pmp

  • Episode 405.1: The PMP Exam is Changing in 2018 (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Training on your mobile device: Simona Fallavollita and Cornelius Fichtner The exam for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is driven by current practices in the profession. Because project management is evolving, so is the PMP exam. As a result of the release of the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition in September 2017, the PMP exam will change on 26 March 2018. This is to ensure that exam content is consistent with the guide. This interview with Simona Fallavollita (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the magnificient Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. We discuss the how, what, why and when of the changes that are coming to the PMP exam. Although the PMP is not a test of the PMBOK® Guide, it is one of the primary references for the exam. This means that students preparing to take the exam after the change can expect to see lexicon changes and terminology used within the exam as well as harmonization of process groups, tools, and techniques. Students planning to take the exam after the change are advised to use PMP Training materials that are updated to the new guide. Episode Transcript Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Coming soon... 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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  • Episode 399: Situational Project Management (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam get PMP Training on your phone from The PM PrepCast: 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 Transcript 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 Episode #399. This is The Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. 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, critical resources, unexpectedly not available today, or even more normal, the custom of once a change and of course he wants it today. I love this challenge because as a project manager, I now have to reevaluate the situation and change my plans accordingly. That is situational project management. If you are a project manager who wants to become PMP or PMI-ACP Certified then the easiest way to do so is with our sister Podcast --- The PM PrepCast or The Agile PrepCast and study for the exam by watching the in-depth exam prep video training from www.pm-prepcast.com. However, there is 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. So I’m very happy to welcome Oliver Lehmann who literally wrote the book on this topic. The book is called “Situational Project Management – The Dynamics of Success and Failure”. And now, please get situated. Enjoy the interview! Podcast Interview Female Voice: The Project Management Podcast's feature interview: Today with Oliver Lehmann, Project Management Trainer, Speaker, Coach and Author. Cornelius Fichtner: Hallo, Oliver! [Ich heiße sie willkommen] Oliver Lehmann: Hallo, Cornelius! [Schön dich zu sehen]. Cornelius Fichtner: So to begin, let’s define what we are going to be discussing in this interview. What is your definition of situational awareness? Oliver Lehmann: Situational awareness builds on a very simple observation, the same tools, the same practices, the same behaviors, the same approaches that are successful. And when project situation may fail in another one. So we rely on simple best practices. They may sometimes match the situation and be the right thing to do and sometimes they lead into disaster. So we should always ask ourselves: Am I doing the right thing for the right situation, the right moment, the right environment, context in which we are, and so on… Cornelius Fichtner: And then what do we mean by situational project management? Oliver Lehmann: Situational project management begins with the same observation. The same thing that can lead to success. One project in a specific situation in a project may fail in another one but we want to a bit more than that. We want to understand what are the practices. What are the specific tools maybe? What are approaches that match a given situation? If we understand the situation, we can select the right practices to manage this situation and my book tries to give some help in that. It has still some open questions there because I think we haven’t fully understood how situational project management in old situations works, but I think I can give help for many situations already based on some research together with group of experts based on my experience with over 20 years in project management training and before that over 12 years in practicing project management. Cornelius Fichtner: And let me guess, if I’m not planning my project and I’m just improvising from moment to moment, that has nothing to do with situational project management, right? Oliver Lehmann: It may have to do with that sometimes because you have situations where planning is impossible. Too much planning may be detrimental for your project because sometimes the way is made by walking. There are project situations where you cannot do a lot of planning. You just have to do the projects step by step and with each step, you make a new decision where to go to. You develop something and you invest development. You have some results and then you make new decisions based on these results and so on. There are project situations where this is the right approach like driving in the fog with a car for instance. It’s a very similar situation. But then you have situations where you can look far into the future of your project like on the road where you can see a long distance ahead of you and you can do a lot of long-term plans and they can just come together. Sometimes it has to do with situational project management. Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! So that’s situational awareness and situational project management. Are there any other related terms that we should be aware of before we get started? Oliver Lehmann: Yeah! There is one term that I found very helpful here and I call it navigating between two monsters. I think project management in many dimensions is a process where we have something extreme on the right and something extreme on the left. When you look into the future just the topic we just had, can I do a long term predictions or do I need to go for more Agile methods which work with the short-term decisions and sprints and these things. Navigating between two monsters means we start somewhere in the middle and from time to time we have to move more to the left, maybe to the Agile side. Another times more to the predictor side. So we should be able to adjust our behavior to that. There are many other questions like: Do we need to make a strong stance in a given situation or is it better to be more soft and more acceptable what other people want from us? Do we need to be heroes and single fighters or are we more collaborative or more integrated in a group? And there are many other questions like navigating between two monsters means, rarely the good way to go is rarely the extreme way. We have to find a way somewhere in the middle between these extremes and sometimes more turn to one side or to the other side but balancing things out, that’s a big part in project management. And that’s something project managers should be able to do. Cornelius Fichtner: Okay and you’ve pretty much also answered my next question because I was going to ask you: Can you give me a few more examples of situations where we need awareness and situational project manager like I gave in the introduction. Do you have anything more for us? When do we really need it? Oliver Lehmann: We need it all the time, first of all! I think project managements are situational. Most of us do this somehow. They are not doing this methodologically. They do it by inspiration and by emotions and by feelings and by experience and all those things, by instinct maybe, all the things that drive project managers and they know they have to adjust to given situations. But I have a very specific example just here in Germany, we had 2 major station projects, main station projects here in the last couple of years. One of those two was a great, great success. This was the Berlin Main Station. And there was a second one some years later running into a deep trouble, deep crisis, which was the Stuttgart Main Station. And the interesting thing is, it was run by the same organization, the Deutsche Bahn German Railway. It was run by using the same approaches, the same method. It is the same deliverable more or less that it brings out. It even was the same project manager, a guy from Egypt. One project, he was extremely successful and then the other one, he ran the project into crisis. At one point in time, he had to leave the project, had to give up his position there. Another interesting question is what is different between those two projects which make one project successful and the other one a failure with the same approaches, with the same tools, the same methods and so on. So that is my favorite example. To give you the answer for those two projects: The Berlin Main Station was a Greenfield project. It was the old death strip between East and West Berlin where they had a lot open space and just could build a station there without having to take too much care of stakeholders, of people living around. Stuttgart was in the middle of a city. People living around, people afraid of their houses. This was where it started because they had to drill ton loads under occupied neighborhoods. In difficult geological areas and people are afraid of their houses on top. They wanted to talk with the project manager and he was not prepared to talk with them about their fears and the problem is always when you have a lot of stakeholders and you just ignore them, they will come back and they will bring their friends with them and they will bring loyals with them and this is exactly what happened there. So the question is first of all: How can we understand the situational requirements on project managers which may be very different even if it seemingly all looks the same. And the other thing we need to understand is how do we need to adjust our approaches and our behaviors and the Stuttgart project and the crisis project, intensive stakeholder management would have been extremely important. It was not that important in Berlin. Cornelius Fichtner: My next question is going into exactly the opposite side from situational awareness and situational project management. Do you have an example for us when we cannot be situational, where things are black and white and you just have to go one way or the other even as a very experienced project manager, situational project management does not apply in this situation? Oliver Lehmann: There is one moment I think when you have to be very strict, very strong when we have no gray shade or something like that and that’s when it is about your professional integrity when it comes to questions of bribery of corruption, of discrimination of people based on gender, on skin color, religion or whatever it is. I think we have to be unsituational. I don’t know if such a word exist. Cornelius Fichtner: No, sure, it does exist here. Oliver Lehmann: We have to be very clear and very strict and very straight in these situations. Cornelius Fichtner: Okay! The companies that I worked for, they always had a clearly defined project management methodology and that methodology told me what to do and when to do it. What considerations do we project managers have to make before we deviate from the prescribed methodology? Oliver Lehmann: First of all, I was a trainer for this kind of methodologies for many years. Before I started as a PMP trainer with PMP preparation as a main business, I helped companies as an external trainer to teach their new methodologies to their teams. I know these methodologies quite well. I know their strengths and I know their weaknesses. There is one thing project managers have to take care of. These methodologies, if they are good methodologies, they provide a lot of support and a lot of help and make lives to some degree easier. But sometimes, they don’t really put the needs of the project. I remember one case, there was a methodology in an organization which was developed for a project of a certain size, a typical size that they had in this organization and a project manager approached me and asked me: “Oliver, I can’t use this methodology that you trained to us. I cannot use it in a given project. Can you just come over and have a look at that?” And they picked me a day just to have a look at their project and it took me not even 5 minutes to agree with him because this project was far too big for the methodology. It was not scalable enough for such a project. And I told him: “Make a note, put it in your project documentation why you have to deviate from this methodology. You can say that you talked with me and that I agreed to you. At this very moment, you have a good explanation for that.” Two days later, I got a very angry phone call from the PMO Manager of this organization: “How can you do that? We hired you. We pay you that you will help people use it or that you make people use the methodology but you cannot tell people to deviate from that.” We then had 10 minutes discussion on the details and the PMO had to agree: “Yeah, it’s okay. It’s right.” So you have to have a good explanation if you deviate from a methodology. But if you have that, as a project manager, your business and your profession is not to follow methodologies. It’s to deliver successful projects without destroying the organization. Cornelius Fichtner: What about if we work in a controlled environment. For example, in healthcare business or in a bank or insurance where we have to follow externally-imposed regulations. Oliver Lehmann: A, I don’t believe that outside of laboratories, there is such a thing as a controlled environment. Controlled environment is a glass tube. It’s in Chemistry or somewhere else. The other thing is of course, you have to meet requirements and if you have legal requirements, if you have requirements from government agencies. Maybe also internal organizational requirements to meet then you have to meet them, that’s very simple. If you have a deadline, you have to meet the deadline. If you have to have funding available then you at least have to try to do the project with the funding available and if you have to meet leader requirements, you cannot have a project against the law. Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! You already mentioned best practices earlier on. Best practices many times, they are common sense recommendations that have helped many others before us to be successful in the past. When do we accept and when do we reject best practices for our project? 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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  • Episode 395: How to Pass the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: Agile exam prep on your smart phone: Yazmine Darcy, MBA, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM This is another episode where I’m asking: Are you currently studying or thinking about studying for your PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam? Wonderful. That’s what we are going to be talking about. In this interview you are going to meet Yazmine Darcy (https://www.linkedin.com/in/yazminedarcy). Yazmine is not only one of my students and coworkers, she is also the project manager in charge of developing the sample exam questions that we use in our PMI-ACP Simulator. And so, if you not only want to know how to prepare for your own PMI-ACP Exam but also want to hear about all the work that goes into creating one of the training tools you could be using, then you have come to the right place. As you know, the rules of all Project Management Institute (PMI)® exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam. But we can discuss her overall experience, general thoughts on the process and her recommendations to you. So you can look forward to an experience and tip filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI-ACP Exam. Full disclosure: Yazmine Darcy and Cornelius Fichtner both work for OSP International LLC, makers of The Agile PrepCast and The PMI-ACP Exam Simulator. Episode Transcript 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 Episode #395. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I’m Cornelius Fichtner. This is another episode where I’m asking: “Are you currently studying or thinking about studying for your PMI ACP Exam?” Wonderful! Because that’s what we are going to be talking about. This is the third and final interview in which we learn from one of my work colleagues, how they passed their PMI ACP Exam. And of course, that brings me to this: If you are a project manager who wants to become PMI ACP certified, then the easiest way to do so is with our sister podcast, the Agile PrepCast and get your certification training for the exam by watching the in-depth Exam Prep Video Training from www.AgilePrepCast.com . In this interview, we are going to meet Yazmine Darcy. Yazmine is not only one of my students and co-workers, she is also the project manager in charge of developing the sample exam questions that we use in our PMI ACP Exam Simulator. So, if you not only want to know how to prepare for your PMI ACP Exam but also want to hear about all the work that goes into actually creating one of the training tools that you could be using, then you have come to the right place. As you know, the rules of all PMI Exams are such that we are not allowed to discuss specific questions from the exam but we can discuss Yazmine’s overall experience, general thoughts on the process and her recommendations to you so you can look forward to an experience and tip-filled interview on how to prepare for and pass your PMI ACP Exam. And now does a podcast interview qualify as an information radiator? Enjoy the interview. Female Voice:   Project Management Podcast™ Feature Interview. Today with Yazmine Darcy, Senior Project Manager for OSP International. Cornelius:   Hello, Yazmine and thank you very much for stopping by. Yazmine:   Hello Cornelius. Thanks for having me over. Cornelius:   Sure. Well, first of all, congratulations on passing the PMI ACP Exam. Yazmine:   Thank you [laughs] I am glad that it worked out. Cornelius:   [laughs] When exactly did you pass?   Yazmine:   I passed in November. I recall it was a holiday weekend, so I studied and prepared on a Friday and I went in and took my exam bright and early on a Monday. Cornelius:   OK. The PMI ACP is not your first exam, right? You’ve already taken the PMP before that. Yazmine:   That’s right I took my PMP a few years back. Cornelius:   Right. And then you also have an MBA on top of that. Yazmine:   That is true. [laughs] Cornelius:   [laughs] OK. What we also have to do at this point is we have to insert a disclaimer because you and I are colleagues. We both work for OSP International. We are a training company and we do offer PMP Exam Training and PMI ACP Training and I believe you used both our Agile PrepCast and our Exam Simulator, right? Yazmine:   That is true. Cornelius:   That is true and you are also in charge of making sure that our Agile sample questions in the simulator get updated to the latest exam specification. We’ll get to that later on but just to get this disclaimer out at the very beginning. So, my first question is always very similar. Now that you have passed the exam what is your No.1 recommendation to the listeners who are currently preparing for the exam? Yazmine:   I think my No. 1 recommendation is for people to understand what their goal is when taking this exam. For myself, I wanted not only to pass but also to have good understanding of all the material. So, in retrospect, unlike many other students who may not have read through most of the books. I opted to try to at least read through, not thoroughly, skimmed through in some cases, but for purposes of the work that we do and in order to prepare for the exam, I thought it important to go through and spend the time and read those 12 references. Probably not what everybody wants to do but in my case, I did. Cornelius:   OK, let me just jump into this one here because currently, the PMI ACP Exam has a recommended reading list of about 12 books or so. We can see at the horizon that this is going to change—that PMI is working on the Agile Practitioner’s Guide and very likely at some point in the future, the Agile Practitioner’s Guide is going to be the thing to read as you’re preparing for this exam. So, let me ask you this: Even though the exam is currently based and the one you took based on those 12 books—you read those 12 books—is the way you studied still going to be applicable in say, five years, ten years down the road when someone’s listening to this interview? Yazmine:   I think with the advent of the Ag Book, that’s probably less likely to be the case. I think that 12 references will always be useful but it is a very specialized knowledge, very deep knowledge that is useful for a practitioner to have and own these references and that’s what they are—they’re references. If you needed to learn more deeply about a particular topic, it’s nice to have it on hand, you can read about the specifics of Scrum or Kanban, but likely for preparation for the exam, the Ag Book ten years from now will be very well-used and developed. So that will be sufficient to use to prepare for the exam.   Cornelius:   Right. So just like people studied the PMBOK Guide today as they are preparing for the PMP Exam, in the future, they may be studying the—well, we call it sort of Ag Book jokingly—the Agile Body of Knowledge. I think the working title is the Agile Practitioner’s Guide. Whatever it will be called in the future more focus on this but the other study materials that you used I believe you read—correct me if I’m wrong—you did read an Exam Prep Book. You did go to our Agile PrepCast and you did use the questions in our Exam Simulator, right? That would still be something that you’d recommend? Yazmine:   Yes, definitely. I probably watched through the Agile PrepCast twice over the course of two years and more thoroughly in preparation for the exam and in particular, I found the lessons on the Agile Manifesto and Values and Principles and Different Methodologies quite useful. But I also used another Exam Prep Book, again, good understanding of all the seven domains at a high level and where I was like, “Oh I don’t understand more of this than I have the 12 references that I could refer to” and all that was very useful in preparing for the exam.  Cornelius:   I’m very glad that you said that because when I did the interview with Stas Podoxin and people who already have listened to this one and Stas said that because he took a course at the University of British Columbia, that course really overlapped about 80% so he did not find the Agile PrepCast all too helpful in addition to this but you’re saying that there was value in you watching and listening to the Agile PrepCast. Is that right? Yazmine:   Yes and I found that, again, when you can listen to it, that’s one mode and I think that’s what I did maybe a couple of years prior to actually taking the exam then it’s useful because there’s so many topics. You can use it and you don’t have to navigate from the very beginning all the way to the very end but you can select based on your own knowledge. I already know about this topic. I think there’s no need to listen to this for myself. I think that I’m adequately prepared. But no, when I wanted to refresh—a total refresh on Scrum ceremonies and make sure that I understand the specifics in great detail, that I didn’t forget something or I misunderstood something, then I can sit down and set aside half hour whatever I needed to complete that lesson and listen to that lesson more attentively. So that’s how I used it. I didn’t probably use it in the start here and listen to every lesson a little bit a day, I didn’t use it in that straightforward fashion. I tried to use it as I needed it in a very Agile fashion, I would say. Cornelius:   Right, yeah.  The intent is actually to do—start here and go all the way through—the more important lesson at the beginning, some of the less important ones are at the end but you are an unusual student from that perspective because we worked together, you had access to this for years. But let’s talk about the Exam Prep Book that you used. What book did you use and what did you enjoy most about it? Yazmine:   Yeah. I used Mike Griffiths book. Cornelius:   What a surprise. It seems like that’s the answer that I get from everybody these days. Yazmine:   I think again because it is organized by the domains and for example in the first few pages they have a table and it’s divided by tools and techniques and knowledge and skills. So, at the high level, he has lists of different topics, so it helps guide you through the different topics. He gets through the topics in a relatively small amount of number of pages compared to the 12 references. So you know you have covered the breadth that you need to cover for purposes of preparing for one’s exam. And it’s easy reading—it’s not very difficult –on the lighter side, compared to other references. Cornelius:   You have the MBA, then you took the PMP and then you decided to go for the PMI ACP. Why did you select the PMI ACP over, I don’t know, maybe a CSM or other Agile certifications? Yazmine:   That’s a good question. In part, it is related to the work that we do and definitely taking the exam helps in preparing others to prepare for the exam but in general, I just think that the way that we worked has evolved quite a bit especially since the time that I took my MBA. I have been on many traditional projects in the past and the idea that things changed and to embrace that—what a concept. In fact, you try to fix everything so that you can predict it and you probably spend so much effort trying to make sure that you’ve planned everything upfront but you end up having to change things in between. So, I think that the need for an Agile approach—this is how the world operates now. Things move very quickly. I didn’t explore the CSM—oh I do have a CSM, sorry! [laughs] Cornelius:   [laughs] There’s so many letters after you and you keep forgetting. Yazmine:   Sorry. We use it almost every day, you almost forget that you have it and it’s not like you go around and sign your name and put all the letters behind it. I think you gain knowledge as you go and it just becomes sort of part of your repertoire, so to speak. And yes, I do have my Scrum certification and we do use Scrum on our own projects. So, yes. Cornelius:   Yeah. This is maybe an interesting history for the listeners. When we originally developed our PMP Exam Prep Course, that was done fully in a traditional Waterfall-based project management approach. Then we started with the Agile PrepCast—helping people prepare for the ACP and also the simulator and again that was based on traditional best practices. We were only starting out on Agile back then. Later on, when PMI changed the ACP Exam, we had already started out on the Agile path and we did the updates using Agile practices and right now, pretty much as we are recording this interview, we are in the process of updating our PMP Training, the Waterfall-based certification and we’re actually using Agile practices to update a training course that is focused on traditional Waterfall-based. So, things are certainly evolving and changing over the years. Yazmine:    It’s a bit ironic, I guess, if you think of it that way. [laughs] Cornelius:   Yeah [laughs] Yazmine:   Even as we approach something, the material and the content itself might be based on something very traditional. The way in which we operate is Agile because things changed within our team. Maybe the methodology itself is more stable and certainly from PMBOK 5 to 6 there are changes and its similar ideas, it’s ever evolving but in our team definitely, things happen and we need to be able to adjust ourselves to the changes. Cornelius:   Alright, back to you and your PMI ACP experience. You mentioned that you have a lot of experience on traditional Waterfall-based project. How then did you determine that you were in fact eligible to take the PMI ACP Exam with all the Agile experience you needed? 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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  • In the Trenches, with Mike Durbin, PMP

