PDD Speakers

Day 1: Monday, October 21, 2019

Amy Franko

Opening Keynote - The Ripple Effect: Becoming a Leader of Impact & Influence

As a project leader, there are countless demands, opportunities and choices placed before you. You make hundreds of decisions each day, ranging from the subconscious and mundane to the complex and life-changing. Each decision is a drop that creates a ​ripple effect​ on those around you. A ​ripple effect ​of results in your organization and beyond.

No matter your title, your generation or your background, ​leadership ​is a choice. It’s a way of operating in the world that sets you apart. Conversations about impact and legacy often come later in life, as we look back at what we’ve accomplished and contributed. Imagine the results we could create if we instead look forward — consciously designing our​ ripple effect ​of impact and influence.

How do you gauge if your leadership today will create lasting impact and influence tomorrow? In this ​leadership keynote​,​ Amy Franko​ will share the key dimensions that leaders of impact and influence consciously cultivate. When you build these key dimensions, you’ll show up in a more courageous and impactful way. Not just for today, but for the future you want to create to build a better tomorrow!

Amy Franko

Elevating Relationships for Project Results: The Power of Social Capital

“Your social capital directly impacts the quality of your relationships, your thought leadership, and your project results.”

We live in a world that is hyper-connected. We’re less than two steps away from a key decision maker, influencer, or industry leader. So why is it that some people seem to effortlessly open relationship doors, while for others it’s a mighty struggle?

Two words: Social. Capital.

Social capital, otherwise known as our networks, is the most valuable currency in almost any profession. It goes beyond hyper-connectivity, into strategic relationships that create mutual reward, results and impact. Research shows that highly-successful organizations and individuals place a high value on social capital. They purposely invest it, knowing it has real benefits to the bottom line of business and life.

Michael Roberts

Mission to Mars: An Agile Adventure

Work Together to Launch a Rocket to Mars! This innovative board game challenges players to build and launch a rocket to Mars. Players form Agile teams, collaborating through Sprints to complete important tasks. The game tracks each team's score, along with other metrics used in Agile, such as Velocity. In order to win the game and successfully launch your rocket, your team will have to demonstrate characteristics of actual successful Agile teams.

Angie Pastorek

A Fresh Take on "Effective Communication": Using the 7 Lenses Approach to Improve Team Communication & Project Outcomes

What does "effective communication" mean to you? A concise email? A confident speaker? Receiving helpful information in a timely manner? An efficient meeting? Effective communication as a project management professional is all of this and MORE, much more. Using real-world case studies , we'll discuss 7 helpful lenses you can use to identify what's working - and what's not - with your team's approach to formal and informal team communication practices, as well your own daily interpersonal interactions -- all with a special focus on the challenges involved in managing diverse global team membership (organizational tenure, business unit, geographic location, gender, age, and work experience, etc.)

Lee Ann Trautman

Successful Resource Management

Why Manage Resources; Planning Resource Management; Identifying Resource Constraints; Controlling Resources.

Dana Houston-Jackson

How Project Managers and People Change Managers Can Ensure Project Success!

Change practitioners are not "hand-holding, let's talk about your feelings" type people. The entire reason for a change practitioner's existence is to help bring about the value of the project or initiative they are assigned to work. The value of their change work is the business value of the project's or initiative's successful completion. If your project does not require people to change how they do their job, then you have no need for change management. But if it does require shifts in people's mindsets, cultures, duties or locations, then you'll want expert help.

Sarah Harper

Practical #NoEstimates

#NoEstimates has been around for a number of years and a quick internet search will reveal how controversial the concept it. Many teams love the idea of #NoEstimates because they see the act of estimation as a waste. The problem is that rarely will you find a company that is going to be ok with a "it's done when it's done" policy. Implementation of #NoEstimates looks like this:

Step 1: Stop Estimating
Step 2: ???
Step 3: PROFIT!!

What happens in Step 2? How can you provide an estimated end date of a project when the team doesn't want to estimate? FORECASTING! Learn the basics of forecasting projects using Monte Carlo methods and why using estimates is not always the best way to provide project end dates. We will go over the pre-requisites of forecasting for both Scrum and Kanban methods, advanced techniques such as defects and scope creep, and segmented backlogs. Different tools (both free and paid) will be demonstrated.

Take your planning to the next level with forecasting!

