Thanks to Deb Cote, current chair of the PMO Roundtable group of the PMI MassBay Chapter, I was invited to deliver the first of a series of presentations about how project and program managers are both helped and hindered by how our brains work. Recent findings in the field of neuroscience suggest that PMs are uniquely affected by the evolution of the human brain.
The first goal of the 45 minute presentation was for the audience to take away three critical understandings:
- Attention is a limited-capacity resource
- Your memory is worse than you think
- Multitasking is a myth
The second goal was to offer the group recommendations that could be put to use immediately.
With scientific jargon at a bare minimum, the presentation began with a brief explanation of the evolutionary forces at play. This was followed by interactive examples to illustrate the findings, and concluded with the recommendations to both leverage and counter-effect the biological activities of the brain in the context of project management. Also included was a free, lean-MVP tool called “EBERT” (Exertus, Inc. Behavioral Response Tool) to support each of the audience member’s personal efforts to apply what they had just learned.
This was the content:
The next presentation in this series focuses on stakeholders. Specifically, how applying some of the same findings to stakeholder management will yield better outcomes, even though most stakeholder’s brains are wired differently than those of the project managers they interact with. Failing to recognize and leverage those differences increases the risk of misunderstandings and mismatched expectations.
In addition to being valuable for leaders of PMOs, anyone involved in managing complex initiatives could benefit from the information. This includes senior management who drive and set policies around how projects are approached.
If you think your PMI Chapter, department, division or company would benefit from learning more about this topic, please reach out to me.
And if you were at the event and would like to leave a comment, thanks!