Monday, December 31, 2012

Celebrations are heartfelt

On that special day H.E.A.R.T formula in details (both Polish and English)

By Ken Blanchard, Lois Hart, Mario Tomayo

Heartfelt (Szczery, płynący z głębi serca)
Świętowanie powinno odzwierciedlać twoją wizję, misję i wartości
Świętowanie musi być incjowane przez liderów i musi dotyczyć osiągnięć i celów organizacji
Świętowanie płynie z głębi serca
Lider jest głową świętowania
Świętowanie jest ludzkie

Świętowanie jest zabawą, sczęściem, które się pamięta
Korzystaj z różnego rodzaju muzyki podczas świętowania
Pokaż produkty i korzyści

All – inclusive (uwzględnij wszystkich)
Zaproś klientów i małżonków na świętowanie
Podziękuj im publiczne za to co zrobili

Recognition (uznanie)
Świętowanie uznaje wyniki i ludzi
Odnawia ducha
Zapewnij, żeby uznanie było częścią świętowania

Timely (w odpowiednim czasie)
Świętować musisz często
Doceń ludzi, którzy dobrze wykonali zadanie
Świętowanie musi nastąpić zaraz po zrealizowanu zadania/ osiągnięciu celu, który chcemy wynagrodzić

The HEART Formula
by Ken Blanchard, Lois Hart, Mario Tomayo

Celebrations must reflect your vision mission and values
Celebrations must be initiated by leaders and must be based on performance and the organization’s goals
Celebrations are heartfelt
The leader is the head of celebration
Celebrations are human events

Celebrations are fun, happy and memorable
Suggest and use different kinds of music for celebrations
Show products and props

All – inclusive
Invite customers or spouses to celebrate
Thank them publicly for their part in the achievement

Celebrations recognize work outcomes and people
They renew the spirit
Be sure you make recognition part of the celebration

Celebrations must happen frequently
Catch people doing things right
Celebrations must occur around the time of the achievement or event that deserves or needs to be recognized (as soon as possible)

Wish you all your dreams come true. Enjoy the evening today! Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

If you want to have an impact start blogging

It’s not even 2 months since I started my blog. I got more exited about blogging seeing people read it – after first month had about 1000 clicksJ

To be honest I did not think about having my own blog till the day I attended Wiola Wabnic lecture at Progressteron festival (have written about it earlier): “How to create a blog?” – the only reason I decided to join was the fact that the session was free, just after my workshop and next door. The main goal of the lecture was to inspire us and Wiola really succeeded, at least in my case.
I wanted to say that blogging was not on my dream map (about the dream map or mood board and the goals setting in more enjoyable way will write in one of my next post) till the moment I have realized that blogging was not, but writing yesJ

Yes, writing is on my agenda - a piece from my 2012 dream map

I agree with Dorie Clark If You're Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging (btw, very interesting article) that:
  • ·         Writing is still the clearest and most definitive medium for demonstrating expertise on the web
  • ·         Indeed, if you want to shape public opinion, you need to be the one creating the narrative

“Of course, it's no secret that the number of blogs has shot up in recent years; at the end of 2011, there were 181 million, compared to only 36 million in 2006. It's harder to get noticed as the noise level increases. But there's reason to believe that serious (high-quality, idea-focused) competition in the blogging world is likely to wane in the future, further increasing your impact.

One of the reasons for a future decline in high quality blogs is:
“,,,,,"avocational" bloggers are likely to drop off simply because it's hard work to keep up the pace. Writing an insightful 700 word article several times a week, for no or little money, is far more taxing than snapping a photo or sending a 140 character tweet.

2011 dream map

3 main reasons to start a blog:
# passion (yes, I have a passion for project management)
# need for sharing (yes, I have a need for sharing my knowledge and experience)
# productive laziness (yes, trying to be lazy or better word more efficient. A lot of people ask me for mentoring/coaching sessions  and after each session used to send an e-mail with some recommendations (very time consuming) and now ask them to follow my blog – very cleverJ

Yes, it's hard work to keep up the pace, so fingers crossed I have enough motivation, time and energy to keep it going. All your suggestions how to make my blog more interesting are welcome.

