Day two starts with a room that is not as filled as yesterday. Might be the case that some attendees hat a longer night catching up with each other or because of the more or less disappointing key notes from day one.
How ever the keynotes have been better than yesterday and also used the time that was given instead of running short.
However, today two main speakers will take the stage.
1) Mark A. Langley, the CEO of PMI (Project Management Institute), tailing about Strategic Talent Management and the gap in talented Project Management people
2) Robert Lightfoot (his name is his principal), a Top Shot at NASA, that still has to paint room at home :-), talking about his leadership principals
What I have to mention again, both speakers start with a story and have plenty of stories in their pack to get across in their 30 min timeframe.
For the ones that are not as familiar with the storytelling concept, her it is in a nutshell:
Talk about the situation to set the scene
Mention the complication to get the problem across
Raise the question what should or could be done
Give the insights what you have done and what you have learned
but remember, always keep it simple and relevant
Both speakers are stars in their story telling capabilities, but lets focus on the topics and the key learnings
Mark Langley, Strategic Talent Management
Yes, there is war for talent
the economy grows and their is a huge demand for skilled and talented project managers
the staff is getting older (in the next 10 years, 60% of NASA staff is retiring) and need to be replaced
there is a shift in skills required to do the job
its no longer to be able to manage Time, Cost and Scope to deliver the quality expected
its about technical, leadership and strategic management skills - aha !
yes, there is a gap in people providing that skill
so get ready as a company to train your staff and acquire the required skills on the market to be ready
as a potential employee get ready and skill yourself in all there dimensions
bottom line: An organization is nothing more than their peoples capability in delivering value
Any news for you ?
Make sure you work with PMI as an organization to find the right strategy to be ready for what is coming.
Make sure you work with PMI as an individual to skill yourself and surround yourself with others to be identified as somebody filling the GAP.
Lets get into the next one.
Robert Lightfoot (his name is his principal), a Top Shot at NASA, that still has to paint room at home :-), talking about his leadership principals
Here again, story telling in perfection and very engaging. He is a leader, at least he is coming across like one.
What makes a leader
Backbone (to make tough decisions)
Vision bone (to think into the future)
Funny bone (to add a little bit of humor)
Leadership tyrannies (don’t let them suck the life out of you)
Messages classified as Important / urgent
To much information (80 page slide deck -> with remark: for your information)
Discussion either / or driven (if you hear an either / or put an ‘and’ instead)
Than he talked about his leadership principales:
you need to have passion
have a sense of humor
understand and admit your weaknesses
listen without the intend of responding (listen to understand not to reply)
control your emotions
share what you know to release the power
recognize the power of workforce diversity
use your common sense
demonstrate integrity and humanity
engage in continuous learnings (learn from your leaders, learn by being led, stay hungry)
have the courage to handle unjust criticism
operate similar on all levels
admit and learn from mistakes
get out of your office, but don’t be a drive-by leader
practice situational leadership
train your replacement
leading change is hard (never, never, never give up)
keep it up and remember why you are doing this
So what am I taking out of day two
Story telling is key
Shitty slides do not support the speaker (to many shitty slides I have seen today)
NASA got PM toolkits that look like ours, fighting the same problems
Systems need to more than the sum of their subsystems
There were to many streams and not enough attendees (especially in the afternoon)
Listen to understand not to reply !
A great conference with additional impulses and to get a better feeling how organizations like NASA manage their projects. Unfortunately their is no event planned for next year.
After inspecting the facilities yesterday evening I am now looking forward how the venue presents itself and will accommodate more than 950 attendees mostly from NASA and some institutions and companies contracted by NASA. A networking event that will be held the last time for the time being due to budget challenges and going into other networking event options.
The huge ballroom is filling just prior to the keynotes to be held this morning. Almost every seat is taken.
If have planned to attend the Key Notes (shorter than the ones that you might be familiar with) and 6 sessions / speaker opportunities throughout the day including mine. Here is the schedule for today. And for some I will have a more detailed coverage depending on how interesting and new the topics are to me.
Principles of Project Success at NASA
Meeting the Challenges of the Future Now, Lesa Roe
5 Keys to Successful Project Management, Wayne Brantley
How to learn from other peoples mistakes, Ed Rodgers
New Platform, KSC (Kennedy Space Center) Repurpose
So what am I taking out of the first day.
