ipma-usa logo  Welcome to the IPMA-USA May-June, 2013 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, Horse Racing and Project Team Parallels
2. 27th IPMA World Congress Update, 30 Sept-3 Oct; Keynote Speakers Announced
3. Featured Article: Comparing PM Certifications: Which Is Best For You?
4. Business Development Institute Releases BD-CMM 2.0
5. It's said, “There is no 'I' in team” - So who is at the table? By Meg E. Infiorati, Ph.D
6. IPMA-USA Seeks Volunteers, Board Candidate Nominations for 2013 Elections
7. Blindsided! Five Invisible Project Threats Successful Managers Must See
8. The HUMAN Project
9. IPMA-USA Well-represented at Excellent Resource Planning Summit
10. 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 our latest.

Horse Racing and Project Team Parallels
May’s (May 18, 2013) excitement in the USA’s Preakness Derby horse race made me think of the parallels between the players in the horse-racing “sport,” and in successful projects. Each player fills an essential role in both cases, but it is the integration of all the roles that makes for success. And still, unanticipated events can cause even a “sure thing” to fail. I am not a horse racing enthusiast, but will admit to being drawn in this year (2013) to the hopes of the latest “Triple Crown” contender (a horse winning all of the big three racing events).

racingHorse Racing Roles
It is the Horse that wins the race, right? Well, not so fast (so to speak). A fast horse, in most cases, is a key to success, but the Jockey has a key role as well. That role includes deep understanding and communication with the horse, plus the in-race tactics that require instantaneous judgements when situations change.

This weekend, when Orb, the “sure bet,” Kentucky Derby-winning horse was hemmed in at the rail, neither he nor his jockey could navigate to the outside, where he could regain his stride. Even the most talented jockey and a stellar horse cannot always assure success.

Of course, the Owner also has a key role in success, ranging from establishing a winning strategy, buying or breeding a horse with potential, providing the best-possible training and preparation, making the key decisions about how to lead up to the main events (often applying their own experience, and also seeking and acting upon the advice of others). And of course, celebrating the win, and collecting the winnings; or, accepting defeat, when it occurs, and learning lessons to apply in later events ... More

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2. 27th IPMA World Congress Update, 30 Sept-3 Oct; Keynote Speakers Announced
ev-2013-wc-logoAlert: Keynote Speakers Announced! The IPMA World Congress organizing committee has announced the Keynote Speakers for this event. They include:

Prof Colin J Carlile: An experimental physicist by training and occupation, and having specialised in the use of neutron beams for the investigation of the structural properties of solids and liquids (“the materials of everyday life”) – polymers, liquid crystals, metal hydrides, pharmaceuticals, magnetic materials, etc. In the last 15 to 20 years he has  moved into a managerial, directorial and project management role whilst maintaining his links with instrumentation

Dr. Prajapati Trivedi is Secretary to the Government of India with the responsibility for Performance Management. Based in the Cabinet Secretariat, he reviews and reports on the performance of all government departments to the Cabinet Secretary and Prime Minister.  In addition, he is Chairman of the National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention. Prior to joining the Government of India, Dr. Trivedi worked as a Senior Economist for the World Bank in Washington, DC (from 1995-2009).

Mike Brown is a head of The Centre for Project Management, Rolls-Royce plc. He holds an MSc in Engineering Construction Project Management gained in 1982 from Cranfield School of Management. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Project Management. During his Programme Management career, Mike has managed projects and programmes, valued between £20million to £350million in locations as diverse as Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, USA, China and the Middle East.

Edward Logan is a Vice President for Evolver Incorporated (Evolver), a well-established information technology (IT) business with international experience in delivering innovative solutions to customers in the public sector and commercial markets. He is primary responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction in responding to systems integrators and business development requirements within the U.S. Federal Government.

Edward's keynote will discuss key legislative requirements, business, and political drivers on immigration reform and finding a balanced approach to improve the overly complex U.S. immigration system. Edward will describe the impacts of these drivers in developing business cases for future technology investments by harnessing the power of project management principles/frameworks. The presentation concludes with summarizing the challenges and opportunities in moving forward to deliver efficient citizenship and immigration services while reducing the cost of future technology development initiatives.

Editor's alert: Long-time IPMA-USA members and friends will remember that Edward was IPMA-USA Young Crew President, and was selected as IPMA's Young Project Manager in 2008. This is a huge acknowledgement to Edward's talent, that he is now keynoting an IPMA World Congress! It also shows the benefit of the IPMA Young Crew program, in moving IPMA forward!

Register Now! The IPMA World Congress is the premier project, programme, and portfolio management event of the year. Intended for practitioners, managers, executives, educators, trainers, consultants, researchers and students, we have something for everyone!

Congress Theme and Insights
The theme of this IPMA World Congress is “Finding Balance and Moving Forward”. Case studies, best practices, research results, new methodologies, tools and technology developments on project, programme and portfolio management will be covered.

About Dubrovnik
Plan to visit the City of Dubrovnik, the historical republic from 1358-1808 http://www.tzdubrovnik.hr, whose cultural monuments still bear witness to projects from past centuries. Steeped in history and virtually unchanged since the 13th Century the old quarter provides a refreshing distraction from the day’s business. See the great video about Dubrovnik on the front page of the Congress website (the third video). See more about Dubrovnik and Excursions at the Congress site.

About the Congress Venue
The Congress will be held at the Valamar Dubrovnik President Hotel and Conference center, just north of Dubrovnik Old Town, on the peninsula facing Italy. The Valamar Resort has a range of hotels, all at excellent prices. See the interactive map, where you can view the locations of the hotels. Or, see more details about the hotels.

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3. Featured Article: Comparing PM Certifications: Which Is Best For You? By Stacy Goff

Prologue: This article will reveal new insights for most readers; you are our intended audience if you are a Project Management (PM) practitioner who wishes to earn the most appropriate PM certifications. An important additional audience includes the range of organization decision-makers who may fund these certifications, and expect them to help “make a difference” in project and business success. We believe that the selection of a PM certification should be an easier decision. That decision depends on many factors, including the effectiveness of the certification. You understand your own personal or organizational needs, but finding the comparative information needed to select the certification that best maps to those needs can be a challenge.

A wide range of organizations offer certifications in the practice of project and program management. Some are niche offerings; quite a few are from professions that involve PM, but specialize in other disciplines. Many certifications are enterprise or government adaptations, beginning with professional association offerings,  modified to meet specific organizational needs. A few are mainstream offerings by dominant professional associations or organizations. This article is appropriate for all these PM certification offerings.

Some certifications test knowledge, others assess competence. A few assess performance; so even the methods can be confusing! But for all, a few essential criteria are the key to understanding the fit of a PM certification to your needs. And what might those criteria for evaluating PM certifications be? Here are our suggestions:

  1. Prerequisites
  2. Breadth of Coverage
  3. Rigor of Assessment

For each of these criteria, we will weigh in with our perspective, while benefitting from the research of others... More

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4. Business Development Institute Releases BD-CMM 2.0
BDCMM 2.0We received an urgent email request from BD Institute International's Executive Director Howard Nutt in late March. He wanted us to do a pre-press review of Version 2.0 of the Business Development Capability Maturity Model. We completed our review, impressed with the updates in this version. The updates are the result of working with the 1.0 version for eight years, and from feedback of major corporate users from around the World.

So what is Business Development? It is the art and science of improving your bid-win rate by working with your customer, establishing a constructive relationship (all within legal boundaries) long before the Request For Proposals and bidding process. It is the ultimate combination of marketing and program/project management. And, Business Development Institute has mastered it. For project and program managers, it includes an entirely new vocabulary, including the ironic "capture management," and an entire suite of competences that improve initiative success before project or program managers even get involved.

Business Development Institute International is a not-for-profit organization, and is an alliance partner with IPMA-USA. Howard and his Institute also led the formation of IBDC, the International Business Development Council, of which IPMA-USA is also a strategic partner. You can find out more about Business Development at their website. You can find out more about BD-CMM2.0 here. From that page you can click the Publications link, where you can also register and download a summary of the new BD-CMM 2.0, or purchase our own copy.

Bravo and congratulations to Howard Nutt, of BD Institute, and his coauthor, Paul Deighton, of Shipley Limited, for a great piece of work!

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5. It's said, “There is no 'I' in team” - So who is at the table? By Meg E. Infiorati, Ph.D.

Introduction: As a project manager and long time corporate staff member at several levels, I have heard and even said the phrase “There is no I in Team!” more times than I want to count! These days however, as a psychologist, I have a very different view of this phrase. A ‘team’ is defined as “a number of persons associated together in work or activity such as a group on one side (as in football or a debate) or a crew or gang” (Merriam-Webster, 2013). Breaking that down we find the concept of ‘individuals’ or ‘persons’. After all, using the football example, a person throws the ball and and another catches it. Not to say that a person cannot play catch by themselves but it certainly is not then considered a game of football. Ultimately the individual is the ‘I’. So when people say, “There is no I in team”, I have to ask, “who is sitting at the table?”

What is so wrong with a team consisting of “I’s” anyway? Teams work because ‘i’nterpersonal skills have been developed. Teams work because ‘i’ndividual brains  have ‘i’deas. The nature of ‘i’nspiration would not be possible without a single human brain – one that gathers all of their experiences, skills, and knowledge – not to forget ‘i’magination, in order to think of that one new or different or modified ‘thing’. For these reasons, I like my teams to have ALL ‘I’s’!

Another aspect of this phrase that makes little sense is the concept that the word “we” is the buzz word that is paired with the phrase to make everyone feel better. To start, there is no ‘we’ in team either. When a team meets, if they wait for ‘we’ to speak, we have either a cacophony of sound or silence – neither of which is very fruitful when attempting to accomplish a task. Effective teams are best when a group of I’s get together, respect other ‘I’s’, and utilize effective meeting tools to tackle and solve a problem – adding in properties such as ingenuity, integrity, inventiveness, and innovation.

A Brief History of the Phrase: It was Peter Drucker who first brought focus to the concept of leadership in a team environment. Drucker said,
The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I’. And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I’. They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’. They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” — Peter Drucker (Famous, n.d.)

Drucker’s comment spurred the phrase about I’s and teams. But the concept was hijacked by the buzzphrase business world. Drucker was not speaking about individuals at all but instead about leaders and how strong leaders practice inclusive behaviors. He focused on the idea that strong leaders ensure all individuals on a team have opportunities to contribute to the final full solution and that when all individuals contribute, the solution is attributed to the group, the collective ‘we’ of a team.

It has also been publicized that a version of the phrase was attributed to Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player. Some report that Jordan said, “There is no I in team but there is in Win!”. Whether Jordan did or did not say this is neither here nor there. Rather, this is an interesting statement because it is not only true, like the original, but it reflects the idea that it takes a group of individuals working interactively to win a game, getting a little closer to Drucker’s original idea.

As we consider teams in the future it may be prudent to remember that individual brains think, create, assess, associate, and solve problems. A ‘we’ only becomes valuable when the individuals work together, just as Drucker originally explained. Taking a concept hostage, changing its original intention into something catchy but inaccurate, often annoys those that must listen to it being chanted as a business mantra.

This is an opinion piece, and will generate controversy. Please write to me at IPMA-USA Awards and voice your opinions!
Author: Meg Infiorati, PhD, is an IPMA-USA and IPMA member, has participated in several IPMA Awards assessments and is a master’s certified PM from the PMI Institute. As an organizational psychologist, she has a private practice called Big Bend Solution, LLC.

References:
Famous Quotes. (n.d.). Peter Drucker. http://www.famousquotesabout.com/quote/The-leaders-who-work/452941
Merriam-Webster online (2013). Definition of ‘Team’. Article Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/team

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6. IPMA-USA Seeks Volunteers, Board Candidate Nominations for 2013 Elections
As you are aware, IPMA-USA is a professional organization dedicated to and run by volunteers from the project management community. These members and volunteers drive the strategy and direction of our organization based on what the community and our members see as the most pressing problems facing the practice of project management.

Each year roughly one-third of our Directors and Officers come to the end of their terms and those with vision and who are willing to serve must be called upon to take their place. The Board is currently accepting nominations for the positions listed below. Each position serves a three-year term.

Vice-President
Director of Marketing
Director of Member Servicesmemberservices

If you wish to nominate yourself, or someone else (with their permission) please review the Responsibilities and Duties (follow the links provided above). Then, submit a short Statement of Qualifications and Statement of Goals for the position. These will be included in the IPMA-USA website and with links in the election ballot.

Thank you!
Trevor K. Nelson, Vice-President -- IPMA-USA
Reply to Trevor

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7. Blindsided! Five Invisible Project Threats Successful Managers Must See
We are usually very cautious about posting commercial information from our members and friends. But this dazzling brochure from Pinnacle Strategies was so well laid out, and so elegant, we could not resist. In their first item, Blindsided, they promote their project management methodology, but that is only in a link on the last page. And a warning: The 11x17 format didn't work too well on our iPad. Please let us know what you think: Should we do more from Pinnacle Strategies?

