Every project has risks—events or conditions that, if they occur, have positive or negative effects on a project’s objectives.And project managers are risk managers, some better than others. If you want to improve your project success through better risk management, consider getting certified as a Risk Management Professional. Here are some things you should know about the PMI-RMP.
1. What is the PMI-RMP®?
The PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) is a designation offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This credential is for project management professionals who wish to demonstrate specialized knowledge and skills in project risk management.
Project managers often give presentations to groups such as senior leaders, boards, and third-party vendors. The truth is most people are afraid of public speaking. After all, we may make a mistake and be criticized. Let’s discuss how to respond to difficult and sometimes unexpected presentation questions.
8 Ways to Respond to Questions
Allow me to share a few tips that can help you to answer with greater ease:
John, Sally, and Bill just left a full-day project management workshop. John said, “Am I the only one who felt like I just wasted a day?” Sally replied, “The trainer lost me in the first thirty minutes. At least, I caught up on my email during the day.”
Are you responsible for project management workshops for a PMI Chapter, a Project Management Office (PMO), or your organization? Want to ensure that your participants get maximum value? Let’s talk about how to design workshops that are engaging. Project managers will leave your workshops excited about what they learned.
Whether you are the trainer or the VP of Programs for a PMI Chapter or something similar, here are some principles to help you design your workshops.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) released the PMBOK 6th Edition on September 6th, 2017. Some certified project managers may respond with, “Ho-hum. I’m glad I got my certification behind me.” However, I think PMPs and other certified project managers should actually read the PMBOK 6th edition. Why?
PMI conducts Role Delineation Studies for each certification every five to seven years. These studies help PMI understand how project managers perform their duties and lead cross-functional teams within the constraints of schedule, budget, and scope.
As a project manager, you will sometimes be asked to make presentations to a board, to a senior leader team, an external vendor, or to your organization. Here are opportunities to help your stakeholders understand your projects. With every presentation, you can try new things and learn to improve your presentations.
Improve Your Presentations
1. Plan your presentations.
Want to present more effectively? Create your presentation with good structure. The structure will help you with recall and more importantly, will help your audience follow your presentation. Here’s a simple but effective structure:
Introduction. Present the big idea. What is the major challenge or opportunity you want to see your audience to think about?
Body. Give your audience three practical action steps to achieve the big idea.
Conclusion. Restate the big idea and summarize the action steps.
Not complicated, huh? That’s the idea–keep your structure simple.
2. Arrive early.
It is a good practice to arrive early at the location of your presentation. Make sure everything has been set up as you’ve requested. Check out the equipment to make sure that things such as your microphone, PowerPoint, remote, and projector are working properly.
Project managers spend a large part of each day communicating—facilitating meetings, emailing stakeholders, responding to texts, writing reports, and having one-on-one conversations. We are so busy, we rarely take the time to think about the effectiveness of our communication. How can we become a better communicator?
Here are five practical ways. Pick one or two and work on improving your communication this week.
Becoming a Better Communicator
1. Join Toastmasters.
Howard Hendricks said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes permanent.” How true. Just because we speak or make presentations a lot does not mean that we are improving. We can actually become worse. Individuals need feedback and coaching to become better.
Consider joining an organization like Toastmasters International. This organization provides education and public speaking resources. More importantly, you’ll have regular opportunities to speak and to get feedback in a safe environment. If you like, you can even compete at different levels allowing you to further hone your skills.
Communication is the vehicle for successful projects. From the beginning to the end of a project, the project manager and team must plan, execute, and deliver the required products and services while interacting with stakeholders. What are you doing to improve your project communication?
Project managers are not lone rangers. Projects involve interdependent relationships such as the sponsor and other leaders, the project manager and the project team, and users interacting with the systems. Consider the following project activities that require communication:
Developing a project charter
Completing a work breakdown structure
Negotiating a contract
Presenting a project overview
Conducting one-on-one meetings
Defining a change order
We all have room to grow in our communication skills. Let’s look at five ways to improve your project communications.
Ineffective communications is the primary contributor to project failure one-third of the time, and had a negative impact on project success more than half the time. -Project Management Institute
What’s your life calling? Frederich Buechner wrote that calling is “the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
My greatest joy is teaching.
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock
I got it honest, as we’d say in the South. My father taught farmers how to farm and my mother taught students high school chemistry. As a result, farmers put food on our tables, and students went on to be doctors, engineers, and to perform research all around the world. I remember students returning to my small hometown — Donalsonville, Georgia — years later to thank my mother.
While I’d never say our family was wealthy, daddy and mama lived rich lives. They found their joy in serving and teaching others. Some of the world’s deep needs were met. I know mine were.
My career has included work in the financial, healthcare, and agricultural industries. Each part of my career journey has afforded me the opportunity to perform and teach project management.
Five years ago, I followed in my twin brother’s footsteps who blogs at CPA-Scribo. I started blogging at the Project Risk Coach. I could not imagine what would happen in the following years.
My blog traffic has grown from 100 people to about 5,000 visitors per month, and my mail list has grown to more than 1,000 people. I’ve had the pleasure of connecting and teaching people from all over the world. For a guy who grew up pulling weeds in peanut fields, I’ve been in high cotton.
Opening a New Chapter in My Life
I’ve had a growing sense that it was time for me to transition from my job as an Enterprise Risk Manager at the Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company to invest my full time and energy in my LLC – the Project Risk Coach. And January 1, 2017, that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
Some of you are a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) or as a Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) so this test may be a good review for you. If you are preparing for the PMP or PMI-RMP exam, this exercise will certainly be helpful. For others, give it your best shot; see what you know and don’t know.
Colin Gautrey, an author, trainer and executive coach who has specialized in the field of power and influence for over ten years. He combines solid research with deep personal experience in corporate life to offer his audiences critical yet simple insights into how to achieve results with greater influence. He is the creator of the Stakeholder Influencing Masterclass
I first started out I worked for a branch of the intelligence services. Nothing terribly exciting, just a communications and IT specialist. Well okay, some of the time it was very exciting, but I can’t go into that.
Courtesy of Adobe Stock
Embedded in the culture was the concept of “need to know.” To minimize the risk that secrets would leak, you were only told things that were essential to perform your role. Nothing more, nothing less. For this to work, we all had to rely on someone at a more senior level making an accurate judgment about what we needed to know. Only they were allowed to see the bigger picture.
In fact, it was even a little risky asking questions lest suspicions were aroused. So generally people kept their heads down and did their job.
Why am I sharing this little snippet from my deep and distant past with you today?