The PM Podcast

Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 340: Project Manager Skills are Essential for Business Success (Free) #PMOT

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 PDUs::
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Jack Ferraro
Cornelius Fichtner and Jack Ferraro

This interview with Frank Saladis was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "The Indispensable Project Manager". Here is the paper's abstract:

Managing projects effectively has become essential in every organization large or small. The uncertainties of the world business economy, rapidly changing technology, and the intensifying focus on sustainability has driven many organizations to develop specific methods for managing projects and to seek highly qualified people to manage those projects.

These qualifications include the ability lead as well as to manage and create an environment of change readiness, attention to quality, and an awareness that self-development is a critical factor for success at both the personal and organizational level.

Today’s project managers must adapt to change, lead diverse teams, act as ambassadors for their organizations, and deal with a multitude of challenging project stakeholders. They must also continually enhance their knowledge about business, working with people, and how to maintain a reputation of professionalism, thought leadership, and ability to add value.

This paper addresses the importance of the professional project manager to any organization, and the need for the project manager to continually enhance existing skills, adapt to a changing business environment, and become a “go to” person in the organization. Emphasis is placed on understanding the needs of the organization, clearly and visibly creating value, and managing personal brand.

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Episode 339: Change Management Strategy: A Practical Approach (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by the PMP Exam Simulator:
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Jack Ferraro
Cornelius Fichtner and Jack Ferraro

This interview with Jack Ferraro was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Measure Twice, Change Once: Practical Strategies for Change Management". Here is the paper's abstract:

Sound change management processes and behaviors link strategy and execution teams. They enable portfolio managers, executive leadership, and program and project teams to increase their organization’s ability to react effectively to change.

This paper presents a comprehensive approach to making an organization more responsive to change by means of effective structuring, planning, and measuring of change management across portfolios, programs and projects. It explores the role of change management in portfolio management and how to structure an organization for successful change. It discusses the value of measuring change management and how to best do so before, during, and after the change process.

With effective structuring, planning, and measuring of change management efforts, organizations can achieve effective change when challenged by resource constraints and conflicting executive priorities.

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Episode 338: Successful Project Management Depends on the Business (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by the PMP Exam Simulator:
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Frank Parth
Cornelius Fichtner and Frank Parth

This interview with Frank Parth was recorded at the 2015 PMI Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Successful Projects Depend on the Business". Here is the paper's abstract:

This paper looks at the literature on successful critical projects and examines the impact of decision making on project success. When are the most critical decisions made? Who makes them? Where are the sensitive areas that can have a huge impact on project success? Research in this area shows that the only part of the effort where traditional project management approaches makes sense is in the later stages, the engineering and EPC stages. The earlier stages require a different approach to ensure success.

While all projects are dependent on decisions made outside the project, large projects are particularly susceptible to this because of the increased number of stakeholders and increase complexity. This paper will focus on the pre-project decision process for large construction, engineering, and infrastructure projects. We will examine how these projects are most effectively divided into several stages and compare the approaches promulgated by both academic research as well as by private industry. They are all consistent with each other in where the critical decision points are.

We will examine those critical points, the data needed to receive a “go” decision, and who should be involved in those decisions. We will see that the data needs to be increasingly complete and accurate the later in the life cycle the decision is made. Giving the engineers and the contractors bad data will ensure cost and schedule overruns as well as claims. Yet the most critical decisions are done when we have the least amount of accurate data, before the project managers ever get involved.

We will look at four areas and provide recommendations for the project manager at the end:

  1. The business environment
  2. Current research
  3. Approaches to assessing the adequacy of the early planning
  4. Proposed Development stages for programs

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Episode 337: Internet of Things (IoT) Projects may Fundamentally Change Project Management (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by the PMP Exam Simulator:
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Wanda Curlee
Wanda Curlee, PMP, PgMP

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the ever-growing network of physical objects that feature an IP address for internet connectivity, and the communication that occurs between these objects and other Internet-enabled devices and systems.

Internet of Things (IoT) projects are the projects that you and I will be managing in order to make these devices a reality, and according to Wanda Curlee ( these type of projects have the potential to fundamentally change project management.

The way that an IoT project is changing project management is not just because anything and everything can be and will be internet enabled, but also because the project management software we use will be more interconnected and developing these IoT devices will require us project managers to get a better handle on research and development, which can be extremely nebulous in the internet of things.

In a nutshell, Wanda Curlee says that IoT project management is heading our way and even if your projects are not internet related today, they will be in the future, She has no doubt that you will be managing an internet of things project.

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Episode 336: The PMP Exam is Changing on January 11, 2016 (Free)

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Simona Fallavolita, PMI Product Manager
Cornelius Fichtner and Simona Fallavolita

Are you studying for your PMP Exam, and did you know that the exam is changing soon? And maybe you are wondering about one of the following questions:

  • Why is the PMP exam changing in 2016?
  • Wait... wasn't it supposed to change in 2015?!
  • So when exactly is the PMP exam changing?
  • What exactly is changing with the PMP exam?
  • Do I have to study new topics?
  • Is there a new PMBOK Guide?
  • Are my study materials still OK after the PMP exam changes?

We have the answers to these and many more questions about the upcoming changes.

This interview with Simona Fallavolita (Program Manager, PMI) was recorded at the 2015 Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We review the upcoming PMP exam changes, how this affects training companies, what PMP students can do to prepare for this change, and look at some of the detailed changes that are coming to the PMP exam early next year.

