Sunday, May 23, 2010

Notes from the Mentoring Conference call this past week

This past week, a good friend of mine, Ron Hadley, spoke on Mentoring on the conference call I host.
The presentation is available at (see the link for "Files and Presentations"). The recording is now available for the next few weeks by phone (for the phone number and access code for the phone recording see details on top left of - It will be available until the next conference call on June 3rd) and the MP3 and other recordings will be available on-line in the next few weeks (see the link for archives on the website at

Here are my notes from the call:
  • With Mentoring, go slow before you go fast
  • Many people concentrate on "Who" to be mentored by before they concentrate on "What" to be mentored about. Take the time to plan the "What" first. Start with the goal in mind.
  • Mentoring is a way to develop, so what are you trying to develop?
  • Discuss strategies that are outside your comfort zone to be put into practice before the next meeting. This will push you to grow.
  • An important value of mentoring: Mentoring builds relationships which works at the need to build "purpose at work" which builds retention of your best people.
  • Start with a one year commitment, you can always keep going if it works well. This will set a goal and it isn't too long to commit to.
  • Ron suggests that it's best to find someone in your company/organization but from another department. This will help you to learn to navigate your organization.
  • Ron recommends that you make an agreement at the start of the mentoring.
  • Types of mentoring: one on one or group mentoring. Group mentoring is starting to grow in use. The group presents and issue, brainstorms solutions and then at the meeting the following month they discuss how they handled it.
  • It is best to have written goals for mentoring
  • What should your mentoring work on? Try to get a 360 degree assessment. If you can't get one at work, then ask people what you should work on.
  • Ron said one of the best lessons he learned from his mentor was that he was always bringing his lunch and eating alone, but the mentor told him he should never eat lunch alone. (note: I (Henry) suggest the book "Never Eat Alone" by Keith Ferrazzi)
  • When asked what the best format is for a meeting with your mentor, Ron suggested: Review the progress of the last meeting's action items and discuss what needs to be done to move forward (discuss next steps and action items) for the next meeting. Ron suggests that mentoring meetings should be once a month and should last about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • Where to find a mentor? Ask at work (ask your manager first), church, and/or other organizations you belong to ( or your local PMI Chapter for example)
I hope you think about getting a mentor!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Twitter reposting and tweet Scheduling Applications and Tools

The group I founded,, has a twitter account (@PMlessons). We're looking for a way to schedule "tweets" in advance.

Here are some links I found helpful:

Slide presentation with good comparisons of a bunch of free tools:
And the blog post relating to this slide presentation:
Covers:, Twaitter, Dynamic Tweets, Twit Robot, Future Tweets, Social OOmph, Twuffer

Blog post on 6 twitter tools that schedule tweets for later:
Covers: Twuffer, Futuretweets, Twaitter, twit Robot, Hootsuite, Cotweet
Covers: Tweet Later, Future Tweets, Tweet Deck, Twuffer, Easy Tweets (paid), TwitResponse,
Hoot Suite


I liked hootsuite and socialoomph so googled a comparison:

Looks like might be the place to start.
I won't get to this for a while, so please give your input!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Please comment on my draft outline for a presentation on PMOs

On June 22, 2010 I'm scheduled to present at my company on my experience dealing with starting up a PMOs. I hope to also present this on a future call.

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on this outline. Also, what do you think of the title: PMO's that Go!

Draft Outline:

Title: PMO’s that Go!
Speaking Date: June 22, 2010
Target Date to send out draft outline for comments: May 19, 2010
Target date for comments back on Draft outline: May 21, 2010
Target date to send out Draft Slides: May 26, 2010
Target date for comments back on Draft Slides: June 2, 2010
Final Slides Due: June 7, 2010
Speaker: Henry Will

• Goals of Presentation
o Provide Lessons Learned to increase effectiveness of other PMOs
o Provide a roadmap for anyone starting a new PMO
• Introduction
o overview of material to be covered
o Poll audience to find out where they are and where they are going
PMO involvement
• PMO reports to them
• Lead a PMO
• On PMO team
• Report to PMO
• Just want to know more about PMOs
• Story: Historical
o Organization was purchased by IBM
o PM maturity was weak:
Few standard processes, No written processes. Very little of anything documented
Not much planning, most executing
Very little tracking
Some people would say this is agile (it’s not!)
o How the PMO was “born”
Corporate compliance became an issue
• First Steps:
o Forming the PMO: What type of PMO are we? (picture from PMO Community)
o Hot Focus: Fix Compliance Issues (picture: Fire and fire extinguisher)
o Analysis:
Stakeholder Assessment
PM Maturity Assessment
o Charter
Contents of charter
• Value Proposition
• Scope / Out of Scope
• Stakeholders
• Plans / Priorities
• Success factors
• Organization Chart
• Digging out (picture: we’re in a deep hole that we need to dig out of)
o Tricks used while fighting “Red Tape” and on Wild Goose Chases
Defining priorities each week
Daily focus – what will provide the most value?
Followup using Lotus notes
o Being Honest in reporting
• Digging in (picture: getting our hands dirty, getting to work)
o Communications
Monthly Focus
o Standardized Reporting
Track what you want to improve
Metrics: facts are our friends
Dashboards and Risk Action Issue Log
o Grow the team
• Added a PMO representative for new contracts/clients
• Off-shore resources
• G.R.O.W. model
• Monthly Focus
• Weekly meetings
o Mentors
o Changing the Culture
Drop off in Lunch and Learn Attendance
Heart of Change
• Sense of Urgency
o Process Execution Validation (PEV)
• Future Plans
o Show Graph of compliance Vs Best Practices
Compliance will move toward steady state and then Best practice work will be able to move ahead:
o Best Practices
Selling / Emotional Quotient
Process Improvement
Standard reporting
• Financial
• Resource Management
• Lessons Learned
PM Proficiency
PM Maturity
PM Career Development
• Recap (And Q&A)
• Reference
o Tools:
Mindmap: Freemind
o Mentoring
o Book(s)
Heart of Change
Getting things Done
o My blog, contact info, etc.

Please provide your comments right here on the blog. Thanks!