The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 270: Are They Really Working On Your Project (Free) #PMOT

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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Margaret MeloniHow do you know whether or not someone is actually doing the work they are supposed to be doing on your project? Well.. we could assume that if they are assigned to your project then they must be working on the project, right? Well… maybe. But sometimes it is not so clear. Sometimes you just don’t have that “warm fuzzy feeling”.

And that pretty much is the point where today’s interview with Margaret Meloni (http://www.margaretmeloni.com/) starts. From here we will explore how such situations can occur, how line managers could be responsible for causing this kind of feeling in us project managers and we’ll take a look at a few examples from Margaret’s professional life.

But most importantly  of course, we will look at what can be done to both avoid and deal with such situations.

This PM Podcast interview is based on Margaret Meloni's coachinar titled 3 Reasons People Do Not Do Their Jobs (And What to Do About It)...

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Episode 269: Portfolio Management and the Strategic Project Management Office (SPMO) (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

John DonohoeJohn Donohoe (http://de.linkedin.com/pub/john-donohoe/3/545/24b) is the Director of Project Management at Star Alliance, and portfolio management is his passion.

He says that many corporations don’t fail when they are developing a strategic plan but instead, they fail in the execution of that plan. This is basically because executing strategy consists of two main components, which are doing the right projects and doing projects right. Once you have this down, then effective portfolio management enables companies to do the right projects by ensuring that all projects are aligned to the overall strategy.

And this again means that Strategic PMOs (SPMOs) are quite well  positioned to do more than just ensuring that projects are done right. Instead they will also be able to maximize your corporate portfolio as well as provide the bridge between project demand and resource supply.

This interview with John not only discusses this in detail, but we’ll also look at some best practices in regards to managing your project portfolio and we’ll talk about what we all can do to ensure strategic alignment of our projects in an organization where there are no PMOs that support us.

John Donohoe has 30-plus years of experience developing IT systems in various roles.  He has lived in the US, Canada, Belgium, Tokyo and for more than 20 years has called Frankfurt, Germany home. As the Director of the Star Alliance PMO, he successfully implemented an Agile approach to complement the waterfall project management methodology.  Additionally he refreshed Star Alliance’s stage-gate and project governance processes. For the past two years his focus and passion has been helping Star Alliance better execute its strategy via portfolio management.  John takes a holistic view of executing strategy with the PMO as a key partner in the overall process.

John Donohoe will be speaking on the topic of the SPMO and on April 28th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. So if you are listening to this interview before then, you can find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/

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Episode 268: Six Reasons Why You May Have Failed The PMP Exam Three Times (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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kevin reillyToday’s topic is not an easy one. Kevin Reilly, PMP, PMI-ACP (http://krpm-training.com/ - http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinwreilly) and I are going to talk about failure. Failure on the PMP exam to be precise. But of course, just talking about failure is not interesting.

So our approach is that we want to talk about the reasons why someone may have failed the PMP exam once, twice or maybe even three times, and then most importantly what actions one can take to recover, regroup and and begin moving forward to passing instead of failing the exam.

And of course, this is the moment, when I self-servingly have to say that If you are a PM who wants to become PMP or PMI-ACP certified then the easiest way to do so is with our sister Podcasts The PM PrepCast or The Agile PrepCast and study for the exam by watching the in-depth exam prep video training from www.pm-prepcast.com. We cannot guarantee that you don’t fail, but we know that our training is effective and gets you there.

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Episode 267: Integration of Project Management and Ongoing Business (Premium)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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roland dumont du voitelIn this discussion, Roland Dumont du Voitel (http://www.amontis.com/ - http://de.linkedin.com/pub/dr-roland-dumont-du-voitel/14/9b7/567) and I will be delving into the topic of how an Enterprise PMO - an EPMO - needs to take the perspective of two worlds. That is to say that the EPMO needs to look at both projects and project management as well as the ongoing business. And that the EPMO needs to break down and organize both, so that they can each become an integral part of the company.

Too often, however, this is not part of what the EPMO does. And when it is part of its service, then unfortunately the task often fails.

So please join us in the discussion of what functions an EPMO generally fulfills, why it does indeed need to extend its focus on integrating projects and ongoing business and how that can be done well.

