Tuesday, December 2, 2008

ProjectWorld Day 2: Programs, Processes, Analysis, Oh My

On our second day at ProjectWorld, we continued with several tracks that covered specific roles and responsibilities of Project Managers, Program Managers, and Business Analysts, but the focus was looking beyond specific skill sets but rather at the necessary steps to develop and manage corporate environments where these individuals flourish; where they have a direct stake in the outcome of their projects and goals.

We had an opportunity to speak with Jonathan Gilbert, Director of Client Solutions of ESI International about his presentation regarding nine steps to improving Program Managers effectiveness as programs become increasingly complex and expand beyond commonly considered definitions for their roles in organizations. You can learn more in this white paper offering as well.

I than sat down for an interview with David Bieg, Executive Vice President of DevelopMentor, who shared some details regarding his presentation at ProjectWorld and the importance of enterprise analysis to achieve necessary corporate goals.

Finally, I had a chance to meet with Debra Morin of American Tower Corporation who presented at this year's ProjectWorld. She presented on the specific program at American Tower that focuses on educating and supporting employees on the importance of "Process Excellence."

ProjectWorld brought together corporate practitioners and thought-leaders, educators and experts who discussed and presented on a wide range of topics and issues currently facing professionals across industries. Hopefully these posts have provided you with a glimpse of the experience at ProjectWorld for those of you who could not attend, as well as offer attendees some detail into some of the presenters you may not have had the opportunity to sit in on. We're already hard at work planning for next year's events, so subscribe to our feed as we will be bringing you regular industry updates as well as posts from many of our speakers as well as other industry experts on a daily basis.

ProjectWorld Update Day 2: Preventation vs Response

I delayed posting details from our second day at ProjectWorld, in order to give many of you a chance to get back from the holidays and get into the office prepared to look back on the various speakers and presentations and tremendous amount of information provided. I had the chance to record and interview several presenters, so while I am late with this update, there is more here than you expected.

To begin with, I have two recordings of General Russel L. Honoré, (Ret), Commander of JOINT TASK FORCE KATRINA keynote presentation from the second morning. His background and experience, particularly overseeing the federal response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans gave his concepts and ideas added weight. He considered how fundamentally our nation has focused too much energy, resources, time and effort on responses to disasters rather than prevention. This is not to say that response isn't necessary, but rather if half of what goes into response was put in prevention for those hypothetical what-if scenarios we often doubt will occur, then in all likelihood we will avoid the worst of a catastrophe. Here he is discussing the importance of preparation and how critical it is to impact the outcome of a disaster scenario.

He goes on to more specifically to engage the attendees about our failure as a nation in regards to our priorities. As we face a critical period in our history, he reminds us that the future requires us to learn how to live with less not more, and in doing so we can achieve far more than we imagine. By re-evaluating our priorities and focusing on education, technology, and the solutions to prevent the worst-case scenarios; we will retain our role as a global leader able to deal with the difficulties we have yet to consider. Here is a portion of his presentation:

General Honoré's presentation looked beyond the high-level but at the stark realities we face, and will continue to face in the 21st century. He challenged the audience to consider that business is more than seeking profits, but rather to solve people's problems. Words I think everyone took to heart during his presentation.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sunil Chandra: Enterprise Users, High Expectations

Sunil Chandra was our second keynote presenter yesterday morning. He took the time to walk the audience through the tremendous changes we have all seen in terms of the increased speed of communication and the sheer volume of information that is readily available. He was very clear that with these changes, people are increasingly bringing the expectations that have developed with retail technology into the workplace. Therefore, corporations must become increasingly sensitive to these expectations as they develop the enterprise technologies they require.

Here is Sunil sitting down with us to tell us more about his keynote presentation yesterday.

Meet Some of Our Presenters

Being on hand to document this year's event, I have a chance to meet with our presenters, get them to share some highlights of their presentation, as well as record some of their discussions for everyone to share in. Yesterday, I had the chance to meet with some and here they are for you:

Alora Chistiakoff, Change Management Executive, presenting 'You Gotta Walk Before You Can Run: Getting Started with Portfolio Management'

Alain Arseneault, Chief Strategist, and Julian Sammy, Chief Architect at the International Institute of Business Analysis. Here they discuss their presentation, 'Requirements Management Planning for Success.' You can visit their blog to learn more.

Lisa DiTullio of Lisa DiTullio & Associates who is presenting 'Expected Behaviors: Road Rules for Project Team Performance - Not Road Rage.' You can read more about this here.

