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Bob Bornhofen - photo Bryan Barrow - photo Cesar Abeid - photo Christopher Avery - photo Chuck Cobb - photo Cornelius Fichtner - photo Dave Gordon - photo Deanne Earle - photo Gabriel Lawson - photo Gary Nelson - photo OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Hala Saleh - photo Jeff McKenna - photoJohanna Rothman Juval-Lowy photo Lindsay Scott - photo Luis Seabra Coelho - photo Mark Ryan - photo OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Michael Stanleigh - photo Michelle James - photo Naomi Caietti - photo Peter Ivanov - photo Peter Taylor - photo Rich Maltzman - photo Samad Aidane photo Susanne Madsen - photo Todd Williams - photo Tommy Miles photo Wayne Turmel - photo Michael Smith-withcaption

Todd Williams - photo

 Todd Williams, President and CEO at eCameron, Inc.

Topic and Questions:

Corporate Strategy on Zombie Software Projects

1. You seem to be taking a very different approach to Zombie Software Projects. You are pointing to corporate strategy. Can you explain?

2. This seems like a long way above any PM to fix. How do you fix it?

3. Assuming you can get people to listen, what do you tell them to do to fix it?

4. In organizations where you have done this, what do you do to keep the project on the right course?

A strong comprehensive strategic foundation coupled with operational excellence allows companies to build the capabilities to thrive. Todd Williams’ goal is to improve how companies implement their strategic plans—from definition to ensuring the proper people are in place. His passion is removing corporate roadblocks and bridging the gaps from vision to profitability. Utilizing twenty-five years of experience he helps companies ranging from start-ups to multi-billion dollar corporations achieve their goals.

His team at eCameron, whose mantra is “Strategy, People, Process, and then Technology,” specializes in rescuing projects and helping organizations drive business value from their strategy.
As an expert witness, Mr. Williams has used his skills to assist companies that have fallen prey to unqualified third party integrator that were not focused on the correct methodology or delivering an end result that provided a usable solution.

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Samad Aidane photo
Samad Aidane, Project Management Consultant & Coach

Guerrilla Project Management

Topic and Questions:

Using Culture, Neuroscience and Trust for Better Software

1. What was the motivation for your research on the link between the brain and culture in the context of cross-cultural collaboration?

2. Talk a little bit about some of the challenges that teams face due to cultural differences?

3. Can you share some examples of the insights coming out of Neuroscience research that can help us understand the effect of culture on collaboration?

4. What advice do you have for how we can enhance our cultural mindfulness?

5. How can our audience find out more about your work on this topic?

Samad Aidane is a Project Management Consultant and Coach with over two decades of experience in technology change initiatives in industries such telecom, finance, and healthcare with companies such as HP, Cap Gemini, Time Warner Telecom, and Telefonica. Samad holds a Post Graduate Degree in the Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University, U.K. His research connects the latest findings in brain science research to leadership development and informs the ways technical professionals and technology leaders can improve their capacity to make effective decisions, solve complex problems, and facilitate lasting change. Samad is certified by PMI as a Project Management Professional and a member of the Social & Affective Neuroscience Society.

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Deanne Earl - photo
Deanne Earle, Manager, Leader, Consultant and Director at Unlike Before, Ltd. 

Topic and Questions:

Principles for Intelligent Transition

Deployment, handover, transition – call it what you will. Where a project ends business operations take over and change is involved. For technology projects to be embraced in business-as-usual operations they must go through a transition process. Transition can’t be random if you expect great results. Great results only come with the consistent application of proven logical principles. In this topic we discuss ways to reduce the levels of difficulty and disruption during transition and ultimately derive greater business uptake and value instead.

1. What is Transition?

2. What are the most common challenges or conflicts for transition?

3. How can project managers identify these early to help mitigate the impact?

4. What does a ‘good’ transition look like and how does the business benefit?

5. What else can PM’s do in this area to support operations and the business?

Deanne Earle is a Manager, Leader, Consultant and Director of Unlike Before Ltd. A specialist in delivering business technology projects Deanne is a founding member of The Glass Breakers global women’s network, a published author, and sought after international consultant and expert in the areas of project delivery, management, change and leadership.

Focused on the intersection of projects and business operations Deanne challenges the DNA of a company’s leadership where necessary to achieve greater business value from technology projects.


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Tommy Miles photo
Tommy Miles, Director at MRE Consulting

Topic and Questions:

Building a Conscious Technology Community in a Virtual Firm

Building a technology community that actively engages in knowledge sharing opportunities, promotes skill development and ensures quality of service is not a new problem. There are countless materials available online that provide insight for solving this problem. However, overcoming inertia has been the biggest challenge in building our community. We have not reached all of our goals, but we are on our way to success.

1. What do you mean by a "Conscious Technology Community"?

2. Why do you believe this is important for your organization?

3. What problems have you faced building this community?

4. What are you doing to solve these problems?

5. What technologies or tools are you utilizing in bringing the virtual team together?

6. How successful have these efforts been?

Tommy has over 13 years of experience in the commodities, energy trading and risk management industry. His energy accounting foundation coupled with an extensive technology consulting experience allows Tommy to bring a unique skill set to every project. Tommy is a very passionate, outgoing and energetic leader who combines these characteristics with solid problem solving skills to deliver efficient and accurate solutions. He is able to provide architectural leadership for technical, functional and business solutions. His strong leadership abilities help projects and teams achieve the desired goals.

