Newsletter: February Print

Across the Board

For those looking to get a Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI), major changes are coming this year. Last September, PMI released the PMBOK Guide® - Sixth Edition which directly impacts the content of the PMP exam this year. If you schedule your exam on March 26th, 2018 or later, the exam will reference the PMBOK Guide ® - 6th Edition.

Some of the major changes in the new PMBOK Guide® - 6th Edition are:

  • There will be 49 processes from 47 existing ones
  • Three new processes will be added and one process will be deleted. New processes added are: Manage Project Knowledge, Control Resources, Implement Risk Responses. The Close Procurements process has been removed. Its functionality has been consolidated into the "Close Project or Phase” Process
  • There is a new chapter on the role of the project manager that focuses on effective leadership — including necessary competencies, experience and skills
  • Two renamed Knowledge Areas that more accurately reflect which elements can be managed and which cannot:

    • Schedule Management (formerly known as Time Management)
    • Resource Management (formerly known as Human Resource Management)

  • Every Knowledge Area now features four new sections:

    • Key Concepts
    • Trends and Emerging Practices
    • Tailoring Considerations
    • Considerations for Agile/Adaptive Environments

The Agile Practice Guide®, created in collaboration with The Agile Alliance®, was also released by PMI last September. The PMI-ACP® exam will also be impacted by these changes along with the following PMI exams:

  • Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM®) – effective May 21, 2018
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP®) – effective June 25, 2018
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) – effective March 26, 2018

For more information about PMI’s certifications and the changes, please contact Sandy Mitchell, Director of Certifications at: pmpcertificationdirector@pmisfbac.org.  We look forward to seeing you in one of our courses. 


Paloma Mejia is a member of the PMI SFBAC Board of Directors and PMP prep course training instructor volunteer.

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Every Change Is An Opportunity

Nothing lasts forever. No one can argue with that. Or better said by Heraclitus, “There is nothing permanent except change." We know we live in a fast-paced ever-changing world, and an accelerating trend has been present for the last few decades. Change is part of our lives, and we experience it every day to different degrees, both personally and professionally. But, how do we go about change? Are we doing the best we can to embrace it, to be ready for it and make the most of each situation?

The thought leaders of our time created various methodologies, frameworks, models, and shared best practices that help us manage change, regardless of size, type or complexity.

Lewin’s change management model, one of the most popular approaches, gives us an overview of the three stages of change that impact both people and processes: unfreeze – transition – freeze. Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act model teaches us how to ensure control and continual improvement of processes and products. John Kotter’s 8-Step process for leading change focuses on the people behind the change and underlines the key elements to make it successful.

Bridge’s transition model emphases the 3-part psychological process the people go through when dealing with changes: letting go of the old situation – the neutral zone between the old and the new reality – the new beginning. David Rock’s SCARF model presents a neuroscience view of change and describes the social concerns that drive human behavior: status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness. Kubler-Ross model helps us understand the stages of emotions related to change – the grief stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

These are only some of the models. All of them approach, at different levels, the emotions and behaviors involved in these situations and offer various methods to ensure that the changes are implemented successfully to achieve long-lasting benefits. Yet there is no universal miracle solution.

I have always considered myself a flexible person, able to manage and lead change in a successful manner and thriving on new challenges. My background and accomplishments are a solid testimony to that. One year and a half ago, circumstances brought me to a new continent, in a city where I didn’t have any friends, and no one knew me professionally. I have developed myself more from this experience, and I have learned more than any book or training session could have ever taught me. If previously I was able to manage and lead change, now I know I master it and that there is still a lot to discover.

More complex changes are ahead of us considering the technological evolution and current economic context. We need to be able to change faster and faster to keep up. For that, we need to start with ourselves, understand our level of resistance towards change, find the practices, methodologies, and frameworks that work best for us, push our limits, and learn how to look at every change in a new way.

Start with small everyday changes, personal or professional, and build upon each experience until you shape your intuition, trigger the desired behavior and change management will go from being a skill or an area of expertise to becoming a natural habit.

Because every change is an opportunity, we just have to be prepared to see it and act on it.


Anamaria Jiva is Director of Marketing and Communications for SFBAC PMI.

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Why You Should Cross-Train Your Team Members

I’ve seen it myself in numerous projects and teams, with positive short-term and long-term effects.
Here are the top five benefits of cross-training as I see them:

  • Reinforced learning: Teaching someone a new skill makes the teacher view that skill from a new perspective and think critically about how the learner should approach it, reinforcing their own previous training and providing new insights that benefit the team.

  • New relationships: The collaboration enables new relationships to form that may not have otherwise. These new connections foster collaboration and inject doses of energy, creativity, and esprit de corps into the project.

  • Organizational awareness: By learning each other’s roles, your team members will better understand how each part fits in the project. Rather than working in isolation, team members understand how their work affects each other. This can help identify duplicate or unnecessary work and improve productivity.

  • Robustness: Cross-training makes your team more robust by allowing work to continue during absences when it would otherwise halt. Team members may have to leave temporarily or permanently for various reasons and cross-training ensures that the disruption is minimal. (In performing arts, this is the purpose of an understudy—a performer who can replace someone in a critical role during an emergency. The show must go on!) Cross-training is especially important for long projects where staff turnover can be significant.

  • Capacity building: Cross-training allows you to harness internal talent on the current project and build capacity for future ones. Roles will change from project to project, so cross-training will help prepare team members for the next one.

