The PM Podcast

Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 301: How to Manage the Risks You Didn’t Know You Were Taking (Free) #PMOT #PMICongress

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David Hillson and Cornelius Fichtner

This Interview with David Hillson was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

When most people talk about risk in projects, they are thinking only about uncertain future events that would have a negative effect on achievement of project time and cost objectives. However the definition of risk in the risk chapter of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge includes much more than mere threats to the project schedule or budget, and other risk standards agree. If we limit our view of risk to look at only one part of the risk picture, we will not be proactively managing all the risks that might affect the success of our project, and we will end up taking risks without knowing it.

In this interview with David Hillso we explore the other types of risk that are usually missed from the typical risk process. Drawing on leading thinking and current best practice, we explore the full range of project risks that need to be managed, starting from the proto-definition of risk as “uncertainty that matters”.

Risks that matter include those with positive effects as well as those with negative effects (opportunities as well as threats). They can also affect any project objective, not just time or cost.

In addition, uncertainty in projects arises from much more than future uncertain events (“stochastic risks”). Other sources of uncertainty include variability (“aleatoric risk”), ambiguity (“epistemic risk”), and emergence (“ontological risk”).

With illustrative examples of each type of risk, and practical response strategies for managing them, this interview helps us to identify all types of risk that might affect our projects, and offers ways for us to tackle them effectively.

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Episode 300: Ask Me Anything (Free)

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300 Episodes of The Project Management Podcast
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Episode 300! Who would have thought back in 2005 when I bought myself a cheap Logitech desk microphone to record the first episode that this little hobby of mine would take all of us to this point here. I certainly had no such expectations.

And for this 300th episode I decided to turn the tables. This is our very first “Ask Me Anything” episode. So I reached out to ten project managers who were guests previously here on the show, and I asked them to send me their question. The question could either be personal or project management related.

And because I contacted ten project managers and asked each of them to send me one question I did of course end up with 15 questions. Talk about scope creep!

Here are my guests and their questions:

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Episode 299: How We All Benefit from PMI's Academic and Educational Programs (Free)

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Michael DePrisco and Cornelius Fichtner

This Interview with Michael DePrisco was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Generally speaking, the Project Management Institute (PMI) focuses it's work on three markets: Practitioners, Organizations and Academic. Michael DePrisco is Vice President Academic and Educational Programs for PMI and so our discussion centers around the Academic Market.

In the course of this discussion we touch upon The PMI Education Foundation (, PMI's large academic research programs, the Global Accreditation Center, and PMI's involvement in academic outreach. Michael closes the interview by reviewing a number of the benefits that PMI creates through all of these programs.

My personal big takeaway from this discussion was that even though "Academic" doesn't sound like the "sexiest" of PMI's three markets it is the one that's at the cutting edge of project management. Through research programs, global accreditation and outreach PMI creates value for all practitioners in the world.

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Episode 298: Why Some Teams Flop, While Other Teams Rock! (Free)

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Joseph Flahiff and Cornelius Fichtner

This Interview with Joseph Flahiff was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

No other single factor has as much predictive power of the success or failure of your projects and programs than the health of your teams. Today more and more work is being performed by teams, both in operations and in new service/product development. But what exactly is a team? What distinguishes great teams? Is it possible to create great teams, or do they just happen when you are lucky?

This interview will explore these concepts and help you with specific suggestions to transform your team into a team that rocks. You will learn that teams that rock have three things in common: a sense of safety, mutual accountability for goals, and they are necessarily interdependent. Teams are the engine that gets most work done in business today, and great teams can make your entire organization grow.

By the end of the discussion you will see, that you too can create a team that rocks if you will focus your efforts on creating a context where teams that rock can flourish. In particular we discuss creating a team culture that encourages collaboration not just cooperation, cultivating a sense of safety, encouraging team members to know each other, and by creating a more distributed decision making model subtly.

While shifting the culture of a team is not easy, it is imperative to do if you want to create a team that rocks.

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Episode 297: Still No Time to Manage Project Requirements (Free)

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Elizabeth Larson and Cornelius Fichtner

This Interview with Elizabeth Larson was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Many of us know that poor requirements management is a major source of failed projects. But who has time to manage requirements? Elizabeth's presentation "Still No Time to Manage Requirements - My Project Is Later Than Ever" and our interview answers frequently asked questions about requirements management.

  • Why should we manage requirements?
  • What is the definition of requirements management?
  • Do we really need a requirements management plan?
  • How does business analysis play into requirements management?
  • Is business analysis just a synonym for requirements management?

Elizabeth also dispels common misconceptions and provides tips for managing requirements when you don’t have the time. She gives us three time saving techniques for requirements elicitation and management.

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