Project Management

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Whether it’s in-person or virtual, PMI events give you the right skills to complete amazing projects. In this blog, whether it be our Virtual Experience Series, PMI Training (formerly Seminars World) and our inaugural PMI® Global Summit 2022, 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
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Esra Tepeli
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Archana Shetty
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Randall Englund
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Moritz Sprenger
Mike Frenette
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Nancie Celini
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Sharmila Das
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Lawrence Cooper
Donna Gregorio
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Wael Ramadan
Fiona Lin
Joe Shi
Michel Thiry
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Barbara Trautlein
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Yves Cavarec
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Stephanie Jaeger
Diana Robertson
Benjamin C. Anyacho
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Norma Lynch
Emily Luijbregts
Michelle Stronach
Sydni Neptune
Quincy Wright
Nesrin Aykac
Laura Samsó
Lily Woi
Jill Almaguer
Marcos Arias
Karthik Ramamurthy
Yoram Solomon
Cheryl Lee
Kelly George
Dan Furlong
Kristin Jones
Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
Carlene Szostak
Hilary Kinney
Annmarie Curley
David Davis

Recent Posts

Presentation Recap: Ask Me Anything: Perspectives from PMI Board of Directors

Presentation Recap: Session 310: Leading an Inclusive Project Team

Presentation Recap: Session 308: Operation Readiness: A Systematic Approach for Industrial Construction Projects

Presentation Recap: Session 315: Best Practices in the Art of Survival with Strategic Planning

Presentation Recap: Session 313: Project Takeover: Transition toward Success

Presentation Recap: Ask Me Anything: Perspectives from PMI Board of Directors

By: David Summers
Executive Communications, PMI

At the recent PMI Virtual Experience Series: 9 June, attendees engaged members of our Board of Directors on various topics in an "Ask Me Anything" session. Due to time limitations, we could not answer all the questions individually. However, after reviewing the submitted questions we have selected a few topics to highlight in the interest of sharing insights that will help you understand what PMI is doing to address your needs, wants, and aspirations.

Project professionals will always be at the heart of our community, and PMI is committed to continuing to provide the resources, experience, and knowledge they need to support their personal and professional success.

Let’ have a look at some interesting questions - we hope our answers will provide needed insights and perspectives.

Agile vs. Waterfall

In most of the events, we hear a lot of questions from our community on the increasing role of Agile and the road ahead for Waterfall. We continue to believe that agile is evolutionary and embrace it as central to what we do. The key is to understand that the nature of the project, the industry, and the intended outcomes determine the approach that a particular endeavor will require.

PMI’s take: Always remember that not all projects are a good fit for the agile approach. Assess each project with the evaluation criteria and decide based on what works best in the organization's environment. Disciplined Agile (DA) is a great place to start to learn more about choosing the best Way of Working for the project you are tackling.

Demonstrating the Importance of PMO for Senior Leadership

We hear this often: project leaders must be able to clearly articulate the compelling need for an organization to have a Project Management Office (PMO). At PMI, we have taken this thought as a mission and created many assets and thought leadership discussions on the importance of PMO.

PMI’s Take: Strategic PMOs enable strategic change in organizations. PMOs vary widely - some serve to standardize project-related governance processes and facilitate sharing of resources and tools. Others serve as centers of excellence; others align project and program work to corporate strategy across an enterprise.

Please read this paper on A Roadmap to PMO Excellence to gain insights into the impact of a PMO on the organizations.

Questions on Volunteering and How to Enlist?

What do our mentors say? PMI’s Volunteer Relationship Management System (VRMS) makes it easy to search for volunteer opportunities worldwide. To get started, log in or register and visit the VRMS to find volunteer opportunities that interest you. Explore more about volunteering opportunities at https://www.pmi.org/membership/volunteer

The Importance and Relevance of the PMP Certification

Many questions revolved around the career advantage one will get out of having the PMP credential. As disruptive as COVID-19 has been, project management skills and expertise are still heavily in demand. For instance, the 12th edition of Earning Power: Project Management Salary Survey charts the salary landscape for project professionals. Get more insights on this at https://www.pmi.org/learning/careers/project-management-salary-survey

There is also some great information here: Why You Should Get the PMP.

