Webinar Recap: How Innovation & Portfolio Management Office Underpins Corporate Success

Please find below a transcription of the audio portion of Tad Haas’ How Innovation & Portfolio Management Office Underpins Corporate Success webinar being provided by MPUG for the convenience of our members. You may wish to use this transcript for the purposes of self-paced learning, searching for specific information, and/or performing a quick review of webinar content. There may be exclusions, such as those steps included in product demonstrations. You may watch the live recording of this webinar at your convenience.

Kyle: Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s MPUG webinar, How Innovation & Portfolio Management Office Underpins Corporate Success. My name is Kyle, and I’ll be the moderator today. Today’s session is eligible for 3/4 of a PMI PDU in the strategic category, and the code to claim that is on the screen now.

Kyle: Like all MPUG webinars, a recording of this session will be posted to MPUG.com shortly after the live presentation ends, and all MPUG members can watch these recordings at any time and still be eligible to earn the PDU credit. All the sessions you watch on demand can be submitted to your webinar history, and the live sessions you attend are automatically submitted. Within your history, you can print or download your training history transcript and certificates of completion including the one for today. You can access that by logging on to MPUG.com, click My Account, and then click on the Webinar Reports link.

Kyle: If you have any questions during today’s presentation, please send those over at any time using the chat question box in the GoToWebinar control panel. We do plan to answer those for you throughout the session today. And we’ll go ahead and begin. We’re very happy to welcome Tad Haas today.

Kyle: Tad is the executive vice president of Edison365, driving the expansion of Edison365 into the Americas, and continuing the vision of empowering every organization to create and deliver change. With over 20 years in both product and project management, Tad is a passionate technology evangelist and experienced change agent. With that said, I’d like to welcome you, Tad, and at this time I’ll hand it over to you to get started with today’s session.

Tad: Good morning Kyle, and thank you very much for that introduction. Let me go ahead and get my screen sharing for you, and let me confirm that that is indeed showing.

Kyle: That looks great.

Tad: Perfect. Well good morning, good afternoon, and good evening for those of you that have joined. Thank you for doing so. As Kyle shared, my name is Tad Haas, and I’m with Edison365. Today’s going to be a little bit different, and we’re going to focus on business and organizational challenges versus technical deep dives or product discussions. We’ll go through and discuss some of these key topics around business transformation, common pitfalls, what we call the IPMO, and how these things can be impactful for you and your organization.

Tad: As Kyle said, I’ve been in the software business for over 25 years, nine of those at Microsoft where I was both customer engaged and a product manager, one of the global product managers for Microsoft Project. During the 2010, 2013, and all of those other fun launches as we’ve gone through and continued to advance Microsoft Project, Project Online, and all of the good Project for the web stuff. I do enjoy speaking. I’m a traveler, and if anybody wants to talk about coffee I have all kinds of conversations to have about that.

Tad: The conversation today is built off a white paper called Innovation and Portfolio Management Office. At the conclusion of the talk today, we’ll go through and have the link for that, so you can go ahead and download it directly yourself. I do encourage questions, and Kyle will be observing and watching that for us today. So thank you in advance for your thoughts and your comments. We’ll try to get through those as well. There will be a couple of different polls that we’ll do throughout, very informal, but designed to get your feedback around the thinking of the content today.

Tad: Just as a quick introduction, Edison365 is an end to end solution provider that’s helping organizations accelerate business transformation with tools built directly on top of Office 365. With that, let’s go ahead and get started.

Tad: Unfortunately, few of us have crystal balls, but there are things we can do as individuals, and as organizations, to deal with this modern, super-fast, ever changing world. Not easy, but we can go through and help our enterprises deal with business transformation, and indeed today business transformation is the lifeblood of every enterprise. Without a constant flow of innovation, no company can expect to prosper or even perhaps survive. Yet, while many companies design great transformation strategies, how good is their delivery? Is it time to replace the project management office with an integrated innovation power train that drives real change across the business, across the enterprise, across the nonprofit?

Tad: So these are things that we’ll be talking about today as we think about what we can do as individuals, as project managers, or participants in the broader team. One of the first questions to ask, of course, is, “How successful are the majority of companies at executing business transformation plans, and are they achieving their goals and their objectives?”

Tad: The central proposition of this talk is despite the best intentions even at board level, many organizations are failing to exploit transformation opportunities because project delivery, where we all know, live, and love, and the infrastructure that support it and the processes are simply not fit for this purpose.

Tad: Change has become this constant new normal. According to KPMG, many reports that they’ve put out and others across sort of the thought leadership area are focusing on this notion of change, and that the concept of transformation, whether it’s digital transformation, business model transformation, or things that are related to that, all of this is top of mind as is the concept of innovation, how we talk about that. In fact last year, the Wall Street Journal did a report that goes through and evaluates the top 250 companies in the US, and what they found was even the top 50 above those of the best run companies focus on innovation and employee engagement. Because they do so intently over their competitors, they outperform their competitors financially as well.

Tad: So this evidence is irrefutable. External trends in the business environment are unprecedented, and people and organizations that can’t change are at severe risk. Did you know that in the last 15 years, 52% of the Fortune 500 companies have merged, been acquired, or gone bankrupt? That’s a pretty telling story. Even the biggest behemoths have had a hard time succeeding today.

Tad: Let’s go through and talk a little bit more about some other evidence that focuses on what these successful companies are doing. This transformation 20 is those enterprises like Netflix, Adobe, Amazon, Siemens, Cisco, Fujifilm. Wait a minute, how can Fujifilm be on that list? Aren’t they like Kodak? Well obviously not. They’ve pivoted and changed their business to support where technology can take them.

Tad: There are two key behaviors that come out of these transformative companies. One is that they prioritize innovation as a strategic capability that’s not just in a single department, and they have the ability to execute on the right projects at the right time. As PMPs, we probably know that as excellent portfolio management.

Tad: Let’s take a quick poll. Kyle, if you could go ahead and pull up our first poll.

Kyle: Yep.

Tad: We’re interested in knowing today, are you managing transformation or transformational projects? And the opportunities for answer are yes, no, or others are.

Kyle: All right, I see some answers coming in. I’ll just give you a few moments here to submit your answer. All right. Let’s go ahead and take a look at those results. Are you able to see those, Tad?

Tad: I am not, but-

Kyle: Okay, I can read those out, though.

Tad: That’s perfect.

Kyle: 45% answered yes, 25% answered no, and 30% answered that others are.

Tad: Oh, great. Okay, good, well that’s pretty telling. If we go through and look at the audience provided here, we have, what is that, 75% that are doing it at some level? So that’s fantastic. So let’s go to the next poll, and this actually supports what we just talked about, and 75% of you are in a position to answer this, and that of course would be if you answered yes, either for yourself or your group, which groups are primarily responsible for the project management, getting these transformations, or these innovations, done? Is it the innovation strategy group? Is it R&D or the new product development teams inside of a business unit perhaps? Is it your PMO, individual project managers, or others?

Kyle: All right, that poll is open, and answers are coming in. We’ll just give them a few seconds.

Tad: Awesome.

Kyle: All right, let’s go ahead and take a look at those results. So we have 10% for innovation and strategy group, 25% answered B, R&D, new product dev, and business unit. 55% PMO, and 45% individual project managers. 0% on other.

Tad: Okay. Well at least we hit the right targets for that. Thank you all for taking that survey, and Kyle I did figure out how to get the screen working so now I can see those results, so thank you for that.

Kyle: Oh, perfect.

Tad: Well good, clearly it is the PMO that is landing much of this, but it’s actually the innovation or strategy groups that start much of this activity. Sometimes today, there’s a disconnect. The proposition of this talk is that disconnect should go away, and there’s real reasons why that’s the case. Let’s go through and move forward on a bit more of our content.

Tad: Let’s talk about that innovation process. If we are in fact the chief innovation officer, sometimes called the CINO, or we’re the CEO or someone directly responsible for strategy, I can guarantee you, in fact statistics tell us 91% or better, innovation is one of the key strategies virtually every enterprise is targeting today.