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    Episode Duration 20:29 Download episode 101 Introducing Mike Durbin, PMP We continue our In the Trenches series with this discussion with Mike Durbin, PMP. Mike shares insights and lessons he's learned in his years of leading teams and delivering projects. Get PDUs or Contact Hours For Less! Want to get 35 PDUs or contact hours for a great price? Check out our PMP Exam Prep e-learning at http://www.nanacast.com/pmp-exam-prep. Use a coupon code of PMP-299 to reduce the price from $499 USD to $299 USD. This is a great option, whether you're preparing for the exam or want to refresh your knowledge for PDU's. Add Your Voice to Our Podcast! Are you a regular listener to The People and Projects Podcast? I'd love to have your voice added to the beginning or end of the cast. Just send me an e-mail saying "I'd love to help!" I would love to have the opportunity to talk with you directly so contact me today and we'll set up a time to record your piece. Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!   Drive by Management {youtube}08QDUPnT4eU{/youtube} Some Zig Quotes Mike mentions a Zig Ziglar quote during the interview. Here's a sampling of the wisdom of the late Zig Ziglar. {youtube}kB7sDw5pMlI{/youtube} GOODWILL COWBOYS RIDE AGAIN by Michael Chapman & The Woodpiles is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial License. MARATHON MAN by Jason Shaw is licensed under a Attribution 3.0 United States License. ACOUSTIC BLUES by Jason Shaw is licensed under a Attribution 3.0 United States License. CHIADO by Jahzzar is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License. LEARNED MY LESSONS by Jenny O is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (aka Music Sharing) License.

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  • In the Trenches, with Kiron Bondale, PMP

