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Internal R.E.P. Sessions
PMI India hosted a knowledge sharing session for the Internal Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.) organizations on 18 December 2012, which included a talk via conference call. It was a precursor to a series of such events hosted by PMI India. This was part of a special initiative for the internal R.E.P. forum during January to March 2013.

Each of these monthly sessions was conducted by a volunteer from the internal R.E.P. group with the aim to share project management best practices.

Mr. Anees Haidary, manager, operational excellence, Sasken Communication Technologies Ltd., held the second session on 22 February. The talk was on the challenges that multicultural teams across geographies connected only virtually faced. Though there have been studies on the impact of individual culture on the performance of project teams and the success of projects, the influence of multiple cultures on the performance and success of projects is not as well studied. Mr. Haidary analyzed project decisions and outcomes within the framework proposed by Mr. Geert Hofstede, an influential Dutch researcher of organizational studies and organizational cultures. Mr. Haidary proposed an inter-cultural interaction model that would enable a project manager to manage different dimensions of culture within the team, and take appropriate decisions and actions for successful project outcomes. Project managers must also be proactive in dealing with this important and sensitive dimension of human behavior.

In another knowledge sharing session among internal R.E.P.s, Mr. Jinesh Jain, senior project manager, Aricent Group, presented on the “Quality Assurance Process Tracking through Automation in MPP.” It is the practice used to enhance quality process awareness and compliance across projects. Practitioners from companies like Aricent Group, Alcatel Lucent, Cisco System Services BV, Cognizant Technology, Datamatics Technologies, and Sasken Communications attended the talk.

Mr. Jain elaborated on this innovative practice that enables project managers to build quality process dependencies within project schedules defined in Microsoft Project Plan (MPP), a tool widely used for planning. He said the USP of the practice is that it is very simple to use and requires minimal effort for initially defining the process dependencies and periodically updating the status. Moreover, as this practice is very generic, it can be followed in any project using MPP for planning. Projects implementing this practice have largely benefited in terms of better quality process awareness for team members, reduced management effort for manual audits, and thus resulting in higher quality assurance process compliance.

IIPM Conference on PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition
The Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), Chennai, a global R.E.P. of PMI, initiated discussions on the changes in the new A Guide to the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Fifth Edition. Through a day-long conference on “Brainstorming of New PMBOK® Guide—Fifth Edition” on 2 February in Chennai, IIPM introduced the subject as a part of professional development and helped update the knowledge of project managers around the world. The conference was broadcast live to an international audience from countries such as USA, Qatar, Dubai, and Singapore, for simultaneous participation and interaction of project managers from different countries. It provided project managers an excellent opportunity to learn about the changes to all the nine existing knowledge areas in the new edition of the PMBOK® Guide.

The highlight of the conference was the one-hour panel discussion on “The Need for Project Stakeholder Management as the New 10th Knowledge Area,” which was highly appreciated by the audience. The panelists from leading IT and constructions companies agreed on the need to include stakeholder management. In the feedback that followed, most participants rated the conference 9 out of 10.

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