PDUs: Leadership

Episode 399: Situational Project Management (Free)

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Oliver Lehmann
Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc., PMP

The one thing I really like about project management is how unpredictable my days can sometimes be. I come to the office in the morning with a clear plan of what we are going to do today, and then something happens.

Maybe something breaks, a critical resource is unexpectedly not available today, or -- even more normal -- the customer wants a change and he wants it now. I love this challenge, because as a project manager I now have to re-evaluate the situation and change my plans accordingly. That is situational project management.

However, there's more to situational project management than just responding with a knee-jerk reaction. These times demand situational awareness, skill and finesse from us project managers.

And so I’m very happy to welcome Oliver Lehmann (www.oliverlehmann.com -- www.linkedin.com/in/oliverlehmann/) who literally wrote the book on this topic. The book is called Situational Project Management the dynamics of success and failure.

PDU Tip

Most of this interview is on technical aspects, but a little over 15 minutes are on leadership topics. That is why you can claim 0.50 'technical' and 0.25 'leadership' PDUs.

Episode 398: Coaching, Mentoring, Training & Motivational Techniques (Free)

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Susanne Madsen
Susanne Madsen, Author

Every project that you and I have ever and will ever manage depends on people’s skills.

The sponsor relies on you as the project manager to successfully lead the team, you rely on the team to have what it takes to create all the deliverables at the required quality, and the end user -- the recipient of what you and the team deliver -- must have the skills to use the product you finally give them.

But what if the skills don’t match up to the tasks at hand? What if a team member is lacking a skill? What if the technology is so new and different that your users will have a hard time with it? The answer is of course leadership coaching, mentoring and training.

And there is no one better than Susanne Madsen (www.susannemadsen.com -- www.linkedin.com/in/susanne-madsen-1134312) who coaches and mentors project managers into project leaders to come on the program and help us understand these three similar yet different activities.

A coaching style of leadership can make a huge difference to how motivated and supported your team members feel when working on your project. And we know that better motivation tends to lead to higher engagement and therefore better outcomes. Ready to dive into this topic? It's a good one!

PDU Tip

This interview is 42:34 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.50 PDUs for listening to it, because in order to claim 0.75 PDUs the interview must be 45 minutes long. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the following article from Susanne about coaching and project management, then you can go ahead and claim 0.75 PDUs!

Click to read the article

Episode 394: Project Management is Hard. Complexity Makes it Even Harder. (Premium)

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Jordan Kyriakidis
Jordan Kyriakidis, CEO of QRA Corp

One thing that every project manager notices over the course of her or his career is this: We begin with managing relatively simple projects. Here we learn about the theory of project management, its good practices and how to apply them. And as we get better we are assigned to bigger and more important projects.

But in recent years you may have begun to notice that even though your projects may not have become any bigger their complexity has never the less steadily been increasing. In other words, if you took a project you managed 5 years ago and repeated it today in exactly the same way then the one thing that would definitely change is the complexity caused by an increase in interdependencies.

And that’s where Jordan Kyriakidis (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordankyriakidis/) and I are starting this interview. We are exploring why complexity is increasing, whether it is actually real or just a perceived problem, and what you can do about it.

PDU Tip

This interview is 29 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it, because in order to claim 0.50 PDUs the interview must be 30 minutes long. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read Jordan's related white paper, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PMP PDUs!

Click to download the white paper

Episode 390: Conflict Resolution on Multicultural Projects (Premium)

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Karin Bruennemann
Karin Brünnemann, PMP

Are you currently managing a multicultural project?

Well, no matter if you answered “yes” or “no” to this, today’s interview with Karin Brünnemann (https://www.linkedin.com/in/karinbrunnemann) is for you. We will look at what culture is, how cultural differences can lead to conflict, and how culture affects the various dimension of conflict on projects that we learned about when we last spoke to Karin. Most importantly, we will of course also discuss approaches for conflict resolution.

So… if you answered “Yes” to my questions “Are you currently managing a multicultural project?”, then you are going to learn a lot about culture, conflict and what to do about it.

And if you answered “No”, then you will learn that your answer was in fact wrong and that you should have answered “Yes” in the first place. You are in fact managing a multi-cultural project even if you don't think you are.

Episode 384: Situational Awareness for Project Managers (Free)

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Wanda Curlee
Wanda Curlee and Cornelius Fichtner

Every project manager needs to master situational awareness. That is because no two projects are perfectly alike. What worked last time may have to be tweaked next time. Even worse, what may have worked just yesterday may have to be tweaked today!

