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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) or PMI® Global Summit, 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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Kim Essendrup
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Fabio Rigamonti
Archana Shetty
Geneviève Bouchard
Teresa Lawrence, PhD, PMP, CSM
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Moritz Sprenger
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Lawrence Cooper
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Wael Ramadan
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Yasmina Khelifi
Erik Rueter
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Michel Thiry
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Barbara Trautlein
Steve Salisbury
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Yves Cavarec
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Diana Robertson
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Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Norma Lynch
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Susan Coleman
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Quincy Wright
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Jill Almaguer
Mayte Mata-Sivera
Marcos Arias
Karthik Ramamurthy
Michelle Venezia
Yoram Solomon
Cheryl Lee
Kelly George
Dan Furlong
Kristin Jones
Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
Olivia Montgomery
Carlene Szostak
Hilary Kinney
Annmarie Curley
David Davis

Recent Posts

Are You Going to Be Bitter or Better? Top Takeaways from a Keynote on Change

Lessons Learned From PMI Global Summit 2023

Diversity Celebrated at PMI Global Summit

Lean Portfolio Management to Align Enterprise Strategy

A Glimpse into PMI Global Summit 2023: PMOs, Change Management, Strategy and Networking!

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Are You Going to Be Bitter or Better? Top Takeaways from a Keynote on Change

Categories: Global Summit 2023

By Joy Beatty

The PMI Global Congresses have a reputation for featuring outstanding keynote speakers. 2023 was no exception, starting with a riveting talk by Cassandra Worthy of Change Enthusiasm on C.H.A.N.G.E. Traits®. She radiated energy and enthusiasm, and more importantly, provided valuable insights on how to adapt and thrive in the ever-changing work environment.

As someone who has worked passionately in the software requirements space for a couple of decades, I’m always keen to solve hard business problems with software, but I have been most drawn to solving the hard stakeholder problems. As my career has progressed, my role has shifted, and the challenge of leading people has become more important than ever, and frankly, much harder. I suppose it’s natural that I spent this PMI Conference gravitating to the talks that deal with humans and their feelings the most.

Here are a few takeaways from Cassandra’s keynote. I’m hopeful this is useful for those in the community who couldn’t attend, but also to people like me, that want to relive the excellent ideas!

Takeaway 1: Talking about change without talking about emotions is pointless. We are human. We feel. Cassandra shares this idea of “Change Growth” which sits at the intersection of change and emotion. She emphasized that while most of us understand that growth often entails discomfort, her research indicates that people genuinely embrace this unease. Ultimately, to ensure success without alienating individuals, we must be mindful of how we navigate change, being attuned to emotions.

Takeaway 2: Change Enthusiasm has developed a “simple” framework for how you show up during change: Signal. Opportunity. Choice. It’s about noting the uncomfortable feelings as a signal. The signal triggers the awareness that we are sitting in a moment of opportunity. The opportunity lies in choosing to act differently rather than merely sitting in discomfort or, worse, giving up.

Takeaway 3: In Cassandra’s words, “Be bitter or be better.” This is closely related to the 2nd takeaway, but it deserves its own call out because it’s really such an amazing phrase. I have long since believed people are well-intentioned, even when they are making me frustrated or mad. Leaning into that belief during moments of personal discomfort and determining how we respond holds significant value. Are we going to be frustrated or annoyed - or maybe even elevate to being irate? Or are we going to be calm and rational - and maybe even relaxed? We have the choice to elevate our response – are we going to be kind or are we going to be the jerk? I choose Better!

Takeaway 4: Transformation doesn’t happen to us, it’s for us. I’ve been saying a variation of this for about 15 years with clients. Sometimes it’s to business stakeholders who complain, “Why is IT doing this to me?” Or the IT stakeholders who groan, “Why do the business stakeholders keep changing their mind?” At the end of the day, we all want to do the right thing and do it well. Rooted in transformation is an end goal to make things better, no matter what seat we are in. So, what if we change the script so that transformation isn’t happening to us, but rather is intended to help us? If we do that, we will absolutely show up in a more cooperative space.

