Reaching New Heights and Gaining Strength in Project Management
Alan’s dynamic program focuses on a balance of technical project management strategies and interpersonal strategies that connect and inspire project teams. It is built in-part around the two years of planning and two months of climbing that went into making the project of reaching the summit of Mount Everest a reality and world record for Alan and three members of his immediate family. It also focuses on building strong connections as a crucial capacity to develop, as this plays such a critical role in motivating team members, problem solving, resolving conflicts, gaining alignment and creating cohesion. In his keynote, Alan puts specific emphasis on adopting an agile mentality so that we are not too rigid in our thinking, gaining project alignment and commitment, maintaining mental health, and effectively working together to achieve strategic goals. It is a blend of personal analogies combined with actionable strategies and tools that project managers can use in their own projects, organizations and throughout life. Alan’s message is about the passion, commitment and resilience that are needed to reach new heights in all that we do.
Leading Confidently Through Crisis
This is a fun, engaging and interactive leadership keynote based on lessons learned from the battlefield that translate to the corporate world. Whether you are a first line supervisor or a C-Suite executive, leaders do not naturally rise to glorious levels of leadership when faced with a crisis or adversity - they typically devolve to their most basic instincts of individual survival. Mismanaged crises are often the result of unprepared leadership teams. This leads to a wide range of long-term consequences, whereas companies that handled crises effectively, managed to recover fully and quickly. Leaders that put in the work, develop their leadership skills before a crisis ever impacts their organization, will determine the outcome of the crisis.
Successfully Running Hybrid Projects
This breakout session focuses on examining the benefits and challenges of using hybrid project management methodologies. Participants will examine not only waterfall and agile, but other supportive processes one needs to run hybrid projects successfully. Dr. Mathis will present on discovering the benefits of using hybrid over traditional and agile methodologies, as well as, defining value-added processes for hybrid projects. Additionally, in this session, Dr. Mathis will discuss management’s role in supporting hybrid projects, and to round out the session, he will analyze the shift in project manager responsibilities.
Is This the Age of Self-Driving Projects?
Artificial Intelligence is being incorporated into the software we use and the projects we manage. Machine Learning is a great tool for recognizing patterns and making predictions in our processes. But how will project managers manage these systems? How much control will they have, and when should we limit the role of ML-based systems? In this breakout session, we'll examine current use cases and how the project manager's role and skill set will need change to take advantage of AI-based systems.
Personal Currency in a Project Manager’s Virtual World
Companies worldwide found the need to send employees home to work, and the work-from-home movement was temporally adopted during the pandemic. Since the end of the pandemic shutdown, Five 9s has found that three-quarters of the companies are adopting a work from home or a hybrid model when consulting with the board room. In contrast, about a quarter of companies remain steadfast in traditional working environments. To add to the concern/challenge, there is the additional pressure of the lack of workforce availability and “personal currency” changes in the workforce. To change from a traditional work environment to a virtual work environment, a change in management style and philosophy needs to occur. This change is not related to the work required to complete the task but how to measure the work product and find milestones to measure production. In English, “don’t worry about how much time is spent working and concentrate on results and deadlines.”
So how does this affect Project Management professionals? Work products need to be broken down into processes and projects with timelines and deadlines. Yes, it sounds like piece work, but it has been astonishing to learn how much waste we find in time and money when functions are broken down into deliverables and timelines. Who is best at breaking a project into its deliverables and timelines? What about the employee side of virtual work? Labor shortages, record-high quit rates, upward movement of wages, and companies worldwide are competing heavily for skilled workers. To be blunt, it is the best time to be a skilled worker in the world. Since the pandemic, employees are reassessing what lifestyle they really want during and after the pandemic. This breakout session explores your “Personal Currency” and how a virtual work environment will or will not be a good option for you.
Mindset Matters - 11 Shifts Project Managers Must Adopt
Are you overly focused on what you or your team are doing at the expense of remembering why you’re doing it in the first place?
Do you constantly find your team in execution mode, churning out work that’s measured by output rather than outcome?
Are you a leader who believes managing a team means commanding responsibilities, controlling the work, or achieving compliance from employees?
From what we’ve seen in our coaching and software co-development engagements, modern leaders and teams avoid these common workplace pitfalls by adopting a few key mindset shifts. In this breakout session, John walks through these shifts with stories and strategies for adoption.
From Principles to Practice - Breaking Down Scrum
By now, most of us know what Scrum is. We’ve learned the ins and outs of sprint planning, daily stand-ups, and retrospectives. But understanding the mechanics is meaningless without an understanding of why we do these things. In this breakout session, John Krewson (with the help of a white board) will walk through the basics of Scrum, stopping along the way to illustrate why we do it this way, and sprinkle in stories of Scrum when it works, and when it doesn’t.
In this session, Retrospectives, Cathy Heckmaster will provide a ‘hands on’ presentation demonstrating several different kinds of retrospectives that can be used for different occasions in your project management work.
Good Enough is Good Enough | Being Agile when you go Agile
This session will review trends in organizations embracing Agile methodology from the perspective of 25+ years experience in the project management discipline. We will look at what companies can do to ensure success and how they can ensure that success by taking an (little-a) agile approach to modifying their processes. We will consider real world examples and then look at some “bear traps” to avoid using real world examples. Lastly we will consider simple solutions using tools many organizations already have to enable a simple and smooth transition without all the bells and whistles and the associated expense.
We profess to want more of the Growth mindset, but we don’t spend enough time acknowledging the benefits of attributes of the fixed mindset. We talk about changing people from the left to the right, but that’s in no way easy, automatic, or even intrinsically healthy. To be sure, enterprises need a growth mindset in order to thrive. So how do you get from a pervasive fixed mind set to a perpetual growth mindset? Training wheels.
If we look at each of the models, frameworks, etc., as training wheels, it orients us to taking the training wheels off. I’m not sure how long my bike had training wheels, but I think I was riding on two wheels by the time I was 6 or so? My oldest daughter was 8 and my youngest learned during a summer with her grandparents when she was 7.
Think about the concept of shuhari, commonly understood as the path to mastery. My rough translation is:
- Know the rule
- Break the rule
- Be the rule
The problem with Agile is knowing what rules to know. But if you look at the frameworks and models in the marketplace, each of them sets us up for shu. If you compare the models to martial arts disciplines, it might start to make more sense. I’m in no way a martial arts expert, but it appears to me there are some fundamental truths that underpin most of the styles. And I imagine these might be some of them:
- Know yourself
- Know your opponent
- Know the outcome you seek
- Know the techniques necessary to achieve your outcome
These are really broad concepts, and fully comprehending them to a level of practical mastery takes up to a lifetime. Most people never master the fundamental truths. The same is true with agility. I would argue it’s even harder to master enterprise agility. Not everyone in the company volunteered for the Agile journey. Even the ones who are totally on board have a different set of ideas about how to transform an organization. Different people have different interpretations of different frameworks. Every person in an enterprise brings unique perspective, background, motivation and talent. Pigeonholing everyone into a singular approach is bound to cause significant conflict. Even if you can get 80% of your organization on board, the 20% of detractors will cause more tumult than you can imagine.
As leaders or participants in an agile transformation journey, we should always be asking ourselves, “What needs to be true for us to remove the SAFe training wheels?” Let’s go back to the bike example. When we first start riding with training wheels, we rely on them a lot. We’re really trying to create balance and connection with the conveyance. The training wheels are our crutch when we’re starting out, and we find ourselves leaning a bit in one direction or the other because we know two wheels on the ground is safer than one. As we gain momentum, our body starts to acclimate to the right posture, the right-hand placement, the right pedaling pace, etc. Sooner or later, mom and dad (or the patient neighbor they asked for help) notices the training wheels are spending less time getting intimate with the pavement. Now you’re ready for the frightening discussion about removing one of the training wheels.
The Change You’re Looking For | 5 Successful Ways to Change Others
Do you believe this contemporary adage, “The only person you can change is yourself?” Most of us do, and understandably so. What if I told you this adage is only half true? Missing the other part of this truth has fractured our ability to create lasting change in the leaders and project teams we serve as project professionals.
It is true that we can’t make someone change, but we can create an environment that compels our leaders and teams to choose change. To create this environment, we need to first recognize the ingrained lies we hold about change and then replace them with the truth about what makes change inevitable. Once we have renounced the agreements we’ve made that held us back, we need new ways of thinking and doing if we’re going to create strong change.
This session will include content gathered from over 12 years of studying the 21 century’s most influential change thought-leaders. It will include the learnings from experiments that have generated the highest success rate in change attempts. Through this crucible of change experiments, Andrew has found rhythms, themes, and practices that deliver the change results you’re looking for. A new philosophy, mantra, and set of techniques have emerged that will help you influence even your most challenging leaders, peers, and project teams. If you are a project servant leader who is frustrated with the current methods of change and passionately want to create and cultivate change, then this session is for you!