Program

Sessions

Application of Data Mining in Project Management

Data mining and its application to transfer data to useful knowledge is the major source of income for companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. In spite of the fact that tremendous amounts of data is generated while planning and executing projects, data mining is hardly utilized in project management. Most industry practitioners believe it’s difficult, or even impossible, to apply data mining in project management because of uniqueness of each project.


The presentation will provide an overview of data mining, the most common data mining techniques and the relationship between data mining and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Afterwards, a framework will be presented to utilize advanced work packaging to enable the application of data mining techniques to data acquired from multiple projects.


The presentation will conclude by providing practical examples of applying data mining techniques to data from real projects in order to transfer knowledge-gained and lessons-learned from completed projects to benefit future upcoming projects. The applications will cover three of the main challenges facing project management teams. These challenges are: schedule delays, cost overruns and resource utilization.

Conflict Management

According to research conducted, employees spend on average 2.8 hours/week in conflict, which – when unresolved – leads to absenteeism, stress leaves, mistakes, decreased productivity, employee turnover and many more negative effects. This highly interactive workshop will teach you how to resolve workplace conflict so you can manage this risk.

Developing and Commercializing an AI Product in the Industrial Automation Space

Session description coming soon!

Effective Leadership in Project Management

Effective Leadership in Project Management introduces some key ideas around the concepts of servant leadership, power & authority, effective communication and emotional intelligence as they pertain to the unique challenges faced by most project managers. Specific topics include:

  • Maxwells’ 5 levels of Leadership
  • Skills and characteristics of effective leaders
  • Proper use of power & authority
  • Leadership models and how to apply them
  • Communication and conflict resolution tools

After an overview of these concepts, the presentation introduces and explains some effective leadership models and provides attendees
with tools they can take away and apply in their own project management endeavors.

Effectively Dealing with Disrespect at Work

Disrespect happens. No matter how we reinforce expectations for workplace respect, every workplace encounters those who become workplace and project nightmares. If ignored or handled badly, bad behavior can devastate a project, team or organization like a wildfire. If handled early and effectively, relationships and workplace culture will be enriched. This makes disrespect management critical. Simply put – disrespect requires intervention and direct conversations.


The presentation provides leaders with tools for approaching and resolving disrespect issues before they become full-blown conflicts. Participants will learn how to assess the situation early, maturely and how to change the context of the conversation. The presentation helps leaders use direct conversations to take the initiative to confront the problem. Critical to disrespect management, participants will develop strategies for changing the context of conflicts from negative to positive, from disrespectful to appropriate. Participants will learn how to turn a disagreement into an opportunity to provoke learning and enrich relationships.

Enbridge LP Canadian Projects: Industrial Integrated Project Delivery (IIPD)

This is a case study of Enbridge Liquid Pipelines Canadian Projects experience in IIPD including the partnering process, a comparison of traditional project delivery model versed IPD, metrics, and score carding.

Going Solo, Going Big: The Gig Economy

Going solo, freelancing, consulting or working in the gig economy lures savvy technical and professional experts into a venture that is often a lot harder to sustain than it was to start. Your first clients are often former employers, family, friends or warm leads that get you some quick traction. All too soon, the reality of prospecting, following up and selling your services has your cash flows dwindling, your families wondering if you’ll ever make a go of it and your confidence tanks.


What triggered your move into self-employment? Was there a triggering event at work? Did you unexpectedly lose your job? Did you want more flexible working arrangements? Was there an opportunity you couldn’t say, “No” to?


Putting your practice on “project status” is a great way to lend structure, set milestones and reflect on lessons learned. Who’s on your project team? Who’s the project sponsor? What milestone are you working on? Is it on track? Is there a change plan in the works?


In this session, success strategist, Laura Bechard, outlines key decisions you must make in your practice to prospect, generate leads, sell your services, keep your clients and make yourself indispensable to them. Being an expert in your craft / discipline is rarely a sustainable competitive advantage. Becoming a better business owner, knowing when to pivot, anticipating opportunities, buying customers as cheaply as possible and keeping customers for the long term are critical to going solo and going big!

How Can Project Managers Lead in the #MeToo Era

As leaders we are responsible for ensuring the safety and well being of our employees and those with whom we work. Yet the world is full of predators, bullies, and harassers.

