The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 296: Five PM Competencies to Successfully Drive Strategic Initiatives (Free) #PMOT #PMICongress

Play Now:

Jack Ferraro t

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

Project leaders are needed to lead and sustain strategic efforts by creating experiences that initiate the transformation of people - starting with themselves - then systems and, ultimately, the organization. The qualities that make the strategic project leader unique are efficiency, customization, foresight, and connectedness.

In our interview Jack Ferraro explains the five competencies that a project leader needs to lead strategic initiatives. These competencies enable building and managing relationships in the organization; using techniques to properly advise executives, sponsors, and stakeholders to increase to executive work efficiency; and driving good decision making that achieves goals that enable organizational strategy. We also discuss the fact that the role of the "traditional" project manager does not exist in many Agile frameworks/methodologies, and how becoming a strategic project leader is an alternative career option for us all.

The strategic project leader requires courage, commitment, and alignment of convictions and purpose to succeed and to fill the talent gap. The interview takes you through the self-directed leadership steps to achieve this alignment and take your first action to begin transforming yourself into strategic project leaders.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 295: PMI Certifications and their Value for Your Project Management Career (Free)

Play Now:

Frank Schettini and Cornelius Fichtner

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

Frank Schettini is Vice President of Information Technology for the Project Management Institute (PMI). But our interview has nothing to do with IT whatsoever. Instead, we focus on PMI's suite of professional certifications and their value to project managers in their careers.

We begin by discussing the 30th anniversary of the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential and if the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) will ever overtake the PMP certificate. Then we switch gears and look at the talent triangle (which encompasses your technical skills, leadership and business acumen) and how the trend for "fast, online PDUs" is a bit counter to the central concept of the triangle. We close our discussion by taking a detailed look at both the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) and the PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA).

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 294: The PM Role in a Lean and Agile World (Free)

Play Now:

Cornelius and Cornelius

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

The project manager is a highly skilled knowledge worker who has received rigorous training and knowledge in the process of achieving a globally recognized certification. At the same time, in the lean and agile world, the project manager does not have an official role. The project manager’s role is distributed between the agile team members.

However, the knowledge and skills obtained through certification is transferable in the lean and agile organization. In a competitive business climate, all available brainpower must be present on deck to enable the organization to achieve enterprise agility and scale to meet customer, compliance, financial markets, internal opportunities, and competitive demands.

Dave Cornelius' paper, presentation and our interview evaluate the project manager role using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) practice and centers on PM participation in the lean and agile transformation as a strategic, leading, or lagging PM.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 293: 5Saturdays - Teaching Life Skills using Agile Project Management (Free)

Play Now:

Students from 5Saturdays.org

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

5 Saturdays (http://www.5saturdays.org) is a program created to support non-profits and other organizations with outreach initiatives into the local community. It teaches life-skills to high school students using project management approaches from the Agile movement.

The program emerged from curriculum created by Dr. Dave Cornelius while partnering with Holman Community Development Corporation in Los Angeles to introduce technology as a profession to urban high school students.

The program achieved success, as students were able to explore career-focused areas such as information technology (IT) and grasp life skills that included: creative and critical thinking, effective communications, Agility using Scrum and Kanban, and root cause analysis using "5 Whys".

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 292: Tap Your Interpersonal Skills to Shine as a Project Manager (Free)

Play Now:

Kristy Tan Neckowicz , Cornelius Fichtner and Dev Ramcharan

This Interview with Kristy Tan Neckowicz and Dev Ramcharan was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

In their presentation, Kristy Tan Neckowicz (http://www.linkedin.com/in/kristytanpmp) and Dev Ramcharan reviewed harnessing leadership skills necessary to advance your PM career and shine in your role, how to hone your interpersonal and communications skills to manage teams and stakeholders and discussed ways to realize the critical importance of coaching and mentoring in your career, to demonstrate value to your organization.

And in our interview we open the presentation slides and review the following parts: Why you should care about interpersonal skills, behavior styles and motivators, emotional intelligence, the emotional wake, organizational culture and politics, and we close with the all important look at conflict management and coaching.

Please visit http://yourtalentatwork.com to learn more about Kristy and http://www.arouca-coach.com for Dev.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 291: Being Agile in a Waterfall World (Free)

Play Now:

Joseph Flahiff & Cornelius Fichtner

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

During the conference, Joseph handed out hundreds of buttons that read "Agile is not a Noun". Instead, he says during the interview, Agile is a state of being. And that was one of the reasons why he wrote his new book Being Agile in a Waterfall World: A practical Guide for Complex Organizations.