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    Introducing Kiron Bondale, PMP We continue our In the Trenches series of episodes, with this interview with Kiron Bondale, PMP. Kiron runs the Project Management Office at Agricorp. Make sure to check out Kiron's insightful blog at http://kbondale.wordpress.com. Kiron has graciously offered to share a risk register template with listeners of The People and Projects Podcast. Click the icon below to download the Microsoft Excel file: 20 PDUs for a Great Price! Whether you need contact hours for PMP certification or PDUs, we can help! Our e-learning is engaging, informative, and even fun. Go to http://courses.i-leadonline.com/courses/advanced-project-management to get 20 PDU's for a great price. If you need contact hours to prepare for your PMP, check our PMP Prep e-learning at http://www.nanacast.com/pmp-exam-prep. Join our Facebook Page I invite you to stop by our podcast Facebook page! "Like" it and the join the discussion. Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week! Total Duration 15:54 Download episode 92   FIREWORKS by Jahzzar is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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  • Episode 402: Generational Sensitivity and Diversity for Project Leaders (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam get PMP Training on your phone from The PM PrepCast: Margaret Meloni, MBA, PMP Here are some buzzwords for you: Multi-generational teams. Generational shifts. Inter- and intra-generational communication. Multi-generational workplace. Millennials vs baby boomers. I think you get the idea... right? We’re here today to talk about how old I am... :-) Just kidding... we’re here to talk about generational sensitivity and diversity and how to make the best of it in project management. And in order to explore this generational topic we turn to our "soft side expert" Margaret Meloni (www.margaretmeloni.com). She has been an IT and project manager for some time and has had the pleasure to work with people from many generations. And I’m not saying she’s old either... Episode Transcript Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Podcast Introduction Transcript coming soon! 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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  • Episode 397: Lessons Learned Management Techniques (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Elizabeth Harrin, FAPM There is no doubt in my mind that you have heard the term lessons learned before. It is mentioned extensively throughout A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide), I teach it as part of my PMP training lessons and my favorite search engine gives me over 51,000 results for the search term “lessons learned in project management”. In fact, as an experienced project manager you have probably participated or even chaired one or two lessons learned meetings yourself on your own projects. But let’s consider the bigger picture around lessons learned. What process do we follow? What management techniques are there for lessons learned? Are all documented lessons learned equally valuable? These questions need answers. And so I’m happy to welcome Elizabeth Harrin (www.girlsguidetopm.com -- www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethharrin/ - ) who has the answers for us! Episode Transcript 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 Episode # 397. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. There is no doubt in my mind that you have heard the term “Lessons Learned” before. It is mentioned extensively throughout the PMBOK Guide. I teach it as part of my PMP Training Lessons and my favorite search engine gives me over 51,000 results for the search term, “Lessons Learned in Project Management”. In fact, as an experienced project manager, you have probably participated or even chaired one or two lessons learned meeting yourself on your own projects. If you are preparing for your PMP Exam, then the best way to calm the butterflies in your stomach is to take a Practice Exam. Our PMP Exam Simulator offers you nine such exams. To see how it works and take a free test drive, please go to www.freeexamsimulator.com . But let’s consider the bigger picture around lessons learned here. What processes do we follow? What management techniques are there for lessons learned? And are all documented lessons learned equally valuable? These questions need answers and so I’m happy to welcome Elizabeth Harrin who has the answers for us. And now, please pay attention. We’ll be doing a Lessons Learned at the end. Enjoy the interview. Female Voice:   Project Management Podcast™ Feature Interview.  Today with Elizabeth Harrin, author, blogger and speaker.   Cornelius Fichtner:   Hello, Elizabeth. Elizabeth Harrin:   Hello, Cornelius.  I’ll certainly do my best. Cornelius:   [laughs] Oh well, let’s find out because we’re going to be defining our topic first. From your perspective, what are lessons learned? Elizabeth:   They are the bits of organizational knowledge that we pick up as we go through our projects and you’ll typically find them split into things that went well—so all the things that we patted ourselves on the back about— “Yes, we did a great job on that!”—and then the things that didn’t go so well where we have issues and things. The main thing I would say when we’re defining “lessons learned” is that we need to make the distinction between “lessons captured” and “lessons learned” because often on projects and I know we’re going to talk more about the process of capturing output at the end of the project and later on in our discussion today, we often write things down and capture them without actually learning or doing anything with them. So, I suppose the key point for me as we’re starting this discussion is to think we really need to make sure that whatever comes out of our –whatever organizational knowledge we learn as we go, we actually do something with it and it becomes learned.  Cornelius:   And what do we mean by “management techniques” for lessons learned? Elizabeth:   Management techniques are just effective ways of working and lessons learned are very important for our projects because they let us do things better. Management techniques help us get facts and results which is delivering better outcomes and learning and improving on how we run our projects in our companies. So, there are things like how we can capture, record, analyze and use lessons learned for continuous improvement. Generally, the management techniques that we can use fall into three categories: things that relate to people, so staffing, training and that kind of stuff; techniques that relate to processes so that might be the templates or the agenda that you use for your lessons learned sessions and then tools and technology which might be how you then store and recover those lessons learned once you’ve done—finished capturing them. Cornelius:   And before we do anything else right now, you’ve already put a big elephant into the room here. So, let’s look at that elephant. How do we avoid that our captured, documented, lessons learned are simply filed away and never looked at again so they become documented lessons but they don’t become lessons learned? What do we need to do to actually learn something? Elizabeth:   I think the organizational co-chair has a huge part to play here because you need to create a culture of continuous improvement where people want to seek help. What was learned from other initiatives so they don’t make the same mistakes? And if you need to talk to –if you don’t think that exists in your organization and you’re talking to people about it, it’s a good idea to frame it in a way of making sure you want to learn lessons because it may seem faster and cheaper. But you’re not reinventing the wheel every time and you’re not making the same mistakes but somebody made our project two years ago but to answer your question, I think we struggled because it’s hard, and if we don’t have enough time and at the end of the project, you’re normally rushing to wrap up the last few things and then move straight into the next thing. So, it’s partly to do with facts and partly to do with just not enough general call for understanding of the cost of reinventing the wheel because it’s quite hard to manage and measure the impact on productivity. It’s quite hard to sell the benefits, if you like, of putting the effort in to getting a good strong culture of lessons learned because it’s quite hard to quantify what the benefit is. I think it all just boils down to a lack of understanding of those benefits. Am I allowed to say that it’s because of the fact that people are lazy? Cornelius:   [laughs]  Elizabeth:   [laughs] Maybe we should say they are under a lot of pressure to move on to the next thing and it’s not the most glamorous or exciting area of Project Management, is it? Cornelius:   Yeah. I have to admit in many of my projects, when the end came, lessons learned was just not something that was on anyone’s mind. What was on their mind was: “Ahh, there’s a new project over there. Bye!”  Elizabeth:   “I’ve waited for this for months and months I just wanted to give up now. I’m done.”    Cornelius:   There you go. Yeah. We, project managers, we’re always fond of processes, procedures, is there a particular lessons learned process to be followed? Elizabeth:   Yes, I think there is.  A generally accepted process for projects is that you will collect the lessons, then you’ll apply some kind of prioritization or validation to them and then store them somewhere while making them available to other teams. And then the final step in the process is that you re-use them so that’s where the learning part comes in. Cornelius:   Or, if we talk reality, the final step is you forget about them.  Elizabeth:   Yes, you’re following the drill. But if you don’t use them, then what’s the point of gathering them? The idea there is that they should feed into continuous improvement. And while doing some of the bigger improvements it might be a lot of effort and might put people off. There’s normally one or two small things that come out of a project that you can easily change for the next project to make it better. Cornelius:   We also have to talk about the difference in how lessons learned are managed and approached on a traditional, multiple-based project versus the Agile world and how they do their lessons learned which they call retrospective meeting. Can you tell us what is the difference here at a high level? Elizabeth:   Agile teams tend to be a lot more focused on continuous review and improvement and they review performance more regularly. They also do different types of reviews. An Agile team retrospective will focus on the team’s working practices to have it work together, celebrating things that they’ve achieved together, bettering the relationships in the team. A more traditional multiple approach in my experience, focuses more on tasks and deliverables and not how the team perform together. And that’s an area for multiple lessons learned that we should cover but is often forgotten. Agile also has released sprint retrospectives where the lessons learned focused on the product or the service that was looked at and built and not released, and you’ve also got a project retrospective where you look at a whole project and not if probably the one most similar to the traditional word for a lessons learned meeting. Cornelius:   So, the big difference I can see immediately is, in Agile, the retrospective meetings happen a lot more often. Elizabeth:   Yes. Cornelius:   Your sprints are two to four weeks long and at the end of the sprint, you have your retrospective meeting, you take what you’ve learned and you apply it immediately on the next sprint. So, there is really continuous and on-going learning. Elizabeth:   I think so, definitely. And the co-chair for retrospective is so embedded in Agile. It’s embedded far more efficiently than it is in a multiple context, it might be. So, I think multiple teams might have to work harder to get value out of the meeting. It’s also a risk that lessons learned meetings in a multiple environment on the risk of just turning into a meeting with a lot of finger-pointing and blame. I don’t think that would happen as often in an Agile team. Perhaps because they are much more used to giving feedback and they’re much more used to working on retrospectives more regularly. Cornelius:   Is one approach better than the other? Elizabeth:   I suppose the right answer for that is: No, both have their merits, but my personal view would be, I prefer the idea of continuous review on a large project that stretches over more than six months. I mean, how can you remember what happens in project initiation if it is not for until a long time that you then sit down and try and review it? And I think that’s the advantage of the Agile approach for me, it’s easy enough to replicate on a multiple project team because you can schedule mini lessons learned reviews whenever you want—at the end of major stages or even once a month as part of your normal project team meeting. I suppose it’s about finding a right balance, isn’t it really? Cornelius:   Yeah. I remember an IT project that I was leading some years back and at the end of the project, we had a lessons learned meeting and one of the lessons that we’ve had was the product owner on the other side of the fence, we should have handled her completely differently. We should have approached her completely differently and done work with her completely differently. We figured that out at the end of the project. So, if we had continuously thought about these things and tried to learn from our mistakes in the past, how wonderful this could have been if after two to three months versus fifteen months, we would have realized we have to work with her differently.   Elizabeth:   Yes. Cornelius:   So, yeah that is a completely different approach there. Let’s move on and review some types of lessons learned meetings and the high-level concepts behind them. We’ve done some research prior to this interview and we found a few and we’re going to review them here, so generally speaking we talked about that the overall lessons learned meetings—that’s just the general term. We’ve already reviewed that, we’ve talked about it but now let’s take a more closer look at them. We’ve also talked about the Agile retrospective so those were the first two names that we found, Lessons Learned meetings and Agile retrospectives but then we also came up with after-action reviews. What are those, Elizabeth? Elizabeth:    That’s the term that’s come from the US military. But it means the same thing. It’s a way of taking a course of action and establishing what went well, what didn’t go well and what you’re going to do differently next time. I think whether you call it—because some of the other names that you might hear is described as post-project evaluation meeting, post-mortem, post-implementation review, they all broadly do the same thing which is exactly that—look at what works, what didn’t work and try to put in place an action plan and to capture those lessons learned so no one makes the same mistakes in the future. I think the vocabulary is really important though—which one you’d decide to use on your projects. For me a post-mortem conjures up the idea that it’s the end, something went wrong, you’re actually having problems with your project. It’s dead. [laughs] An off-direction review will go instant when it comes from a military background. It also sounds as if after the action, you missed the opportunity to put something right so I would caution the listeners to choose a phrase that is very positive and that has positive continuous improvement connotations. Cornelius:   Right. So, depending on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, the term “post-mortem” maybe right to you? 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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  • Get Your PMP®, an interview with Cornelius Fichtner, PMP

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    Total Duration 33:07 Download episode 46 One of the real pleasures of my job is to help project managers get their Project Management Professional certification. For years I procrastinated in getting my PMP® certification--perhaps that is your story as well. Or maybe you're wondering if it would make sense for you to get a certification. In this episode I talk with Cornelius Fichtner, the venerable host of The Project Management Podcast, about issues related to PMP® certification. If you’re considering getting certified or in the process of preparing right now, this interview is especially for you. Here are links to learn more about the PMP® Prep offerings from Cornelius: PM PrepCast: http://nanacast.com/vp/112694/81275/  PMP® Exam Simulator (Free 3-day Access): http://nanacast.com/vp/104847/81275/ PMP® Exam Formulas Study Guide: http://nanacast.com/vp/104756/81275/ Project Management Podcast: http://www.project-management-podcast.com/ Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week!

