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PMI Requires Business and Leadership Training

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NOTE: My colleagues at PM College passed along the news that PMI is changing its PDU requirements. This post is adapted from our email to our customers.

Where Did The Money Go? — Making Project Benefits Happen

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OK, you saved your receipts. You may be able to show what you spent it on. But can you really show what you got for it? Not just some shiny new SAP modules, or a fancy app, but what higher margins, market share, or tangible benefits can you prove?

Better Leadership + Business Skills = Better Projects

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What drives project success? Research has consistently shown that it’s having an effective project manager. Results from PM College’s latest research, “ Project Manager Skills Benchmark 2015 ,” confirms this, showing that organizations with highly skilled project managers get significantly better project results. This result is hardly a surprise, but the magnitude of the outperformance is.

Agile Prep for the PMI-ACP®: Tips from Personal Experience

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PM College has upped its agile game over the last few months. We now have a full suite of offerings across a variety of agile approaches: Scrum , XP, Kanban , Lean, and different ways to combine them for success, including SAFe or agile certifications. As I reviewed our course offerings, I became curious and followed a link to the requirements for PMI’s Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) certification.

“Train as we work” — National Disaster Medical System

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It seems like simulation and practice is in the air these days. Not just from my posts (McKinsey on simulation, Football-on-Football on practice), but now in the Facebook feed of one of my friends, Lee Turpen.

Here’s A Quick Way to Measure Learning Impact

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We ask for client feedback on nearly every class or workshop we hold. It’s the way we ensure continuous improvement, instructor/client culture fit, and client satisfaction. It also opens the door to other opportunities; many students express opinions about what they want to see next. However, a number of clients get stuck when it comes to justifying training spend. Senior leaders know that talent development is critical, but they want to see results.

The Biotech IT PMO 2.0

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As a CIO, you have either made – or heard – recommendations to create an IT project management office. Perhaps you have implemented one, and your department is reaping the benefits of project planning, monitoring, and controlling. IT delivers its projects on time, on budget, and to spec. Congratulations! You and your IT PMO have put the foundation of consistent innovation in place. Nevertheless, it is no more than a foundation. A PMO must… For more, see the full article at CIO Review.

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Why Project Management Expertise Isn’t Enough: Lessons Learned from Security Breaches

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How many times have I heard that “a good project manager can manage any project?” ” Too often for my taste. My biggest issue with the claim is that it begs the question : he statement assumes we all agree that any project manager with a mastery of the profession’s tools and techniques can succeed anywhere. We’ve finally learned better, and PMI has acknowledged this in its new requirements for PMP continuing education.

Find Your Best Project Leaders

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My last post noted that filling gaps, improving skill mastery, and driving behavior change are the improvements that organizations need. But how can you design these objectives into your talent improvement program? If you have had a program in place, how do you know you have the right mix? And how do you measure its impact on the organization? Who are the truly competent initiative leaders in your organization? And how do you know?

I’ll be at the PMO Symposium 2015: Phoenix, AZ (8-11 November)

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Are you headed out to the Phoenix PMO Symposium in November? We’ll I’ll be there too. I’ll be on site from about 2 PM on Sunday until midday on Wednesday. I’ll be circulating, but I’d love to be booked up w/ meetings! Reach out to me via the comments or @ crossderry. Hope to see you then and there! Filed under: PMO.

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Are Organizations Hiring for Leadership and Business Skills?

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I am continuing with my series on the PM Skills Webinar we just held (the webinar recording itself is here , registration required). My first post discussed how to hire for the right project, leadership, and business skills.

How Many Projects Can A PM Handle?

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On the Strategy & Projects blog this week, we delved into a question about the optimal number of projects that one project manager can handle at a time. You can read the answer here.). As I poked around in various research studies looking for clues, I found that like many seemingly simple questions, the answer is “it depends.” ” In this case, much depends on the project manager. And we proved that!).

Leading PM College

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FYI, I just accepted a role leading PM College, which is a leadership training group based outside Philadelphia. I’ve known the firm and its owners for 15 years and I’m very excited about the fit. Thanks to all for your help, both temporal and spiritual! If you have leadership development needs, you now know where to go! ??. link] Filed under: PMO.

