The PM Podcast


Project Management Interviews for Beginners and Experts

Episode 200 Part 1: The Number One Challenge in Project Management Today (Free)

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200th Episode of The PM PodcastWhen I started thinking about what to do for episode 200 knew that I definitely didn’t want to do a self-congratulatory, anniversary episode. So I decided instead that I would be lazy, take a step back and ask 20 thought-leaders in project management one simple question:

In your opinion, what is the number one challenge that project management is facing today and how do we best address it?

The responses I received are as varied as the people I asked. In total we have over 1 hour of insights, which is why episode 200 consists of 4 parts. Parts 1-3 are all the audio responses and part 4 are the videos.

And now... without further ado here are

with their number one challenge and solution to project management today.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episodes #200. This is The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. Nice to have you with us for this milestone.

When I started thinking about what to do for Episode #200. I knew that I definitely didn’t want to do a self-congratulatory anniversary episode. So I decided instead that I would be lazy. Take a step back and ask 20 thought leaders in project management one simple question: In your opinion, what is the number one challenge that project management is facing today and how do we best address it?

The responses I received are as varied as the people I asked. In total, we have over 1 hour of insights which is why Episode 200 consists of 4 parts. Parts 1 to 3 are all the audio responses and part 4 are the videos that we received. And now, without further ado, here are Josh Nankivel, Mark Perry, Margaret Meloni, Tom Mochal, Max Wideman and Jason Westland with their number one challenge and solution to project management today.

Responses

Josh Nankivel: Hi! This is Josh from PMStudent.com and Cornelius asked me: In my opinion, what’s the number one challenge that project management is facing today and how do we best address it?

And really my answer to this I think it has not really changed that much in the past few years. I created a training course and an ebook at www.wbscoach.com and the reason why I did that is because I think that the primary challenge that projects in general have is that they don’t define their scope well. And there are a lot of things associated with that besides just the work breakdown structure. But the work breakdown structure is something in particular that in my experience, a lot of project managers do a bad job of essentially, not that they’re not trying to do a good job but if you don’t define your scope in a clear and concise terms in the beginning and really go through that process of working out exactly what the deliverables are that you are going to deliver to your customer and then decomposing what exactly it’s going to take to do all those things, even on an Agile project as well, then you’re going to be missing things and in my experience, that’s a lot of what happens when we have schedule overruns and cost overruns in projects is because things come up halfway through the project. Sometimes it’s like you’re almost done with a project and then you find out that these are the things that you didn’t even think of because you didn’t through this process of really thinking through what your scope needs to be on this project. So that’s the number one challenge I think I put on my course at www.wbscoach.com a couple of years ago but obviously not everybody has read it or read the book or gone through the trainings so I don’t think that we’ve solved it yet. But that’s probably the biggest thing. There are quite a few others obviously but if we can get clear on our scope, then we’ll be starting off on the right foot in terms of getting our projects completed with the right scope and on time and on budget.

Thank you!

Mark Perry: Hello! My name is Mark Perry and I would like to offer my congratulations to Cornelius Fichtner and The Project Management Podcast™ for having reached Episode #200. Congratulations! Well done and long live the pioneer and king of project management podcasting, Cornelius Fichtner.

You know I remember the very first episode of The Project Management Podcast™. It was the first time that I had heard of Cornelius Fichtner and of course it was the first time that I had heard his voice.

Now, I’m not one to comment about other people’s accents and manners of speech but how about that Cornelius Fichtner. If you are like me, you’d find the sound of Cornelius’ voice to be melodic and soothing yet full of passion and excitement. I absolutely enjoy listening to Cornelius.

Over the years, I have listened to him in the car, on the plane, doing yard work, and I’ve even listened to Cornelius at the golf driving range. So when Cornelius asked if I’d be interested in participating in the 200th episode of The Project Management Podcast™, I said “you bet”. Then I started to think about what I might say. And it didn’t take too long to decide upon a topic and that topic is top 10 tips for keeping your PMO passion.