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

    · The Project Management Podcast

    This episode is reserved for subscribers of the Premium Podcast. Learn how to subscribe to the Premium Podcast to access this interview and transcript... For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam use PMP exam prep on your phone with The PM PrepCast: 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 Transcript 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 this Premium Episode #394. I’m Cornelius Fichtner. As always, Premium means that this interview is reserved for you, our Premium subscribers. Thank you very much for your financial support of the Project Management Podcast™ 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 best 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 nevertheless steadily been increasing. In other words, if you took a project that you managed five 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 and I are starting this interview. We are exploring why complexity is increasing, whether it is actually real or just perceived and what you can do about it. Enjoy the interview. Female Voice:   Project Management Podcast Feature Interview. Today with Jordan Kyriakidis, CEO and co-founder of QRA Corporation. Cornelius:   Hello, Jordan. Welcome back to the Project Management Podcast™ Jordan:  Thank you. Thank you for having me back. It’s a pleasure to be here. Cornelius:   In our first interview we talked about Natural Language Processing, the word complexity came up a couple of times so we decided to follow it up with an interview on the increasing project complexity and how it’s impacting us project managers. How do you define complexity yourself in the context of Project Management? Jordan:   Well, that’s like a four-month long course (laughs). Can I go just on complexity? Cornelius:   OK. We have thirty minutes (laughs). Jordan:   I’ll give a closed notes version. There’s many measures of complexity. Some simple measures which I think are not very good is the budget, the length of the project, whether you’ve done it before and I’ve heard some companies say: “If we’ve done a project before then it’s easy, if we’ve never done it before then it’s hard”. I think a kind of measure that I use and I may be betraying my own background here is a good measure of complexity is not how long and what break down structure is or anything simple like that. It is really the interdependencies of all the different components of the project and if everything depends on many other things, then it is an example of a very complex project. I can give you maybe more visual image that maybe helpful. If you think of say—let’s say for example—of all the tasks you need to do just look at the word breakdown structure and you draw that as like a graph. You have a little circle that represents each task you want to complete and then you draw a line between tasks that are related or interdependent as we have all these circles with the lines connected to them, does that make sense so far? Cornelius:   It does. Jordan:   Now if you look at that and what you’ll see for a very complex project, you’ll see a lot of closed loops, a lot of circles and a lot of ways you can start at one note and traverse around and come back to where you started from and the more of those you have, the more complex your project is. You can imagine a simple project that is very long—say your project takes—ok, you say this project can take like eight years to complete but you can do everything in a very clear, linear fashion that the next task cannot begin until the previous one finishes and there’s one straight—like a one-dimensional path to completion. That—and it could be a very expensive project, it could be a very –but that is a very simple project, the structure of it is very clear. A complicated network diagram this is called, will not look like they will have like loops and hoop backs and they’ll just look like they’re very, very complicated. Cornelius:   So, is this interdependency the main reason why project complexity is increasing or is this something else? Jordan:   Yes, there’s interdependency or an interaction between different components and that is one of the primary reasons why projects fail or go far over budget or the time just gets blown out of the water. It’s because of this—because then what happens –you may have heard this refrain that it’s possible to make no mistakes and still fail. What that means is that if you have a lot of interaction between various components of a project, what happens is that you can have something go wrong and the error is not associated with any one particular task. The error is associated with how this task depend on each other and it’s the interaction where you have these problems arising. Cornelius:    How can our listeners recognize this increasing complexity. You gave us the visual of draw out the WBS and start creating almost like a neural network to see what connects to what. Is that the only way? Are there any other ways? Jordan:   I think that is a very good way to do it. I told you right away whether you have something complex or not. Another thing you can recognize complexity is if you’re doing—say in the planning phase and you start realizing that there’s actually many different ways you can like plan out this project into a safe schedule—let’s talk about scheduling, for example. You realize that there’s many ways you can schedule a project and you can’t really say one is better than the other, they are just different ways of doing it. That’s one little clue you can have that you are dealing with something that’s very complex. When you have to make choices, project managers are always making choices and your choices are between things that is not very clear—which one is better overall than another choice, right? It depends—one choice maybe better for certain things, not better in other things and so that is almost definition of a difficult choice. That would be another sign that you’re dealing with an increasing complexity in your project. Yet another one is if you start doing a sensitivity analysis and you find that small changes can have a big impact. Especially a big impact on something that seems very unrelated to what you changed. I see like there shouldn’t be any connection there but somehow there is. So, these are all the things that are signs that you’re dealing with a complex project and my feeling is that the project manager listening now who have experienced all of these with increased frequency as we move into the future in the recent task. Cornelius:    We’re all living in a more and more interconnected world—does this mean then that complexity is increasing on all projects or can you think of any areas where no, it’s not really increasing?  Jordan:   I would say it’s not increasing on all projects but generally speaking, the larger project is—these days the more complex it is particularly there are some kind of –I would say—some projects that are almost always becoming more and more complex. And that is if your project involves a lot of technology, if it involves a lot of software and if it involves especially software or hardware integrated together into one unit. These are areas where I would say, are ripe with complexity. Cornelius:   Is the increasing complexity actually a problem? Is this not simply a challenge that we, project managers have to rise up to and meet? Jordan:   Well, it is certainly the latter—it certainly is a challenge a project managers absolutely have to rise up and meet. There’s no question of that. Whether it’s a problem or not I guess that maybe a bit a symmetric question. I think that it’s a problem in the sense that it makes the job of managing the project more difficult. However, it is not a problem in the sense that complexity is bad and we should not have it. And so, if you look at, for example—maybe I can argue by example and if you look at cars. Cars now are far more complex than they were say, a generation ago. There’s far more computer processing going on in there but generally speaking, this is a good thing. Cars are actually much safer now. Cars are more reliable now. Cars in almost any measure are much better and some of them are really getting less expensive too even though they’re becoming more complex. In that sense complexity is a very good thing but the poor project manager who has to manage the new technology in these cars for them there’s new challenges involved with it. Cornelius:   I read an article of yours about this complexity and one topic you talked about was the status quo. A two-part question here: maybe you can tell us a little bit about what you mean by the status quo of handling project complexity and also give us an example from a project that you experienced where the rise in project complexity meant that the status quo was no longer an option. Jordan:   Well, you can see the status quo varies from industry to industry and the status quo for example if we pick aerospace, the status quo for handling project complexity is you have all these –you generally have a review. You start off with a systems requirement review, you go on to preliminary design reviews, design reviews and then you go into actual implementation. Various industries have variations of the theme. You have these milestones that you have to meet and they are requirements and designs before you go to the actual implementation. The status quo, typically if we take, say, let’s dive in the middle of processing and doing a design review, if it is for big project this will involve people getting together in a big room and they’ll spend three or four days, all getting in the room and you’ll have project managers, you’ll have budget people, you’ll have engineers in there and they’ll put up—they’ll present the requirements and they’ll present the designs and they’ll discuss how these designs actually meet the requirements. They’ll go back and forth and discuss various scenarios and they’ll move on that way and at the end of the meeting, they’ll have a list of things that are things that need to be addressed, some action items that before the project can move on, all these open loops have to be resolved and then they can move on. When I say status quo, that’s what I have in the back of my mind. I’m not sure if that’s been your experience as well for typically how this is done? [talked ove] Cornelius:   Yeah. Pretty much. Jordan:   So the reason why I think the status quo is no longer an option is because –when will that work well? That works well if you have very highly qualified people in the room who are doing it for a while or experienced, they know what they’re doing and they’re working on a project that they have seen before, they know how it works out, they have made mistakes in the past, they know not to make mistakes again and if you have that situation they’ll say the status quo actually works pretty well. However when you have this complexity at a level not seen before, when every phase depends on every other phase, and every task within a phase depends on many other tasks within that phase and you’re dealing with new technology that has not been introduced before and you’re dealing with software infused throughout the whole system that you haven’t had before. Now people are less certain of where the risk lies and where the danger lies especially if the danger really lies in not just one error happened but a series of anomalies can happen in a certain order and then that’ll cause problems. It’s very difficult to actually rule out for humans and so in these cases you really cannot capture all the errors that are inherent in a document and what you find is that you have the design reviews and what will happen is there is going to be dangers lurking—dragons lurking in your project that you don’t even know about and so you don’t have any mitigation plans for them until you start building something and you’re deep into the implementation and you start seeing that things are not working the way it ought to be working and you wonder why. Why? Because you didn’t uncover it way back in the design stage. I think that was rather a long-winded answer to your question. Cornelius:   No, it gets the picture across quite well. So, how do you propose then that project managers handle or even thrive amidst this increase of complexity? 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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  • In the Trenches with Ryan Endres

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    In The Trenches.... Like You A month or so ago I was talking with listener Mike Settlemire. Mike was participating in our Advanced Project Management e-learning program and we were talking about the podcast. Mike had a suggestion: what about interviewing practitioners? People who are leading and delivering in the real world? Insights from Your Peers, Not Authors Hey, I love bringing you discussions with people like John Kotter, Dan Pink, Kerry Patterson, Adam Grant, and the many other guests we have had thus far. And we will continue to deliver interviews from authors of books that can stretch and inform us to better lead and deliver. But I think Mike is exactly right! Some times it can be just as effective to hear from a peer. What does he or she do to help them lead and deliver? What has led to their success and what would they do over? Introducing Ryan Endres Our first installment of our In the Trenches series is with Ryan Endres, PMP. In the interview Ryan shares insights and lessons that have helped him successfully lead and deliver. During the discussion, Ryan mentions the following resources: Herding Cats blog pmStudent A Girl's Guide to Project Management Ryan's blog: Thoughts of a Project Manager In the interview, Ryan mentions a status report that he loves to use. Ryan was gracious enough to share it with us. Click the icon below to download the Microsoft Word file: 20 PDUs for a Great Price! Whether you need contact hours for PMP certification or PDUs, we can help! Our e-learning is engaging, informative, and even fun. Go to http://courses.i-leadonline.com/courses/advanced-project-management to get 20 PDU's for a great price. If you need contact hours to prepare for your PMP, check our PMP Prep e-learning at http://www.nanacast.com/pmp-exam-prep. Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week! Total Duration 24:13 Download episode 89   JARDINS DU LUXEMBOURG by Jahzzar is licensed under a Attribution-ShareAlike License.

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  • Selling Skills for Project Managers, with author Dan Pink

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    You're a Salesperson. Seriously. So, when you think of a salesperson, who comes to mind? For many people, it's someone closer to Kenny the Sales Weasel from Dilbert (see the video below). Good thing you and I aren't salespeople! We're project managers. Team leads. Department heads. Scrum Masters. But salespeople? No way! Or are we? Though we may not be salespeople by title, we spend concerted time on a weekly basis trying to move people--influence people--getting them to take action or agree to something or sign off on a document or hire you or show up for a meeting, or finish a task on time. To Sell is Human Our guest in this episode is Daniel Pink, author of the new book entitled To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. Dan's new book can help us all be much more successful at helping move people without resorting to sleazy tricks. Help Getting Your PMP Certification Whether you need contact hours for PMP certification or PDUs, we can help! Our e-learning is engaging, informative, and even fun. Go to http://courses.i-leadonline.com/courses/advanced-project-management to get 20 PDU's for a great price. If you need contact hours to prepare for your PMP, check our PMP Prep e-learning at http://www.nanacast.com/pmp-exam-prep. Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week! Total Duration 38:58 Download episode 88   A Little Fun In Dan's book he refers to the Dilbert character Kenny the Sales Weasel. Here's a video version of the cartoon! {youtube}C3iTHHhgezY{/youtube} In the book, Dan talks about the benefits but also limitations of psyching yourself up. Interrogative talk is more powerful. The discussion on positive affirmations reminded me of my favorite Stuart Smalley skit on Saturday Night Live. Enjoy! Finally, here's Dan with one of my favorite past podcast guests, Dr. Adam Grant. Adam and Dan provide a great 20 minute summary of To Sell is Human. {youtube}J6EjBwrdHgE{/youtube} ANYTHING BUT THE TRUTH by Phil Reavis is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License. IF I COULD CHANGE YOUR MIND by Sloan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (aka Music Sharing) License.

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  • Project Management Beyond PMI, an interview with Bill Duncan, primary author of the original PMBOK(R) Guide

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    Total Duration: 30:26 Download episode 18 I have the real privilege of helping organizations around the world improve their ability to deliver projects and lead teams. In 2008 we added a PMP Exam Prep offering to our mix to help project managers who want to get their Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.I have to say this while I can because it's only a matter of time before I won't be able to! So far, every one of our students who have attended our workshops and taken the PMP certification exam have passed! Now obviously I can't take too much credit for this track record because anyone who wants to pass the PMP exam must have a fair amount of experience to even apply. In addition, there's plenty of study required. That said, it's totally passable and we can help you.If you are a project manager and haven't yet pursued certification, I strongly recommend you consider making it a goal for the coming year. Click here to learn more about PMP certification.Now of course PMP certification is an obvious option, but did you know there are other well respected, if not as well known, project management certifications? In this cast you'll hear from Bill Duncan. If Bill's name isn't familiar, his work will be to many of you. Bill was the primary author of the original PMBOK® Guide and shares some helpful insights on certification and delivering successful projects.To learn more about the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management and the certification Bill talks about in this cast, check out http://www.asapm.org/blog.Would you like to help your organization improve its ability to deliver projects more reliably? Our project management series of workshops take well established project management practices and use proven adult learning methods to help you put them into action. Whether you're looking for certification for a selected group of PM's or helping your entire organization improve their project management competencies, our workshops and coaching can help you make a real improvement in the coming year.Thank you for joining us for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! For my Jewish friends I trust you had a very Happy Hanukkah! And for my listeners celebrating Christmas this week, I wish you and those you love a very Merry Christmas! Have a great start to your New Year! "PMI and PMP" are trademarks, service marks or certification marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc., which is registered in the United States and other nations.Silent Night (Jazz Trio Version) Less Bass by John Stebbe. Used under Creative Commons License Attribution-No Derivative Works 1.0 Generic NOTE: This interview was revised on 4/30/2012 at the request of Mr. Duncan.

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  • Episode 406: Leading Projects Without Authority (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: Download Project Management Professional (PMP)® training to your pocket: Jeff Kissinger and Cornelius Fichtner You've been there, right? You've managed a project where nobody on the team reported to you. But what can a project manager do to succeed other than beg borrow or steal in this situation? This interview with Jeff Kissinger (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded at the superb Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. It is based on his presentation "Leading Without Authority: The Project Manager's Dilemma" and looks at what project managers can do to successfully deliver their projects even in situations where they have little or no authority at all over the people on their project. Here is what Jeff wrote about his presentation: Leading project teams without direct authority is a dilemma that many project leaders face. Doing this well is an art. And, like art, it’s often practiced using a mixture of skills, techniques, and tools. Attendees will learn how to identify and resolve authority issues quickly that adversely affect their projects and learn how to lead their project teams successfully without direct authority. You can find the Unified Vision Framework discussed in the interview by visiting http://www.pmobrothers.com/. Episode Transcript Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Coming soon... 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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  • Episode 403: Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam get PMP Training on your phone from The PM PrepCast: Marygracesoleil Ericson Advanced product quality planning (or APQP) is a framework of procedures and techniques used to develop products in industry, particularly the automotive industry. This interview about APQP with Marygracesoleil Ericson (LinkedIn Profile) was recorded one day before the excellent Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Marygracesoleil was an attendee of the congress (not a speaker) who contacted me and suggested that we do an interview on a topic relevant to her industry. She is the PMO manager of a car audio equipment manufacturer, leading a team of program managers who build designs and coponents for the audio divisions in the automotive industry. If you have a premium sound system in your car then you might be using their speakers. For more information about APQP please visit the APQP Wikipedia Page. Episode Transcript Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Introduction Cornelius Fichtner:   In this episode of the Project Management Podcast™ we look at APQP which stands for Advanced Product Quality Planning. A framework of procedures and techniques used to develop product particularly in the automotive industry. Hello and welcome to the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com . We are coming to you live and one day before the excellent 2017 PMI Global Conference in Chicago. I am Cornelius Fichtner and with me right now is Marygracesoleil Ericson. Hello, Marygrace. Marygracesoleil Ericson:   Hi, how are you? Cornelius:   I’m doing very well, thank you. And thank you so much for stopping by a day before the conference. Marygracesoleil:   That’s right. Cornelius:   And doing this interview. Marygracesoleil:   I’m very excited. Cornelius:   So, you are the director of Program Management for a car audio manufacturing. Marygracesoleil:   That’s right. Cornelius:   That’s as much as we can say. Marygracesoleil:   Yeah. I lead a team of program managers that builds designs and builds component on the audio division for the automotive industry. Cornelius:   So, anybody listening to this podcast right now, driving somewhere on the freeway, listening it through their car speakers, there is a chance that it comes from your company. Marygracesoleil:   That’s right. Only the good speakers. Cornelius: [laughs] Right. We wanted to talk today about APQP—the Advanced Product Quality Planning. Ooh, that’s a mouthful. What is it? Marygracesoleil:   APQP is basically the disciplined approach to develop PM launching new products. So, it’s the process that we follow from cradle to grave. How do we build components from when we receive the scope from the customer, how we design it, what deliverables we have up until we launch it into mass production. So that’s what we follow. Cornelius:   And when you say the process that we follow, who is “we”? Marygracesoleil:   All automotive industries follow this. All components that deliver to the automotive OEMs need to follow the APQP process. Cornelius:   OK. So, we’re talking Ford, Chrysler, Toyota—whatever car you’re driving. Marygracesoleil:   Yeah. Cornelius:   If you are somebody who delivers components for those cars, that’s the process you follow. Marygracesoleil:   Right. And in some of the Fareast customers—they might not call it the APQP but the deliverables are the same. Cornelius:   OK. And my understanding is that APQP came into being because there are so many suppliers who not only supply to one car manufacturer but to multiple car manufacturers and they did not want to have to follow through your four different set of processes and so the car manufacturers actually got together and said, “OK, we may be competitors but we better come up with something to help our suppliers here”. Marygracesoleil:   Right. It’s more standardized. Cornelius:   Exactly. Marygracesoleil:   Yeah. Cornelius:   OK. The process that we have and that we can hopefully place on the website has a number of steps in it. It begins with a planning cycle then a product design and development stage, a process design and development stage. After that we have the product and process validation from where it goes into production. This all looks very much plan-driven, a lot of thinking is done upfront before anything happens. Is that the case? Is that what the idea is? Marygracesoleil:   Yes, we have to plan how we design, validate and manufacture the components that get delivered to the customer. And this is what we use as the APQP. So, for my program managers, we make sure that 1). we understand the scope of what the customer wants to produce and then we make sure that we plan, we design to the requirements of each of the customers. So, each of the OEMs have different requirements in terms of how they want it to function, what type of temperature does it need to not fail—to still function and also what type of manufacturing they want or capacity they want to produce our component. So, yes, there is a lot of planning involved. Cornelius:   Remember we’re only talking about the car audio here. We’re talking about the stereo, the amplifiers, the speakers and you are delivering to that but then there are other suppliers who have similar specifications and follow the same process but they deliver the tires or whatever their particular specialty may be. Marygracesoleil:   Yes. Cornelius:   In your business, when I look at this cycle here, I can’t really tell how long it takes but at the end, production begins and the planning is on the far left—how long does it take from the initial planning to the production? Marygracesoleil:   In a perfect world, this sometimes could take up until three years. Cornelius:   OK. Marygracesoleil:   So that’s in a perfect world. We can build head units, or speakers and amplifiers for about three years but that’s in a perfect world. In reality, the timing is shorter. There’s a few reasons for that. One is, maybe the customer is not ready to give the award of business. It could potentially be because the technology changes and they want to catch up on that technology so the scope of the component changes or it could be packaging issues. Maybe they want to prioritize on one technology but they can’t package it in the car so they’re still working on it and so that makes a delay also for when we have the final scope of the components we need to deliver. Cornelius:   But if it takes normally three years, and suddenly they’re squeezing it into—what—two years, one year, shorter even? Marygracesoleil:   Yes. So, there are projects that I’ve worked on where it takes two years. There actually is one particular project that was actually condensed from a three-year project to a seven months project. Cornelius:   Why? Marygracesoleil:   Yes. [laughs] you know, there’s a lot of things to be done and we only have seven months and tooling alone is sixteen weeks and I’m sure that some of your listeners understand that. So, we have to plan and work with even our suppliers to make it happen. Cornelius:   Does this basically mean that you have to get started with all the other processes even though you don’t have the award of business yet? Basically, you say, “You know what, we’re probably going to get this but we can’t wait any longer. If we want to, we have to start now”. Marygracesoleil:   Right. There are core designs so whether or not some of the key elements are not finalized, there’s always that core design that we can start with but again there’s a risk of changing that core design, right? Or did we use the correct IC to have enough memory for what they’re asking for—something like that. So, that changes. But again, the core designs are already there, there are some validation that we do during the engineering design phase, which is earlier on to the development but again it doesn’t change the fact that we are pushing our sub-suppliers as well to make sure that we can deliver on time—on target for our customers.  Cornelius:   Interesting because one thing that I read here is on the history of APQP, it says that this has an emphasis on upfront planning. Marygracesoleil:   Right. Cornelius:   Meaning—there’s a lot of planning that happens upfront yet I hear you talk about changes and things that—and when I then look again at the various steps, planning kind of stops at some point. Physically, that arrow for planning stops and says, “After this, there’s no more planning”. At least here in the drawing but that’s obviously not the case. Marygracesoleil:   Right. So, we can only plan so much, I guess. [laughs] Cornelius:   [laughs] Marygracesoleil:   …for the scope of the project but we also need to move forward. Right. We need to move forward so that we can direct or lead our suppliers into making sure that they can build their tools so that we can deliver an actual part to the customer. So, yes, the planning in a perfect world is in the beginning but there is also a lot of recovery plan—is what we call it—where we’ve planned one thing, there’s some changes, it could be driven by the customer, it could be also driven by us as well and then we have our recovery plan. How do we make sure that the end-goal, which is the part that we deliver to the customer, they still receive at the time when they’re expecting it? Cornelius:   OK. Interesting side note here: Each of these phases has inputs and outputs—so very PMBOK Guide-like—and one thing that I was wondering here at the end of the plan and define phase, it says one of the outputs, design goals, the quality goals, special characteristics, timing—who signs off on these at this point? 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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  • Episode 398: Coaching, Mentoring, Training & Motivational Techniques (Free)

