This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
Are you a project manager or do you consider yourself to be a project leader? And what are the steps in order to go from manager to more of a leader?
My guest today is Shawn Dickerson (www.linkedin.com/pub/shawn-dickerson/1/97/607). He is the GTM Director for AtTask, Inc. (www.attask.com) and AtTask recently published an eBook titled “Project Leadership - Lessons from 40 PPM Experts on Making the Transition from Project Management to Project Leadership”. And so we’re going to review what it means to be a project leader.
From the eBook introduction we learn the following: Strong project leadership can make the difference between success and failure. When it comes to project management, we tend to talk about the tactical the assignments, the tasks, the approvals, and so on. But business is evolving, and many of us are now being asked to lead change, instead of just managing timelines and milestones. This change is not only happening, it’s accelerating.
Are you an accidental project manager? You know, someone who was thrust into the project management role without much fanfare, introduction or even education? Well… you are not alone. It happened to you, it happened to me and it continues to happen to thousands of other project managers throughout the world.
Wouldn’t it be great, if there were organizations out there who introduced young people to the concepts and approaches of project management? There are! And that’s good news for the future of our profession.
As part of this the Wideman Education Foundation is dedicated to attracting young individuals into the project management profession and helping them develop the organizational and leadership skills they will need to succeed in today’s job market. Through workshops and competitions the foundation fosters essential, basic, practical skills like preparation, planning, teamwork, communication, and delivering presentations.
It’s all about getting the next generation of project managers interested in the profession.
In his book Reinventing Communication Mark also includes several case stories. In these case stories he reviews the good, the bad and the ugly in regards to communication design. And right now we want to review the success story that is the The F/A-18 E/F project.
We learn about the number one reason why it was a success, how a vice admiral almost didn’t get his star because the communication was so successful, how a common language supports communication success, and we get Marks tips for all of us on what we can do on our own projects to emulate the successful communications design from the The F/A-18 E/F project.
In his new book titled Reinventing Communication he proposes that project communication can indeed become a rigorous performance management tool and, further, that managing communication as a performance management tool is essential for delivering desired outcomes. It is essential because all projects are social environments.
In the interview Mark introduces us not only to how to use project communication as a performance management tool, but also to the elements of communication design, how a hard tool can help project communication, how good communication determines project outcomes, and he introduces us to two checklists included in the book that will help you design your project communication for performance management.
In this interview, we are going to see why happiness is important in this equation, how it fuels success, how to get WOW projects, what the MVP is, and we get his tips on how all of us can apply this right away on our projects.
We project managers attend many conferences. And I remember quite clearly how disappointed I was after some of these project management conferences because I realized that I didn’t get as much out of them as I had hoped.
So I decided that instead of continuing to hope for more success, I would have to plan for it.
This video and the accompanying checklist contain my personal best practices for conference success. I hope that it will help you plan for a successful conference as well.
Please feel free to share any improvements ideas with me in the comment section below.
Use this worksheet to help you prepare for your next project management conference. It will make the difference between merely attending the conference and succeeding at attending the conference.
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This time we are going to the back of the book and look at the virtual project meeting assessment templates that he includes. If that sounds boring, then don’t worry. This is Wayne Turmel we are talking about here!
Yes, we are using his template as the basis for the interview, but he manages to make our discussion not only fun and entertaining but also highly educational.
Oh yes… and of course… he is going to introduce you to the number one thing that will make all your virtual project meetings a success!
His latest book is called Meet Like You Mean It: A Leader's Guide To Painless And Productive Virtual Meetings. In the book and also in our interview he argues that if you're a project manager, you have to learn how to use today's online meeting tools to get great input, maximum participation, and engagement from your participating project team members. Virtual meetings should be an integral part of the way we work and manage our projects, and not an excuse to answer emails.
This time we look at how a PPM tool can help you ensure that you are not trying to bring your company to a grinding halt by introducing too much change.
The basic premise here is that PPM leaders must take into account the amount of change a business can undergo in any given period. And if they don’t keep the amount change below the acceptable threshold, change fatigue will ensue and stifle the company.
David says that it's not about time, budget and scope. Successful projects are about achieving business goals. Projects are really investments meant to change something about the business, and if they don't hit that business target all the time and money are wasted.
And successful project managers should know how to lead teams to hit those business targets.
Prior to signing any project statement of work (SOW) it should be reviewed by your legal team. However, while legal experts understand legalities that will help you out in court, they are not project experts who can determine if a particular SOW will provide you with the product that you anticipate, need, or desire.
Todd C. Williams (http://ecaminc.com/) on the other hand is such an expert. He has reviewed dozens of statements of work for his clients. He analyzes the methodology, scope, deliverables and proposed cost, and finds areas that point to weaknesses in the ability to deliver or misalignment in intentions.
In our discussion we look at the main reasons behind doing a formal SOW review, at the factors that show whether a formal review makes sense or not, identify some of areas of concern during a review, and learn why a comma can make all the difference in the world.
David is well-known internationally as a leading thinker and expert practitioner in risk management, and he consults, writes and speaks widely on the topic. He specializes in both strategic and tactical risk, with a particular interest in opportunities and risk psychology.
In this interview, we look at project risk responses. Or to be precise… we look at them to find out why people seem to forget about them.
The issue at hand is the fact that the typical project risk management process doesn’t include a step to "Implement Risk Responses". So it is common for people to identify and assess their risks, develop responses, record these responses in the risk register, and then… do nothing! We forget. We simply forget.
To help us get around this, David is campaigning for not just one, but two additional steps to be included into the project risk management processes. So that we don’t forget.
This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
This week we continue our journey into project risk management with a second interview that I did with Dr David Hillson (http://www.risk-doctor.com). We will discuss “overall project risk”, which is different from “individual project risks”.
At the center of our discussion is the situation when your project sponsor or client asks you “How risky is this project?” The concept of “overall project risk” is mentioned in the PMBOK Guide as well as the PMI Practice Standard for Project Risk Management, but it seems not too well understood and few project managers are using it. So let’s change that.
As you’ll hear in our conversation, David will be presenting on this topic at an upcoming PMI Congress shortly after we recorded this interview. He has made his paper available to us all and you can download a PDF version right here...
This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
My guest today is none other than Dr David Hillson (http://www.risk-doctor.com). You may have heard of him as the Risk Doctor and having him on the program is a great opportunity for us. In fact… project opportunity management is actually at the center of todays discussion!
Here is what David says about opportunities: "Most PMs still don’t get is the idea of upside risk or opportunity - or more accurately, they understand the theory but they don’t put it into practice." So in a moment we will not only learn what opportunities are, but more importantly we’ll hear David discuss several ways of identifying as well a properly managing them on your project.
Since this is the first (and long overdue) appearance of David on The PM Podcast, here is a little bit about him first:
Known globally as The Risk Doctor, Dr David Hillson is an award-winning thought-leader and expert practitioner who consults and writes widely on risk management. His ground-breaking work in project risk management was recognised by honorary fellowships from both the Association for Project Management (APM) and the Project Management Institute (PMI®). He was also named “Risk Personality of the Year” in 2010-11. David is an active Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM), and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) to contribute to its Risk Commission. He is also a Chartered Fellow with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
I also recommend that you read the following Risk Doctor Briefings: