Project Management Institute

Sky's the limit

BY JEFFREY BOULEY

THIS YEAR'S PMI GLOBAL CONGRESS—EMEA

(Europe, Middle East and Africa) will be shooting for the stars—quite literally—with a focused look at a major European satellite project. The event also will provide a more grounded look at project management skills, such as diversity.

One of the event highlights is a panel session that will examine Europe's Galileo project, an effort to provide the world's first satellite positioning and navigation system used solely for civil purposes. The project includes a constellation of 30 satellites covering the Earth's entire surface. Galileo is a partnership of the European Commission, the Galileo Joint Undertaking and a European private consortium. Representatives of these bodies will discuss how the project was conceived, negotiated and how it is being implemented.

PMI GLOBAL CONGRESS 2006—EMEA PREVIEW

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Scheduled for 8–10 May, the conference will be held at Hotel Meliá Castilla in Madrid, Spain. This year will feature more in-depth half-day sessions and 10 educational areas of focus, up from eight last year. A total of 66 75-minute paper presentations are planned, according to Jacqueline Kardon, PMI's congress content coordinator. There also are tentative plans for five other “double sessions” that would be twice that length.

The event will cover a range of project management issues, including people skills. “One of the key challenges is the evolving appreciation of cultural diversity in the context of professional development educational needs,” says Sheilina Somani, PMP, of Positively Project Management, Wembley, Middlesex, U.K., and one of the Congress Project Action Team (CoPAT) members for the event. “The key challenge is to facilitate cultural understanding within individual geographic locations as well as across country and continental boundaries.”

This congress will address a common concern among project managers: how to get better buy-in from stakeholders. “In such a diverse marketplace, where awareness of project management as a professional discipline and, more importantly, as a business culture is varied, it is important to have the right tools to sell the ideas to your internal project sponsors,” says Alfonso Bucero, PMP, fellow CoPAT member and founder of Bucero PM Consulting, Madrid, Spain.

In addition to keeping attendees up to speed with a changing marketplace, the event will update them on professional standards. This year marks the first time the EMEA congress will address the new project management perspectives found in the updated version of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Third Edition.

WHERE AND WHEN

EVENT                PMI Global Congress 2006—EMEA

LOCATION        Hotel Meliá Castilla, Madrid, Spain

DATE                  8–10 May 2006

NOTE            On-site registration for SeminarsWorld® courses, held 11–12 May, will be accepted only if space is available in the class. You are encouraged to register by 24 April 2006 (advance registration deadline), as seminars frequently sell out in advance.

SEMINARSWORLD®

LEARNING IN MADRID

Attendees can further enhance their professional development by participating in one of 10 two-day seminars offered immediately after the congress. Four main subject areas will be covered:

CORE COMPETENCIES

  • - Essential Skills for Managing Projects
  • - Project Leadership and Team Development

PEOPLE AND LEADERSHIP SKILLS

  • - Power, Influence and Politics in Project Management
  • - Building a Next-Generation Program Management Office and Portfolio Management
  • - Essential Facilitation Skills for Project Managers

STRATEGIC APPLICATION

  • - Advanced Risk Management: Minimize Threats and Maximize Opportunities to Ensure Project Success
  • - From Strategy to Projects: Program Management Step-By-Step
  • - Successful Implementation of a Program Management Office

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

  • - Managing a Single Project with MS Office Project 2003 (Orange Belt)
  • - Determining Project Requirements

Being Heard

The keynote speaker is businessman and author Steve McDermott. Described as “half business guru, half stand-up comedian,” he will focus on communicating ideas and project needs. “When you are trying to influence people to adopt a certain view, like agreeing with your project plans, it strikes me that you really have to take note of the fact that different people take in information in different ways,” he says.

He sees two types of people in the business world. “There are big-picture people like me who are comfortable with bullet points, and people who need much more rich detail to get work done,” he says. “A big-picture person may fail to ask detail-oriented people how they would like their information, and then the detail people walk away feeling like they don't have enough information. Or the detail person drops a 100-page paper on a big-picture person, not realizing that only a small percentage of that document is likely to be read by that person.”

Despite different personality types, bottom-line results are the overriding goal. The key is learning how we need to communicate with each other to get the job done. “People and companies don't just buy into something because you tell them it's important,” Mr. McDermott says. “We have to know what the values and goals of the other person or company are. People want to know that something will work for them, so you have to understand where they are coming from to align yourself with their values and communicate to them how they will benefit.”

Mr. McDermott will discuss his experiences with ASDA, a U.K.- based food and clothing superstore that is a subsidiary of retail giant Wal-Mart. “Companies that succeeded in 2005 and that will continue to succeed in 2006—like ASDA—are values-driven companies,” he says. “They won't buy into a project idea unless you are working alongside the company's values, no matter how good the logistics or cost of the plan you are bringing to the table.”

AREAS OF FOCUS

PROJECT MANAGEMENT MATURITY
Explores programs such as PMI's Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3®), Capability Maturity Model® (CMM) Integration and other new perspectives being developed on how project management works.

REGIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Includes topics related to the European Union, the growth of project management in Africa, how project management differs in the EMEA region compared to the rest of the world, and how it differs within various parts of EMEA.

BEING A PROJECT MANAGER
Explores different project management certifications and academic degrees, portability of credentials, project management curricula for students, continuing education for seasoned practitioners, online versus traditional classroom training, coaching techniques and project managers as role models.

SELLING PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Focuses on different methods of reassuring stakeholders that project management can improve the operation of any area within the organization.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES
Looks into how project management is being used in one specific industry, and also the commonalities across industries.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT BASICS
Covers the contents of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Third Edition, including work breakdown structure, risk assessment, communications and scope.

RISK AND METRICS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Explores innovative measurement techniques; ROI; benchmarking and accounting for project security in a security-conscious society; risk management and mitigation and solutions for troubled projects; determining lessons learned; and competitive advantages of project management.

MULTICULTURAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Focuses on overcoming the challenges of working with a diverse workforce, including issues of culture, language, geography and time zones.

Time to Network

Along with the presentations, attendees will have a chance to network with their peers. “It's great to meet people in a social setting rather than a formal one, so you can ask questions of peers who are in similar job roles,” Ms. Somani says.

The congress also serves as “a huge opportunity to spread project management knowledge and business visibility of the profession in Europe, Middle East and Africa,” Mr. Bucero says.

There are some changes to this year's event. The new members' session has been upgraded. This session is designed to provide participants with greater insight into how they can best benefit from attending the EMEA event. Described as a motivational session, it will introduce participants to PMI Global Congresses in general and allow them a chance to meet other new members one-on-one. In addition, PMI Board members and staff will provide tips on how to maximize learning and networking opportunities at the event.

Mr. Bucero says there also will be more focus on quality papers, something that last year's attendees had wanted. PM

Jeffrey Bouley is a freelance writer based in Saco, Maine, USA, and news editor of PM Network's Stakeholders department. He has contributed to Interface Tech News, Drug Discovery News and Mainebiz.

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 | MARCH 2006 | WWW.PMI.ORG
MARCH 2006 | PM NETWORK

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