    · The Project Management Podcast

    Play Now: For your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Training 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 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. 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 Transcript 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 Episode # 398. This is the Project Management Podcast™ at www.pm-podcast.com and I am Cornelius Fichtner. 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 all it takes to create all the deliverables at the required quality and the end-user, the recipient of what you and the team will deliver, well, they must have the skills to use that product that you’re finally going to give to them. If you are a project manager who wants to become PMP or PMI ACP-certified, then the easiest way to do so is with our sister podcast, the www.PMPrepCast.com  or the www.AgilePrepCast.com  and study for the exam by watching the in-depth Exam Prep video training from www.PMPrepCast.com, But what if the skills don’t match up to the task at hand? What if a team member is lacking a skill? What if the technology is so new and different that your end-users will have a hard time with it? The answer is of course Coaching, Mentoring and Training and there is no one better than Susanne Madsen who coaches and mentors project managers into project leaders to come on the program and help us understand these three similar yet different activities. And so, let us get going with our training on Coaching, Mentoring and Training. Enjoy the interview.   Female Voice:   Project Management Podcast™ Feature Interview.  Today with Susanne Madsen, Project Leadership coach, author and speaker. Cornelius Fichtner:   Hello, Susanne, good afternoon. Susanne Madsen:   Hello, Cornelius, good morning. Cornelius:   Yes, we have just determined we really seem to be living in an alternate universe while it’s 9 degrees Centigrade here in California, it’s like 13 degrees in London. I’m moving. It’s warmer where you are. Susanne:   Yes. It’s really good because this doesn’t happen that often for us. [laughs] Cornelius:   Yeah. To begin, let’s review each of the terms—a quick definition as it relates to projects. So, what is coaching? Susanne:    Coaching—there are many different ways of describing it but I think for the listeners, it’s useful to think of it as a technique that we can use outside the project or inside the project to facilitate learning and reflection through questions. That sentence is really important –facilitate learning and reflection through questions. So, it means that we do that—we answer those questions in a way that empowers a team member to find his or her analysis. Again, that’s very, very important because coaching is not about giving advice and it doesn’t involve the coach telling people what to do or how to do it. That’s a big misconception. When we coach someone, we really assume that they have the answers to the problems themselves. We as coaches just really need to empower them and help them to find those answers so I think that really in a nutshell is what it is. Cornelius:    And then what is mentoring? Susanne:    Mentoring is again a technique which allows the team member to learn from a master so someone who has more experience than themselves. In mentoring, we receive guidance and support and advice from a senior expert. And notice here the difference—the word advice comes in—so in mentoring, we do give advice because it’s from someone who’s been there, had done it and who can assist team members and junior project managers and show them how to do it. So, it’s more hands-on than coaching. Cornelius:   And of course then also how does training differ from both of these?  Susanne:   Yes, of course there are overlaps between all of these terms and there is quite a lot of overlap between mentoring and coaching but I think training is a little bit different again because training really is more based on a standard curriculum. So, I would say that training is a technique that allows a team member to acquire knowledge, skills and theory from more of a standard curriculum where coaching and mentoring is more tailored so that means a training is more skills-based—it’s more like we transfer skills. It’s more theoretical and less tailored to the individual than coaching and mentoring is. Cornelius:   Yeah. It’s pretty much what we’re doing with this interview here, right? Susanne:   Which one of them? Cornelius:   This one right now. The training. Susanne:   Yes. So, we are giving knowledge but we’re not telling people how to implement it longer-term, that’s right. Cornelius:   OK. And where do motivational techniques fit in to all of these?    Susanne:   Yeah, I was thinking about that because it’s a little bit of a parallel track really but it is related, I would say, as a parallel track because you can use mentoring, coaching and training, as a way to motivate someone. In that sense, all of these coaching, mentoring and training could be used as a motivational technique. For instance, if we allow a team member to train in PMP –that could be very, very motivating if that’s what they really want to do or it could be demotivating for instance if you ask people on your team to go to a sales training course. They’ll go “Well, why do I want that?” So, in that sense, it definitely has the power to motivate but there are also another angle because there are lots of motivation techniques that sit outside of training, mentoring and coaching. For instance, we might say, “What is a motivational technique in the first place?” I’d say that is when we use a technique that helps a person to unlock their passion and enthusiasm for that job. So, when we do something that allows people to increase their enthusiasm—that’s really motivating. Other techniques than coaching, mentoring and training could be praising someone. When you praise someone for a job well done, it means that they feel good about their job and they feel that they’re needed for the job or if I give someone an exciting new task to do that really develops them and stretches them and place their strengths, again those actions will help the person to deepen the passion and enthusiasm for the work. In summary, motivation techniques can be training, coaching and mentoring in itself or it can be additional techniques as long as they help us to increase a person’s passion and enthusiasm for their job. Cornelius:   Excellent, Thank you. So, what we want to do now is we want to look at coaching, mentoring and training in more detail especially how it relates to Project Management and to do that, I have prepared a series of questions for you for each of these—it’s actually the same set of questions, we’re going to run through them for coaching, mentoring and training. Here we go with coaching. So, what are the three things that a project manager must know about coaching? Susanne:   Firstly, I would say that coaching is not about giving advice and I think that’s a big misconception. Mentoring is more about that but not coaching. It is really about asking questions and helping a person to find their own answers. Because that’s much more empowering. Secondly, coaching can be formal, or it can be informal. I’m a qualified coach and that means that I oftentimes coach people in a very formal way. We set an hour aside, where I help someone with a particular aspect of their job and on a project, we can do the same thing. We can coach formally, set an hour aside, go into a meeting room with someone on your team and help them –for a situation for instance where they would like to get better interfacing with a client. That’s very formal. Or we can coach informally which means that we coach on the fly. As we’re having conversations with team members, instead of giving advice, we ask insight for questions and get them to think for themselves. For instance, if someone comes up to you and asked you, “How do you want me to do this? How do you think I should do that?” It is so easy for us just to tell them what to do but instead we turn it around and we say “Well, you know, what would you like to achieve?” or “What might happen if you do so and so?” You know, we ask questions instead of just giving advice. And number 3—I’ll really say that to call ourselves a coach and to say that we’re coaching, I would really say that we need some kind of a qualification. We can’t qualify—I don’t know of any qualifications in mentoring but there are qualifications in training because there is a method. There is a coaching method and I’d actually encourage the listeners here to why not go and get a coaching qualification. It doesn’t have to be six months, you have actually also short courses on it. If we engage in such learning about being a coach, we are likely to develop our listening skills and our poor building skills which either way are great assets when we are project managers. Cornelius:   When is it appropriate to use coaching on our projects?   Susanne:   Well, it is very appropriate to use when we are in front of a person on a team who is very capable of finding the answers for him or herself but we just need to help them uncover it. So, for instance, in situations where the team member is quite skilled, they have the knowledge but maybe the need to strengthen the level of motivation. Maybe they’re not so driven at the moment or they need to find clarity in a certain situation so it’s not about the skill, it’s not about the knowledge. It’s about clarity. Or if you want to help someone to step up and strengthen their leadership skills—interpersonal skills, because these are situations where it’s not just about knowledge. It’s more about how we look at it and as a coach you can help someone to gain insight into those situations so they’re that great situations for coaching.   Cornelius:   Do you have an example for us regarding when and how to best use coaching in a project setting? Susanne:   Let’s take an example—let’s say a technically competent team member who knows their stuff really well, they know the technicalities and they come up to you and they are preparing for a meeting with a client and this person’s asking you, “How should I do this presentation? How should I do this client presentation?” And it’ll be so easy for us to just go and say, “You know what, I would do XYZ, why don’t you do that?” But instead in this example, in a coaching mode, we would go, OK. What would you like to achieve with the presentation? Who’s the audience? What would you like them to do as a result of having listened to your presentation? How much interaction do you think is important to have with your audience? And so, we guide them through asking a number of questions here, we guide them to find the answers because this is not about actually having the technical understanding. It’s really about making them think about what they’re trying to achieve with the presentation. Cornelius:   And when should we not use coaching on a project?   Susanne:   So, we should be cautious about using coaching when we are in front of a more junior person, someone who’s new in a role who doesn’t really have the knowledge. So, you’ve got someone who is new, and just imagine it would be very frustrating for them if you go up and ask them, “What are you trying to achieve? How do you think the client would react to this?” They don’t know because they’re new so it would be inappropriate to ask them too many questions. Cornelius:   And what’s the No.1 mistake that we project managers make when it comes to coaching? Susanne:   I think that the No.1 mistake is to be trying to solve a problem. We all love to be problem solvers because it makes us feel good, it makes us feel wanted and needed but solving the problem and giving someone the answer just isn’t always the right thing to do because it doesn’t make people think for themselves, it is less empowering and if I may, I would add a second mistake –and the second mistake is that we just don’t listen enough. We think that we’re coaching someone, we think we’re there trying to help someone else out but what’s happening is we’re listening to our own internal dialogue. Listening is super important for coaching. Cornelius:   How have you personally used coaching in a project setting? Susanne:   Because Cornelius I’m a qualified coach, I’ve actually used coaching quite formally—also informally but I think it’s worthwhile mentioning here how we can use formal coaching. So, I have set on my projects, I’ve set time aside for coaching sessions with different types of people on my projects and in these situations, there had been people who knew that they were getting coached by me and they wanted it. So, for instance I’ve been coaching some very high potential people who really wanted to progress and who are ready to learn and we met and we set aside between one and one and a half hours every 3-4 weeks. We’d book a meeting room and I would coach her through where she wanted to go on the project and in her role, etc. but I’ve also coached formally underperformers –actually people who have been put on an improvement plan by Human Resources. This was a question of someone who had a track record of underperformance and the same way we were scheduling regular meetings and I was helping this person, guiding this person through, what their strengths were, how we could really grow them in the project context. Cornelius:   What motivational techniques go alongside with coaching? Susanne:   We’ve mentioned a couple here. The first one I would mention is goal-setting. When we coach someone it’s very important that we look at the goals. What is it that we’re trying to achieve or what’s the problem we’re trying to solve—we need to understand what we’re moving towards. That’s actually very motivating. It’s a motivation technique to understand where we’re going and it’s positive for someone that’s motivated to work something new. We all have that intrinsic need to grow and to develop. So that is definitely appropriate and in many corporate environments, we also have personal development plans, if not the more frequently we do them once a year, what are we going to do next year to develop this person. Goal setting is also a part of that. We do a gap analysis. Where are you today? Where do you want to go? An action plan for moving a person forward—that is very closely linked with coaching. What I would also highlight is that allowing someone to work autonomously is also a motivational technique that kind of goes alongside coaching because it’s very empowering and motivating for a person. If they are able to work without too much supervision, that of course, again assumes that they are relatively capable and skilled at what they’re doing which is what we assume when we’re coaching someone in the first place. Helping someone to work autonomously, helping break down their work so that they can get on with it without too much supervision and work autonomously is definitely an important motivation technique. Cornelius:   Excellent! That’s it for coaching, we’re now going to do exactly the same thing for mentoring. So, my first question for you—what are the three things that a project manager must know about mentoring? Susanne:   When we move on to mentoring and I’ve just been going on about how important it is not to get too much advice in coaching but in mentoring, I’d say the first item is: as a mentor, we do give advice and we do give advice based on our own experiences and that also means that we need to choose our mentors very well because they’re basically looking in their own experience—everything they’ve learned over their career and that talking to you on that basis. Secondly, I’d say that we need to know and understand that a mentor is often someone more senior from within the same organization. It could be from another team or could be from within the same team—that doesn’t really matter but it is someone who has been there done that and who has more experience and who’s happy to share that. Thirdly, this is something that maybe we haven’t thought about but being a mentor can be very, very motivating because it’s a great way to help a person to actually step up and take on more responsibility because when we mentor someone else, we almost go in and help to take responsibility for someone else’s development.  We’re not fully responsible if the person we’re mentoring is responsible but we’re still having that kind of a –we’re guiding someone else and that means that we step up and we think about—how am I coming across as a role model so it can be very, very motivating for the person who is a mentor. Cornelius:   When is it appropriate to use mentoring on a project? Susanne:   I would say that if we have a team member who would like to learn about some insider secrets from someone in a similar job role, then it can be great to pair that person up with a mentor from the same team or from another team who can get them those insider secrets. Or, if someone on the team would like to get inspired by someone more senior—maybe they’re getting a bit stuck in their role but they like it but they need some new inspiration—it could be great to pair them up with a mentor from a different part of the business so that they can see a different point of view, learn from someone more experienced. Yeah, that can be very, very motivating and I’m also thinking oftentimes on projects, we do Lessons Learned at the end of a project but those Lessons Learned sometimes end up in a report and they’re not really disseminated and no one really looks at them. If we have a lot of mentors across the organization, it can be a great way to actually share our knowledge and break down silos in a different way so there are all situations that are great in which we can use mentoring with great advantage.  Cornelius:   Do you have an example for us regarding when and how to best use mentoring on a project? 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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  • 00:24:27

