A Project Management Institute Event
On June 19, Margaret A. Johnson, P.E., President of Ideal Training, Inc. (bio) spoke about “Changing Perspectives to Positively Affect Project Performance” at the Project Management Institute (PMI) Houston Lunch & Learn held downtown Houston at Shell.
Project Management in the Oil & Gas Industry
It is widely understood that project management is particularly challenging in the oil and gas industry. Finding new and better ways of getting oil and gas out of the ground and to continually minimizing risk drives advancing capabilities and technologies.
Oil and gas projects also require a lot of human capital and many handoffs throughout design, construction and operations. Thus, it is important for people to find ways to work together more effectively to improve quality and set each other up for success.
Lunch and Learn Session
About 70 people attended the PMI Houston Lunch & Learn to learn how oil and gas companies can better capitalize on opportunities and overcome problems. Margaret facilitated a lot of good interaction among participants and gave important tips on ways people can better work with each other, including how we can better assess constraints, consider better alternatives for improving the future, and take steps that lead to successful action.
I believe doing this is essential for project management groups and all associated groups to advance our industry.
Margaret did an excellent job of helping participants to examine how they can look to opportunities instead of perceived problems and to challenge assumptions. This really helped the audience understand how often we need to proactively work with others in the face of uncertainty to get to good solutions.
Margaret explained the pike syndrome based on an experiment where a pike fish was separated from minnows in an aquarium by a glass divider. The hungry pike, of course, learned it could not eat the minnows after so many tries and gave up. What happened when the glass divider was removed? You guessed it. The pike didn’t make any attempts to eat the minnows that were all around it.
We all have habits, and many are created by the day to day work environments we live in. Companies though operate best when people can change things for the better and set each other up for success. There are many success stories.
For example, I’ve witnessed metallurgists improve the way they work with design engineers to benefit material selection in product development groups. Just imagine if companies fully tapped their potential with various groups and departments setting each other up for success. Risks could dramatically go down, and capabilities could dramatically trend upward.
Key Takeaway: Examine Internal Perceptions of Boundaries
One of the main takeaways of the event was how important it is for people in organizations to examine their perceptions of boundaries and others so they can consider alternatives and take risks and actions that lead to better ways of doing things.
This outlook is very advantageous for oil and gas training & development efforts. Reaching out across departments and functions is vital to get knowledgeable people passionately involved in improving the quality of workforce development.
The PMI event and Margaret Johnson have definitely improved my perspective and outlook for change.
To learn more about Margaret A. Johnson or Ideal Training, Inc., you can visit the website http://www.ideasandbeyond.com/
To learn more about PMI Houston, you can visit the website http://www.pmihouston.org/