Program Sessions

A Scientific Approach to Management and Creating Measurable and Focused Change to Business

“Change” has always eluded people in daily life. But, “What are you really changing”? Behavior Analysis science is the “scientific” study of the physical variable of “behavior” – what people do and say precisely. It operates on the premise that the final measure of change is evident in the “frequency” of what people are doing and saying “differently”. This presentation describes the details of precisely how to make and measure successful changes in any organization. These process technologies of “change” also will provide the interested managers an innovative and practical approach to not only managing “people” but also within the context of Performance Management, and explains why within the context of Performance, all changes should be focused.

Design Thinking as a Change Accelerator for Corporate Projects

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein

Cross-organizational changes are tricky to implement in a sustainable way – why is that?  This session explores that question and tackles it at the root cause.  In this interactive session we explore a new way of problem solving and propose that design thinking can be an effective and innovative silo-busting method.  Participants will be given an overview of design thinking theory, a step by step example of how this technique was effectively applied to design the City of Calgary’s planning and budgeting system, and hands-on practice with these leading-edge techniques.

Session participants can expect to leave with an understanding of design thinking and how this human-centered approach to problem-solving results in lasting business value.

Get Your Message into the Mind: An Essential Leadership Skill: How to Talk So Your Client, Boss and Team Will “Get It”

One of the toughest challenges in leading any project is getting all the players on the same page. The more complex the project, the bigger the challenge. Why is it so difficult to create a shared vision of new technology and business processes? Why do so many messages seem to land on deaf ears and fail to enter the mind? Because typical presentations are too much about the project, the technology and the business process, and not enough about the mind.    Technical details don’t grab attention. If important information is presented in complex or abstract terms, it won’t be retained.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this fun, insightful session, a technology branding expert will show how to craft messages that fit the way the mind works. Attendees will be able to transform jargon-laden chatter into messages that are clear, appealing and memorable, learn powerful tools and proven techniques to plant messages in minds, and see dozens of inspiring examples of mind-riveting language from famous authors, playwrights, world leaders and global brands. Attendees will learn w hat kind of words are the fastest to enter the mind, how to create phrases that make your projects immediately understandable, and how to present technology concepts to a non-technical audience.

The session will also outline a brand messaging strategy to boost the profile of the project and reinforce the value it provides. You’ll be able to start using the ideas of this session right away.  This speech could well change the way you talk, write, tweet, and think. Project management is far more effective when you can get your message into the mind.

Innovation, Ongoing Change, and Leadership through Laughter: Project Management Principles for Cisco’s New Hire Program

The Cisco Sales Associates Program (CSAP) has been running for almost 18 years. Every year between 200 and 250 new university grads are hired into Cisco, around the world.

The process of recruiting, hiring, and training them relies on a process that covers almost 50 countries, a team of multi-lingual specialists and a committed group working around the globe to provide an experience that assures that the new grads feel part of a “tribe”.

Once hired, the associates train for between three and six months, pass multiple technical certifications, and graduate to become an integral part of the local culture that they are part of at Cisco. All this happens in Singapore, China, Australia, India, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK, America, and Canada.

To make sure that the heavy financial investment in each of these new university grads is realized, a high touch, data and analysis intensive, metrics based approach is taken. Knowing that each one of these new hires will generate more revenue than new hires not trained in the program, means that the program is funded at a CEO level, year after year.

Constant change is part of the design and the implementation of the program. Each year the members of the team are tasked with generating at least three new ways of recruiting, hiring, training, and graduating the students. Even if something is working well, it is always open for discussion in terms of doing it differently, and better. Costs are constantly being examined so that they can be reduced in one area, to fund another more exciting area (including Artificial Intelligence) – the focus of a current pilot.

Underlying everything is: the principles of classic project management, data analysis, constant reinvention and “leadership through laughter”. Team members become family; successes are celebrated and support for the team is pervasive. The result? The team invests in helping approximately 200 new university grads, every year, create an exciting, profitable and long lasting career at Cisco.

KEYNOTE: Are You Ready to be a Project Leader? PMI’s Talent Triangle®

Keynote presentation description coming soon!

