And so the Party Begins

I'm sitting backstage, enjoying the show.  Ty Kiisel and Raechel Logan are onstage and doing an awesome job.  The Keynote today, at the conference, is actually going to be the Talking Work podcast.  There's a live band, several hundred people in the audience, and the stage looks like the set of The Tonight Show.  I'm sitting backstage, sipping my water and listening to Donna Fitzgerald speak.  I wonder to myself, what is Ty going to want to talk about?  Before I answer my own question, I notice one of the people backstage approaching me, as he mouths something into his radio. He smiles at me and says, "They're about ready for you, Derek.  If you would please, got ahead and get into position."  I remember from the rehearsal the night before that I was to go stand on an X and wait for the lights to come on.   ...and so the party begins. The entire WorkOut 2011: TalkingWork Keynote lasted about 1 hour and 26 minutes.  I modified the embedded YouTube link so that it would advance to just before I came on.  But, I would really recommend you go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing.  Donna had some excellent talking points. I don't want to say what anyone talked about.  It's so much better letting them speak for themselves, via the video.  Ty and Raechel were amazing hosts and AtTask blew me away by the level of quality this event had.

So, sit back and enjoy the show.  And could someone please tell me where the hell that green feather went!? (Don't worry, you'll find out) Since this post was written, the Keynote video has been changed to "private".  It looks like each of the interviews will have their own video on YouTube.

I have a quote by Seth Godin that has recently become my mantra. He wrote

Go, give a speech. Go, start a blog. Go, ship that thing that you’ve been hiding. Begin, begin, begin and then improve. Being a novice is way overrated.

Thank you again to Ty and Raechel for inviting me out to Utah, to enjoy your event and share in the wonderful conversations.

What I've heard Ty say rings true.

It doesn't matter what we do.  It doesn't matter what industry we're in or even what our role is.  We all share one thing in common.  And that is we all work.

Veni Vidi Loquor

Julius Caesar, in recognition of his overwhelming victory against Pharnaces II of Pontus, sent a simple, but powerful message back to Rome and the Senate: "VENI VIDI VICI", I came, I saw, I conquered.  My message back to Washington DC and my Project Management colleagues: "VENI VIDI LOQUOR", I came, I saw, I spoke. It's now been a solid week since I left for home from the AtTask Work Management Summit (WorkOut2011), in Salt Lake City.  I was asked to come out to Utah and be a speaking guest of the conference.  I basically ran two themes:  [1] Balanced project management through the use of Agile concepts [2] Project Management Zombies.

I had the opportunity to participate on a panel the first day I was there and then was part of the keynote the next.  The keynote was by far the highlight of my trip, sharing the stage with Ty Kiisel and Raechel Logan (The hosts of TalkingWork), Donna Fitzgerald (Research Director at Gartner), and Scott Johnson (Founder and CEO of AtTask).

WorkOut 2011 was nothing short of spectacular.   From the exceptional venue (The Grand American Hotel), to the passionate and approachable people, to the forward thinking product design, I am in awe of what AtTask delivered.

Because I spoke completely unscripted, I'll have to wait until the YouTube videos comes out (I've been told by the Firm Snapp Conner PR, my panel talk and the Keynote will be out soon) to see exactly what I said.  Fortunately, a few people in the audience quoted me in their tweets.

"One of our failings in this day and age is we forget we're working with people."

"Inspire more people from the bottom up, empower them to become leaders"

"Remember you're not managing resources - you're managing people"

"Don't judge zombies [on a project] they don't know what they're doing"

Thank you, everyone, for the memories! I look forward to seeing you all again.

Photo: Bryant Livingston

My Next Speaking Gig

I just got back Thursday night from my appearance at the AtTask Work Managment Summit 2011 (WorkOut2011).  I had an amazing time. I had an opportunity to be on a panel and be part of one of the Keynotes (YouTube videos are coming).  But, the post about the AtTask conference is still to come.  Until then, I'm happy to announce that my talk has been accepted at the Great Lakes Software Excellence Conference (GLSEC).  I will be presenting my talk Breaking the Law of Bureaucracy, April 16.For the last few years, I've been advising a Federal PMO. I know, old news.  But, something has been eating away at me that I just couldn't put a finger on.  It's the amazing level of tolerated bureaucracy. See, in the Federal Government, I think the Law of Bureaucracy can be stronger than the Law of Gravity!  Sometimes (not always) people don't care what the primary goals of the project are.  They put their own goals ahead of the project.  As an example of egoism, they impede progress or the delivery of value, while furthering their own agendas. I feel life has to be more than just opportunities to complain about things.  It's a series of opportunities to help people and make thing better than how you've found them.  So, I started work on an article for PM Network magazine, with a proposal of ways to break this Law. As part of the process, I started to package my idea in a presentable "talk" format.  So, before I left for Salt Lake City, I submitted my proposal.

I actually was unsure how it would be received.  But, while I was at WorkOut 2011, I saw Donna Fitzerald of Garter unknowingly mentioned details of my talk as part of her presentation (Embracing Agile Leadership: Making Better, Faster, Cheaper a Reality).  That's justification enough for me, to believe I was on the right track.

So, though finishing my zombie book is still at the top of my list, I'm really looking forward to standing in front of a room and giving this talk.