CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
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Keynote Speaker, Trainer & Consultant
Founder and CEO, PMO Strategies
Host, PMO Strategies Podcast
Founder & President, Project Management for Change, nonprofit
Laura has been instrumental in bringing PMOs and Project Management to the strategy table for almost two and a half decades. She knows just how hard it can be to drive effective and sustainable change in organizations, having spent 15 years in the role of PMO leader and now she helps organizations accelerate business growth, evolution and sustainability leveraging the power of project management and the PMO. She has developed a unique and powerful system for growing organizational project management competency with a deliberate focus on driving high-IMPACT outcomes on every project. Considered a thought leader in the Project Management community, Laura shares her insights and stories on the PMO Strategies Podcast, where she is shaking up the way the industry thinks about our role in driving strategy realization. Laura welcomes you to join her community of IMPACT Drivers at PMOStratetgies.com.
What is your project management super power?
Being a future predictor. I’ve always been told that when planning out work I can see all of the various paths that we could take and which will lead to the best outcomes and ultimately, the biggest IMPACT. Over the years, I’ve learned how to share those visions in a way that connects people and the work they do to the outcomes that I see they can achieve. By doing so, I’m able to help everyone move forward more effectively and achieve more than they ever thought possible.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
We should allow anyone else to have control over your outcomes. While there are many places in the world where situations are just intolerable, for many of us not in dire situations, we allow the way another person says things “should” be control not just what we do but fuel the excuses we make for ourselves that “they” are the reason we are limited. For most of the women reading this, you have the power to change your circumstances. By changing our mindset, putting ourselves in the driver seat, and being determined that we will own our story, we can break through perceived barriers and achieve whatever we desire.
What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
The pace of change is ever-increasing and our current global crisis is illustrating this so plainly. Even before this crisis, organizations were constantly evolving to keep up with the frenetic pace of change and they need project leaders that are willing to step up and navigate them through these shifts.
The concept of continuous improvement of our project and PMO services and capabilities falls short of what will be necessary to not just survive but thrive in the future as project and PMO leaders. We’ll need to learn how to be in a constant state of evolution, shifting and bending as the needs of the organization shift.
This means we must never allow “the way we’ve always done it” to stifle what’s possible. This requires great flexibility in how we solve problems, an ability to be nimble in how we meet business needs, and a growth mindset.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
I have a process I call “hitting the reset button” that I use both personally and professionally to allow my mind and body to pause, gain perspective, and chart a new path toward the outcomes I want to achieve.
Life has thrown me and my family many extremely difficult circumstances to overcome and we remain strong through it all by learning how to slow down and see the situation for what it is – a problem to be solved.
Shifting my mindset, charting a new path, and then getting back up and putting my “big girl pants on” to drive toward a better place has always worked for me.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Many times project leaders waste time having the wrong debate. I’ve seen so many conversations devolve into a discussion of who’s methodology is right or wrong or the details of some process they probably shouldn’t’ be doing anyway.
Frankly, our executives look at this and see childish bickering, not people that can lead their strategy execution.
To resolve conflict and get to the business of getting it done, we’ve got to move beyond an “us and them” attitude to achieve the outcomes we’ve been hired to achieve.
The goal is to find common ground by remembering why we are there in the first place – to help the organization achieve its strategic objectives so they can make a big IMPACT on their customers.
Our goal as project leaders is to help the organization navigate this strategy and accelerate the path to IMPACT. If we focus on the outcomes we’re trying to achieve instead of the outputs we want to create, the conflict falls away. We can do more together than we ever can alone.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
IMPACT, connection, achievement
I believe so strongly that project leaders have the power to change the world for the better and I hope to help them do just that.
Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.
- If you’re a woman working in project management, I want to hear from you! Submit your profile today to make sure to be included in this years event which has already begun.
- Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to be inspired by daily posts as we celebrate all of these wonderful women in project management! Feel motivated by their stories, achievements and perspectives.
- Tell us how you feel and support other women by including #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement in your social media posts.
- Join our FREE exclusive Celebrating Women in Project Management Facebook group – a new space for women in project management to come together and discuss ideas, give advice, provide support, and network with women from all over the globe.