The Third Day with a Grand Finale
Education and Training,
Human Aspects of PM,
Nontraditional Project Management,
PM Think About It,
Reflections on the PM Life,
Categories: Best Practices, Change Management, Communication, Complexity, Education and Training, Ethics, Generational PM, Human Aspects of PM, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Mentoring, Nontraditional Project Management, PM Think About It, PMI, Reflections on the PM Life, Social Responsibility, Stakeholder, Talent Management, Teams, Tools, Virtual Teams, Volunteering
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:
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:
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!
Interesting how even at a conference, where you mapped out your session attendance, everything can change suddenly. In this case it made for a slightly different, yet fun day.
Initially I had wanted to start my day attending one of 3 offsite sessions that were on offer: A visit to the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI). Since I worked the first 24 years of my career in the medical field and the RCSI won an award last year during the PMI Award Gala, I really wanted to attend this outing. However the offsite sessions are very popular and I was late trying to register. So I put my name on the waiting list. The waiting list was only for the Session at the Teeling Distillery. So I kept my fingers crossed and waited. Late last night I got an email, informing me that I had managed to get onto the Distillery Tour. So both @Emily & myself got to take part in this treat.
Did you know that there was a time when Dublin had over 40 distilleries, and then there was a time there was none? Until Teeling decided to open a small distillery again in Dublin in 2012. The tour takes you right into the distillery and you can see the entire process from end to end.
Did you know that Irish Whiskey is triple distilled, Scottish Whisky (note the difference in spelling) is double distilled and American Bourbon is only distilled once? Did you know that Whiskey gets its color from the wood of the casks it is stored in, while it matures? That's why older whiskey has a darker color.
We learned all about the 5 step process of making whiskey and the different kinds of whiskey. What is the difference between Blend, Small Batch, Single Grain and Single Malt. In the end we got to taste 3 of the Super Premium Whiskeys Teeling is famous for.
We were back to the Dublin Convention Center in time for lunch. I used the lunch break for more networking and meeting new people. One of my techniques is that I often either open a new table and sit there waiting to see who will join me, or purposely go to a table where I know nobody and join them. You end up meeting wonderful people and having deep discussion about project management in general, the sessions attended during the conference or your experience in your career as a project manager.
In the afternoon I attended a session by Dirk Doppelfeld and Nataliya Wiedemeyer about creating your virtual Band. Virtual Teams have their own challenges and the fact that you do not see each other face to face brings a whole lot of unique issues. It is very important that you pay special attention to and effort to getting to know each other, setting clear rules, reconfirming peoples attention and scheduling time for bonding. Dirk & Nataliya shared a set of 11 processes that help you assess the Virtual Team Maturity and position yourself for better collaboration. A great and practical session!
During the afternoon break I got into a discussion with Jim Snyder about progress in the medical world and how robotic surgeries are being done. He has amazing knowledge about it and it was great to discuss with him.
Unfortunately that made me miss the beginning of the next sessions and I found all the 3:15pm sessions full to capacity. So I was unable to attend any session. Instead I had another great discussion with Dirk Doppelfeld about Project Management Training, REPs and our experiences with classroom and virtual training.
As Jim Snyder said during the opening sessions, PMI is about the people. I could not agree more, even PMI Conferences are also all about the people. You meet amazing colleagues and peers, you have deep discussions with strangers.
The day ended on a high note again, we had the #PMI50 celebration party. It was good fun with great food, great drinks - lots of Guiness - and fun entertainment.
And true to his word Sunil Prashara was there, mingling with all of us, enjoying himself and chatting with many of the delegates.
What a great day at the conference! Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.
Let us know if you want us to talk in more detail about some of the sessions we attended or those we want to attend tomorrow.