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8. The HUMAN Project
What happens when two people try to change the future of humanity? Of course, this is a project, and the scope is magnificent. But, is this a complex project? A very complex project? And, how will we judge the outcome?

When this innovative project, The HUMAN Project, began nearly two years ago, we immediately "jumped in!" Crowd-funded on Kickstarter, it met its initial funding objectives in 35 days. The Human Project team's goal: To develop a vision for Humanity that transcends today's issues, and begins, as the HUMAN team cites, "an epic conversation on the future of our species." Their intended delivery system: An iPhone/iPad app. They have chosen a novel media for their delivery: They have completed their first deliveries, have run into challenges with their primary solution, and continue to strive for more:

Not only is this an interesting public service story, it is an interesting project management story. If you read through the comments and Updates on their main Project page, you will see that this team is dealing with the same project challenges most of the rest of us also face: Talented team splits over differences; technical challenges cause one after another volunteer developer group to crash and burn; schedules slipped; interim deliverables (the iBook, the pdf) offered to make up for slow delivery.

We'll continue watching The HUMAN Project; meanwhile, the iBook and pdf of the book are gorgeous.

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9. IPMA-USA Well-represented at Excellent Resource Planning Summit
Resource Planning Summit 2013 great turnout of IPMA-USA members and friends, including Rose Johnston, who charmed the crowd at the IPMA-USA booth (and on the dance floor), Terry Schmidt, who took a fall for Rose on the dance floor, and did a stellar pre-session workshop and closing Keynote.

Frank Salidis did not bring his guitar, but he enthralled the audience with his presentation. And Stacy Goff did an encore--by popular request--of his popular presentation, Tip of the Iceberg: Managing the Entire 'berg Improves PM Performance. When the IPMA-USA team was not presenting, they recorded each other in interviews, several of which will be available when the editing is completed.

Dick Rutledge, our genial host, just keeps putting together great conferences. We don't know if the favorite parts were the success stories of the speakers, the dinner cruise out of the Chicago Navy Yard, the great professional speakers, or just the one-on-one discussions with peers who get the greatest pleasure sharing secrets of managing portfolios and talent. When's your next Resource Planning Summit, Dick?

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10. 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.

The instrumental role of risk in success
From way out here on the precarious end of this sagging limb, I’m going to declare that there’s never been a successful venture that has not included an element of risk. And furthermore, from this quivering, cracking twig, I tell you that in most cases, that risk has not only been beneficial, but instrumental to the triumph!

We live in a world endemic with hazards, perils, dangers and insecurities. Not only is that the way it comes naturally, but it’s also the way we have crafted it culturally, despite all our attempts to the contrary. And although we aim to eliminate as many liabilities as possible, we will never attain a risk-free existence.

Given that reality, therefore, means that people who are successful devise a way to recognize the risks associated in any endeavor, minimize what they can, and capitalize on what’s left. The young couple who chooses to raise a child, the entrepreneur who invests in a new concept, the blogger who bares his soul to the world, the politician who runs for office, the adventurer who dives with sharks, the failure who tries again: all know the risks yet still strive for success. ... More

Career pathways vs. Storm tracks
One long-ago day back on the farm, my Dad, my little brother and I were washing the blue and white Oldsmobile, when Dad suddenly dropped his sponge on the stones, scooped up my brother and tore for the house, yelling for me to follow. Of course, being the contrary child I was, I didn't. That is, until I spied a rotating column of air swirling dark with field dirt and lots of dried-up cornstalks approaching from the springhouse: OHHH! WAIT FOR ME!

The conventional wisdom in surviving a tornado used to be to open the windows in the house to equalize air pressure, and take refuge in the southwest corner of the cellar. Research has since shown that open windows simply permit the extreme winds to enter the house and sail away with the roof. Studies of the damage shows there's no statistically safer quadrant of the house, since tornadoes can find you from any direction. The safest shelter is in a basement closet or other small room with four strong walls.

There are a couple things about severe storms worth noting:
 There's nothing we can do to alter them (try as we might).
 Their exact tracks are largely unpredictable (and only partially conceivable).
 There's no shortage of them (yikes!) ... More

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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.

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