Project Management

Voices on Project Management

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Voices on Project Management offers insights, tips, advice and personal stories from project managers in different regions and industries. The goal is to get you thinking, and spark a discussion. So, if you read something that you agree with--or even disagree with--leave a comment.

About this Blog


View Posts By:

Cameron McGaughy
Lynda Bourne
Kevin Korterud
Conrado Morlan
Peter Tarhanidis
Mario Trentim
Jen Skrabak
David Wakeman
Christian Bisson
Yasmina Khelifi
Sree Rao
Soma Bhattacharya
Emily Luijbregts
Lenka Pincot
cyndee miller
Jorge Martin Valdes Garciatorres
Marat Oyvetsky
Ramiro Rodrigues
Wanda Curlee

Past Contributors:

Rex Holmlin
Vivek Prakash
Dan Goldfischer
Linda Agyapong
Jim De Piante
Siti Hajar Abdul Hamid
Bernadine Douglas
Michael Hatfield
Deanna Landers
Kelley Hunsberger
Taralyn Frasqueri-Molina
Alfonso Bucero Torres
Marian Haus
Shobhna Raghupathy
Peter Taylor
Joanna Newman
Saira Karim
Jess Tayel
Lung-Hung Chou
Rebecca Braglio
Roberto Toledo
Geoff Mattie

Recent Posts

3 Tips to Take the Next Step in Your Project Leader Career

Do Modern PMs Rely on Charts Too Much?

Do You Have the Courage to Break the Process?

AI Disruption to Transform Project Success Rates

Business Context or Business Acumen? PMs Need Both

Viewing Posts by Dan Goldfischer

Tribute to a Giant in the Field -- Report from the PMI Research Conference

The PMI Research and Education Conference that wrapped up yesterday in Washington, D.C. is getting rave reviews from everyone involved -- including trainers, university educators, students and practitioners -- groups that are represented in record-high numbers. Altogether, more than 550 people have attended over the course of four days.

Tuesday night was one of the highlights of the conference. As part of the 2010 research awards ceremony, PMI paid tribute to a project management icon -- David Cleland, PhD, PMP and PMI Fellow.

Many people gave audio or video tributes to Dr. Cleland, an instructor and author who has been in the field for more than 40 years. Among those who paid tribute were Gene Bounds, PMP, PMI Chair; Rebecca Winston, former chair; Dr. Cleland's frequent co-author, Bopaya Bidanda, PhD; Mike Rapach, PMP, PMI Pittsburgh Chapter President; and Larry Hager, senior editor for McGraw-Hill Companies. This was an appropriate venue for the tribute, as Dr. Cleland was a co-founder of the PMI Research Conference.

Among the comments were that Dr. Cleland was the writer of the definitive text of the profession for two generations of project managers. Dr. Bidanda said that every project manager knows Dr. Cleland because of the volume, quality and content of his books.

PMI's knowledge strategy was built on foundations created by Dr. Cleland, added Mr. Bounds. "He helped shape the project management profession as much as anyone alive today," he said.

Others honored with awards at the ceremony included Professor Janice Thomas, PhD, receiving the 2010 PMI Research Achievement Award; Terence Cooke-Davies, PhD; Lynn Crawford and Thomas Lechler, PhD, for the 2010 Project Management Journal® Paper of the Year Award; and Jefferson Leandro Anselmo, PhD, PMP for the PMI Student Poster Award.

Greg Balestrero, president and CEO of PMI, set the bar for this conference with his opening remarks. "It's all about the pipeline," he said. The pipeline is "your involvement from when you first think about the profession to your retirement." Training and academia is an extremely important part of feeding the pipeline, meeting the demand of organizations and government agencies, and making the profession vibrant and growing.

Attendees were excited to hear a plenary talk by one of the biggest names in management strategy research, Kathleen Eisenhardt, PhD, discussing case study research and how best to employ it.

The Monday plenary was a panel discussion on project management in government, much appreciated by the many practitioners from the local Washington area attending.

New for this year's conference was student presentations of 20 minutes in length -- time enough for doctoral candidates to get great feedback from the audience. Professional poster sessions were also new.

One practitioner who attended from the Netherlands was thrilled to be there. Daniel Amunwa, PMP, said, "it's fascinating to see that whimsical thoughts I may have had about project management have already been addressed by academics and taken to a higher level." Mr. Amunwa, a newer PMI member, said he's "proud to be a part of this organization that holds such a tremendous conference, and I wouldn't expect anything less."

See more on special recognition and awards bestowed at the conference.

Posted by Dan Goldfischer on: July 15, 2010 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Some Answers to Large-Project Challenges

Categories: Leadership

The first thing I heard at today's session of the 2nd Annual Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, USA was a challenge--well, two challenges, really, to "getting the big things done": Identifying good major infrastructure projects and getting them financed. What exactly are "good" infrastructure projects? They are ones with solid project management, of course, but also ones that offer a return on investment. Many speakers said governments will have to share the risks, not just private concessionaires.

    Enrique Garcia, the president of the Andean Development Corporation, a major development bank serving all of Latin America, said it was interesting to hear that in the midst of the economic meltdown this forum was discussing infrastructure projects in the medium and long term. He happily reported a very recent trip to Panama where his and other development banks signed a $2.3 billion funding deal for the Panama Canal expansion. To make infrastructure projects possible, Mr. Garcia said, financial institutions have to be partners, not competitors.

    More "good news" came from Masaki Omura, managing director of the Japanese Finance Corporation. He said his institution was proposing major contributions toward infrastructure to cope with difficulties in the private financing sector, including $2 billion in recapitalization of projects in developing countries. Mr. Omura noted that there is still, by World Bank estimates, $165 billion in annual infrastructure demand through 2010 in eastern Asia alone.

    Judge Quentin Kopp of the California High Speed Rail Authority reminded the audience that two great infrastructure projects were built in his state during the Great Depression--the Golden Gate and San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridges. A number of dams were built then as well.

    Many interesting projects were presented on today's panels. A number of them involved sustainable energy, such as Multiner Energy's efforts to build wind-driven power plants and waste-to-energy plants in Brazil. Another wind project on Cape Verde (an island nation off Africa with the best trade winds in the world) was discussed. And Israel is looking to take advantage of its most abundant renewable resource by building multiple solar energy plants in the southern part of the country.

    CG/LA Infrastructure, the firm running this event, bestowed awards on the "global champions" who are making large projects that improve our world even in extraordinary economic times. And by the end of the day, it seems that one answer emerged to the challenges posed at the beginning of the day--cooperation and sustainability are what will keep these projects going.

Posted by Dan Goldfischer on: December 11, 2008 09:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

"The purpose of art: to make the unconscious conscious."

- Richard Wagner