    11: "Why PMP Certification?" with Joel Goldfarb

    · Project Management Paradise

    This weeks Project Management Paradise topic for discussion is entitled Why PMP? with Joel Goldfarb from the Project Management Training Company based in Las Vegas. Joel has over 30 years experience in Project Management Training and shares with us his knowledge on PMP certification, how it compares with other certifications, the scoring process, preparation options and lots more. You can view/download Joel's presentation entitled Why PMP? from Slideshare.

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  • Energizing the Burned Out Project Manager, with author Tom Rath

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    Total Duration 35:56 Download episode 132 Far From Fully Charged Would you say you typically roll out of bed, refreshed, well rested, ready to attack the challenges of the day? Or are your first waking moments more likely, "Seriously? It's time to get up already?" In this episode, we welcome back Tom Rath to discuss his new book Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life. If you enjoy books with practical, evidence-based insights, you're in for a treat, and it will start making a difference on the day you crack the book open. To learn more about Tom and the book, visit his website at TomRath.org/book/are-you-fully-charged. You can catch my earlier discussion with Tom by visiting http://www.PeopleAndProjectsPodcast.com/106 Help With Your Certification Project Our PMP® Exam Prep e-learning program can help you prepare to pass the PMP or CAPM exam. Click here to learn more. Use a coupon code of PMP-100 to save USD $100. Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week! GYPSY SHOEGAZER WITHOUT VOICES, VADODORA CHILL MIX, and BEACHFRONT CELEBRATION by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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  • 00:05:52

    Papo de PMP #022: E aí, a Certificação PMP é difícil mesmo?

    · Papo de PMP

    Neste episódio do Papo de PMP, Andriele Ribeiro responde a duas perguntas enviadas por candidatos à Certificação PMP. Veja as duas perguntas abaixo: Pergunta 1: Já me disseram que a certificação PMP é igual ou pior que um vestibular (universidade federal ou estatal). Não consigo acreditar nisso. Me parece muito terrorismo! Trabalho em projetos de

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  • 00:05:32

    Papo de PMP #014: Menos pode ser mais na preparação para a Certificação PMP

    · Papo de PMP

    Você acha que o segredo do sucesso para passar no exame de Certificação PMP é estudar em muitos livros? Se sim, está enganado. A maioria dos candidatos que passam no exame PMP não estudam em tantas referências assim. No episódio 14 do Papo de PMP, Andriele Ribeiro explica porque menos pode ser mais quando o

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  • How Agile Are You? An interview with author Andy Crowe, PMP, PgMP, PMI-ACP

    · People and Projects Podcast: Project Management Po

    Agile is getting plenty of attention these days and for good reasons. When done well on aligned projects, great customer value can be delivered. Many people who listen to this podcast are certified PMP’s or are at least considering certification in the future. You may be aware that Project Management Institute has a relatively new agile certification: the PMI-ACP℠. One of the best new books available to help people pass the ACP exam is from Andy Crowe. You likely know Andy as the author of the popular book entitled The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try. Andy recently released The PMI-ACP Exam: How To Pass On Your First Try. In this episode, I talk with Andy about agile, about the certification, and about project management overall. Links to Resources To learn more from Andy, check out his blog at http://www.velociteach.com/blog/. I invite you to check out his books on Amazon, including The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try The PMI-ACP Exam: How To Pass On Your First Try Alpha Project Managers: What the Top 2% Know That Everyone Else Does Not Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast! Have a great week! Total Duration 23:54 Download episode 74 "PMI", "PMBOK, "PMP®" and "PMI-ACP" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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