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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View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Jack Duggal
Saurayan Chaki
Dan Furlong
Marcos Arias
Danielle Ritter
Laura Samsó
Karen Chovan
Lawrence Cooper
Yves Cavarec
David Maynard
Deepa Bhide
Fabio Rigamonti
Kristin Jones
Marjorie Anderson
Michelle Stronach
Nadia Vincent
Sandra MacGillivray
Emily Luijbregts
Karthik Ramamurthy
Sarah Mersereau
Nic Jain
Priya Patra
Cheryl Lee
David Davis
Gina Abudi

Past Contributers:

Catalin Dogaru
Carlos Javier Pampliega García

Recent Posts

PMI Global Conference: What can we do to bring the conference to the online community?

#PMICON18 – The Magic Continues

#PMICON18 – Day 3 Invest in the wisdom of the crowd and crack creativity

#PMICON18 – Day 2 Collecting the GEMS of the Generations

How to seek the links and make those valuable connections

#PMICON18 – The Magic Continues

I am back to Bollywood after spending a week in Hollywood and what a week it has been :

  1. Travelling half the way across the world : a 19-hour flight from Bollywood to Hollywood
  2. Participating as a “Expert” for “Ask The Expert” sessions
  3. Presenting at my third PMI Congress - "Who Wants to Be a More Successful
  4. Project Manager? Here's Your New Lifeline: Ask the Crowd! #askthecrowd
  5. Recording live podcast for PMI on my experience as a speaker and as an attendee
  6. A great support from the #crowd at the conference
  7. Looking at Life as a magic along with  John Dorenbos
  8. Collecting "GEMS" from 5 generations at the workplace from Cam Martson
  9. Cracking Creativity with Abigail Posner
  10. Finally a enjoying a cool sunset by the Pacific Ocean at the Santa Monica Pier

My takeaways ? I have noted them down as quotes that I gathered from the sessions that I attended

1. “I blamed a lot of people when I wasn’t having success, the more I blamed people around me, the more I lost myself, bit by bit, piece by piece.” – John Dorenbos – “Life is a magic” Key note day 1

2. “You will become infinitely more powerful if you can understand your preferences and set them aside and let your colleagues’ preferences shine through,” – Cam Marston

3. “The big part of the equation was to work with the community to understand what veterans wanted in their brand-new veteran’s medical center – Fernando Rivera, Director of Medical center – south Louisiana Veterans health care system, 2018, PMI Project of the year winner Do I hear “crowdsourcing ““Ask the crowd “here as well ?

4. “Creativity changes the world!” – Abigail Posner

My experience at the conference are captured in these blogs

Day 1: #PMICON18 – Day 1 The magic starts!

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/47192/-PMICON18---Day-1-The-magic-starts--

#PMICON18 – Day 2 Collecting the GEMS of the Generations

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/47273/-PMICON18---Day-2-Collecting-the-GEMS-of-the-Generations

Day 3: #PMICON18 – Day 3 Invest in the wisdom of the crowd and crack creativity

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-post/47341/-PMICON18---Day-3-Invest-in-the-wisdom-of-the-crowd-and-crack-creativity

A yearlong celebration of PMI’s 50th birthday #PMI50 has already begun. Watch this to know more. We even created a live mosaic billboard with the moments of the #PMICON18

And yes, there is more… The experts from “Ask the Expert” group have created some exclusive content just for you.  My exclusive expert content  Projects in the Real World: Agile and Beyond is here.

With this I sign off from Bollywood. I would love to know your thoughts on the coverage. Do post your comments here, also don’t forget to follow me on  twitter , LinkedIn and  Facebook  for other exciting news from the world of agile and project management.

Posted by Priya Patra on: October 16, 2018 04:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

#PMICON18 – Day 1 The magic starts !

Magical start of the day of #PMICON18 at Los Angeles with spray painting and theJon Dorenbos takes us through the highs and lows of this life through some energetic tricks. One such snippet is here.

Key takeaways:

Have a vision in life and believe in magic!