There are two interconnected reasons why you may never know what is going on:

  • The victims do not trust the ‘system’ to look after them; and
  • The chain of command was never held responsible and accountable for the actions of the perpetrator

This session will give you what you need to build faith in the system so that people will tell you, and teach you how to hold your leaders accountable for what is happening on their watch.

How to Fall in Love, Again, With Project Stage Gating

Project Managers often complain that the Project Stage Gating Process is just a paperwork exercise, created only to satisfy auditors, and taking agility away from projects. This perception has made project managers under-utilize or sometimes fully ignore one of the most fascinating techniques available in project management. Project stage gating, also called life-cycle gating or go/no-go reviews, can deliver more successful projects and make this project success more predictable – which is a key benefit to companies during the current economic recession in Alberta. This session will help you fall in love with project stage gating again, and prepare you to begin applying the concept fully or prepare you to execute it within your company for the first time. The session will also include examples of companies currently using this methodology, and a Q & A section to clarify some of the myths surrounding its application.

Improving Construction Productivity: A $1.6 Trillion Prize

This presentation aims to explore productivity conundrum through a lens of Game Theory and Cognitive Biases in Construction Management. Consider the following problem:

District Attorney: Listen Billy Boy, we’ve got enough evidence to send both you and your partner Joe to jail for a year if neither of you confesses. What we’d really like though is at least one confession. And if you confess and your partner doesn’t, we’ll set you free and hit him with 10 years. But, if you play it quiet and Joe comes clean, you’ll be the one who gets 10 years.

Bill: What if both of us confess – will we both get 10 years?

District Attorney: No, in that case we’ll reward your honesty and reduce your sentence to 5 years!

What does Bill do? Following their self interest is a sub optimal choice as they will each receive five times longer sentence than if they both kept quiet. (Think overpopulation, pollution, proliferation of nuclear weapons etc.). Game theorists have effectively researched this idea in the evolution of cooperation in businesses; especially the ones that compete for same resources. New competitive realities call for a new paradigm of competitiveness, one that is centrally focused on making better investing decisions.

This presentation aims to examine three fundamental questions and provide a framework for companies to optimize their investing decisions:

  • Why should we be concerned about the productivity and competitiveness of our projects?
  • What are the sources of competitive advantage in the industry (Factor conditions, Supply and Demand, Related and Supporting Industries, cooperative and company strategies for the eco-system)?
  • Discuss key levers to transform Canadian construction industry into true lean champions.

Innovation and Safety: Canaries, Green Sheep and The Big Bad Wol(ves)

Ever asked yourself what an innovation strategy really is? Or a safety culture?

Is it the Willy Wonka golden ticket that is going to offer your organization its next big break-through or the slow and steady Engine that Could of incremental change that prevents break-down and disaster?

In a quirky and interactive session, JY and Crys are going to leave you some memorable and practical take-always to support the outcomes of safety and innovation. They will outline how leadership can create or breakdown the environment for results, how structure and process can optimize or bog down performance and how solid project and stakeholder management are complemented by common scents and a good whistle.

If this sounds too entertaining, worry not as sufficient doses of definition, theory, models, PMBOK and serious experience accompany the clichés, references and anecdotes. Based on the audience and participation, we’ll also consider scenarios for each individual to contribute productively to safety and innovation no matter their organizational level.

KEYNOTE PANEL: The Future Is Calling: DIVE IN

A 60-minute panel discussion that engages visionary leaders who are actively involved and invested in the future of Northern Alberta. The goal is to hear from those who are on the front-lines of the future and to discuss what the business and economic future might look like for our province and profession.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: 168 Hours: Succeeding at Work and Life, 24/7

Drawing on the themes from her time management books, Laura talks about how to manage the 168 hours we all have each week to get the most out of your professional and personal life. In addition to sharing her top 7 time management tips, Laura will provide some real-life examples of how individuals can tweak their schedules to put her tips into action.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Redefining Business in the Great Age of Innovation

Around the world, in laboratories, universities, and garages alike, innovators from all fields are making unprecedented advances in technology. What’s being created—in robotics, computing, health sciences, and more—is changing the way we live and work.

In this talk, Google Canada’s Head of Marketing Fab Dolan reflects on the rapid advances we’re seeing across all industries and shows us a glimpse of what could be next. More than just a highlight reel of new technology, this talk asks: “What does it mean to live and work in an exponentially changing world?” 

We are all in the business of tech now, Fab says. Emerging technologies are redefining the way we do business. From startups to global corporations to small businesses, Fab explores the challenges and opportunities your audience is facing in this great age of innovation.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: The Mind of the Leader: How to Lead Yourself, Your People and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results

Based on the book The Mind of the Leader, this interactive and engaging talk provides leaders with practical takeaways for immediate application. By gaining an understanding of how their own mind works and training it for the most essential qualities, leaders can learn to lead themselves first, in order to better lead their people and tap into their human need for meaning, fulfillment and human connectedness.

Leadership Transitions – But I’ve Never Done That Before?

I used to be the expert, now I’m the boss – help!
You’ve been successful in your area of expertise as an individual contributor and been promoted to the next level – managing and leading those you just worked with! Eck! We will explore through activities areas of transition needed to be a successful leader. These areas include work values, time allocation and capabilities. Learn how to let go of management activities and rise to becoming a leader who can motivate and enliven attitudes in your team.

Managing Project Clients (And Not Letting Them Manage You)

Arguably, soft skills are one of the most important skills for a project manager. Projects rarely fail solely due to the lack of hard-skills, and it is especially true in challenging economic times when competent hard-skill resources are readily available. Recently, Joel was asked by one of his professional associates, ‘Are there any metrics that are good indicators of a successful project manager?’ Now it is your turn to answer this question! Do you think there are metrics or indicators of a successful project manager? Here is a tip to get a precise answer – ask your clients for their feedback. This is the most important point-of-view in considering an exceptional project manager.


Projects in the constructive environment is the easiest to manage – as team members, clients, and their team members are supportive and things are working in sync. In the destructive environment, projects are politically charged and difficult to navigate. Even the most experienced and skillful project manager may find themselves struggling to navigate in what seems to be a world of obstructionists. Such environments call for courage, which we are going to explore in detail. Topics that covered in this presentation will be: vulnerability, values, trust, and rising up to the situation. We will look at breaking down the details of what is a vulnerability and what is not, and values – business values, team values, client values, and building trust and rising up to the situation.

Participating in Gemba Walks to be a Better Project Professional

This concept of “going out to the field” is rooted in LEAN and Six Sigma philosophy and captures the value of a leader’s presence in the field, observation of the work where it is being done, and the teaming of people and process in the spirit of Kaizen. This observation and reporting of results is part of a Gemba experience within a business. The presentation will explore the concept of a Gemba, the role of Gemba participants, and how participating in a Gemba can improve the project manager’s understanding of the project purpose and thus become a more effective project manager.


Gemba principles and participation can span all methodologies (Agile, Predictive, Iterative, and Incremental) as well as all roles (Project Manager, Program Manager, Business Analyst, and PMO Member) to better align the project deliverables with transition to operations. The Gemba goes into the field and helps break down the wall between the project team and the people using the project product. Understanding how results are measured and reported provides valuable business intelligence to all members of the project team and will improve project delivery quality.

Project Management: Being Accountable Drives Results

50% of respondents in a 2014 survey indicated they don’t know how to hold others accountable. What if you and your team could be 5% or 10% more accountable than you are now? Imagine the possibilities to influence others in your organization, to drive successful project and business outcomes. Imagine the productive relationships you will develop as a result of increased accountability and the renewed energy you will experience in your next project (and in your personal life too). You CAN foster more accountability with others. You CAN generate accountability through relationships based on clear expectations and trust. As a high performing project manager who celebrates and multiplies accountability for yourself and hence for others, you can transform the projects you lead and contribute to real and sustainable change in your organization and in society.


Only 27% of the leaders surveyed felt their work was aligned with key results. Clarity drives results; as a project manager, you are expected to ensure alignment and to deliver results. Projects continue to fail at an alarming rate. In our projects we are constantly asked to do more with less, to get started on the real work of the project and finish sooner. Accountability is not a stick, but an attitude and skill that high performers value; a skill that can create possibilities for real and sustainable success in your project world and beyond. Wouldn’t that make for a more satisfying experience for you as a project manager? Wouldn’t that give us all a better chance at completing successful projects? Let us support you to hone your accountability skills using our R.E.S.U.L.T.S. model. Join us in this interactive session to learn how to constructively integrate accountability into your projects, giving you more of what you want in your projects and in life.