And don’t forget that Roland will be speaking on April 29th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. Find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/

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Episode 266: PMO and Capitalizing on Diversity (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The PM PrepCast for The PMP Exam:
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roland dumont du voitelGlobalization and internationalization continue to change the diversity of businesses and our projects. Corporate structures mirror these trends. However, it seems that “diversity” mostly focuses on gender, age or origin. And diversification of employees is not the objective of diversity management. Roland Dumont du Voitel (http://www.amontis.com/ - http://de.linkedin.com/pub/dr-roland-dumont-du-voitel/14/9b7/567) says that there is much more to it.

He says that building on diversity focused on individual talents and qualities changes both corporations and provides also higher levels of creativity. This applies even more to project structures than to corporations. In project management we see that diversity is not a goal in itself. Its importance comes from the tasks and objectives of the projects. Just think of the diversity you create with mergers, acquisitions, global software projects, or even offshoring of services.

So hear Roland take a look at the pros and cons of applying diversity management in a mature project management environment, review its impact on culture and management, but also discuss the resistance to that change.

Roland Dumont du Voitel will be speaking on the topic of the PMO and Capitalizing on Diversity on April 29th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. Find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/

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Episode 265: Projects are like American Football - The Project Manager’s Play Book (Premium)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 PDUs:
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Bryan BarrowIn June of 2013 Bryan Barrow (http://nova-consulting.co.uk - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/bryanbarrow) gave the project management presentation that he always wanted to give. It is titled The Project Manager’s Play Book and it compares many of the tactics and approaches used in American Football to what all of us do on our projects. Except that we project managers wear a lot less protective gear.

Bryan says that once you have seen his presentation “You will learn how to take a new project and deliver it with greater confidence, sense of purpose and sheer fun than you thought possible”. And of course we hope to get that kind of motivation across to you as well in this discussion.

And don’t forget that Bryan Barrow will be speaking on April 29th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. So if you hear this before April 2014 you can find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/

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Episode 264: How to Plan Your Project Using Index Cards (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 Professional Development Units:
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bryan barrow tWhen it comes to identifying a reason for why so many projects fail then Bryan Barrow (http://nova-consulting.co.uk - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/bryanbarrow) has a simple answer for you. He says that a root cause of poor project delivery is poor planning. But he also says that this is not a failure of project management, but instead this is a failure of project leadership.

So if poor planning is the culprit then there has to be a better way to plan our projects. Right? Right!

Bryan is an advocate of planning your project with index cards. So in our interview we are going to first discuss what the problem is with planning your project using sticky notes, and then we’ll look at the benefits of index card planning for your project, in particular on improved leadership, greater financial control, improved project governance and improved cross-department team-working and collaboration.

And by the way… Bryan Barrow will be speaking on the topic of Index Card Planning on April 29th at the 2014 Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt Germany. So if you are listening to this interview before April 2014 you can find out more at http://projectzonecongress.com/

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Episode 263: Earn 30 PDUs for Free (Free)

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This video explains how to earn 30 Free PDUs from The PM Podcast. All you have to do is subscribe, listen and claim!

This video is an update of the information previously published in episodes 150 and 183. The videos of those episodes have been removed.

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Episode 262: How to Avoid Failure on IT Projects (Premium)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 PDUs:
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Emad RahimA couple of episodes ago we welcomed Todd C Williams and talked about rescuing the problem project. We continue this discussion today with Dr. Emad Rahim, DM, PMP (http://www.linkedin.com/in/erahim, @DrEmadRahim) by looking at how to avoid failure and achieve project success on information technology (IT) projects.

In particular, we discuss the findings on this topic that he and his co-author describe in a white paper, which begins as follows:

Communication and information technology has developed rapidly within the last decade.As a result, project managers must be prepared to manage the current and future challenges within the project management field, as well as within the IT industry. Rapid globalization of business means organizations must significantly increase its capacity to accurately manage information and data. In response to this growing capacity demand, more discussion is needed to develop effective IT project management processes and approaches

Listen to the interview to learn how it's done!