May be the last NASA PM Conference that is being organized due to funding issues and other reasons
Project Management Topics in context of Space and Engineering with the aura of the NASA are inspiring
Project Management is Project Management is Project Management and nobody is cooking with gas :-)
When we think our projects are complex try to manage one with 2 Million separate systems (eg. Apollo Program)
For good speakers, Story Telling is key. Most of the good speakers tells stories at the beginning and during their speech, stories that have a meaning and that are getting the speakers message across.
Florida is a nice place to hold a conference
So lets look at the keynotes themselves: 3 Speakers at the beginning and the key messages I took away from them
The first one to talk, a Top Shot at NASA, gives an advice that everybody should think about by reflecting what has changed in his view at conferences. People are looking at their computer, blackberry and smartphones instead listening to and looking at the speaker. His advice is, by referring to Ferries Buler (Ferris macht blau), Life is moving fast, if you not look up, you might miss it. So look up, look around, speak to people that you have not planned to speak to, go into a presentation that you have not planned to go to. I will take this into account for my first day and will attend sessions that I have not planned for. Beside that he commenting on his leadership principles that are three fold:
Passion, Energy and a little bit of humor
Then Andy Chaikin is taking the stage, a famous author (Man on the Moon), I am sure that some of you have read some books from him. His recent publication is ‘Voices from the Moon’ where he interviewed the astronauts that went out to the long journey to the moon.
His key message is elaborating on the fact that NASAs objectives are changing and the meaning might or will be different in the future.
They (NASA) went to Space, went to the Moon and built a Space Station (ISS), how ever as the money runs out and available budgets become tighter the meaning of NASA might and will have to be different in the future.
He talks about that every individual has ‘to be part of meaningful narrative’. And by making an impossible dream come true you can’t go back to business as usual (looking at the Apollo Mission, an endeavor that at that point in time nobody thought would be possible.
So looking at the cost situation at NASA, by giving examples like, the shuttle was designed to cost (only half of the required budget of 10 Billion Dollars were granted) and by giving an example that NASA has to change as the are currently perceived as the ‘The self licking ice cone’ to focus on changing the cost side of the cost benefit equation.
To be able to see the Moon and Earth like ‘Messenger’ did when flying to Mars, without achieving these goals the people at NASA will not have a meaningful narrative to go beyond what they already have achieved.
… how to speak in front of an non existing audience or in an empty room.
Just arrived at the conference center in Orlando, Florida, for the NASA Project Management Challenge and Conference one day ahead of the game and registered. Beside that, all the rooms were set up already and equipped, but empty. So I took the chance to sneak into my room that I am going to speak in tomorrow. Small projector wall (not seen on the picture and 200 spare seats. How ever, 950 people attending, aprx. 15 parallel streams (average of 60 to 70 participants for each presentation) and about 140 to 150 presentations during the day.
This is the room I am presenting in
and this is the benchmark, the Carribean Ballroom where the keynotes are taking place. May be next time.
A small little dream came true, I must say. I am not just attending the conference this year, taking place at the Caribe Hotel & Convention Center at the 22nd and 23rd of February, but I am also presenting.
950 delegates attending and about 140 to 150 presentations mostly held by NASA staff. I applied last year in August and got accepted on the back up list and 3 weeks prior to the conference got a spot.
It’s a delegate program with plenty of new impulses and project management practices applied at NASA and companies close to the program.
Just check out the program and you will see what I mean why I a proud to be contributing part of the conference.
Topics like ‘Lessons Learned from the Challenger Launch Decision’ and ‘Managing Space Projects in a Changing Global Environment’ are just two examples I am looking forward to.
How ever, if we think our projects are complex, think about the Apollo Program, yes, the one that went to the moon between 1969 and 1972, they have a Project where the goal is to manage the build, test and assemble of 2 million systems, not parts, but systems. Unbelievable and Impossible…. ? No, just scrap this out of your dictionary. Can’t wait.
