The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 382: Top Five Warning Signs that Agile Isn't Working (Free) #Agile #PMOT

Play Now:

Studying for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam? Get PMP Exam Prep on any mobile device!
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

NK Shrivastava
NK Shrivastava and Cornelius Fichtner

This interview about why Agile might be failing in your organization with NK Shrivastava was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss his presentation and white paper Top Five Warning Signs That Agile is Not Working for You. Here are the abstract and conclusion:

Abstract: There are good possibilities of success when adopting an agile approach in an organization, but five symptoms in particular serve as warning signs that the organization’s agile transformation is not working well.

The five warning signs include: (a) no signs of value delivery for over 3 months, (b) teams resisting customer changes, (c) teams “waterfalling” sprints, (d) customers foregoing involvement in development and testing, and (e) lack of visibility for agile in the organization. Potential solutions for these problems are also described in this paper. Many organizations can solve these problems internally, but sometimes an external resource such as a change agent or an agile coach is needed. By addressing these issues, organizations can increase the chances of a successful agile transformation.

Conclusion: Agile doesn’t work by itself. Organizations that implement agile with minimal team support and expect it to work perfectly “out of the box” will likely be disappointed. Successful agile adoption depends on factors at the organization and team levels. Organizations need the right mindset, a strong commitment, a culture conducive to implement agile, and the ability to secure resources and outside help as needed. Teams need the training, skills, and empowerment to absorb and implement agile principles. With these factors in place, organizations and teams should be able to build the foundation for agile success.

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 381: Scaled Agile for The Enterprise (Free)

Play Now:

Get Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam ready by putting PMP training in your pocket!
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Joy Beatty
Joy Beatty and Cornelius Fichtner

We continue our look at the topic of scaled agile that we started in the previous episode, this time by looking at "agiLE" - Agile in the Large Enterprise.

This interview about Scaling Agile with Joy Beatty, PMI-PBA was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss her presentation and white paper Making "agiLE" Work: Agile in the Large Enterprise. Here are the abstract and final thoughts:

Abstract: Almost all large enterprises are making some transition to agile practices. There are many approaches to scale agile in the large enterprise, and we’ll give an overview of the most common scaled approaches and their limitations. This paper also discusses the most common challenges our customers’ teams are facing when scaling agile and provides suggestions to overcome those challenges.

Final Thoughts: This sounds like a daunting task—to transition to agile approaches in a large organization. However, with solid collaboration and communication, it’s absolutely doable. Teams will constantly be collaborating through elicitation, answering questions, and testing the actual product. Business analysts have a critical role to play in keeping the collaboration running smoothly, including helping to facilitate backlog grooming and elaboration, participating in planning in sprints, working with interfacing teams to identify dependencies, and serving as a product owner proxy on any teams as needed. Likewise, project and program managers can act as advisors about appropriate levels of process, help guide projects toward common goals, and ensure a focus on prioritization based on business needs. Instead of instilling a hierarchical control between PMO and product owner, in agiLE the PMO and product owner work together to achieve the objective. The real goal for agiLE teams is self-organization and creativity, while still contributing as a part of a large organization

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 380: Scaled Agile (Free)

Play Now:

Studyng for your Project Management Professional (PMP)®? Put PMP training in your pocket!
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Andy Burns
Andrew Burns and Cornelius Fichtner

Agile began with the promise to make smaller project teams more able to react to ever changing customer requirements. But what if your project is big? I mean really, really big. Can we have scaled agile?

This interview about Scaling Agile with Andrew Burns, PMI-ACP, PMP, was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss his paper and presentation Dragon Scales: 50 Teams Scrumming -- Implementing Adaptive Project Management Practices at Scale. Here is the abstract:

Product portfolios can easily scale to 50 teams or more in meeting large organizations’ needs. Large portfolios with strong foundations are derived through values-based leadership. The technique links corporate and individual values to scientific principles. Scientific principles inform us that change is constant and therefore adaptation defines good practices. Values-based leadership’s agile practices take root, thrive, and adapt at the pace of business change.

The three-hundred software engineers considered herein innovated within a portfolio of 18,000 colleagues. Their agile, adaptive product development practices continue to evolve from plan-driven provenance. Leveraging agile practices at the portfolio, program, and project level continually unleashes innovation, quality, and throughput of value. Though contextualized in terms of software product development in the 2010s with Scrum, the message of innovation through values-based adoption of scientific principles is timeless and framework unallied. Implementation of practices observant of values and principles endures as a way to deliver the best products regardless of toolset.