Doug Vogl

Tim Young

Doug Vogl/Tim Young

How to manage the largest change in the railroad industry since moving from steam locomotives to diesel locomotives

Hear the story of how we successfully manage a federally mandated railroad safety program that changed the way our railroad operated, spans nine years, costs $300 million dollars. This program involves every department in the company and has concrete deadlines if not met, which result in fines and/or shut the railroad down. We will describe our success, failures and lessons learned and delve into the governance program we put in place that includes Program Management, Project Management, Time Phase Budgets, Performance Management, Risk Management and more.

Luke Desmond

Kevin Honomichl

Jaimie Harrison

Moderator: Luke Desmond
Panelists: Kevin Honomichl, Jaimie Harrison

The Future of Work

The world is evolving rapidly with growth in new technologies such as Big Data, Blockchain, Internet of Things and Industry 4.0. Cyber security threats are becoming pervasive and competition from digital natives like Uber is disrupting industries. The need for Knowledge Workers is growing exponentially and the board room is demanding that transformation initiatives be implemented at high velocity. This session will examine the future of work and your place in it. Join 3 executive panel members to ask your questions and find out about the future of work:

  1. What are some of the signs or work trends that people are experiencing which may have a significant impact on the future of project work?
  2. What challenges are you seeing in regard to Customer Experience expectations?
  3. What evolving threats are you seeing that are influencing the way people work?
  4. Which new roles are evolving in the organization to deliver strategic initiatives, products, etc.?

Raj Bhatia

Group Dynamics Engineering - An essential Project Manager role

Join us to gain an understanding groups, Group Dynamics, Group Dynamics Engineering (GDE). GDE is at the heart of all methodologies, processes redesigns, management techniques, corporate reorganizations and much more. This session will cover project teams or groups, including High capability individuals vs. High performing teams, the role of culture group vs. corporate culture, and the role of the Project Leader using case studies of winning teams and low performing teams. This presentation will be delivered in a TEDx style format using the Golden State Warrior's Dynasty basketball team as an anchor for analysis and study of the Group Dynamics Engineering elements.

April Callis-Birchmeier

Afternoon Keynote - Leading Successful Change

Use Business Readiness today to prepare your team for tomorrow. We know change is inevitable - but do you know how to help your team, organization and stakeholders to prepare? As an organizational change management expert who focuses on getting the business ready for change, the speaker will share a five-step process of business readiness.


April Callis-Birchmeier

Creating and Sustaining a Positive Workplace

Break the 7 habits of Negativity by learning the secrets of getting along. Turnover, stress related illness & disengagement are signs of a problematic workplace and according to the most recent Gallup polls, nearly 70% of employees are unhappy or disengaged at work. This presentation provides humorous insight into the 7 habits of negativity, including tips to stop gossip, techniques for getting along with others and strategies to reap the many benefits of a positive and engaged workforce.


Mike Higgins

We Need a New Dog

Waterfall/Predictive methodologies were the top dog for decades, but now Agile is challenging for pack dominance. Do either really meet all of your project needs? How do you get the best of both breeds? This presentation explores hybrid project approaches and offers a handy guide to reference when to apply them successfully to your projects.

Tammy Bearden

Harnessing Collective Knowledge to Improve Project Performance

Solid project performance is dependent on sourcing the right talent, managing your scope, and applying collective knowledge. Whether you use the terms After Action Review, Lessons Learned, or Project Post-Mortem, a successful project manager facilitates the capture of key stakeholders' insights and feedback at the close of every project. Those insights -- when documented, codified, distributed, and reused -- inform improved future project performance and strengthen the collective knowledge of the team and organization. Project managers who fail to see the value of documenting and using collective project knowledge are destined to repeat otherwise avoidable -- and potentially costly -- mistakes.

Kristin Catherman

Developing a Thorough Risk Management Process

Why Project Risk Management?  Come learn about the process that we have solidified over the past several years to evaluate risks and issues at a project and program level. The approach we have created for Risk Management can be applied to projects with varying cost, size, schedule and complexity. As Risk Management is an iterative process, recognizing risks and opportunities early and often is critical to the success of your project!  Risk Management also brings together the team (key stakeholders, Project Managers, developers, etc.) to regularly communicate about concerns on the current endeavor.

