The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Special: Sensible PM Podcast - PMI's Project Management Certifications (Free) #PMOT

Play Now:

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

Mark Phillipy

In this special episode we introduce you to Mark Phillipy who is the host of The Sensible Project Manager Podcast). Mark invited myself and Kevin Reilly to the program to discuss all eight PMI certification exams.

Here is what Mark wrote about this discussion:

The Project Management Institute (PMI) has seven certifications for project managers and one for business analysts. Cornelius Fichtner and Kevin Reilly join Mark to discuss these certifications and end up providing details about each certification.

This episode was a recording of #PMHangout 40 which was held as part of the Sensible Project Manager Hangout Community hosted on Google+ Hangouts On-Air.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 310: Conscious Software Development (Free)

Play Now:

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

Michael Smith

In November of 2014 I was one of 21 speakers for the Conscious Software Development Telesummit (conscioussoftwaredevelopment.com). My topic was "Project Management will Make Me a Better Developer... Right?".

Now you might think that conscious software development is not for you, because you don’t really know what it means, it sounds a bit "new age" and it’s not about project management! And frankly, that’s how I felt at first as well. But then I saw that nearly half of the presenters of the telesummit had been previous guests here on the project management podcast. They were all presenting their unique view of how project management and software development can work together.

And so when Michael Smith (www.linkedin.com/in/abundantmichael) -- the organizer of the event -- asked to be a guest here for you I immediately said yes. And it turned into a great and valuable conversation for you.

We’ll begin by defining what conscious software development is, how it relates to project management as well as current world shifts, and we close with tips for how you can foster consciousness in both yourself (as a project manager) and also in your teams that very likely include software developers.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 309: The Power of Project Leadership (Free)

Play Now:

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

Susanne Madsen

Susanne Madsen (www.susannemadsen.com) is back on the show today to talk about many of the leadership concepts she puts forward in her new book titled The Power of Project Leadership. And we have a lot of great tips for you -- all taken from the book.

Here is a quote about Susanne’s book:

Managing projects is exciting and fun. But there comes a moment in every project manager’s career when you realize that there must be more than just bringing tasks to completion. This is the moment when you realize that you want to go from project manager to project leader, which is when you have to pick up The Power of Project Leadership. Susanne Madsen’s book is an in-depth road map that shows you exactly how to re-invent yourself and go from managing your projects at the task level to leading them through vision and empowerment.

So in our interview you can look forward to hearing Susan recommend what she would like you to do differently in regards to leadership, how you can transform your leadership style, discover three of the seven keys to project leadership from the book, and as always we close the interview with a number of tips for you to implement right away.

Continue Reading

Write comment (2 Comments)

Episode 308: Managing Projects in the highly Creative and Dynamic Marketing Environment (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

Maria Kozlova

Are you managing projects in marketing? If yes, then… perfect. Because this interview is for you with tips and tricks and insights. And if your answer is no, then… it’s still for you!

And that’s because because marketing projects and the approaches used are not that different. Maria Kozlova (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maria-kozlova/9/76/336) from Comindware speaks to this at the very start of the interview when she emphatically says that the ideas we talk about translate quite well.

And so even though we focus on marketing projects, by the end of the discussion you will agree that project management offers powerful capabilities of organizing how your team, department or company is working. As with any other business management solution, the methodology and the software need to be selected to best fit your specific business case and objectives like improved team performance, process transparency or financial savings.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 307: Four Ways to Build and Maintain High-Performing Teams (Free)

Play Now:

Maria Kozlova

Individuals make up our project teams, and we project managers, all too often, are gauged based on what these teams can accomplish, which is why building and maintaining high-performing teams should always be a priority for you and me.

How to do this was recently described in an article titled Four Ways to Build and Maintain High-Performing Teams. And so I’m very pleased to welcome Maria Kozlova (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maria-kozlova/9/76/336) from Comindware on the show today to discuss these four ways.

Oh… and spoiler alert… one of them is collaboration.