Some plans for next year: more interviews (including videos), books reviews and recommendations, announcements/coverage of pm events and more project management- focused articles.

“If you want to have an impact, you might as well be the one setting the agenda by blogging your ideas.” Dorie Clark

Friday, December 28, 2012

Add HEART to Your Workplace — Celebrate!

Introduction in both Polish & English and the rest in English.
Koniec roku to czas świętowania. A czy koniecznie musimy czekać na koniec roku, czy koniec projektu, żeby świętować?  Zachęcam do „wpisania”  praktyk celebrowania do codziennych czynności, dzieki czemu wzrośnie motywacja i energia zespołu.

„Większość, a właściwie wszystkie projekty w naszej organizacji kończyły się bez specjalnej refleksji, a osoby zaangażowane w projekt po wykonaniu swoich zadań przechodziły do realizacji kolejnych zadań. Świętowanie nie było elementem kultury organizacyjnej firmy, dlatego też nie zdawaliśmy sobie sprawy jak ważną umiejętnością jest świętowanie sukcesów!  Często też wydaje nam się, że musimy osiągnąć nie wiadomo jak duży sukces, żeby mieć niejako prawo do jego świętowania. Zapominamy, że celebrowanie mniejszych osiągnięć dodaje nam pewności siebie, wiary we własne możliwości oraz dodaje energii do dalszego działania i osiągania naprawdę coraz to większych celów” Cytat z pracy dyplomowej MBA, Zbigniew Sarwiński.
Get ready for celebration! Celebrations must happen frequently!
End of year is time of celebration, but to celebrate we do not need to wait till the end of the year nor the end of the project.   I would like to encourage you to add the frequent celebration practices to your workplace to energize, motivate and empower your teams. A few ideas below I’ve taken from  “The Leadership Training Activity Book: 50 Exercises for Building Effective Leaders by Lois B. Hart and Charlotte S. Waisman. Chapter 50: Add Heart to Your Workplace—Celebrations.

Steps to follow:
1. Decoration
Decorate a meeting room  – use balloons, sweets, streamers, hats, napkins with hearts,  banners that say Congratulations! Let's Celebrate! etc. Use your imagination here! Provide a basket and place it outside the room – next to the door.
2. Preparation (20-30 min) - outside the training room (which has been decorated)
Split the team to smaller groups (5-7) and ask them to prepare a celebration of:
-       Completing a project milestone
-       Signing a contract
-       Completing a project etc.

Provide paper, art materials  and CDs. Each group must create a large poster-size invitation to their celebration and should select a piece of music.
Ask each person to fill out a card telling about a celebration they attended at work that was meaningful to them. Instruct them to drop their cards into a basket at the door.
Open the door of a decorated room with great fanfare.

3. Discuss the items from the basket
4. Present H.E.A.R.T formula (created by Ken Blanchard, Lois Hart &Mario Tomayo)

   All – inclusive

5. Presentations of groups
Ask all the groups to present – using the posters they have prepared & playing  the music they have chosen. 

Then everyone can vote on which group best represented the "HEART" formula. The prize is a large heart—perhaps a heart box of chocolates to share.

6. Enjoy the celebration !

Saturday, December 22, 2012

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it” - The Power of T.E.A.M

“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments; I feel the credit is due to others rather than myself.” Alexander Graham Bell

Today, just before Christmas I feel like writing about something special, something that has helped me to grow as a leader.  I’ve already mentioned English Summer/Winter Camps a few times on this blog, but this time I will share my experience from being a part of a great team - English Summer/Winter Camp T.E.A.M  -Together Everyone Achieves More. I don’t think it’s possible to describe this in writing as it’s more about feelings, but will have a go.