Amy Nichols, Sr. Vice President, Director of Systems Development Optimization for Wachovia Bank and Glen Brulé, Director of Client Solutions of ESI International held a Learning Lab: Creating a BA Center of Excellence.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pat Williams - On Great Leaders

Here we are live at ProjectWorld and the World Congress of Business Analysts documenting the great presentations and speakers this morning. Earlier today we posted some information on just two of our keynote presenters who will be on hand during the conference.

This morning we kicked off the conference with Pat Williams, Author and Senior Vice President, Orlando Magic who spoke about the Magic of Teamwork and the crucial ingredients that makup the different aspects of teams as well as the important attributes of great leaders.

I had an opportunity to record a small portion of his presentation. Here he is talking about how crucial outstanding leadership is to a great team:

As an ingredient of great teams, he discussed seven qualities of great leaders:

  1. Vision
  2. Ability to Communicate Vision
  3. People Skills
  4. Character
  5. Competence
  6. Boldness
  7. A Serving Heart

From this he went on to discuss leaders and leadership qualities in greater detail including that they can be developed and are not necessarily born that way.

His final thought that he shared was that great leaders are natural, lifelong teachers, but in order to be lifelong teachers, they must also be lifelong students. A powerful thought for everyone who is on hand to continue learning and sharing. I have another post I will be uploading for tomorrow morning and give you an opportunity to meet more of our great speakers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Keynote Speaker: Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, (Ret.)

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, (Ret.),Commander of JOINT TASK FORCE KATRINA LTGSee

First, Understand First, Act First: Leadership and Preparedness in the 21st Century

Russel L. Honoré, US Army (Ret.), was widely hailed by the media as the “Category 5 General” who saved the fabled city of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. With his commanding presence and charming Creole personality, he delivers a message essential to leaders operating in the “new normal” - a world where unpredictability and volatility are ever present. An authority of getting things done, he shares personal leadership principles from his 37-year career and the lessons gleaned from the front lines of the Katrina relief efforts. Demonstrating how to protect your family, business, finances, and future, Honoré prescribes preparedness as the key to preserving America for the next generation.

Here is Matt Lauer of the Today Show interviewing Lt. Honoré:

Lt. Gen. Honore on recovery
Lt. Gen. Honore on recovery

Keynote Speaker: Sunil Chandra

Sunil Chandra, Director HR Technology & Operations, GOOGLE

Accelerating Fast: HR Systems and Operations

Sunil is responsible for the technology and operations underpinning Google’s HR function. He is responsible for ensuring both the operational integrity of our people processes as well as partnering with our Engineering group to bring innovation in the way we use technology to attract, retain and grow Googlers worldwide. Prior to joining Google, Sunil was an executive responsible for large parts of Barclays Capital Global Technology Services unit and for operations at McKinsey & Co.

Business has always had to contend with change, but with the new millennium, the pace of change has increased exponentially. The availability of information on the internet and through wireless devices to an "always connected" generation has hastened the speed of innovation and removed geographic boundaries. So how do businesses deal with this rapid pace of change and build systems and scale operations in such a tumultuous environment? Google HR technology faces this paradigm everyday. Traditionally systems models thrive on incremental changes through the phases of development to launch a finished product. Today though, these models give way to a much more iterative development cycle. Rather than control information flows, we aim to liberate them. Traditional reporting gives way to real time analytics. In this session, Sunil Chandra will discuss how Google works in this atmosphere of rapid change and ambiguity and continues to achieve operational excellence in their systems and processes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Welcome to ProjectWorld and the World Congress of Business Analysts!

Our flagship event has arrived and we're excited to bring together leading practitioners and professionals with experience and knowledge of industries all involved in every facet of project management. We will be posting over the next two days details of the main conference, collecting interviews, photos, perspectives and testimonials about the experience here this year's event.

The team has brought together so an amazing panel of keynote speakers including Sunil Chandra, Director HR Technology and Operations with Google, as well as Lt. General Russel L. Honoré, (Ret.), Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina LTG. Also there is a long list of companies represented including BMO Financial Group, JetBlue Airways, Highmark, Boeing, Wachovia, Microsoft, Robbins-Gioia, SunTrust Bank, and IBM to name a few. All the presentations follow this year's theme of Real People Sharing Real Solutions bring you their individual focus on the challenges and solutions they have experience in their own organizations.

As we begin this year's conference, I leave you with a few words from our Conference Director, Jennifer Finer as she discusses some of the great elements that can be found at the conference this year. Be sure and check back here and the event website as we bring you updates from the live conference.