PDUs: Technical Project Management

Episode 451: Flow for Project Managers (Free) #PMOT

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A. Kallman
Andrew Kallman, Executive Coach

Last week, I must have missed the start of at least three scheduled meetings. In each case, I saw on my calendar that the meetings would start in an hour or less, which meant that I could probably start and finish another task before I had to be at those meetings. And each time, I got so involved in the task I was working on that I lost track of everything around me and the meetings started without me.

In positive psychology, this is called a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone. This is the mental state in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by the complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting transformation in one's sense of time.

Wouldn’t it be great, if we could apply this to all our projects and everyone working on it? You can.

To see how flow can be applied to our projects, we are welcoming Andrew Kallman to the program. He and his brother Ted Kallman wrote the book Flow: Get Everyone Moving in the Right Direction...And Loving It and Andrew is here today to give us an introduction.

Here is how someone describes the effect flow has had on their projects: Flow is when you know where you are headed, know what your goal is, and know the steps necessary to get there. It's like running a race. You don't plan each step along the way, but you keep your eyes on the finish line, and everything you do moves you toward it thanks to your training.

Episode 447: Project Business and Project Business Management (Free)

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O. Lehmann
Oliver F. Lehmann, PMP

Today we are going to talk about Project Business and Project Business Management, and if you have no idea what that means then welcome to the club. Cornelius didn't know what either of these terms meant when he heard them for the first time.

But now he does. Thanks to Oliver F. Lehmann.

Oliver wrote the defining book on the topic called Project Business Management (Best Practices in Portfolio, Program, and Project Management). In addition to that, he also founded the Project Business Foundation, and he is our guest today to give us an introduction to project business and project business management.

You will learn what project business is all about, that (surprise!) roughly 50% of all projects that are currently being undertaken in the world are part of project business, we talk about the skills that we PMs need to answer project business challenges, and you’ll come away learning about the number one thing that you should pay particular attention to, when you are involved in project business management and why.

Episode 446: Project Scope Management - The Secret to Project Success (Free)

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K. Ramamurthy
Karthik Ramamurthy

Disruptive business models, technological progress and intense competition force your customers to continuously innovate. Clients naturally demand that you deliver high-quality projects involving complex, ever-changing scope at tight budgets and within compressed timelines. Is this challenging? Absolutely! Innovative, effective scope management is a must for project success. Listen in as we discuss the successful scope management techniques from across continents.

This interview with Karthik Ramamurthy was recorded at the PMI® Global Conference 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. We discuss his findings into how project scope management will make or break your project.

You will discover how ineffective requirements gathering, poor scope definition, gold plating, and uncontrolled creep inevitably lead to project failure. And to counteract this, we analyze, adapt, and apply seven proven scope management techniques to increase the probability of project success.

Episode 444: What People Really Think About Risk (Free)

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Dr. D. Hillson
Dr. David Hillson

Definitions are a useful starting point, but what do you really think when you hear the word risk? How does it make you feel? What about related words like "uncertainty," "threat" or "opportunity"? Building on established neurolinguistic theories of word/image association, this session will explore underlying tensions in the way practitioners think and feel about risk. Discover the surprising truth, and compare yourself with your peers. And of course, this episode is relevant to risk management in agile projects as well, just in case you were wondering.

This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the PMI® Global Conference 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. We discuss his research and insights into what you truly think about when you hear the words "risk" and "opportunity" using the Bouba/Kiki Effect. This is the kind of information you won't find in the Practice Standard for Project Risk Management but it's so useful when thinking and talking about risk with project stakeholders.

You will see and understand why it's hard to include opportunities in an integrated risk management process and discover your own underlying perceptions of risk, and the implications for your risk management behavior. The insights will change how you think about risk management critical success factors. Enjoy the episode!

Episode 442: Preparing Facilitated Project Planning Meetings (Premium)


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Rich and Jim
Rich Maltzman and Jim Stewart

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.

The interview is based on Chapter 8 : Preparing for the Facilitated Project Planning Meeting of their book How to Facilitate Productive Project Planning Meetings - A Practical Guide to Ensuring Project Success. Therefore, we close the discussion with the number one thing that each of them has personally learned about running a good project planning meeting while they were researching and writing the book… good stuff.

