Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What is your one burning agile question for 2012?

Our PW&WCBA agile summit covers a wide range of topics each year. So now we're asking: What is your one burning agile question for 2012?

This year's summit - titled "Transitioning Practices for Agile Delivery" will include the following sessions:

Chairperson Welcome Address, Ellen Gottesdiener, Founder, Principal Consultant, EBG Consulting, Inc.
Can You Hear Me Now?, Robert Woods, IT Project Manager, Health Dialog Services Corporation
Agile Adoption & Governance for an Evolving Global PMO, Gopal Renganathan, MS, MBA, PMP, Senior Manager, PMO, Cisco
Collaborate for Value: Using Facilitated Sessions to Discover and Deliver Product Needs, Ellen Gottesdiener, Founder, Principal Consultant, EBG Consulting, Inc.
Agile: The Kanban Way, Gil Irizarry, Program Manager, Constant Contact
Retrospective: Interactive Session

(Plus, if you need a more basic introduction to Agile, you can join our workshop "Agile Essentials: People, Planning, and Product Practices" with Ellen Gottesdiener, Founder, Principal Consultant, EBG Consulting, Inc. from 8am to Noon on Monday, September 10th)

For a taste of what will be in store, visit our 2011 Agile Summit Live Coverage:

Live from #PWWCBA: Agile Summit Beginnings
Live from #PWWCBA: All Analysts are Bilingual
Live at #PWWCBA: The Corporate Agile Transformation: Yes, It Can Happen
Live from #PWWCBA: Structured Conversations to Deliver Value

Plus, At PW&WCBA 2010, Ellen Gottesdiener spoke with our guest blogger Agile Scout's Peter Saddington about some key takeaways from her session on agile retrospectives:

So, in retrospective if you will: what is one agile question you hope to have answered? What is one challenge you are facing? Comment here or join the discussion on our LinkedIn group.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Leadership... Learned or Developed?

One of the key focus areas at PW&WCBA is Elevating the Role: From Manager to Leader. So how does one go about learning and actively building leadership skills?

Leadership skills, as with any skillset can be learned. However, being a true leader is an inherent skill, one that is ingrained; similar to talented painter. Leadership develops through experience, opportunities and mistakes. Rarely does one start their career out as a CEO or President of a large corporation. With that, you have to build upon your knowledge and raw talent.

Through my personal experiences both as a leader and working for some incredible leaders as well, I’ve found that communication is KEY… Setting expectations before a task, taking out the guess work and incorporating a timeline helps alleviate the stress of a task. There is no need to reinvent the wheel with every new assignment.

Of course every individual works differently, and a true leader recognizes that in their team. Allowing a team member to work and hopefully thrive in an environment where they are not micromanaged, but supported, is essential. Finding a balance where a team member can contribute, grow and further build on their own skillset, while contributing to the task at hand, allows not only the individual to grow, but also the leader to effectively manage a team.

Furthermore, an open environment where ideas can be shared, team members can collaborate, feel supported and provided the tools/resources necessary for success, ultimately builds trust, and team integrity. The ability to build a team environment that operates seamlessly with dynamic synergies takes experience and know how on the part of a dynamic leader. Nonetheless, a leader who has the leadership skills to build such an environment truly holds the leadership skills necessary to build a trusting team that will also support a dynamic leader.

Peter Sloane is currently a cross divisional Project Manager at IIR USA and has manged projects within Change Management, Communications Campaigns and Employee Development.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Habit for Humanity Reveals How to Overcome Project Barriers

Get an exclusive behind the scenes look at how Habitat for Humanity manages complex, multinational projects. SVP Connie Steward and Senior Director Lysa Ratliff show how they combined leadership practices and project management processes to successfully navigate intricate projects comprised of thousands of tasks in "overcoming barriers: finding shared purpose in complex projects."

Using the core skills and techniques shared at PW&WCBA, you too will be able to effectively execute projects within budget and on schedule. Learn how leadership skills develop organically in experiential settings, outside the confines of a traditional hierarchy, and how creative leadership thrives in planning, logistics and execution of wide-scale, hands-on projects.

In addition to Habitat for Humanity, hear real-world examples from:
• Port Authority of New York & New Jersey: Developing and Leading an Innovative Approach to Creative, Forward-Looking Collaboration
• Tishman Construction Corporation: World Trade Center: Managing the World's Largest, Emotionally Charged Complex Project Build
• The Boeing Company: Large Scale Crisis Management and Recovery: Integrated Project Management at Work
• Cisco: Enterprise Global PMO Creation & Value Definition: Real Life Case Study of People, Power, Politics & PMO
• PepsiCo: How to Add Value to Organizations through PM & BA Collaboration
• Cubic Defense Applications: Project Risk Opportunity Management: Accountability in Implementation

And much more! Download the brochure for the full conference agenda (AND the 2011 Executive Summary & exclusive video content & web seminar "10 Traits of an Agile Product Owner")

For more info on Connie Steward of Habitat for Humanity International, read our speaker spotlight here on the ProjectWorld blog.

Through targeted workshops and summits, multi-dimensional sessions, several interactive gatherings and year-round learning through our on-demand web seminar series, PW&WCBA is your foundation to achieve your career goals and become a leader within your organization.

As a reader of our blog we'd like to offer you an exclusive 15% discount off the standard registration rate with code PW12BLOG. For more information on the ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts and to register, visit our webpage.

We hope to see you in Orlando this September!
The ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts Team

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Sponsorship & Exhibition Opportunities Available. Please contact Jon Saxe at jsaxe@iirusa.com or call 646.895.7467

Monday, June 18, 2012

PM Insights: Management Skills & "Soft Skills"

One of our most popular sessions in 2011 was with Terri Dickson, PMP, Program Manager, External Mandates & Compliance Implementation, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield on "Soft Skills in a Virtual Team Environment."

Watch a clip of the session here:

(access the full video by logging in to your account on www.projectworld.com)

Inspired by this, we're including "Elevating the Role: From Manager to Leader" as one of our focus areas this year, with break-out sessions in this topic every day. We've been focusing on leadership for years, as evidenced by this video on attributes of great leaders from ProjectWorld & WCBA 2008:

But how does a manager develop those all important leadership skills, especially in today's world of increasingly virtual work?

This piece in Public Service notes the challenge, saying "I had met many project and programme managers, too many of whom enjoyed the title but lacked the capability." One key takeaway from that article? "A professional may take an economically deterministic view, whereas a true leader takes the people view first."

Forbes joined the conversation as well, with a piece by Stephanie Lischke and Joel Wright which stated that "overlooked leaders are the people who are working on project teams, influencing others and taking on ever-larger and more complex assignments." The post suggested four messages that organizations should give to growing leaders in order to facilitate their development from manager to leader:

1. Think “process,” not “position.”
2. Understand your leadership brand.
3. Take control.
4. You are seen, heard and valued

Project Times focused on the "softer side" of the equation naming Enthusiasm, Empathy and Integrity as some of the key skills a leader should develop. Indeed, in Terri Dickson's PW&WCBA session last year maintaining these qualities even over video and phone conferencing was the suggested role of a virtual team leader.

Important to note: as does this post "PMI's PMP®—has little to do with leadership." OK, Leadership might not show up in the PMBoK, but we feel it's one of the skills that will truly elevate your career and your level of project success. Do you agree? Tweet at us or comment below to join in the conversation.

To elevate your leadership skills, join the "From Manager to Leader" track at PW&WCBA this September. Download the brochure to see all the sessions in this track and learn more. As a reader of our blog we'd like to offer you an exclusive 15% discount off the standard registration rate with code PW12BLOG.

Monday, June 11, 2012

One World Trade Center: Managing the World's Largest, Emotionally Charged Complex Project Build

With One World Trade Center recently surpassing the Empire State Building at New York's tallest structure and President Obama now scheduled to visit the construction site this week our thoughts here at the offices of ProjectWorld and The World Congress for Business Analysts in New York are turning to our upcoming keynote by Jim Durkin, SVP, WTC Transportation Hub, Tishman Construction Corp.
View of 1 WTC construction from the author's apartment

Durkin will be presenting "World Trade Center: Managing the World's Largest, Emotionally Charged Complex Project Build" this September at PW&WCBA For the thousands involved with the $18 billion redevelopment of the 16-acre WTC site, the common thread is patriotism, indomitable spirit and a collective will to succeed. Durkin will report on the complex overlapping infrastructure at the WTC and how it calls for mass collaboration and coordination.

According to the August 2011 issue of Engineering News-Record, "depending on who is counting, there are at least seven major projects currently under way, each with its own team and schedule but not its own site, at least not below grade. All the projects overlap in a four-level basement. Consequently, the work is also loaded with challenges"

Durkin was quoted as saying “It's all coordination—coordinating with PATH, the memorial, the streets, towers 1, 2, 3 and 4, and the vehicle security center.”

Beyond coordinating with the many entities involved with the project, there have also been various changes to the design over the course of construction.

This piece in the New York Times addressed one of the project's challenges: "As design moved to the testing phase, it became clear that the prismatic glass simply had too many technical problems to overcome and at a budget that was not cost effective,” said John Kelly, a spokesman for the Port Authority. “We have been finalizing a design that will be far more practical while being both distinctive and magnificent."

Despite challenges faced (and what project of this scale doesn't face challenges?), the project continues on and the structure is rising an average of 9.5 feet a week. Completion of the tower is anticipated in 2013. Join us for Durkin's session at ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts for some actionable insights from the process.

As a reader of our blog we'd like to offer you an exclusive 15% discount off the standard registration rate with code PW12BLOG. For more information on the ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts and to register, visit our webpage.

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

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hear PM & BA Best Practices from Cross-Industry Leaders

“It’s hard to find a multi-dimensional conference that applies to all aspects of Program, Portfolio and Project Management & Business Analysis. PW&WCBA achieves just that. Sessions were full of substantive content that were a great learning experience” – Gopal Renganathan, MS, MBA, PMP, Senior Program Manager, PMO, Cisco

No matter your project scale, timeline or budget, the PW&WCBA expert faculty delivers on-point content that caters specifically to your business. The PW&WCBA 2012 program spans across all industries to stretch beyond the fundamentals to provide you with the skills you need to succeed in today’s high-pressured business environment.
Attendees listen to a keynote session at PW&WCBA 2011

Hear from who matters most to you and your current organizational needs:
- CPG: The Clorox Company, The Coca-Cola Company & PepsiCo
- Construction: Habitat for Humanity International, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure & Tishman Construction Corp.
- Pharmaceutical & Healthcare: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, Encore Health Resources, Health Dialog Services, Merck & Pfizer
- Insurance: National Council on Compensation Insurance, Nationwide Insurance & The Travelers Companies
- Aerospace & Defense: The Boeing Company, Cubic Defense Applications & NAV Canada
- IT & Telecommunications: Cisco, South African State Information Technology Agency & U.S. Cellular

Download the conference brochure for the complete agenda and to see the full PW&WCBA faculty.

For more information on the ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts and to register, visit our webpage. Save 15% off the standard registration rate with code PW12BLOG.

We hope to see you in Orlando this September!
The ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts Team 

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