An intro speaker suggested reading this foundational article: "The project manager," written by Paul O. Gaddis, in the Harvard Business Review in 1959.
Morning keynote, Gina Schreck, on being exceptional:
Leaders need to be out front. They can't be average, mediocre (me: Lyndon Johnson on a colleague: "he's a good, mediocre senator..."). (Also, me: I hope that this isn't me.) She shared four keys:
Avoiding common pitfalls in risk management
Jan Mahar Sturdevant, PMP
Okay, this (risk management) is one of my areas of interest. We all have optimism bias (me: one takeaway).... Importance of keeping a strong knowledge base of risks to counter.
Good risk management goes unnoticed (the register and follow-up mitigation steps).
Sturdevant focused on the limits of the triple constraint, with the need for additional focus on risk, resources, and quality - with the latter being key. She also noted the need for focus on positive risk; a real-time activity that participants did in the session resulted in only negative risks being surfaced.
PMs job is to create the comfort level, which encourages team member participation, which then draws out their expertise.
ISO 31000 addresses risk effects.
Focusing on these planning processes during this session:
RBS with categories: Sturdevant recommends use of Knowledge Areas for categories, as opposed to broad areas (technical, management...).
Risk Register: Again, suggested attributes: Rank, Category from RBS, Owner (from team), Mitigation Plan, Contingency Plan.
Top 10: Attributes include Risk item; current rank; position last month; number of months; and, risk resolution progress.
I then joined a fantastic leadership session led by Kevin Ciccotti.
Scrumban for client success
Hayli Hay, PMP
Hay summarized two use cases of Scrumban, following the implementation of Scrum and the subsequent need to improve the feedback loop, as team members focused on achieving sprint goals.
Agile terms used by Hay, in context:
Agile: A methodology
Scrum: A framework
Kanban: A process
Scrumban: A methodology
"Getting to finish" was one of the work problems (leading to the shift to Agile approaches) in the use cases reported by Hay. The value of a Kanban board was demonstrated here - instead of a large number of efforts close to, but waiting for, finish, finished stories/projects are highlighted to customers and team members.
One point that Hay made at the end of the session, she termed Scrumban as "industry agnostic," though its use would need to be shaped and formed for the business setting.
Move "IT" forward with 360 degree thinking
Jimmy Godard, PMP
I started this session with eight high-fives around the room. (Assignment by speaker of all attendees.)
Godard is a specialist in technological change (in Bank of America organization for more than 20 years). It boils down to:
For 360 degree thinking:
Spencer Horn led the closing keynote, "Ownership factor: Achieve your goals, enjoy your results!"
One of the challenges in this space is the fact that many of the resources that I reference are part of PMI's access-required projectmanagement.com service. In this case, I can't avoid it. I'm intrigued by Mark Mullaley's late August article and presentation on project management education. If you're really interested in project management, I urge you to join PMI (if you're not a member already) so that you can access resources like Mark's presentation and article on critical needs in PM education.
What he asserts makes sense: The market leads Registered Education Providers (REPs) to support two primary needs: PM 101-style courses and certification preparation courses. Where is the advanced project management training, including the contextual application of project management best practices in an organization? They are not well supported today. That's the challenge that Mark Mullaley identifies. Based on my limited experience with REPs and project management resources (including participation in an advanced courses service for one year), I agree with his assessment.
But more than that, Mark's work is making me think about how I can lead project management instruction in my own organization. I took a lead role in organizing PM training at my previous employer and it was essentially focused on PM 101-level instruction. This is valuable, when you consider growth in the use of Agile approaches in higher education and the move away from command-and-control PM approaches. But still, where's the applied PM educational opportunities for practicing PMs?
I made a comment in the thread to Mark's article suggesting that PMI take the lead in improving educational technologies for applied project management learning - which is more conversation than one-way presentation (with follow-up quiz assessment). Also, PMs who work in higher education settings, particularly with distance learning technologies, could help take the lead here in communicating on effective distance learning technologies with the PM community. Granted, it's only one piece in improving advanced PM education, but employing better collaborative learning technologies is important. It's something I'm interested in doing, but it will take some time for me to become more engaged with distance learning technologies.
I'm continuing to read Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach by Mike Bissonette. The current Wikipedia definition of risk and the PMBOK Guide's definition both address risk from the standpoint of threats and opportunities. From the PMBOK Guide:
An event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on one or more project objectives.
This information is added to the Risk Register. Bissonette suggests cause and effect metalanguage to use in the Risk Register (<risk> due to <cause>). The PMBOK Guide Sixth Edition (126.96.36.199) lists information that may be included in the Risk Register, including identified risk, cause, potential risk owners, and potential risk responses.
Thus, the PMBOK guide Risk Management knowledge area processes are approached with an eye to decreasing the likelihood of threats and increasing the likelihood of opportunities.
It's a fascinating book and I'm plowing ahead with it!
I'm currently reading the projectmanagement.com August book club selection, Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach. Written by Mike Bissonette, this book focuses on what the author terms "holistic risk management" - or, in Bissonette's words, "project management is all about risk management." Bissonette is a certified project and portfolio manager and he's clearly bringing a broader view (beyond individual project management) to this book.
His opening presentation cited the six constraints of project management, moving beyond the classic triple constraint of scope, schedule, and cost. He adds resources, quality (which I focused on during my PMI Willamette Valley PMP instruction this summer), and risk. Obviously, balancing six constraints increases the complexity of the project management work.
Bissonette demonstrated the use of a project risk matrix tool during this session and emphasized that setting of risk tolerance levels in the matrix should fundamentally be a governance decision as opposed to a PM/project team decision. This followed his description of a project scenario in which the PM added more and more risk to a project (by compromising on future activities, eating into reserves, etc.). This is a challenging point for me to work through (the PM is supposed to be "large and in charge"), but Bisonette again pushes the reader to view projects at the portfolio level and at the organization level to enhance project risk management.
The author recommends creating and using in-depth lessons learned documentation in order to reduce the organization's risk for its projects.
He describes Project Risk Management: A Practical Implementation Approach as a reference book - though my current plan is to do a cover-to-cover read and engage with the author and other readers through the closing webinar, which will be held in October. I'm reading this book in the Kindle format and I'm still unsure of how effectively I can use reference format books (beyond a dictionary) on the Kindle.
Finally, this 2016 book references knowledge areas, processes, and tools from the PMBOK Guide, Fifth edition and not the Sixth edition.