Christy Turner

Surviving and Thriving in Construction Project Management

Female project managers in the construction industry share how they got into the field, what skills are needed, what it's like to be a construction PM day to day and how they are successful in this male-dominated industry. 

David Fuston

Leadership & Management in Projects - Two Sides of the Same Coin

Project executives, PMs, and teams have examined multiple projects to derive a series of leadership and management lessons learned over several HCM, Taleo, and Cloud implementations. The goal of this session is to assist you in avoiding or minimizing the pain points and pitfalls that we have encountered as you work through your projects and implementations. Recognizing and facing these types of issues can and will lead to a smoother project. We will cover these frequent leadership and management challenges:

  • Strategic objectives and project management tool
  • Team structures and time management
  • Stakeholder participation
  • Basic infrastructure and software licensing
  • Adequate skillsets

We will share our strategy for identifying the situations, the remedial actions necessary, and make recommendations for avoiding the Change Management/cultural trouble spots that you may face. 

Courtney Shar

Shawn Scrivner

Courtney Shar/Shawn Scrivner

Zero to (Big Room Planning) Hero

As a growing company, Cerner Corporation often develops new teams in order to tackle new challenges. One such team, when it was first established in 2017, was made up of a newly promoted Engineering Manager, a fresh Project Manager, and two Engineers straight out of college. This team was given the freedom to establish their processes, so they set out to be the best Agile-practicing team they could be.

From the first planning meeting which was an unmitigated disaster, the team has evolved from a team that could barely plan an iteration into a team that effectively uses Lean, Big Room Planning, and data-driven estimations like Monte Carlo simulations using historical JIRA data. Join Courtney and Shawn as they take you through the team's journey towards agility. They will share what went right, what went wrong, and how they fixed it, with a heavy emphasis on how the team learned to be effective at Big Room Planning and forecasting.

Heather McCain

Cost of Quality for Projects

Cost of Quality (CoQ) reports are commonly used in manufacturing to manage waste in processes. CoQ can also be beneficial to projects as you can begin to understand where your prevention activities occur, where you are spending money on appraisal/inspection, and how much internal and external failures are impacting your project. This presentation will describe the CoQ and the PAF model and show how looking at data in this way might benefit your projects.

Dr. Gary Broils

Project Management Tool Innovations in Professional Services Automation

Learn how leveraging emerging innovations in project management tools can help make successful projects profitable. Having a project management tool can provide tangible benefits to your organization from more efficient and effective project execution. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is designed to assist services-centric organizations with project management, resource utilization, billing and reporting. Leveraging the right Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution is one way a business can optimize the many moving parts in all their various functions. This workshop explores recent trends in technology focused on enhancing project and portfolio management covering a broad spectrum from project-based tools to enterprise software. We'll share some innovative solutions we have adopted that help project managers better position their organizations to achieve profitability goals through integrated project management capabilities.

Jason Vigh

Ignore Cyber at your Project Peril – Phased Approach

The system development life cycle (SDLC) is a formal way of ensuring that adequate security controls and requirements are implemented in a new system or application. Integrating technologies and practices into the development of new system and application deployments provides an opportunity to design security into the solution on the front end of the process, rather than retrofitting it after the solution is deployed.

Tom Mulligan

How to Resolve Conflict Without Losing Your Mind

This workshop will provide the attendee with Inter-personal conflict resolution techniques for business and professional situations. 

Mark Shead

Courageous Software Development

Courage is what allows humans to succeed despite risks and fears. The creation of software involves dealing with risks, so successful software development requires courage. This session is for anyone involved in the production of software. It looks at the types of risks that are inherent in software development and details ways to courageously manage those risks and make decisions that prioritize Agile principles to get high-quality valuable software into the hands of users where it can start earning a return on investment.

Mark Garcia

Carpe Calamity

Explore an interactive session where you will become aware of how quickly you can turn failures into opportunities. Learn how to enable others to adopt a continuous improvement mindset. Investigate practical techniques and tips you can use when experiencing setbacks.


Day 2: Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Bill Fournet

Morning Keynote - Leading for Tomorrow: New Rules for Yourself, Your Team and Your Mission

In this thought-provoking but practical program, become equipped to better lead through uncertainty and change. Learn and apply Bill Fournet’s rules for yourself, your team and your mission to not only navigate but thrive in the midst of chaos. Learn workforce trends and what’s on the horizon to prepare you to better lead today and tomorrow.