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Naomi Caietti - photo
Naomi Caietti, Founder & CEO of "The Glass Breakers" Women's Network

Topics and questions:

1. What don’t organizations understand about leading change during a project?

2. Why do organizations struggle with projects and change?

3. What strategies should be used to lead change on projects?

4. What should organizational leaders do to create more successful change in their organizations?

5. Why is it important to engage staff early with project initiatives that impact the enterprise?

6. What are key tips change leadership tips to help define success for projects/programs/portfolios?

Naomi has been a project management (PM) consultant, published author and recognized expert on personal growth and leadership development for project/program/portfolio managers for over 10 years.  Caietti is a global speaker on topics such as leadership, project management and Women in PM, one of the top influential project management professionals on twitter (PMOT) and featured subject matter expert on ProjectManagement.com.

Caietti has 27+ years of public and private information technology (IT) project leadership expertise.  Caietti is a credentialed project management professional (PMP) and is highly recommended for her project management leadership for the State of California and in her global PM community.

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Bob Bornhofen - photo
Robert Bornhofen DM, Practitioner-Scholar

Topics and questions:

Design Thinking Awareness

It represents an alternative approach to product design that differs from conventional methods.  The term “product” refers to a tangible outcome intended to solve a customer need; for example, building a mobile or web-based application with desired features. Design Thinking is more about solution solving than problem solving.  Rather than focus on a preconceived problem, Design Thinking begins with research to fully understand what generates success from a customer point of view.  Only after sensing customers’ needs can problems fully formulate and ideas emerge as part of a discovery process. Various methods are used to sense, understand, and capture customer needs as a basis to create solutions.  Ideas are put through multiple prototypes to validate designs within the context of solving problems. Learning is ongoing as subsequent prototypes begin to generate a “wow” factor among those involved in validating the product, especially target customers. Design Thinking involves empathy, creativity, and rationality in analyzing and fitting various solutions to the problem context.

  1. What is Design Thinking?
  2. How does Design Thinking differ from the conventional approach to product development?
  3. What steps and methods are involved in Design Thinking?
  4. Who are the actors involved in Design Thinking?
  5. Why is Design Thinking critical to product development?

Dr. Bornhofen is a practitioner-scholar who has a passion for helping organizations adopt change, act on new ideas, and grow through innovation. His Doctorate degree (2012) in Management offers expertise in organizational change, leadership theory, and product development. Skilled in research and publishing, he offers knowledge of effective practices in leadership and strategy. Prior industry experience includes such companies as Avaya, Delta Air Lines, and Citibank, where he performed a variety of roles involving leadership, strategy formulation, and business development. Dr. Bornhofen is currently a guest speaker at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.

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Bryan Barrow - photo
Bryan Barrow, Project Leadership Consultant at bryanbarrow.com

Topic and Questions:

How Software Development Teams Can Achieve Winning Results
With Index Card Planning

1. What are the 3 things that every software development project needs in order to deliver successfully?

2. What is the number one cause of poor project performance?

3. Why is the current “waterfall versus agile” debate going to spell disaster for many organisations?

4. What are the 5 key questions that you should ask every time you are asked to approve a new project?

5. What are the 7 key benefits of Index Card Planning when compared to other approaches to project planning?

6. Why should organisations insist on using facilitators for project kick-off workshops?

Project leadership consultant Bryan Barrow works with Project Management Office (PMO) Managers, Project Directors and organisations that need to deliver more of their projects on time and within budget, so that they achieve their strategic objectives.

For nearly twenty years he has run his own consultancy company which works with both public and private sector organisations, especially in the banking, gaming, healthcare, software development and telecommunications sectors. He specialises in organising and facilitating collaborative planning workshops that create credible plans, generate commitment and build in effective governance. He also provides coaching and mentoring to help develop the skills of the next generation of project leaders. Barrow is the author of “The Project Planning Workshop Handbook”.

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Juval-Lowy photo
Juval Löwy, software architect specializing in system and project design

Topics and Questions:

Software Project Design
Much as the need to design the system, you must also design the project: from scheduling resources behind the services, to tracking your progress across developers, services and phases of completion, to validating your plan, and presetting the project design options to management. The techniques of software project design are specific to software projects, but in the abstract there is nothing new. If I ask you to design a project that will comply with a set budget and deadline, within acceptable risk, be traceable and manageable, you cannot tell if I am talking about a bridge or an ERP system. Software project design requires understanding the inner dependencies between services and activities, the critical path of integration, the available floats, the staff distribution and the risks involved. All of these challenges stem from your design and addressing them properly is a hard core engineering task - designing the project. Time permitting, you will see showing how to close the loop by tracking both progress and effort across developers and services and estimating the impact of changes throughout the project, allowing you to constantly stay on schedule and on budget.

The Zen of Architecture
For the beginner architect, there are many options for doing pretty much anything. But for the Master architect, there are only a few. In this dense session Juval Lowy will explain his approach to large system analysis and design, using volatility to decompose a system into its comprising services. Juval will contrast it with the most common mistake done in architecture, using functionality to identify services. These are universal design principles, and Juval will use examples from software and non-software systems alike. You will also see how to overcome the real hurdles architects face perusing volatility-based decomposing, simple and practical techniques for identifying areas of volatility, common telltale signs or "smells" when your design is still functional when using the Method, IDesign's approach for system architecture.

1. What is IDesign all about?

2. Why do you need software architecture and architects?

3. Tell me about your approach to doing system architecture?

4. What is project design and how is it different from project management?

5. How does that relate to the architecture?

Juval Löwy is a software architect specializing in system and project design. Juval has mentored hundreds of architects across the globe, sharing his insights, techniques, and breakthroughs, in architecture, project design, development process, and technology. Juval is Microsoft’s Regional Director for the Silicon Valley and had participated in the Microsoft internal strategic design reviews for C#, WCF and related technologies. Juval is a frequent speaker at the major international software development conferences. Juval published several bestsellers, and his latest book is the third edition of Programming WCF Services (O'Reilly 2010). Juval published numerous articles, regarding almost every aspect of modern software development and architecture. Microsoft recognized Juval as a Software Legend as one of the world's top experts and industry leaders.

