Monday, September 29, 2014

Some Basics of Project Management

Being a relative newbie to the world of project management I thought that I can get a better understanding of the challenges and skills that come with managing a project successfully by asking my trusty colleague Lisa. Lisa has taken the lead in many of our team’s projects over the years. Under her direction we have been successful so who better to ask. One topic that I was interested in was what she thought the biggest challenge was in managing a project. She said that, “My biggest challenge is managing the project and not managing the work---trusting team members to carry out their tasks as expected.” This challenge rang true with me because I have performed the role of employee involvement team facilitator before and that challenge is identical. You want to manage the project (or process) and not the work. Leave that step to the team members. Perhaps a helpful mantra? Nevermind, just keep your hands off the work.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ProjectWorld Tackles PM/BA Best Practices

ProjectWorld 2014 officially launched on Monday, September 22, tackling some of the biggest issues for attendees.  The topics trending at the conference are Agile, Communities of project, multiple projects, leadership, business analysis and more.  The speakers were dolling out “nuggets” of wisdom and sage advice that attendees could take back to their organizations and put to use right away.
Many attendees who signed up for the special field trip to Starbucks were in for a big treat to learn insights on project management best practices.  Hope to interview a few attendees to share some insights.
Tuesday morning, will kickoff with opening remarks from William Greenwald on Leadership and following keynote speakers, JoMiller and Meta S. Brown share insights on Women’s Leadership and Big Data.  Also, another special field trip to Boeing will occur later today for those attendees who signed up.
Attendees can follow the twitter steam #PW14 to catch up on the latest tweets for the event.   Stay tuned for more insights as I’ll share some of the powerful messages coming out of this conference to help attendees tackle their biggest organizational issues.

Leadership Insights from William Greenwald

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Leadership Lessons: The Biggest Challenges Facing Leaders Today

I recently interviewed Mary Ann Bender of Allstate and Betsy Ballentine – Project Manager at Russell Martin & Associates, to talk about the ins and outs of leadership in today’s competitive business landscape. Both women are speaking at next week’s ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts conference - the premiere conference brand that delivers executive level program quality with an enhanced focus on collaboration between project management and business analysis disciplines.

Here’s what Mary Ann and Betsy had to say:

IIR: What is the biggest challenge facing project leaders today? How can they be overcome?

Bender: Budget continues to be a challenge in some cases; however, based on my experience the biggest challenge is the fear of availability issues or business impact due to the project or changes to the environment.

So, have a good change management process in place, clear and customized communication per business area, do a presentation of success measurements to officers and directors helping them understand how the project is helping the company and the businesses and if the project has cost savings, those must be presented too.  Divide the metrics and reports per business unit and make it as a healthy competition between them.

Ballentine: Multi-tasking is the biggest challenge. Constantly changing focus means that project managers are never getting any velocity on their projects. New highly-matrixed, job-sharing times demand leaner, more resilient tools. Get REAL!

Mary Ann and Betsy will be speaking at PW&WCBA in Seattle, WA taking place September 22-24th. The 2014 program is designed with courses for all training levels, a robust agenda, and most importantly tangible lessons which you can begin implementing the day you return to your office, making you even more valuable to your organization. PW&WCBA offers attendees 36 PDU/CDUs - that's more than half of the required credits necessary to maintain your certification in just one place.

To learn more or register for the event, click here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Leadership Lessons: William Greenwald

In our next episode of the Leadership Lessons interview series brought to you by ProjectWorld &World Congress for Business Analysts, I sat down with William Greenwald of Windsor Leadership Group to discuss how to stand out in leadership,  what it takes to be a great leader, and the biggest challenges facing leaders today.

Today, ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts is the premier conference for advancing collaboration through practice. This year, PW&WCBA has not only changed locations but also drastically changed how the program is delivered- more than ever focused on practicality and tangibility, through visionary speakers, and focus areas that matter to you and your role and help accelerate future success.  At PW&WCBA, you will have the opportunity to join industry thought leaders as they re-examine how to identify opportunities and track their success, understanding what it means to be an effective leader in a virtual and multicultural world, and explore the future role of project managers and business analysts with the corporation.

Greenwald whole-heartedly believes in Gandhi's quote, "Be the Change that You Want to See.” According to him, too many leaders worry about uncontrollables or trying to change others such as peers, bosses, and spouses.

“Great leaders lead themselves before others...hence, by simply taking responsibility for your own behavior and being an exemplary role model in your corporation, community, and family, you will, by default, STAND OUT.”

Greenwald recommends that all new leaders start every conversation (at home and at work) with: "How can I serve you today?” This will begin to build a strong foundation of Servant Leadership that will ably guide decades of success as a great leader.  