Project Success vs. Project Management Success

Is “project success” same as “project management success”? The new edition of PMBOK (6th edition) talks about project success and benefits management. Finally, it was about the time they mentioned it…. How do we measure project management success? How about project success, can we measure it? What’s the impact of time on project success? Do we need to think about external factors? How do they influence project success? As project managers do we want to even bother with project success? If yes, why would we care?


Dr. Luli Hoxha is an author, lecturer, speaker and researcher in the field of project management. The presentation aims to provoke project management practitioners regarding the importance they play on project success. You will be introduced to the difference between project success and project management success. Also, the presenter will delve into the importance of understanding project success and its impact on project manager’s role and even on the project management profession. Furthermore, different tools will be presented with the goal of measuring project success beyond the triangle of scope, time and cost. Join us in this facilitated session to be part of the conversation regarding project success. Let’s move project management beyond triangle of scope, time and cost.

Session To Be Announced

Session description coming soon!

Setting Up an Enterprise-Wide Project Management Office

The presentation will focus on how to set up an EPMO that includes:

  • Project Portfolio Management (PPM) (and eventually Program and Project Portfolio Management (P3M)
  • Oversight of all major projects across organization: Through visibility & tracking of ‘key factors’ of every major project
  • Approval of all ‘Project Initiation’
  • Prioritization of projects – carried out according to project ‘key factors’
  • Project Management Best Practices
  • Establish & communicate (i.e. reporting of projects statuses, Initiating Projects, managing risks & issues, tracking dependencies, WBS, project schedule analysis, document
    templates, etc)
  • Custodians of these project management processes and standards
  • Business-wide consultancy and support – act as advisors
  • Project Management Maturity Level Assessments to be carried out across the business periodically in order to guide continuous improvement.

Shared Commitment: Engaging Your Team to Achieve Better Project Results

Trying to engage your project team and get them committed to and passionate about your project? For many project managers, this can often be a real and ongoing challenge. Your team members have multiple projects and multiple priorities they are working on not to mention having to do their day jobs. How can you get your team engaged in your project? What are some of the obstacles that stand in your way? And once you have them, how can you keep your team members engaged?


Join us for this talk where we will look at a shared commitment approach to engage your team and stakeholders in the vision of your project. In this interesting and interactive session, we will explore and experience a series of techniques that you can use with your team when you return to work on Wednesday. This approach and associated techniques will enable and empower your team members to become co-creators in the project and bring forward their best ideas and their hidden concerns.

Socioeconomic Impact of Unmanned Systems and Artificial intelligence (AI) on Construction Industry and the Project Management Process

According the World Economic Forum report (WEF. 2016), the unimpressive productivity achieved in the construction industry is mainly caused by:

  • Future of construction management under the influence of unmanned systems, robotics and AI
  • Lack of innovation and delayed adaptation in construction management practices and process
  • Fiscally conservative company culture resistant to new technologies such as unmanned systems and AI
  • Inadequate knowledge transfer and dissemination from project to project
  • Weak project monitoring

Unmanned systems, robotic and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based systems are disruptive technologies that can improve the above mentioned shortcomings; however, this technologies are underutilized by the construction industry. However, the companies that resist to new technologies and new management process require for adaptation of the these disruptive technologies will loose their competitive advantages.

Stakeholder Engagement & Failing Forward

Engaging stakeholders is risky business…when we invite stakeholders into our decision-making processes, to share what is really important to them, about issues and situations that impact their lives, livelihoods, profits, reputation- the path is not always clear. As a result, our projects can experience significant delays, unexpected hurdles, internal strife and maybe even unwanted media attention. So, we know it’s complicated, we know it’s complex and yet when we come together an industry, we often only share what went REALLY well.


What about all the stuff that didn’t go well? The oops, the mistakes, the failed attempts, the “I wish we could do that again” situations that we would like to leave in the closest for no one, especially not fellow industry colleagues, to see.


It’s often said that in our greatest mistakes lies our deepest learnings. We don’t want to hide from them, and we don’t want you to either. We want to come together in failure and turn the classic conference presentation on its head. Leaving our egos and shame at the door, we’d like to take a fun and open approach to talking about some of our “best” stakeholder engagement failures.


We can promise laughter, relief and confidence to be open because we are serving each other. You will also walk away with a solid foundation for what TO DO and what NEVER TO DO when engaging stakeholders!


Prepare to bring your honesty, integrity and compassion as well as a few good stories of what happened when it all went wrong.

Tailoring Agile: Balancing Standards and Practical Implementation

Most PMOs understand the concept of “tailoring” to adjust your methodology to your business needs. Many organizations have tailored traditional “Predictive” approaches and methodologies with Agile practices and principles to create their own “Hybrid” means of delivering value and completing projects. This tailoring concepts brings different challenges to the PMO regarding this as approach selection, tracking progress, and providing status on all projects across the organization.


This presentation will explore what tailoring means and how do to “tailor” a project to accommodate Agile and Predictive methodologies? We will explore using Agile tools and control boards within Waterfall methodologies (predictive projects). We will look at tailoring agile within existing predictive methodologies and present case studies of real world tailoring in multiple industries including HealthCare, Manufacturing, and Financial services. These case studies will explore the technical shift in tailoring agile and the methodology/culture shift across the organizations. You will see an example of the business not being prepared for a full time member of an agile team, a stakeholder adopting the concept of stories to communicating success, and the preconceived notions of Agile in practice. (PS – Agile doesn’t mean no documentation.)

The Crucial Role of Project Management in Health Care Innovation and Systems Performance

In 2018, total health expenditure in Canada was projected to reach $253.5 billion, with anticipated overall health spending representing 11.3% of Canada’s GDP. This represents one of the highest in the world. However, such huge spending does not translate to expected care delivery. The opioid crises, aging population, stretched health care human capital and their implications need to be systematically analyzed to ensure judicious resource allocation and diligent evaluation of systems performance.


Developing health care infrastructure will require traditional project management, that is, water fall approach, while agile methodologies are more suitable for the continuous improvement of health technology assessment and evaluation.


Leadership is imperative in developing strategic framework for health care innovation and health technology assessment and also employing system thinking in health performance evaluation.


Project managers and scrum masters must play a pivotal role in the development of value propositions to drive change and sustainability.


By engaging with key stakeholders, such as policy decision makers, health institutions, doctors, nurses, allied health workers, health care aids and technological innovation companies, transdisciplinary partnerships could be established to harness human capital and material resources to create added value.

The Meeting Leadership Professional Development Workshop

Ready to take your meetings to the next level? Then you and your team are going to love the Meeting Leadership Professional Development Workshop!

Based on the proven 10-step system in Gord Sheppard’s book called The Meeting Leadership Solution, during this session you’ll get the practical tips, information and inspiration you need to turn your meetings into a competitive advantage.

The Overcommitted PMO: The Journey From PMO to VMO

Is your PMO viewed as a budget line item and an administrative burden or a source of real value? The journey from the Project Management Office (PMO) to the Value Management Office (VMO) starts with a different way of thinking about a PMO’s contribution to the organization in today’s Gig Economy. To transition a PMO from a cost centre to a value centre, we need to rethink project delivery models, rethink talent, and capture new types of data.

The Practical Guide to High-Quality Business Process Models

Despite proven process management and information technology methodologies, excellent modeling tools, and robust modeling notations like BPMN, and despite all the well-intentioned efforts spent by business analysts and business subject matter experts, many business process models don’t meet expectations. Why? Business analysts, managers, productivity improvement specialists, and consultants who develop process models by trial and error are prone to fail.