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Hala Saleh - photo
Hala Saleh, Product Manager, Agile Coach, Consultant, and Startup Mentor

Topic and Questions:

How agile values can help teams build software better, and build better software.

Agile has become one of those terms that people either love, or love to hate. As any methodology, there are plenty of reasons why an agile approach may not work. Over time I’ve found that the specifics of the methodology don’t matter as much as the values that an agile approach brings to the table.

1. What are the main values and principles of agile approaches?

2. What were some of the concrete practices and systems you and your teams have implemented that contribute to reinforcing agile values?

3. How have these practices or systems impacted your teams’ work?

4. What are some challenges with adopting these systems and practices, and what impact do those challenges have?

5. What if an organization is not “agile”? How can they still enjoy the advantages of agile values?

Hala is passionate about building products with a data-driven and systematic approach to decision-making. Hala may be even more passionate about the process of experimentation involved in developing products that enable customer success. Hala enjoys working with companies and teams to drive strategic direction for product development, and tries to surround herself with people who are passionate about what they do.

Hala received her BS in Computer Science, then received certifications including Project Management Professional, Certified Scrum Master, and Certified Scrum Professional.

Hala’s experience includes working at companies such as Lucent Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, Goldman Sachs, and others, in roles ranging from:
- Developer
- Quality Assurance Engineer
- Program/Project Manager
- Agile coach and consultant
- Product Manager

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Gabriel Lawson - photo
Gabriel Lawson, Engineering Executive and Program Manager

Topic and Questions:

The New Way to Increase Corporate Productivity and Effectiveness

It's not Business, It's Just Personal -- The new way to increase corporate productivity and effectiveness
This interview explores the key ingredients in high performing employees and reveals the secrets to increasing productivity and team effectiveness. The interview divulges the difference between our Intelligent (IQ) and the newly identified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and how applying the concepts required to mature our Emotional Intelligence serves as a blueprint on identifying and maturing a company's Organizational Intelligence (OQ).

1. What is the secret to productivity?

2. What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

3. How does Emotional Intelligence work?

4. EQ, unlike IQ, can be developed and matured. How does one go about developing one's EQ?

5. What is Organizational Intelligence?

6. How does an organization develop Organizational Intelligence?

As an engineering executive and program manager Mr. Lawson has enjoyed a highly successful career in maturing projects and organizations to successfully meet deliverables, increase productivity and improve effectiveness. He is an expert in business and human process optimization, organization management, software development and project management.

Mr. Lawson worked as a software engineer and architect before taking on various VP and SVP roles as a Software Development Executive, where he pioneered new techniques in emotional and organizational intelligence to increase productivity and effectiveness.

He is the author of the book "A Successful Life" and has been a hospice volunteer for the past 17 years.

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Peter Taylor, Author, Consultant

Topic and Questions:

The Lazy Project Manager

1. What do you mean by ‘lazy’ and when can ‘laziness’ really be a good thing?

2. Can you explain your dinosaur theory and why you think that people generally think of projects in the wrong way?

3. How can you start being ‘lazy’?

4. What do you feel is the very best way to learn to be even more ‘lazy’ in the future?

Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 20 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’. He also acts as an independent consultant working with some of the major organizations in the world coaching Executive Sponsors, PMO leaders and Project Managers.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at www.thelazyprojectmanager.com and www.peterbtaylor.co.uk   – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

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Rich Maltzman - photo
Richard Maltzman, Project Management Professional (PMP)

Topic and Questions:

Sustainability and long-term thinking in Project Management

1. What do you mean when you say sustainability in PM? You mean managing a wind farm or a “save the snails” program, right?

2. Why is this type of thinking difficult for project managers in particular?

3. Is there anything positive that can come of this? It sounds like yet another constraint on top of time, scope, and schedule.

4. What tools exist to help PMs in this area?

Rich Maltzman, PMP has extensive industry experience, including a 2-year assignment in The Netherlands. He is a PMO Director at a large telecom, and has co-authored PM books, including the Cleland Award-winning Green Project Management and the upcoming “Sustainability in Projects, Programs, and Portfolios.  Rich teaches at Boston University, Curry College and the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  He has spoken on the subject of PM and sustainability in South Africa, Malaysia, Costa Rica, and throughout North America.

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Cornelius Fichtner - photo
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM; Noted Project Management Expert

Topic and Questions:

Good Project Management Will Make Me a Better Developer... Right?

Software development doesn't happen in isolation. Instead, software development is one of many disciplines required helping modern businesses to transform their strategies into reality. And since software development activities are (or should be) part of an overall project with a clear strategic objective it stands to reason that project management helps developers be at the top of their game. Well... maybe, because in reality it's a more complex form of give and take. But never the less, project management plays a big role ensuring that developers succeed.

1. So tell me.... DOES good project management really make me a better developer?

2. How exactly does project management achieve that?

3. Are there any project management methodologies that are better at providing this underlying framework to help the developers?

4. How does business analysis fit into all of this?

5. Are certifications necessary?

6. What is your story...? How did you personally become a project manager?

7. Lots of companies today have to deal with budget cuts, and some development projects don't have dedicated business analysts or project managers. Now what?

8. How do you recommend that software developers learn about project management?

Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM is a noted project management expert. Over the past 9 years he has helped over 25,000 students prepare for their PMP Exam. He created and developed The PM PrepCast, which is the first and still only true podcast to help you prepare for the exam.