KEYNOTE: Harnessing Your Power to Create Change

As Founder of the Global Soap Project, Kayongo has built a multi-million dollar venture which takes recycled soap and distributes it through global health programs to people who lack access to it around the world. He breaks down the key factors that have led to his personal success; (S.E.L.F.) Service, Education, Leadership and Faith and shares his account of life as a Ugandan refugee and the turning point which lead him to a brilliant transformation as a social entrepreneur. He calls upon audiences to stop complaining and to start taking responsibility, to consistently seek opportunities to improve, and most importantly, to maintain faith in yourself and your team to create an environment where everyone is empowered to thrive. He brings you on an emotional journey –there will be tears of joy; most of the time, laughter. But every time, the story is real.

KEYNOTE: Unleashing Your Disruptive Behaviour

The concept of “Disruptive Marketing” has become so buzz-wordy that we often mistake simply being “innovative” with being disrupting.

Truly standing out in a tough economy, against monster-sized competition requires the use of part of our brains we don’t often access. In fact, we’ve been taught to suppress our disruptive behaviour since childhood — but now it’s time to harness those powers of disruption for the benefit of successes as entrepreneurs.

Graham Sherman has been shaking things up since he worked on private-sector government and military contracts throughout Afghanistan, to when he began brewing beer and changing the game for small breweries across Alberta.

Tool Shed Brewing Company’s unique approach to disrupting the market has led to it being nominated for Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year; being named as Calgary’s “Top 40 under 40”; and the brewery’s position in the top five percent of breweries in North America.

After hearing Graham’s story and insights, you’ll walk away incredibly inspired and with a clear path to unleashing your own disruptive behaviour to transform your business.

Know Your Leadership Compass: A Road Map to Lead with Passion and Purpose

Management gurus agree: Anyone can lead, not everyone can be a leader. The previously embraced command-and-control techniques are increasingly ineffective. Today’s business environment demands for leaders to be alert, agile, enterprising, and skilled in the art of diplomacy. As a leader, it’s really important to articulate who you are, what you stand for, and why you’re excited to lead your team. Are these areas you feel you need to develop? Do you have a compass to guide you on the journey of leading your teams, and stay flexible in dealing with them; try to respond to them in ways that address their particular needs and interests. If so, attend this presentation on “Developing your Leadership Compass.” This is a four-step reflective process that sets a path to transformational leadership. Participants will receive navigational direction to support others as they assert their leadership maturity, and learn how their thinking and behavior impact the way the lead others.

Maturity and Accuracy: Two Views of a Project

In many cases, Front End Engineering Design (FEED) is neither mature nor accurate at project authorization, which results in poor project outcomes and severe impact to business performance. Little guidance currently exists on what it takes to provide a mature and accurate FEED. This presentation will provide empirical results demonstrating the impact of FEED maturity and accuracy on project performance, with savings of up to 24% in cost. The FEED Maturity and Accuracy Total Rating System (FEED MATRS) will be introduced and demonstrated, as well as testimonials provided to show the impact of the results. Both owners and contractors can use FEED MATRS throughout front end planning as a decision-support tool to identify and prevent FEED maturity and accuracy gaps and risks. The research provided in this session is focused on large industrial projects, however this presentation will also describe the tool’s applicability to other sectors.

Mining Bitcoins with Your InstantPot: Has Agile Popularity Gone Too Far?

The project world seems to have gone agile mad. The PMI has stuffed agile into everything in an attempt to stay current, but is it right or even helpful? Fear of missing out has vendors claiming to be agile and executives asking managers to be more agile. However, like InstantPots and crypto currencies, does the reality live up to the hype? This session investigates the agile trend and looks at a new breed of agile suitability filters that help organizations apply agile approaches only when and where they make sense. The presentation profiles organizations that effectively use agile approaches and how to build PMOs that support agile, hybrid, and traditional project teams. We look at the limitations and applicability concerns of using agile approaches. It would be naïve and arrogant to believe that agile (or any other approach) is universally the best way to execute projects. So, what types of projects do suit the approach (spoiler alert: novel, knowledge-worker projects) and what types of projects should best avoid it? We will explore hybrid approaches where certain portions or periods of the project can exploit agile approaches. In these hybrid scenarios, we examine how to coordinate and integrate the agile work with the more traditional, plan-driven work. Also, we will examine the cultural fit of agile approaches and investigate how corporate mindsets and values effect structures and decision making. Trying to force fit a new mindset that is at odds with the corporate culture will inevitably be met with resistance. So, we need to be smart about what we try to introduce and how we plan to do it. Our end goal should be successful projects and happy stakeholders. The approach we take should be appropriate for the tasks at hand, there are no points for style or conformance, since every project is different. So, learn how to analyze the project variables that include organizational, standards, technical, and team components then act intelligently within that framework also guided by the inputs of the contributors.

Next Practices – How Machine Learning and AI Powered Assistants Will Impact Project Delivery

As part of this year’s theme, PMI is looking into the future. They are exploring how Project Managers work on a day to day basis is likely to be disrupted and/or supported in the future by technology. This is being called a move from best practices to next practices.

In this session we will show how some of these “next practices” are available today. Specifically, we will show how machine learning, automated assistants and predictive algorithms can:

  • Proactively predict project performance
  • Recommend estimates based on past results
  • Act as an automated assistant freeing Project Managers up to perform high value work

As the foundation of this presentation we will go through a detailed case study illustrating how an organization used a combination of tools and specific process changes to achieve a 95% on time and on budget delivery in less than a year.

Secret to Motivating Your Team

What is the secret to motivating your team? You can’t! That’s right, you can motivate someone to do something they don’t want to. And you can certainly un-motivate people. So how do you get a highly motivated team, and keep them highly motivated? You create a motivating environment. There are six characteristics of a highly motivated team that will be covered so you can determine how your team fares, and what you can do to improve it. You will also work with the energy/attitude model to use your people in a way that motivates them to succeed and work with others. This model also helps you deal with the vampires that suck the life out of your team. If you want a highly motivated team – come to this workshop!

Servant Leadership: Creating a Culture for Winning Teams

“40% of managers fail within the first 18 months”. With so many options available, it’s clear that people choose to join clubs or organizations for a reason. They want to spend their time where they can live their values. Values are like magnets: They are what a company markets to attract like-minded people… recruiting. When you live your values: You create a unique culture and retain your best people… retention. Managers who are a guiding light, a beacon, serve others.  They set the example and live the values that brought everyone together. They are servant leaders. “People are our most important resource” cannot be cliché. Servant leaders learn to build relationships, develop and empower others, and delegate. As a result, they accomplish more. They demonstrate the difference between managing and leading.


Individually, we all want:

• To be treated with dignity & respect

• The opportunity to learn & grow

Collectively, everyone wants:

• His or her contributions to matter

• To be a part of something greater


To help create this environment, this culture, servant leaders always bear in mind, “… people will never forget how you made them feel.”  — Maya Angelou

The Successes and Challenges of an ICS Cybersecurity Remediation Program

In this fast-paced digital world, Cybersecurity threats from nation states around the world pose serious threats to critical infrastructure everywhere – nothing is really safe! Cybersecurity programs to safeguard corporations are more important now than ever. Today, this area of concern is constantly on the agenda at Corporate Board and Audit Committee meetings. Corporations cannot afford to ignore these threats and the oncoming barrage of cyber attacks that are now threatening their systems, networks, and data. The main objective of this presentation is to outline the major components of a $2.8M ICS/SCADA Cybersecurity Remediation Program for an Oil and Gas company in Calgary. This program was launched in response to a full Cybersecurity assessment on the corporation’s critical SCADA environments. Included in this presentation is the program structure, governance, schedule, resourcing, risks, learnings, successes, challenges, and next steps. The program to be discussed is made up of 10 projects – from the more technical areas of Network Remediation, Security Monitoring, and SCADA backups to business domains such as Risk Management, Incident Response, and Governance. A brief overview of each project will be discussed. Also, discussed in this presentation is the convergence of IT and OT, a phenomenon starting to occur more often at companies with critical infrastructure – power generation and transmission, oil and gas, public infrastructure, and so on. This was a natural fall-out of the program, after the IT and OT teams worked together for over a year.

Tools a Successful PM Can and Should Use: No Theory – Just Facts (Part I)

**This in-depth session consists of two parts and is held over the course of two hours.**

Session description coming soon!

Tools a Successful PM Can and Should Use: No Theory – Just Facts (Part II)

**This in-depth session consists of two parts and is held over the course of two hours.**

Session description coming soon!

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