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
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield
Heather McLarnon
Brantlee Underhill
Michelle Brown
Julie Ho

Past Contributors:

Johanna Rusly
April Birchmeier
Nikki Evans
Dalibor Ninkovic
Deepa Bhide
Chris DiBella
Nic Jain
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Priya Patra
Josh Parrott
Scott Lesnick-CSP
Antonio Nieto
Dimitrios Zaires
Ahmed Zouhair
Carmine Paragano
Te Wu
Katie Mcconochie
Fabiola Maisonnier
Erik Agudelo
Paul Capello
Kiron Bondale
Jamie Champagne
Esra Tepeli
Renaldi Gondosubroto
Mel Ross
Geetha Gopal
David Summers
Fabio Rigamonti
Archana Shetty
Geneviève Bouchard
Randall Englund
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Moritz Sprenger
Mike Frenette
O. Chima Okereke
David Maynard
Nancie Celini
Sandra MacGillivray
Sharmila Das
Gina Abudi
Greg Githens
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Donna Gregorio
Bruce Gay
Wael Ramadan
Fiona Lin
Joe Shi
Michel Thiry
Heather van Wyk
Barbara Trautlein
Steve Salisbury
Yves Cavarec
Drew Craig
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

Here we go again … the world is always changing.

As offices thought they had a plan to get back to offices in September and October, plans have been delayed. If these past 18 months haven’t been hard enough, now your organization needs to transform its business to adapt and succeed in the new normal world. Equipping leaders to quickly anticipate and react to the speed of change is one of the most challenging issues for organizations. At this point, burnout and attrition are other key challenges faced by organizations today. Do you need inspiration on how other project managers are dealing with change? If you do, you need to attend PMI’s Virtual Experience 6-7 October to rejuvenate your project management skills and learn from leaders to think differently so you can lead your organization through an ever-changing environment!

Hear from prominent rising leaders around the world who are spearheading impactful movements to determine what is needed to make real change. These inspiring sessions will help you to think differently and look out of the box to develop the solutions needed for your organization. PMI’s Virtual Experience has brought together a diverse group of influential speakers to share their experiences and outcomes. Get inspired by Fatima Ibrahim, Global Citizen's UK Hero of the Year, Gitanjali Rao, Young Inventor, Author, and TIME Magazine's 2020 Kid of the Year, and Jordan Chanesta, LGBTQIA+ Rights Activist, come together to discuss spearheading impactful global movements to make real change. Hear from author Peter Hinssen as he discusses his book, The Phoenix and The Unicorn: The Why, What and How of Corporate Innovation, and how organizations aren't afraid to reinvent and adapt to the new normal of digital disruption.

Join breakout sessions to hear how other project management leaders are managing change and learn from their best practices and mistakes. Sessions include:

  • Measuring the Maturity of Your Digital Transformation Efforts: Christine Aykac,  Transformational Coach, Akuna Consulting
  • Tools to Identify and Fix Trust Breakdowns in Project Teams: Yoram Solomon, Founder Innovation Culture Institute, LLC
  • Change or Get Left Behind: Why Organizational Change Management Is Imperative Now: Nancie Celini, President, THINK-OCM.org
  • Collaborative Leadership in the Age of Artificial Intelligence; Erik Agudelo, Founder of Play Learn and Develop.

In addition to all the great sessions and speakers, Virtual Experience Series 6-7 October has multiple ways to connect and network with the PMI global community. The Lounge chat is where you will meet attendees from all around the world. Join industry chats where you drive the conversation! Chats are focused on the following areas: Construction, Energy (Electric, Gas, Mining, Oil), Financial Services, Government/Legal, Healthcare/Pharmaceutical, IT, Manufacturing, Telecom, and Training/Education.

We are so excited for this powerful virtual event because we know how much change happens when our incredible community comes together from around the world to share these experiences. We’ve had past attendees tell us they’ve never felt more connected virtually — and that is something we are truly proud of and will continue to strive for.

Join us. Free for PMI Member, US$79 for Non-members. Register Now and we look forward to seeing you there!