Looking back its has been a great experience where not much can be enhanced. So here is my view
1) Great Keynotes
Just to give you a view examples
Matthias Horx - Trend und Zukunftsforscher
Key message: There is a better future after a crisis
Volker Doekel - Project Manager for the A380 Project at Lufthansa
Key message: More communication, less tools
Friedrich Fuehr - Founder of the DESERTEC Foundation
Key Message: Have a vision and be the change you want to see
Tom De Marco (definitely another highlight) - author of “Der Termin” - “The Deadline”
Key Message: Systems became to complex to handle
Christian Gansch - Vom Solo zur Sinfonie
Key message: Everybody plays an important part in a project
Just these keynotes have been worth coming to this event
2) Good exibition
Many companies have participated and have been exposed to around 900 visitors.
Definitely a great side activity and creating a creative environment for all the participants.
The food was served close to the exibition and therefore may people hang around there.
3) The speaches and presentations
It’s like with every conference. There are very good speakers, there are good speakers and there are average speakers. At this years PM Forum 2010 there was a good balance. If you were lucky picking the right presentation you could have seen quite some good presentations.
The ones I was impressed by, were the following:
Wolfram Mueller - Great speech about his well known approach about Critical Chain Projekt Management. Based on a buffer he is adding to the project he is able to manage the portfolio and resources effectively.
Thomas Roellecke - Talking about opportunities, threats and risks in international projects with international teams. The slides also worked like an abstract. So if you want to read through the 18 items addressed, check out the slides on the PM Forum page (as a participant your able to download them)
Dr. Lorenz Schneider - Great presentation about the challenges by being responsible building the Shanghai Formula 1 Circuit. Freat pictures, and damm, this guy got experience. Make sure you read his abstract in the conference book.
Tabita Armbrecht and Monika Ulmer - they gave a great insight in Project Management career development at a large health insurance company in Germany. Great stuff to develop the talent from the inside.
Great event, definitely worthwhile attending
The only thing from my side that was missing.
Please record the presentations and publish them as video podcasts on itunes and on your website. Would have been a great value add. (Spend less money on food and more on recording and documenting.
PMOZ 2009 is calling papers. PMOZ is a well established Project Management conference within Australia that will get together again in 2009 in the Australian Capital Canberra from the 10th to the 12th of of August 2009 in the National Conference Centre.
I have attended the PMOZ 2007 at the Gold Coast and and PMOZ 2008 in Melbourne and have always taken away something. I have met great people working in the same profession, learned about new trends, step deeper into existing skills and I also had a great time during the breakouts. Presenting was also a very good option to get yourself out of the comfort zone and to expose yourself to others that are interested in your topic. A great and easy way in getting known to new people as they most likely will approach you after a speech.
What we can see from the website that PMOZ got a new CI (Corporate Identity) that is now in sync with PM Global.
So the call for papers is on. Make sure you secure your spot as slots are running out quickly.
Please download the brochure here and understand what to do to be accepted.
Cornelius Fichter, The Host of the PMpodcast, is chairing the 2008 PMO Summit in Coconut Grove Florida.
As the chair he was asked to open the summit with a short keynote (Good on you, Cornelius), and he decided on the theme “The Value of PMOs”. To get an understanding about the perception out there he asked his audience to participate in a survey and to complete 5 questions.
Here is the survey and my answers.
1) Where do you think that PMOs provide the most value?
In Portfolio mgmt, Project tracking & status reporting, General PM support & training, Improved resource mgmt, Improved scope mgmt, Knowledge leverage & re usage, Projects finish on time, Reduced delivery cost, Proactive issue & risk mgmt, Company wide PM standardisation
For me its the following:
Provides Most Value - in General PM support & training
Provides Second Most Value - in for Project tracking & status reporting
Provides Third Most Value - in for Company wide PM standardisation
2) Is the value of your PMO understood by senior management?
There was the answer options “yes”, “no”, “the Company does not have a PMO”, “Other”
Everybody needs to answer that based on her / his specific situation.
3) What do you see as the latest PMO trends? (For instance a specific type of software, a management concept or PMO certification. I’d like to learn what you see at the horizon for us.)
My Answer: The trend we have seen in the past is from centralisation to decentralisation. I f a PMO is becoming to big (number of resources), strong facilitator of a specific method and stage gates etc. and is being perceived as a bottle neck for companies innovation, flexibility and time to market it will be decentralised. After some time, new PMOs show up in the company, different shapes of specific project methods get developed and worst case different Tools to support the method. The key question is, whether a PMO is an admin function (resource Facilitation & Training, Project Method & Tools provisioning) or whether it has the operational responsibility to deliver a project (profit & loss) because than governance including health checks, status reporting, Quality Management procedures and a flexible standardised approach plays a much bigger role.