Global design firm IDEO, famous for its seemingly bottomless innovation capacity, leverages cross-training and cross-disciplinary capabilities in its project teams. CEO Tim Brown described IDEO employees as T-shaped people. “The vertical stroke of the ‘T’ is a depth of skill that allows them to contribute to the creative process. … The horizontal stroke of the ‘T’ is the disposition for collaboration across disciplines. … T-shaped people have both depth and breadth in their skills.”

Cross-training helps turn I-shaped workers—those with depth but no collaborative propensity—into T-shaped workers. They learn to listen to other points of view, build on each other’s ideas, and produce synergistic solutions rather than settling for compromises.

Consider dedicating a portion of your team’s time to cross-training. Much of it will occur naturally as team members collaborate, but you may need to structure more deliberate training on certain skills.

Great project teams continue to learn. Through cross-training, they hone skills in their individual areas of expertise and also learn basic management, communication, and interdisciplinary skills that benefit everyone.


  

Robert B. Sowby is a project engineer in Salt Lake City and consults on a variety of civil, environmental, and water resources projects. He is also editor of the Wasatch Water Review (www.wasatchwater.org) and written a book called Learn to Launch.

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D’oh – Homer Simpson provides some Project Management lessons learned!

While there’s probably a little Homer Simpson in all of us (especially when faced with a “forbidden doughnut”), he has spouted off some witticisms that provide some lessons learned for project managers!

  1. “Well, it’s 1 a.m. Better go home and spend some quality time with the kids.
    While project managers are notorious for burning the candle at both ends, work-life balance is important as sooner or later, you will have no more (work) projects to manage.

  2. I want to share something with you: The three little sentences that will get you through life. Number 1: Cover for me. Number 2: Oh, good idea, Boss! Number 3: It was like that when I got here.
    All great examples of what Neal Whitten would call project managers being too soft.

  3. Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.
    Failures are not what makes us, it’s how we handle failures that makes us.  Project managers who get jaded or disillusioned after experiencing project failure are doing themselves and their organizations a disservice.

  4. I’m normally not a praying man, but if you’re up there, please save me Superman.
    Faith is good, but project managers need to leverage some earthly sources as well!  Having developed good relationships with your sponsors and stakeholders and (hopefully) having a mentor or two can provide you with multiple layers to your support “onion”!

  5. Donuts. Is there anything they can’t do?” 
    Flexibility with regards to procedures and practices is important.  Applying a project management methodology rigidly regardless of the scale or complexity of a project will likely result in frustration and resistance from your team and your stakeholders.

  6. What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts.
    Even if you have specific expertise into a decision or issue, project management is about using the right skills from your team to the right problem at the right time.  Too many project managers take on too much decision making by themselves and undermine the skills and roles of their team members.

  7. Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.
    Yes, statistics can be wrong some of the time, but failing to use quantitative project performance metrics means you will likely be wrong 100% of the time when monitoring your projects.

  8. How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?
    Project managers (especially seasoned ones) can sometimes become complacent about their own professional development.  While there’s a lot to be learned from the school of hard knocks, the profession is evolving with research across multiple knowledge areas and a project manager who refuses to spend some time on knowledge enrichment is setting themselves up for obsolescence.

  9. If something goes wrong at the plant, blame the guy who can’t speak English.”
    Scapegoats exist in all companies, and it’s often convenient (and easy) to blame project failure on one.  Professionalism comes from taking responsibility for project outcomes.

  10. If something’s hard to do, then it’s not worth doing
    Applying many of the hard and soft project management competencies is not easy – this doesn’t mean that you jettison them as soon as things get tough.  To quote President Kennedy “…not only because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win…

And finally, here is one Homer Simpson quote that is applicable to all project managers “All my life I’ve had one dream, to achieve my many goals.”


Kiron Bondale is a Project management trainer, trusted advisor & speaker, World Class Productivity Inc.  Proficient at dispelling the fog surrounding PM practices. Mississauga, ONTARIO, Canada. Certifications: PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, Professional Scrum Master I (PSM) PMI Chapter: PMI Lakeshore, Ontario Chapter. Over twenty years experience gained while helping more than 150 companies spanning multiple industries achieve their strategic goals bu executing the RIGHT projects the RIGHT way. Specialties: Project Management, Agile, Project Portfolio Management, Training, Risk Management, Governance, Change Management.

 

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Calendar of Events

The PMI- SFBAC chapter looks for opportunities for our members to get involved and meet other project managers in the field. Whether you're new to the area or looking to grow your professional network we have something for you. See our calendar of events for new or upcoming events or contact us for additional details. 

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Volunteer Opportunities

The PMI SF Bay Area Chapter is looking for volunteers to help meet the needs of its members. If you are interested or know someone who might be interested in these opportunities then please contact vpvolunteermgmt@pmisfbac.org for more information. Currently we are seeking volunteers for a variety of positions including: 

  • Business Development Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Events Manager
  • Evening Programs Manager
  • Sponsorship Support
  • Professional Development Support
  • Finance Manager
  • Workshop Director
  • Webinar Content Manager

 

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Newsletter Team

 

Editor-in-Chief: Vacant

Editor: Michael McMorrow

Web Layout Editor: Lola Akanmu

Have something to share?

Have something to share? You are encouraged to submit notes, articles, or interesting tidbits on relevant Chapter happenings or PM topics. Submit content to CEO@pmisfbac.org We reserve the right to: edit content to fit space constraints, reformat to Newsletter style and decide appropriateness of submission. Return to Top

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