TR PM Unconferences: Empowering PMs by Getting Face to Face

I strongly prefer face to face communication. My Twitter profile (@allinsona) was written in a grumpy moment when I was feeling this quite strongly!

“… Twitter is great for info, group discussion, events & rare banter. I often prefer to talk with people directly, so I do…”>

The Project Management group within TR is pretty vibrant, global and passionate. I respect the fact that there are many who don’t join in on line through our fantastic Jive implementation. As you may have seen in yesterday’s post, I really do understand why.

While I have changed my views dramatically, the channels I am most comfortable still vary for different types of communication and between with people that I have different levels of trust with.  I suspect this is a matter of personal preference and that we all vary.  I wear out a lot of shoes stomping around the office and usually lose half a stone when in our vast Eagan office which resembles Ayers Rock in that it reflects the sun’s rise long before it gets above the horizon.

I find that once I have built trust with someone that many channels can then work pretty well too. I refuse to join the email is dead, long live Social Media clan. If there is one thing I am dogmatic about its my loathing of dogma.

Finding time to get better at project management is not always top of the list.  The PM Unconferences this September will give us the luxury of being face to face on two days, for us to connect, build trust and take that precious thing away together so we can get better at project management and make a few new friends as we go.  Thereafter, we can use whichever channels we prefer and which work best for us.

The events are set up to ensure that real PMs contribute and we will get involved.  This is through Pecha Kuchas, very brief presentations which will be delivered by real TR people, and a World Cafe session so that we get to talk with lots of people. More on both Pecha Kuchas and World Cafe below.

Thats really the end of today’s post except for a little background on the structure of the events which follows and to thank Doug Shaw (@dougshaw1, What Goes Around – Employee Engagement, Stakeholder Engagement, Better Service, We help make work better) who will facilitate the events.

I would love to know how you think can we use our PM Unconferences to develop a culture of successful and enjoyable project management in TR.


In London our keynotes are Dragan Jojic from TCS talking on Agile and Peter Taylor, author of The Lazy Project Manager (“thelazypm).  In New York we have Christa Kirby from IIL, an internal discussion is running on the topic of that one.

  • We are connecting with the wider external PM community, by inviting guests from BP, HSBC, Britvic, Deutsche Telecom, Siemens, Societe Generale, Credit Suisse, PMI and perhaps a few others.
  • We are extending that external PM community connection by Tweeting before, during and after the event using #trpm12 to connect us to #pmot.  Take a look on Twitter and tweet with us…. its allowed, we asked, its ok, you will live, just be professional
  • Graphic Artists will draw the story of the day and capture our key messages
What is a Pecha Kucha?  It is a lightning presentation that lasts 6 minutes and 40 seconds, and will be used to inspire our World Café discussions.  A team of volunteers are already practicing their Pecha Kuchas.

Also Ian Whittingham (@iwhitti) has been busy tweeting and hubbing ideas and snippets of information related to the PK topics and our Unconference theme of Empowering PMs.  Check out #trpm12 on Twitter for more….

Here is a sneak preview of our Pecha Kucha topics. They are all being given by experienced project management practitioners and their topics are of course about project management but each comes with their own personal story.  Very different to the usual corporate-feel presentation.
Pecha Kucha Topic
Fit for Purpose
Thriving on Chaos
Striving for Improvement
Value of Community
Diversity & High Performing Teams
Communication & Change
The World Cafe is a an approach which will enable us to:
  • Speak with your mind and heart
  • Slow down and take time to think
  • Listen  for patterns, insights, and connections
  • Focus on what matters
  • Have fun
  • Realise we have permission to get better at project management, engineer our own culture and that we can if we choose to  (I added that bit)

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