Practice makes champions: Lessons from Super Bowl 49

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When clients or colleagues ask about my passion for simulations or other experiential learning , I go back to the counsel of an old baseball coach. I hated certain fielding drills, because I thought I already knew what do. But Coach reminded me that knowing what to do wasn’t my problem, the problem was that I had to think about it. In other words, when I — or any other fielder — had to recall what to do, we’d often go blank or get nervous.

This startup can grow metal like a tree, and it’s about to hit the big time

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Paul Ritchie : Cool beyond words! Originally posted on Fortune : A Seattle startup has found a way to grow high performance metals in a cheap and energy efficient way, marking an important breakthrough for industries like construction, automotive, and oil and gas. You can already find some of the metals from seven-year-old company Modumetal on oil rigs off of the Australian and African coasts, as well as the U.S., off of Texas.

The Walking Around PMO

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Jonathan Becher (@jbecher)—SAP’s Chief Marketing Officer—has an excellent, longstanding blog named “ Manage by Walking Around.” I could not help but think of Jonathan as I heard another former colleague’s presentation at the 2015 PMO Symposium. Lou Pack from ICF International (@ICFI) served with me on PMI’s Global Executive Council. He gave a talk today on a PMO’s Role in Mergers & Acquisitions and Other Organizational Transformations. Lou made many great points.

PM Skills Benchmark Study

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PM Solutions and PM College are pleased to announce our latest research initiative: The Project Manager Skills Benchmark Study. This study is designed to help us understand current skill levels of project managers in the areas of project management, leadership, and business. What skills do project managers have, and how do these skills impact project and organizational success? This survey should take about 10 minutes of your time.

Quote of the day: Marcus Aurelius

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The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. Filed under: PMO.

Project Portfolios in Practice

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I’m attended—with my PM Solutions colleagues—the 2015 PMO Symposium in Phoenix. I’d like to share some of the great knowledge and experience on offer, therefore I’ll have a quick blog series on some key topics. I live tweeted the conference @pm_college and via the conference hashtag #pmosym. The first session delved into a big topic: project portfolio management.

How Do I Interview for Soft Skills?

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My last post in this series responding to questions asked by participants in our recent PM Skills Webinar (the webinar recording itself is here , registration required) covered whether employers were really looking for leadership and business acumen. The next question came from a PMO leader, asking for: Suggestions on interview techniques or questions to find those “soft skills” from a PM applying outside of your organization? .

Quote of the day: Thomas Jefferson

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I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. Thomas Jefferson Filed under: PMO.

Quote of the day: Abraham Lincoln

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Honest Abe knew not to overpromise and underdeliver. We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot. Abraham Lincoln Filed under: PMO.

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Winning with Talent Management: Three Real-Life Examples

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The wrong person in the wrong role costs real money. Studies suggest bad hires cost 250% of the role’s salary. In other words, a bad $100K hire will cost you $250K! And when it comes to the cost of a bad project manager, look at it this way: , what was the size of your last failed project: $1 million, $10 million, $100 million? You win the talent game with the best talent. But how do you identify “best”?

Sportsfolio Management: What Project Executives Can Learn From the Draft

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Rich Hill is one of my favorite Twitter sports follows — @PP_Rich_Hill — though I only now realized I hadn’t been following via @ crossderry until recently. He does a great job of melding a fan’s perspective with his analysis. The result is well-reasoned, yet approachable opinions and projections of football drafts, rosters, and of course, game performance. He’s also a Pats fan, so he must be a man of honor and distinction!

Talent Development for Complex IT Programs

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I just received a McKinsey brief on “ Developing talent for large IT projects ” that has the usual recommendations, but adds two useful insights. From the opening section: The responses [to a survey on levers for improving IT performance] reflect the challenge of attracting, developing, and retaining the right IT talent at a time when building a digital enterprise has become a priority for most companies.

What Specific Training Do You Suggest for Increasing Leadership Skills?

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NOTE: I’m cross posting a PM College blog piece from Debbie Crawford from our recent webinar on the PM Skills Benchmark. – What specific training efforts do you suggest for increasing leadership skills? This is a great question, but one that does not have a “one size fits all” response. The first thing you need to do is decide what leadership looks like in your organization. Leadership” is one of those concepts that is extremely variable from organization to organization.