In the interview we focus a lot on the "Mental Shifts" section from the book. You will learn about Command & Control, Competitive Advantages, Optimized Systems and also Why Agility is important.

Joseph closes the interview by giving us his top 3 tips on how to more forward in being Agile. For those who want more in-depth information, why don't you participate in one of Joseph's upcoming classes with the same title as the book: Being Agile in a Waterfall World: A practical Guide for Complex Organizations.. (We are a compensated affiliate and receive a commission if you click and register for the class.)

Continue Reading

Write comment (2 Comments)

Episode 290: Positive Leadership in Project Management (Free)

Play Now:

Frank Saladis & Cornelius Fichtner

This Interview with Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

In his congress paper, Frank describes Positive Leadership in Project Management as follows:

Despite the effort placed on planning, coordinating, and integrating the many components of a project, the project manager’s typical day is filled with challenge, Each day includes an unending stream of email, deadline issues, some frustrating events (and people), conflicting view points from stakeholders, and demands for changes at very inopportune times. We can also find within a typical day in the life of a project, some successes and victories (and maybe an occasional thank-you or other form of recognition. At the end of the day it is sometimes difficult to remember what actually happened and what was accomplished. The activities and accomplishments of the day are often blurred by the thoughts associated with the preparations and steps that must be taken to prepare for and begin another set of adventures just waiting for their chance to occur at the start of the next morning.

Dealing with this intense mode of operation on a regular basis places a very heavy demand on the abilities of a project manager and there is a real need to find some way to balance the competing elements that go along with the job. This balance extends to one’s personal and family life also. The question then becomes “How can we (as project managers) find that balance?” In the book, First Things First by Roger A. Merrill and Stephen Covey, a suggestion is offered: “Know the direction in which you intend to go and your goals on a personal and professional level.” In other words, a clear sense of direction should be defined for your personal life as well as your chosen profession. To a practicing project manager, that advice should sound very familiar. In fact, it is essential for project success. Without direction and a set of objectives, how will we ever know where we are going? How can we lead a team if we don’t have goals to guide ourselves and our team? There is no question that goals and purpose must be defined upfront, refined, and then communicated with high level of energy and enthusiasm. Without this clarity and sense of purpose, we cannot effectively lead our team, our organization, or our own lives. This is where positive leadership becomes a critical factor.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 289: Optimize Your Project Management Career - Part 3 - Late Career & Consulting (Free)

Play Now:

Dev Ramcharan, PMP

This is the third and final of three interviews in which Dev Ramcharan (http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/dev-ramcharan-pmp/1/677/750) from AROUCA Career Coaching (http://www.arouca-coach.com/) helps you to optimize and boost your career. In this interview we focus on the late career phase and also touch upon consulting.

Allow me to repeat my recommendation on listening to this series of interviews one final time: You will get the most out of this series of interviews if you listen to them in sequence, no matter if you are currently in your early career, mid career or late career. This is because each of the three interviews contains many nuggets of wisdom applicable to any career stage. And of course... Dev’s Career Optimization Package can be found on The PM Podcast website. Just go to www.pm-podcast.com/career and download the free version first.

In this final interview you learn that the late career is really the peak of your experience, knowledge and wisdom. As well as the money you earn. But at the same time, this is also the moment to think back to the time when you started out in your career, and now you need to help out and mentor an eager young project manager at the start of his or her career.

The one unexpected topic that you will also hear about is adversity in the sense of getting laid off or overlooked for a promotion during any of the stages in your career. Dev shows you that you can use adversity as your ally to move your career forward. And finally Dev closes with his suggestions for a structured approach to personal growth.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 288: Optimize Your Project Management Career - Part 2 - Mid Career (Free)

Play Now:

Dev Ramcharan, PMP

This is the second of three interviews in which Dev Ramcharan (http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/dev-ramcharan-pmp/1/677/750) from AROUCA Career Coaching (http://www.arouca-coach.com/) helps you to optimize and boost your career. In this interview we focus on the mid-career phase, which starts about 2-3 years into your life as a project manager.

In this interview you learn that there is an early mid-career and also a late mid-career, and that both require a different optimization approach. We talk about when and how often you should update the Career Optimization Package and how to perform a career risk assessment.