Cornelius is a senior project manager who has been leading projects in his native Switzerland, in Germany and in the USA. He started his career as a PM in the 1990s and received his PMP credential in April 2004. He has led small and medium sized projects for a management consulting company, a national retailer, an internet startup company, and for one of the oldest financial service providers in the USA. The projects he was responsible for where in the areas of logistics, website development and IT. His passions are Agile, project management methodologies and PMOs.

In 2005 Cornelius launched The Project Management Podcast where he regularly discusses project management topics with his guests. In over 300 podcast episodes he analyzes project management methodologies, best practices, new developments, books and recommendations. Each discussion is focused on conveying the experience of Cornelius and his guests to the listeners, so that they can apply this knowledge on their projects today.

As a public speaker Cornelius often appears at project management conferences, symposiums and workshops. He speaks about social media in project management, project leadership on small projects as well as influence in project management to name just three. His articles have appeared in CIO magazine.

Cornelius is also an active volunteer with The Project Management Institute. As such he is the 2007 president of The PMI Orange County chapter as well as a founding member of both PMI’s New Media Council and PMI’s Social Media Advisory Group.

Cornelius lives in Silverado, CA with his wife and their three computers.

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Christopher Avery - photoChristopher Avery
Speaker, Author of "Teamwork Is An Individual Skill", and the Leadership Gift Program for Leaders

Topic and Questions:

Conscious Leadership with The Responsibility Process™

Conscious leadership is good business. It generates great results with happy people. Why? Because you operate with far greater awareness of what's going on, of the interconnectedness of things -- and that helps you see and make better choices. The Responsibility Process, breakthrough research of the last twenty-five years, is a most powerful framework for continuously developing conscious leadership in yourself and your team. In this segment, you will learn about The Responsibility Process and try it out for yourself.

1. What does conscious leadership mean to you?

2. What are the benefits/drawbacks of conscious leadership?

3. Are conscious leaders born or made?

4. Tell about The Responsibility Process and what it has to do with leadership
How does The Responsibility Process increase consciousness, awareness, and choice?

Christopher Avery is among the most outspoken, celebrated, and successful advisors to executives on the critical issue of personal and shared responsibility as it affects leadership, teamwork, change, culture and performance.

Through his corporate services firm Partnerwerks Inc., Christopher’s strategies contribute to hyper-productive, engaged, and happy leaders, teams, and organizations in companies such as Cisco, Ericsson, Rally Software, Salesforce.com, Skype, and The GAP. Christopher’s solutions are especially popular among leaders of product development organizations.

Christopher is the author of the popular book “Teamwork Is An Individual Skill” and hundreds of other commentaries on responsible leadership, teamwork, and change. He is the visionary force behind The Leadership Gift Program and mentor to its global community of leaders. And he’s here to share these rich discoveries with you.

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Mark Ryan
Professor of Computer Security, University of Birmingham

Topic and Questions:

Security and privacy are insufficiently taken into account in software development

1. Why isn't secure software development just a matter of using a set of best practices?

2. Why are security and privacy so hard to get right?

3. What kind of factors are impacting on security and privacy in modern software development?

4. Is there a way of using cloud securely?

Mark Ryan is Professor of Computer Security at the University of Birmingham, UK, and director of the GCHQ Academic Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity Research at Birmingham. He leads the computer security research group in Birmingham, and is an EPSRC Leadership Fellow (2010-2015). He has worked in protocol verification analysis, electronic voting, access control, cloud computing security, verification of the trusted platform module (TPM), privacy analysis, and process calculus. Currently, he is working on methods by which cloud computing can be used without having to trust data to the cloud provider.

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Gary M Nelson, PMP - Project Manager, Speaker and Author

Topic and Questions:

Conscious Customer Engagement

1. What is Conscious Customer Engagement?

2. How much should you engage with the customer, and when should you start?

3. Should everyone engage with the customer? What about the ‘back-room coders’?

4. What is the most important meeting on your project?

5. How important is ‘transparency’?

6. How do you keep the focus on the customer throughout the project?

7. How do you handle scope creep?

8. How can you manage all of this with remote customers and virtual teams?

Gary M Nelson, PMP is passionate about sharing knowledge and making Project Management concepts more accessible, particularly to new and aspiring Project Managers. Said another way, he likes to tell stories to help convey complex concepts in a way that helps the concepts "stick". Who says learning shouldn't be fun?

Gary is also an IT Project Manager who has worked in the Telecom, Student Information Systems, Local Government and Public Health sectors since graduating from Simon Fraser University (BC, Canada) in 1989. His 25 years of international experience includes projects in New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the US and Canada, and managing virtual teams that have periodically spanned the globe.

Gary is the author of three project management books, and is the host of Gazza’s Corner Project Management blog and podcast. “Gazza’s Guide to Practical Project Management” is being used to support project management education at the college level, while his most recent series of books, the “Project Kids Adventures” series, is designed for the next generation of up-and-coming project managers (children age 8-12).

He is also a long-term volunteer with PMI, and has served in a range of board member roles in both Canada and New Zealand. Gary is currently the Northern Branch Chair for the PMI New Zealand chapter (2014-2015).

More information can be found at www.gazzasguides.com and www.gazzascorner.com, and through his podcasts at podcast.gazzascorner.com (also on iTunes).
Originally from Canada, Gary currently lives in New Zealand with his wife and three boys.

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Gil Broza, Principal Agile Mentor and Owner, 3P Vantage, Inc.

