Project Management

PMI Global Insights

by , , , , ,
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.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Julie Ho
Heather McLarnon
Kimberly Whitby
Laura Schofield
Michelle Brown

Past Contributors:

Johanna Rusly
April Birchmeier
Nikki Evans
Dalibor Ninkovic
Dr. Deepa Bhide
Chris DiBella
Nic Jain
Nicholas Sonnenberg
Karen Chovan
Jack Duggal
Catalin Dogaru
Priya Patra
Josh Parrott
Scott Lesnick-CSP
Antonio Nieto
Dimitrios Zaires
Ahmed Zouhair
Carmine Paragano
Te Wu
Scott Bain
Katie Mcconochie
Fabiola Maisonnier
Erik Agudelo
Paul Capello
Kiron Bondale
Jamie Champagne
Esra Tepeli
Renaldi Gondosubroto
Mel Ross
Laura Lazzerini
Kim Essendrup
Geetha Gopal
David Summers
Carol Martinez
Tai Cochran
Fabio Rigamonti
Archana Shetty
Geneviève Bouchard
Teresa Lawrence, PhD, PMP, CSM
Randall Englund
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Moritz Sprenger
Mike Frenette
O. Chima Okereke
David Maynard
Nancie Celini
Brantlee Underhill
Claudia Alcelay
Sandra MacGillivray
Vibha Tripathi
Sharmila Das
Gina Abudi
Greg Githens
Joy Beatty
Sarah Mersereau
Lawrence Cooper
Donna Gregorio
Seth Greenwald
Bruce Gay
Wael Ramadan
Fiona Lin
Somnath Ghosh
Yasmina Khelifi
Erik Rueter
Joe Shi
Michel Thiry
Heather van Wyk
Jennifer Donahue
Barbara Trautlein
Steve Salisbury
Jill Diffendal
Yves Cavarec
Drew Craig
Stephanie Jaeger
Diana Robertson
Zahid Khan
Benjamin C. Anyacho
Nadia Vincent
Carlos Javier Pampliega García
Norma Lynch
Emily Luijbregts
Susan Coleman
Michelle Stronach
Sydni Neptune
Louise Fournier
Quincy Wright
Nesrin Aykac
Laura Samsó
Lily Woi
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!


Agile, Agility, alignment, Ask the Expert, Benefits Realization, Best Practices, Bonding, Business Analysis, Calculating Project Value, Capital Projects, Career Development, Change Management, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, collaboration, Communication, Complexity, Congress 2016 Ask an Expert, Construction, Curiosity, Digital Transformation, digital transformation, Documentation, Earned Value Management, Education, EMEA, EMEA Congress Reflections, Engagement, engagement, Ethics, Events, Extra Info, Facilitation, forecasting, future, Generational PM, Global Congress 2016, Global Congress 2016 - North America, Global Summit, Global Summit 2023, Good News, Government, Healthcare, Human Aspects of PM, Human Resources, Identity, Innovation, IT Project Management, Kickoff, Leadership, Lessons Learned, Mentoring, Metrics, Networking, New Practitioners, Nontraditional Project Management, organisations, Organizational Risk, PM & the Economy, PM Think About It, PMI, PMI Congress, PMI Congress NA 2016, PMI EMEA Congress 2018, PMI Global Conference, PMI Global Conference 2017, PMI Global Conference 2019, PMI Global Congress - 2016, PMI Global Congress 2012 - North America, PMI Global Congress 2013 - EMEA, PMI Global Congress 2014 - North America, Pmi global congress 2014 - North America, PMI Global Congress 2015, PMI Global Congress 2015 - Ask the Expert, PMI Global Congress 2016 - EMEA, PMI Hours for Impact, PMI PMO Symposium 2013, PMI Pulse of the Profession, PMI Training, PMI Virtual Experience Series, PMIEMEA17, PMIEMEA19, PMO, PMXPO, Portfolio Management, Procurement, Professional Development, Program Management, Programs (PMO), Project Delivery, Project Failure, project kickoff, Project Planning, Project Requirements, Reflections on the PM Life, Risk, Risk Management, ROI, Roundtable, Scheduling, SeminarsWorld, Social Responsibility, SoftSkills, Stakeholder, Strategy, Sustainability, Talent Management, Teams, Techniques, test, The Moon, Tools, Training, Translations, Videos, Virtual Experience Series, Virtual Teams, Volunteering, war


An Open Question During the 2015 PMI Congress

An Open Question During the 2015 PMI Congress

The Blank Chalk Board

During the 2015 PMI Congress in Orlando, the Community Engagement folks wheeled out a blank blackboard.  NOT what I expected them to do!  Then, someone with a steadier hand than I have carefully drew the PMI logo (good job too!) and then the simple statement – “Why I became a Project Manager.”  Then…. They walked away leaving various pieces of colored chalk there.  I had a ringside seat in the “Ask an Expert” area so I just watched it.