Being a Part of the Board of Directors

We were pleased to see many of our community members evincing close interest in how to join the PMI Board of Directors. You can learn more about how the Board is selected at https://www.pmi.org/about/leadership-governance/board-of-directors/nominations-and-election

Project Management Trends

Our megatrends research is an invaluable resource for getting a grip on the global trends impacting projects. Our Global Megatrends 2022 report analyzes the global forces significantly impacting society and the project management profession today. Global Megatrends 2022 helps project professionals understand the world's rapid transformation and the global context in which they work so they can use tasks to solve complex problems.

In-person and Virtual Events

With the world cautiously and safely continuing to re-open, the excitement among our community is palpable. We saw many questions about the upcoming in-person and virtual events. The PMI.org Events Calendar presents opportunities for project professionals worldwide to network, learn and develop. Events posted on the calendar can be face-to-face or virtual. Event organizers and sponsors include PMI chapters, the online community (ProjectManagement.com), and other nonprofit project management-related organizations with prior review and approval. Find more information about our events at https://www.pmi.org/events/calendar!

It Is Always Great to Connect!

Whether virtual or in-person, what we love about our community is the enthusiasm and the mindset of lifelong learning. We greatly appreciate your questions and have tried our best to address your queries and concerns. These are exciting times for project managers, and we would love to hear from you. Stay connected with us on our social channels, and please attend future AMA sessions at any of our events.

Posted by David Summers on: June 30, 2022 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Presentation Recap: Session 310: Leading an Inclusive Project Team

By: Quincy Wright, PMP
President, PMO Nerd LLC

I recently presented at the PMI Virtual Experience Series: 9 June which had more than 28,000 attendees globally. My presentation, Leading an Inclusive Project Team, focused on the art and science of project management with a strong emphasis on nontechnical skills, growth mindset, and systems needed in leading projects and project teams. The primary goal of this presentation was to help leaders incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE/I) principles, tools, and techniques in project management throughout the initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling, and closeout phases.

My presentation learning objectives focused on:

  • Developing a growth mindset by recognizing and identifying the beliefs, behaviors, and practices that get in the way of managing projects and project teams; and
  • Describe the leadership and nontechnical skills required to be an inclusive leader in project management with a strong emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE/I).

During my presentation, I received a lot of great questions that we didn’t get a chance to cover, and my responses are below.

Question 1: So, to come up with realization of unconcious bias we need to first self-aware ourselves as best as we can?

Self-reflection can help create an inclusive work environment by removing barriers and creating allyships. Self-reflection helps project managers and leaders recognized and identified the values, feelings, and potential blindspots that can create barriers between you and your project team. These barriers can lead to stereotypes, bias, prejudice, and discrimination if left unchecked. Self-reflection starts with understanding and identifying your own personal culture/identity: ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc.

  • What are your values you feel strongly about or live by (e.g., family, friends, social justice, money, love)? These are what drive your actions. 
  • What part of your identities, values, emotions, or lived experience might be obstructing your ability to fully empathize and engage authentically with people? Try to identify where these feelings are coming from.

Question 2: Is the culture shaped by the people or people are molded by the organization culture? Both ways, isn't it?

As a leader, you are responsible and accountable to creating an inclusive work environment where all employees feel welcomed, valued, and respected. Creating an inclusive work environment starts with diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. Diversity encompasses the range of similarities and differences that each individual brings to the workplace. Equity recognizes that each individual is unique and accommodates their needs properly (e.g., fair, just, and impartial treatment and advancement for all individuals). Inclusion is an organizational effort and practice in which different groups or individuals are culturally and socially accepted and welcome. Justice focuses on fixing the systems in a way that leads to long-term, sustainable, and equitable access. Culture is shaped by the people and leadership; as a project manager, you have the opportunity to create a positive and inclusive culture.

Question 3: One part of developing a diverse cultural environment is challenging the current culture fit. Is it not?

Developing a diverse and inclusive culture starts with evaluating and assessing your current culture. Collect, analyze, and measure data, including developing a scorecard to display and communicate the data. This is an important step in evaluating your current culture. Nevertheless, developing a diverse and inclusive culture is more than data points, it’s also a “feeling”; therefore, understanding empathy and microaggressions plays an important role in developing a diverse and inclusive environment.