Bill Fournet

Building the Vision: How Bold Projects are Changing the World

How can project management cure what ails our world?  From clean drinking water to zero-carbon impact cities, hundreds of “bold” projects are already in development or in execution. Bold projects make an impact. They “change the game” of how we live or interact with each other in the world. These projects seek to transform life on earth as we know it—and to expand into space. The greatest potential for bold projects resides in the evolving mindset of project leaders: Real project managers, like you, are making them happen. These are no longer “science fiction” ideas. This presentation will provide insights into bold ideas, what it takes to bring them to life, and what drives the success or failure of turning them into game-changing projects that make a difference.

Devendra Kumar

Best Practices from the Black & Veatch RPA Journey

This session will share leading best practices and experiences in venturing into the RPA journey. RPA or Robotics Process Automation takes the Robot out of Humans. This is a low-code modern technology which is used to automate repetitive business operational process steps across multiple integrated and isolated systems. RPA is a foundational element in the digital transformation going on today crossing all industries.

Diana Alt

Crafting a Workshop Experience

One of the tasks that often lands in a project leader's lap - sometimes awkwardly - is facilitating meetings and workshops. That's great, except for the part where workshop facilitation is an entirely separate skill set that people rarely are trained in!  In this session, attendees will learn how you can create a great workshop experience for participants by examining a proven approach to preparation, execution, and follow-up for cross functional workshops. 

Tom Witty

Case Study in Project Portfolio Management Software:  Beyond the Templates

This session will deal with a case study of a medium size business which recently implemented a Project Portfolio Management software application, addressing the topic beyond what you read in the software providers' on-line brochures. We will cover the pitfalls and lessons learned by one organization in the journey to implement such a solution, drawing upon the things that aren't covered in the implementation guide, like culture, strategy, perspective and engagement, the things beyond the "templates." And the difficulties of a real-world implementation will be touched on to help the attendees take advantage of some of these lessons learned from a project management practitioner.

Carmel Smith

Robotic Process Automation Defined and Demonstrated

Examine why Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has become the fastest growing technology driving digital transformation and real transformational outcomes.
Attendees will receive a vision for scaling software robot operations, where and when it becomes critical, as the human-and-robot collaboration turns mainstream. The speaker will also highlight what's next on the map for automation, as well as the importance of understanding Enterprise RPA holistically, deploying robots simultaneously across both your front-and-back office operations.

Perspective is key for enterprises who want to leverage RPA and push forward into the digital age. In this sense, a plan that fits all the right business angles requires a clear understanding of the differences between the automation life cycles, so that the implemented solution is a highly scalable and sustainable choice for the future.

Bill Cole

Projects CD-360 Framework

Projects CD-360 is a project management suite built with Collaborative Decisionomics principles that provides a framework to categorize projects, manage project managers,  apply OJT and classroom based training to project management development and deliver a clear platform to manage any full spectrum project portfolio. It incorporates both evaluation of types of projects on three axis, and evaluating capability, performance and development of PMs on three axis. Projects CD-360 combines all aspects of how both projects and project managers are selected, assigned and evaluated over time. It allows an organization to build winning projects as well as develop competent project managers.

Troy Tuttle

Minimum Viable Agile: Getting off the Agile treadmill

Is your team or organization on the Agile treadmill?  Plan the iteration, commit, build, miss the commitment, plan for a better iteration? 

In Lean product development, the minimum viable product or MVP, is often defined as the product that quickly garners the maximum amount of validated learning. It's a strategy to avoid building products that customers don't need or want by maximizing our learning.

If we were to apply Minimum Viable Product thinking to our approaches, how do we validate our learning in a transformation process?  Are we trying to "do more Agile" than is minimally sufficient?  Are we asking the people affected by the planned transformation if they are affected in a positive or negative way?

In this session we will experience an alternative approach to Agile coaching and mentoring, where the work of the transformation is designed by outcomes, generated by the people doing the work. 

Outcomes typically offer better organizational alignment than trying to agree on solutions. The result is a transformation that is needs and outcomes based, which gives us the best chance for success.

Jerry Glazier

What leadership lens are you looking through?

What’s wrong with you? Probably nothing.  However, too often we don’t see the different perspectives alive in the team.  As we understand more about the lenses people are looking through, our leadership efforts become more influential.