Tad: Once you begin this process of identifying that, what innovations, what ideations, what things can you put in place that help you meet that strategy? There’s a concept where people will go through today in a PMO, we create a project request, and sometimes those project requests are very simple, they’re very straightforward, but sometimes things come in as a new idea, and these might be a bit wild hair. They might be those kind of transformational things that we’re looking for. This is the spark of creativity for the brand new product or the brand new business model that may not have a landing place yet in the corporation or the enterprise, but these innovation processes are designed to capture these new ideas, these new opportunities.

Tad: In most companies today, they have some sort of methodology that they’re putting in place around this, and you’ll think in a moment how oddly similar this looks to a project pipeline or a portfolio funnel because in fact they work together, and they can feed each other. The difference here, of course, is that we have top down challenges or things that the business really needs to solve. Maybe it’s a competitor, or maybe it’s digital changes, robotics, etc. Other times these things are bottom up led where we want to go through and get the best ideas from our employees, our customers, our partners, about how we could go through and deliver innovation.

Tad: Delivering innovation, like most things, is a gated process where we go through and have some sparks. We’ve got some questions out here. We want to go through and get some ideas into the funnel. We want to go through and evaluate those ideas, and then ultimately execute and deliver, and this is traditionally where our PMs lie, but for the whole enterprise the outcomes are expected to be dollars earned, or dollars saved, or perhaps happy customers. What is it we’re doing to change the net promoter score in our enterprise because we have happy customers and so on? So these are things that are important for us as we want to go through and focus on the rest of the talk today.

Tad: There are pitfalls however with this strategy of leaving the innovation office out to its own, and one of those is that the strategy’s not widely communicated or understood in the rest of the enterprise. So having innovation in a lab, or off around the corner, or in San Francisco only is a real problem because this isn’t widely understood or communicated.

Tad: Often, external influences in trends are not being evaluated across the enterprise. We’re not being able to really embrace innovation except for these key areas, and yet as we saw from the initial reports, it’s that innovation, across departments, that has a high impact. So this is pretty important as well. Then of course technology. Are you set up to use products, and tools, and methods that will support that innovation and collaboration across the enterprise?

Tad: A couple of other common pitfalls is that there’s little incentive or rewards that are provided inside of a company for this innovation and this creativity. This has a lot to do with risk. How do enterprises consider risk? As project managers, we deal with it every day, but what do the enterprises do to go through and address this as well? So that’s really important.

Tad: While the innovation office is up and coming, it’s not yet broadly available in all companies. The PMO has a much higher percentage of actual traction, but the chief innovation office is new. Of course these groups may or may not be well funded today, and probably the most important part about this talk is that the formal delivery of innovations and outcomes are not well executed. Why is that?

Tad: When we talk about the portfolio management process, or the project and PMO steps, we go through the traditional things of justifying our projects, setting the budgets, looking at the benefits realization management, what PMI calls BRM, we go through and deliver those plans whether we’re going through and using agile methods, or traditional waterfall, or others, doesn’t matter. We just go through and we do delivery. Then ultimately, it’s about those benefits. What are the things that will … what are adding value to the enterprise, to the customers, and to the strategy of the company?

Tad: But there’s problems there too. Only 41% of organizations with an enterprise wide project management office, an EPMO, report that it is highly aligned to the organization’s strategy. Some might call that a miss, and that’s probably because that EPMO is focused on operational or existing business or near-term investments versus long-term digital transformations, business model transformations, etc.

Tad: As many of you know, the top five causes of project failure are a change in priorities, this is a great cartoon if you ever want to go through and see some of the stuff that goes along with that, changing in the objectives around the project, requirements gathering, of course we already knew about that, vision, and ultimately poor communication. Today as people are tasked with managing digital transformations, it’s this communication challenge which is the greatest effort whether you’re trying manage change, trying to execute the projects, or all things connected with that.

Tad: Then specifically as a PMO, we can go back and talk about what’s the success rate of your PMO. Well, if we’re only aligned so far, how are we doing all up? Today, we’re starting to see the churn again for PMOs. Is this because of relevance? Is this because the PMO’s not adding enough value? Is this because it’s reactive? Is this because the PMO is so focused on executing the projects that they’ve been handed that they’re not willing to advocate for the kill decision? And of course, the kill decision is something nobody wants to do to their project, but it’s critical for the scarce funds, the scarce resources, and the scarce time we have today for all of the projects that we’re working on.