As part of this interview, Dev also recommends the following two books (Amazon affiliate links):

My recommendation is still the same: To get the most out of this you should listen to all three interviews in sequence, no matter if you are currently in your early career, mid career or late career. And don’t forget to get Dev’s Career Optimization Package from The PM Podcast website. Just go to www.pm-podcast.com/career and download the free version first.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 287: Optimize Your Project Management Career - Part 1 - Early Career (Free)

Play Now:

Dev Ramcharan, PMPIf you are listening to this podcast, then you are most likely either someone who wants to start a career in project management or you are already working in the project management field and you want to advance in your career. Well… you have come to the right place. This is the first of three interviews that will help you optimize and boost your project management career.

My guest is Dev Ramcharan (http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/dev-ramcharan-pmp/1/677/750). Dev is not only a PMP certified project manager, but he is also a professional career coach with AROUCA Career Coaching (http://www.arouca-coach.com/) in Canada. That means he not only understands the profession of project management but he also has the coaching background to guide you and me into successful project management careers! And my oh my is he good!

We have recorded three interviews and each focuses on one stage of your career. The stages are early career, mid career and late career. My recommendation is that you listen to all three interviews in sequence, irrespective of your current career stage. So no matter if you are an absolute newcomer to project management or if you are a highly respected and senior VP of project management… you should listen to all three interviews starting with this one here.

Also, Dev has developed the Career Optimization Package for you. This package is just over 30 pages long and contains templates, workbooks, tools and plans to help you review, optimize, plan and boost your project management career. You can download this package for free in both PDF and Microsoft Office format from The PM Podcast website. Just go to www.pm-podcast.com/career. You’ll see that there is a 32 page long free version (that’s the one we talk about during the interview) and there is also a premium version.

The premium version is a much more complete package, because it contains additional career tools, checklists and workbooks. So compared to the free version, the premium gives you a comprehensive, full career-life-cycle coverage with a powerful toolset. We are launching this  premium version initially at the price of $29.99 but we are also giving away FOUR copies. As always… two copies are reserved for our Premium listeners and two copies are open for grabs. Please go to www.facebook.com/pmpodcast and participate in the giveaway. We will draw a winner at the end of October 2014.

And with all that out the way here's an overview of our first interview with Dev Ramcharan: We start out by looking at the benefits that a career in project management gives you, discuss the key factors and skills that will help you make your project management career a success, then we move on to discussing how to optimize your early career and we close the interview by looking at how to use the Career Optimization Package.

Note: During the interview I say that the free package is about 50 pages long, but the correct number is 32 pages. I'm sorry! I was looking at the wrong file. My mistake!

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 287: Download Your Free Career Optimization Package

Download PDF Version... Download DOC Version...

Career Optimization Package

The Free Career Optimization Package is developed and provided to you by Dev Ramcharan from AROUCA Career Coaching. It gives you the basics you need to optimize your career.

Note: In episode 287, 288 and 289 I say that the free package is about 50 pages long, but the correct number is 32 pages. I'm sorry! I was looking at the wrong file. My mistake!

Get the Premium Career Optimization Package

The Career Optimization Package is also available as a Premium version. The Premium Package with its powerful toolset provides comprehensive, full career-life-cycle coverage.

Click here to compare Free and Premium side by side...

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 286: How to Migrate from Waterfall to Agile (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...

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

Shawn DickersonMigrating from using a waterfall-based approach to an Agile approach for your projects is challenging. No doubt about it. Are there any best practices that you can follow in order to ease the migration pain?

Shawn Dickerson (www.linkedin.com/pub/shawn-dickerson/1/97/607 / www.attask.com) says yes there are. In fact, by the end of this interview you will have heard a list of about ten or so ideas, tips, best practices and pitfalls to consider before, during and after migrating from W to A.

And of course, I open the discussion by asking Shawn about the #1 success factor to consider for such a migration.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 285: They Told You to Become a Project Leader... Now What? (Free)

Play Now:

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

Episode 285: They Told You to Become a Project Leader... Now What? (Free) #PMOTAre 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.

Please click here to download the eBook...

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 284: Project Management as a Career - The Wideman Education Foundation (Free)

Play Now:

Episode 284: Project Management as a Career - The Wideman Education Foundation (Free) #PMOTAre 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.

Joan Vincent (www.linkedin.com/pub/joan-vincent/4/902/531) is President of the Wideman Education Foundation (www.widemaneducationfoundation.org) whose goal is to promote sound project management principles and skills, especially among young people.

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.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 283: A Project Communication Design Success Story (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...

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

Episode 283: A Project Communication Design Success Story (Premium) #PMOT

In our last episode we learned from Mark Phillips (http://www.vertabase.com - https://www.linkedin.com/in/markphillipspm) how to use communication as a performance management tool. But how exactly do you do it…?

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.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)