The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 391: My Agile Exam Application Got Audited (Free) #PMOT #Agile

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Agile PrepCast for PMI-ACP Exam Prep

Jonathan Hebert
Jonathan Hebert, PMP, PMI-ACP

Are you by any chance thinking of getting your certification as a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®? Great. Because that certification is our topic.

Today you are going to meet Jonathan Hebert (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-hebert-pmp-csm-pmi-acp-0712471) who not only passed his PMI-ACP® Exam, but he also got audited in the process. So he has a story to tell!

As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss Jonathan's overall experience, how he got his PMI-ACP Exam Prep, his general thoughts on the process and his recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam.

Full disclosure: Jonathan Hebert and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCast and The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator.

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Episode 390: Conflict Resolution on Multicultural Projects (Premium)

This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript...

For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam use PMP training on your phone with The PM PrepCast:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Karin Bruennemann
Karin Brünnemann, PMP

Are you currently managing a multicultural project?

Well, no matter if you answered “yes” or “no” to this, today’s interview with Karin Brünnemann (https://www.linkedin.com/in/karinbrunnemann) is for you. We will look at what culture is, how cultural differences can lead to conflict, and how culture affects the various dimension of conflict on projects that we learned about when we last spoke to Karin. Most importantly, we will of course also discuss approaches for conflict resolution.

So… if you answered “Yes” to my questions “Are you currently managing a multicultural project?”, then you are going to learn a lot about culture, conflict and what to do about it.

And if you answered “No”, then you will learn that your answer was in fact wrong and that you should have answered “Yes” in the first place. You are in fact managing a multi-cultural project even if you don't think you are.

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Episode 389: Conflict Resolution in Project Management (Free)

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For your smart phone: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep:
PM PrepCast for PMP Exam Prep

Karin Bruennemann
Karin Brünnemann, PMP

Conflict in project management is inevitable. In fact they say that the only way to not have a project management conflict is to have a one-person project. And even then, some people have a tendency to argue with themselves.

Karin Brünnemann (https://www.linkedin.com/in/karinbrunnemann) recently gave a presentation on the topic of Managing Conflict in Projects to the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Slovakia Chapter. And because it was such a success she suggested that we bring it to you as well!

Karin’s presentation and our interview is full of solid advice and best practices you can apply to the conflicts you will inevitably encounter. We will discuss: Definition & Characteristics of Conflict

  • Conflict in the Context of Project Management
  • How to Analyse a Conflict
  • How to Manage Conflict

A big part of the interview is actually focused on that last part -- the actual project management conflict resolution. We are, however, not going to talk about conflict resolution on multicultural projects. That’s reserved for next week.

Presentation Slide Deck

Karin has made her presentation slides available for listeners of The PM Podcast. Download the file here:

Click to download the presentation...

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Episode 388: Implementing Project Portfolio Management (Premium)

This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript...

For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam use PMP certification training on your phone with The PM PrepCast:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Jamal Moustafaev
Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP

In this second interview with Jamal Moustafaev (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/jmoustafaev we take what we learned about the project portfolio management process and discuss how to implement it in our organizations.

We look at PPM reviews, internal resource cost, the importance of our mission and strategy, how involved c-level executives need to be, a charter for portfolio management, how the halo effect can skew your project selection methods, and how to improve the quality of project proposals.

All of these ideas are of course taken from his book Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World (Best Practices and Advances in Program Management) with the intent of giving you practical tips on how to implement project portfolio management in your own organization.

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Episode 387: Project Portfolio Management (Free)

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For your smart phone: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Training:
PM PrepCast for PMP Exam Prep

Jamal Moustafaev
Jamal Moustafaev, MBA, PMP

Project Portfolio Management and the realization that strategic alignment of all projects within an organization is crucial are both gaining ground. And this realization also emphasizes the need for having solid project selection methods.