4) What makes a PMO successful in it’s day to day operations?
My Answer: Effective support in benefit realisation to the business by supporting the well skilled selected PMs to apply a flexible method, supported by an easy to use Tool. Its not about strict rules and guidelines. Its about flexible application of these to be able to realise business benefits in time to market.
5) Do you have any further comments in regards to PMOs or this quick survey?
My Answer: Enjoy your keynote and the conference. Looking forward to a podcast on that experience and the lessons learnt from that conference including some new trends in that space.
It will be interesting what Cornelius is coming back with.
What are the new trends? I havent seen many new things in that space. Prince 2 is getting stronger here in Australia and PMI/PMBOK have to suffer a little bit from the Governance call to support Prince2 (The Government see it as the silver bullet
Another question would be, what happens to PMOs and PM in the current market climate (Recession or here in Australia the D-Word which means deficit)?
Are project methods been reassessed and made smaller and more effective?
Does the project register (that any PMO should have) becomes great value for transparency, re-prioritisation and re-assessment of particular projects?
Are PMs layed off?
Are PMOs decentralised and the PMs moved back into the business?
What is happening out there (Remember, we are on an island here, a BIG island, but still an island) !
Just another couple of hours and i am off to the IQPC Project Risk Management Conference at Southbank in Brisbane. that i was referring to earlier already. My duties during the conference includes chairing the conference, facilitating the interactive discussions, the keynote about “The critical value of Risk Management”, a presentation about “Effective Health Checks” and facilitating a workshop together with Molli Ong on Thursday. So tomorrow i will attend the so called Master Class about “The A-Z of Project Risk Management” to get my mind in the space of where it needs to be for the next 4 days.
So what will happen over the next 4 days:
Day 1, Monday: Masterclass ”The A-Z of Project Risk Management”
According to the program, Kathleen Kuryl, a Programme Manager at the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet will talk about that the concept of managing risk within project delivery is not new in the project management field. However, it is still broadly misunderstood or ineffectively managed. We as participants will explore innovative ways to implement and/or improve your risk management frameworks in order to achieve optimum project performance.
And the bullet points sound pretty interesting and i will blog tomorrow evening about this and let you know what i got out of this.
Day 2 and 3, Tuesday - Wednesday: “The conference”
Beside speakers out of the Government and private environment that all sound very senior some good talks are on the agenda about
how to apply the right project structure to manage your risks accordingly
how to identify an analys your risk upfront
the effective contigency planning and idenitify the right strategy
strategies for effective risk governance and ongoing risk control
turning risks into opportunities
The correct budget forecasting
analysing the complexity of effective stakeholder management
managing contractual relationships to optimise your risk strategy
and two interactive Discussion about
the role of software packages managing risks
Day 4, Thursday “The Workshops”
Two workshops are lined up for Thursday, the first one is “How to Identify, Measure and Manage Risk Throughout the Life Cycle of the Project” talking about that risk management is a process that should last as long as the project to which it is applied. During this workshop, the participants will be able to find out how to effectively manage risk and learn how various risks affect each other throughout your whole project life cycle. And the second is called “How to Engage and Manage Stakeholders to Ensure Successful Project Delivery” talking about that successful project delivery is often dependent on the contribution of others, be it an internal or external contribution. In accordance, risk management within project delivery also requires the active involvement of various stakeholders to be successful. In this workshop, learn to develop your stakeholder management skills as a strategy for ensuring optimal management of risk throughout the life of your project.
Bottom Line it looks like a very good 4 days with lots of opportunities to learn. How ever, i am really looking into to understand the concept and value of IQPC hosted and organised “Conferences”. Two reasons why.
The number of audiences doesnt really justify the term “Conference” as we expect 60 people for this one
How speakers are selected and quality checked before presenting
How the program has been compiled and changed in the last couple of days
I will talk more about this after the conference once i have a better understanding and talked to some participants and the organizer.