Topic and Questions:

Want to be Agile? Not so fast

If you believe the surveys, everyone is using Agile and life is rosier. If you actually talk to practitioners, the picture is not so rosy. Most Agile implementations don’t live up to their promise because they lack key ingredients. Too often, the mind-set isn’t quite there, technical discipline hasn’t caught up, servant leadership hasn’t replaced controlling management, and the tools have taken over. If you’re interested in Agile, Gil Broza will help you look before you leap and be better prepared for a good landing.

1. When is Agile a good fit?

2. What do most people miss about Agile, and why is that?

3. If a company chooses to adopt Agile, what should it consider for the journey?

4. You say that two aspects of Agile don’t receive enough attention: the human and the technical. What specifically should a company do on the human side of Agile?

5. And what should it do on the technical side of Agile?

6. If the change is painful, long, or misapplied, what recourse is available?

Gil Broza helps software organizations build and lead engaged, solid, high-performance Agile development teams. He guides teams and their leaders in creating effective, humane, and responsible work environments so they truly delight their customers and make a positive impact. He is an “all-rounder,” working at all organizational levels and coaching people in both technical and leadership behaviours.

Gil’s best-selling book The Human Side of Agile: How to Help Your Team Deliver is the definitive practical guide to Agile servant leadership in the real world. He has been a regular contributor and coaching track chair for the Agile series of conferences, a sought-after speaker for other industry events and groups, and host of many public webinars about Agility. He writes for projectmanagement.com and the Cutter IT Journal.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMichael Greer, Project Management Author & Trainer

Topic and Questions:

Growing Local PM Talent: "It Ain't Rocket Science!" (alternative: "Why Your Organization May Not Need Certified Project Management Professionals")

In this interview, PM author & trainer Mike Greer discusses some specific ways you can develop your "home grown" Project Management (PM) talent. He also examines why and how you might want to create your own, locally-inspired set of ideal PM skill definitions and performance targets, rather than outsource this to an external certification body like PMI or PRINCE2.

1. You've written that "Project Management is not rocket science" and that "anyone can learn to use PM tools & processes to get good results from their projects." So if extensive formal PM training isn't necessary, then what is the best way an organization can develop new project managers?

2. Why not simply send someone through the PMI or PRINCE2 training and certification path and get them PMP or PRINCE2 certified?

3. What kinds of organizational support is needed to ensure good PM results?

4. Sounds complicated. If an organization has no formal PM methodology or processes in place, what are some ways they might "ease in" to more effective PM practices?

5. Are there any specific resources (websites, publications, etc.) that can help?

6. So what would an ideal, fully-mature, locally-focused PM training & support system look like for a typical organization?

For over three decades, Michael Greer has been helping new project managers become more effective. Through books, articles, workshops, websites, and public appearances, he has tried to demystify project management (PM) and make it accessible to new and part-time project managers. His step-by-step PM texts have been adopted by many universities. Having started his career as an instructional designer and performance analyst, Greer has had substantial experience evaluating training and skill requirements in many different industries. At the same time, he has had many years of experience managing project teams building complex training support systems to support new hardware, software, and other products as they were brought to market. Leveraging both his training/performance analyst background and his PM background, Greer has helped develop several PM job/competency models and career paths. His quest to simplify PM has culminated in his latest book and tool collection: The Project Management Minimalist.

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Dave GordonDave Gordon
Human Capital Management Transformation Project Manager and Blogger at The Practicing IT Project Manager

Topic and Questions:

The Zombie Apocalypse is Not an HR Product: How to Hire, Retain, and Develop the Living

The 21st Century workforce is a mix of employees, contingent workers, consultants, and service providers from third party firms and outsourcers. The core of this ever-changing group has to be your regular employees – the people you can rely on to provide direction and make the decisions that enable the others to keep on schedule. But it seems that, as our technology mix becomes ever more complex, so does the management and recruiting the right people, with the right skills and experience. Even more difficult is retaining those people, and developing them to be the next batch of leaders, managers, and executives. The way to do it is to partner with the HR department in the most effective manner for both of you.

1. What are these odd-looking job descriptions we keep seeing on job boards, and how do they determine who to actually consider for a position?

2. Why do so many positions stay open for so long?

3. What are the keys to hiring the right person?

4. Once you hire someone, how do you start them out right?

5. What is the key to retaining solid team members?

6. Why is diversity so important?

7. Why is training so important?

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including premises-based ERP solutions, like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise, and SaaS solutions, like Workday. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. He also holds the project management professional (PMP) designation, as well as professional designations in human resources (GPHR and SPHR) and in benefits administration (CEBS).

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Chuck Cobb - photo
Chuck Cobb, Expert-level Agile Project Manager, Consultant, and Book Author


Topic and Questions:

What We Don’t Know that We Don’t Know About Agile Project Management

1. What is the impact of that on the project management profession?

2. What does it mean to business organizations about how they manage their business and the projects that may be associated with their business?

What are some of the changes a company might have to consider at an organizational level to adopt a more Agile or adaptive approach and what decisions are associated with those changes?

3. Since this whole area is so rapidly evolving, how can we anticipate how it’s going to come out?

4. How is it similar? What can we learn from that experience with Six Sigma to how we apply Agile today?

5. Are there any other lessons we can learn from history that apply to this transformation?

6. What is the similarity to what is going on in the project management profession today?

7. What can people do to better prepare for dealing with some of these challenges?

Chuck Cobb is an Adjunct Professor at Boston University where he will be teaching a brand new, graduate-level course on Agile Project Management and is the principal owner of his own company Breakthrough Solutions, Inc. He is passionate about helping to close the gap between the Agile and traditional project management communities; and, to that end, he has published two books on Agile Project Management (a third book entitled “The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering Agile” will be published in early 2015 by Wiley Publishing). He has written over 50 articles on his blog site at www.managedagile.com and he has recently developed an online training course to help project managers see Agile and traditional project management principles and practices in a new light as complementary rather than competitive alternatives.