English Summer/Winter Camps is a charity program run by Project Management Institute Gdansk Branch since 2004 (summer edition) and 2010 winter edition. The main goal is to let the children deprived of such possibility take part in English language courses. Apart from English lessons kids have an opportunity to take part in other educational/motivational activities including project management. Every camp is organized by a group o volunteers.

Almost 10 years, 12 editions (13th in progress), more than 1000 kids and hundreds of volunteers.
English Winter Camp 2013 team devoting their Saturday to plan the project
First time I joined the initiative was ESC 2009 – just attended the final event, so not much contribution from my side, but that day changed my life – I decided to get involved! Started as a Project Manager of two 2010 editions – it was my idea to extend the program to winter camps and then playing a role of a mentor and coach till today.

And now I cannot imagine my life without this amazing experience 2 times a year – the most what I admire is the collaboration of a group of people who believe that together they can change the World. All the players devote their free time, working mainly weekends and nights for 4-5 moths or even more (those involved in a few editions) to make a difference for a group of young members of our society. Although the goal is the same, each project is different as created by a different group of people – the diversity, creativeness and the engagement make each edition an unforgettable experience.

For example in coming winter edition in the cooperation with LPP children will take part in a real fashion show. On the catwalk, boys and girls will be dressed in clothes from a collection of Reserved donated by LPP. The fashion show will be fun and a great adventure, but also it will help the children to build their self-esteem and to boost their confidence. 

And since last summer edition we have adopted some Agile practices which really improved communication and reduced documentation, generally helped us to use our valuable time in more efficient way. We’ve succeed as we’ve managed to create a spirit of unity – although of diverse backgrounds and skills we really work well together as a single team to achieve a common goal – both children and our growth. 

The Spirit of the Team by Marcin Targowski, ESC/EWC volunteer
“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.” Mother Teresa

Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The project success is to large extend subject to its context

For all my project management career I’ve been moving sectors and verticals (starting from telecommunication through R&D – new product development / manufacturing electrical devices and financial services: setting up an office in Poland, suppliers consolidation,  technology (infrastructure & network), software development, different sets of content). At the same time I’ve been delivering a lot of social/educational/event projects, where strong leadership skills are required as they are based on volunteering. I cannot say that’s easy, but definitely if you have strong people skills plus you are aware of the project management process, tools and techniques you can succeed, but only on one condition: all people interested in project’s success support you. 

Collaboration and engagement is a key to project success
I would like to share here the project management competency model Martin Price, the founder & CEO of EngagementWorks and the author of “Project Gathering Pace” book to be published soon, presented during New Trends in Project Management 2012 conference.

MOCs (Methodical & Operating Competences)that means the “process” necessities, essential schemas and HOCs (Human & Organisational Competences), the “engagement” necessities, vital behaviours). A complete Project Management needs integration of both MOCs & HOCs.

PM = getting things done= schemas (doing things right) x behaviours (doing the right things)

Martin calls the players (stakeholders) and their organization that manage a project the “project regime” and I call these a project culture or context.

In projects we very often find ourselves in the situations than could not been anticipated. The situation is even more difficult for a Project Manager who does not have expertise in the field of the project or/and is new to the organisation. Therefore, in order to succeed a skilful dialogue is required. A conversation is needed from all the team members as we address uncertainties, ambiguity and controversy. The team is needed for their specialist professional contribution but also for their participation as a project community players in shaping project direction and organisation.

Martin and I discussing "project regime" during Thomson Reuters unconference in London
To succeed  in project management a deep understanding of the wider organisation structures, the process and people involved are crucial (and these come with the time of experience/length of service), but the human and social factors are even more important (people’s behaviour – sharing ideas, championing issues, taking decisions, keeping promises etc.).

