This is the second part of my impressions of the 2011 PMI Global Congress North America in Dallas. Part 1 talks about the conference setup. You can read it here.
In this second part I am talking about my takeaways from the sessions I attended. In other words, what have I learned?
On Saturday Oct 21 I attended the day-long research workshop “Sustainability and Project Management”. It was a good mix of lecture, workshop / breakouts, discussions. If you prefer smaller crowds and like interactive sessions, these research workshops can be very good choice. My own expectations were met. Alas, it would have been nice if reading material would have been made available prior to the Congress. Something PMI and future hosts should seriously consider.
Insights I tweeted during the workshop:
- Corporations will not survive without embracing sustainability.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a source of opportunity, innovation, and competitive advantage. It hence makes holistic rather than one-dimensional investment analysis mandatory.
- Accounting for sustainability principles ensures a holistic project setup.
- Frame projects as learning opportunities.
- Benefits of considering sustainability principles: cope with the complexity and dynamics of projects.
- Investing in sustainability means having greater flexibility and more options in the future.
- Sustainability is about effective project management and opportunities.
- Understanding the project goals the desired sustainable outcomes forces innovation and out of the box thinking.
- Sustainability requires a holistic management and leadership approach.
PRJ15 – Really…Are You a Professional Project Manager? Presented by the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Implementation Advisory Committee (CIAC)
Speakers: Christiaan Kindermans, MSc, PMP; Saji Madapat, MBA, CSSMBB, PMP; Peter Pfeiffer, PhD, PMP; Michael O’Brochta, MPM, PMP
This session was a pleasant surprise. Not only was the content really valuable, the structure of the session was wonderful, involved attendants from the very beginning. After a few Pecha-Kucha style presentations (3-5 minutes each) the audience split into 4 groups discussing how to improve applying the code of ethics (1) responsibility, 2) honesty, 3) fairness, 4) respect) in our everyday project life. Each group discussed the various codes for 5 minutes, then moved on to the next topic. The session concluded with the presentation of the group discussions.
This session was exceptionally well prepared. It proves that you can interact even with a big audience and get a lot out of 75 minutes. Congrats!
My tweets during this session included:
- You will attract more with honey than will vinegar. Hence, lead through your own positive example.
- Saying what you mean and meaning what you say = integrity.
- Opposite of professional conduct? An empty suit.
Maxwell Gladwell’s Keynote on innovation and the right organizational culture
Excellent keynote if you are interested in innovation in your project environment. I loved it.
My tweets during this session:
- You have to understand the social dimension of technology.
- Innovation is a mass phenomenon and not an elite one.
- We privilege resources too much.
- Innovative tweakers take someone else’s ideas and turn them into money makers. Perfect example: Google.
Want to learn more of what I am thinking and doing about innovation? – Visit and follow www.i-sparks.com.
TRN10 – Agile Collaboration in a Virtual World: Harnessing Social Media, Web 2.0 and Beyond Presented by PMI’s New Media Counsel
Speakers: Elizabeth Harrin; Cornelius Fichtner; and (sorry, forgot the name of the 3rd speaker)
Very good session. It was hands-on. The speakers did not elaborate on abstract theories but covered what matters in day-to-day work when you are working with and for virtual teams in an agile setting.
Among my tweets during this session was:
- The best architecture, requirements and design emerge from self-organizing teams. However, even self-organizing teams still need a strategic decision.
Jesse Fewell’s session “PRJ26 – Fixed Price Agile Projects: Making the Impossible Possible Part of Agile Community Track”
Boy, let me tell you Jesse does understand and live Agile. He is the person to go to if you have any questions about Agile. Excellent session! Thank you, Jesse, for sharing your experience.
Part III of my impressions and take-aways coming soon. Topics will include leadership, the lazy project manager, the learning project organization, the future PMO, and upcoming conferences. Stay tuned!