Spoiler alert: The PMP exam changes were originally scheduled to go into effect in 2015 but were later moved to early 2016 for scheduling reasons, and no there is NO new PMBOK Guide.

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Episode 335: Key Steps to Advance Your Project Management Career Path (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...

Emad Rahim
Dr. Emad Rahim, PMP, OMCP

Do you feel stuck in your project management career? Or maybe you know that you need to do something to advance but there are so many other things competing for your attention that you just have no time?

Dr. Emad Rahim, DM, PMP (, @DrEmadRahim) has a few ideas for you that will most certainly help you out.

This is not only about making a career plan, and getting certified. But it’s also about making sure that people in your industry -- and more importantly -- the senior executives at your place of work actually notice you and the value you provide so that you can walk the project manager career path.

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Episode 334: PMP PDU Program Updates are Coming On December 1st 2015 (Free)

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Victor Carter-Bey, Director Certifications
Cornelius Fichtner and Victor Carter-Bey

Do you have a PMI certification like PMP, PgMP, PfMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP or PMI-PBA?

If yes, then this interview is extremely important to you because the rules on earning PDUs are changing on December 1st, 2015.

In a nutshell: PMI is introducing the Talent Triangle, which has Technical Project Management, Leadership, as well as Strategic and Business Management on its three sides. Going forward you must earn PDUs in each of these three areas.

This interview with Victor Carter-Bey (Director Certifications, PMI) was recorded at the 2015 Global Congress in Orlando Florida. We review the Talent Triangle, the details of what exactly changes with the PDUs, the timeline of implementation and how to report them going forward.

Please visit the PMI website for all the details on these changes...

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Join Cornelius Fichtner's Presentation at the PMI Global Congress in Orlando

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Cornelius Fichtner is presenting "How to Successfully use Social Media and Online Collaboration on Your Projects" at the PMI Global Congress in Orlando Florida:

How to Attend:

Select this as the session you are going to attend on Tuesday, October 13th 2015, at 8:30am as you make your global congress selections. Then simply show up... :-)

Seminar Description:

This highly interactive presentation examines how social media has affected individuals, organizations and most importantly, projects. You will discover how social media and online collaboration were used on successful projects and the specific lessons learned. You will realize that this is not a passing fad, that it’s the project manager (you!) who must lead the team through the transition, and receive a list of seven action items to apply everything on your own projects tomorrow.

Episode 333: Project Manager Career Path Boost Through Thought Leadership (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Emad Rahim
Dr. Emad Rahim, PMP, OMCP

If you are looking to boost your project manager career then you are very likely thinking along the lines of getting a mentor, taking on a stretch assignment, going back to school to get a degree or certification, or maybe even improving your public speaking skills.

But most likely you haven’t thought about accelerating your project manager career path through thought leadership in project management and joining the ranks of famous project managers out there.

And if you think that becoming a thought leader in project management is hard to do, then think again.

Our guest Dr. Emad Rahim, DM, PMP (, @DrEmadRahim) assures us that talking about what you love -- project management -- through writing, speaking or simply by finding and sharing pertinent articles will make you get noticed as a thought leader in our industry.

It’s a simple but powerful concept to boost your career in project management.

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Episode 332: Project Sponsor Challenges and Solutions (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Todd Williams
Todd C. Williams - President and CEO at eCameron, Inc

What is the definition of the project sponsor role?

If you have an executive sponsor on your project and you have a documented and agreed upon project sponsor definition, then you are exceptional.

Why? According to Todd Williams’ (eCameron, Inc) latest white paper titled “Challenges in Executive Project Sponsorship” the lack of project sponsor roles and responsibilities is a major issue. It’s right up there with a lack of engagement, missing change management and the fact that executives don’t even acknowledge that these challenges exist to name just a few.

This executive sponsorship white paper is at the core of our discussion. Todd and I will review the identified challenges and give you the solutions he proposes. You’ll even get his definition of the role of project sponsor.

Here is a time-limited offer for all PM Podcast listeners who would like to read the white paper we discuss:

Download the white paper for free

Todd is making the white paper available for free to listeners of The PM Podcast:

  • Visit the white paper sales page
  • Click "Add to Cart"
  • Click "Proceed to Checkout"
  • Fill in the registration form + click Next
  • Apply the coupon code pmpodcast and the price now changes to $0
  • Complete the order process to receive / download your free copy

This offer expires on October 31, 2015.

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Episode 331: Add Compassion to Your Project Manager Skill Set (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam:
Earn 37 PDUs with The Agile PrepCast

Margaret Meloni
Margaret Meloni - Project Management Coach

When you think of your project manager skills, then “compassion” is probably not the first word that comes to mind. You would probably first list some other hard project management tools and techniques like your scheduling abilities or completing your projects on scope and on budget.

And only if you keep adding words to this project management skills list will you eventually come to terms like conflict management, team building, empathy and compassion.

Margaret Meloni ( says that we project managers should value compassion much more than we do.

If we are supposed to use compassion as one of our project management soft skills then we have to first define what it is, how it relates to project management and hear examples of how to use it on our projects. And that’s exactly what you are going to get from Margaret’s interview.

But the most important question that I have asked margaret is this: If compassion is truly so important for me as a project manager, how can I see quantifiable results on my projects?

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