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Archive for Keynotes

Follow-up on leadership seminar




On Feb 21, 2011 I conducted a one-day workshopLeadership Principles for Project Success” in Frankfurt, Germany.


It was a wonderful learning experience.  Given the highly interactive character of this workshop all participants could learn a lot about the various aspects of leadership and how to apply them in their daily project work.

Additional photos will be available soon on the website of the PMI Frankfurt Chapter.

A similar workshop will be offered on June 6, 2011 in Munich, Germany.  I will let you know as soon as more information will be available.

Posted in: Training

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Photo impressions from Conference in Athens


Yesterday I received photos from last week’s project management conference in Athens.

A project management conference and I am talking about mountains?  True.  The reason is simple: I am comparing a project to a mountain tour where the mission of the team is to reach the summit and return home safely.  In this analogy project success is not limited to reaching the summit or returning home safely.  Project success is not limited to results or milestones.  What matters too is the process to the deliveries, the journey, the experience.

For, if final results are all that matter this may as well justify death march projects where team members work long hours, where team morale is low, where team members were so glad when the project was over because it was a miserable time and they would never come back.  Unfortunately, in a lot of businesses project results are the only thing that matters.  People don’t matter.  Well, this is not my philosophy for I believe it is a dead end street.

Successful project management and leadership is holistic and accounts for the human needs as they relate to the project needs.  It helps create the right context and environment for high-perfomring teams.

Using the analogy of the mountain tour, the effective project manager and project leaders is the experienced mountain guide who takes the whole team as one unit to the summit and return it home safely AND helps create the right atmosphere and environment for a performing team to evolve.  Who do you want to be?

Posted in: Keynotes, Leadership, Project Management

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PM Conference in Athens, Greece: Presentation available for download


Last week I gave a presentation “Leadership Principles for Project Success” at the 5th Project Management Congress in Athens, Greece.  The motto of this conference was “Project Leadership in a Project Oriented World”.

There were more than 150 people attending which is considering the relative small size of the PMI Greece Chapter a very large crowd.

 

 

Next to me the following project leadership experts were talking:

Dr. Nicholas Clarke,Senior Lecturer at the University of Southampton (UK), was talking about “Emotional Intelligence and Projects”.  It was very informative as Nic gave a very good overview of the various schools of leadership.

 

My own presentation “Leadership Principles for Project Success” can be downloaded here.

Next came Alfonso Bucero.  He is founder and managing partner of Bucero PM Consulting.  Alfonso is a regular speaker at project management conferences worldwide.  His new book “Today is a Good Day: Attitudes for Achieving Project Success” was at the center of his presentation last week.  Alfonso showed that he has definitely the positive attitude we should all thrive for when there was a full power outage during his presentation.  His first reaction: “Today is a good day!  This is really good for now I can tell you more stories about the right attitude.”  Alfonso walks his own talk.  It was an excellent demonstration of leadership and the right positive attitude.

In the afternoon Dr. Janet Smart, Director of the BT Centre for Major Programme Management, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, entered the stage.  The official title of her presentation was “Projects and Programmes: The Project Manager drives the Change“.  It was fabulous.  She talked about the research projects of CERN and ATLAS.  It was amazing for she showed how these 2 large research projects function successfully without traditional, orthodox project management methodologies.  AGILE at its very best.  I am looking forward to her forthcoming articles on this research at the University of Oxford.

The conference concluded with a panel discussion.  Unfortunately, I could not attend it because I had to catch my flight back to Frankfurt.

All in all, it was an excellent conference.  The PMI Greece Chapter did a wonderful job organizing this event.

 

Oh, yes, I did get a chance to visit the city and the historic sites, too.  🙂  Yet another reason why I really liked this trip to Athens.  It will not have been my last one I hope.

Posted in: Keynotes

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Another reason to attend PMI Global Congresses: Meeting friends


There are so many reasons to attend PMI’s Global Congresses. To learn about new trends, share lessons learned, networking – and meeting friends.  Returning to these conferences is like homecoming. There is a family of presenters which happen to speak and attend the Congresses year in and year out.  And this is fabulous.  Two of these experts I feel honored to call friends are Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero.

Randy, Thomas and Alfonso

This year Randy was talking about how to negotiate with your project sponsor.  Alfonso’s presentation was entitled “Get out There and Fail: The Projecct Manager Persistence”; it was a reminder how important it is for project managers to keep a positive attitude.

If you ever get a chance to attend a PMI Global Congress, try to attend Randy’s and Alfonso’s presentations.  You learn a lot and the presentation styles are refreshing and innovative.  They are true role models of sharing project management expertise.

If you happen to attend the Project Management Conference in Athens, Greece, on November 25, you will get the chance to listen to Alfonso and myself.  See you thee or at the next Global Congress in Dublin in May 2011.

Posted in: Keynotes, Miscellaneous, PMI Global Congress, Washington 10'10

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Get inspired – attend TED


Last Saturday I attended my first TEDx conference in Mannheim, Germany (http://www.tedxrheinneckar.de).  It was a great, inspiring event.

TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences curated by the American private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate “ideas worth spreading”. … They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can.

TED’s mission statement begins: “We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

TEDx in Mannheim offered a number of great presentations on all kinds of topics:  the future of our educational system, free software, couch surfing, etc, etc. Not all presentations were great – the content certainly was.  What I liked best was the environment and audience which was open to embrace new and uncommon ideas.  This by itself can be inspiring.  It certainly made me think and help create some new ideas I will dig into in the coming weeks and months.

If you are not familiar with TED I highly recommend to visit the official website of TED at www.TED.com.  Learn about TED, watch some of the free videos, explore the site – and get inspired.

Posted in: Keynotes, Miscellaneous

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“A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool” – Presentation


The presentation (PPT-file) is now available online at http://congresses.pmi.org/NorthAmerica2010/documents/PMT10-ppt.pdf. Feedback is highly welcome!

If you are attending the PMI Global Congress in DC next week, please stop by.  Reading a ppt-file is still different from attending an actual session.  Besides some slides will be different from those available online at this time.  Yet another reason to attend.

Looking forward to seeing and talking with you in DC.
Thomas

Posted in: Keynotes, PMI Congress, Project Management

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A fool with a tool is still a fool – Article


I have just finished preparing my presentation for the upcoming PMI Global Congress North America in Washington, DC.  On October 10 I will be speaking about “A fool with a tool is still a fool:  Overcoming possible pitfalls of introducing collaboration tools”.

Abstract:
Collaboration is and always has been a central factor for project success.  In times of international projects and virtual team environments collaboration is more important than ever.  Technology can help overcome geographical boundaries to achieve collaboration.  Indeed, technology has become an enabler of communication and collaboration.  And yet collaboration is not about technology.  It is about people and human interactions.  Technology can enable, facilitate and promote collaboration.  Provided we are aware of the limitations and possible pitfalls of introducing collaboration tools.  This presentation / paper identifies possible pitfalls.  And it lays out a roadmap how to overcome them and successfully introduce collaboration tools – without becoming slaves of our own collaboration tools.

Click the link below to view and download the paper of my presentation.  Feedback is welcome and appreciated.  A manuscript of the presentation will be made available shortly before or after the actual presentation in DC.

A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool_ by Thomas Juli, Ph.D. – October 2010

Posted in: Keynotes, PMI Global Congress, Washington 10'10, Tools

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A fool with a tool is still a fool


A Fool with a Tool is Still a Fool: Overcoming Possible Pitfalls of Introducing Collaboration Tools” – This is the title of my lecture at the PMI Global Congress North America in Washington, DC this coming October.

Collaboration is and always has been a central factor for project success.  In times of international projects and virtual team environments collaboration is more important than ever.  Technology can help overcome geographical boundaries to active collaboration.  Indeed, technology has become an enabler of communication and collaboration.  And yet collaboration is not about technology.  It is about people and human interactions.  Technology can enable, facilitate and promote collaboration.  Provided we are aware of the limitations and possible pitfalls of introducing collaboration tools.  The lecture identifies possible pitfalls.  And it lays out a roadmap how to overcome them and successfully introduce collaboration tools – without becoming slaves of our own collaboration tools.

The paper of my presentation will be available shortly.  Stay tuned.

Posted in: PMI Global Congress, Washington 10'10, Project Management

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Agile SAP Integration


Yes, agile and SAP.  It may not fit together at first sight but is it possible?  Why not!?

I posted this question on the PMIAGILE yahoogroup a couple of weeks ago.  Today I have finally received a response.  I was pointed to a presentation at the AGILE 2007 conference.

Janice Aston, Project Manager at Canadian Pacific, and Gerard Meszaros, Agile Coach at clearStream Consulting, came up the with the following conclusion (quoting slide 36 of their presentation):

  • ERP is a classic Agile-Hostile environment
    – And has it’s own, extra challenges
  • Agile development assumes a bunch of stuff
    – Many assumptions are implicit
    – we don’t realize we make them!
    – Many assumptions violated in SAP reality
  • Proprietary Toolset is Very Limiting
    – Can work around technology limitations
    – but impacts productivity …
  • PEOPLE matter most
    – You can teach an old dog new tricks; it just takes longer!
  • Can deliver a superior product using Agile
    – Even in SAP!

Now, this proves that AGILE and SAP can go hand in hand.

If you have made similar experiences, let me know and please share your stories and insights.

Posted in: Keynotes, Project Management

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Team-Building as a Means to Re-Align a Project


The next PMI Global Congress EMEA held in Amsterdam May 18-20, 2009 is approaching.  This year I will be conducting two 3-hour workshops on project recovery.  The workshop is entitled, “Yes We Can: Team-Building as a Means to Re-Align a Project.”
Project recovery missions are probably one of the most difficult challenges a project manager may face. Alone a project manager cannot handle such a situation. It takes a team to do so. The workshop will show why and how team building can be an effective and efficient mean to re-align projects gone astray.

The presentation can be downloaded from my website.


Posted in: Leadership, PMI Congress, Amsterdam 05'09, Project Management

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