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:


J Sanders said...

For those of you following what's happening @Project_World

I am @Project_World and attending the Track 1 Workshop:The Nitty Gritty of Agile Advanced PM Training. This is being presented by Nanette Brown on behalf of EBG Consulting. She is a product developer with over 24 years of industry experience.
We were encouraged to get up and interact early on about how experienced we were with Agile. Implementing Agile is based on 2 factors: Do Agile and Be Agile. It’s like yin and yang, two parts of a greater whole.

Agile is about bringing value to customers through developing the right software that meet their needs. What you want to avoid is having a process be enshrined or ossified because that is the opposite about what Agile is about.
A group of us at the table had a chance to share some of our experience in our business and the challenges that we have. We heard from some Boeing representatives and Johnson & Johnson. We all experience changing requirements at the last moment and the utilization of Agile can help with these sudden changes.
Our focus during the presentation was on Scrum and XP Values

I had learned a lot of useful tips that I will be bringing back to my team.

J Sanders said...

Here is a recap for the following sessions that I attending @Project_World, I wish I could have attended all!
My first workshop is briefly described above. For my second event I attended Emotional Intelligence For Project Team Decision Making, which was presented by Lou Russell the CEO for Russell Martin & Associates. The room was packed and the interest was there to better learn how to increase your EQ when working with others and on projects. My third event was What Should You Know When Writing Requirements for BYOD and BYOA Access. This was presented by Ricki Henry from Clark County NV. One of the primary topics that we focused on was how to better integrate mobile technologies with your business that meets the needs of your customers and allows your employees to work to their strengths. My 4th event was presented by Chris Young from Kindred Healthcare and it was about Juggling Multiple Projects. Chris shared some valuable tips to keeping chaos in check when you have to work multiple projects at once.
I will be sharing more about my Project World experience in the next few days following up afterwards with more details about what was covered. Cheers!