He has combined his thought leadership skills with client engagements in many different industries and application areas to put those ideas into practice and help companies achieve significant results with their business.

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Jeff McKenna - photo
Jeff McKenna, Agile Software Development Mentor and Coach

Topic and Questions:

Conscious Software Development

1. What was your purpose in writing Conscious Software Development?

2. Why is that point of view important?

3. How does personal awareness interact with team and corporate cultures?

4. What is your view on changes in consciousness affecting business?

5. Do you see any trends that indicate support of greater consciousness in business?

6. How does Agile fit into this movement?

Jeff McKenna has been involved in software development for over 50 years and has been actively participating in the creation and delivery of agile software development since 1987. He has been involved in all areas of software product development from programming, system design and architecture to project management, testing, sales and marketing. Since the late 1980s Jeff has focused on the process side of development, expanding his knowledge of team dynamics and personal growth. Jeff has been practicing meditation for some 15 years and been involved in the Diamond Approach for over nine years. His recent book, Conscious Software Development, explores the personal dynamics of bringing more conscious awareness to the craft of software development.

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Michael Stanleigh - photo
Michael Stanleigh, CMC, CSP is a Certified Management Consultant and the CEO of Business Improvement Architects (bia™)

Topic and Questions:

The Art of Project Management


Well-managed projects and programs operate within all of their constraints, meet all of their stakeholder requirements and utilize all of their resources effectively. But despite our best efforts, we always encounter some problems, issues and challenges that deter us from reaching this goal. The Art of Project/Program Management is knowing when to use new, creative and different approaches to the start and on-going management of projects and programs.

  1. Project Management Offices often create too much process and too many documents to complete. Project Managers resist and avoid these “dictates” because they don’t see them as adding any value to their projects. What does your research indicate?


  1. Based on your experience in working with different types of organizations to find innovative solutions to the management of projects, are there any tools available to help project and program management practitioners be more creative in their work?


  1. It is common that project sponsors will cut funding, reduce timelines and/or present other challenges in the management of a project. Project Managers scramble to figure out the best way to manage these changes. What are some of the best practices that project managers can use to resolve this issue?


  1. What can we do to jump start a cultural change – to create an environment more conducive to consistency in the management of projects?


  1. What are some of the best approaches to managing projects and resources creatively in a matrixed environment?


  1. Many organizations have established standard methodologies for project and program management. What do you recommend on how they can integrate innovative practices within their current projects?


  1. Many projects appear to suffer because they have too much detail. How does a project manager determine whether or not they really have too much detail on their project?


  1. For project and program teams that want to recruit innovative candidates, what criteria should we look for to assess whether that person has previously demonstrated innovation in their career or possess innovative thinking?
  2. Most organizations have resources that cannot commit 100% to a project because they are involved with multiple projects of various priorities over times. Are there innovative ways they can manage within their project’s constraints while juggling their daily work and time spent on projects?


Michael Stanleigh, CMC, CSP is a Certified Management Consultant and the CEO of Business Improvement Architects (bia™). He founded bia™ in 1989 to help organizations improve their operational performance with his Organizational Success System™. Michael consults to organizations around the world, helping their leadership teams improve their operational effectiveness. He helps his clients: define their strategic direction, improve the performance of leadership and execute sound project management and quality management. He has been instrumental in helping his clients increase productivity and profits with his clear processes and quality approach.

Michael is also an accomplished professional speaker and dynamic presenter. He is among a handful of speakers worldwide who hold the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. He delivers keynote presentations for conferences and events around the world about his research and experience in his organization’s core practice areas. Michael is a leading expert and keynote presenter on Innovation, Strategy and Leadership Performance, Project Management and Quality Management. He shares his real life business expertise and experience with stories that are tailored for each audience and delivers presentations with spark, energy and creativity.

Michael has been featured and published in over 500 different magazines and industry publications around the world. In fact, the Project Management Institute, an international association, wrote an article about Michael in their magazine, PM Network in July, 2005. This magazine featured Michael on their cover.

Michael has worked in over 20 different countries. He holds a number of leadership positions including: Council member of the Ontario Institute of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants, faculty member of the Gardiner Institute, Memorial University and the American Society for Quality. Michael is a certified member and Board Member of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants (CMC Canada), professional member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), member of the Global Speakers Federation and senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

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Peter Ivanov - photo
Peter Ivanov, Speaker on Project Management

Topic and Questions:

Leading Virtual Power Teams - How to Massively Reduce Project Costs and Develop your Organisation for the Future!

Virtual Teams are everywhere – starting with home office workers through offices in multiple locations until we reach large global Teams.

Often Projects with dispersed teams are delayed or sometimes completely fail. International investments are put at Risk due to the intercultural issues or simply because the team members feel isolated and demotivated.

The “Virtual Power Teams” method provides a mix of proven in practice management tools leading to top performance in large international teams.

It outlines the 10 critical success factors for leading Virtual Teams based on the Award winning method “The 10 Big Rocks”

Virtual Teams are an unavoidable reality in today’s global world and they offer immense opportunities for those with “knowledge” to make them successful.

1. Brief Personal Introduction
2. How to set Goals in a Virtual Team?
3. How to create a structured Communication, which keeps the business focus and nurtures the interpersonal relationships?
4. How to create a Winning Spirit in a Virtual Team?

Peter Ivanov has lead international virtual teams across the globe, and through his leadership, his teams have been honored with multiple prestigious corporate awards, among which are the "Best of the Best" in 2007 and the Global "IT Connect Award" in 2012.