This interview about situational awareness with Wanda Curlee was recorded at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California. It was co-written and co-presented with Marie Sterling. Wanda and I discuss their presentation and white paper Situational Awareness. Do you have the Emotional Intelligence for it?. Here is the abstract:

This paper explores the relationship of situational awareness and emotional intelligence of portfolio, program, and project leadership. Included in the paper is an introduction to situational awareness, emotional intelligence, SAGAT, recommendations and details about the workshop exercise. Situational awareness plays a critical role in effective decision making, and more so in complex and challenging portfolio, program and project management environments. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the study of how in tune a person is with his or her own emotions and the ability to understand emotions of those around himself or herself. Through the use of a live training simulation, an individual’s level of situational awareness and their emotional intelligence will be determined.

Click to download the white paper

Episode 379: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership (Free)

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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 for project leaders 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

Episode 376: Influence Without Authority (Free)

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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".

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Episode 363: Supportive Leadership (Free)

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Joseph Flahiff
Joseph Flahiff, PMP, PMI-ACP

Have you heard of supportive leadership? I certainly had not. I knew what servant leadership was, but the concept of supportive leadership was a definite unknown.

But that changed when Joseph Flahiff (www.whitewaterprojects.com -- www.linkedin.com/in/josephflahiff) got in touch with me and suggested this interview. I was intrigued.

The good news is that Joseph is a prolific writer who has a number of articles on the topic. He reviews the concept from various angles and he also has a number of great examples of how he works with his customers to implement supportive leadership in their organizations and how he uses the concept as a project leader himself. In this edition of our leadership podcasts series you’ll learn how to incorporate all of this as part of your own project leadership almost right away.

And of course we will also touch upon the main difference between supportive leadership and servant leadership. You’ll be just as surprised as I was.

Episode 361: How to Become a Project Leader (Free)

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Niraj Kumar
Niraj Kumar, PMP

Leadership in project management is an important topic these days. And if you are like most project managers then you may have fallen into project management a bit by accident. And then, after you have successfully delivered a few projects, suddenly everyone tells you that you must improve your project management leadership skills.

Effective project management, they say, depends a lot on your project leadership, and we have many leadership podcasts in the archives to help you do that.

But today we are tuning in to another expert in the field. Once you realise that you have to transform into a project leader then leadership training will be part of your ongoing professional development, and that is where our guest can help.

Niraj Kumar (www.leadproje.com -- http://www.linkedin.com/in/thenirajkumar) is a leadership expert and proponent of self-growth through continuous learning. Together we explore his view on leadership, how these skills help you as a project manager, how they help you when dealing with senior executives. We talk about the power of project leadership and as always we include a lot of tips on how you yourself can improve how you approach project management and leadership starting today.

Leadership Checklist

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Episode 355: The Executive Table Needs Project Leadership (Free)

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Paul Williams, PMP
Paul R. Williams, PMP

It’s time. It’s time for strategic project management to be directly represented at the executive round table, in board meetings, and in the ‘C’-suite. It’s time for singular ownership and accountability for organizational strategic planning and execution. It’s time for dedicated focus on organizational resource planning, allocation and utilization. It’s time for focused attention regarding return on investment, earned value on execution, appropriate risk management and post-execution benefit capture. And finally, it’s time for single-sourced, unambiguous communication regarding strategic balance, allocation of resources and prioritization of the directives that constitute the portfolio of investments that the organization makes on its own behalf.

What you have just read is the opening paragraph of the article It’s Time for Project Leadership To Have A Seat At The Executive Table [Update: The web page is no longer available so we removed the link.] written by Paul Williams (http://www.thinkforachange.com/aboutpaul [Update: The web page is no longer available so we removed the link.]). In it, he emphatically argues that project management is just as important as any of the other more traditional business departments such as marketing, finance or operations.

In our interview, Paul and I review his general argument why project leadership needs a seat at the executive table, what the roles and responsibilities of our representative are, what skills he or she needs, and what you can do as part of your career planning to become that very person.

Episode 353: Leading Teams as an Enlightened Project Manager (Premium)

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Joe Drammissi, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Joe Drammissi, MSPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM

If our first discussion about Enlightened Project Management with Joe Drammissi, PMP (http://enlightenedpm.com/about) didn’t give you enough ideas on how to be more mindful and enlightened in your day to day work, then you definitely want to listen to this premium interview.

Because after a quick review of the enlightened project management concept, Joe is going to first talk about two more easy to apply techniques, and then we are going to go through about a dozen or so tips that I have selected from his book 101 Tips for the Enlightened Project Manager.

All geared at helping you increase your leadership skills.

