 

Mona Chalabi showed us how with 3 simple questions you can check if statistics are trustworthy or not.

1. Can you see uncertainty?

2. Can I see myself in the data?

3/ How was the data collected? - was the sample size representative? For example a sample of 600 might not be big enough if you try to assess the entire population of a country like America. Where key words defined and do all understand it the same way?

Anab Jain  visits the future for a living. No she does not have a time machine. However she and her husband are hired to imagine possible outcomes in the future. They then simulate these in extensive laboratory set-ups and simulations. With that they help clients to find ways of preventing the negative outcomes.

Mark Pollock & Simone George: Mark lost his sight with 22, when he met Simone he was "only" blind. Later he broke his back through a fall from a window. His biggest message is If you can't change the circumstances, you have to change yourselve". He is involved in amazing research and development of robotic walking aides and new approaches. He has seen the possibilities on his own body, including when well aimed electrical shocks made him be able to move his limbs again without the robotic exoskeleton. Now when he walks it is becoming less of the robot walking him and more of Mark walking. 

He stressed that the Optimist often get frustrated along the way. A Realist however accepts the brutal facts and moves on. Be a realist when the going gets tough!

Julia Dhar showed us how debate is healthy if done right. Engage yourself respectfully, separate the ideas from the person and accept that you may be wrong. If there is conflict about an idea / a situation / an issue, have a face-to-face meeting and discuss in the prescribed manner. Practice intellectual humility.

To practice this in your team you can start by devoting 10min in every meeting to debating and idea or issue.

Ingrid Fentell Lee showed us easy ways to find joy. Joy is a little short blimp of "feel good right now" as apposed to happiness which is "feel good over longer time". Joy begins with the senses. Pops of color, rounded shapes, patterns, symmetry, abundance will put joy back into your life. This will then lead to your team being more alert, more productive and happier. Each moment of joy is small, but these joyful dots add up and have many positive long term effects. Look for joy in your life, don;t chase the elusive happiness. It will come by itself.

Roberto Toledo, of the PMI Board of Directors brought us the great news that the pledged 50,000 hours of community service for the UN global sustainability programs has already been reached! The Goal has now been doubled. Lets all work together to reach 100,000 hrs - check on PMI.org for details, or ask your chapter!

Posted by Stephanie Jaeger on: May 15, 2019 06:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Coaching as a powerful tool, the cat-metaphor on agility, and the crux in project monitoring at #PMIEMEA19 Day 2

What a second day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. Not only did the sun shine again in Dublin. PMI also celebrated it’s 50th birthday with us. Half a century of caring about the people and the profession; I am happy to have witnessed just over a tenth of that time. PMI also brought on a stage the most incredible Irish a-cappella-band for the evening celebrations. They would certainly be in the final of any X-Factor show.

Here my short and punchy summary of the key take-aways of the three sessions today with Maria Fafard, Leonor Viturro, and Anderson Gordon – three very inspiring speakers.


It was the first time Maria Fafard spoke at a PMI Congress, and it will not be the last. As an Executive Coach, Maria’s goal was to emphasize the value of coaching techniques in project management.

“What’s wrong with you?”

Does this question ring a bell? Avoid this question if you want to effectively coach. Coaching is essentially about helping the one being coached to change their beliefs, and with it, their behaviour. Because you touch the belief system of a person, the strongest tools in coaching are open powerful questions: How is your behaviour serving you to achieve your goals? Ok, you received feedback from peers, how are you going to use it? Why is this important to you? A common misconception: As a coach “you are not there to be liked, you are there to give a service. Kindly and firmly state what you observe”, says Maria.

Maria also highlighted to overcome the urge to provide a solution that worked for you in a similar situation. Descriptive support will not provide a change of the belief system in the person being coached. People are not vested in the success of a solution that was brought to them from external. 


In the afternoon Leonor Viturro demystified organisational agility and described the three basic layers of agility needed in today’s organisations to respond rapidly to change: (1) Project Agility, (2) Personal Agility, and (3) Agile Decision Making, of which Personal Agility is the pre-requisite, and also the most difficult to obtain in organisation. Leonor applied a metaphor of a cat to distil the key characteristics of personal agility:

  • A cats’ flexible spine: Constantly review your set of beliefs, as a belief system always restricts choice and options
  • A cats’ curiosity: Understand and learn from your context to be able to apply the right leadership approach in a given situation
  • A cats’ vestibular system for orientation: Define your career growth through developing a clear vision beyond factual goals and know what motivates you.

In order to increase organisational agility, starting to push processes to become agile (project agility) will most certainly fail, if the other levels are not addressed (personal agility and agile decision making).


The last session of the afternoon was highly engaging and sparked a lot of discussion. Anderson Gordon introduced a systematic approach to project monitoring: He extended the common Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to include the importance of studying the data being collected and then using the insights to constantly review and adapt the monitoring system.

Anderson mastered the task to facilitate discussion and lead the audience to come up with the key take-aways themselves. He showed examples of performance indicators that lacked completeness and were rightfully challenged by the audience. Performance Indicators should combine two set of criteria: CREAM and QQT. Meaning Clear, Precise, Economic, Adequate, and Monitorable indicators, which can be collected in the right Quality, Quantity, and Time.

And don’t forget to evaluate the indicators you have selected before adopting them.