Continue Reading

Write comment (4 Comments)

Episode 306: A Project Using Building Information Modeling (Free)

Play Now:

Joy GumzPam Welty

Joy Gumz Pam Welty

This interview with Joy Gumz (www.projectauditors.com) and Pam Welty (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/pam-welty/25/230/755) was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona.

This interview is based on the case study presentation "Managing the Devilish Details: A Case Study on Using BIM". In both the presentation and our interview Joy Gumz and Pam Welty discuss how BIM is being used during the design and construction of an office building in San Francisco, California.

We review what BIM is (according to the BIM Handbook it is "a modeling technology and associated set of processes to produce, communicate, and analyze building models"), we hear how it was used during design and construction, and we discuss why BIM was a major factor in the overwhelming success of the project.

We recommend that you watch the Bim In Action Video before listening to this interview because BIM is a very visual approach. And by spending 2 minutes to watch the video first you will have a better understanding of what BIM can do.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 305: Managing Stakeholders as Clients (Free)

Play Now:

Mario Trentim and Cornelius Fichtner

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

Most of us rely on soft skills, communication and leadership to manage stakeholders. But while they're helpful, interpersonal skills are far from being the sole way to implement stakeholder management. As a matter of fact, there are hard skills in stakeholder management - tools, techniques and methods that should be diligently applied to enhance stakeholder management and improve project success rates.

In this interview we learn how Mario Trentim stopped the trend of failing projects when he was a PMO manager by researching better ways to manage stakeholders. We discuss an effective stakeholder management cycle and framework as well as how to involve stakeholders in value creation.

Encouraged by the success of his findings Mario went ahead and wrote a book about it. It is titled Managing Stakeholders As Clients: Sponsorship, Partnership, Leadership, and Citizenship. He was invited to The PMI Global Congress to present these findings because he won the prestigious Kerzner award, which recognizes a project manager who most emulates the professional dedication and excellence of Dr. Harold Kerzner.

Continue Reading

Write comment (2 Comments)

Episode 304: Planning and Controlling Megaprojects (Free)

Play Now:

Frank Parth

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

Multiple independent research efforts are beginning to show a more consistent approach to developing successful megaprojects in the areas of oil/gas, mining, and construction projects than have been used in the past. These megaprojects are characterized by high value (often defined as greater than $1 billion), comparably high benefits, years-long timelines, and correspondingly high risk. While there have been great advances in both project management methodologies and in the tools the project managers have available (such as CAD/CAM, BIM, and advanced project scheduling and budgeting tools), the complexity of these multi-year programs has advanced even more quickly than the tools have. Construction and engineering projects have become more complex and ambitious faster than our ability to manage them. Oil/gas/infrastructure projects now are much longer in duration and far more complex than even ten years ago, with concomitant increased risks and failures. The International Energy Agency estimates that meeting global energy needs will require investing more than $17 trillion by 2030.

In this interview Frank Parth (http://www.projectauditors.com) looks at the classical project management approaches that focus on delivering the final product within cost and schedule constraints once the project enters the execution phase. We talk about multiple lines of research that show that the ultimate success of a complex program has very little dependency on how the program is managed once the construction phase begins and far greater dependency on what happens before that phase begins. If a $10 billion dollar refinery runs late and over budget, the failure has started long before the project schedule was created or the engineering/procurement/construction (EPC) process began. All of the serious research in this area shows that the only part of the effort where traditional project management approaches make sense in the later stages, the engineering and EPC stages. Earlier phases take a different approach to ensure success.

Furthermore we discuss an overview of current project management practices; current research on megaprojects; development stages for efforts on this scale; and some recommendations.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 303: Agile Transformation Lessons from an Ancient Greek (Free)

Play Now:

Brian Irwin and Cornelius Fichtner

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

While organizations might find it easier to first address the processes and tools they will use when they’re delivering agile projects, it is individuals and their interactions that ultimately determine the level of enduring agile success an organization is able to realize. The change required to enable long-term agility is cultural in nature. For change to occur, the beliefs and values held by individuals in the organization must be examined.