 

Posted by Julie Ho on: August 23, 2021 03:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Serious Gamification, the power of 3Ps in an Agile world, RPA, and TED Talks at #PMIEMEA19 Day 3

What a last day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. The last two days have been packed and I am somewhat exhausted due to information overload. But there is still room for another full day of promising sessions and hopefully inspiring TED Talks.


After a very large and strong coffee I was energized for the morning session with Erik Agudelo. Erik provided some insights on his research on transformation projects: “50% of large organisational transformation projects fail. One reason is poor collaboration between small and medium sized projects in a company that are not visible to large and well-structured projects. The smaller unstructured and invisible projects can undermine, diminish, and oppose large-scale change initiatives”. These results led him to develop serious training and coaching games to better simulate the challenges of project collaboration.

 Thank you Erik for all the practical examples and the fun and interactive session. You transfer passion for what you do, and this really engaged the audience.


I will remember the second session for a very long time and will certainly address the key take-aways in my own organisation. Nicholas Clemens is training governmental officials to be able to manage multi-billion dollar projects.

 

“PMI can take credit for one of the most important element in supporting the profession: developing a worldwide acknowledged standardised vocabulary for project, programme, and portfolio management.” Nicholas now urges PMI to standardise terminology for agile practices beyond the small task group level. Agile will and does transform the way organisations manage the 3Ps. During his session he checked how the four prominent agile methodologies cover the 4 levels of organisational governance ([email protected] ®; Large-Scaled Scrum (LeSS®); Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®); Disciplined Agile (DA)).

A top take-away of that very interesting session: Check on what level you operate and tailor your approach within the 3Ps, apply focused agile processes where best suited, and avoid the baggage (overhead).

 

At lunch I met Miranda, a project manager from the states with a very difficult but rewarding challenge: To develop a PMO for a university online library. Great to hear that she will visit my home town Hamburg for a conference next month.


The third session raised the highest amount of questions from the audience, as it is something that affects all project managers: Robotic Automation of Project Processes and its effect on the PMO. Robert Allen and Rhys Lancaster provided a good testimony on how they have transformed their customer facing PMO. “We have made the decision to invest in a really flexible platform, on which we are able to quickly and without much coding effort automate processes through effective machine learning.” However, they pointed out three very important pre-requisites: You need to have structured and quality data, you need to have very mature processes, and the more repetitive they are, the more value you can create by automating them.


And finally: TED Talks!

The three talks I were able to attend were astonishing. They inspired me to change the perspective, become realistic about the world we live and work in, accept this world, and from this new stance: Make the world better for me and everyone around me one step at a time. Nothing is impossible: Mark Pollock’s story is incredible - he became paralysed and now is fighting together with his wife to cure paralysation within his lifetime. Accepting the circumstances and being realistic about the probability of success he fights a new fight everyday – and is again enjoying life.


All in all, it was a great experience. I have a learned so much from fellow project managers and speakers. I will go back to work with a long bucket list of things I need to address.

Thanks to Kristin, Emily, Stephanie, and Karthik for their correspondence and support during the three days.

I will hopefully see you all soon.

Posted by Moritz Sprenger on: May 16, 2019 07:30 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Think-Feel-Act, Design Thinking, Governance, AI in PM, and the importance of Sponsorship at #PMIEMEA19 - Day 1

What a first day at the PMI EMEA Congress 2019. A single blog post won’t suffice to cover all the learnings of one day. I chose to pick out some of the key points that stuck in my head of each session I attended – so here it is:

“Most of people define themselves through what we actually do: I am a Project Manager, I am a Fire Fighter, I am a School Teacher. Also, most organisations define themselves through what they sell, and not what customer values.” Jamil Qureshi told the story of a Fire Fighter, who, given the question what he did for a living, said: “I let the future take place, I build communities”. He believes that if he saves a family or a house from a fire, that family can live happy lives and the house will remain to exist. The firefighter defines himself through what he thinks and feels, rather than what he actually does, namely fighting fire.

 

Jamil made an important point: It is all about perspective. We are drawn to our most dominant thoughts and feelings. If we change the way we think and feel about something, we can change the way we act.