Episode 441: Facilitating a Project Planning Meeting (Free)

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Rich and Jim
Rich Maltzman and Jim Stewart

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.

That is where the book How to Facilitate Productive Project Planning Meetings - A Practical Guide to Ensuring Project Success can help. It was written by Rich Maltzman (LinkedIn Profile) and Jim Stewart (LinkedIn Profile), and yes, it does indeed contain Goblins.

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.

Episode 440: PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition (Free)

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PMBOK Guide 7
Cynthia Dionisio, Mike Griffiths and Stephen Townsend

At the Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, I had the opportunity to attend two workshops to help in the development of A Guide to The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) -- Seventh edition.

Yes, you read that right: Seventh Edition. And here is what PMI® wrote about the workshop:

PMBOK® Guide – The Next Generation: An Innovation Working Session

Join us for an innovation workshop to develop concepts for the next generation of the PMBOK® Guide. Explore current thinking to ensure the next version encompasses the full spectrum of project management approaches. Then actively participate in shaping the content through a series of innovation discussions and exercises. Bring your expertise, ideas and energy to collaborate with your colleagues in building a robust and resilient project management body of knowledge.

The workshop was led by Cynthia Dionisio, Mike Griffiths, and Stephen Townsend. Cyndi and Mike are the co-leads for the new PMBOK® Guide Seventh Edition and Stephen represents PMI. And in addition to attending the workshop, I also got the opportunity to sit down with them and learn what we can expect from the new guide. (My best guess is that it will be published sometime in 2021).

In the interview we talk about

  • the move from process-based to principles-based standards,
  • what will happen to the domains and knowledge-areas,
  • how the next guide will cover the entire delivery spectrum,
  • why it will be much shorter than the current edition, and
  • what each member of the team hopes that the seventh edition will be able to achieve.

Episode 432: Managing Smaller and Medium-Sized Projects (Free)

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J. Young
Dr Jim Young, PMP, FNZIM

Today, I don’t have a full interview for you. I have something better. I have a free book on how to manage small and medium-sized projects for you.

The free eBook you are going to get is titled "Managing Smaller and Medium-Sized Projects" and was written by Dr Jim Young, PMP, FNZIM (http://www.skillpower.co.nz/ - LinkedIn Profile).

If you use a podcast app to download and listen to our interviews, then the book has very likely already been downloaded by the app for you. It is a PDF document and you should see it as a separate episode of your subscription of The PM Podcast. If not, then please click on the download button above.

You can claim 1 PDU in the "Technical Project Management" category for every hour you spend reading this book. Please study the "Read" section in the CCR Handbook to learn how.
Click to download the PDF eBook now

Episode 429: Say Yes to Project Success (Free)

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KR, SN and CF
Karthik Ramamurthy, Sripriya Narayanasamy and Cornelius Fichtner

In this interview we welcome Sripriya Narayanasamy (LinkedIn Profile) and Karthik Ramamurthy (LinkedIn Profile) who are the authors of the book Say Yes to Project Success. in 52 short and entertaining chapters the book gives actionable advice to project managers on the most common issues we are faced with on pretty much every project.

This interview was recorded ad the hectic and fantastic Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Here is the book's abstract

Are you under pressure to deliver? Is your life made tough by shortened schedules, tight budgets, skills gap, incomplete scope, and demanding stakeholders? Do you need help in the form of proven practical tips and techniques to help you confidently deliver project success? This book will certainly help you. What’s inside?

  • Superb set of 52 proven project success keys.
  • Unbeatable breadth of insights: 108 experts, 2000+ projects, 119 countries
  • Comprehensive solutions to the top 20 global project failure factors
  • Coverage of waterfall, hybrid and agile methodologies in 54 industries
  • Extensive discussions on soft skills, leadership and communication
  • Situation, impact, and resolution presentation technique
  • Storytelling approach for easy understanding

We have chosen 4 chapters from the book ("Great Catches", "Last Mile Connectivity", "Fun with Risks", and "Feed me a Sandwich") in order to review them together.

Episode 426: How to Ensure Long-Term Project Success (Free)

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Dr. Eleonore Pieper Cornelius Fichtner
Eleonore Pieper and Cornelius Fichtner

Successful projects result in change. However, this transformation usually happens when the original project team is already disbanding, leaving the process largely unmanaged and stakeholders ill-equipped to use the deliverables as they were intended, diminishing the expected project impact and benefits.

