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PMI Global Congress EMEA 2009 in Amsterdam: I will be there!




I will be conducting 2 3-hour sessions at the PMI Global Congress – EMEA 2009 held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 18-20, 2009.  The session is entitled, “Yes We Can: Team-Building as a Means to Re-Align a Project“.  My own time slots will be Tuesday May 20, 14.45-17.30 and Wednesday May 21, 9-12.15.  This will be an interactive workshop and attendance will be limited to 70 people for each session.

What is the workshop going to be about (taken from event guide description):  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.

Learning from my experience in Denver conducting an interactive workshop with more than 200 people, this time I will try and involve the attendees even before the actual workshop.  One of the ideas I have in mind is conducting an online survey to learn about the attendees’ expectations.  Also, I want to base the workshop on real-life situations attendees are facing.  One way or another, it is going to be a wonderful experience for everyone involved.  I am looking forward to it.

Posted in: PMI Congress, Amsterdam 05'09

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Interview on effective leadership and creating a Team Norming workshop

I am proud and happy to announce that an interview I gave last month in Denver for the Project Leadership Podcast (http://www.projectleadershippodcast.com/ -> go to Episode 2) has just gone live.  In this featured Interview I talk about leadership and creating a “Team norming” workshop.

The Project Leadership podcast is designed to provide interested parties in the most up-to-date Project Management tools, techniques and ideas in the industry. The podcast strives to deliver new and cutting edge information on the Project Management industry so that listeners can take the best-of-breed information and use it directly in their work and home lives. Through interviews with top industry leaders and visionaries in the Project Management field the podcast will continue to challenge and inform the Project Management community.

Feedback and suggestions welcome.  Also, please let me know if you are interested in contributing to this Podcast and I will connect you with the founder and lead of the Podcast, Camper Bull.

Posted in: Leadership, PMI Congress Denver 10'08, Project Management

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Agile Project Management: The Natural Way


In a recent coment I wrote, “AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT has been a topic at the [PMI] conference. Indeed, I believe there were 2-3 presentations on this very topic. For example, Michele Sliger, co-author of the newly published and excellent book “The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility (Agile Software Development Series)”, talked about Agile Project Management.

In addition, agile project management was referenced in many other presentations.

I want to go a step further and state that agile project management is the natural way of effective project management.   There are very good reasons for this hypthesis to be true.  Textbooks suggest that project life cycles are linear.  This means that a project evolves along a pre-defined path:  initation – planning – executing – monitor & control – closeout.  This, for example, is what the PMBOK suggests.  Unfortunately, reality is more complex.  Indeed I have not seen a single project which has strictly followed this sequence.  Instead, a project goes from one phase to another and may jump back or forth.  Tom Johns of Business Management Consultants illustrated this in his presentation “The Art of Project Management (c) Complexity” at the PMI Global Congress 2008 in Denver.

I believe that every effective project manager has to be familiar with agile project management to survive, to cope with unexpected changes without losing control.

Regarding the various approaches of agile, let it be Scrum, XP, RUP, etc., it doesn’t matter.  As a matter of fact my experience shows that a hyprid approach may work best.  It has to be customized to the respective project environment and organization.  Strictly following a doctrine without looking left or right is narrow minded and one-dimensional.  It neglects the reality of complexity we are living in.  If doing so, you may be better off or at as well of following a traditional, linear waterfall approach thinking this may be good, structured project management.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Any model, may it be a waterfall or agile approach, serves as a guideline.  The art of project management is to identify and use simple rules which help constitute guidelines for effective and efficient project work which yield tangible results which are in sync with the vision and objectives of the project and the project organization.

Posted in: PMI Congress Denver 10'08, Project Management

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PMI Global Congress – Reflections, Part I


Wow, what a conference!  I cannot remember any conference or professional meeting I ever attended where there was such a wealth of knowledge, interesting people, inspiring ideas.  It will take a time to digest all the information.  All I can say is that I highly recommend this conference to anyone seriously interested in project management – and leadership.

The sessions I attended dealt with project leadership (vs. simple project management), complexity of projects, PMOs, communication to and for executives. In a nutshell?

  • The insights about how to set up and manage PMOs were not new but re-assuring.
  • Project leadership becomes ever more important in a complex world.
  • Effective project leaders manage executives to act for the success of a project.

Now, there is much more to it.  Of course, there is.  And I will write more about it in the days and weeks to come.  So stay tuned.

Posted in: Leadership, PMI Congress Denver 10'08, Project Management

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Effective Leadership = 3+1


Yesterday I met Robert Urwiler, CIO of Vail Resorts.  We also talked about my definition of effective leadership.  Robert pointed out that he would add a fourth dimension:  DELIVERY.

This is true and has been a missing piece.  Thank you, Robert, for pointing this out!

Whether it is a fourth pillar or a foundation of the first three pillars, mmh … let me know what you think!

Posted in: Leadership, PMI Congress Denver 10'08

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Leadership in a complex world


Today I have (re-)learned a lesson of complexity theory with respect to vision, the critical success factor of any effective leader according to my belief and experiences:

(1) “A vision without a system is as bad as a system without a vision.”
(2) “Simple rules can support a complex system.  Build a “good enough” vision.”

What does this imply for effective leadership?  The 3 principles (build vision, nurture collaboration, promote learning) still hold true.  With respect to the first element, building vision, an effective leader is skilled to build this “good enough” vision.  Note though that defining “simple” rules can be much harder than setting up a complex system of rules and regulations.  A good vision provides guidance, it is as strong as it is simple, i.e., simple to understand and simple to follow.

Thanks to Tom Johns, PhD, PE, PMP, MAPM, the founder and chairman of Business Management Consultants (www.bmc-online.com) for pointing out these valuable insights of complexity theory.
I am looking forward to attend his session “The Art of Project Management Complexity” at the upcoming PMI Global Congress in Denver.

Posted in: Leadership, PMI Congress Denver 10'08, Sociocybernetics

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Denver in the making


Just a few more days till the PMI Global Congress 2008 in Denver.  Final preparations are ongoing.  By now all white papers and presentations at the Congress have been made available by PMI to all Congress attendants.  This facilitates preparation a great deal.  Have a look at the sessions I plan to attend in Denver.  I posted them a few days earlier, check out the category “PMI Congress Denver 10’08”.

In addition to the Congress I plan to host a get-together for a few presenters where we can reflect the keynote speech by Colin Powell and talk about our understandings of effective leadership.  Stay tuned.

Posted in: PMI Congress Denver 10'08

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Sessions in Denver


At present I plan to attend and participate in the following sessions in Denver:

Date

Time

Description

10/19/2008

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Standards Program Working Session

10/20/2008

8.15 – 9.30

ADV10 • Project Management Center of Excellence: The Cornerstone of Business Transformation

10/20/2008

10:00 – 11:15

ADV23 • The Art of Project Management® and Complexity

10/20/2008

12:45 – 14:00

GOV03 • Presentation by NASA

10/20/2008

14:30 -15:45

ADV24 • How to Find WOW! Projects

10/20/2008

16:00 – 17:15

ADV13 • Guidelines to Create a Culture to Promote Successful Use of Virtual Teams

10/21/2008

8:15 – 9:30

ADV12 • Re-aligning Project Objectives and Stakeholders’ Expectations in a Project Behind Schedule

10/21/2008

10.00 – 11.15

TRN22 • Project Leadership: The Next Step in Project Management on the Way to a Master Project Manager TM

10/21/2008

12:45 – 14:00

PMT03 • Delivering Successful Projects …Every Time

10/21/2008

14:30 -15:45

ADV16 • How To Get Executives To Act For Project Success

10/21/2008

16:00 -17:15

ADV06 • Create Clear Project Requirements – Differentiate “Whats” from “Hows”

I will let you know how the sessions were in upcoming posts after the conference.

Posted in: PMI Congress Denver 10'08

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