 

 

Denis Vukosav is a passionate project manager from the banking industry. That industry may not be known specifically for their ability to deploy Design Thinking and Agile methods in their projects, but Denis is challenging this: “When Design Thinking and Agile methods merge, you can combine best of both worlds. Design Thinking devotes an entire process step to developing customer empathy, which is often minimized within the agile framework for the benefits of speed.” You can make your projects become more successful by incorporating the needs of the customer with design thinking early on in your projects.

 

Denis continues to investigate how Design Thinking will enrich project management processes and will talk again at the global Congress in September. 

 

Michael Knapp presented his research findings from a study on the importance of governance in 3P (Portfolio, Programme, Project Management) in managing innovation in organisations. “One common mistake management and project managers often do is confusing governance and management. Management is about the execution of tasks and processes. Governance is about decision-making.  Today, we have good standards and processes defined for the execution, and research shows, there are very little standards and processes on Governance in organisations.” The lack of maturity and metrics in governance can often lead to barriers to manage innovation effectively. If a project manager experiences the following barriers, there is a high chance that these symptoms are the result of a lack of governance maturity: Under-funding, culture clashes, sclerosis, politics and poor alignment, lack of strategy and vision, and lack of executive commitment.

 

“The best thing you can do as a project manager working in innovation is to grab management and sponsors and drag them down to the shop floor where the action takes place basis”, said Michael. This will make them start to rethink their commitment.

 

 

What will the future of work look like for a project manager? The next session I attended was organized as a panel discussion formed by three industry leaders in their field of expertise (project management). Hilary Baker from Airbus, Jim Robinson from the Ministry of Defence UK, and Dieter Butz from Bosch.

 

“Knowledge management, empathy, and anticipation are probably the key competences that distinguishes a good project manager from any future AI-driven tool in the profession”, says Hilary. Jim adds, that: “Hard project management skills such as scheduling, risk management, planning, and reporting the right information may become less manual, but need to be understood by a PM”. “Role perceptions will constantly change, and we need to change with the changing needs of the organisation to stay competitive, as an organisation, and as an individual”, concludes Dieter.

 

The gist of the talk for me: Now is the time to rethink standard role models in a project in order to shape the profession in 2030. AI will support, but cannot compete with the human intuition, passion, and creativity of a project manager.

 

 

Olivier Lazar, one of the very few people in the world holding each PMI certification, made an inspiring talk about the role and the need of the sponsor in a project.

 

“41% of projects fail because there is a lack of sponsorship”. Especially in Change Management the role of the sponsor is inevitable. The project manager does not have the credibility to effectively sponsor change and convince negative influential stakeholders.

 

Furthermore, he stresses a vital point: “The project charter is a contract between the organisation, the sponsor, and the project manager. It is the accountability of the sponsor to write and own the project charter”. This is sometimes forgotten. Olivier reminds us that the Initiation Process Group of the PMBOK 6th is owned by the Sponsor.

 

The sponsor is a tool to the project, a good project manager applies this tool effectively in their projects.

 

 

Now I am looking forward to a great 2nd day.

 

Don't forget to follow my fellow Community Correspondents for updates during PMI EMEA 2019: Emily, Stephanie, and Karthik.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn we will be covering the sessions live so you don’t miss a thing!

Posted by Moritz Sprenger on: May 14, 2019 03:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Rethinking the Charter

Since I retired after 26 years in one company, I have had assignments in various PMOs in different industries.  I’ve been in the energy sector, the insurance sector, credit card services, industrial/manufacturing, and now healthcare.  Every industry has struggled with the project charter.  What does baselining it mean? Does it ever get updated? Who should issue it? And the list goes on.  And while PMOs in all these industries try to invent the perfect process – we are ignoring one important aspect.

The project charter, as defined by PMI, does not meet the needs of today’s business!

Before you call me a heretic and an incompetent – hear me out.  The problem I have with the charter is it becomes a reformatting of existing information, bloated, and redundant – and it doesn’t provide the project team with the most important information it needs.  Shouldn’t the charter give the team a definition of what success looks like?

I propose the charter should be extremely streamlined.  After all, how many people, let along executives, will read a 14 page charter?  Many charter templates contain information that is already in one artifact and will no doubt be included in another.  I propose we throw away the bloated all-inclusive charter of today and replace it with a simple charter.

