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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
October 29, 2011

This past week was an exciting week. I had my first opportunity to attend the PMI Global Congress in North America. Thanks to PMI for covering the conference fees and selecting our presentation on engaging leadership for the healthcare track. I would definitely recommend making it to the local congress if you can. It is a wonderful networking and learning opportunity. Below are several conference highlights.

The Healthcare PMI Community of Practice has released a healthcare standard. It should be posted upon their website shortly. It went like hotcakes at the conference, so I'm hoping to get a copy soon.

The conference has your global sessions, and then areas of focus. Several others have commented upon the global sessions, I'm going to drill on down to the some of the education sessions I had an opportunity to attend. I did focus upon the Agile Track.

My favorite session of the congress was Natalie Nee's Agile: Still the Magic Bullet or Do you need a blended solution? The presentation depicted a well thought out approach of how to adopt agile. It was considerate of the environment needed to make agile successful and how to facilitate the adoption in a pragmatic manner within the organization. A key take a way was that agile does not need to be applied careless to every project. The methodology should be utilized when it makes sense for the project given the environment.

The other two agile sessions I attended were Taking off the Agile Training Wheels, Advanced Agile Project Management using Kanban by Robert Tarne and Large Scale Program and Portfolio Management with Scrum and Kanban by Mike Cottmeyer. Kanban refers to having a repeatable process and tracking user stories across that repeatable process to determine the sprint completion timeframe. Scrum refers to the process of having a daily standup meeting engaging the committed members to relay what they have accomplished yesterday, what is planned for accomplishment today, and what obstacles can get in their way while looking at the current product backlog for this sprint. Both presentations offered excellent insights into apply agile to small organizations. It is obvious that this methodology still continues to evolve as organizations begin to adopt and apply the practice.

Ginger Levin presented Mentoring: A Key Competency for Program and Project Professionals. She portrayed the criticality mentoring is for career success for the mentee and how to develop and implement a mentoring program. A key learning from this presentation is that mentoring programs should be a part of the enterprise PMO's repertoire and be managed as a project with a business case, clear success factors and desired business outcomes. - a great suggestion for developing yourself, others, and your workforce. Ginger Levin has several books on the market. She's a pretty smart and experienced lady so if you have a chance to buy and read her works, it is time well spent.

Another session I was fortunate enough to attend was Nayan Patel's a pragmatic journey to project portfolio metrics for a CIO. The presentation shared Baylor Health's PMO growth and development to the current practices. I'm glad to know we all suffer the similar growing pains as we first try to capture the project efforts in a dashboard to developing governance and determining which projects are priorities. The key also of resource forecasting and current utilization was quite thorough. Baylor has about 3900 beds and 650 IT Staff, so they have a large centralized IT department. Even in these tough economic times, the information provided from the pmo has enabled the growth of the department as the organization strives to achieve ICD10, meaningful use and several other endeavors.

All in all it was a good congress, Hopefully I'll be able to attend the next one.

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