The Bad Apple Does Spoil the Bunch

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When I teach Strategies for Stakeholder Engagement , I get many questions about dealing with tough cases, problem children…yes, bad apples. Organizational theory assumes that group dynamics make that old saw obsolete: a group can send any bad apple to the bottom of the barrel. However, recent research suggests that a team that tolerates a bad member runs the risk of poisoning itself.

Troubled Projects and Root Causes

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UPDATE: Our Troubled Projects webinar is scheduled for 12 April 2016. Register here. Our colleagues at PM Solutions just put out another great white paper: Troubled Projects? Key Strategies for Quick Turnarounds. It synthesizes multiple project research studies into a straightforward approach to project review and recovery. Which, not so coincidentally, is the title of our course on the topic: Project Review and Recovery.

Custom Learning Drives Transformation

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The trend is unmistakable: elearning is here to stay. According to research by eLearning Industry , this instructional method has grown by over 9% in the past five years. One area in particular stood out for us: … The online corporate market is expected to grow by 13% per year up to 2017. Today, 77% of USA companies offer online corporate training to improve the professional development of their employees. … Large companies are the main purchasers of eLearning products and services.

Quote of the day: Ray Bradbury

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Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage. — Ray Bradbury Filed under: PMO.

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Preparing the Agile Kool-Aid

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After a long hike at Scout camp, there’s nothing like seeing a cooler with bug juice on tap. It’s even better when it’s real Kool-Aid , not the generic stuff. That first sip’s a step back into childhood…well, except for the fact that you need to wait for all the Scout to drink up first! “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is another twist on the old bromide “ you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

Good meeting “rules” seed list and its use in practice

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I like this meeting rules/tips list from Harry Hall (@harrythall). They’re all good, though I’d add “no open devices (e.g., PCs or tablets)” and “schedule the meeting’s end-time to allow people to get to their next meeting (e.g., end agenda at 9:50 AM vs. 10:00 AM)” One process tip: if this meeting will be an ongoing event or part of a project, have the participants make up the ground rules.

Project’s End: The Career Progress Dilemma

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In more than one project, there’s been lots of happy talk about people’s future roles in the organization. Yet everyone knew that some colleagues simply wouldn’t have a place after the project, including themselves. Beyond the formal career path discussions — if such things exist in your firm — I suggest that one should be very clear about the fact that this is a project. It’s incumbent on the project team to think about “what’s next?”

Five Ways To Tell Stories That Stick

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During my latest Strategies for Effective Stakeholder Engagement course, I related my Babson strategy professors admonition that stories are at the core of how humans communicate. Stories are how we conveyed knowledge and memorized facts long before the written or printed word.

How personal shortcomings undermine recovery (Mini Case Part 2)

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Unfortunately, our quality control processes didn’t fare so well. We did get sufficient testing resources for the first rollout, but a couple of process owners only delivered under protest. For you see, they believed that testing of their processes — even user acceptance testing (UAT) — was not their job. To put it another way, they did not hold themselves accountable to ensure that the technical solution conformed to their processes’ requirements.

The Benefits of Career-Oriented Education

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Here’s an extract of an interview I did for Central Connecticut State University’s Continuing Education Blog. Tell us about PM College. What educational opportunities do you offer? PM College creates and delivers learning for strategy execution topics such as strategy, leadership, portfolio and project management. What sets you apart from other schools or organizations offering career-oriented training programs? Our programs don’t simply deliver pre-packaged content.

Do PM Job Descriptions Address the Skill Gap?

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My last post addressed the first question from our webinar: how to hire for the right project, leadership, and business skills. The webinar recording itself is here (registration required). As I noted, that question is at the heart of sustainable talent management for your project managers.

The Apple 8.0.1 Debacle: Whom to blame?

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Marc Andreessen drew my attention to a Bloomberg article that laid out what it purported to be “links” with the failed Maps launch. pmarca was properly skeptical of the article: General principle: Quality problems in software are not the fault of the quality assurance team. bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-2… — Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) September 26, 2014.

Quote of the day — H.L. Mencken

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I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant. — H.L. Mencken Filed under: PMO Tagged: Freedom , H.L. Mencken , Knowledge , PM Quote of the Day , Truth. PMO Freedom H.L. Mencken Knowledge PM Quote of the Day Truth

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Quote of the day: Albert Einstein

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Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value. — Albert Einstein Filed under: PMO.