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 379: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership (Free)

Play Now:

Need Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam training? Have you considered PMP exam prep on your phone?
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

K. Wasson
Kim Wasson and Cornelius Fichtner

At its core project management is all about effectively leading your team. Therefore emotional intelligence for project managers and project leaders can be just as important (if not more) than knowing how to interpret the latest earned value data.

This interview about emotional intelligence in project management with Kim Wasson was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss her paper and presentation One Unhappy Person Can Ruin Your Beautiful Plan -- Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. Here is the abstract:

Just one unmotivated person on your team can bring everything crashing down. Unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and lack of motivation are highly contagious; ‘one person’ quickly turns into an unhappy and possibly dysfunctional team.

We're all focused on getting the process right and there’s no doubt that process is important. What many of us don’t take into account is that the success of most projects depends largely on the teams actually doing the work Process is important but it’s not going to build anything on its own – it’s a team of satisfied, competent people working together who will actually deliver a product.

The people side of the project management equation is critical. Managing effectively requires the ability to understand individuals and teams, establish working relationships, manage goals, and motivate team members. Effective tools and techniques discover what makes the team members and the team itself tick, to communicate effectively with many different people both one-on-one and as a group, and to generally balance the process part of the equation with the people part of the equation are critical to project success.

PDU Tip

This interview is 24 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 378: Project Metrics (Free)

Play Now:

Preparing for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam? Try PMP certification training on your phone, tablet or PC:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Denise McRoberts
Denise McRoberts and Cornelius Fichtner

Setting up a PMO usually means setting up some Project Management KPI (Key Performance Metric). But which?

This interview about PMO metrics with Denise McRoberts was recorded at the PMI® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. We discuss her paper and presentation "Meaningful Metrics -- The Path toward Measuring what Matters". Here is the abstract:

"The project management office (PMO) was in a rut. The number of projects in work at any one time was increasing; project managers were routinely reporting that all was well while schedules slipped, and there was limited understanding of true project costs." Does this sound all too familiar? In this session, attendees will learn some innovative methods to implement metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to better understand your organizational weaknesses and how to overcome them. This session will provide a case study on how a PMO did just that, with plenty of practical examples

You will learn what makes a 'good' metric, how metrics should be developed, and that we also need specific project metrics and project portfolio metrics.

Click to download the white paper Click to download the handout with metric samples

Continue Reading

Episode 377: The PMI Educational Foundation (Free)

Play Now:

Preparing for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam? Try PMP exam prep on your phone, tablet or PC:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Suketu Nagrecha
Suketu Nagrecha and Cornelius Fichtner

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® Educational Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization, with the mission to inspire and empower people to realize their potential and transform their lives and their communities through the use of project management knowledge. This interview with Suketu Nagrecha, PMIEF Chair, was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss:

  • The history of PMIEF
  • How PMIEF can help you with
    - Scholarships
    - Grants
    - Awards
  • How you can apply for a scholarship, grant, or award
  • How your or your employer can become a PMIEF donor
  • And we'll hear a story from a project manager whom PMIEF helped in his career

Full disclosure: My own company is a PMIEF donor and offers certification scholarships. If you are thinking of earning a PMI scholarship but lack the means to do so then please visit https://www.project-management-prepcast.com/scholarships to learn how to apply.

Continue Reading

Episode 376: Influence Without Authority (Free)

Play Now:

Preparing for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam? Get Affordable PMP training on your phone, tablet or PC:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Kristine Munson
Kristine Hayes Munson and Cornelius Fichtner

Sharp influencing skills are a major factor that help project managers succeed. This interview about leading without authority with Kristine Hayes Munson was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss her paper and presentation "Getting Things Done -- Influence Without Authority". Here is the abstract:

"Project managers frequently face the dilemma of how to accomplish the project’s work without having any functional authority. Resources assigned to the project report to someone else who writes performance appraisals and recommends pay increases. In addition, resources may be assigned to multiple projects with competing priorities. Project managers must rely on their ability to influence others to get work done in a timely and thorough fashion.

This paper explores the influence cycle and the associated skills to be used by project managers in order to get things done using influence rather than authority. Five stages comprise the influence cycle: (1) prepare, (2) ask, (3) trust, (4) follow up, and (5) give back."