This practical primer will help you to establish or improve your business process modeling competence, by introducing you to:

  • Dynamics Faced by Every Process Modeler
  • The Key to a High Quality Business Process Model
  • A Defined Process for Producing High-Quality Process Models
  • Universal Business Process Definition and Normalization Rules
  • 3 Must-Have Business Process Flow Elements
  • Top Logical Refinements
  • Universal Process Model Quality Criteria
  • Audience Questions and Answers

The Project Manager’s Dilemma: Leading All The Responsibility In The World, But No Authority

Project Management professionals are leaders. Steve will share the following lessons gained from Floods, Wildfires, Pandemics and Combat to help them lead through influence:

  • Great Leaders See the Big Picture
  • Go Big Early
  • There are Limits To What People Can Absorb
  • Data Can Lie

Through humour, stories & interactive exercises participants will learn that leadership is intentional and often means doing what doesn’t come naturally. We must work at it. The good news is that we can all get there by taking to heart that:

  • Leaders Are Made, Not Born
  • Leaders Manage Their Emotions
  • Leaders Respond Rather Than React
  • Leaders Are Resilient

If we are looking for larger-than-life heroes, we misunderstand what leadership is. Leaders can come from anywhere and Steve will help you see that you and I, ordinary people, will rise to the occasion in turbulent and trying circumstances.

The Science of Stakeholder Engagement in Change Management

Change management is about changing people’s behaviours and attitude towards something new that is happening or that needs to happen. Most change management methodologies approach stakeholder engagement based on the notion of overcoming any resistance to change. The session will introduce a science based approach to stakeholder engagement that triggers the right motivations and facilitates a smooth change.


In reality, change management starts much before project management. Hemant will present a perspective on change management in which change begins with the leaders making sense from chaos, and creating the driving vision. The presentation starts with the very basis of change i.e. what are the drivers of an initiative right from the concept stage, and then talks about how to engage stakeholders so that change adoption occurs early in the process rather than after project completion, as is usually the case. This session is about how to drive change from concept to reality and how to make it sustainable using a science based stakeholder engagement approach that addresses root causes for resistance to change.


Stakeholders bring value if engaged strategically. I will present an approach for assessing stakeholders, and discuss the reasons for stakeholders taking a particular attitude towards change, and how change management should be designed to address the stakeholder’s specific needs and motivations. The most important requisite for change adoption is for stakeholders to be “willing and able”. How do we shift those who are unwilling or unable, to the other side of the spectrum, and how do we achieve that early in the change process? There are strategies that are effective in shifting the change adoption curve with early engagement.

The Transformative Powers of Low-Complex (vs. Big) Data Analytics

Over the course of three years, Sheila worked with a branch of the Government of Alberta in a longitudinal case study to explore how organizational performance was impacted by introducing data analytics, and to understand the relationship between how an organization learns and the success of using data analytics. This session walks through the case study of how this project was structured and executed, the results of the initiative, and lessons learned. We’ll cover the technology we introduced, such as automated and manual anomaly detection, the value of failure data, including why we value it, its role in our model, and the evidence supporting its value. We’ll walk through our reengineering efforts, explaining how we dealt with traditional mindsets and where we had success. And we’ll show the value of introducing science to business by covering the scientific methods we are continuing to promote, including the challenge of exploring a question with data as compared to gathering data to support a predetermined decision. Participants will be challenged to predict some of our outcomes and to understand the mental models they carry about what data analytics is, basic assumptions about using logic and data, and how individual mental models can be reframed.

Use of Augmented Reality Visualization Tools in Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)

Over the past 3 decades, efforts have been made in commercial construction projects to remove barriers and improve project delivery, by introducing new contractual structures. Integrated project delivery (IPD) along with the use of Lean design and construction philosophy and utilizing technologies such as building information modelling (BIM) have resulted in better performing projects due to the better flow of information, materials and other resources through the project life cycle.

Research conducted on effectiveness of IPD and Lean tools has indicated that use of shared physical and virtual workplace (Co-location) and technologies such as BIM play a vital role in better communication and therefore success of the IPD approach. Virtual reality is a new technology that can be used to overcome the limitations of shared work space and be an effective communication tool to increase early stakeholder involvement and improve the effectiveness of 3D modelling tools such as BIM.

Internal case studies demonstrating the use of integrated project delivery along with augmented reality tools in industrial projects will be presented to showcase the common business benefits, improvements, challenges and resistance experienced when using augmented reality in IPD implementation for industrial projects

What CIOs are Looking for in Project Managers/Interview and Resume Techniques

The presentation will focus on the results of interviewing Edmonton’s CIO and IT leaders. The focus will be on:

  1. What these leaders feel is a gap between today’s PMs vs what the industry is looking for
  2. It will also focus on the types of questions, and responses that would qualify a PM for opportunities
  3. To help prepare PMs with job interviewing/resume techniques