Not a Well-Stated Problem to solve! 

My first thought was: “It’s not finished!”  There’s only one of the famous W’s up there!  What about: “Who? Where? What? When? and How?”  That’s CRAZY!  I didn’t do anything about my concerns -- I watched and was quiet.  But of course, the engagement folks are 100% more socially adept than I am, so I figured this must make sense somehow.  But it’s just a statement!  No guidance, no rules, no method of grading answers!  A chill crept into my engineering brain. 

WAIT!  Perhaps someone from PMI GOC would walk out and chalk in the answer based upon some expensive scientific study.  But, no, they left it blank.  No expensive answers.  Soon, some random Project Manager wandered by and boldly chalked up a response to the statement.  (Clearly, Project Managers aren’t shy.)  Within the two days of the congress, the board filled up and there was a very interesting collection of answers left on it.  Also, I didn’t see anyone erasing their answer.   Project managers, it seems - once they have an answer, have no need of an eraser.

Why I became a Project Manager

It took me a while, but I decided to study a photograph of the board (thank you Marjorie), to see if I could make sense of the complete randomness of the answers. To attempt that, I created categories and mind mapped it.

And the answers are…


It seems that most of us probably didn’t plan to become a project manager, but fell into it, so to speak. You weren’t originally employed to do (or manage) project work, but with time you were asked to look after a couple of projects in addition to your regular responsibilities. You haven’t received much training—if any—and your company may not have a unified method for managing projects.  These people suddenly found they were responsible for managing a project but are unfamiliar with the “art and science” of project management.   It happened to me, and it seems it was the number one response to the chalkboard’s statement


It’s not clear if these are “accidental” project managers that perceive the organizations goals and wanted to lend their skills to help achieve them, or if they were directly chosen to be a PM by the big bosses to forward the organization’s goals.   Notable in these answers is: “Change the world and me too.”  I like that!

  1. To make a bigger impact to the organization
  2. Change the world and me too*
  3. Produce results; drive strategy
  4. Link IT world to end-user’s world
  5. Make a difference
  6. Company needed someone who was organized


Project Managers are people with a good sense of humor!  I really like the first one: “I wanted to predict the future and figure out how to control it.”  If’ they’ve figured that out – they’re the world’s best PM!  I’d recommend they move to Las Vegas and start gambling!   “Work Release” is also very funny (I hope).    And, I’m just a tad worried about number 5 – I’m hoping I correctly put it in the “funny” category:  “I’d rather tell than be told.”  I’ve had managers like that, I’m sure we all have. 

  1. Because I wanted to predict the future and figure how to control it 
  2. Job security
  3. Work release*
  4. Retirement plan
  5. I’d rather tell than be told

 Schultz Jolly Joker


People want to be a leader in their organizations and saw Project Management as the way to achieve that goal.   Number 2 is my favorite: “It’s what I was born to do.”  And none of us could ignore number 4 – “Because I love the profession”

  1. I’m a leader
  2. It’s what I was born to do*
  3. I love the ongoing challenges and change faster!
  4. Because I love the profession


These are great!  People with soft-skill-ability decided to be a Project Manager to use their soft skills to help their organizations and themselves.  Perhaps number 4: “I think” isn’t really a soft skill but this seemed like a good place to put it. 

  1. Because people [is] are what matter*
  2. To use my soft-skills in high-tech
  3. Big picture thinker
  4. I think!


  1. I need[ed] the money!
  2. $ (thanks Charles!)
  3. Because PMPs bank!*
  4. Good career path

A few of these are clear to me.  But, who is Charles?  Maybe the PMO manager?  The one that stopped me dead in my tracks was number 3.  When I closely looked it seemed to say "Because PMPs bark!”  I didn’t “grep” that.  Maybe it belonged in the “FUNNY” category?  Then it looked like it wasn’t really bark, but bank.  I put it in the money category, but was still clueless.  Maybe this was a financial PM?   

It bugged me enough that, I decided to rely on the (100% more socially adept) PMI engagement folks. My question to them was: “What does PMPs Bark mean?”   The answer (thanks Kristin!) was that’s “modern talk” for PMPs make money – it's not that they "BARK"  it's that they “BANK!”  Oooooh. 


We all plan.  These people became PMs because they LOVE planning.   I’m not sure I LOVE it, but I do a lot of it.  And I would probably fit into the first answer: “I think in plans.”

  1. I think in plans*
  2. I love planning
  3. Love launching new programs


These seem like people that have been a PM a long time and probably are PMPs.  After a while EVERYTHING becomes a project.   Typing up this blog is a project.  Uploading it to is a project.

  1. I’m a parent so I’m already a PM*
  2. Because we are managing projects everywhere, home, work, etc.

Non-Scientific Conclusion:  

People that have a good sense of humor and are concerned with their organization’s objectives are picked to become PMs and leaders. 

Posted by David Maynard on: January 29, 2017 05:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (14)

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.

- T. S. Eliot