The paper concludes that in regards to leadership without authority "Developing influence skills is hard work and takes conscious effort. The influence cycle is designed to be repeated for each project in order to help us as project managers continue to improve our influence skills. Our success as project managers and the success of our projects depends on our ability to use influence to get things done".

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 375: Project Assumptions (Free)

Play Now:

Need Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam training? Here is affordable PMP exam prep on your phone, tablet or PC:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Beth Spriggs
Beth Spriggs and Cornelius Fichtner

This interview about assumptions in project management with Beth Spriggs was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss her paper and presentation The Risky Business of Assumptions - Uncovering the Truth, as We Assume It to Be. Here is the abstract:

We all hold assumptions, then make decisions and take actions based on those assumptions without verifying their validity. Worse is when other people hold assumptions about our work and we don’t know it. This can impact user adoption, timeline, scope, quality, and overall project success. Not to mention personal frustration, stress, and desires to pull out one’s own hair.

Unchecked assumptions can be very dangerous in the workplace. We should be mindful of some common assumptions and actively work to uncover assumptions. Doing so will bolster project work and open up new paths for identifying risks.

Some project assumption examples that Beth introduces us to are assuming a project or task is easier or faster than it actually is, assuming priorities are aligned and haven't changed, and assuming who owns, or is responsible for, what.

Very importantly the paper and discussion also include a section about uncovering assumptions. Here, Beth offers us 5 ideas on how to develop and expand our project assumptions list.

PDU Tip

This interview is 23 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 374: Benefit Management for Projects in Action (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...

For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam use PMP exam prep on your phone with The PM PrepCast:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Dave Davis Project Manager
Dave Davis, PMP, PgMP, PBA

When we last spoke with Dave L Davis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dldavispmp) we learned about the basics of benefits realisation and benefits realisation management? We discussed the benefits management process and focused on the important aspect of how all of this fits into project benefits management.

Now that we understand the theory of benefits realization management it’s time to take the next step and ask “How do we actually do all of this”. Luckily, Dave has a lot of experience in applied benefit management and he happily agreed to this second interview, so that we can take a look at a case study.

You’ll hear how we project managers are involved in the overall process, the importance of engaging stakeholders, how to ensure alignment between benefit management and organizational strategy, and of course, we will also look at metrics.

Continue Reading

Episode 373: Stuck on your Project? Get Un-Stuck with ProjectManagement.com (Free)

Play Now:

The best Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam prep is PMP Training on your mobile device:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Danielle Ritter
Dani Ritter and Cornelius Fichtner

This interview with Dani Ritter was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. Dani is the Manager, Community Engagement at Project Management Institute and her primary focus is the PM community of www.projectmanagement.com.

In the interview we discuss:

  • Why projectmanagement.com is at the congress
  • Its mission and relationship to PMI
  • How much it costs being a member (spoiler alert: it's free!)
  • The available resources, some of which are free PM templates, white papers, or webinars
  • How the community can help you if you have a PM related question
  • The online games (PM Wars and PM Challenge) that it offers
  • How members can get the most out of the site
  • How anyone can earn free PDUs by reading articles and attending virtual events

PDU Tip

This interview is 14 minutes 46 seconds long. This means that you can "legally" not claim any PDUs at all, because the minimum is 15 minutes for 0.25 PDUs. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also visit the site and spend at least 14 seconds reviewing all the great templates that they offer, then you can go ahead and claim 0.25 PMP PDUs in the technical category!

Click to visit the website

Continue Reading

Episode 372: Stakeholder Analysis Reduces Project Risk (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Get your PMP PDUs:
Agile PrepCast PDU

David Hillson
Dr. David Hillson and Cornelius Fichtner

This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss his paper and presentation My Stakeholders are my biggest risk -- help!. Here are two passages from the paper:

Abstract:

Stakeholders can pose a real risk to our projects—at least some of them can—and project managers and their teams need to be aware of this and take steps to control risks to their project that arise from risky stakeholders. As with all risks, stakeholders present both positive as well as negative risks, and we need robust ways of identifying which stakeholders offer opportunities, and where potential threats might lie.

This paper presents a structured way of identifying risky stakeholders based on a best-practice stakeholder analysis model (The Stakeholder Cube). It explains how risky stakeholders might influence a project based on their power, interest, and attitude. Finally, the paper shows how applied emotional literacy can be proactively used to influence risky stakeholders in order to optimize the outcome for the project.