Takeaway 5: Create an environment where we can feel heard. This points back to takeaway #1 where we were reminded that people have emotions, and it’s ok. What if we allowed people to express their true emotions instead of squashing them or making people feel badly for having them? I’d argue we should go so far as to embrace vulnerability. A great way to create this culture is to be this culture. What if we were vulnerable and shared when we were frustrated? What keeps us from being honest about that today? Do you know someone who warrants feedback on creating a safe environment for open and honest communication? Then have that hard conversation. Be the leader that makes it safe for everyone to be heard.

I could go on for hours about this talk and probably will now that I’m back in office! Cassandra left a mark on my mind. She’s up there with Brené Brown in how she is changing the “HOW” we show up at work.

Posted by Joy Beatty on: January 19, 2024 08:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lessons Learned From PMI Global Summit 2023

Categories: Global Summit 2023

By: Priya Patra

I am back after attending PMI Global Summit 2023, and it was just as amazing as ever. The theme of this year's summit was "The Future of Your Work," packed with knowledge and practical tips on how to embrace the changing world of work and prepare ourselves for the future.

Here is a summary of my takeaways from the four days at Summit:

Day 1

  • Volunteers are the heart of PMI: The event kicked off with a special session for PMI volunteers. It was heartwarming to hear from Brantlee Underhill, PMI's Chief Community Officer, and to learn more about how PMI is investing in its volunteers.
  • AI continues to be a central focus: One of the big announcements at the session was the launch of PMI x AI, a new initiative to help project professionals learn about and use AI in their work. This is a great example of how PMI is committed to staying ahead of the curve and helping its members prepare for the future.
  • Be the best you! A keynote from Shane Snow, who spoke about the importance of intellectual humility—the ability to acknowledge that you may be wrong, a skill that is essential for success in the AI age.

Day 2

  • Stronger together: CEO Pierre Le Manh's opening remarks on the value of the project management profession were both timely and refreshing. He committed to PMI doing more to raise project success rates responsibly and to maintain a laser focus on the profession. He also announced PMI's acquisition of PMO Global Alliance, a sign of PMI's commitment to the PMO community.
  • Change has changed: Cassandra Worthy gave an energetic talk on change, in which she argued that we need to adopt a "change enthusiasm mindset." She also shared a three-step approach to change:
    • The Signal: Identify the signs of change.
    • The Opportunity: See change as an opportunity to learn and grow.
    • The Decision: Decide how you will respond to change.

Day 3

  • AI is an accelerant: Armida Ascano gave a fascinating talk on forecasting micro-generational desire. She took us through nine microgeneration formative years—including impactful global events, media, and pop culture—from Baby Boomers to Gen Z. She also shared some tips on how to optimize this information as a project professional, including a reusable framework behind all four generations. The cherry on the cake was the worksheets of 10-15 brainstorming questions to draw about applicability.

Day 4

  • Embrace curiosity: I had the privilege of leading a session on how to use curiosity to lead our teams into the future. I shared some everyday tips on how to use the power of questions to make our teams more energized and innovative.
  • Start from zero: The closing keynote of the summit was delivered by Christopher Barton, founder of Shazam. Barton shared his story of starting Shazam from scratch and overcoming many challenges to achieve success. He emphasized the importance of defiance, persistence and obsession in achieving your goals.

Here are some of the things I will focus on after attending Summit:

  • Hone my intellectual humility: This means being open to new ideas and perspectives, even if they challenge my own beliefs.
  • Embrace change with new rigor: Change is inevitable, so it's important to be prepared to adapt and embrace it.
  • Lead multi-generational teams effectively: Each generation has its own unique strengths and perspectives. Effective leaders are able to leverage these differences to create high-performing teams.
  • Get rid of all inhibitions: Don't be afraid to ask questions, take risks and try new things.
  • Start from zero: Don't be afraid to start over if necessary. Sometimes the best way to move forward is to start fresh.
  • And last but not least, I would continue to embrace curiosity!

What would you do differently? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Posted by Priya Patra on: November 19, 2023 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Diversity Celebrated at PMI Global Summit

Categories: Global Summit 2023

By: Mayte Mata-Sivera

Imagine two project managers from Utah—one of them Black and the other Spanish—sharing an Uber ride to the PMI Global Summit in Atlanta. Overhearing our conversation, the rideshare driver chuckles, assuming it's a joke that both of us live in Utah. After that awkward yet fun conversation is when I decided to pay close attention to the diversity on display at the conference.