But how exactly do you do all of this? The number of books that focus on practical advice for implementing a strategic project portfolio management process is quite small. Lucky for us that a new one with exactly that focus has just been published

The new book is titled Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice: Thirty Case Studies from around the World (Best Practices and Advances in Program Management) written by Jamal Moustafaev (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/jmoustafaev. In our discussion, we answer these questions:

  • What is project portfolio management?
  • What are the three pillars of strategic PPM?
  • What are some project selection models that support a company's strategy?
  • How do we achieve strategic alignment?

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Special: Scope of Success

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SOS Podcast
Scope of Success Podcast with Brian K. Wagner, MBA, PMP and James Kittle, PMP

Welcome to another "special" episode from The PM Podcast, in which we introduce you to new podcasts that are created and produced for/by project managers. Today we feature 'Scope of Success'.

Launched in 2016, Scope of Success brings you Business Life Lessons to help you advance your career one interview at a time. Hosted by Brian K. Wagner, MBA, PMP and James Kittle, PMP, advocates for business issues at hand. Sponsored by Project Management Institute (PMI)® Long Island Chapter.

So please enjoy Ep1- Mastering the Job Interview - Guest/Steve Potter. Here is what Brian and James write about it in their show notes:

In this episode we speak with one of PMI® Long Island chapter's founders and current member of the board of directors. Steve Potter talks to us about interviewing questions and styles that lead to success.

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Episode 386: Interpersonal Skills for Project Success (Free)

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For your smart phone: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification Training:
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Presenters Collage
Congress presenters reveal their most important interpersonal skill

Last year at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California I recorded an all time high of 14 interviews. They have all been published over the past few months and you’ve probably heard some or all of them. But what you don’t know is what happened once each interview was complete.

I pressed the recording button one more time and asked each of my guests the following question: Which is the interpersonal skill that you attribute the most of our success in your career to? In other words, what skill has helped you most on your projects when you interact with others?

And today you are going to get all the answers. In one nice mashup. Here are all the presenters in the order you will hear their answers

  • Jay Payette
  • Kristy Tan Neckowicz
  • Nk Shrivastava
  • David Hillson
  • Denise McRoberts
  • Joy Beatty
  • Kristine Hayes Munson
  • Andrew Burns
  • Kim Wasson
  • Wanda Curlee
  • Beth Spriggs
  • Cyndi Snyder Dionisio
  • Connie Inman

Oh, and spoiler alert... the answer that I received most often was "Relationships".

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Episode 385: Aligning Projects with Organizational Strategy (Free)

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Our recommended Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Prep:
PM PrepCast for PMP Exam Prep

Jay Payette
Jay Payette, PMP

Projects are the tool businesses use to take a strategy and turn it into reality. So your project better be aligned with your long term business plan. All of them!

This interview about strategic alignment with Jay Payette was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss his presentation and white paper Making it Happen - How Project Managers Can Drive Strategic Alignment and Strategy Execution. Here is the abstract:

Good strategy can be critical to organizational success, however in order for strategy to transform from ideas into results it must be successfully executed. In order for organizations to successfully formulate and execute strategy they must achieve sufficient strategic alignment.

Project managers and project team members can make a critical contribution to their organization’s strategic alignment. This paper examines strategic alignment through the frame of three strategic functions: formulate, align, and execute and how they interact with each other.

Additionally, three strategic alignment frameworks are presented and recommendations are made as to how they may be used by project managers to contribute to organizational strategic alignment at the project-level.

PDU Tip

This interview is 29 minutes and 30 seconds long. This means that it is 30 seconds too short and you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!

Click to download the white paper

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Episode 384: Situational Awareness for Project Managers (Free)

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For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam we recommend the following PMP Exam Prep:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Wanda Curlee
Wanda Curlee and Cornelius Fichtner

Every project manager needs to master situational awareness. That is because no two projects are perfectly alike. What worked last time may have to be tweaked next time. Even worse, what may have worked just yesterday may have to be tweaked today!