  • Empathy is the ability to identify, relate, and share similar feelings or emotions another person may be experiencing.
  • Microaggressions are the everyday slights, insults, putdowns, and offensive behaviors that people experience in daily interactions with generally well-intentioned individuals who may be unaware that they have engaged in demeaning ways.

 

This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities and amazing participants. I had a great time presenting, and I was blown away by your participation and feedback. The full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2023. Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 for more details.

Posted by Quincy Wright on: June 23, 2022 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Presentation Recap: Session 308: Operation Readiness: A Systematic Approach for Industrial Construction Projects

By: Genevieve Bouchard
Project Director – Industrial, Groupe Alphard

On 9 June, I presented a session on operational readiness for the PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022.  This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities.

My presentation focused on the use of a project management approach in operational readiness in industrial construction projects. It was based on the experience of one particular project where operational readiness was planned and executed in a systematic manner, and it explained how the same approach can be used for a wide variety of construction projects in the industrial field.

During my presentation, I received a lot of great questions that we didn’t get a chance to cover, and my responses to some of these are below.

Question 1: What about storage of OEM as-builds and other critical documentation?

Documentation is an important part of operational readiness and was one of the challenges in the project that I presented. Documentation control and expediting with suppliers must be done actively during the project so that it can be delivered with the asset.

The client for this project uses an asset management system where the technical documentation is kept. We met with the operation’s planning team and established a format for the data and documentation to be delivered to them. It was decided that the data entry in the system would be the planners’ responsibility. But gathering and organizing the data was an intensive task, and the project had to dedicate a full-time resource for several weeks to this task.

This is one aspect of operational readiness where the limit of responsibility needs to be established carefully. Delivering a documentation package that is not organized properly could pose a risk to the client’s ability to operate and maintain the asset.

Question 2: Gaining engagement from operations/maintenance can be difficult. Any insight on how to obtain engagement other than informing them of the points you are stating?

I am glad that this question was raised because it touches on a critical success factor: operations and maintenance teams’ buy-in. The result of operational readiness activities depends on the level of participation from the teams that will operate the asset, but it’s a fact that these people are busy with their day-to-day work and can sometimes be difficult to keep engaged.

In the project that I described in my presentation, we took a few measures to ensure their buy-in early on. The most important one was to hold one-on-one interviews with the main stakeholder team leads, where we presented the project and listened to their needs and their concerns, followed by an in-person workshop with representation from each stakeholder team. It is critical for everyone to understand the project and to feel like they have a word in the execution, and the project team must make it clear that the ultimate goal is to deliver an asset that fits their needs. We also made sure to obtain buy-in from their management, so that expectations would be communicated from their own team as well.

I believe, however, that a culture shift is needed in the industry. Operational readiness should be identified as an important part of the business and explicitly mentioned in role descriptions. All teams are involved in some way in operational readiness, and the right level of engagement correlates to a better return on investment for organizations.

Question 3: Did you face any delays from your sub-suppliers due to the Covid-19 situation of steel fabrication in Europe due to the current geo-political environment ? How did you overcome that?

We did, in every step of the project. For operational readiness, this meant that lead times for the delivery of some critical spare parts were much longer than usual. We mitigated this by direct ordering some spare equipment that we knew was critical much before our official spare parts list was completed. But human resources shortages also added to the challenge since suppliers had to prioritize equipment delivery over documentation. As a result, some inputs became available late and the risk mitigation was only partial.

Since all risks could not be eliminated, a big part of risk management for the project was to keep the right stakeholders informed. Many of the blocking issues that were encountered during the mandate were brought up at a steering committee involving directors from the project and operational teams. The committee was able to resolve or mitigate most of the issues, and it provided a platform where information was shared so that the few issues that could not be resolved entirely were assumed conjointly.

 

I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2023.  Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 for more details.  

Posted by Geneviève Bouchard on: June 23, 2022 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Presentation Recap: Session 315: Best Practices in the Art of Survival with Strategic Planning

By: Wael Ramadan
Professor, Project Management and Strategy, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

My recent session at the PMI Virtual Experience Series: 9 June addressed the need for organizations to continuously adapt and restructure to survive and grow. Strategic planning can be seen as the art of survival and something that all organizations in all industries need to do successfully. Some of the questions raised by attendees, along with my response, are included here.

