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25 November 2008

Project World and World Congress of Business Analysts (PW&WCBA)

I have been out of town for the past week attending a conference in Orlando, Fl called Project World and World Congress for Business Analysts (PW&WCBA). This conference was organized by The Institute for International Research and included three separate functions: The 4th Annual PMO Forum, The 2nd Annual Managing the Virtual Workforce Forum, and the 9th Annual IT Portfolio Management Forum.

As both a project manager and a business analyst, this was an excellent conference to attend. I can honestly say this was the first time I have ever attended a conference and actually taken notes in the individual sessions.

While I won't bore you with the nitty-gritty details of everything I saw and heard, I will give you the main messages I got from 4 days of listening to some experts in both fields.

  1. If you are a business analyst and you aren't asking "Why", you aren't doing your job. Multiple sessions I attended hammered this point home. Between sessions about what you need to know and sessions about how to get it and document it, the primary point boiled down to you need to know why something is needed/being done/ etc.

  2. If you are a project manager, you should be using the PMBOK® as a reference, not a recipe. Checking off all the boxes on a list will not guarantee success, and in some cases could prevent it. You need to understand what you are doing and why (there's that why again) so you can adjust your method to deal with problems. If you are so caught up in following the PMBOK® that you can't respond to situations that arise then you should re-evaluate your process.

  3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you aren't communicating in some way with your team, you are doomed to fail.


And the last thought I was left with was something that we talk about here regularly and in most every site Craig has linked from here:


Never forget that projects are about people.