Agile, Development, Leadership, Project Management
19 October 2015
Expanding our Horizons – Connect, Develop, Progress
Expanding our Horizons – Connect, Develop, Progress

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4th London Project Management Unconference held on 16th October 2015 is over. This year’s main theme was:  Expanding our Horizons , Connect, Develop, Progress. Thanks to my friend and mentor and the main organizer of the conference Ian Whittingham I have a pleasure to have attended all events since it started in 2012, leading the sessions for last two. The unconference used to be organized by Global PMO, but after it was closed down 2 years ago, Thomson Reuters employees took it over and now it’s done by project management enthusiasts who volunteer to give back to the project management internal community.

Instead of describing the idea let me quote Hannah Kidson from Thomson Reuters who was taking about unconference held in the Exeter office a few years ago : “This wasn”t your normal sit down and listen event, we wanted to get people on their feet, talking to each other, sharing ideas and even presenting to each other on a wide range of project management topics. Leading up to the event, people attending had been asked to volunteer to lead a half hour session on any topic related to project management they wanted to.  We had a great response and were able to offer 30 presentations for people to attend, split over 5 time slots throughout the day”

The event was kicked off by Sally Knight from Thomson Reuters, the best session winner from last year (btw, her session won this year too) talking on personal development, PM as  a super hero and the future PM. The details of Sally’s speech in my drawings, and a few advices for Project Managers below.

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  1. Be curious and innovative! Think ahead! This is exactly what Christopher Worley advised: ” “PMs nowadays need to think all the time, need to be more dynamic” More can be found here.
  2. Project management is a career for life! Technical project management skills is not enough and we need to develop a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise. She mentioned The PMI Talent Triangle® which depicts the ideal skill set of a future Project Leader. More on skills and competences of next generation of PMs can be found here.
  3. Technology and social media are driving the future of PM.

I have attended a few m11218696_1148076678555191_3328488498164331098_n (960x764)ore sessions. One of them was led by Jose Casal on motivation , happy to find out that we share the same values and principles and both believe that nowadays leaders do not motivate their teams! Instead they create the conditions for team members to be motivated themselves (intrinsic motivation)! Some tips, including tools from Jose in the picture.




During my session, titled Agile Organisation  Creating the Climate for Innovation,  we have tried to identify business challenges and define Agility. Here is London Project Management Unconference 2015 agility definition: focus on value, embracing change, give what customers want, small, fast, difficult to scale, empowerment, trust, flexibility, increase communication, openness and collaboration!

We also agreed that today we experience increasing complexity, competitions and constraint.  Knowledge economy is fading and the interaction/creative economy gains ground. What matters today is how quickly we can generate new insights and build new knowledge that delivers real customer value. We must be game-changers- we must become more proactive, inventive and high- performing in creating customer value!

Some guidelines on agility:  12074764_1148094331886759_3141868032288381492_n (960x764)

  1. See as the whole
  2. Think as a customer
  3. Understand what is do-able
  4. Analyse to dermine what is valuable
  5. Get real using example
  6. Stimulate collaboration & continued improvement
  7. Avoid waste


Last but not least some thoughts from ILL”s session on Project Management 2.0. More on Dr Harold Kerzner”s blog:

  • Project requirements ” evolving and flexible  (1.0: well-defined)
  • Definition of success: business value created (1.0: triple constraint: time, cost and scope)
  • Communication media: Dashboards (1.0: reports)
  • Access to stakeholders: Continuous (1.0: at selected intervals)
  • Stakeholder experience with project management: Mandatory (1.0: optional)
  • Customer involvement: Mandatory (1.0: optional)
  • Organizational project management maturity: Mandatory (1.0: optional).

I really enjoyed this one day learning and sharing experience and must admit that was the best one since 2012. Thank you very much for inviting me and see you next year.

PMI Talent Triangle is the registered trade mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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There are 2 comments

  • Ian Whittingham says:

    Thank you for your enthusiastic participation in this year’s unconference, Gosia. We enjoying your contribution on the agile organization and look forward to seeing you again next year.

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