PM Leadership Connect
Madhavan S Rao, PMP
Former Board Member (PMI Chapters – Hyderabad and Bangalore) Founder Editor – PM Essence, Volunteer and Author
Q1. What still excites you about being a PMI Bangalore Chapter member?
I became a member of the Bangalore Chapter on 4th April 2000 and incidentally today is 4th April 2019. I like to thank PM Essence Editorial Board for this opportunity to share my insights and also thank the PMI Bangalore Chapter Board for the innumerable opportunities it has offered me to volunteer over the past 19 years.
Prior to that, I had volunteering experience at PMI Pearl City Chapter (Hyderabad) as its Founder Member and VP . The Bangalore Chapter was in its formative years and I found it exciting to be part of entrepreneurial activities of such a start-up venture. No bar had been set yet and if one persists, we are bound to reach some milestones. And indeed, we did! Looking back, the chapter has succeeded in establishing quite a number of brands. I am proud to be a member of the chapter.
What excites me is that there are innumerable volunteering opportunities on the platter. It is just for any member to step up and take it. 'Opportunity is in the eyes of the beholder' and all one has to do is attend any of the chapter meetings/events to sense, where one can be part of.
When Chapter rolled out its 1st PM Conference, the opportunities for me were in contributing to selection of the theme, topics, speakers, sponsors. I did my bit and in the process, I learnt from many of the chapter leaders, who were doing a far better job of it than me.
When Chapter launched its PMPC pre-conference workshops (for the first time) in 2010, I volunteered to facilitate the 1st workshop. It was an experiment and I was proud to be part of it. (Mr. Hiremath was also 1 of the pioneers in a parallel workshop that year).
When Chapter was thinking of launching its signature Newsletter PMEssence for the 1st time, I volunteered to be its Founder Editor and bring out the monthly publication of articles from Chapter members. The 1st issue was a huge challenge in terms of design, layout, content and motivating members to write articles. It was like a start-up venture where figuring out everything for oneself is a huge learning experience. I was Editor for over 4 years (Am glad Soumen De and subsequent Editors took it to the next levels).
When Chapter launched its PMEnrich program for experienced professionals, I volunteered to be the facilitator for the 1st PMEnrich workshop. Personally it was an enriching experience for me as well as the participants.
Q2.What advise do you have for new members?
- Set your self-growth target for current FY (April 2019 to March 2020) by engaging with Chapter activities. Example: - I urge each member to try and Deliver 1 PM Footprint session, Write 1 PM Essence article, Do 1 PM Poster presentation, Attend 1 PM Enrich workshop, Coordinate 1 PMPC track, Liaison with 1 College for PM Primer participation, Propose 1 new idea to Chapter Board, Fail at least once in trying to do something you never did before, Add 1 more item of your choice to this list. You have 365 days and your belief in yourself to do the above. Of course, the Chapter is your enabler.
- Develop the “What More is Possible?” Mindset.
Q3.Advice to the chapter board?
Launch another branded initiative (PMunchartered / suitable brand name)
Offer a platform for focused research on an uncharted topic that could advance the profession of project Management. This would include - Inviting idea proposals from interested members followed by review and go-ahead by board. Leveraging the thought-leadership bandwidth of chapter members for surveys, opinions, brainstorming. The output should be a booklet proposal from Bangalore Chapter to PMI Global for inclusion of uncharted area that would advance the profession of project management. This proposal would be chapters' contribution that could align with the new evolving strategies at PMI Global.
Bangalore chapter has many experienced PM professionals with varied expertise. It has ability to generate insights and plough it back to the PM community via PMI global processes. I am referring to a Research group within PMI Bangalore Chapter, that will work on this.
Q4. What are 3 things, that have kept you as a member for so many years?
I want to keep the volunteering (and learning) options open for me at all time and PMI Bangalore Chapter is a good platform to spot such opportunities.
Second reason is one feels energized when you interact with a bunch of enterprising professionals who keep doing More and More of “What More is Possible?” (This is my favorite tagline and also subtitle of the book I had authored titled (Steering Project Success-What More is Possible?).
Third reason is – Once a Project Manager, always a Project Manager. The mindset remains.
Q5.What are some of the changes you have seen over the past 20 years
On a lighter note, things have been pretty constant over the past 20 years! You know what I mean …Change being the only Constant. Here Change can be seen in the growth of all initiatives (existing and new) right through its cycles. Example – You conceive an initiative, launch it, sustain it, Deliver it consistently…Grow it to its next level… and sustain it… It is a cycle. All of us would agree that it has been true of all the Chapter brands over 20 years, be it PMP Quest, PMPC, PM Essence, PM Enrich, PM Footprints, etc. The Founding members and Chapter board members over the years have done an excellent job of steering the chapter to this level of success.
Q6. What do you for see is disrupting how project management is done. And what are a couple of things that will never change?
The need for change and opportunities for growth will never change… Maslow's hierarchy at the 5th level will continue to apply for all our endeavors. One thing I would like to mention (my favorite subject) is that of the 'PM's Mindset'. As it evolves towards the 'Self Actualization Mindset', it is a pleasure to volunteer, more as a hobby. Temporarily you may get caught up in other routines. Just attend any chapter meeting and get bitten by the volunteering bug. Our job is to grow. Disruption is a byproduct.