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Episode 261: How to Identify Project Stakeholders (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 Professional Development Units:
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Emad RahimIt’s imperative that you know your project’s stakeholders. After all, to satisfy a stakeholder need is usually the reason why we undertake projects. That’s why we define stakeholders as a person or organization with an interest in the project’s completion. Think of influential customers, sponsors, the public or your own company that are all involved in the project.

Our guest today is Dr. Emad Rahim, DM, PMP (http://www.linkedin.com/in/erahim, @DrEmadRahim) who says that because your stakeholders require you to understand the specifications of a project and to meet their expectations, performing an analysis of who they are is essential.

And so our interview focuses on a single activity: Identifying all the stakeholders we have on the project. This is a time-consuming process, and you want to ensure no important stakeholder is missed. And to help you with that, Emad and Cornelius review eight areas that require your attention.

You can find the blog post about stakeholder identification here: http://www.coloradotech.edu/resources/blogs/january-2013/stakeholders.

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Episode 260: The Seven Steps to Rescuing the Problem Project (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
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Todd C. WilliamsIt seemed that in the final weeks of 2013, project management was on everyone’s mind. And not in a good way. The roll-out of the affordable care act website really brought to light that substandard project performance can have a disastrous effect on public perception. While we often hear about failed government projects, failed private sector projects seem to fly under the radar.

In today’s interview we welcome Todd C. Williams (http://ecaminc.com/ - http://www.linkedin.com/in/backfromred) has spent the past 25 years advising Fortune 500 companies on what to do about projects that are either headed for a cliff or have already gone over.

We begin the interview by looking at what makes government projects uniquely susceptible to a higher failure rate than private sector projects and then move into seven steps that Todd recommends for recovering a troubled project.

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What's happening on The PM Podcast in Jan/Feb of 2014

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Happy New Year! This is a short notice to all listeners to let you know what's happening to The PM Podcast and our website: Over the coming 2-3 weeks we are going to be completely redeploying our website. After that Cornelius is heading out the door to Philadelphia, Sydney and Manila. We do have a few interviews recorded (they will be published as soon as the new website is up) and we have some interviews scheduled for recording after he returns from his trip. So we should be back to "normal programming" starting March.

Episode 259: SMAC and the Transformation of Innovation (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam

Dave CorneliusThis interview with Dave Cornelius was recorded at the Southland Technology Conference 2013 in Long Beach. It is, however, about the presentation he gave at the PMI North American Congress in New Orleans.

Dave Cornelius (http://www.linkedin.com/in/daveauck) argues that social media, mobile devices, analytics and cloud computing (SMAC) have combined to create a technology ecosystem that supports disruptive and sustaining innovation. The ready availability of the SMAC ecosystem connects customers to new innovations and supports shopping on e-commerce sites and in brick-and-mortar stores. Importantly, the SMAC application has transcended retail and consumer marketing activities, and also has significant relevance in banking, healthcare, and other business functions.

In our interview we discuss SMAC technologies and their use in and impact on various industries. Using the SMAC platform, project managers can develop new products and services by renting technology capability without owning the infrastruc.ture, software, and support staff. Project management information systems (PMIS) can leverage the SMAC platform over a secure Internet connection to support collaboration between team members and enable transparency about a project 's health. Social media, mobile devices, analytics, and cloud computing are the amalgamation of mature technologies for the 21st century.

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Episode 258: Agile Estimation is Faster, Easier and More Accurate (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
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Mark LaytonThis interview with Mark Layton was recorded at the Southland Technology Conference 2013 in Long Beach.

Mark Layton (https://platinumedge.com/) has been an entrepreneur, consultant, and trainer in project management for the last 20 years. (And as it so happens, Cornelius Fichtner was a student in one of his Scrum Master classes.)

Mark and Cornelius got together in Long Beach to talk about Agile estimation. Mark says that traditional requirement estimation techniques are a frustrating combination of wild guesses and false precision. While estimates are given down to the exact hour of effort, the accuracy of those predictions vary wildly and provide no opportunity to self-correct based on actual performance. This inaccuracy problem is then intentionally masked by an even more inefficient tool - contingency reserve.

In our interview, Mark describes how using agile estimation techniques is faster, easier, more informed, more honest, and ultimately, more accurate than guessing to the hour how long tasks months in the future will take to complete.

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