In this interview, we explore five strategies that project managers can easily incorporate into their project plans to put in place preventative and mitigation strategies that will lead to improved adoption of project results.

This interview with Eleonore Pieper (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the diverse Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

We look at a scalable model of five strategies for change and discuss how to modify plans with specific tasks in the areas of communication, training, organizational design, sponsorship and HR management to ensure successful post-project transformation.

Episode 427: How to Complete Your Projects 50% Faster (Free)

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Doug Knutzen Cornelius Fichtner
Douglas Knutzen and Cornelius Fichtner

What if you had to do your project in (near) half the time as previous projects, or be fired? What if your customer required you to do their project in (near) half the time to which you are accustomed or lose the business?

Hear about the techniques (that can be applied to almost any type of project) that helped to meet these challenges and got the products successfully to market in record time.

This interview with Douglas Knutzen was recorded at the inspirational Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

You'll hear about how to leverage scheduling, execution, project planning meetings and team techniques to significantly increase speed on your projects, and (almost more importantly) how to lead project teams in high-pressure situations.

Episode 425: Maximize Your Project's First 21 Days (Free)

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Sara Gallagher Cornelius Fichtner
Sara Gallagher and Cornelius Fichtner

The ink isn't even dry on your charter, but what if the seeds of project destruction have already been sown? The odds are not in our favor.

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® reports that nearly 15% of projects are deemed failures. After years of helping companies "unstick" troubled projects, our guest knows that the first 21 days are critical to success. Learn how you can leverage them to beat the odds!

This interview with Sara Gallagher (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the connecting Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

We look at the most common mistakes that project managers make in the first 21 days, how to correct them, and learn about critical but often overlooked objectives that must be achieved early related to project framing and team infrastructure.

Episode 424: Lean-Agile PMO (Free)

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Andy Burns Cornelius Fichtner
Andy Burns and Cornelius Fichtner

Slow PMO?

In today’s “right now” business environment, “hurry up and wait” annual planning cycles won’t do! To be fit for purpose, PMO processes deliver value faster than the competition—continuously, and certainly not just annually. Lean agility delivers this winning velocity! Here's a diet to help lean out an overweight PMO.

Transforming the heritage PMO takes insight, empiricism, and experience. If your organization uses agile project management as well as traditional (or 'heritage') ways of getting work done, then you are bound to get some good insights from this episode.

This interview with Andy Burns (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the encouraging Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

The experience shared in this interview should inform those needing to deliver fast—before the competition! We compare and contrast the practices of the heritage PMO and the lean-agile PMO and illustrate a technique to tailor the PMO process for organizations wanting to adopt agile project portfolio management.

Episode 422: How NOT to Work 60-Hour Weeks (Free)

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Kim Wasson Cornelius Fichtner
Kim Wasson and Cornelius Fichtner

It's hard to juggle everything on your project. And just a glance at your company's project management methodology can make you despair about getting it all done.

But if we take a page from agile development, adding tools from behavioral psychology to Pomodoro, and incorporating pragmatic prioritization, you’ll be able to build a personalized time management system that fits your own working style. Come out of this interview with a manageable system for yourself and the tools to help your team members manage their own time and priorities.

This interview with Kim Wasson (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the exciting Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

In the interview we review the key components of a good time/priority management system, the smorgasbord of tools available, and we discuss how to create a tailored time management system and advise team members on ways to manage their time and priorities.

Oh... also... below is an image of the time management system that got Cornelius so excited during the recording:

Kim Wasson Folder
Using a folder for task management

So whether you are trying to find more time to do risk management in agile projects, or you want to reclaim some time for professional development, exam prep, stakeholder engagement or something else, let's dive into this episode so you can pick up some new time management techniques.

Episode 420: Discover The Best Tools For Your PMO (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...

H. Bandukwala
Hussain Bandukwala, PMO Coach

If you are setting up a PMO for your company, then no matter what industry you are in, having the right PMO tools at our disposal can make a significant difference. And as they relate to the PMO, tools are the moment when you shift your focus from management to administration.

In fact, we project managers and program managers may even find ourselves scrambling around to find not only relevant but also accurate information to update our statuses, while resource managers may have to connect with several people to determine if they efficiently staffed their resources and have sufficient capacity for the upcoming initiatives.