Tad: And of course the process stops at delivery with the PMO. Are you tracking the benefits? Are you integrated with the business case process and the funding? Is the PMO integrated with the business unit so that all of those things can be collected directly? And of course feel free to ask questions or offer opinions there if you have some about the state of the PMO. That of course can be a topic of its own.

Tad: Things shouldn’t be that hard. There are steps that can be taken to improve the success rates, and we can look at the failure rates of digital transformations. We can look at the growth and the opportunity of PMOs inside of successful companies, and we can start to think a little bit differently.

Tad: I’ll offer that the next path for your company, for your enterprise, is to consider the notion of an innovation and portfolio management office. This is a place where you can take that vision, take that mission and that strategy, and combine them into a cohesive unit that sits across the enterprise for all work types, for innovation projects, for transformation projects if you want to call them that, and your traditional portfolio as well.

Tad: That this IPMO is in a much better position to help the organization realize benefits, number one, to articulate them, to track them, to share them, and to accelerate them, and that this office, this team, this group of people will be tied much better to strategy than a traditional PMO. Some of you work in an IT PMO. Some of you work in new product development spaces where you’re working about getting products to market. We’re talking about a much more inclusive view of the world here.

Tad: These are some takeaways for the IPMO, and of course today when you want to get a copy of the slides, let me know, I’d be happy to follow up with you on those if Kyle hasn’t. The goal of the IPMO is to accelerate this business transformation by driving innovation and successful project delivery that’s aligned with strategy.

Tad: Because it has the ability to harness the best of both worlds, the be inventive, be creative, learn fast, fail fast, along with the structure of governance and getting things through the pipeline, you have the ability to increase success rates. You have the ability to accelerate those innovations and make sure that you’re moving the right things forward. We’ll talk in a moment about prioritization because this is super important. How do you go through and do the tradeoff analysis of projects that are in flight versus these crazy new ideas that come in? How do you go through and fund these, right? You’ve got a bucket of money that you’re spending here, and you’ve got money that you should be spending there. How do you plan around that portfolio? We’ve talked quite a bit about the benefits management piece around the business case and realization. This gives you a formal platform and format to bring these things in together.

Tad: One of the things that many of your enterprises are starting to do is either put centers of excellence in, if you don’t already have them, and this IPMO can act as such, but this is where your SMEs can sit. This is where you can engage the training and the mentorship around the lean techniques, the design thinking, the agile workloads that you’re trying to go through along with a traditional waterfall or hybrid work, and what we’re seeing of course in innovation is that there’s this crazy agile design thinking, let’s just go be inventive, let’s go do risk, let’s go experiment, and then we go through the funding to say, “Hey, this might actually work,” and then we have to go through this scaling activity. We deal with these things, we worry about the justification, we worry about the delivery, and we drive towards the outcomes on that.

Tad: Some of the benefits, again, are that you’ll now have a single organization responsible, you’ll get visibility throughout the business transformation process, you’ll have an actual way to track benefits and confirm that they’re being realized. You’ll have the ability to stop projects or see when they’re conflicting against newer options. You’ll also have better visibility to the long-term pipeline, which we’ll talk about in just a moment, and then we’ll want to go through and talk about the vision, and the alignment, and things along that way for the standards for innovation because certainly PMOs are good at putting governance in place and helping the organization change. This can be very useful on the innovation side of things. Provide the lessons learned of course. One reporting entity that can look across all things.

Tad: Even the PMI, the Project Management Institute, is busy talking about this notion. Portfolio management and innovation are both providing value in the most efficient ways for their domains. So if we apply the same steps of innovation to designing a portfolio architecture at less cost and with higher value, we can gain double the benefits according to PMI. Many people are beginning to think about this topic today.

Tad: I said we’d talk about prioritization so let’s do that now. If we went through and talked amongst your peers and asked the questions about prioritization, there’s lots of different models, and there’s lots of different ways people think about this. In an IT world, you’ll often hear Gartner’s terms about run, grow, and transform the business, right?