This interview about situational awareness with Wanda Curlee was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. It was co-written and co-presented with Marie Sterling. Wanda and I discuss their presentation and white paper Situational Awareness. Do you have the Emotional Intelligence for it?. Here is the abstract:

This paper explores the relationship of situational awareness and emotional intelligence of portfolio, program, and project leadership. Included in the paper is an introduction to situational awareness, emotional intelligence, SAGAT, recommendations and details about the workshop exercise. Situational awareness plays a critical role in effective decision making, and more so in complex and challenging portfolio, program and project management environments. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the study of how in tune a person is with his or her own emotions and the ability to understand emotions of those around himself or herself. Through the use of a live training simulation, an individual’s level of situational awareness and their emotional intelligence will be determined.

Click to download the white paper

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Episode 383: Project Failure Is Not An Option (Free)

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Need Project Management Professional (PMP)® training? Here's PMP Exam Prep for your phone!
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Kristy Tan Neckowicz and Connie Inman
Kristy Tan Neckowicz, Connie Inman and Cornelius Fichtner

At some point in their career, every project manager has to deal with troubled projects.

This interview about project recovery with Kristy Tan Neckowicz and Connie Inman was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss their presentation and white paper Recognize Warning Signs and Rescue Your Troubled Projects. Here are the abstract and summary:

Abstract: Come to this session to hear real stories of troubled projects and recovery journeys from two seasoned project management professionals. You will learn to recognize common warning signs of troubled projects, approaches to right-sizing your project management processes, and applications of stakeholder management lessons for project success.

Summary: The common theme across the case studies is a focused spirit of continuous improvement to rescue troubled projects. Although projects are temporary in nature, project management processes are always evolving.

It is tempting to move on to the next project when a troubled project has been placed safely back on track. However, you will have more assurance of the project manager’s future success by conducting a lessons learned evaluation focused on the practice of project management before claiming victory.

By sharing the warning signs, right-sizing approach, and lessons learned from these case studies, we hope you will leverage our experience to keep your next project “on track” to successful delivery.

PDU Tip

This interview is 29 minutes and 57 seconds long. This means that it is 3 seconds too short and you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!

Click to download the white paper

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Episode 382: Top Five Warning Signs that Agile Isn't Working (Free)

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Studying for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam? Get PMP Exam Prep on any mobile device!
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

NK Shrivastava
NK Shrivastava and Cornelius Fichtner

This interview about why Agile might be failing in your organization with NK Shrivastava was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss his presentation and white paper Top Five Warning Signs That Agile is Not Working for You. Here are the abstract and conclusion:

Abstract: There are good possibilities of success when adopting an agile approach in an organization, but five symptoms in particular serve as warning signs that the organization’s agile transformation is not working well.

The five warning signs include: (a) no signs of value delivery for over 3 months, (b) teams resisting customer changes, (c) teams “waterfalling” sprints, (d) customers foregoing involvement in development and testing, and (e) lack of visibility for agile in the organization. Potential solutions for these problems are also described in this paper. Many organizations can solve these problems internally, but sometimes an external resource such as a change agent or an agile coach is needed. By addressing these issues, organizations can increase the chances of a successful agile transformation.

Conclusion: Agile doesn’t work by itself. Organizations that implement agile with minimal team support and expect it to work perfectly “out of the box” will likely be disappointed. Successful agile adoption depends on factors at the organization and team levels. Organizations need the right mindset, a strong commitment, a culture conducive to implement agile, and the ability to secure resources and outside help as needed. Teams need the training, skills, and empowerment to absorb and implement agile principles. With these factors in place, organizations and teams should be able to build the foundation for agile success.

Click to download the white paper

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We Recommend the following books and courses from our partners:

  • Do you need to know how to create a WBS? If so then The WBS Coach from Margaret Meloni is for you. Originally created by Josh Nankivel, this is the best WBS training that you will find.
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Disclaimer: We do not earn any commission by recommending these products.

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Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
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Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM