It can't be that bad, right? No. 5

Creative Leadership, the EU's PRINCE2 PMO, TED, and the dreaded Black Swan.

Hey everyone 👋,

Welcome to another week of project management knowledge dropping! And a special welcome to the 50+ subscribers(we're now over 200!) that have found their way to TSR since last Thursday. 🙌 This has been a fun gig thus far; thanks for stepping on the ride.

I’d also like to take this moment to let you know about a fantastic Program Manager centric newsletter from the likes of Rion Angeles: The Unblockers,

Program Managers are "Unblockers." Technical or not, that's exactly what you are. You are the ultimate swiss army knife in any organization. You remove roadblocks and obstacles, drive progress, build alliances, and get shit done. Now, let's make sure you stay sharp.

If you’re not currently a subscriber to this labor of love, you can be! If you are subscribed, thanks! Be sure to get the word out if you enjoy it.

Here we go!

Leading creativity isn’t for the faint of heart 🙅‍♂️

It was great timing that I might find this article to share with you this week, as I think I’ve found myself at a crossroads of being a creator inside the project management world. As for you, are you an overseer of a creative team within your organization? If so, you may have noticed a trend of, oh, I don’t know… chaos! If this is you, just take note that you’re not alone.

The creative hub of any operations world is usually ripe with such chaos, and it usually shows in terms of late products, cost overruns, a general sense of being lost, etc. One should not dare to stifle the creative flow of our teams; that’s usually their best quality, in my opinion. However, we also can’t let the process run amok, as we risk our title as the project/program manager.

Introducing Creative Operations Management (COM). Now the question turns to, "how is this different than project management?" So,

… here’s the distinction we like to make: project management is more about overseeing existing processes, while creative operations management is about streamlining processes. It’s more of a process improvement angle.

While COM isn’t necessarily a recognized discipline, yet, it can be a challenging position for new project managers to be put in, especially if you’re working with some strong-opinionated talent. Stay strong, lead on, and ask questions.

😍 Some PMO love in the EU

That was a challenging title 👆 to come up with. But in the end, it says what it needs to; the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office, with support from the European Union’s Intellectual Property Office, is building their own Project Management Office (PMO) using PRICE2 as their guide. They’re currently building “a set of structured processes to improve project management and design a Project Management Office (PMO) to support project management, monitor key performance indicators, and improve information flow.” My EU readers can read more about this here.

How about your ad here? 📇

Reach over 200 subscribers for a $10 donation, and have your ad here. Interested? Contact me.

Get your TED on!

On September 25th & 26th, 2020, PMI is running a free TED event. 🆓

Later this month PMI is hosting their Action Impact, [email protected] event virtually. The best part, it’s freeWhat it’s about? I’m glad you asked, [email protected] is a two-day virtual celebration of our community of doers and the vision, inspiration, and plain mesmerizing awe of turning ideas into action.

It looks like it’ll be a pretty good show too. On the schedule,

  • How humans and AI can work together to create better businesses (“they’re” still pushing the Artificial Intelligence agenda, at this rate, they will take over)

  • A guide to collaborative leadership

  • Why the jobs of the future won’t feel like work (some of us are there now!)

  • Four larger-than-life lessons from soap operas (my mother would’ve loved this one)

  • What are you willing to give up to change the way we work?

Register Here! I’ll be there too.

As pretty as they may be, keep the Balck Swans away! 🖤

As a former emergency manager, I’m all too aware of the eventual Black Swan event and the genuine Black Elephant events that have plagued the world as of late. If you’re not an EM or have never had to deal with contingencies, let’s align ourselves,

  • Black Elephant Event; You’re a program manager for Mississippi Transport, and your teams are working a significant project to move goods from the southern mouth of the Mississippi River upriver some 100 miles staring tomorrow. Meanwhile, you know that 300+ miles upriver, there is a massive storm raging with an expected rainfall measured in feet, not inches. While it’s not raining at your location, there is an expectation that the river will rise in the next 24 - 48 hours, causing navigational issues while moving upstream. While not devastating to your location and a problem you’ve dealt with before, the regular event is something that has to be dealt with, and for safety sake, can’t be ignored.

  • Black Swan Event; Example 1) Hurricane Katrina’s devastation (the flooding, not the Cat 5 Hurricane itself) upon the city and surrounding areas of New Orleans in 2005. And example, 2) Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill of 2010. These events are both black swans; things we (or someone) were confident could never happen.

So, as a project/program manager, and while not an Emergency Manager, you need to stay in lock-step with your EM. If your Risk Register/Matix discussed the possibility of such an event, you two should be besties. (Recommended reading on the likes, here and here.)

Even a “simple” Black Elephant event will throw your project off-kilter; it may be time to bone up on your contingencies or, at the very least, look at your contract to make sure there’s forgiveness for extenuating circumstances.

I’m curious to know, have any of you had to deal with such an event in your line of work?

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Parting Shot

Been there… Remember this👇 next time you think you need a group to make that decision.