Face the reality

Surround yourself with those who lift you up

Life is indeed a magic! I was all ready to spread the magic through the channel that I had at the congress as a speaker and as an SME at the “Ask the expert” started as soon as I stepped out of my room at the hotel. I guess my T- shirt said it all. 

I engaged in discussion across the hallways at the breakfast table, the linked- in corner, the awards gala dinner and at the community “Ask the Expert” booth.

Some discussions:

“There was a directive to implement JIRA company wide, we tried agile, but our people were not ready?”

Bingo! you got it, we need to focus on our people first. Agile is not only about tool implementation. Agile Methodology is a people-focused, results-focused approach to software development that respects our rapidly changing world. Focus on people first to bring the change in mindset for adaptive planning, self-organization, and short delivery times. Tools are just levers, Jira Software is an agile project management tool that supports any agile methodology, be it scrum, kanban, or your own unique flavor.

“We are into Workday implementation, one the first ever implementation for the healthcare, we tried agile but it did not work!”

Sure of course not all projects are suited for agile, it is up to the project manager to decide what can be agile, predictive or hybrid. For COTS implementation, we may not be full fledged agile on day one, but we of course implement some values of agile like faster feedback, inspect and adapt, and slowly and steadily e may want to look for more opportunities to be agile. Read more on hybrid methodology here

“I have started a new contract and I need to setup a process, there is no current process, how do you bring in agility here?”

No current process, that seemed scary at first, but as the discussion progressed, we agreed that there was a process which was adhoc. This needed to move to through the maturity level of Adhoc-> Repeatable-> Managed-> Adaptive-> Agile and DevOps. This cannot be achieved day one, but a project manager can assess the current situation and build in a road map for process agility.  

That evening the “Happy hour” became happier with some champagne, cup-cakes, lots of appetizers, in-promptu on the sofa expert discussions and networking with the attendees.

If you have not been able to sign up for the “Ask the expert” sessions, we are here till Monday, you still have time to sign up here, or just drop by for a more casual discussion at the “Ask the Expert” community booth in the exhibit hall.

And the end .. the PMI Professional Award Gala dinner, where the best and best of the project management is awarded. A retro musical by “Marilyn Monroe” and Dean Martin made this evening even more magical.

Are you ready for more magic on Day 2 ? Unable to experience this magic in-person at the congress?  Follow me on twitter , linkedIn or Facebook as I take you through this magical experience of #PMICON18 in the city of angels.

 

Posted by Priya Patra on: October 07, 2018 09:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (14)

#PMICON18 – An Ocean of endless learning opportunities. Are you ready ?

“Would we still need project managers in the digital future? “A question that came up from the audience in a panel discussion at the PMI Global Conference 2017, Chicago. We concluded the discussion on the note, Yes we would still need project managers as they are the driver of the “car" (project), no matter how fast the car goes. Project managers are the #ChampionofChange, who keeps track of the scope, engages the team and manages the stakeholders.

The skills would need to evolve through continuous learning to drive the change in the disrupted future.

PMI Global Conference 2018 is one such conglomerate of thousands of project managers for 3 days of learning, the learning opportunities to augment our skills to be a true #ChampionOfChange

An Ocean of endless learning opportunities for

Playground sessions and special attractions: PM Wars, wellness sessions, hands on labs, advancing your career and building a personal brand.

Ask the expert: An expert group of project management professionals would be present onsite to solve our queries, get tips on projects, project management career path, you name it. You could sign up for Ask the Expert sessions here.

Learning sessions: Mesmerizing key notes and other power packed learning sessions. I would be leading a session, where I would be exploring a new lifeline for project managers “Ask the crowd”.

#517a Who Wants to Be a More Successful Project Manager? Here's Your New Lifeline: Ask the Crowd!

Curious to know what it is all about?

Follow the #AsktheCrowd on twitter and linkedin to know more.

So are you ready to dive in?  I am, Please check out my agenda here

Again, if you not able to make it to the Conference, keep watching this space and follow me on twitter , linkedIn or Facebook for insider insights, attendee experience and much more !

