Monday, January 30, 2012

Can innovation and project management coexist?

I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on a webinar presented by SmartOrg, "Assessing the State of Innovation: How Does Your Company Rate?"

This session, presented by Dr. David Matheson, President and CEO of SmartOrg was a great look at some trends in innovation and innovation buzzwords like “Design Thinking”, “Idea Management” and “Voice of the Customer.”

You can view a replay of the session here:

While I was watching, I was struck by a few interesting comments about the conflict between innovation and project management. Can you "allow innovation to challenge your strategy" while still maintaining your project management methodologies? Can project management and innovation ever peacefully coexist?

My key take-away? Yes. While true innovation may exist at the fringes of strategy, it needs to align with overall goals and serve the needs of customers/users to succeed. Using iterative strategies can actually work quite well with innovation as the team reevaluates, learns, and changes with each iteration.

In this White Paper on the topic by SmartOrg, they use Google as an example:
"One example of the iterative approach is extended beta periods for new ideas. You create a product and try it in the market. If people like it and use it, then you improve it. If not, you drop it. Google has built much of its success on this approach, for example. Google maps and Gmail were both created using this framework." 

What are your thoughts, can innovation and project management strategy work together?

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA and the voice behind the @Project_World twitter. She may be reached at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts® 2012

Papers are being accepted on a rolling basis,
we suggest you submit your proposal as early as possible.

The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking corporate practitioners, authors and experienced facilitators to present at the 2012 ProjectWorld® & World Congress for Business Analysts® conference.

The event will take place September 10-12, 2012 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?
We are seeking high caliber, unbiased program managers, portfolio managers, PMO, system engineers and business analysts. Experienced corporate practitioners, industry experts and qualified facilitators sharing innovative case studies, techniques, templates that attendees can implements as soon as they get back to the office. Each presentation should demonstrate at least three tangible takeaways.

Please note: Decisions will be based on the alignment of the content with the 2012 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.

2012 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.

For consideration, please e-mail with the following information by Friday, January 30, 2012:
• 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

NOTE: 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.

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.

Thank you for your interest in PW&WCBA. Please visit for more information.