Tad: But in innovation thinking, you’ll hear the notion of horizon one, two, and three. Sustaining, defend the core business efforts, these might be inflight projects, disruptive innovations that are developing emergent or nascent or nearby businesses that you can be going through and taking advantage of, and then ultimately these horizon threes which are create genuinely new businesses or value that’s not being tracked.

Tad: If your portfolio today is not taking all three of these into consideration then how are you dealing with that, and where’s your spend? Should 60% or 70% be here? Should 20% be here and 10% here? I can assure you for the most successful companies, it’s much higher over here on the horizon three and in the horizon two. So these are ways you can start to look at your portfolio to understand the impact.

Tad: However, many of us work in big companies, and those big companies are risk averse. They think failure is a problem, but it’s often said that failure’s not the opposite of success. It is part of the success. And that fast learning or fast experimentation is very important to what you’re trying to accomplish today. You may have to change the culture so that you can feel safe at failing, failing fast or learning fast, that it’s okay to not succeed with every project, and these are the cultural changes that will be required for your innovation and portfolio management office.

Tad: I was just at a conference recently called The Back End of Innovation which is a sister event to The Front End of Innovation where of course on the front end we’re talking about those early experiments, radical ideas, crazy new possibilities, where at the back end of innovation it was all about delivering that value that was promised. You’d be surprised how often this conversation about safe and okay came up, both in talks and over lunch. How are our companies changing today so it’s okay to fail, or to learn fast, or to pivot, or be ready to make the changes necessary.

Tad: Let’s talk about implementation considerations. If you assume that this is a good idea and you actually want to go forward with this, then you might want to be able to go through and consider these key fundamentals around who is your sponsor, what strategy tie-in will you be working with, what processes will you create, which processes will you lighten, and which processes will you get rid of. Because that’s important when you start to think about innovation to portfolios, to project delivery, to benefits realization, the technology approach that you need to support that, and then of course the organizational and people changes required as well.

Tad: I’ll argue it’s the bottom two that are most important in terms of getting acceptance, and culturally many of your businesses and enterprises have been going through these changes recently already, some forced, some by design, and these are the kind of things that you must go through and address. Getting sponsorship is always the hardest part, making sure that you have the executives that you’re looking for on those items, and so those are important things there.

Tad: Again, I’ll encourage questions. If you have any questions or thoughts about this, please feel free to jump in with those. One of the questions that comes up often here is, “Where in the organization does this IPMO sit?” Great question. Probably depends on your company, depends on your enterprise. Does it sit with the chief strategy officer? Does it report directly to the CEO, the CFO? Where does this IPMO sit? And so those are things to think about.

Tad: When we look at the end to end innovation and portfolio management office, what we start to see is a way to deliver that start to finish value train, being able to take strategy, crowdsource the best possible solutions to it, get those projects through the funnel quickly, deliver with excellence, and drive towards the benefits and the expected outcomes.

Tad: Remember, this is a team sport. So we need to get lots of other people involved. There’s many different places that you’ll touch and connect to, whether it’s the priorities in the strategy side of things, dealing with demand management on products or services given the business, all the way through the traditional justification delivery side, and then again the new notion of benefits.

Tad: I was talking to a group yesterday about this notion of accountability, and this is one of those political hot potatoes in terms of how do we deal with that. It’s kind of back to that safe question, or is it okay, or how do we deal with accountability in our enterprise. If a benefit is promised but not delivered, what happens? So think about that, especially as you go through and start to talk about this with your senior leaders.

Tad: Okay, as we start to get close to wrapping up, I wanted to take one quicker poll here to ask you if you can see benefits from combining innovation and the PMO. So Kyle, if you can launch that next poll.

Kyle: Yep, poll is launched now, and seeing the first answers coming in.

Tad: Perfect. Okay. And don’t worry, you’re not going to offend me one way or the other. If you say no, I’ll be really curious about that, but the goal is are you seeing benefits or potentially benefits from combining innovation and PMO? And hopefully some of you are already doing it today.

Kyle: All right, let’s go ahead and take a look at those answers. All right, so we have 74% saying yes, 17% maybe, I have 0% for no, and 9% already doing it.

Tad: Excellent. That 9% is very consistent with what I’ve been seeing in the 10-15% range, that companies are beginning now to actively do this, and it is that trend that should be happening over these next few years, and if the benefits of doing so are proven, then I think that that will accelerate.

Tad: So again, I want to encourage you to ask questions if there are any. Thank you for doing the poll, Kyle, I appreciate that.

Kyle: No problem.

Tad: What I thought I would do is talk just about one more little notion here and just land it with a quick visual around the art of the possible. Because today, companies are able to make changes. They are able to go through and see the impact of doing things differently. One of the ways people see the impact of doing things differently is through tools, and software, of course, is a great way to do that.

Tad: I talked about the fact that we’re involved with Microsoft and Office 365, so in fact that’s correct. I’m logged into an Office 365 [inaudible 00:34:32] here. You can see I’m working with all of my things Office as we might regularly go through and do, and I have a corporate portal here that might be launched directly inside of SharePoint.

Tad: When we go through and start to work with the tools or want to begin sharing the innovation and portfolio management office, we might want to look at things from the innovation perspective first. When we do that, what does that mean? Well, that means you should have a portal, and lots of companies have built these kind of things inside their SharePoint lists, or they’re doing it inside of Excel, if you will, as a way to go through and collect project requests, collect new innovations, or begin the process around tracking what are the big challenges that we have inside of a company, how do we go through and articulate those such as improving clinician productivity or going through and saying, “Let’s have a better customer experience.”

Tad: Then ultimately collecting these ideas that allow us to rank, and score, and go through and converse about these to see … Some are silly like bring your pet to work. Others might be more serious about helping to address the opioid addiction and some of the challenges we have around those areas.

Tad: When you look at those challenges, you can foster these out from the top down or simply ideate with people directly, that then allow you to go through and have conversations around these business problems. These can be led and facilitated, and you’re sharing lots of things through that. There’s a history of these, and then there are ideas that are submitted against this kind of notion.

Tad: What’s important here, of course, is that we might want to be able to say, “We’ve got all of these ideas. How do we go through and deal with it?” Well, we could go through and do a triage, at which point we could simple rank and score in a very visual, graphic way, or we could go through and understand, “Where are these possibilities, these projects, these innovations inside of the world today?” And where are they at in our methodology? Paloma I see has just put in a new idea over here, and maybe I think Paloma’s project should be put over in the backlog. At which point I can drag and drop that, put a note out to Paloma, and she’ll be informed about all of those things. Or maybe I want to add Chris to this effort because I think Chris could be a good addition. Silly one to grab because Chris is already assigned, but this gives me a way of going through and doing that.

Tad: The beauty of using tools is that then again through Office 365, you have the ability to go through and see the kind of reports about how many innovations are coming in, how many of those innovations are designed to increase revenue, how many are designed to help us with customer satisfaction. What are those ideas that are being awarded, and what are the projects that we’re actually moving forward? When did they come in? When are we executing? You can start to look at your funnel and the way things go with that.

Tad: But of course when an idea is cheap and easy, it’s fast, it’s fun, we just go ahead and do it, but sometimes we actually have to go through and prove that value. In the case of our opioid addiction idea, or possibility, we might want to go through then and have to build out a business case that helps us understand if we’re going to spend this money, what will we get from that, what review cycle do things have to go through in order to get approved, and what are the traditional metrics around benefits around the timescales that we expect to get this work done in? What are the costs that we might need to go through and budget? You’re doing this today in spreadsheets, and that’s certainly a great way to do it. Some of you are executing this directly inside of Microsoft Project, and that’s also a terrific way to go through and see how this work can be done.

Tad: The value of a business case however is that we begin to see things at a much higher level faster and sooner so we can justify these projects and get them through both our innovation funnel and get them through the project demand funnel as well.

Tad: Today we could do another survey how many of your enterprises are going through and using things like NPV, [inaudible 00:39:05], internal radial return, other scores that you want to go through to track to see, “When will I actually get a payback for this particular project?” This is a great way for us to see when our ROI will be achieved, and we’ll be able to go through then and approve our projects, bringing managers and everyone else involved to make sure that we get things through the funnel quickly.