Question 1: Do you think it was that Blockbuster could not adapt or do you think it was simply they could not adapt in time and in an efficient and timely manner?

Blockbuster’s response was too late. They tried to have by-mail service and online streaming, but the damage was already done. They struggled to compete with the new business models, and they failed at it. Following a wait and see approach in business strategy could be too late and too costly. Blockbuster even had an opportunity to acquire Netflix for ~ $50 M, but its CEO at the time turned this offer down. Netflix at that time was a DVD mailing service. Blockbuster’s success at the time blurred their vision. They missed the transformation, and it was very unforgiving.

Question 2: What's the difference between the mission and the vision?

The vision statement answers the question “what do we want to become?” and the mission statement describes our reason for being and it answers “what is our business?”

The vision usually comes first, it is a short statement that is comprised of a sentence or two. The mission is more elaborative, and it could be up to 150 words as it reflects the anticipations of the customers. It is broad enough and it appeals to diverse stakeholders. The mission statement allows for the generation of alternative goals and strategies.

 

Full presentations will be on demand through 31 January 2023.  Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 for more details.

Posted by Wael Ramadan on: June 22, 2022 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Presentation Recap: Session 313: Project Takeover: Transition toward Success

By: Joe Shi
Architect/Project Manager, BDP Quadrangle

I presented at the PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 event held on 9 June 2022.  This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities.

My presentation “Project Takeover: Transition toward Success” focused on navigating the challenges of taking over a project that is well into its life cycle through an understanding the project state and your role, establishing an effective forward trajectory, and approaching the takeover process with a positive mindset.  In describing and analyzing the strategies I’ve employed through many projects that have led to successful takeover experiences, it is my hope that the presentation was able to impart a degree of comfort and confidence in taking ownership of a project and trusting that your skills as a project management professional will allow you to transform any initial obstacles into opportunities for personal fulfillment and success.

During my presentation, I received a lot of great questions that we didn’t get a chance to cover, and my responses are below.

Question 1: How do you address stakeholders that lost interest in a construction project and no longer play their part? How do you get all the parties to play their financial parts?

This is a difficult question to answer as there are many factors at play that are not evident in the question.  In the case study I presented, I was able to get the stakeholders interested again by engaging them and appealing to their interest in the project through the things that mattered to them.  They needed to be reminded of what they stand to gain if they played their parts properly.  If the stakeholders in question are retained by your company, then perhaps it is in their best interest to continue performing their job if they wish to have future collaborations or receive favorable recommendations.  If the stakeholders in question are retained by the main client, then you may not have that power, but you can strengthen your relationship with the client to ensure that they are able to help you get the other stakeholders back on track.

If all else fails, always remember that you are primarily responsible for your part of the project and not for the performance of other stakeholders, especially if they have not been recommended or retained by your company.  Ensure that you perform your role to the utmost quality to maintain the business relationships your company wants to maintain and that the client sees your continued engagement with the project.  Sometimes, things beyond your control are truly beyond your control; you just need to show that you are a stakeholder who is looking for solutions instead of creating problems.

Question 2: When do you consider it appropriate to refuse to take over the project?

The only reason I would refuse to take over a project would be the same reason I would refuse to take on a new project, and that is if I do not have the physical capacity to do so.  I have never refused to take over a project based on the number or degree of complications I foresaw.  When it comes to unrealistic expectations for a project, I’ve found that communications have mostly been the root cause of unwanted stress.  This is why I emphasize analyzing and communicating expectations and goals for the project with upper management prior to taking over any project so that realistic goals can be set or reset if necessary.  You have to understand that your company has nothing to gain from setting up unrealistic expectations and making it difficult for a new project manager to take over a project.  But once internal expectations are reasonably set, you can look at any further challenges on the project as a learning experience.  Moreover, any improvements you manage to make to the project trajectory will become opportunities to further demonstrate your value and skill as a project manager.

 

I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 31 January 2023.  Visit PMI Virtual Experience Series 2022 for more details.

Posted by Joe Shi on: June 22, 2022 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
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