After attending the PMOZ 2008 Conference in Melbourne for two days, I was now able to convert the recorded Video into Flash and find a service provider that is able to host presentations that are longer than 10 minutes (eg. YouTube has a limit of 10 Minutes, even if you have a “Director” or “Guru” account). The Service i am using is Viddler that I will post separately on.
The presentation took place in the 35th floor of the Sofitel Hotel (the venue of the conference) and the actual conference took place in level 2 in the ballroom and other rooms. I am happy that around 40 people attended and made their way up. The room was pretty strange as it was like 25 meters long and 6 meters wide and windows where you had a stunning view across Melbourne.
So, finally here is the video of my presentation:
Please let me know if you have any further feedback how to improve the presentation of the topic (I know that the slides need improvement as they are very much tailored to a business audience that you need to convince that Health Checks are a good thing rather than an audit.)
Below please find the slides that you can download via my profil on slideshare.
Two days of conference just passed by and i returned back from Melbourne on Wednesday evening.
Bottom Line, the conference had a greater audience than the one at the Gold Coast but couldnt reach its own set standards, set in the prior year.
So lets lets go through it in a structure way: 1) Delegates - Around 600 delegates have been attracted, these have been the unofficial numbers communicated via the Grapevines. Due to the fact that PMOZ got combined with the SEPG (Software and Systems Engineering Process Group) these numbers might be perceived far bigger than the ones from 2007. Actually, even if these were the unoffical numbers, we couldnt see them. Perceived around 300 to 400 people.
2) Venue - The venue was in Central Melbourne with some bars around it. Acommondation, if you took the easy route which i did by booking via the registration website as they have included two hotels into the booking path, you could either choose the Sofitel or a Hotel (Appartment flat) within 15 min walking distance, which was the cheaper option. The venue suited the conference and the number of participants. What i do not understand why you would put the best pratice sessions in a weired room (lomng room with windows to the ceiling) on the 35th floor where delegates need to take an elevator to get up and no sign directs you to that room. I understand that there might not have been enough rooms at the basement but its hard to get people up there and have the delegates focused if they can enjoy a fantastic view over Melbourne
3) Streams - seemed to be reasonable (see my post here) how ever at the end it didn’t matter. Delegates focused on the presentation topic and not of the streams. I don’t know whether the stream concept is worth it, as i know presenters that have pulled out because they have been put into the wrong stream (whether by accident or because it was the only empty space left). It gets you focused, but it also limits your abilities to put presenters into the right spot if a stream is “booked out”. I thought, there were just to many streams. 6 streams for both conferences plus the workshop / case study stream is a waste. So many interesting topics across both conferences PMOZ / SEPG and so many you cant attend. And the anger is even bigger if you realize the presentation you went to is worth leaving. Sometimes less is more.
4) The Trade Show - The Trade show attracted the abvious industry candidates, like big ships like Primavera, IBM, BEA and others but also smaller sized comapnies like the reformed PMPartner Group, AIM with its great specialiced Book stand (Another post to follow on that), Mosaic Project Services, Mindavation and others. The Trade show was the perfect playground for networking and find topics to talk about. Whether it got the value for the exhbitiours, I guess so, as you get your 100% target audience. Whether they talk to you or other delegates is something different. That the food was placed in the exhibition area was definately helpfull compared to last year at the Gold Coast where the trade show was outside in a tent and hardly got any delegates especially during presentations. The only hard thing was that the trade was split in two different areas over two different levels.
5) The Food and Nibbles - this is a difficult one, as not much to talk about as not much was there, The organizers tried to split the delegates and guide them to the relevant exhibition floor to get there food by handing out green and yellow cards. How ever, one area was far easier to access and more convenient to the other so most of the people hang out there even if they should have gone to the other area. Lessons learnt, you cant manipulate a hungry and food desperate crowd. Therefore one foodarea was always empty where the other one still had some food even if you had been 5 minutes late, 10 minutes later most of the food was gone.If you got some, it was great to have, especially the fruits were fresh and not that popular.
