Brad Bigelow - Art of Projects 2018

PMI Budapest Hungarian Chapter will organize its 6th Art of Project conference on 8th November!

One of our key speakers is Brad Bigelow, advisor and founder of NATO’s IT PMO, who will talk about project outcome: the key to benefits realization.

Outcomes, not Outputs: Getting Project Management Right – by Brad Bigelow

“I’ve been managing and overseeing projects for nearly 40 years, and every year I’ve become more convinced that we’re doing it wrong. Starting with the basics. According to PMI, a project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.” If you look up what a product, service, or result is, you’ll find they’re almost always described in terms of things: deliverables, artifacts, documents, hardware, software, facilities. 

It’s true that much of the work in planning and executing a project is involved with its outputs. But our fundamental mistake is in confusing outputs with outcomes. Let me try to explain with a little story. Many years ago, a woman living next door to me fell in love with the Citroën 2CV (the legendary “Deux Chevaux”) and decided to buy one. As she was in Ohio, this meant she had to arrange to have one imported from France. When it finally arrived, she was delighted and immediately began driving it around the town.

After a few months, however, someone stole her gas tank cap. Not long after, one of the headlights was cracked by a stone thrown up by a truck she was following. Then a windshield wiper was broken by some vandal. When she took the car to the mechanic to get it fixed, she learned that it would take a month or more to get replacement parts: they would have to be shipped from France, after all. So while she waited, the car sat, unsafe to drive. It only took a couple of experiences like this for her to decide to sell the 2CV and buy another car—something she could more easily get repaired.

The point of the story is that what my neighbor really wanted was not a Citroën 2CV but a car that was reliable and repairable. A Citroën 2CV was certainly cute, but when it wasn’t safe to drive, she had no car to get to work or do her shopping. In other words, she had the output from her car-purchasing project, but she didn’t get the outcome she wanted.

If my neighbor had thought in terms of outcomes, she would probably have decided against the Citroën 2CV. Cute and quirky it certainly was. But had she talked to her mechanic and considered the problems of getting parts, she would have seen that there was a high risk of finding herself without a car to drive.

I’ve seen my neighbor’s experience with her Citroën 2CV repeated time and time again in projects. An organization launches a project and focuses entirely on its deliverables. When is the building going to be ready? When will the new computer system get turned on? What will the new website look like? How much will the new machinery cost? This focus is quite understandable: it’s much easier to talk about schedule, cost, appearance, and features than it is to talk about the outcomes we aim to achieve after the deliverables are delivered.

But outcomes are rarely achieved the moment the new computer system gets turned on or the day we move into the new building. They come gradually, over the weeks and months and years as we work with or use or live in the outputs of a project. It’s not unusual to discover that some aspect of a product or facility that we’d never considered proves to be annoying or unreliable—or an unexpected advantage.

If there was just one thing I could require all project managers to do, it would be to take time, early in defining the project scope and with the participation of any many stakeholders as possible, and ask, “What do you want to be able to say six months after the last deliverable has been accepted? A year after? Five years after?” The answers to these questions will tell a project manager more about outcomes than outputs. Because the difference between the day a deliverable is accepted and a day six months or a year or five years later is use. Day-in, day-out use. Normal wear and tear. Routine maintenance, housekeeping, trouble tickets, refills, recurring transactions, new users, new support staff.

Inevitably, this kind of discussion brings out the less glamorous considerations that tend to get overlooked when we focus on outputs. Usually, it’s the “ilities”: reliability, maintainability, availability, utility, supportability. The things that make the difference between a car that gets us to work day after day and one that has to sit in the driveway waiting for parts to arrive.

Focusing on outcomes instead of outputs doesn’t mean that the other tools and practices of project management aren’t still needed. We’ll still need a schedule, budget, plan, controls, and collaboration and communication with stakeholders. But we’ll be aiming at a fundamentally different target: at delivering value instead of things. And we’ll have a much better chance of achieving that outcome.”

You can register the conference here.

 

Kamil Mroz - Art of Projects 2018

PMI Budapest Hungarian Chapter will organize its 6th Art of Project conference on 8th November!

One of our key speakers is Kamil Mroz, global project, program, and portfolio management leader, project management trainer, whose topic is about: How can a Project manager be successful working with complex systems, stakeholders, and processes?

According to PMI, through 2020, 1.57 million new project management jobs will be created every year worldwide and so the 21st century is full of opportunities to launch a career in Project Management. However, the future of Project Management will not be based on the status quo, but rather on quickly adapting to the characteristics of the 21st century, which are: Diversity, Ambiguity, Complexity, Rapidly Changing and Inter-dependence (DACRI). Project Management is both an art and a science – and while we are expected to drive progress and performance; PMs must also decipher complex systems, stakeholders, and processes to drive change. Our responsibility as PMs is to take charge of our own energy and then help to orchestrate the energy of those around to drive performance with a strong combination of technical, leadership and interpersonal skills. How do we as Project Managers stay ahead and successfully navigate such complexity? What skills, experiences, and competencies do we need to get ahead and stay ahead to unwind the rapid pace of technology that is compounding today's complex business landscape? 

As the speed of uncertainty and change is increasing exponentially, today's Project Managers are facing extraordinary challenges. To sustain the growth of the golden years of project management, Project Managers must make a leap beyond their comfort zone. Project managers must adapt to the changing technological and business environment - and rise above today’s challenges. The profession must make a fundamental evolutionary step to focus on value-adding competencies and skills that cannot be easily replaced by software or outsourced to AI. The advance of AI is uncertain – but uncertainty is in the DNA of Project Managers. Think about it – Project Managers make certain of what is uncertain. You can say change is in their DNA. Here are a few transformative tips that will help Project Managers manage the complexity of the 21st century and stay at the cutting edge:

  1. Communicate starting with the WHY
  2. Coach and Mentor to develop a sense of Deep-Listening
  3. Service is Leadership: Become a Volunteer 
  4. Explore your Project EQ: Process Knowledge is about IQ
  5. Inspire Resourcefulness: By Becoming a PM Intra-preneur
  6. Build Your Project Culture

You can register the conference here.

Susanne Madsen - Art of Projects 2018

PMI Budapest Hungarian Chapter will organize its 6th Art of Project conference on 8th November!

One of our key speakers is Susanne Madsen, internationally recognized project leadership coach, trainer, author and co-founder of The Project Leadership Institute. Her topic is: How Project Managers Can Deal with Stress and Avoid Burnout.

As an experienced project manager of large change programs, Susanne has first hand experience of how stressful project management can be. As a result of working in a high-pressure environment for several years, Susanne’s body became infested with stress to the point where she could barely walk. She was forced to slow down and make some important changes in her work and life. She learnt to set boundaries and leave work behind when she left the office. She also got better at delegating, asking for help and began to focus on activities outside of work that fuelled her energy.

Susanne’s story is not unusual. Almost all project managers have experienced stress on their projects and far too many suffer from ill health as a result. Whereas short bursts of stress can have a positive effect on performance, prolonged stress is harmful and can cause burnout. In this talk Susanne will share her personal story and provide tips and insights that can help you stay clear of negative stress and work within your zone of peak performance.

Susanne’s insightful talk will help you to:

  • Balance positive and negative stress
  • Avoid chronic stress that can lead to burn-out
  • Understand why you are prone to overworking yourself
  • Set boundaries that help you operate within your zone of peak performance
  • Respond appropriately to situations as opposed to over-reacting
  • Develop skills that lead to more productive thoughts and habits
  • Increase your wellbeing as a project manager

You can register the conference here.

 

Yohan Abrahams - Art of Projects 2018

PMI Budapest Hungarian Chapter will organize its 6th Art of Project conference on 8th November!

One of our key speakers is Yohan Abrahams, consultant, portfolio manager at Transport for London, former president of PMI UK Chapter, whose topic is about: Transformation projects in London in the transport sector.

Particularly since the financial crisis in 2007, project budgets have been facing even greater scrutiny than before. Project managers realise that it is no longer possible to satisfy sponsors just by delivering to agreed budget, schedule and scope. There is a growing need to understand and also demonstrate how projects contribute to business results. This is particularly challenging where organisations don’t have a clearly articulated vision and objectives.

Recognising this growing need for project managers to be commercially aware, the Project Management Institute (PMI) introduced the Talent Triangle in 2015, directing practitioners to acquire business and leadership skills in addition to technical project management competencies as part of their Continuing Certification Requirements.

Along the same time PMI commissioned research under its Thought Leadership series explaining the benefit to organisations of investing in strategic project management. All this effort was built on the foundations laid by the Portfolio Management Standard.

This combination of events has resulted in the portfolio manager category appearing more frequently in job advertisements. It has also resulted in a growing interest in portfolio management amongst practitioners.

This session builds on this interest by providing practical examples of how strategy is created and executed in the smart city transport system in London. Many of these examples will be familiar to most of us as according to the World Bank more than half of humanity now lives in urban areas.
We will use Lafley and Martin’s five step strategy model to understand how Transport for London make effective strategic choices. This model came out in Lafey and Martin’s 2013 book Playing to Win making it one of the most-modern strategy models in business. More importantly it is endorsed by Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez, one of the great contemporary thinkers in project management today.

The session is facilitated by Yohan Abrahams drawing on his experiences in portfolios at organisations including Transport for London, Deutsche Bank and Ernst & Young as well as his work as the founder of the PMI UK Portfolio Management Forum.

You can register the conference here.

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