Jason Tice

Let's Make Governance Great Again!

Do you cringe when you hear the word "governance"?  Or do you withhold or avoid sharing information about your work as you fear being penalized for not aligning to organization technical standards or business goals?  Or even worse, are you mandated to spend hours at ineffective monthly governance meetings & change control boards (CCBs) that take your time away from more strategic and innovative activities at work?  Join us to participate in a fully interactive workshop where you will have an opportunity to plot your own journey to improve governance within your organization.  Working in teams, you will identify and share specific governance challenges in your organization, then you will prioritize new & improved governance activities that could address the challenges you have identified.  You will complete your journey by identifying metrics & KPIs to track progress, as well as the necessary change management and adoption activities to sustain new governance activities.

Dr. Paul Schempp

Afternoon Keynote - The Magic of Mentoring

Mentoring is the single most effective method of inducting a new team member onto a project or into an organization and perpetuating its culture.  But successful mentoring relationships don’t just happen. They follow a specific progression. Drawing on the latest research, this interactive program will help you tap the personal and professional power of mentoring.  Discover how to start and grow a successful mentoring relationship; how to ensure the right pairing, and how to increase your chances of success with The Mentor-Protégé Contract.  Also, learn how innovative organizations are using “Reverse Mentoring” to promote a culture of growth and sharing.

Dr. Paul Schempp

The Strategies of Expert Communicators

Up your communication game and increase your impact through this dynamic program.  There are big differences between how novices and experts communicate in order to inform and inspire. By understanding and exploiting those differences, you and your teams will communicate more effectively with far greater results. The communication skills and strategies of experts allow them to establish meaningful relationships, convey information clearly and concisely, increase retention rates, and motivate others to higher levels of achievement.  The good news?  These skills can be learned and applied by every leader and communicator to increase their team’s performance.  Based on recent research and personal examples, Dr. Paul Schempp will help you reap the benefits of being expert communicators.

Shahzad Zafar

Andy Quangvan

Shahzad Zafar/Andy Quangvan

From Passing Security Audits to DevSecOps

This is a story of a how a small company evolved their security practices as their footprint grew. The initial focus was to establish a baseline of security practices, where we used guidelines from Soc-II, Type 2 compliance as well as NIST and personal knowledge to implement security. While some automation was there around detection and monitoring, by and large it was reactive, needing human intervention, but enough to meet audit requirements.

While the current practices had worked thus far, in Nov 2018, we started to look into how we needed to evolve security to keep up with the scaling of our systems. We landed with a multi-prong approach, which will be the focus of this talk. One of the first steps was to up the skillset on the team to move to practices such as Infrastructure as Code and removing any manual steps around running and managing the team. We will talk about some of the lessons learnt around things that worked as well as not worked when changing the inherent job and culture of the team. The second big step was to decide how we will scale up our security team; whether we are going to build the entire monitoring system ourselves and have 24x7 monitoring around it or go to the industry and buy the systems and monitoring, while maintaining a smaller in-house security presence. We will talk about how we made the decision, factors we considered and how it has been progressing since then, including the changes to our development processes.

Kate Megaw

Raving Retrospectives

Revamp your Lessons Learned Making use of Agile Retrospectives Techniques

Richard Gunter

Emotional Intelligence and Its Relationship to Project Management Leadership and Project Success

The foundation of a majority of project management training, particularly in the United States, is the standards and processes outlined by the Project Management Institute. This training often focuses on learning the processes and templates to plan, execute, monitor, and close a project. However, there are scholars and others that are emphasizing the human aspects of managing projects.

Leadership theory has evolved from the "great man" or trait theories of the early 20th century to the recognition of emotional intelligence as a critical factor in the success of modern leaders. This presentation will consider the relationship between emotional intelligence and project management success, and emotional intelligence and project manager leadership competencies. The presentation will outline the current literature on the subject. The presenter will provide an initial review of the data collected for his doctoral dissertation on the subject. 

Devin Henderson

Closing Keynote - Drop the Ball: Leveraging Failure to Elevate your Excellence as a Project Manager

Failure isn’t a dead end, it’s just a fork in the road. (like when our Keynote got X’d by Mel B and booted off America’s Got Talent). Learn how taking risks, “dropping the ball,” picking up the ball, and repeating that process makes you a winner.