Rich Maltzman (LinkedIn Profile) and Jim Stewart (LinkedIn Profile) are back on the program today to talk about Goblins… no… wait… [furiously checks notes]... Ahhh… no. Sorry. My fault. No goblins today.
Instead, the focus is on preparing a facilitated project planning meeting. We look at resolving any looming unaddressed issues before the meeting starts, how to make sure that the financial investment of a planning meeting actually pays off, and then Rich and Jim talk us through about 8 actionable activities they recommend you do in order to plan the meeting right. These tips are important to get the most out of your meeting so you come out of it with enough useful information to create a realistic project plan.
Planning your project right from the start is a big factor for future success. It’s definitely not everything, but doing the planning right goes a long way. And most planning is done in meetings. And that again means that you really want to make sure that those meetings deliver.
We have chosen to focus on chapter 6 “The Zen of Facilitation”. We talk about what is wrong with the way many planning meetings are being facilitated today, what facilitation and facilitative style means, and we have many good tips for you. And yes… we will talk about the goblins.
What you'll learn in this interview will help you put together a better and more accepted project plan.
Lastly here is what one reviewer on Amazon wrote: This book read [sic] better than a textbook as it was full of humor and step-by-step tips for immediate application. The authors provide insight on Agile project planning, tips on facilitating status meetings and lessons learned meetings, and even their appendices provide additional information on topics such as Project Management 101, meeting war stories, and access to their templates.
Congress presenters reveal their most important interpersonal skill
Last year at the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Congress 2016 in San Diego, California I recorded an all time high of 14 interviews. They have all been published over the past few months and you’ve probably heard some or all of them. But what you don’t know is what happened once each interview was complete.
I pressed the recording button one more time and asked each of my guests the following question: Which is the interpersonal skill that you attribute the most of our success in your career to? In other words, what skill has helped you most on your projects when you interact with others?
And today you are going to get all the answers. In one nice mashup. Here are all the presenters in the order you will hear their answers
Kristy Tan Neckowicz
Kristine Hayes Munson
Cyndi Snyder Dionisio
Oh, and spoiler alert... the answer that I received most often was "Relationships".
It's not a surprise to me, a this comes up time and time again in the things we see on social media for project managers, and you'll have picked up the trend in my past interview. Whether you are leading a PMO, directing a huge project, taking part in an IT software development initiative, or working in the role of project manager in SAFe agile, or any other project role, relationships are the things that power our success. Project manager coaching and mentoring can only get you so far. Building effective working relationships with your colleagues is what really makes the difference. But I have a feeling you might have already known that!
To get you started on the right foot for 2016 we are offering an exclusive arrangement with Neal Whitten: All PM Podcast listeners who use the coupon code "pmpodcast" when purchasing a Neal Whitten eLearning Course from Velociteach will receive a 25% discount.
Scroll down to the orange boxes with Neal's courses
Select the course(s) you want
Use coupon code pmpodcast during checkout
Offer Valid from January 1, 2016 to March 31, 2016
This includes the course "Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance" which is the basis for our interview with Neal in episode 344. Here is what Neal has to say about that particular course:
The session I conducted at the PMI® 2015 North American Congress was called: Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance. It was one of the most popular sessions with over 250 people attending—of which only five hands were raised indicating that they were satisfied with their work-life balance. That’s about two percent. Of course, these folks selected this session because of their current dissatisfaction with their work-life balance.
The session was based on a new eLearning course (2.5 PDUs) I developed in partnership with Velociteach, a bellwether project management training company. The course is the same name as the session. Here is a description of the eLearning course:
If you have difficulty in juggling the demands of your job and your non-work life, you’re not alone. Many people feel like their lives are overcommitted and see no relief in sight. Nowadays work-life balance can seem like an unrealistic objective and can seem more elusive than ever. I have personally wrestled with my own work-life balance issues for most of my adult life but—as a senior-aged person—I have learned a massive amount of knowledge and, dare I say, wisdom, about the highly important subject of finding a satisfactory harmony across all aspects of life. I have also read the research and musings from many valuable contributors that have opened my eyes even wider on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. My mission here is to sift through the data and present to you meaningful information that can help you not only better understand your work-life balance but to give you ideas that can help you achieve the integration that is most important to you.
Listeners of The PM Podcast receive a 25 percent discount on all my eLearning courses (there are ten as of right now) by simply using the coupon code “pmpodcast” when they purchase a course through Velociteach.
This interview with Neal Whitten was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance". Here is the paper's abstract:
If you have difficulty in juggling the demands of your job and your non-work life, you’re not alone. Many people feel like their lives are overcommitted and see no relief in sight. Nowadays, work-life balance can seem like an unrealistic objective and can seem more elusive than ever.
I have personally wrestled with my own work-life balance issues for most of my adult life, but—as a senior-aged person—I have learned a massive amount of knowledge and, dare I say, wisdom, about the highly important subject of finding a satisfactory harmony across all aspects of life. I have also read the research and musings from many valuable contributors that have opened my eyes even wider on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. My mission here is to sift through the data and present to you meaningful information that can help you to not only better understand your work-life balance, but can also give you ideas that can help you to achieve the integration that is most important to you.
This interview with Jesse Fewell was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Can You Hear Me Now? Working with Global, Distributed, Virtual Teams". Here is the paper's abstract:
Today's work world has changed radically. Whether video chatting with China or taking a call at from home, more and more professional work is no longer in person. It can be frustrating, but a deeper look reveals some surprises: Everyone is doing it, and not just for costs; many organizations are thriving with it. Most pain points have simple work-arounds. This paper will walk you through tips and benefits for working with people outside your office.
With the rise of the Internet, emerging economies, and the trend of working from home, today’s professionals are dealing with a workplace that is very different from anything the world has ever seen. Never before in the history of mankind have we been able to conduct so much work, so quickly, with so many people outside our own location.
Of course, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. We struggle with time zone issues, language barriers, limited visibility, poor infrastructure, and so on and so on. Sometimes we choose remote teams intentionally for their benefits. But often, this kind of organizational structure is handed to managers and team members without choice.
This paper is about how to deal with all those issues and strengthen your teams.
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.
This interview with Richard Larson was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Entrepreneurial Business Analysis Practitioner" (Co-written with Elizabeth Larson). Here is the paper's introduction:
Given both authors are entrepreneurs and have done extensive business analysis work, it seems logical for us to write about this topic. But, why bother? What possibly could be relevant about entrepreneurialism for a business analyst or project manager? For starters, entrepreneurship is an increasingly attractive career option within an organization and as a start-up, and is more and more viable with each passing year. Even if we are not interested in forming a start-up, the principles of entrepreneurship are becoming increasingly important for organizations to innovate and stay competitive.
In this paper, we will explore several aspects of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs and what it means for business analysis. Our firm belief is that by adopting a more entrepreneurial way of working, practitioners will be more effective and organizations will benefit.
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.
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