Here is what I observed…

  1. Diverse attendees: There were attendees representing various industries, not only technology. We also had the opportunity to network with professionals from construction, healthcare, education, retail, banking, and more. We met people who were at different points in their careers, from people that just started their journey into project management to seasoned PMO leaders. Finally, so many countries of origin were represented. I was amazed at the people coming from Europe, Africa and LATAM. This diversity enriched networking opportunities and facilitated cross-cultural learning.
  2. Diverse speaker lineup: This year the lineup of speakers was from various backgrounds, including women, people of color, and individuals from different cultures.
  3. Inclusive keynote addresses: The conference kicked off strong with Cassandra Worthy, who spoke about embracing change. Her keynote was incredible, but what stood out was her open admission of the challenges she faced as an executive being a Black, queer woman in leadership. It was a powerful moment, with over 3,600 people listening as she shared her journey, highlighting the difficulties she faced in her career.

    On the second day, Arminda Ascano was the keynote speaker, guiding us through the nine micro-generations and their unique relationships with technology, including artificial intelligence. It became evident that the global session had attendees from different generations, and the keynote shed light on the diversity in the room.

  4. Varied topics addressing inclusivity: The conference sessions covered a wide range of topics, including PMOs, AI and project management. Many of these sessions highlighted the significance of diversity and inclusivity (for instance, workshops like "What Does Equitable Stakeholder Engagement Look Like?" and "Create a Flourishing Psychologically Safe Project Team Culture Built on Effective Communication"). Additionally, the session titled "25 Million Projects by 2030? Closing the Gender Gap in Project Management" tackled gender disparities in the field.

    I'd like to give special acknowledgment to Stuart Easton. During his workshop "Too Many Projects: The Serial PMO Killer," he used an example of a couple (male/female) buying a house; however, he acknowledged various types of couples and highlighted that he chose to use a traditional couple as it was easy for him to find visuals for his presentation. His comment demonstrated a commitment to diverse and respectful representations in his presentations. It serves as a reminder of the importance of inclusivity and recognizing all individuals.

  5. Inclusivity in food: A lot of vegetarian options! Based on my experience as a volunteer for PMI Northern Utah Chapters, I know how challenging the food service is—including line management, food selection and forecast quantities. 

    So, cheers to the organizers because every day in each of the meals was a yummy vegetarian option! There were challenges as always; however, let’s highlight the bright spots—that we had a place to sit, eat and relax (and that there was also a vegetarian option in each break).

In summary, the PMI Global Summit in Atlanta marked a significant leap in diversity and inclusivity, especially considering my attendance dating back to the Los Angeles conference in 2018.

Attendees hailed from diverse backgrounds and industries, fostering cross-cultural connections. Notably, speakers and workshop leaders addressed critical topics, emphasizing the importance of inclusion. The commitment to representation was demonstrated by speakers like Stuart Easton. Inclusivity extended to food options. These improvements are promising, and I hope to see further enhancements in the coming years—including gender-neutral bathrooms, mother lounges, and more diverse dietary choices as halal or kosher.

Posted by Mayte Mata-Sivera on: November 15, 2023 02:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

Lean Portfolio Management to Align Enterprise Strategy

Categories: Global Summit 2023

By: Somnath Ghosh

I presented at the PMI Global Summit 2023 in Atlanta. This was a great event with featured speakers, exhibits and networking activities. My presentation Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) to Align Enterprise Strategy focused on data-driven decision making, disciplined intake mechanisms, incremental funding, and consistent feedback loops to inform portfolio planning.  

We discussed how LPM aligns your organization's strategy with initiatives, enabling you to prioritize them based on their value to your customer and increase your ability to pivot when necessary. It enables you to fund projects based on performance and customer feedback rather than just blindly following a plan, ensuring you build value, see results, and meet customer expectations. 

Attendees learned to leverage data to enable Lean Portfolio Management, build guardrails for their portfolios, measure what matters, and establish value flow to the customer, while taking advantage of a modernized Portfolio Management approach.