For many PMOs and project organizations, it can be difficult to keep the passion alive. Unlike other organizations that are driven by mission-critical goals to the company such as making a sales quota or achieving a market-share target or attaining an earnings-per-share commitment. PMOs and project organizations usually do not have such blatant and heroic and public victories.

As a very talented group of quiet professionals, it can sometime be hard to keep the passion alive when you are involved with are issues and problems and in many situations unrealistic expectations by management and stakeholders and not enough commitment by those that have been assigned to your project.

So today, I would like to share with you my top 10 tips to keep your PMO and project management passion alive:

Tip 1: Integrate your passion into your work. For some lucky people, work is their passion. But for many others, work is work. It may or may not be the source of one’s passions. In fact, many times, it can be the drain in one’s passion. So take aim to recognize your many passions both professionally and personally and find ways to interweave these passions into your daily work life.

Tip 2: Eliminate irritating tasks. Make a list of the activities that you don’t like to do then assess the tasks on the list to determine which ones can be compartmentalized or even eliminated. Seek through the task that you hate but it must be done as quickly as possible so they don’t loom overhead to overcome overly burdensome.

Tip 3: Reacquaint yourself with your career. Take time to refresh yourself and reacquaint yourself with the reasons why you have chosen your career. Ask yourself what were your initial goals and motivations and the many things that changed overtime and write down all that you have accomplished. You might be both surprised and pleased with the outcome.

Tip 4: Be grateful. It is far too easy to overlook and take for granted that which we should be grateful for. A few can people can achieve extraordinary success all on their own. So be grateful to all those who have helped you.

Tip 5: Surround yourself with good people. Work with and surround yourself with passionate, motivated people just as positive attitude is contagious so to is a negative one. It can be like a deadly workplace virus affecting everyone that comes into contact with it.

Tip 6: Recognize your passion. Recognize that you have not one but multiple passions. Seek ways to integrate them into your work. There’s no better way to enhance productivity, morale and relationships in a workplace with others than to find and enjoy passions with one another.

Tip 7: Expect the encounter negativism. Not everyone is passionate. Some people are dispassionate and show little emotional involvement. Others can be skeptical or even negative. Though it can sometimes be frustrating to work with people with less than good attitudes and outlooks, you will encounter it. So therefore you must expect it.

Tip 8: A book a week keeps passion from getting weak. At just about any executive development and training program, you will hear how important it is to read at least one business book a week. There is no single and more effective technique to widen ones perspective, hone ones skills and to fuel ones passions than to read.

Tip 9: Spread the word. Part of being passionate is spreading your passion about the workplace amongst to others. Don’t keep your passion hidden away where only you will know about it. Don’t force it of course. Let it happen naturally. Others will not only notice but will join into.

And tip 10: Have faith in your passion. Oftentimes, passion does not always follow a straight line or easy path. There will be times when results are clearly not commensurate with effort and there will be other times when that which you are passionate about is not viewed the same way by others. So remember, if the object of your passion was easy to achieve then it would not have ever been a passion in the first place. Have faith in your passion and stay committed to getting it right. Results will follow.

Well my time is up now and I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips for keeping your PMO passion. This is a topic that is near and dear to me. And I can tell you as a colleague and friend of Cornelius Fichtner, it’s near and dear to him too.

Cornelius is one of the most passionate people I know and I think it is a key factor in his tremendous success. So let me close by congratulating Cornelius once again on just one of his many outstanding achievements --- the 200th episode of The Project Management Podcast™. Cornelius, thank you for letting me be part of this special episode. And now, I’ll turn the show back over to you.

Margaret Meloni: Hi! This is Margaret Meloni and you can find my website at www.margaretmeloni.com. It’s m-e-l-o-n-i and I wanted to address the question and give congratulations on this exciting episode of the Podcast and what do I think is the number one challenge project management is facing today and how do we best address it?

 

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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