In his dynamic keynote speeches and seminars, Peter uses the experience he has gained as Manager, Virtual Team Leader, Athletic Champion and, yes, the father of five little girls, to show you how to organise, build up and lead your own successful virtual teams.

• Born in Bulgaria 1970
• Keynote Speaker and Executive Coach.
• Senior Manager with over 20 years of international experience
• Has led large Virtual Teams in Europe, Asia and Africa.
• Master of Science in Mathematics
• Bulgarian Senior Champion in Javelin & Discus
• Charity - Supporter of Young Talent
• Lives with his 5 daughters and wife in Hamburg, Germany.
• Speaks 5 languages - English, German, Bulgarian, Russian, Hungarian

Peter's method for managing Virtual Teams "The 10 Big Rocks" has been proven in the business, academic and non-profit environment and has delivered Outstanding Results.

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Susanne Madsen - photo
Susanne Madsen, Internationally Recognized Project Leadership Coach, Trainer and Consultant

Topic and Questions:

Why Project Managers Must Learn to Lead

In today's 'more for less' culture, the expectations of project management and delivery are no longer limited to budgets, schedules and quality. For projects to make an impact and add lasting value to the organization, project managers must be able to strategize, innovate, motivate, empower and collaborate - in other words, project managers must learn how to lead. This interview with Susanne Madsen will reveal how project managers can begin to shift their managerial and task-orientated mindset into one of inspiration, motivation and collaboration.

1. You write, teach and blog about the differences between management and leadership and how project managers need to become leaders. Can you explain what the differences are between management and leadership?

2. What are some of the biggest mistakes project managers make?

3. What can project managers do to get better results for themselves and their organisations (clients)?

4. Some organisations are focused on short-term results and measure benefit in terms of time, cost and quality (tactical measures). In which ways can organisations better deliver projects by focusing on longer term, strategic measures?

5. How can project managers better leverage people? (create a high performing team / better relate to stakeholders?)

6. What are some of the most effective ways for organisations to train their PMs to become stronger leaders?

7. Tell a bit about what your upcoming book. When is it out and where can people get hold of it?

Susanne Madsen is an internationally recognized project leadership coach, trainer and consultant. She is the author of The Project Management Coaching Workbook and The Power of Project Leadership (Jan 2015).

Prior to setting up her own business, she worked for 17 years in the corporate sector managing and rolling out large technology programs of up to $30 million for organizations such as Standard Bank, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.

Susanne specializes in helping project and change managers improve their leadership skills so that they can gain control of their projects and fast-track their career. She does this through a combination of training, coaching, mentoring and consulting.

She is a PRINCE2 and MSP Practitioner and a qualified Corporate and Executive coach. She is also a Member of the Association for Project Management (APM).

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Wayne Turmel - photo
Wayne Turmel, Virtual and Remote Teams Expert Blogger , Trainer and Consultant


Topic and Questions:

Why WebMeetings Stink, Why It Matters , and What To Do About It

Today, virtual meetings are a fact of life. We have great tools at your disposal, yet the numbers say we hate them and they are unproductive:

• Managers and project leaders spend half their day in meetings
• 2/3 of our online meeting time is considered wasted. What's that mean to you and your company?
• 87% of managers say that tools like Microsoft Lync, WebEx and others are "mission critical", yet only 10% of managers say they are comfortable and competent using them.

1. What is the impact of unproductive and ineffective meetings on organizations?

2. Why don't people adopt tools like WebEx, Microsoft Lync, and the like (it doesn't matter the brand, the utilization is all about the same)

3. What is the Hype Cycle, and why does it matter?

4. What do successful companies do to get people using these tools in effective ways?

5. What are some tips for better meetings we all can implement right now?

Wayne Turmel is one of the world's leading experts on virtual and remote team communication. He has spoken, written and taught for audiences around the globe. His candid and humorous style is designed to help people overcome their discomfort with technology to do more than present, but communicate and connect. He is the author of several books, including "Meet Like You Mean It- a Leader's Guide to Painless and Productive Virtual Meetings" and "6 Weeks to a Great Webinar".

He lives in Chicago, IL where his company, GreatWebMeetings.com teaches organizations and their people to sell, present, train and lead people using today's virtual communication tools.

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Cesar Abeid - photo
Cesar Abeid, Certified Project Management Professional

Topic and Questions:

Personal Productivity for the Project Manager: How To Stay Stress-Free While Doing Everything You Need To Do

1. What is personal productivity?

2. Why are we stressed and overworked? What can we do to change this?

3. Why are project managers uniquely equipped to work without too much stress?

Cesar Abeid is a certified Project Management Professional and has a B.E.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the The University of Western Ontario. Cesar joined Remontech in 2004, and since then has successfully implemented and managed projects throughout Canada, the United States, Brazil, and Peru. He has a passion for bringing project management ideas to all. Cesar is also the host of the weekly Project Management for the Masses Podcast and the multiple award-winning Construction Industry Podcast.

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Michelle James - photo
Michelle James, CEO of The Center for Creative Emergence

Topic and Questions:
Whole Brain Thinking and Applied Improvisation for Innovation, Ideation, and Creative Problem Solving

Creativity is increasingly being recognized as the most valuable asset in the workplace. Creative problem solving is a basic part of all successful software projects and engaged teams.

Creative Thinking and co-creating rely on breaking habitual patterns, discovering, adapting, resilience, and using your whole brain to come up with new solutions and approaches. In this interview, we will explore using whole brain thinking, along with principles and practices form improvisational theater, for enhanced innovation, novelty, and creative problem solving. We will discuss both ways of thinking as well as ways of being to more purposefully create and actualize more of your internal creative resourcefulness.

