Showcase: Books and Sins

I attended the Best Practice Showcase on Tuesday. It was mainly an event for project managers to sell at punters. Some people I only see at conferences are not my friends. I also met some new people, such as the Maven Training gang and a fascinating woman from the Department of Justice with a name badge that said “Carol”, but she was actually another person.
I was unable to stay for very long so I decided to leave early to take a tour of the exhibition hall before heading to my first session. I arrived too early to see that some of the stands were still being set up. I was not one to refuse free croissants so I sat down and read my delegate packet. I was very project-oriented about it and circled stands and vendors that I wanted to visit.
The Showcase was also the launch party for three new books.
Communication skills for project and programme managers
Team management skills for project and programme managers
Leadership skills for project and programme managers

I was able to get copies of all three of these books – they were almost hot from the press, and they were almost too warm for me – and I’ll be reviewing the books here in the coming weeks. All three were written by Melanie Franklin, Maven’s CEO, and Susan Tuttle. Maven is currently working on something very exciting with training, and it will be fantastic – more details as I have them.
After a quick scurry around the hall, stopping at Project Manager Today, The National Centre for Project Management, and avoiding salespeople trying to sell me software I attended a roundtable discussion entitled ‘Power to the People’, led by Barry Corless from Remarc and Ian Clarkson. We talked about how the traditional triangle of people/product/process has now become a square, and ‘arranged marriages’ between partners are now very common.

It’s true. It’s true. Third-party providers are expected to be able and willing to work together in order to outsource more tasks. Negotiating between partners is a new branch of project management. The remainder of the presentation was a simplified version of what they offer as a seminar called “7 Deadly Sins of Project Management” – although I have already thrown the leaflet in the recycling so I can’t give you any more details. We discussed how even things that seem terrible can actually be beneficial under the banner of “Make sin work for YOU!”
Wrath: Conflict management. It’s great to offer a place for people to vent their frustrations.
Lust: Coaching/mentoring. Coaching/mentoring is a way to create a desire in your client so that they can feel the benefits of working towards their goals.
Gluttony: Time management. You can achieve a lot if you manage your time well and delegate well.
Pride: Delegation. Feel proud of your team’s development and your ability to free up your time.
Teamwork is the key to overcoming envy Encourage a sense of envy among other teams within your company.

Sloth and Greed didn’t fit into this approach. As you can see, it is not rocket science. The ‘deadly Sins’ angle is intriguing. I can imagine that teaching the same old tenets such as good communication, time management, and creative problem solving can become a bit boring after some time. Barry and Ian were enthusiastic presenters who clearly knew their stuff. It’s a credit to them for trying harder to make the presentation more engaging.

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