Organizational change cannot be mandated through top-down edicts and policy. An environment that fosters both individual and organizational transformation must be created. One way to help individuals through a change of this magnitude is through the use of deep questioning which is born out of genuine curiosity.

In his presentation at the congress (and also in our interview) Brian Irwin outlines a method of critical thinking through the use of Socratic questioning to enable individual, guided discovery and provides an example of its use.

Continue Reading

Write comment (2 Comments)

Episode 302: Con Artists, Swindlers & Project Managers (Free)

Play Now:

Jim DePiante and Cornelius Fichtner

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

If securities dealers sold securities the way we project managers sell our projects, the authorities would throw those securities dealers in jail.

A project has all the characteristics of any investment. There is the asset itself, the price, the return and the risk associated with the return. How is it then that project managers routinely “sell” investments without knowing the price, nor what the asset or its return will be, all with a straight face and without going to jail!?

Projects must be understood as investments. It’s not enough to say that a project is like an investment. A project is an investment, strictly speaking. In this interview, we review the four characteristics of an investment/project.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 301: How to Manage the Risks You Didn’t Know You Were Taking (Free)

Play Now:

David Hillson and Cornelius Fichtner

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

When most people talk about risk in projects, they are thinking only about uncertain future events that would have a negative effect on achievement of project time and cost objectives. However the definition of risk in the risk chapter of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge includes much more than mere threats to the project schedule or budget, and other risk standards agree. If we limit our view of risk to look at only one part of the risk picture, we will not be proactively managing all the risks that might affect the success of our project, and we will end up taking risks without knowing it.

In this interview with David Hillso we explore the other types of risk that are usually missed from the typical risk process. Drawing on leading thinking and current best practice, we explore the full range of project risks that need to be managed, starting from the proto-definition of risk as “uncertainty that matters”.

Risks that matter include those with positive effects as well as those with negative effects (opportunities as well as threats). They can also affect any project objective, not just time or cost.

In addition, uncertainty in projects arises from much more than future uncertain events (“stochastic risks”). Other sources of uncertainty include variability (“aleatoric risk”), ambiguity (“epistemic risk”), and emergence (“ontological risk”).

With illustrative examples of each type of risk, and practical response strategies for managing them, this interview helps us to identify all types of risk that might affect our projects, and offers ways for us to tackle them effectively.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 300: Ask Me Anything (Free)

Play Now:

300 Episodes of The Project Management Podcast
Click to view the mosaic...

Episode 300! Who would have thought back in 2005 when I bought myself a cheap Logitech desk microphone to record the first episode that this little hobby of mine would take all of us to this point here. I certainly had no such expectations.

And for this 300th episode I decided to turn the tables. This is our very first “Ask Me Anything” episode. So I reached out to ten project managers who were guests previously here on the show, and I asked them to send me their question. The question could either be personal or project management related.

And because I contacted ten project managers and asked each of them to send me one question I did of course end up with 15 questions. Talk about scope creep!

Here are my guests and their questions:

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)

Episode 299: How We All Benefit from PMI's Academic and Educational Programs (Free)

Play Now:

Michael DePrisco and Cornelius Fichtner

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

Generally speaking, the Project Management Institute (PMI) focuses it's work on three markets: Practitioners, Organizations and Academic. Michael DePrisco is Vice President Academic and Educational Programs for PMI and so our discussion centers around the Academic Market.

In the course of this discussion we touch upon The PMI Education Foundation (http://pmief.org/), PMI's large academic research programs, the Global Accreditation Center, and PMI's involvement in academic outreach. Michael closes the interview by reviewing a number of the benefits that PMI creates through all of these programs.

My personal big takeaway from this discussion was that even though "Academic" doesn't sound like the "sexiest" of PMI's three markets it is the one that's at the cutting edge of project management. Through research programs, global accreditation and outreach PMI creates value for all practitioners in the world.

Continue Reading

Write comment (0 Comments)