1. What is whole brain thinking and why is it important?

2. How do you integrate it into a culture? What are the challenges and how do you move through them?

3. What is Applied Improvisation? How do improv practices and principles apply to creative problem solving and new software product development?

4. How do the "rules" of improv fit in with more conscious ways of being and creating software?

5. What is one technique listeners start doing immediately to start applying more creativity to their software development work?

Michelle James, CEO of The Center for Creative Emergence (www.creativeemergence.com), has been pioneering Applied Creativity and Improvisation in business for the past 18 years. She is a business creativity catalyst, facilitator and coach who has designed and delivered hundreds of programs for entrepreneurs, leaders, teams, and organizations such as Microsoft, Panasonic, Deloitte, Teratech, GEICO, NIH, Dominos, John Deere, the World Bank, Kaiser Permanente, and the Federal Executive Institute among many others. Known for creating richly textured learning environments that weave together storytelling, improvisation, visual thinking, and other whole-brain approaches with creative solution finding methods and sound business practices, her programs have been featured on television, the radio and in several books.

Michelle performed full-length improvised plays with Precipice Improv for 10 years, where her passion for the transformative power of improv principles and practices led her to develop Quantum Leap Business Improv - using applied improv for innovation, creative thinking, product development, team building, co-creation and collaboration. She was recognized for Visionary Leadership in Fast Company’s blog, Leading Change, for "her commitment to bring creative expression into the work environment in a very deep and meaningful way." She founded the Capitol Creativity Network in Washington, DC, the Creativity in Business Conference-DC, and the Creativity in Business Telesummit online, and most recently, the Cville Creativity Network in her new home, Charlottesville, VA. She is currently writing a book, Pattern Breaks: A Facilitator's Guide for Cultivating Creativity due out in 2015. You can reach Michelle at [email protected] or @CreatvEmergence on twitter.

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Lindsay Scott - photo
Lindsay Scott, Director at Arras People

Topic and Questions:

Hiring and Retaining the Right Project Managers for Your Organization

Project management is used to deliver new products and services and is often the key to commercial success for businesses that adopt it. Delivering this success heavily relies on organizations both (1) finding the right project managers to deliver their unique endeavours, often within a certain organizational culture and (2) retaining that talent when internal and external pressures come into play.

1. What do organizations find difficult about hiring the right project managers?

2. What frustrations do project managers experience when looking for new opportunities and how can this change the way organisations hire in the future?

3. What are the internal and external factors that affect retention of project managers?

4. How do organizations retain good project managers?

Focused on project management recruitment and careers, Lindsay is a Director at Arras People, a UK based organisation. Lindsay works with organisations looking to hire new talent and project practitioners interested in developing their careers and job prospects. Lindsay is also the careers columnist for PMI’s PM Network magazine, co-editor of The Handbook of People in Project Management and writer/presenter on project management career themes across the web.

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Luis Seabra Coelho - photo
Luis Seabra Coelho, Project Manager

Topic and Questions:

Projects vs Programs - what you don't know may kill your app

Sometimes you just have to challenge the most basic notions. Listening to this interview will make you see projects and programs in a different perspective. Luis shares his provocative views on these differences focusing on 5 parts:

1. Is there a difference between a project with sub-projects and a program with projects?
2. Example: Is building a home a project or a program?
3. Success criteria for projects and programs
4. Required skills for project and a programs
5. Do you do software development projects? Or programs?

Luis is a Project Manager particularly interested on the links between businesses and Project Management - and his blog www.ah-ha-moments.net reflects just that.

He first got into Project Management while developing software and he's been fascinated with Project Management since then.
Luis is working for a small company on a large Portuguese Holding doing a wide variety of projects mainly on IT - lots of challenges, learning opportunities and great people.

He is an active volunteer of the Project Management Institute and he's currently the Assistant Director for Podcasts of the Information Systems Community of Practice and also the Project Manager of the VIII International Conference of the Project Management Institute Portugal Chapter. He's also a regular speaker at Project Management related events.

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Johanna Rothman - photo
Johanna Rothman, Consultant, known as the “Pragmatic Manager" & Author

Topic and Questions:

Agile Portfolio Planning: Managing Your Project Portfolio

Do you have too many “#1” priorities? Are you waiting on specialists, or have emergency projects? Or, do you have projects that suddenly pop up out of the blue? You are suffering from insufficient project portfolio management. Not only can you use agile and lean approaches to your projects, you can use agile and lean approaches to your project portfolio.

When you think of project portfolio management, do you think of dog-and-pony shows? Or, crazy math? Or, are your managers so accustomed to thinking that you should multitask when you tell them you don’t have enough people to staff projects? Do you see value-less pet projects that you would like to eliminate? With agile, you don’t need any of these. You need project demos and a straightforward discussion of business value.

Johanna will discuss how an agile and lean approach to the project portfolio can help everyone see what’s going on, how to apply agile and lean to the project portfolio, and how to collaborate to make great portfolio decisions.

1. What is the project portfolio?

2. What is the first question everyone should ask?

3. Why Johanna is so insistent that people should discuss value and not cost or ROI or estimates when they discuss ranking the projects in the project portfolio.

4. Do you have to be agile to manage the project portfolio?

5. Discuss about the problem with experts, multitasking, and the cost of delay with the project portfolio.
Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders see problems, seize opportunities, and remove impediments. Johanna has written 8 books, and is working on a book about agile program management. Johanna writes columns for StickyMinds and ProjectManagement.com, writes two blogs on her jrothman.com website, and blogs on createadaptablelife.com. ContactJohanna at [email protected].

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