6) The Evening / Dinner Function - Tuesday night the dinner function was on, with the theme “Bling it on” where you suppose to dress like a rapper or something similar. 90% failed, so did we. How ever, some plastic jewelery on the tables helped to at least put on a sparkling plastic ring. The awards for the prowd sponsors have been handed over and the music started playing, and of course according to the theme they played rap songs. A dance group did some warm up during and after dinner, attracted the crowd to dance and shortly into the evening it was to talk and communicate as even in the rear of the room you couldnt understand a word. The trivia for that night had the “Blues Brothers” as the topic where the people able to use a smart phone and check out wikipedia had a clear advantage. We have been good in typing but by far not good enough. Compared to the GoldCoast event and the great standard set there, this one was 2 levels below. The pirat theme, the costumes, the music, the movie “pirates of the carebean” and the dance floor have been the ingredients for a better function menue than this years on. “Bring it back”
7) Networking - Was great, as lots of spare time was granted and the trade show provided lots of reasons to talk to product and service providers across the industry. The Badges highlighted Name and Company which might always be a reason to start talking to somebody.
8) The Presentations - The program sounded spot on, even if hiped topics like “Social Project Management” and “Agile Project Management” didnt appear and some of the topics seemed familiar, whether it was stakeholder management, Communication, Virtual Teams, PMOs and benefit realisation, including my own one which was almost the same presentation i have given 2007. The feedback i was hearing wasnt the greatest and what i was seeing supported the feedbacks shared amongst the participants. Presentation time to short, 25 minutes slots is hardly enough especially for the more unexperienced speakers. Some of them took 10 minutes to get from slide 1 to slide 2, at the end they realised that they ran out of time by given the signal from the facilitator and rushed through the last 7 slides in 2 minutes or just stoped in the middle of it. I would recommend to go for 45 minutes and alow 5 to 10 Q&A at the end. Another factor was how the program was structured. 3 presentations in a row. After a Q&A session attending a presentation in room A you had to rush to room B where they already got started and you missed the introduction.
9) The Speakers / Presenters - You had all sorts of speakers, the inspiring ones (”Size matters”), the detail ones (”As you might not be able to see this on this slide”), the audience focused ones (”Please read the Case that i will hand out know”), the shy ones (”Can everybody hear me”), and so on. You cant make a call and you cant get it right for these events. You call for speakers and you sometimes get what you want and sometimes you dont, thats the risk. As a delegate you cant mitigate it, because the Plan B doesnt work, to break out of a presentation and join another one, because of the 25 minutes slot its just to late after you realised that you should leave.
10) Organisation - Just one word, phantastic. Not a single issue not a single glitch. Susan Hobbs and Cecilia O’Grady plus Tye Hillam, did a great job to hold everything together. What you could do better, is to skill your reception staff a little better around common questions around accomodation and other areas outside the conference that delegates might ask. But from the whole planning via execution and closure of the conference it was great.
11) The Conference Workbook - There was none last year (at least i do not remember) and this years one has been great to read through and even check it out later after the conference. All the information was in there, around speakers and the abstracts of their presentations, the exhibitours and other important event information. Well done, as its very hard to put this together especially when the time is getting tight and last minute program changes have to be incorporated. The CD as part of the conference pack had all the papers and presentations on it, which is a great service that ou have to pay for extra with other conferences.
12) The Website and Booking / Registration - The website held all the information that was required for the conference and the registration process did its duty. How ever, the Internet capabilities and standards have moved on and it feels a little outdated. No Communication layour for participants, no interaction, prior, during and after the conference. The website didnt seemed to be very changing and the usability and look and feel needs improvement. Look at the USA and how conferences are supported by new webtechnologies (Blogs, Wikis, Twitter, Social Networks and Groups, Video Streams, etc.) and let the delegates take even more benefits by being able to interact for closer with their peers than today.
14) What was missing - Beside all the stuff i mentioned earlier, free Wireless LAN access for all delegates. Just check how many delegates have a laptop in front of them at conferences in the USA (almost every second).
Bottom Line - What went well
- Organisation. Handclaps for eventcorp and its team
- Number of delegates
- Trade show and networking opportunity
- Topics picked
- Workbook and CD
Bottom Line - What to change / needs improvement
- more time for each presentation
- Quality Check on speakers and develop “Green” list with the ones to attract next time
- Dinner Function according to feedback above
- Provide enough Food
I am looking forward to 2009 (Canberra) and 2010 (Brisbane). See you there.
Enjoy the ride and improve on the trivia you might have missed: