ipma-usa logoWelcome to the IPMA-USA September-October, 2012 Newsletter!

This opt-in Newsletter is from IPMA-USA, the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management. We are the USA member association of the International Project Management Association. Enjoy!

In This Issue
1. Change Agents Post, The Importance of Eye Contact In Web Meetings
2. IPMA World Congress, Global Young Crew Workshop Programs Published
3. IPMA Elects 2013-2014 Executive Board
4. Revisiting Risks: Threats and Opportunities in Complex Projects
5. IPMA and IPMA-USA Featured in PM World Journal September Edition
6. IPMA Young Crew Completes First Global eCollaboration Competition
7. Beyond Earned Value: A Better Practice for Monitoring Project Performance
8. Peter Taylor Requests Stories That Show "The Lighter Side of PM"
9. Five Common-Sense Time Management Mistakes In Project Accounting
10. Two More Articles by Gareth Byatt, Gary Hamilton, and Jeff Hodgkinson
11. Featuring Tim Herd in Our Series on Leadership

1. Change Agents Blog, by IPMA-USA President Stacy Goff
Our Change Agents blog embraces the change that the practice of Project Management brings to the USA, and to society. We post below a teaser from this month's blog posting; click the bold heading to see the posting.

The Importance of Eye Contact In Web Meetings
This year I have done even more webinars and webconferences than in years past. And that is significant, because I have been using these web technologies since 1996. And, as others begin to use these technologies, I observe that some intuitively use them correctly, and some do not. One big example of correct use is the challenge of keeping at least occasional eye contact with others.

This question of eye contact is a challenge, because our natural tendency in a web meeting is to watch the other participants on our monitor. But the larger your monitor (or the more monitors you use), the less likely it is that you are maintaining eye contact. We have participated in quite a few meetings where we saw more of the tops of peoples’ heads than their eyes. Why? Because they are looking primarily at the other participants on their monitors, and seldom at the camera.

Why Do We Care?
This sure seems like an obscure topic, doesn’t it? Dear reader must think this is a slow Summer day, with no inspiring Change Agent topics to discuss. Au Contraire! This is an essential topic if you wish to establish trust, communication and credibility in webconferences or webinars ... More


2. IPMA World Congress, Global Young Crew Workshop Programs Published
It has been a very busy several months for those of us working on the Congress, planned for 29-31 October, in Crete, Greece.All the right touches are now coming together. Below are a variety of recent links and updates for those who plan to attend this great global event for the professions of project, program and portfolio management.

Final Programme for 29-31 October IPMA Congress! We've waited for this! Now we can plan our stream attendance!

The Global Young Crew Workshop, Just Around The Corner, October 26-28, in Crete. Don't Panic; see the full program!

Pre-Congress Workshop: NASA Leadership, Team Building & Management Program — How to Build Powerful Social Infrastructures in Project Teams – New Workshop announced for IPMA World Congress in Crete.

26th IPMA Congress Keynote Speakers Announced; read the summary, then see the entire Press Release.

Sustainability Session Featured at IPMA World Congress; with IPMA-USA's Joel Carboni; watch for the green polo shirts!

Exhibitors and Sponsors: You still have time to participate in this IPMA World Congress.

IPMA Project Excellence Award Jury announces Award Finalists for 2012. Winners will be announced at the IPMA Congress Gala Dinner, 30 October.

Book now to participate in the 26th IPMA World Congress, in Crete, Greece. As shown above, the full Congress agenda is now available.

The Congress will be held at a Crete Convention resort where the dialogue for the advancement of academic and professional project management will meet 5,000 years of history, idyllic beaches and a bouquet of fascinating parallel activities. Act now to attend the 2012 IPMA World Congress on Project Management.

For a very short time, a special bundled price covers the costs of the Congress plus lodging. See the special price at the front page of the Congress site, www.ipma2012.gr. See the Accommodation booking page, also at the Congress website.