Today slow economic growth, shifting global market priorities and a push for innovation all make for a very complex and risky business environment and put additional emphasis on the need for excellence in project, program and portfolio management. Research conducted with senior project management leaders on PMI’s Global Executive Council found that the most important skill for managing today’s complex projects and programs is the ability to align the team to the vision of the project and design the project’s organizational structure to align people and project objectives. PMI’s Pulse of the Profession – Trends to Watch for in 2012.

I have been managing very complex projects and some of them were very successful and the other ones struggled, not because there were more difficult but because there was no social engagement and collaboration between stakeholders. The lack of skilful, spirited dialogue between people responsible for the success of the project is one the most reasons for project failure. The shift from micromanagement and looking at the project from a task perspective to team empowerment, self-organisation, self -motivation, trust, authority and ownership are the key to success of today’s complex and risky projects.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Building a Better Prepared Society for Future Success (Part 2) - Project Management Skills for Life by Aleksandra Skowron

Project Management Skills for Life is a part of PM at schools program and includes a basic introduction to project management (2h) -  creating WBS, building a team, budgeting etc and then managing through delivery. Project Management Skills for Life including student competitions have been used in after-school programs during English Summer/Winter Camps. 

Please find the summary by Aleksandra Skowron, PMI Gdansk Branch volunteer, ESC 2012 Project Manager.

Aleksandra  & Kamil taking on projects - ESC 2012
English Summer/Winter Camps held by PMI Gdansk Branch since 2004 aims to take around 35 children from orphanages, foster and poor families for a two weeks English course holidays. Main goal is to learn English, but PMI also tries to pass the knowledge from its field of expertise: project management.

This year it was decided to involve all the kids into a project which would be implemented by the kids during the camp. English Winter Camp 2012 project was named “Venice Carnival” and the aim was to organize a carnival ball. First the kids had a lesson during which the idea of the project was explained and the kids got familiarized with some key elements of the project such as scope and stakeholders, work breakdown structure and roles within project organization. The way to talk about project was customized to be appropriate for the kids at the age range from 9 to 15 years old.
EWC 2012 project teams working on WBS
When kids knew how the work will be organized they divided themselves into teams, Project Managers were chosen and the work kicked off. They had made a list of tasks to be completed, placed them into time frames and had assigned persons responsible for every activity. Teamwork is crucial in every project, so we had planned some activities to help them to prepare for the ball. The beautiful Venice Carnival masks were created, the venue was decorated and the final presentations on the project work done by every team were prepared. 

Every team had to introduce themselves and talk about how they were collaborating on a project. The jury had chosen the best team who had fulfilled all the requirements and has shown an excellent teamwork during the project. After the contest there was time for fun and celebration - a disco. Our first experience with teaching project management on the camp was great, the kids have a lot of potential and great ideas.

 Best Project of the Camp EWC 2012 winners

We decided to continue with “the project of the camp” during the summer edition. This time the theme was “A travel through Europe”. The aim was to gain knowledge about some European countries and to present the country during the closing ceremony of the camp. As in the winter edition, we have started with a class delivered by Kamil Gmerczynski and Aleksandara Skowron, PMI Gdansk Branch volunteers, division into teams and making WBS’s. 

One of the team creating WBS - ESC 2012

We planned this at the beginning, so the kids had time to prepare during the whole camp. We had invited volunteers from abroad to show them the culture of their countries. 

Every team had decided to present the country in a bit different way. Italian team had learned a few worlds in Italian, Spanish team was dancing flamenco, English team entered the venue of the ceremony in the court procession with a king and knights and boys from Greece team had concentrated on the popular dishes of Greece. Everybody was dressed up according to the flag of the country they represented. In previous days they had also made cardboard models of famous buildings of each country. It was great to see how keen they were on gaining the knowledge about the world. 
They have learned a lot and collaborated during the whole camp. And like with those cardboard model, at the beginning it was not so clear how to put all the puzzle together to build those great building but with an effort and time dedicated the kids had come up with something really valuable. 

Spanish team has won, as they had put a lot of effort into the project, they had even invited a real Spanish man to join them on a presentation! 

Spain - the winning team - ESC 2012
Definitely we will continue with “the project of the camp” initiative as the kids learn a lot and have lots of fun while they collaborate on their projects. A big thank you to all volunteers! Well done!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Creativity, risk management and agility

IBM study reveals that creativity is the most important leadership quality followed by integrity and global thinking – 1500 corporate leaders, from 60 nations and 33 industries were pulled on what drives them in managing their companies in today’s world.
Creative leaders are more prepared to break with the status quo of industry, enterprise, and revenue models

“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart”
— Mencius (Meng-Tse), 4th century BCE

In times of Speed-to-Market & Agility we cannot rely on yesterday’s ideas, products and ways of working. Today’s leaders in order to improve performance need to stimulate creative thinking and unleash the creative potential in themselves and in their teams.

Creative thinking is also required when dealing with uncertainty. During risk identification sessions I always encourage teams to think of and record as many risks as they can. I also prefer having people working individually for coming up with ideas, so ask them to write down ideas on post-its and then put them all on a flipchart paper, group logically and remove duplicates. Working individually instead of discussing ideas as a group we avoid “group thinking” – also shy or less experienced team members can contribute.

To ensure coverage a kind of risk break down structure (RBS) should be used – can be a WBS or “a clock” as used in collaborative games by Agile teams recommended by Mike Griffiths. Collaborative games are powerful tools to engage a larger group of stakeholders and this might lead to a better list of possible risks and then yield more creative ways of avoiding or reducing those risks. By engaging the team, not only do we get better input data and ideas, we also encourage problem solving, foster action, build social capital and foster collective ownership of ideas.

Find Friends and Foes (Opportunity and Threat Identification)
Both positive and negative risks matter and need to be managed proactively. Opportunities are the “good” risks, events that have a positive impact if they occur. We want to avoid threats and exploit opportunities.

Using a clock view pre-drawn on a flip chart ask team members to think of project risks associated with each of the topics represented by an hour line on the clock -12 in total. Spend about five minutes on each. Do not access or solve the risks. This is risk identification - we will have plenty of time to assess them later.

Always within the same session run a similar exercise to identify opportunities: “Karma Day”. We generate opportunities for events and outcomes that would assist the project, creating ideas for things that would help the project go well. Using the same clock metaphor, we come up with lists of all the good things that could occur to assist the project.

Cynical team members may still continue to gripe, suggesting opportunities “inverted issues” such as ““no resistance from the PMO”, but these can be really useful. Later on we will try to reduce or avoid the negative risks (threats) and ensure or maximize the positive risks (opportunities).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tym razem o Lean

W poniedziałek, 3 grudnia 2012 Starter Gdański Inkubator Przedsiębiorczości zaprosił wszyskich chętnych na relację z San Francisco z konferencji The Lean Startup Conference, w której zarówno początkujący założyciele startup-ów jak i firm dojrzałych podzielili się z nami swoimi doświadczeniami jak zbudować dochodową organizację „lean” ( The Lean Startup, to sposób na biznes wymyślony przez Erica Ries’a, którego celem jest zmiana sposobu powstawania nowych firm oraz wypuszczania na rynek nowych produktów. Opiera się on na „potwierdzonej nauce” (ang. validated learning), eksperymentowaniu i wypuszczaniu produktu w iteracjach w celu skrócenia cyklu rozwoju produktu, pomiarach postępu i zbieraniu opinii klienta).