Episode 350: Want to be a Great Project Leader? Start by being a Great Manager! (Premium)

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Shyam Ramanathan
Shyamsundar Ramanathan, PMP

Shyamsundar Ramanathan (http://maximisepotential.blogspot.com/, https://www.linkedin.com/in/shyamsundarramanathan) has been a manager and project leader for well over a decade and he says that he has enjoyed every minute of it. To him, our work is both an art and science. It has specific actions that need to be taken and the results will be predictable.

And in his article “9 Ways to Become a Great Manager” he argues the following:

“There is a lot of hot air around leadership and I totally agree that leadership is very important. However management is absolutely imperative to achieve the vision set by the leader. If we have a leader who can manage and a manager who can lead then we would have an ideal mix of traits to ensure the success of the organization. Sometimes management is also defined as getting the work done through others.”

What interested me about his article was to take it a step further and ask: Does being a great manager also help me in being a great project leader? And… Which management skills help me being a great project leader?

In other words, we will explore how management skills help us be great project leaders.

Shyam would like us to mention that the views he expresses in this interview are his own and not those of his employer.

Episode 349: Team Leadership for Virtual Teams in a Global Delivery Model (Free)

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Shyam Ramanathan
Shyamsundar Ramanathan, PMP

Global delivery models have changed the way IT services are delivered and many organizations use them. They are the way of the world. The significant benefits include the ability to provide round the clock services, ensure business continuity, level the playing field through best-in-class consulting, and finally provide key cost advantages for all organizations alike.

But there are also challenges, because we have now have virtual teams with its members around the world and we may never meet them. So what’s a project leader to do?

Shyamsundar Ramanathan (http://maximisepotential.blogspot.com/, https://www.linkedin.com/in/shyamsundarramanathan ) says that first of all, the key to success of this kind of delivery model is communication. And then he has seven specific recommendations that will help. In our interview we will define what the global delivery model is, briefly discuss DevOps and then get going with his recommendations and how they will help improve your effectiveness as a project leader of such a global team.

Shyam would like us to mention that the views he expresses in this interview are his own and not those of his employer.

Episode 348: A Project Success System (Premium)

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Ron Black
Ron Black

If you have listened to our previous interview with Ron Black (www.linkedin.com/in/ronblack), then you know that all of us are superheroes and that we need a plan. And of course - in the comic books - superheroes always win. But they can only win if they succeed. For us this means of course that we must focus on achieving project success.

Ron Black says that successful project management depends on us project leaders doing things right and knowing our project success factors.

And one of the chapters in his book Leadership - The Everyday Superhero's Action Guide to Plan and Deliver High-Stakes Projects talks about a success system for us project leaders. So in this interview we look at why high-visibility projects get more attention and discuss many project success criteria.

We do this once again by reviewing the "Super Power Points" that he offers at the end of each chapter to summarize the message.

Episode 347: Every Project Leader Needs a Project Plan (Free)

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Ron Black
Ron Black

This interview with Ron Black (www.linkedin.com/in/ronblack) is based on chapters two and three of his new book Leadership - The Everyday Superhero's Action Guide to Plan and Deliver High-Stakes Projects. Here is how Ron introduces the need for a project plan:

You're going to need a plan. No matter how urgent the moment may appear—stopping killer comet collisions, derailing evil tyrants from world domination, or dashing through security, grabbing a latte, and boarding your 5:31 AM flight in time to stow your roll-aboard in the last available space—you'll be more successful, more of the time, if you have a plan.

Leadership by Ron Black

In our discussion, Ron and I will focus on introducing you to his "Super Power Points". These are poignant one-liners (i.e. "To finish faster, start a little slower") that he offers at the end of each chapter to summarize the message.

We review each of the 15 points from the opening chapters and Ron gives us his insights and recommendations that show why even the best project leader needs a plan. You'll pick up some great insights to support your planning process, and I'm sure this interview will help you think about the perfect project planning questions to ask at your next team meeeting.

The tips you learn in this interview will help with how to facilitate productive project planning meetings and help you turn that project plan template into a fully-thought through document. Ready? Let's dive in.

Episode 342: Organizational Innovation is Driven by Business Analysis (Free)

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Elizabeth Larson
Cornelius Fichtner and Elizabeth Larson

This interview with Elizabeth Larson was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss her paper and presentation "I Don’t Have Time to Innovate: I’m Too Busy Doing Business Analysis" (Co-written with Richard Larson). Here is the paper's abstract:

Everyone seems to be talking about the importance of organizational innovation, as well as what it means for practitioners of business analysis. Are business analysis and innovation even compatible? This paper answers this question affirmatively: yes, they are. But what is innovation and how can business analysis practitioners help organizations innovate? Innovation may include process improvement as some have suggested. It also may include doing root cause analysis to identify problems and then finding solutions to those problems as others have claimed. And it can certainly include doing projects agilely, changing the features of the product being built as needs become known.