3. IPMA Elects 2013-2014 Executive Board
The International Project Management Association, of which IPMA-USA is the USA member association, held its elections the last week in September, in Baku, Azerbaijan. Delegates arrived from all over the world to receive updates, vote on new officers, and to celebrate the hospitality of our hosts, Azerbaijan Project Management Association (AzPMA). See the new IPMA Executive Board, below, and see the full press release at the IPMA website.


IPMA Executive Board for 2013 … 2014 (from left to right): Mr David Hudson, Australia; Mr Roberto Mori, Italy;Mr Nuno Ponces de Carvalho, Portugal; Mr Stacy Goff, USA; Professor Mladen Radujkovic, Croatia; Dr Jesús Martínez-Almela, Spain; Mr Andrew Bragg, UK; Mr Reihard Wagner, Germany; and Mr Amin Saidoun, IPMA Executive Director (photos courtesy Jouko Vaskimo).


4. Revisiting Risks: Threats and Opportunities in Complex Projects, by Stacy Goff
Note: This paper was written for the 6th Annual Project Management Symposium, University of Texas at Dallas, August 16-17, 2012, sponsored by UT Dallas, the Dallas PMI Chapter, and PM World Journal.

Most PM practitioners believe we already know all about Risk Management—and many do. We follow the process steps, record the documentation, and then move on to managing the next knowledge area. But there is a huge performance gap between those who follow the steps, and those who use adept management of project and program risk as their competitive advantage. Risk Management is a classic case of “the more we know, the more we realize there is to learn.”

Simple projects, those that represent 60-80% of initiatives, rightfully have less concern about risk; but complex projects and programs are a different story. These need far more insight in managing risk than many project managers demonstrate. In fact, some say that all of the knowledge, skills and competences of project management are really nothing more than a specialized version of risk management—managing the uncertainty of change. So, what can we do, to maximize the effectiveness of our risk management and project management efforts?

There is a range of answers to this question, and not all are apparent; these include:


5. IPMA and IPMA-USA Featured in PM World Journal September Edition
PM World JournalWe continue Moving Forward, even during the usually-slow late-Summer months. Celebrating this move, we are further increasing our frequency and volume of postings on the IPMA, IPMA-USA, and other websites. We also rely on other very popular PM media, such as the PM World Journal. IPMA-USA and IPMA have had a very beneficial working relationship with PM World Journal; since 2005. Editor David Pells’ initiatives have been our outreach to the part of the Global PM community that does not frequent our website.

The links in this news item are from the September issue of PM World Journal; and in the Congress update above, you will see links to the October issue of PM World Journal. Thank you David!

First, see our report on Vladimir Obradović’s excellent presentation at a major PM event; Vladimir has served three terms on the IPMA Awards Board. See our write-up on Vladimir’s presentation.

IPMA-USA President and IPMA Marketing & Events VP Stacy Goff is always behind the scenes, and also occasionally is center stage. When possible, he prefers to let others speak for his work. See this report about his IPMA Keynote and standing-room-only track presentation at the UT Dallas PM Symposium.

PM World Journal contributor Saad Hegazy and Young Crew event promo chief Natalia Majcher posted an informative update on the Global Young Crew Workshop.YC is requesting Sponsor support; do YOU know an enterprise that could benefit from Young Crew visibility? Contact Daniel Collado-Ruiz at the Young Crew Board, for Sponsorship details and benefits.

Tom Taylor has been working incessantly since March to support the 2012 World Congress. Tom has masterminded a “Meet the Authors” session at the WC that will add attendees to the Congress, increase the value for attendees, and help boost IPMA’s image among those who contribute some of the 2,000 books a year to the PM profession. Now THIS is visibility! See Tom’s MTA write-up, with links to John-Paris’ support at the Congress website.

PM World Journal is a free resource, with a Subscribe button on most pages. We encourage you to do so!


6. IPMA Young Crew Completes First Global eCollaboration Competition
On September 15th, 2012, 44 young project managers took part in the first edition of the Global eCollaboration Competition (GeCCo), organized by the Young Crew of the International Project Management Association (IPMA). Participants from Australia, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Nepal, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, were matched live into international and distributed teams. They had 24 hours to solve a case study scenario, experiencing the internationality of the IPMA Young Crew network.

On 30th of September, 2012, the award ceremony for this competition took place. The team formed by Andrew Hansen (Australia), Sandra Mišić (Croatia), Edgars Grūbe (Latvia), Maurits – Jan Donga (Netherlands) and David Cebrián (Spain) came out in first place, receiving a price of 2000€ to be spent organizing a face-to-face reunion within the next months, sponsored by the IPMA. “It’s been an amazingly enriching experience, working so intensely and sharing those precious moments; apart from project managers, we are also people” claims David Cebrián Tarrasón, member of the winning team. See the full press release on this novel new event!


7. Beyond Earned Value: A Better Practice for Monitoring Project Performance; by Ken Smith
Earned Value” (EV) has been around since the 1960’s as an effective Method for monitoring and managing project performance during implementation and because of its ability to assess Time, Cost and Quality in an integrated manner, EV is undoubtedly significantly superior to antecedent approaches. EVM adoption and utilization was slow at first but following endorsement by the international Project Management Institute (PMI) as a “Best Practice” and inclusion in PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge “PMBOK Guide,” demands to use EVM have escalated dramatically in recent years. Nevertheless many project managers and their stakeholders are still not using the Earned Value Method (EVM), and are reluctant to adopt it, or if using it are failing to obtain full benefit from EV analysis.
There are three prime reasons for this poor follow-through and under-utilization. First, many people (including users) are still simply unclear what exactly EV is. Second, they are often confused by so many EVM indicators & cryptic equations. Third, EVM provides no guidance how to consistently integrate Earned Value indicator results for best effect. Thus, with inadequate project status analysis, many inappropriate conclusions are drawn, flawed recommendations made, and undesirable outcomes continue to occur.

Earned Value is without a doubt the “Best Practice” for integrated monitoring of project implementation performance. Unfortunately, it is not very “user-friendly!” In preparing for PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, Earned Value is one of the most difficult topics to tackle, and the biggest obstacle to overcome. However, the following three steps outline a quick & easy approach to understanding and using Earned Value ... More.


8. Peter Taylor Requests Stories That Show "The Lighter Side of PM"
IPMA-USA's good friend Peter Taylor has asked us to send out his request, shown below. Peter, the Lazy Project Manager, has supplied us with insightful articles as he progressed from PMO Manager at a major corporation, to published author, to in-demand speaker. Please do us a favor and share your stories with Peter. Thanks!

I am seeking stories that show the lighter side of project management, the moments when you and your project teams had fun, the jokes and the situations that made you laugh. How did you turn a project around with humour? How did you build the team spirit through fun activities?

Anything and everything will be considered as long as it makes me smile. Share them with me and get a name check in my new book. Thank you, 'The Lazy Project Manager'
Peter Taylor | + 44 2476 540324 | peter.b.taylor@btinternet.com | www.thelazyprojectmanager.com


9. Five Common-Sense Time Management Mistakes In Project Accounting
(and Tips to Avoid Them!), by Curt Finch, Journyx

Chances are you’re quite familiar with project accounting, and you understand how financial reports that track the financial progress of projects can be used by managers to aid project management. Project accounting gives businesses insight into the comparative value of current and past projects, as well as the projected value for future endeavors. However, if project accounting is approached primarily from the top down, these estimates may be flawed. Project knowledge must be granular, and individual team members should contribute and review that information on a per-person level to determine its accuracy.

Unfortunately, it is often the case that businesses implementing a project accounting system, even if done with the goal of tracking individual time and resources to projects, might run into a snag: team members just do not have the time, desire, or know-how to accurately account for activities and expenditures. This doesn’t mean they’re lazy. In fact, the most productive team members may be the worst at documenting their activities since they might view any time not spent actively completing the project as wasted time.

Following are the top five most common mistakes made in project accounting, and the best ways to make sure you avoid them and stay on track ... More.


10. Two More Articles by Gareth Byatt, Gary Hamilton, and Jeff Hodgkinson

Calm in the Eye of the Storm.
Storm chasers are professionals (or should be) who watch for tornados and hurricanes during the summer months in the southern and Midwestern United States.  Their goal is to get close enough to a storm to photograph and video it without incurring any harm to themselves.  Some do it for the thrill, while others chase storms for legitimate research purposes. Though most are trained and experienced in what they do, they can in no way control the direction the storm will take (without warning, storms can often veer off in a new direction).  One way to view the situation is as a high-stakes ‘cat and mouse’ game, with the participants risking injury or even death if they get caught in the path of the storm.  To mitigate the risks, storm chasers rely on inputs (such as seismic data and weather predictions), using modern technology and expert judgment for the planning and execution of their work.

What does this have to do with program and project management? ... More

Were the Three Stooges Really Good Project Managers?
For those of you not familiar with the Three Stooges, they were an American vaudeville and comedy act of the early to mid–20th century best known for their numerous short subject films. Their hallmark was physical farce and extreme slapstick. In films, the Stooges were commonly known by their first names: "Moe, Larry, and Curly" and "Moe, Larry, and Shemp," among others. The film trio was originally composed of Moe Howard, brother Shemp Howard and Larry Fine. Curly Howard replaced brother Shemp, who later returned when Curly suffered a debilitating stroke in May 1946.  Starting in 1922 until Moe’s death in 1975, the team appeared in exactly 220 films (30 motion pictures and 190 short films). 

Some 50 years after their last short film was released, the Three Stooges remain wildly popular with audiences around the world. Their films have not left the television airwaves since first appearing in 1958, and they continue to delight old fans while attracting a new legion of fervent admirers ... More.


11. Featuring Tim Herd in Our Series on Leadership
Leadership Learning Logo
Now that most organizations and PM practitioners have figured out that the so-called "Soft Side" is key to project success, what are we doing about it? In addition to practicing those skills, we feature Tim Herd, who shares his perspectives on Leadership.

Fostering creativity in the workplace
We’re all for creativity: Hooray! As an esoteric concept, that is. Because when it flashes its bright ideas in our face, it gets personal and we decide it’s not all that.

          We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.
          —Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

According to a recent study by the University of Pennsylvania, our two-faced response to creativity stems from the baggage that new ideas tote along.

Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy!
—Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

Will this crazy scheme actually work? What will people think of me if I endorse it? What if it fails? Our love of cre­ativ­ity is what we pro­fess in pub­lic—but our dread of it is what we tend to hide from the world, and of­ten even from our­selves, the researchers found ... More

Purposeful pathfinding
You have purpose and destiny, and a choice of routes to achieve them.

But your trail ahead is not complete in all locales; marked pathways and dedicated passages do not yet link all points. Undeveloped portions of your route must be bushwhacked. Some of it must be traversed in the dark.

You are a pathfinder.

Trails of destination—those leading toward an ultimate goal—are trails of purpose. Whether they’re broadly paved and popular, pleasantly meandering and companionable, or frighteningly trackless and lonesome, your life pathways serve not only to lead you to your purpose and destiny, but also as the means to develop them.
Purposeful goals are not easily achieved. Only by overcoming challenges to your progress do you advance toward it. Only by applying wisdom gained from experience do you succeed against future trials. Only by dissolving roadblocks with creative solutions do you triumph. Only by proceeding do you eventually arrive ...More


IPMA-USA is the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management. We are a not-for-profit organization, volunteers who are dedicated to improving Performance Competence in Project and Program Management. See our past newsletters at our website.

Click here to subscribe to this newsletter, or even better, to Join IPMA-USA, see the link at the top right of each page on the ipma-usa.org website.

All trademarks are the property of their registered owners in the USA and other countries.