The “We” in PMI

I was in Barcelona over the weekend attending the PMI’s Leadership Institute Meeting 2016 – EMEA… it’s basically a conference, attended by the people who are leading and doing all the organisation for the individual PMI Chapters within the EMEA region.  My buddy Yohan is not only one of the funniest people I know, but is also the President of the UK PMI Chapter and invited me to join as part of the team.

I’m a PMI member but I’ve never been to one of these events before and before hand, other than being excited about hanging out with Yohan I found myself psychologically preparing for the usual “conference boredom” and my stomach preparing to eat terrible conference food for 3 days….BUT, how incredibly wrong I was.  When I say wrong I mean, drastically, majorly, absolutely wrong…i.e. completely on the wrong planet kinda wrong.



It turns out that the event was one of the best conferences / event experiences I’ve attended.   I walked away from it feeling pumped up and energised…this is why.

1) Global and Regional Community: There were about 400 people there, all of which are involved in leading the PMI Chapters within the EMEA Region – every country in the region was represented – thats a big deal!  In addition, I met people that travelled from Mexico and Japan to be there. So the community feel and diversity was wonderful… and it wasn’t all men in grey suits either – there was a great balance of women too.

2) Energy: I talk about “energy” a lot because it’s the key success factor for portfolio management in my opinion.  As I walked around the conference, chatting to people, attending talks and even as I was having a cigarette outside– I felt the buzz and positive energy of this event, and that’s a very special thing.

3) For the greater good: Connected with the energy aspect, there was an over-riding feeling that these people (who are all volunteers!) are working together for a greater good on a personal, professional and global sustainability level.  By that I mean, the attendees were not only representing their Chapters but they were focused on their own development, helping to advance our PPM profession as a whole and at the same time as giving back to the world.  The latter point specifically relates to the work that the PMI Education Foundation is doing, which i think is awesome and totally in line with my belief that our PPM Profession can save the world – a highlight being the Poland Chapter who are teaching PM skills to kids.

4) Really well thought through: I have to say, everything was organised spectacularly well and I really loved the motivational graphics/branding that were positioned everywhere.  Also things like the big boards where people could write feedback and connect to other people, all great touches.  I didn’t get a chance to meet any of the organisers – but big-ups to you who ever you are.

5) The talks: The talks were on point, really interesting and didn’t bore me at all… even when I went to talks that are not in my immediate area of interest.  I was also pleasantly surprised during the opening talk with Mark Langley (PMI CEO) and Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez (PMI Chairman), when Mark put one of my LinkedIn posts on the screen – “PMI’s pretty damn awesome portfolio reports”.  

6) The social side of things: After each day there was a networking event, in a big marquee with a cool band and really really good food and wine (I literally ate 4 plates full).   After that some of us went out and partied in Barcelona…all I have to say about that is La Rambla, dark alley ways, mad scientists and Christmas tree’s.


I could go on, but I’m going to stop here because this already seems like a sponsored blog paid for by PMI – when it’s really not.   You’ll just have to go and find out for yourself … If you’re interested in developing your own project management professionalism and contributing to the global professional good you can do that by reaching out to your local PMI Chapter and getting involved.

If you’re in the UK go here or click here to check out the PMI global chapters to get involved in your country.

muchas gracias




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