PMI® Global Congress North America 2017 – A #DifferenceMakers Experience

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What happens when thousands of project and program managers, chapter leaders and business professionals from around the world come together to share knowledge and lead the evolution of the project management profession? Perspectives are challenged, technical leadership, strategic and business management skills are developed. Differences are made!

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new” – Socrates.

How does this change due to digital disruption affect us as project managers? The theme of this year’s PMI® Global Congress North America 2017 was aligned to just that – Making a Difference – The Evolving Role of Project Management.  Project, program and portfolio professionals are leading their organizations to better outcomes while influencing change in an ever-changing global environment.

Day 1: Looking ahead into the future of Technology:

In this keynote presentation, Sir Tim Berners-Lee – inventor of the world wide web looks ahead to our next, new un-imagined future. What does that look like? Sir Tim took his audiences beyond the technology itself, for example — The Internet of Things (IoT), Future of Artificial Intelligence (AI), The Next Web Paradigm Shift, The Power of Data, Impact of Security and Privacy on the Web and business and into the real transformative impact these technologies are having and will have in the years ahead.

For project managers, it is about getting people to put aside their way of doing things, collaborate on the common goal and build consensus. Communication and collaboration always lead to a better product. As innovation continues to ramp up — and project managers begin to step up as agents of change — it’s a powerful and necessary question.

Day 2:  Being Mind wise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, Want: “Of all the superpowers, reading minds is the only one you already have.” said Nicholas Epley. It’s a sixth sense you use each day in every professional and personal relationship—but how well do you really know what our teams, coworkers,  competitors or customers want or are thinking? This keynote presentation gave us the wisdom to revolutionize how we think about them—and ourselves. Facial expressions and body language can mislead – Epley said.   Cut the confidence in half and approach people with humility, sometimes we tend to oversimplify another people’s mind. Last but not the least is being painfully clear when you communicate.

Day 3: Getting it right today not tomorrow: Project Manager many a time operate in Survival Mode – doing just enough to get the job done rather than doing a great job. Our goals are simply to meet the next deadline and keep our heads above water.  Project managers who routinely focus on surviving rather than thriving tend to be disengaged and this trickles down to the team they manage as well, thereby leading to loss of productivity and struggle to achieve long-term profits and lasting success.

Get It Right Today, Not Tomorrow is an inspirational story of tragedy, survival and recovery with solid business content, by Mercedes wherein she challenges and changes the way people think and act.

Days after the conference, as I apply the learnings from the conference to my projects, I realize that as the rate of change accelerates, the role of the project manager would evolve from managing change to be leaders to lead the progress that comes along with the change.

Now is the time for the #DifferenceMakers. the ‘Thought Provokers’, the ‘Bar Raisers’, the ‘Change Makers’, the ‘Value Amplifiers’, the ‘Strategy Implementers’ – The Project Managers.


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