International Project Management Day 2015 Ensuring a Sustainable Future part 3

ipmday2015logoEvery year International Project Management Day (IPMDAY) gets better and stronger, so the announcements said. Last year IIL had 65,000 registrants. Thursday’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. Please also read Part 1 and Part 2 blogs covering previous presenters.

Resource Planning: The Critical Factor in PPM

Resource planning is critical. If the wrong people are hired, a company pays twice, once for the people and a second time for the failed project. Frank P. Saladis, author and speaker, and by the way founder of the IPMDAY, speaks about resource planning, capacity, capability and utilization.

Routinely forecasting and reviewing is key. At a minimum, do an organizational project and portfolio, and resource planning assessment using qualified external resources. Keep it relatively simple and with low overhead.

Portfolio management starts with strategic goals, and leads to a selection of programs and projects, execute and review these along a Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Resource management is a key success factor here.

From Cowardly Lion to Lionheart Leader!

Judith W. Umlas, trainer at IIL, wrote The Power of Acknowledgment (2006), Grateful Leadership: Using the Power of Acknowledgment to Engage All Your People and Achieve Superior Results (2013), and You’re Totally Awesome! The Power of Acknowledgment for Kids (2013). From her 5Cs model (consciousness, choice, courage, communications, commitment), she picked courage as key theme for this presentation. Showing your soft side, vulnerability isn’t a sign of weakness.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” (Neale Donald Walsch)

Why is vulnerability worth the risk? Judith refers to Brené Brown‘s TED Talk on the power of showing vulnerability. Disengagement among employees costs an enormous amount of money. Express your heartfelt appreciation will turn your people into valued humans. Are you willing to be the role model for expressing gratitude and appreciation?

Be embarrassed when others express their gratitude and appreciation to you, enjoy it. It is okay to be considered kindhearted and warm…and to hold to your standards. Can others be themselves in your presence?

How do you perceive yourself? Act in your courage, with or without fear. Keep en-courage-ment journal for the next 30 days. You will not regret doing it. Visit for more heartfelt stories.

Stakeholder Management: it’s not just for clients

Patrice Hall did a Google search on stakeholders. It comes down to:

  • individuals or groups who have a valued interest in the progress and/or outcome of a project or enterprise
  • interest may be based on anticipated positive or negative outcomes
  • interest may be real or perceived
  • may be within or outside the organization

There are many definitions of stakeholders and their ‘management’. Basically stakeholder management is about identifying, evaluating, planning, delivering, monitoring, and learning from experience.

No one size fits all. Stakeholder management is tailoring

When it’s done right, stakeholder management is don very early on, it is thoughtful and planned, treats each stakeholder individually, considers each stakholder’s goals and objectives, and customizes communication strategies and tactics.

If treated well, stakeholders will promote your project. Remember, both those we work for, those who work for us, and those who work with us are stakeholders. Figure what works out the best for them, not just for you.

Implement a Sustainable EPMO for Greater Impact

Don Kingsberry, Enterprise PMO Leader for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, refers to 2013 Gartner research that shows over 60% of Fortune 1000 companies plan to implement an EPMO over the next 2 years. Don shares what he has learned over 30 years in establishing 6 different enterprise-wide PMOs across multiple industries.

Kingsberry started his career at Digital Equipment Corporation (a.k.a DEC or Digital) as technical engineer. He then takes his watchers through the rest of his professional career, of which Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is not the largest, but complex by nature. He was inspired by Showing Up for Life by Bill Gates sr., founder of the Foundation. By practicing your profession – setting up a Project Management Office – for an organization developing people and countries, is valuable.

With the presentation 20 minutes going on, you’re still looking at all kinds of projects and initiatives taken by the Foundation. Then, the interdependencies between these initiatives, projects, programs, and portfolios, require a PMO. Kingsberry distinguishes thematic and operational or functional PMOs.

Thematic PMO characteristics:

  • Organized around a particular purpose or theme.
  • Limited in duration and scope.
  • Typically revolutionary change

Operational or functional PMO characteristics:

  • enhance productivity, sustain results, build consistency, provide effective controls.
  • Establish governance, policy, process, systems, training.
  • Improve project and portfolio management maturity over time,
  • Ongoing, evolutionary.

Both work and are valuable. Kingsberry at the Foundation uses a hybrid or federated model, combining the strengths of the two models mentioned before. Lessons learned:

  • Start by gathering the voice of the customer. Establish a service mindset. Understand at least 2 distinct ‘customers’.
  • Use a EPMO Charter on vision, mission, purpose and objectives.

To boil down the overwhelming task of PMOs, Kingsberry shows six key PMO deliverables:

  1. Enterprise Project Portfolio Management processes enabling prioritization and trade-offs.
  2. Standard Project and Portfolio Management practices and policies based on global standards and internal best practices.
  3. Project Management education and training through a tiered curriculum.
  4. Enterprise PPM system and tools.
  5. Project Management / Change Management support and consulting for select strategic projects.
  6. PM Community of Practice – and coaching and development for Project and Portfolio managers.

A few more book recommendations: The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande (2009), and Napoleon on Project Management: Timeless Lessons in Planning, Execution, and Leadership by Jerry Manas (2005).

IIL’s website provides excellent resources to help develop program and project management professionals. Jackson Hille and his college mentor Justin Gomer, a Professor at UC Berkeley, created a comprehensive guide to SWOT Analysis – a key planning activity for any management professional. The Essential Guide to SWOT Analysis is more thorough, up-to-date, and user-friendly than any other existing resource to learn organizational planning and strategy – not to mention it is completely free to use.

  • Big Data Project Management: What’s In & What’s Out?
  • 20 Golden Rules for New Project Managers
  • What are the Skills Required for Development and Project Management
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Weekly Recap (September 17, 2015 – September 23, 2015)