Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Challenge: How can you make a great first impression during a networking event?

Guest contributor, Lisa DiTullio, shares her suggestions and tips for making the most of your 2 second best impression.

I recently met Ann at a networking event, her name tag read "DIVA". It didn't take long during my brief exchange with the DIVA to form a first impression - not long at all. In fact, according to Malcolm Gladwell, we are able to size someone up in just two seconds - it's the power of our adaptive unconscious. In recognition of Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, let's celebrate the power of the glance.

When encountering someone new, first impressions count. This is particularly true when networking with others - you want to leave a positive, memorable impact when meeting for the first time. Through observation and measurement you can improve your presence and connection - ideally to leverage the encounter for lasting value.

Think about your first contact with someone. Do you exhibit the following qualities to make you stand out and be remembered in a positive manner?

1. Confident: Do you inspire others? Do you speak in a sure way? Are you poised and level-headed?
2. Credible: Do you have expertise and can you be trusted? How often can you persuade others?
3. Capable: Do you have what it takes to get the job done? Are you an efficient, effective and expert in your field?
4. Calm: Do you remain unruffled during turbulent times?
5. Clean: Do you have a neat appearance? Can you speak in plain language; get right to the point; present fresh ideas?
6. Charisma: Can you use your personal being, rather than speech or logic alone, to interact with others in a real and meaningful way?
7. Connections: Do you establish lasting relationships?

Everything you do during the first 2 seconds of an interaction speaks volumes, especially your actions:

• Do you maintain direct eye contact during dialogue?
• What do you do with your hands when you communicate?
• Do you face the other person in an "open" pose?
• Can you stand still? Do you jiggle your feet, your knee, or your leg?
• Are you aware of your facial expressions?
• How's the pitch of your voice? Do you speak clearly?

Bring a buddy to the next networking event. Ask your pal to observe you from a distance - solicit honest feedback when the event is over - How did you do? What did you do? Focus on a few improvement opportunities and try again, but make it quick.

Now its time for you to join the conversation - Share your ideas, suggestions and thoughts on what the successful project manager looks like on our discussion on LinkedIn.

Contributor: Lisa DiTullio (Lisa DiTullio & Associates)

ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts will take place November 14-16, 2011 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL. Interested in speaking at this year's conference? Click here for details.
Be sure to visit for tools, articles, templates and event updates.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts® 2011

As a reader of the ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts blog, the Institute for International Research invites you to submit a proposal to present at the 2011 ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts® conference. Papers are being accepted on a rolling basis, we suggest you submit your proposal as early as possible. The event will take place November 14-16, 2011 at Disney's Contemporary Resort in Orlando, FL.

About this unique event:
PW&WCBA is the industry's year round resource for gaining cutting-edge insights through C-Level case studies & corporate best practice presentations, exclusive Web Seminars, Learning Labs, including the Annual PMO Forum and the Annual Portfolio Management Forum.

Who and what are we looking for?
Experienced corporate practitioners, industry experts and qualified facilitators sharing innovative case studies, techniques and templates that attendees can implement as soon as they get back to the office. Each presentation should demonstrate at least three tangible takeaways. We are looking for high caliber, unbiased, industry speakers sharing real stories from within the trenches.

Please note: Decisions will be based on the alignment of the content with the 2011 agenda content, feedback from the event advisors as well as on industry recognition and/or personal references. We expect our speakers to move beyond the fundamentals.

We expect our speakers to move beyond the fundamentals.
2011 Presentation Topic Areas include, but are not limited to:

• What's New in Agile?
• Agile, Tools and Metric Tracking
• Cloud Risk: Managing the Risk and Rewards of Cloud Computing
• Defining and Developing the Next Generation of PMs
• Improving the Value of Your PMO
• IT Portfolio Management
• Soft Leadership Skills
• Risk Management
• Building Program Management Expertise
• Motivating Teams and Increasing Team Performance
• Creating a Center of Excellence (Both BA and/or PM)
• Demonstrating the Current Value of Project Management and Business Analysis to Your Organization
• Career Paths for the BA and PM - Where Do You Go After 5 Years?
• Using Six Sigma and LEAN to Improve Project Management
• Requirements Management and Communication
• Funding Models in a Tight Financial Market
• Leading Global Teams
• Change Management
• Reading Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues
• Virtual Engagement
• Lightweight Project Management Tools vs. Heavyweight
• Enterprise Analysis
• Enterprise Architecture
• The Mechanics of Business Process Modeling
• Negotiation Skills for Dealing with Suppliers
• Improved Elicitation Techniques
• Developing Excellent Scoping Skills
• Agile Project Management
• A Systematic Approach to Increase Business Process Performance
• Improving Service Levels with Your Stakeholders
• Business Analysis Planning and Monitoring
• Developing a PM Toolkit: The Essentials
• Implementing a Portfolio Management
• Risk Management
• Estimating and Identification of Requirements
• Business Rules: An Important Technique to Capture and Discover What You Need
• Green Practices for the PM and BA
• Getting the Benefits of Consolidating, But Without Doing So
• The Current and Future State of the BA
• Identify and Retain the Best and the Brightest
• Agile: Governance and Decision-Making
• Sustainable Portfolio Management Practices
• Development Techniques that are Flexible and Responsive
• SOA Governance
• Integrating the Business Architecture with Human Performance

BONUS: In addition to the exposure and honor of being a speaker, speakers will also receive FREE admission to the conference, access to the post-conference web seminar series as well as any pre-conference activities ($3,000+ value).

How to Get Accepted:
Priority will be given to presentations that highlight NEW case studies on pushing beyond the PMBOK and BABOK, presenting new skills, techniques and best practices for today's PM and BA worlds. ONLY corporate/client-side speaker will be considered. If you are a consultant, solution provider, technology provider, analyst or consultant, please see sponsorship/exhibit section below.

Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting?
If you are a vendor or solution provider and are interested in showcasing your organization's expertise - Please contact Jon Saxe, Senior Business Development Manager at or 646-895-7467 for more information.

If you were not selected to present and are a vendor or solution provider, you may qualify for additional speaking opportunities available through sponsorship.

For consideration, please e-mail with the following information by Friday, April 1, 2011:
• Proposed speaker name, job title, and company name
• Contact information including address, telephone and e-mail
• Title of Presentation (one line, benefit focused)
• A brief summary of content to be delivered (no more than 75 words), followed by 3 bullet points of what the audience will gain from your presentation (key audience takeaways)
• Previous conference speaking opportunities for the last 3 years
• Short bio of speaker (50-75 words)
• Two references with contact information

If your proposal is selected, portions of this submission will be printed in the brochure.

Additional Details:

• Commercialism and self-promotion are NOT permitted or tolerated. If this happens, you will NOT be invited to return as a speaker.
• Travel, lodging and other expenses are the responsibility of the speaker.

Thank you for your interest in PW&WCBA.
All the best,

The ProjectWorld & The World Congress for Business Analysts Team
ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts webpage
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Friday, March 11, 2011

What Happens When A Project Fails?

We might not want to acknowledge it, but failure happens. Goals sometimes don't get met, time-lines slip, projects fall apart. How do you react when faced with failure? And as a leader, how do you prevent small failures from snowballing into a completely failed project.

This blog post on the Harvard Business Review caught my eye as a unique illustration of the different ways people deal with failure.

In the post author and Bregman Partners, Inc. CEO Peter Bregman writes:
Most of us miss that. Typically, when people fail, we blame them. Or teach them. Or try to make them feel better. All of which, paradoxically, makes them feel worse. It also prompts defensiveness as an act of self-preservation. (If I'm not okay after a failure, I'd better figure out how to frame this thing so it's not my failure.)

Who hasn't been there? Or on the receiving end? It's a natural instinct to try and distance oneself from failure in a business situation, but a good leader needs to take a step back, evaluate, and decide what their team needs in each case. Is this the time for cutting losses? Learning a lesson? Or simply practicing acceptance.

What skills and practices do you employ when dealing with the failure of a project? What failures have you faced, and how have you put things back on track?

Friday, March 4, 2011

ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts 2011

It may seem like the distant future, but ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts is beginning to gear back up for 2011. The Call For Presenters is now open, so submit your proposals as soon as possible.

In the months to come, what are some topics you would like to see covered here on the Project World blog? Potential topics for the 2011 conference that we would like to touch on in the next several months include:
• Agile
• Cloud Computing
• IT Portfolio Management
• Motivating Teams and Increasing Team Performance
• Demonstrating the Current Value of Project Management and Business Analysis to Your Organization
• Developing a PM Toolkit
and more. Visit the ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts website for more ideas.

What is missing? What topics are you most excited to hear about? Would you be interested in contributing to the Project World blog? Let us know in the comments, or email me at