IPMA 2014 – Innovation through Dialog

While I have a lot of readers who are in Europe – thank you for reading! – I know that many of my readers are here in the USA and always looking for a good reason to get out of the country.  I also know that some of you are members of the International Project Management Association.  So if you are a Project Manager and need a great way to improve your skills while seeing a great city, you should be aware of the upcoming 28th IPMA World Congress which is being held from September 29th to October 1st in the City of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.  It is going to have a great set of speakers (12 keynoters and 120 Expert speakers) as well as a wonderful program.

This year’s theme is “Innovation through Dialog” and the conference will focus on sharing, networking and interacting.  If you are like me and have many years of managing people and projects, you are always looking for good places to share best practices and learn new tricks of the trade.  The sponsors include many familiar companies including Microsoft but there are other interesting companies like Schiphol Group who manages airports and Dirigentem who provide project management services out of the Netherlands.  And if you are looking for new tools to manage those Agile projects check out this Projectplace who is also a sponsor.

As far as the program, it is very full!  The tracks for the program have something for everyone – here is the preliminary list of session topic streams:

If you can spare the time and expense to get to the conference I think it is one of those great opportunities to learn and meet people that will influence the way you approach projects in the future.  Some of the speakers that will be exciting to hear are Dr. Dagmar Zuchi, Philippe Brun, Hans Bol, Peter Scheffel, and Maura Launchbury.  Check out their experience and see what they plan to share at the conference.

If you get to go, please leave your thoughts about the conference as a comment – or if you would like to write a guest post about the event – please contact me.

 

Changing Technology, Process or organizations – Mistakes to Avoid in Change Management

I recently had the pleasure of participating in an article on Process Change.  Kathleen Irwin had been tasked with putting together the article to uncover tips on Costly mistakes that organizations should avoid when attempting to change technology, process(workflow) or team structure.

You can read the entire article over at Software Advice’s site Process Change Gone Wrong: Costly Mistakes Businesses Should Avoid.

For those of you that want the “readers digest version”, here is a short synopsis of the article:

Ms. Irwin starts out with some basic principles that most seasoned project managers already know – effective management strategies can make or break a project!   She sights some reports, including one from PMI, that show how as many as half of the projects which involve a change component fail.

The article goes on to share tips from several experts (and they even included my humble opinions) on common types of change companies undertake, common mistakes made, and tips for avoiding them.

  • Technology Changes – common mistakes
    • Adopting Unnecessary Technology
    • Overlooking Simpler solutions
    • Not getting buy-in from End users
  • Workflow Changes – common mistakes
    • Ignoring the Project Management triangle and principle
    • Failure to Understand the Existing Process
    • Communicating Poorly With Employees
  • Organization or Team Structure Changes to Avoid – common mistakes
    • Eschewing Diversity
    • Overvaluing Raw Credentials
    • Assuming Employees Are Interchangeable

The final summary is very clear –

…. all of our experts emphasized the importance of focusing on the human elements of change. As Eastman wisely notes, “The only way that the change is successful is if human beings actually use it.”

Bottom line manage the change and include people!!

 

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