Friday, October 15, 2010

PMI Central Iowa PDD

I was going thru conference withdrawal after leaving the PMI Global Congress on Tuesday, so I headed up to Des Moines for the Central Iowa Chapter's Professional Development Day (actually, I was invited to speak). As compared to the PMI Global Congress, this was much smaller (about 350 attendees compared to around 3100). However, the organizing team did a good job of recruiting some pretty good speakers.

The opening speaker was Kevin Hall. His talk focused was titled "Transforming Your Purpose Through the Power of Words" which is based on his book Aspire. One of his words that I liked was "genshai" which he defined as never treating someone in a manner that makes them feel small.

The other speaker I got to see before I spoke was Lisa DiTullio, who talked about career resilience for project managers. One of the points she made that stuck with me was the idea of self-promotion. How are you promoting your accomplishments in your organization?

In all, a good way to wrap up the week. Next week, it's back to business with a few new tools in my toolkit...or as Stephen Covey would say, I've spent some time sharpening my ax.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Final thoughts - PMI North America Global Congress

Well I'm back home after the PMI Global Congress in Washington DC (well, actually Oxon Hill Maryland). As with most conferences, there were some good presentations and some that didn't really impact me. Some of my favorites from this year were:
  • Jesse Fewell on Modern Agile Contracts. He had some new ideas on contracts and was able to make what could have been a dry topic interesting
  • Michele Sliger's Goodbye Scope Creep, Hello Agile.
  • Jeff Ottman and Dr Preston Smith on extending agile beyond software development.
  • Richard Sheridan's The Keys to a Sustainable Work Pace
  • Elizabeth Harrin on social media for project management
  • Dr Thomas Juli on collaboration tools
I consider a presentation good if I walk away with 1 or 2 ideas that I can apply back at the office. It also helps if the presenter knows what their doing. Dr Juli wins the award for best slides. He is a fan of Slide:ology, but the ideas are similar to Presentation Zen which I am a fan of. The better presenters also managed to have good levels of interaction, in spite of the size of their audience.

It was interesting to follow the twitter feed throughout the congress. Oddly, it seemed I knew most of the people tweeting. Does that say anything about the type of people I hang out with?

The real benefit of an event like this is the networking. This event was no different. I re-aquanted with old friends, got to know some people I had met in the past better, and met some new people (some that I knew through twitter/blogs etc already).

Monday, October 11, 2010

PMI Congress - part 1

The PMI North America Congress began yesterday. This year there are a large number of agile tracks. PMI VP-IT Frank Schettini has been introducing the agile speakers to help spread the message that PMI does support agile.

Yesterday's keynote was Bill Clinton. While I didn't agree with his politics while he was in office, he kept his presentation relatively politic-free. At the end of the session, Greg Balestrero asked him what his hopes for where for the country in 5 years.

President Clinton said there were those hopes that we can't do anything about, like I hope it's a nice day tomorrow. Then there were hopes that should tell us what we should do with our lives. So if you hope for a better world, what can you do to help bring it about. When our founding fathers wrote the constitution, it was with the idea that we would never be perfect but that we should always be striving to getting better.