And these are just some some of the reasons why our PMOs need the right tools. But what are the right tools and how do we identify them? And why on earth did we end up using this tool over here which is clearly wrong for our PMO?

All of those questions and also ‘Why are the right tools so important?’ is what we we are going to discuss today with Hussain Bandukwala (LinkedIn Profile).

Episode 419: Setting up a PMO in 100 Days (Free)

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Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam: PMP Exam training :
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Hussain Bandukwala, PMO Coach

Is your company thinking about setting up a PMO and nobody, not even you, have the experience to do it? If you can't ask the right project planning questions, how can you create a successful PMO?

That is not a problem.

Our guest today is Hussain Bandukwala (LinkedIn Profile). He is the organizer of the PMO Virtual Summit and PMOs are his passion. He writes and speaks about them. And in one of his articles he says that even if you’ve never done it before you can still set up a PMO in 100 days.

We discuss how realistic this is, what skills a PMO leader needs, the mindset needed to do this in 100 days, and then we’ll take you phase by phase through the process of setting up your very own PMO in 100 days, so you can create a project plan to do it in your own organization. Oh, and if you need a helping hand to get started, I have recommendations for a project plan template so your PMO plans can begin straight away.


This interview is 44:29 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 Hussain about setting up a PMO in 100 days, then you can go ahead and claim 0.75 PDUs!

Click to read the article

Episode 414: How To Make Better Choices For Your Projects (Free)

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Download Project Management Professional (PMP)® training to your pocket:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Andy and Cornelius
Andy Kaufmann and Cornelius Fichtner

As leaders of teams and projects, we regularly face choices and decisions that have downstream consequences.

Learn why the familiar pros-and-cons approach seems to make sense—but is profoundly flawed, and how our biases influence the options we consider and the choices we make. No technique can guarantee great decisions every time, but you will leave this session with practical ideas and tools to make better choices for you, your team, and your projects.

This interview with Andy Kaufmann (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the invigorating Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

In the interview, we identify the steps in making better decisions based on a well-researched model that can be applied personally and professionally. We also explain how biases influence decisions and how to address those biases to make better decisions.

We’ll talk about how to execute your projects and grow your project management skills all while setting your business and IT customers up for success. We'll see how organizations without a PMO can be effective by tracking basic metrics, and how key templates in your project management toolbox will help your project managers be effective.

Episode 413: When the Organization thinks they don't need Project Management (Free)

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Download Project Management Professional (PMP)® training to your pocket:
The PM PrepCast for the PMP Exam

Jen and Cornelius
Jen Pfaff and Cornelius Fichtner

When an organization has a structured PMO, using your project management skills can be easy.

But, what if your organization doesn’t have a PMO or doesn’t even like the rigor of project management? What should an experienced project manager do?

This interview with Jen Pfaff (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the dazzling Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Trust me... it was 2017 even though I say "2018" in the opening...)

We’ll talk about how to execute your projects and grow your project management skills all while setting your business and IT customers up for success. We'll see how organizations without a PMO can be effective by tracking basic metrics, and how key templates in your project management toolbox will help your project managers be effective.

Episode 412: How to Integrate Risk Management into Agile Projects (Free)

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Studying for your PMI Agile Cerfified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®? PMI-ACP Exam Prep on your phone:
The Agile PrepCast for the PMI-ACP Exam

Laszlo and Cornelius
Laszlo Retfalvi and Cornelius Fichtner

Agile has gained popularity in part due to its ability to effectively respond to issues as they arise, improve stakeholder satisfaction, and increase focus on value-driven delivery. A major challenge for many project managers is knowing how to effectively plan, identify, and manage risks when using an agile project management approach.

It's especially important to identify risk management critical success factors -- the things that make the most difference to effective risk management. This discussion addresses how to integrate proven risk management techniques with agile approaches to increase the probability of project and organizational success.

This interview with Laszlo Retfalvi (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the exciting Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

The Practice Standard for Project Risk Management from PMI was written a few years earlier and is a useful additional reference to the topic if you haven't already had a look at it.

We look at how to develop proper project risk management statements required to support agile approaches. Risk management in project management should be considered as part of any agile approach, and this discussion also talks about how to apply proven risk management techniques.

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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