However, although each of these is an important factor in developing creative solutions, each by itself is probably not enough. Innovation requires us not only to spot all manner of opportunities, but also to use our influencing skills to convince the organization to seize them.

Episode 340: Project Manager Skills are Essential for Business Success (Free)

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Jack Ferraro
Cornelius Fichtner and Frank Saladis

This interview with Frank Saladis was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "The Indispensable Project Manager". Here is the paper's abstract:

Managing projects effectively has become essential in every organization large or small. The uncertainties of the world business economy, rapidly changing technology, and the intensifying focus on sustainability has driven many organizations to develop specific methods for managing projects and to seek highly qualified people to manage those projects.

These qualifications include the ability lead as well as to manage and create an environment of change readiness, attention to quality, and an awareness that self-development is a critical factor for success at both the personal and organizational level.

Today’s project managers must adapt to change, lead diverse teams, act as ambassadors for their organizations, and deal with a multitude of challenging project stakeholders. They must also continually enhance their knowledge about business, working with people, and how to maintain a reputation of professionalism, thought leadership, and ability to add value.

This paper addresses the importance of the professional project manager to any organization, and the need for the project manager to continually enhance existing skills, adapt to a changing business environment, and become a “go to” person in the organization. Emphasis is placed on understanding the needs of the organization, clearly and visibly creating value, and managing personal brand.

Part of being able to lead diverse teams is offering project manager coaching and mentoring to those in the team, be they your project management colleagues or team members. People in diverse project roles, or positions where project management is more recently established, such as the role of project manager in SAFe agile (although that is becoming more established now in organizations scaling agile) also benefit from the support of a strong leader.

Leadership and the personal qualities of a project manager are things we talk about regularly on our social media for project managers channels. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Enjoy the episode.

Episode 332: Project Sponsor Challenges and Solutions (Free)

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Todd Williams
Todd C. Williams - President and CEO at eCameron, Inc

What is the definition of the project sponsor role?

If you have an executive sponsor on your project and you have a documented and agreed upon project sponsor definition, then you are exceptional.

Why? According to Todd Williams’ (eCameron, Inc) latest white paper titled “Challenges in Executive Project Sponsorship” the lack of project sponsor roles and responsibilities is a major issue. It’s right up there with a lack of engagement, missing change management and the fact that executives don’t even acknowledge that these challenges exist to name just a few.

This executive sponsorship white paper is at the core of our discussion. Todd and I will review the identified challenges and give you the solutions he proposes. You’ll even get his definition of the role of project sponsor.

Here is a time-limited offer for all PM Podcast listeners who would like to read the white paper we discuss:

Download the white paper for free

Todd is making the white paper available for free to listeners of The PM Podcast:

  • Visit the white paper sales page
  • Click "Add to Cart"
  • Click "Proceed to Checkout"
  • Fill in the registration form + click Next
  • Apply the coupon code pmpodcast and the price now changes to $0
  • Complete the order process to receive / download your free copy

This offer expires on October 31, 2015.

Episode 331: Add Compassion to Your Project Manager Skill Set (Free)

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Margaret Meloni
Margaret Meloni - Project Management Coach

When you think of your project manager skills, then “compassion” is probably not the first word that comes to mind. You would probably first list some other hard project management tools and techniques like your scheduling abilities or completing your projects on scope and on budget.

And only if you keep adding words to this project management skills list will you eventually come to terms like conflict management, team building, empathy and compassion.

Margaret Meloni (http://www.margaretmeloni.com) says that we project managers should value compassion much more than we do.

If we are supposed to use compassion as one of our project management soft skills then we have to first define what it is, how it relates to project management and hear examples of how to use it on our projects. And that’s exactly what you are going to get from Margaret’s interview.

But the most important question that I have asked margaret is this: If compassion is truly so important for me as a project manager, how can I see quantifiable results on my projects?

Episode 330: Project Coaching makes you a better Project Leader (Freemium)

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Susanne Madsen, Author
Susanne Madsen - Author and Leadership Expert

Generally speaking there are six leadership styles: authoritative, democratic, affiliative, pace setting, commanding and coaching. Each one of these has its time and place.

But for you and me as project leaders, project management coaching should be at the top of our list. After all, it is the people working on our projects who get things done, so we want to unlock their potential.

And leadership coaching may just be the answer.

A little while back we had Susanne Madsen on one of our leadership podcasts to discuss how her Project Management Coaching Workbook can help unleash your potential. And today, we are going to do a deep dive into various coaching techniques and how it can make you a better project leader. The tips you'll pick up will help you get better at motivation and coaching skills and working with your colleagues.

Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Going beyond Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

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