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February 10, 2017

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Oct 2016 OVOC PMI Symposium

By Jayne Torr

Every year, the PMI OVOC (Project Management Institute Ottawa Valley Outaouais Chapter) organizes a Symposium which consists of speakers, networking, and workshops. The most recent version, in October 2016, the focus was on the “Skills Needed by Project Practitioners to Deliver Better Results, as Represented in the PMI Talent Triangle”. It is a symposium I particularly enjoy, as it is a fun and interactive way meet other project / program managers in the Ottawa area, and to obtain those highly valuable PDUs in an engaging format. The PMI Talent Triangle is a fairly new representation of the areas which a PMI practitioner needs to focus development and delivery. It represents a combination of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise.

The Symposium content included Agile programs, Program Management, Benefits Realization Management, and, in keeping with the government culture in Ottawa, Deliverology as it relates to Government delivery of programs.

One of my key takeaways from this event was the notion of Projects, Programs and Benefits. Historically, a program has been defined as a collection of projects, and Program Management was the successful management of those projects and their interrelationships. However, there is a revised definition emerging. A project has, as we know, a start and an end. A project delivers a product. But the method to achieve the benefit of the project, is only through the program of associated activities that make the product part of the business fabric. Once a product is ready to be implemented into the business, it is the program’s responsibility to ensure the change is implemented, that the product is used, that the organization invests the strategic change initiatives required to achieve the desired benefits. Without the conversion of a project’s results to business as usual, value cannot be realized. As a result, the cost of the project is independent of the benefit realization – although the ultimate benefit of the program should outweigh the cost of the projects.

The other key takeaway was the importance of understanding the strategic objective, and how important it is to work backwards from there. Essentially, an organization should be doing the projects which are needed to achieve the objective, and that have methods of measuring the benefit. Companies who are benefits driven are 50% more likely to have project success than their competitors.

I am looking forward to next year’s symposium, and in the meantime I will endeavour to incorporate some of the learnings from this year’s event into my daily activities.



Jayne is a certified project management professional (PMP) with over 15 years’ experience working in an IM/IT environment. She has a strong information management background, having implemented web-based solutions for enterprise content management and web commerce solutions for a variety of clients for AHA, HPE, Cactus, and EDS. She has proven leadership skills, managing project teams both large and small, local and global. Drop Jayne a line to discuss this topic in more detail: [email protected]