The PM Podcast


Project Management Interviews for Beginners and Experts

Episode 279: The #1 Thing That Makes Your Virtual Project Meeting a Success (Premium) #PMOT

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Wayne TurmelToday we have Wayne Turmel (http://www.greatwebmeetings.com/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wayneturmel) back on the program to take another look at his book Meet Like You Mean It: A Leader's Guide To Painless And Productive Virtual Meetings.

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!

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Episode 278: Meet Like You Mean It - Virtual Project Meetings Made Easy (Free)

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Wayne TurmelIf you're going to bother holding a meeting, then you should meet like you mean it.

This statement comes from Wayne Turmel (http://www.greatwebmeetings.com/ - https://www.linkedin.com/in/wayneturmel) who has been speakinga and consulting on communications and successful meetings in particular for a very long time.

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.

Also, we are giving a way two copies of his book. Please go to http://www.facebook.com/pmpodcast, look for the giveaway announcement and participate. The drawing ends on August 1st, 2014.

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Episode 277: Too Many Projects Will Choke Your Business (Premium)

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david blumhorst tI have another great interview with David Blumhorst (http://blogs.daptiv.com/author/davidblumhorst/ - http://www.linkedin.com/in/dblumhorst/) from Daptiv for you. Of course, we continue on the theme of Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

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.

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Episode 276: What Does Project Success Really Mean? (Free)

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david blumhorst tDavid Blumhorst (http://blogs.daptiv.com/author/davidblumhorst/ - http://www.linkedin.com/in/dblumhorst/) from Daptiv is back on the program to discuss what project success really means.

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.

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Episode 275: Your Project Statement of Work is Missing a Comma! (Free)

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Todd C. WilliamsPrior 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.

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Episode 274: Risk Responses? You’ll Forget to Implement them. I Guarantee it! (Free)

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Dr David HillsonWe are once again on a call with Dr David Hillson (http://www.risk-doctor.com) to discuss project risk management.

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.

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Episode 273: How Risky is Your Project? Overall Project Risk Explained. (Premium)

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Dr David Hillson

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...

I also recommend that you read the following paper from David: http://risk-doctor.com/pdf-files/ADV05.pdf

And of course you can always stop by at the David Hillson Author Page on Amazon, where you will find all the books he has published.

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Episode 272: Opportunities - The Not So Ugly Stepchild of Risk Management (Free)

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Dr David Hillson

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:

Each of these briefings is related to the topic of our discussion.

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Episode 271: Agile Project Management Q&A (Free)

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In this video we answer the following questions about Agile Project Management from Alicia Aurichio, PMP:

  • What is the most common or widely-used form of Agile?
  • What types of industries are using Agile?
  • What are the success metrics of adopting Agile in the organization?
  • Some business groups are adopting "Agile" for business processes, as well. Is there an Agile business method that is different from the traditional Agile Software Development methodologies?
  • How do you obtain hands-on experience in Agile PM, if you are not currently working for an organization that uses agile?

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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