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

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

Round up of Videos from PMIEMEA19

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

First Day of PMI EMEA Congress 2019: Agilely Playing Games with Rogue Monkeys using Social Intelligence?

Dia daoibh ar maidin! (“Good morning all” in Irish/Gaelic)

Can you Agilely Play Games with Rogue Monkeys while using Simulations of Social Intelligence?

That sentence about rogue monkeys may sound bizarre. Why do I have it there? It includes the broad themes of the sessions I truly enjoyed on the fabulous first day of the PMI EMEA Congress 2019 at delightful Dublin!

Got your attention? Please read on for my key takeaways from each of those sessions.

While it is impossible to cover all the great insights and learnings in one short blog piece, I will try my best. Short video interviews with speakers from three of the sessions are available at these Youtube links:

Priya Patra: https://youtu.be/7Z70-vlxNzo

Simona Bonghez:  https://youtu.be/L_jkeLysZuU

Ruth Pearce: Video will be added soon…

Warm welcome!

Entering the Dublin Convention Centre, we were welcomed by two jovial gentlemen, each 12-feet tall. How? They were on Irish stilts! They threw me a few “PMI50” stressbuster toys.

The packed meeting hall was welcomed by Beth Partleton, member of the PMI Board of Directors. She introduced PMI’s new CEO, Sunil Prashara. He was asked why he moved from the business world to head a not-for-profit. His reply was amazing: “I prefer to say PMI is a ‘For Purpose’ organization. And its purpose can make a meaningful difference all over the world!”

Jamil the Scribbler and Celebrity High-Performance Coach

“I don’t use Powerpoints. I just scribble. I’m Jamil, the Scribbler! There, I feel so much better!” That was the rousing start to the Opening Keynote of #PMIEMEA19. In an amazingly inspirational, humorous and practically useful session, Jamil emphasized the importance of inner thinking. He exhorted attendees to make just one degree of difference. He mentioned how two perfectly parallel lines could be made to meet by rotating one of them by just one degree.

Jamil spoke about “Rogue Monkeys,” people who are 1/78 of the human population. These are people who are invaluable since they think differently. The speaker exhorted all attendees to encourage “rogue monkeys” in their teams, adding that every valuable invention in history came from such thinking.

Gamify to Amplify!

Priya Patra displayed high-energy in presenting the session titled “Project Managers – Get Your ‘Game On’ to Usher Success." She emphasized the critical importance of gamification to project success.

Priya spoke about how gamification elicits six key human emotions: Achievement, Altruism, Competition, Cooperation, Recognition, and Self-Expression.

In highly stressful projects, project managers could leverage this tool very effectively, adding a fun element to deliver superior results.

Playing to Win

Vered Holzmann and Daniel Zitter presented the next session,Mastering Project Management Technical and Leadership Skills Through a Simulation Games.”

Each group of nine people played the PMZone game. The game featured three projects simulations with three elements: Cost, Resources, and Value. Players could be hit by issues, benefit from opportunities, and had to plan carefully to succeed.

Social Intelligence, anyone?

We’ve all heard of Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). But have we heard of Social Intelligence (SI)?

In a session titled “Social Intelligence: Why We Need It and How to Get It,” Ruth Pearce, spoke about the importance of understanding others well enough to relate with them.

Ruth presented 24 hum strengths, and the amazing results she had got from taking the time to spot other’s strengths.

She ended with a powerful story written by a fellow course attendee on her experience dealing with her husband’s sudden heart attack.

Agility

Simona Bonghez is a seasoned speaker at PMI events.

Following-up on her “Little Drops of Agility” session at the Berlin Congress in 2018, she presented the session, "The Journey Towards Agility: Lessons Learned From Successes and Failures." Simona stressed on the importance of learning from failures and recovering quickly. She presented case studies of her experience with large organizations.

Simona asked attendees to consider what would happen if you were asked to play a game of chess with some pieces completely removed from the game, the knight moving like a queen and the rook like a bishop. Would you decline to play the game? To win, your only option would be to be flexible, adjust to the new rules, and try to outwit your opponent.

This, she said, was the essence of Agility and Agile Thinking!


I hope you’re enjoying the continuous coverage of the EMEA Congress 2019 by the Community Correspondents Team. In addition to tweets by @PMInstitute and @PMIEvents, regular updates are available on the Twitter handles of our team members, @heykristinj, @Em_the_PM,  @StephanieJaeg10, @moritz_sprenger and yours truly, @KarthikPMO.

Today, I plan to attend and cover these great sessions. Look for detailed coverage of these sessions tomorrow!

  • Turning Ambition into Achievement by Jamil Qureshi
  • Influencing Without Authority – An Essential Survival Skill for Project Managers by Pat Lucey

I will also be presenting this session at 3.15. If you are at the conference, I’d love to see you there!

Mi7! Motivate and Inspire with Seven Proven Leadership Techniques for Project Success by Sripriya Narayanasamy and Yours Truly!

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 )

Posted by Karthik Ramamurthy on: May 14, 2019 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (24)

#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 (6)

#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)
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