Conclusion:

A risk is any uncertainty that could affect achievement of project objectives. Some of the biggest risks in projects arise from stakeholders, and project managers and their teams need to be aware of these risks and manage them proactively. As with all risks, there are both positive and negative stakeholders, and it is important to identify which stakeholders offer opportunities, and where potential threats might lie—and then act appropriately.

David is retiring and this was his last active participation at a PMI Global Congress in North America. He plans on continuing to attending the EMEA congresses and he has offered to be available for interviews over Skype in the future.

PDU Tip

This interview is 26 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the white paper on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!

Click to download the white paper

Continue Reading

Episode 371: PMBOK 6th Edition (Free)

Play Now:

This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast. Earn 37 PDUs::
Agile PrepCast PDU

Cyndi Snyder Dionisio
Cyndi Snyder Dionisio and Cornelius Fichtner

This interview with Cyndi Snyder Dionisio was recorded at the 2016 PMI Global Congress in San Diego, California. We discuss her presentation "PMBOK® Guide -- Sixth Edition: Preview of Coming Attractions". Here is the session description:

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is being updated as we speak, and the Sixth Edition will soon be published. This session provides insights into the new edition, including a peek at a new chapter on the role of the project manager. For each Knowledge Area, there are new sections describing key concepts, emerging trends, and tailoring considerations, as well as updates to ensure the PMBOK® Guide remains relevant to most projects, most of the time. Come and find out what to expect!

Cyndi was the chair of the team that worked on updating the guide and in her presentation (as well as in this interview) she introduces us to the publication timeline as well as many of the changes that are coming our way. This was of particular interest to me professionally, because the guide is a central text that we use in our PMP certification training for our students.

More About PMBOK 6

If you would you like to know more about what's coming in the new version, when and how it will be released and when the PMP exam will change to the new standard, then please click to visit our PMBOK 6 article.

Continue Reading

Episode 370: Benefits Realisation for Project Managers. An Introduction. (Free)

Play Now:

Get The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam on your mobile device:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Dave Davis Project Manager
Dave Davis, PMP, PgMP, PBA

Here is the first sentence in Mark Langley’s foreword of the in-depth report Delivering Value - Focus on Benefits during Project Execution, which PMI published as part of it’s Pulse of the Profession Series:

A project is truly successful only if it delivers the benefits an organization envisions.

Mark Langley, PMI President and CEO

At first glance this sentence is awfully obvious to us project managers. But having good and successful benefits realization management and thereby turning this statement into a reality is what makes our job so hard. And rewarding.

So what exactly are benefits realisation and benefits realisation management? Is there a benefits management process and how does all of this fit into project benefits management?

How about if I let Dave L Davis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dldavispmp) explain it all to you? He has authored one of the articles in that Pulse of the Profession report from where I took the earlier quote. The article is titled “The Benefits Management Journey” and serves as our guide.

We’ll learn what exactly benefits realization management is, review the process of implementing it on projects, meet the people involved, and we’ll even talk about tools.

And at the very end of this episode you’ll learn that even failings project have benefits

Continue Reading

Earning PDUs? Use the Correct PDU Logfile!

Play Now:

Are you using The PM Podcast to earn your PDUs? Then please make sure that you are using the correct PDU tracking logfile:

Download The PM Podcast PDU Logfile (XLSX) and track each episode you listen to. The better you document your learning activities the more you can give evidence to PMI that you have indeed subscribed and listened to The PM Podcast during an audit.

And for all the details about this, please visit our PDU tutorial and learn How to Earn 60 Free PDUs.

We Recommend the following books and courses from our partners:

  • Do you need to know how to create a WBS? If so then The WBS Coach from Margaret Meloni is for you. Originally created by Josh Nankivel, this is the best WBS training that you will find.
  • The Project Management Answer Book is written by Jeff Furman and currently has a 5-star rating in Amazon. It is an excellent PMP Book that should be on the reading list of anyone preparing for the exam. We even have and interview with Jeff about his book. Click here to listen to the interview...

Disclaimer: We do not earn any commission by recommending these products.

×
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
Please tell me what you think!
Would you please take a moment to tell me what you think of The PM Podcast by leaving your review / testimonial?
Thank you!
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM