International Project Management Day 2015 Ensuring a Sustainable Future part 1

ipmday2015logoEvery year International Project Management Day (IPMDAY) gets better and stronger, so the announcements said. Last year IIL¬†had 65,000 registrants. Yesterday’s 12th annual virtual conference: IPMDAY 2015: Ensuring a Sustainable Future did spread the latest insights, trends and best practices surrounding project management, sustainability, organizational performance and corporate social responsibility. This was my first (virtual) IPMDAY to attend. Here’s the first series of presentations I attended. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog, in which I review the second half.

IIL offered a virtual conference hall with prerecorded presentations, live keynote speakers, downloadable slide decks, and information booths. Also on social media sponsors were giving away goodies like APM a PM Body of Knowledge. E. LaVerne Johnson, President and CEO of IIL pointed out in her welcome, that we all face VUCA.

  • Volatility
  • Uncertainty
  • Complexity
  • Ambiguity

Sustainability is a non-negotiable necessity. And that’s the reason for the 2015 theme.

Angyne Shock-Smith – Giving Risk a Fair Shake

dobbelstenenBefore the first keynote started, I took the chance to watch a recorded presentation. Risk response planning made the difference with Hurricane Sandy approaching. Enterprise Risk Management, originally focused on financial risks. Program / Project Risk Management can be comined with it to strive for sustainability and organizational goals. She suggested to read Organizational Survival by Gregory Balestrero.

Giving Risk a Fair Shake (GRAFS) is a Yahtzee-based serious game on risk management to keep the project within its tolerances set for costs, time and scope. Serious games in a safe, simulated case situation has added value. Engagement among the players is intensive. Results will better stick with them because of the common language and excitement. Watching not only the rules being explained but also 3 actors actually playing the game was OK.

Angyne Shock-Smith is Program Manager and Sr. Instructional Design Specialist, IIL. Watch her presentation video.

V. Lee Henson aka Agile Dad on Powerful and Accurate Agile Estimation

vleehensonOrganizations continue to struggle with forecasting and budgeting for different types of projects. Agile projects succeed when built on 4 solid pillars: culture, organization, process and sustainability. V. Lee Henson a.k.a. Agile Dad positions waterfall against agile development. One slide further he puts Scrum versus Waterfall projects. His presented iterations still have mini waterfalls in it, just like Rational Unified Process (RUP) broke down the lengthy stages of traditional projects.

You may try to estimate the exact deliverables early in the project, but there’s the cone of uncertainty. You’d better concentrate on outcomes in the early stages, estimate complexity based on relative points, measure your team’s velocity and derive your team’s productivity afterwards. Be aware that planning poker is about relative complexity or size, not time. Don’t revert poker card value or T-shirt size to a duration! Be productive, be agile. His presentation video is here.

Strategic Initiative Project Management

Project management success is measured by how well we have overcome the many obstacles we faced – occasionally against overwhelming odds.

Dr. Harold Kerzner, Sr. Exec. Director of Project Management, IIL published earlier this year Project Management 2.0.
The business side of projects has grown significantly. Managing a project is changing. Operational projects’ importance compared to the projects related to strategic planning. Functional managers on average now trust project managers to lead change initiatives and make business decisions. Sustainable business value is key for success. Outcomes over outputs.

Constraints are competing, and may be far more than the 3 or 4 we discern¬†in traditional project management. Trading constraints is necessary. You can’t keep everyone satisfied and stay within every boundary if you’re bound to create sustainable business valuu and achieve strategic objectives. Project management is the missing gap between the analysis and decision-taking. It addresses the how to implement. A project is the middle section in the investment lifecycle:

  1. value definition: are we doing the right things?
  2. value creation: are we doing the right things right?
  3. value measurement: are we doing enough of the right things?

Project manager should already brought in when ideas are born and breed. We need:

  • the right governance, willing to accept risk to enable creativity and innovation. Don’t punish for taking risks.
  • a portfolio or strategic PMO. Decisions must be made on real-time metrics in a format that’s understood by stake holders. Refer to Kerzner’s book Project Management Metrics, KPIs, and Dashboards.
  • interfacing and interaction between project manager and added-value chain (Michael Porter in Competitive Advantage). Learn to speak business language, or study business economics first, project managers!
  • technology skills because projects become more and more involved in radical technological breakthroughs or totally complex systems.
  • the right resources, not running into shortcomings as of day 1.

Project deliverables should be aligned with strategic and financial value metrics. Now, a scoring mechanism can be created to match projects to strategic objects. Long live project portfolios and strategic planning.

Christa Kirby – Success Strategies for Leading and Managing Change

People leadership through change is key, so either an important cause for project failure as well as success. People’s hearts, mind and environments must be changed.¬†hange moves people out of their comfort zones. Change is inevitable, but also causes disruptions that can diminish our ability to envision a clear and positive future. You either embrace change, or resist and face consequences. Darwin’s appeal to respond to change in order to survive is used.

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

Kodak (photography, cameras), Blockbuster (video rental), Motorola (cell phones), Sears (offline sale of appliances) didn’t respond fast enough to changes. Status quo behaviours by default are protected. Internal or external forces are resisted.

The larger the organization, the more difficult to implement organization-wide change. Interaction is needed, and clarity of the (need for) change is important. Emotions raise high during the journey through change. A robotic planned change approach without taking care of these aspects will fail.

Kirby promotes Integrated Change Leadership Model, a holistic approach, based on the publications by Linda Ackerman Anderson and Dean Anderson. Smart risk taking should be promoted, and letting the change really sink in and get adopted. Leaders are needed in all stages of the model to visioning, communicate, support, instruct, reinforce, revise, sustain.

Christa Kirby (VP Global Learning Innovation, IIL) has her presentation online here.

Live It: Achieve Success by Living with Purpose

Jairek Robbins is¬†Performance Coach and Lifestyle Entrepreneur. His Live It!¬†message is about the continuous journey towards a happy, healthy and fulfilled you. Note, that ‘success’ is not dependent on the amount of resources.

  1. Map your journey
    1. The path: What works? What works for you? Automate it!
    2. Majors of life: how do you score on these important life themes? Health, emotional energy, intimate relationship, family, professional life, finances, spirituality.
  2. Build healthy habits.
  3. Win the game.

Previously he presented his ideas at a TEDx Conference.