Project Organizational Wrapper

You need to have the organizational wrapper of project control structures.  If the project pipeline has a defined Demand Process and there is a demand id, it should be in the charter.   This should also be aligned to the business case information – what went into the approval, and other justifications.  No need to repeat them in the charter – they already exist in a corporate database of record.  If information is in two places – that doubles the risk of inconsistency, confusion, and delay.

If you have an integrated project management system (IPMS) that tracks project work in process – then that project id should be there. Projects assume titles and identify from the ideation phase through project initiation.  That title, or name, should be included in the charter because that’s the lingo that has defined the initiative.

Should be results focused

Once the project is ready to kick off, the work initiative needs to be focused on the results.  If your organization is mature enough to be doing Benefits Management Realization, the charter should map directly to the benefit register.  The next section of the charter should be:

What does success look like?

Quite simply – what is the vision in reality?  Knowing what success is far outweighs the value of several scope bullet points.  The definition of success can be expressed in several ways including:

Critical success factors

The essential areas of activity that must be performed well if you are to achieve the mission, objectives or goals for your business or project.

What can we do in the future that we can’t do now?

How do we measure success?

Not calling for specific key performance indicators here, but should have an idea of how we will measure success.  It also provides requirements for the product and what are the critical success factors.

External/legal requirements

If you are driven by a legal requirement or an industry standard (HIPPA or an ISO requirement comes to mind) than that should be identified.  The charter must identify conformation to external factors.

What benefits are being realized?

Again, if you have a mature benefits realization process, then the entire benefits quantification/qualification should be in place and your project is delivering outcomes and capabilities to realize the defined benefits.

Organizational RACI

The charter must be able to identify all the organizations that are impacted by the initiative.  After all, how did you get high level estimates for the business case if you didn’t have a means of identifying organizations involved?  This RACI should then be driven to know which groups need to receive and approve the charter. 

Time Frame

What time frame is expected for the organization to start to realize benefits?  Let’s avoid the charade of bottom up estimates and defining the schedule after you have all requirements defined etc.  We are driven by budget cycles and funding is only approved to last so long.  This isn’t to say those things can’t and shouldn’t happen, but at a Charter level – the approval has a defined end time.  This also helps define the scope.

I have purposely omitted several pieces of what is considered part of a charter.  Not that I don’t think they are important, I do, but they belong in defined sections of the project plan.  There is no need for budget as that should already be in the business case approval – and I don’t know if it directly contributes to the definition of the outcomes and capabilities.    Scope is implied in what success looks like and the Critical Success Factors.  If during requirements definition, a question is raised that doesn’t directly support the definition of success, than it is out of scope.  Assumptions, risks, issues, and constraints are all important, but they live elsewhere.  The charter should identify the future state, not dwell on the challenges of the present state.  And the charter should be a onetime document that is not modified or have addendums.  It initiates the work – other artifacts ebb and flow during the project life cycle.

In closing – the purpose of the charter is to authorize the project manager to start delivering on the project.  It is not to cut and paste from all over to make an all-inclusive summary of all business intelligence that justified the project.  I propose to make it a lean document focused on the outcomes and capabilities and the definition of success.  Items that have a workflow/life cycle (risks, assumptions, issues, etc.) do not need to be in a charter, they are taken care of elsewhere.  A lean, concise, and easy to read charter allows the team to focus on delivering within the success criteria.

 

 

Please sign up for a 1:1 with me while at the PMI Global Conference! We can talk about PMOs, healthcare project management, teaching project management, or any other topic related to project management!

To schedule a 1:1, use the SIGN UP button on this page.

Posted by David Davis on: October 21, 2017 06:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

I've Learned

Right after the Global Conference, I will be flying out to Vancouver to give presentations at ProjectWorld.  One of my presentations is on Influence and Advising as a Project Manager. This is my closing slide.

As a project manager, we are frequently in a position of advisor or influencer.  We need to understand our interactions have long term impact.  Not only for our self, but also our organization.  It's the feeling of value required in the trust relationship.  

The last bullet is most important, there may sometime be the "drop the mic" moment where you win a heated discussion - but the odds are good you will still need to work with that person - so give them an opportunity to save face.  That 15 seconds of satisfaction might be the prelude to months of resistance.  

Dave

Posted by David Davis on: October 05, 2017 12:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)
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