Wednesday, September 12, 2012

#PWWCBA Live: "Race Pace" and Collaboration

Don Mann, Former Member, Seal Team Six started off our final morning at PW&WCBA with some insights from his time with Seal Team Six and as a competitive athlete.

Don Mann signing books at PW&WCBA

Here are some of my key takeaways that can apply to the project management and business analysis world:

- be the quiet professional
- when a new member joins the team, your job is to train him to take over for you when you leave
- be confident and competent, but you won't be an expert in everything. Rely on subject matter experts
- Break macro goals up into micro goals
- Step out of your comfort zone and "train at race pace" (give it all you've got at all times)

Up next, Fredrick Redd, PMP, Director, Project Management Office, Port Authority and New Jersey Transit talked to us about "Developing & Leading an Innovative Approach to Creative, Forward-Looking Collaboration." Port Authority and New Jersey Transitis currently at a crossroads, having been in existence since 1875, there is a need for more collaboration and ultimately innovation. Organizational silos, a culture that is resistant to change and communication issues stand in the way of this. Four primary improvements challenged these silos for better collaboration:

- Public Private Partnerships
   - Reduces delays by increasing efficiency
   - Risks are weighed during all phases for better management
- Integrated Capital Management System
   - Integrate stand alone systems for better transparency of data
   - Standardize process and simplify access to data
- Net Point Scheduling Software
  - Allows intuitive view of project schedule
- BIM 4D Modeling Software
  - Used to model projects such as the World Trade Center Transportation hub, this allows the team to visualize conflicts, design changes and more.

By better communication of vision and strategy and measurement of benefits and lessons learned through these programs, the organization is continuing to break down silos and is more open to new ideas. More than the technical innovations, this transformation has also come from more "soft skills" approaches: using cross-functional teams and a stage gate process PMO.

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

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