“Being lean is not our goal. Our goal is to have fun creating a product for a customer”

Konferencja zaczęła się o 18:00 naszego czasu i trwała do 2:00 rano, a otworzył ją Eric Ries, przedsiębiorca i autor bescelera New York Timesa “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business, published by Crown Business”

Trudno mi powiedzieć ile osób wytrwało do końca konferencji, gdyż opuściłam ją około 22:30, ale postaram się podzielić swoimi wrażeniami i opowiedzieć o kilku innowacyjnych pomysłach zaprezentowanych w ciągu tych pierwszych 4 godzin. Tempo było tak duże (średnio 10 min. na wystąpienie), że nie jestem w stanie wymienić wszystkich, ale dzięki tej dynamicznej formie prezentacji (coś na wzór pecha kucha), przeplatanej krótkimi dyskusjami, pomimo zdalnej relacji było to dla mnie interesujące doświadczenie.

Jessica Scorpio otworzyła Getaround, startup z doliny krzemowej, który jest pionierem w obszarze dzielenia się samochodem korzystając z technologii mobilnej. Podoba mi się pomysł dzielenia  samochodu z kilkoma osobami z sąsiedztwa.

Danny Kim tworzy instrumenty muzyczne okulary, rowery i inne dziwne rzeczy.  A rok spędzony w podróży, gdzie ledwo uszedł z życiem zainspirował go i postanowił przeciąć samochód na pół, dzieki czemu powstał mały i bezpieczny pojazd miejski.

Nikhil Arora i Alejandro Velez jeszcze na studiach stworzyli “Back to the Roots”, miejską hodowlę grzybów w Oakland (Kalifornia). A teraz produkują „pakiet grzybowy” – możesz wyhodować sobie świeże grzyby w pudełku, a zamiast ziemi fusy po kawie. Ciekawe i ekologiczne rozwiązanie.

Andres Glusman, vice-prezydent Meetup, gdzie eksperymentuje z podejściem lean dał nam kilka wskazówek: 1) „Ludzie nie mają w nosie lean, ale mają w nosie pracę” „Ludzie nie chcą testować, a budować rzeczy, których inni będą używać”!

A Stephanie Hay odkryła przed nami tajemnicę „Jak przetestować naszą komunikację, żeby była lepsza”. Cel biznesowy: Być wybranym! Cel marketingowy: Być zrozumianym! Cel rozwojowy: Znaleźć się!

Jocelyn Wyatt z, organizacji non profit, pojechała do Afryki, aby dowiedzieć się, że nasze założenia są błędne. Wykorzystując prototypowanie produktu i serwisu w ciągu 3 lat 10 000 rodzin w Ghanie będzie miało swoje własne toalety. Bardzo interesujące - nigdy nie wpadłabym na wykorzystanie lean w projekcie, którego celem jest instalacja toalet w Afryce.

Muszę przyznać, że był to bardzo inspirujący wieczór.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Building a Better Prepared Society for Future Success - PM at Polish Schools

“Building a Better Prepared Society” is one of the 3 areas of focus of PMI Educational Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization that champions project management for educational and social good. This is about giving youth and communities a better chance of success through training programs for teachers, youth and local schools.

On Saturday, 1st of December PMI Gdansk Branch organized the second edition of project management training for educators. This workshops is a continuation of PM at schools program run by PMI Poland Chapter in cooperation with PMI Educational Foundation (PMIEF). A one day workshop took place in Gdynia in Thomson Reuters office and gathered 9 teachers from local schools

After a short introduction to the program and benefits of implementing elements of project work to Polish schools two groups worked on the project called „The Earth Day”. Regardless the same goal of the project each team took a different approach.During a one day workshop a few documents such as a Project Charter, a WBS and a schedule were created.

The course was delivered by Marcin Gora, PMI Gdansk Branch volunteer and myself. At the end of the course each participant received a Certificate and Project Management at Schools materials, including presentations for a 12 hour project management course, mentoring materials and templates and group exercises. These materials are to be used to deliver the project management courses in middle schools.
PMI Poland Chapter planning more workshops for educators in other regions of Poland, so more young people will have a chance to familiarize themselves with projects and project management practices.If you have any questions or would like to know more about the program please contact me on: would like to thank Agata Witczak and Thomson Reuters for the possibility of using the office premises. Thanks a lot.