Check out my full interview with William here:

If you’d like to hear more from William, don’t’ miss his sessions, “Creating Magic: Leadership and Service Excellence” on Monday, September 22nd at 10:45 am and “Story to Stage: The Art Behind the Science of Presentation Excellence” on Wednesday, September 24th at 2:00 pm. ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts 2014 is taking place this September 22-September 24, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. For more information and to register, click here:

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at Follow her at @AmandaCicc.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Will you be joining us at ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts?

In less than one month, hundreds of project management and business analysis executives will gather in Seattle to tackle some of their most pressing challenges from the project trenches at ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts. Will you be joining us?

September 22-24, 2014
W Hotel
Seattle, Washington

  • PW&WCBA provides a 3-day experience designed for all training levels,  with a robust agenda and tangible lessons that can be implemented when you return to the office.
  • Full Agenda Addressing Project Pain Points : Designed to meet the needs of YOUR industry, including a new Project Scheduling Lab, a focus on Leading High Performance Teams and Becoming a Person of Influence.
  • In-Depth Workshops: This year there's even more workshop sessions to get hands on with topics, including Agile PM Training, Requirements Management Best Practices, Cyber Security, Emotional Intelligence and more. 
  • 40+ Speakers sharing best practices and lessons learned from deep in the project trenches. Find out what works (and what doesn't!) from the best in the industry. You'll hear from Allstate, Bank of Montreal, Erie Insurance, IIBA, Kindred Healthcare, Microsoft, Quest Diagnostics, Starbucks & more. 
  • A Look into the Future of Project Management & Business Analysis: PW&WCBA will prepare your team not only for the changes taking place in project management and business analysis, but also what's coming. The IIBA's Kevin Brennan and Clark County NV's Ricki Henry will share What the Future of Business Analysis will look like, while Kathleen B. Hass explores what the New Project Leadership Model looks like.
  • 36 PDUs/CDUs to maintain your certification: that's more than half of the credits needed in just THREE days!
  • Unparalleled Networking: PW&WCBA Connect allows you to see who's attending the event and begin networking before you arrive in Seattle. Plus, we've added a networking reception and the opportunity to sign up for group dinners to continue the conversation after the conference day ends.

Download the brochure for full details:

Attendees to date include:

New York Life Insurance
Allstate Insurance
Centene Corporation
Russell Martin & Associates
Banfield The Pet Hospital
Citizens Bank
Solea Software Solutions
El Paso Water Utilities
Hampton Affiliates
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Hilti Inc
McKee Foods Corporation
University of Connecticut
Lonza Biologics
Women's Leadership Coaching Inc
New Directions Behavioral Health
Federal Depositors Insurance Corp
Kathleen Hass & Associates Inc
Watermark Learning
NyeCo Inc
State of Wisconsin
Reliance Home Comfort
The Boeing Company
Starbucks Coffee Company
Bank of Montreal
International Institute of Business Analysis
Federal Reserve Bank
WEA Insurance
Neiman Marcus
Honda R&D
Robert Bosch
EBG Consulting
Kindred Healthcare Inc
Fujitsu America
Callisto Integration
Edwards Lifesciences LLC
Quest Diagnostics
WEA Trust
University of Regina
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
NASA Mars Science Laboratory
T. Garanti Bankasi A S
Stage Stores
Clark County
Windsor Leadership Group LLC
Human Systems International
Plan Administrators Inc
Washington State Department of Retirement Systems
Canadian Blood Services
The Pasha Group
Buffalo State College
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care
Travelers Companies
Continental Mills

Have you been following our Leadership Lessons Blog series? Head over to our blog to read up on our recent interviews with industry leaders themselves:

PW&WCBA 2014 presents you with new opportunities to accelerate professional and personal development at the rate of change. Join us and make yourself more valuable to your organization.

Mention code PW14LI & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today:

All the best,
The PW&WCBA Team

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Top Five Skillsets for Business Analysts

Business Analysts are in high demand today and having the right skill sets may set you apart from other candidates vying for the same jobs. Whether you are a seasoned or new business analyst you will need basic and advanced skill sets to advance in your career.

Below are five of the most transferable business analysis skill sets:

1. Communication Skills
2. Interpersonal Skills
3. Technical Skills
4. Research and Analytical Skills
5. Organizational Skills

Considering business analysis as a career? Read more detail on what the International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) recommends regarding the transferable skills necessary to be successful.

Business analysis can be a very rewarding career and you can get more information at the website and by joining the International Institute of Business Analysis. Joining as a member provides you with access to A Guide to the Business Analysis Body of Knowledge (the BABOK Guide) and the underlying business analysis competencies lists.

ProjectWorld & World Congress for Business Analysts 2014, is taking place in Seattle, Washington September 22-24th at the W Hotel. The 2014 program is designed with courses for all training levels, a robust agenda, and most importantly tangible lessons which you can begin implementing the day you return to your office, making you even more valuable to your organization. PW&WCBA offers attendees 36 PDU/CDUs - that's more than half of the required credits necessary to maintain your certification in just one place.

To learn more or register for the event, click here: