Project Management Institute

Northern Exposure

PMI’s Toronto Congress Brings Educational and Networking Opportunities to Project Managers

      PMI GLOBAL CONGRESS 2005—NORTH AMERICA

BY JEFFREY BOULEY

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PMI’S TORONTO CONGRESS BRINGS EDUCATIONAL AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES TO PROJECT MANAGERS.

CONGRESS AT A GLANCE

Event PMI Global Congress 2005—North America
Location Metro Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Attendees 3,000 Project Management-Related Professionals (estimated)
Date 10–13 September 2005 (Exhibits Run 11–13 September)
Fees PMI Members: US$750
Nonmembers: US$950

REGISTRATION BEGAN 1 JUNE 2005, but you still can register in advance and save on the higher price of on-site registration (expected to be US$950 for PMI members and US$1,150 for nonmembers). Visit www.pmi.org to register online or to print out a registration form to mail or fax with your payment information.

More than just a chance to gain general knowledge and earn professional development units (PDUs) toward maintaining your Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential, the PMI Global Congress 2005—North America aims to connect you with the key issues that provide project management opportunities, challenges or both.

A theme of connectedness—professional and personal—is evident through the Congress schedule, starting with the keynote speech, which kicks off the event. An “attitude is everything” approach can help project managers improve in their jobs and in every other aspect of life, according to development guru Keith Harrell.

“Obviously, I‘m going to be speaking to men and women who manage projects, but it's more than just that,” says Mr. Harrell, author of Attitude is Everything: Ten Life Changing Steps To Turning Attitude Into Action [Harper-Business, 2000]. “They manage workload capacities. They manage budgets. They are responsible for managing people. What I plan to give them is not just a cornerstone for success in their work, but also key ingredients for managing life issues in general.”

Project managers need to stay focused in their work, and they need to deal with varying levels of change and the stress that comes with that change throughout a project's lifespan. “They must cope with an ever-changing, always-competitive marketplace no matter what industry they are in, and they need the right attitude to do that,” Mr. Harrell says. “Attitude is the control center for life. It determines how high we will reach and far we will go in our careers and our lives. It's not just what we think but how we think.”

During the keynote, Mr. Harrell hopes to impart on attendees not only how to manage projects but also their personal lives. “When I‘m done, I want them to have take-home strategies to improve their productivity, but I also want them to leave with life skills. I want them to be able to take that to their workplace and also share those skills with family and loved ones.”

A priority for the PMI Global Congress 2005—North America Congress Project Action Team (CoPAT) has been to ensure that all attendees have an equal chance to learn new lessons and to grow as project managers.

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WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BROAD SPECTRUM OF PROGRAMS THAT MEET NOT JUST THE NEEDS OF NEWER PROJECT MANAGERS BUT ALSO THOSE WHO HAVE MORE EXPERIENCE.
Susan Butler, PMP, Managing Partner, ResultWorks, Audubon, Pa., USA

“We are going to have a broad spectrum of programs that meet not just the needs of newer project managers but also those who have more experience, so that there are new lessons to be learned by everyone in attendance,” says CoPAT member Susan Butler, PMP, managing partner at ResultWorks, Audubon, Pa., USA, who also was on last year's CoPAT.

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IF YOU WANT TO BE A WINNER IN YOUR FIELD, YOU NEED TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH OTHER WINNERS. THE CONGRESS IS A GREAT WAY TO DO JUST THAT.
Heather J. MacDonald, PMP, Director of Consulting Services, CGI, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The increased focus on advanced knowledge, which began in the 2004 Congress, is a critical aspect for the event's continuing relevance, says CoPAT member Albert J. Serpas, PMP. “As the organization grew and matured over the years, longtime members like myself were beginning to question the value of attending the annual meeting and then the Congresses, because the topics always seemed to be pointed toward people who were newer to the profession,” says Mr. Serpas, electric systems automation consultant, project management office, information technology applications, for Public Utility District No. 1 in Snohomish County, Wash., USA. “We've worked to ensure that there are deep topics for someone who's been a PMP for a decade or more.”

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This year's educational areas include:

∎ Advanced Topics for PMPs

∎ Education and Certification

∎ New Trends in Project Management

∎ Problems With Projects: How to Avoid or Fix Them

∎ Project Management in Specific Industries

∎ Project Management Tools and Approaches

∎ Team, Leadership and Marketing Skills

∎ Project Management Maturity.

At least one of the anticipated educational highlights is a paper on PMI’s forthcoming program and portfolio manager standards, according to Jacqueline Kardon, PMI Global Congress planner.

In addition, Congress exhibitors will offer sessions of their own, providing another opportunity for project managers to earn PDUs, Ms. Butler notes. You'll have the chance throughout the event to meet the exhibitors, experts on products and services useful to your job. In fact, there are more exclusive exhibit hours, with almost half of the exhibit hours “unopposed” with regard to educational offerings.

JOB TITLES OF ATTENDEES

Here's how attendees’ job titles may break down, based on last year's PMI Global Congress—North America:

Project Manager 46%
Program Manager 22%
Consultant/Trainer 10%
Project Assistant/Coordinator 4%
President/Vice President 2%
Project Engineer 1%
Other 15%

Source: PMI Global Congress 2004—North America registration data and post-Congress attendee evaluation survey data.

INDUSTRIES REPRESENTED AT CONGRESS

If last year's event is any indication, the attendees’ top 10 industries will include:

Information Technology 23%
Manufacturing 12%
Financial Services 9%
Consulting 8%
Health/Human/Social Services 6%
Computers/Software/Data Processing 5%
Telecommunications 5%
Aerospace 3%
Defense 3%
Public Admin./Government 3%

Source: PMI Global Congress 2004—North America registration data and post-Congress attendee evaluation survey data.

Peer to Peer

The Congress allows you to have access to global experts in the field, and the presentations provide an opportunity to network with professionals who share similar challenges, says CoPAT member Heather J. MacDonald, PMP, director of consulting services for CGI, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. “If you want to be a winner in your field, you need to be associated with other winners,” she says. “The Congress is a great way to do just that; this is absolutely the forum for project management professionals in North America.”

Networking with peers, regardless of whether they are in your own industry, is critical to strengthening your skills and professional relationships, Mr. Serpas says. “If you're in an organization of, say, 1,000 people that only has two project managers, you might feel like you're beating your head against a wall after a while,” he says. “Well, you go to Congress and there are maybe 2,000 other people there who also are beating their heads against the wall at their companies. You come to realize that you're not alone in the world and to realize that other people in other organizations have the exact same problems you have—and you have the chance to bounce ideas off people who are of like caliber to yourself.”

Leading Lights

In addition to educational and networking opportunities, attendees also will have the chance to honor a new slate of leaders at the PMI Awards Ceremony, which includes the PMI Project of the Year Award and the Donald S. Barrie Award, which recognizes a student paper in the construction and design field.

The PMI Educational Foundation, which will have an exhibit at the Leadership Showcase and Exhibit Hall, also will present its awards at the 2005 Congress. Those who stop by the booth can learn about plans to “provide project management educational programs to students, community and for social good.”

From the concurrent sessions to the exhibit floor, the 2005 North American Congress is as much about change and growth as it is about continuity, say the CoPAT members. “For me, what makes this year more exciting than last is how much the world has changing around us just since 2004,” Ms. MacDonald says. “So much is different now in many areas such as the competitive landscape and increasing issues around the need for heightened security in North America. All of this brings new challenges and opportunities in the project management profession. The people who submitted proposals for this year's Congress really stepped up to address these new challenges we face, and whether you're a junior project manager or a senior project executive, everyone will find something of value.” PM

PLAN AHEAD

PMI Global Congress 2005—Latin America

31 October-2 November 2005
Cesar Park Panamá
Panamá City, Panamá

 

PMI Global Congress 2006—North America

18-26 October 2006
Exhibition: 22-24 October 2006
Washington State Convention and Trade Center
Seattle, Wash., USA

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

PM NETWORK | JULY 2005 | WWW.PMI.ORG

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