Posted by Priya Patra on: October 03, 2018 02:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Troubled Project? #PMICON18 Ask the Experts!

Ask the Experts - #PMICON18

#PMICON18 is just a week away now!   I’d like to encourage all of you to visit “Ask the experts” either by skipping a session or during a break.  You can pre-schedule time online

-----------------------------

Life after NASA

I’ve rambled on about NASA and the great things I learned while growing up there in other writings.  But, I’ve had a life after NASA too.  A group of us decided we could help troubled projects, programs and operations turn-around their troubles. So, we left NASA-Houston (and other places) and moved to Orlando, Florida (why not?) to start a company. 

Most of our work came from companies both large and small that had won US Government contracts and weren’t able to perform.  Why them?   Because there are very strict Federal procurement laws in-play that pretty much insist (legally) that for a fixed price contract, you MUST finish what you started.  It doesn’t matter what it takes, it must be finished and meet the customer’s needs.

At first, that was our niche.  We’d swoop in, understand the problems, give the poor company a bid for our services, put some of our key people in place and do our best to recover the project.  We never had one fail!  It was clear that after a few years of doing this, we saw the same reasons for failure over and over.  There were a few creative ways in which companies crashed while performing a project but not many. 

Well, word spread.  We started taking on commercial contracts (a different world from Federal contracts).  Surprise!  Commercial companies made nearly the same mistakes in their projects and programs as Government-suppliers.  There’s a continuity there, that would be an interesting study to do.  

Mistakes that stick out in my mind:

  • A software company decided that no existing database application would fit their needs, so they decided they needed to write their own database system
  • A systems integrator decided to save money off the final sale price by NOT conducting inspections of custom items that were ordered from vendors.  They just bolted things together and *knew* it would work.
  • A large supplier to the project was “bankrupt and didn’t know it.”  Neither did the people that had the contract to include their product in the final deliverable.  They just couldn’t believe it when I told them.  We ended up buying the bits and pieces and hiring key employees. 

What’s common in these stories? (there are many, many  more)

  1. Where is the boss?  Where is the Project Manger?  Where are the executives?  “Oh, we never talk to them except during our every 6-week review cycles. “
  1. The executive desire to never hear bad news.  Or, “Don’t tell me what your problem is, tell me what your problem was.”  This is totally wrong-headed approach.  Executives exist to knock down the problems workers are having, not to shove them back at them. 
  • This created a saying on our team “Bad news is good; Good news is Great" (the subject of a PMI paper I wrote years ago)
  • You as the PM – NEED to hear bad news, all the bad news there is!  If you don’t hear it, you can’t do anything about it. 
  1. Poor / no status tracking Many of these companies had a very high-level Gantt chart that they met once a month about and everyone said it was fine.  Risks were not discussed, budget was not discussed.  (see item one above).

The flip side of this was companies that had people planning down to the minute every action the project team should take.  Bathroom breaks, lunch… whatever.  That’s just plain silly and won’t work.

  1. No or poor communication between groups working on the project.   It was common on troubled projects that one group had no idea what another group was doing.  Yet, both groups had components that needed to work together for the product of the project to work.
  1. No WBS:  This used to get me very hot under the collar.  It clearly points to nearly zero project planning.
  1. No cost accounting: No idea what was spent for what or when.  Overrun?  Maybe.  Funds remaining to help a failing area?  Maybe…

These are all true.  I could get a group of people on the phone to explain these and much, much more. 

I’d better stop now – I want to create a nice chart like my best buddy EM THE PM did.

-- Dave  (or DAM PM [my initials are DAM] not to be outdone by EM the PM) 

 

Posted by David Maynard on: September 30, 2018 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Day Three, a Truly Triple Treat at #PMIEMEA18

Guten Tag (Good day in German)!

The third day of #PMIEMEA18 gave me and Berlin Congress attendee a truly Triple Treat! 

I learned about TMOs, the Half-Double technique, and the Copernican revolution in Project Management. A terrific bonus was the thought-provoking closing keynote by Inma Martinez.

For those who could not be there, here are short videos interviews that summarize the key takeaways from some of the sessions:

Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig, “The Half Double System for Project Success”: http://bit.ly/MPEMEA18

Olivier Lazar, “Ethical Leadership & Decision Making: The Business Case & The Construction Tools”  bit.ly/OLEMEA18

Jack Duggal, “The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management”:

The TMO (Testing Management Office): Amruta Oak

We’ve all heard of PMOs. What are TMOs? In a fascinating session, Amruta Oak made the case for Testing Management Offices.  Here were some key points in her session:

  • Test teams in projects are often put under extreme pressure in completing a lot of work in very little time. Many project managers do not entirely understand the unique challenges faced by test teams.
  • Investing in a separate Test Management Office can go a long way in improving the probability of project success.
  • Typical roles in a TMO include Test Leaders, Test PMs, Project Coordinators, Defect Managers, and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).
  • Ten specific steps involved in implementing a TMO.
  • Case Study of Success implementing a TMO in a large Pharmaceutical Benefits project

The Half Double Project: Michael Ehlers & Per Svejvig

Achieving DOUBLE productivity in HALF the time? That is indeed a bold proposition! Michael and Per presented concrete results from the bold “Half Double Project” initiative to significantly improve project success rates. Key pointers from their session:

  • While 34.7% of German GDP came from projects, only around 30% of projects are successful.
  • The “Half Double” project is all about placing extreme focus on three core elements: Project Impact, Project Flow, and Leadership.
  • Halving the time to “Impact Creation” has the potential of “Doubling Impact.”
  • Case Study of a successful implementation of the “Half Double” approach: Reducing baggage handling defects in a European airport by 33% from 12/1000 to 8/1000.
  • Research results of nine pilot projects compared to a few using the “Half Double” method showed that the approach brought vastly improved results.

The Copernican Revolution in Project and Business Management: Jack Duggal

What does Copernicus have to do with a revolution in Project and Business Veteran PMI Conference speaker Jack Duggal started the session with this interesting question.

Jack made this important point. Copernicus controversially postulated that earth orbited around the sun. Today’s most successful projects and businesses put the customer at the center of their compared to others that have their projects or businesses at the center. Other key points in the engaging presentation:

  • Mike Tyson’s famous quote, “Everybody has a PLAN until you get punched in the face!” is very relevant to project managers. Many well-crafted plans may fail when a PM came face-to-face with an angry stakeholder.
  • Transparency to stakeholders is crucial. Jack gave the idea of the Reichstag building where tourists could go right to the top and watch elected representatives work. Similarly, many German government buildings had glass facades to signify transparency.
  • A case study of a situation where a project crisis was creatively handled with a note of apology and candy bars to stakeholders.
  • A practical 11-point “Application Checklist” on implementing the learnings from the session.

Developing Creative Approaches in the Workplace in the Times of Accelerated Digitalization – Closing Keynote Speaker Inma Martinez

Are robots set to take over our jobs, maybe even the world? What will then happen to humans? In a terrific keynote laced with excellent humor, Inma Martinez candidly answered these questions that are in the minds of many.

  • Can a hearing-impaired person enjoy a musical concert? Can a car drive itself to the mechanic when it has a serious issue that needs fixing? Can machines outdo humans?
  • Answering all these questions in the affirmative, Inma said Artificial intelligence and machine learning are set to revolutionize the world in ways we cannot even start to imagine.
  • However, all human jobs are not at risk. Tacit knowledge cannot be put into words. That's why humans will remain relevant.
  • With many repetitive manual jobs being better done by machines, humans will truly have time to spend on relaxing and important activities such as meditation, listening to music, reading great books, and so on!

I hope you enjoyed the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2018 by the Community Engagement Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates were also posted on the Twitter handles of our team members, @PriyaPatra, @KarthikPMO, and @Em_the_PM

Meanwhile, have a wonderful day, or as they say in German, “Ich wünsche ihnen einen wunderbaren Tag!”


Please look for my summary of the Conference in the next blog post. Look for a special surprise on a thought-provoking conversation with a project management legend.


 

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 12, 2018 01:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (25)
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