During our sessions, we delved into a few intriguing themes, such as “How long does it take to change traditional portfolio management to a LPM”, “Culture and the need to maintain status quo will be a challenge”, “How to get started on making the change”, and “How do you handle initiatives that do not make the cut or get defunded”. The questions posed and the active participation were exceptional.  

I had a great time presenting, and the full presentation will be on demand through 1 January 2024. Visit PMI Global Summit 2023 for more details. 

Posted by Somnath Ghosh on: November 15, 2023 09:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

A Glimpse into PMI Global Summit 2023: PMOs, Change Management, Strategy and Networking!

Categories: Global Summit 2023

By: Michelle Venezia

Each year I look forward to the PMI Global Summit as an opportunity to bring home innovative ideas, profound insights, and, most crucially, to network with like-minded colleagues from around the world. 2023 did not disappoint! As a PMO leader, this may have been my most exciting global conference to date. Right away, from the exciting announcement on Day 1, the event felt as if it was tailored just for me!

Taking Center Stage: PMOs

Let’s start with the exciting Day 1 announcement from PMI’s CEO, Pierre Le Manh, which set the tone for me from the beginning. During the opening session, Pierre unveiled the acquisition of PMO Global Alliance (PMOGA), an organization well known by PMO leaders around the world as a community focused on meeting our needs. Founded by Americo Pinto, PMOGA has grown tremendously over the last several years as an organization that fosters a community for those of us serving the Project Management Office (PMO) space, while advocating on our behalf and recognizing the unique contributions of the many strong PMOs around the world. I’ve long looked to PMI as my “home” as a project professional, as a place to find “my people” when I need to collaborate or explore new ideas. This announcement underscored for me that I also have a home in PMI as a PMO leader.

Coming off this announcement, I was excited to join a small group session hosted by PMI Chief of Staff Lenka Pinkot, PMI Board Member Sarina Arcari, and CEO of PMOGA Americo Pinto, as well as other PMO thought leaders and professionals to immediately begin brainstorming on how we can leverage this new alliance to support PMO practitioners around the world and create immediate impact in 2024. There were many amazing thoughts generated, and I can’t wait to see the impact moving into 2024.

Embracing Change

Change management has been a key topic of discussion in my daily role at University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), and Cassandra Worthy’s keynote did not disappoint. While many of the change models I’ve been using have focused on the “process” of change, Cassandra tapped into the emotions associated with change. I loved how she started with emotions first, and the need to focus on people and equipping ourselves to have resiliency as we inevitably continue to face change in our work and our daily lives. Rather than addressing the process of changing others, I loved how she shifted the perspective to leveraging inclusion and emotional intelligence to help our teams through change.

Strategy: Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Another personal highlight on Day 1 was the honor of leading the session, "Organizational Strategy: Seeing the Forest and the Trees." In this presentation, I emphasized the importance of enabling an intentional leadership culture where staff is included, engaged, and supported to create an environment where culture can thrive (or as I called it, planting the seeds for strategy to thrive). We then moved into the success factors for creation of organizational strategy (your organization’s forest) while also having the tools in place to achieve that strategy through strong program and project execution (taking care of the trees). The participants in my session brought amazing energy and questions, and I walked out with a larger network of colleagues who I’m continuing to engage with even as I return home.

The URMC team continued to shine on Saturday morning, with Agile Coach Lori Gacioch and Enterprise Data Warehouse Program Manager Barb Ryan, leading a session on “The Marriage of Program/Project Management and Agile.” They drove home the story of strong execution in realizing our data & analytics strategy at URMC, effectively marrying program management structure with Agile ways of working to achieve extraordinary results.

Networking and Connections

The connections made at PMI Global Summit 2023, the exposure to cutting-edge ideas and global thought leaders, and the opportunity to share my expertise in my session have left a lasting impact. I return to my organization with a renewed sense of purpose, armed with the knowledge and inspiration needed to drive positive change and elevate our PMO’s strategies. PMI Global Summit 2023 has been a testament to the ever-evolving nature of project management, and I am excited about what the future brings.

Posted by Michelle Venezia on: November 03, 2023 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
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