Tad: As most of you know, and are great practitioners of, we then want to be able to manage that portfolio of projects, and whether I manage them as agile work streams, I manage them as significant pieces of large programs, or individual portfolios or projects, I can go through and do that as well. And always be able to see what’s going on in that portfolio, have the ability to drill down into our major change initiative, this digital transformation.

Tad: Drive towards then what’s going on, collaborating and communicating about these, taking a look at the project mix, or let’s take a look at our opioid that’s moved from idea to business case to a project. I can drill in on this individual and of course understand the history and the collaboration and the performance around it, or as you would expect go through and edit in Microsoft Project, do all of the great things that you’re used to doing in a project online, and taking advantage of the platform nonetheless. Obviously closing that out with the type of reports that people are used to seeing.

Tad: That is just a quick demonstration of the art of the possible and how companies today are considering the value of the innovation office and the EPMO combining together. As I mentioned, this is all about that white paper. There’s content that’s been built around that with lots of the statistics that I brought up today. You can go to info.edison365.com/ipmo-whitepaper.mpug to download that paper now, or feel free to send me an email, and I’ll be happy to follow up with that.

Tad: Kyle, I know we have I think three or four minutes left for questions, so I want to make sure that we’re in a position to do that for the team. I don’t know if any have been popping up as well, so I’ll turn that back over to you, but with that I want to say thank you to everyone for listening today, and I look forward to your feedback, your thoughts, and your questions.

Kyle: Thank you so much, Tad. That was a great session. We really appreciate it. We do have one question in the queue there, and just a quick note I did chat that link out to everyone for the white paper, so that’s there for you in the chat box if you’d like to take a look at that. We had a question come in from Phil, and he was just curious if you had any recommendations for adopting that fail fast philosophy from a project manager’s perspective.

Tad: Oh, that’s a great question. The first thing you have to do is be willing to have the conversation about when projects aren’t succeeding, or when the requirements, or when the business, or when all of the underlying assumptions changed so that you can either pivot and do the project significantly differently, or you can acknowledge and accept failure by making the kill decision.

Tad: What I’ve seen in three specific companies is they reward project managers and the PMO for recognizing bad projects and giving back budget. Which of course is contrary to that “spend it or lose it” mentality so many of our companies have today. I think the first thing you should do is start the conversation about what is a bad project, when should we be evaluating the keep or kill decision, and how do we acknowledge that it’s okay to fail fast?

Tad: Innovators, design thinkers, Agilists, these people, the lean teams and stuff, are very good at failing quickly, and they’re okay with that. Project managers have to change and be willing to adopt this different philosophy.

Kyle: That was great, Tad. Thank you for taking that question, and yeah that takes us pretty close to the end point here. I’d just like to thank you once again for presenting to the MPUG community again today.

Tad: Well, it was my pleasure. As a long-time lover and user or Microsoft Project, there’s so many great things for us as a community to do and deliver, and hopefully this different thinking today might spark some curiosity for you and give you things to think about for the new year. So thank you for the time, Kyle. I really appreciate it.

Kyle: Thanks, Tad. For those of you claiming the PDU credit for today’s session, I’ll get that info back on the screen now. Today’s session eligible for three quarters of a strategic PDU. The code to claim that is MPUG112019, and if you missed any of the session or would like to go over anything that Tad shared with us, the recording will be posted to MPUG.com a bit later today, and you’ll receive an email in just a couple hours with a link to that. The MPUG members have access to our full PDU eligible library of on demand webinar recordings on MPUG.com.

Kyle: We also have a couple great sessions coming up on the calendar in December. On December 4th, Collin Quiring will join us to cover how to get and see project information in Power BI, so kind of a beginner’s overview of Power BI and how to use that to help with your projects. On December 18th, Tim Runcie will join us to cover the new Microsoft release, the new version of Microsoft Project. So be sure to register for both of those. I chatted over the link, and both of those sessions are open for registration now.

Kyle: That does it for today’s session. Just a reminder, in the chat box there is a link to Tad’s white paper that he’s sharing with you, so be sure to check that out, and thanks again, Tad, for your presentation today, and thanks to everyone that joined us live or is watching on demand. We hope you have a great rest of your day, and we’ll see you back for our next live session. Thanks.


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