Let’s see what day 3 holds ready for us.

 

Don't forget to follow my fellow Community Correspondents for updates during PMI EMEA 2019: Emily, Stephanie, and Karthik.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn were we will provide live coverage from the sessions.

Posted by Moritz Sprenger on: May 14, 2019 07:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

What a start to PMIEMEA19!

Today was the first day of #PMIEMEA19 and what a great start to this year's conference. I'm not sure if it was the fantastic Irish hospitality and friendliness or it was just how welcoming the PMI is, but this year's conference is really turning into something special! What makes this conference unique is that there are few other conferences in the world where you will get over 800 Project Professionals, from 70 countries and over 500 different organisations. This gives you a great opportunity to network with your peers and learn so much in such a short period of time.

The Keynote session started off with a PMI introduction regarding the aims and celebration that PMI will be doing for their 50th birthday year and including the activities behind the "Year of the volunteer". 

The keynote speaker this year was: Jamil Qureshi who was giving us his three principles for being a success and more importantly what we think, has an impact on how we feel and subsequently act. Everyone that I've spoken to today, has really taken a lot from his talk and more importantly what they can apply to their daily lives.

The next session that I attended was "Influencing without authority. An essential skill for Project Managers". This was run by Pat Lucey and Norma Lynch who gave their presentation to a packed room. One of the most interesting things for me from this talk was "assuming everyone is a potential ally". I had never really considered this in my stakeholder management but it really did make me think about how I could improve my management skills. Based upon the feedback from this community, I managed to interview Pat and Norma after their session to hear what they thought as first time speakers at a PMIEMEA conference.

Next was lunch which is always a great affair during a PMI Conference. It's really nice to see that they have such a great variety of food available which definitely set us up for a great afternoon session.

For me, my next session was Agata Czopek who was giving us advice on how to future proof our career. I really found it interesting to hear how the career path and careers are changing. The main bit of advice that I took from this talk was to: Never stop learning and always be prepared to learn and learn again.

The rest of the afternoon for me were about agile planning and learning from agile mistakes which were of great interest to me. One thing that really stood out to me was just how collaborative everyone is about sharing their knowledge and ideas. It really made each session invaluable.

Another feedback from the community was people wanting to know what happens outside of the sessions and I decided to capture two videos today showing you the Networking event and also interviewing a first timer.

Here are some more pictures from today's networking event:

This was one of the offerings for food:

This is dessert:

I'd love to know what you'd like to see tomorrow? More interviews with people? or videoing the event sessions? Please comment below!

Don't forget to follow us on Twitter at: ProjectMgtcom as well our community correspondents:

Emily

Stephanie 

Karthik

Moritz

During the conference (I - Em_The_PM) will be taking over the Twitter feed of Projectmanagement.com to share with you my views on the conference so I'd love to hear what you'd like to see more of!

Until tomorrow, have a great evening!

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: May 13, 2019 02:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

Preparing for #PMIEMEA19 - What's in your backpack?

The PMI EMEA Conference is just a few weeks away! As a lot of attendees are already preparing and thinking about the sessions that they want to attend or what are the best ways to network at the conference, I thought that I'd take a step back and ask my followers on Twitter what are the essentials that they take to any conference and more specifically for PMI EMEA. Here are some of the answers and I'd love to hear from you what you think and what's on your must-take list for a conference.

I know that a lot of us are smart phone addicts so I'd really like to know if any of you can recommend good apps for staying efficient and making the most of out a conference. What do you use? I'm sure that the EMEA Conference App will be really popular again this year and I highly recommend downloading this app and connecting with our participants before the event.

Here are a few initial recommendations/thoughts:

  1. Business Cards. Makes sure that you have enough to connect with your peers. I always like to make notes on Business cards so I can remember someone/ important information (e.g. if I need to email them with something important etc).

  2. Camera: Sometimes a phone camera isn't enough or it drains my Phone battery too much to use effectively.

  3. Scarf/ Spare jumper: Conference centres can get very chilly so I try to dress with plenty of layers in case it gets too hot/cold.

  4. Registration Confirmation: Make sure that you've printed out your confirmation and have it available for when you check in. This is vital to a prompt and easy access to the conference. I forgot it once before and it took a lot longer to get processed and through.

Here's a few recommendations from my post on Twitter.

@fabiorigamonti says that a good notepad is vital for him. He uses moleskin but I'm a fan of a good spiral bound notepad where I can easily rip out pages etc. I'll also add to this that I always carry at least 3 pens and highlighters (ideally all different colours) so  that i'm able to track/ highlight anything important. This could be important take-aways from a session or something that I want to ask/follow up on later.

 

@LetsGrowLeaders recommends bringing a Tripod with them for recording or videoing during the conference. This can be great for presenters but might be a bit cumbersome for attendees to bring.

 

 

@KarthikPMO Agrees with my suggestion of bringing at least one powerbank with you! He also adds to make sure that you have enough travel connectors for all of your devices. At a recent conference, I saw one Project Manager with an extender cable that had 5 sockets attached to it. He soon became the best friend of a few power hungry people!

So, what is important for you? What can you not be without during a conference? Please comment below!

Please don't forget to follow me and my fellow representatives from the online Community for updates during the conference itself. They'll be announcing themselves during the next few days.

 

Posted by Emily Luijbregts on: April 30, 2019 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
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