[00:00:01.450] - Announcer
Do you wonder if others are dealing with the same project management challenges as you not sure where to turn for guidance and leadership. Office Hours are in session as we discuss Project Management and PMOs with global leaders, hearing their stories story in learning their secrets to success. Our goal is to empower you and help you elevate your PMO and project Management career to new heights. Welcome back to Project Management Office Hours with your host, Kia Mojo.
[00:00:29.810] - PMO Joe
Welcome, everyone, to Project Management Office Hours. We're the number one live project management radio show in the United States, broadcasting you to you today from our Studios in Tempe, Arizona. I'm PMO Joe. And for the next hour or so, we're going to talk about project management and a bunch more with our special guests. Just want to bring up a couple of announcements before we can dig into the show. I want to say thank you to the PMI Southern Maryland chapter. They had me on as a guest last night on their True Talks talk show. That was a great discussion we had about Stakeholder Management, Stakeholder Engagement, hosted by Kendall Lott and joined by also a guest on that show, Serena Carrie, who's one of the board members for PMI. So it was great to have a good conversation with them and then also to remind everybody that coming up next week, we have the PMO Leader platform, a panel discussion for the kick off of a new show we're doing called Digital Transformations. I'll be on the panel with America Pinto and Laura Bernard, and that's going to be hosted by Mark Burnett, Jim Stewart, and Emmanuel from Greece.
[00:01:52.160] - PMO Joe
I don't want to say Manuel's last name, I'm going to mess it up. But Manny joins us from Greece. So it's a brand new show. You can see the link here. And if you go out to the PMO Leader community, you can register for that free discussion. I also want to take a moment to thank our sponsors, the PMO Squad and the PMO Leader. You can go out to their websites and check them out, learn more about what the services they offer. And of course, these shows, like most podcasts and shows out there, you're able to claim PDUs for these, right? So if you observe any of these shows or listen or watch on the podcast platforms, we're an hour long, so you can claim one PDU for each of these shows. So I strongly encourage everybody to go do that. And a reminder, we are live streaming out there on LinkedIn and YouTube, so this is fun. If you have any comments or questions for Candace or myself, certainly don't be shy. Go out there and add them into the comments section and also let us know where you're listening from. It's always interesting to be able to see where people are joining us from and look forward to chatting with all of you during the show.
[00:03:07.430] - PMO Joe
So that brings us to our special guest. I'm super excited to have with us today, Candice Porter joining us.
[00:03:15.590] - Kandis Porter
[00:03:16.520] - PMO Joe
[00:03:18.290] - Kandis Porter
Thanks, Joe. I really appreciate you having me. I look forward to chatting with you.
[00:03:23.060] - PMO Joe
If you could just do a little introduction, let everybody know who you are. Just a little bit about your background and your story and get people to get the inside story on who Kandis is.
[00:03:35.990] - Kandis Porter
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I am currently the founder and managing director. Effective Flow Connections. So it's a small business. We work with a lot of organizations on change management, project management, leadership development and training. So I absolutely love what I do. Effective Flow Connections was born about six years ago and absolutely love being a small business owner prior to that, I'll go back to the beginning here. So I spent many years in the Air Force. I joined at a young age and kind of a cool thing. I started out as a weather forecaster.
[00:04:21.000] - PMO Joe
I love that.
[00:04:22.310] - Kandis Porter
Yeah, it was really cool. I'm going to go ahead and just pause so someone can make a joke about, oh, is it 50 50 chance rain? We'll let that one go there.
[00:04:33.320] - PMO Joe
It's 50 50 Sunshine, not rain, right?
[00:04:35.780] - Kandis Porter
Oh, yeah, I hope we love the Sunshine. So, yeah, it was actually forecasting the flight weather for pilots. So from take off all the way through ascent, if there was a mission. Hey, what's the winds look like? Turbulence, icing, all that fun stuff. So I did that for many years and then became a services officer in the Air Force. And that was leading a lot of programs, projects, if you think of sustainment, so food, lodging, fitness, like all of those core things that military members need. Love that. Spent many years in Turkey in that role and then finished my Air Force career at the Pentagon after that. That's when I got into consulting, transitioning right there to a consulting role in Washington, DC, eventually moving out west. I'm currently in Reno, Nevada. Love it here looking at some snowy mountains. We just got little bit of snow this week and started my own business. So that's kind of my background in a nutshell. But I've been managing projects for a very long time and absolutely love it down here in Phoenix area.
[00:05:50.240] - PMO Joe
We need more snow up in the mountains so that the Colorado River can fill up. But that's going to take many years, unfortunately, with the drought conditions that we have right now.
[00:06:00.590] - Kandis Porter
Yeah. I'll tell you, I thought in December we were going to get hammered. Just over the holidays. Everything was shut down here. The interstate closed for five days. And we just were kind of, I guess, sheltering in place from all of the weather. And then moving into January, we haven't seen much. So we need it, too. We need that water melting into Tahoe. And I'm a skier, so let's be honest, I need some for the mountains to ski as well.
[00:06:28.780] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Well, the Olympics are going on now. I don't know if you watch those. And we've had Michaela Schiffern. Unfortunately, our big skier this year just didn't have it during the Olympics. But that's all right. Stuff like that happens.
[00:06:43.270] - Kandis Porter
I guess it does. Yeah. I've been watching some of the Olympics. It's awesome. I love it. So it's been a lot of fun this year.
[00:06:50.940] - PMO Joe
So let's talk about something you mentioned at the beginning with your intro here. Obviously, you had served in the military. So thank you for that service. And whenever I have a guest on who served, I always mentioned Shameless plug for our nonprofit organization, VPMMA, which is the Veteran Project Manager Mentor Alliance. So I encourage everybody to go out to the VPMMa.org and see how you can be a mentor for a veteran who's coming out and transitioning into the civilian workforce. So plug aside, what was that transition like for you? Right. Being in for was it seven or eight years? I think you had said yes and then you had to come out into this civilian workforce. How was your transition and what advice maybe would you have for veterans who are in that situation now?
[00:07:47.930] - Kandis Porter
Great question. And first of all, thank you. Thank you for supporting the transition for military members and just veterans in general. It's such an important cause. I'm close to it. I'm involved here in Reno several veteran causes. So thanks for that. Now the transition, I have to say, I was probably set up for success much better than many of our transitioning veterans because I was transitioning from the Pentagon. I mean, we have so many military members there and so many people to support transitioning veterans. So I think that was really awesome. And a lot of the federal contractors there, they actually try to get military members as they transition out into their organizations. So for me, it was interesting. There were definitely some significant differences, I'll tell you. So I went to Booz Allen Hamilton when I transitioned out. And I had an incredible boss. She is just an awesome project manager, program manager. I loved working for her. And every time she'd walk in my office, I'd say for the first six months, I would jump out of my seat and stand at attention. And I mean, I was a captain working at the Pentagon, so I was definitely low ranking in the Air Force.
[00:09:18.390] - Kandis Porter
And there's generals everywhere. And so it was just habit, someone comes into your office, you're up, and she laughed so hard at me. It took her a while to get me to just go a bit more low key. There were a lot of significant differences. And I think the biggest one for me was really, I guess, sharpening the influence skills. A lot of times in the military, if you're asked to do something or if you're asking someone to do something, there's generally a lot of authority and it's very structured in the military. So people most likely do what you're asking them in the civilian world. I think that was the biggest change, that if you ask someone to do something, you better have a strong reason for the why behind it. And you need to influence them. You need to show the benefits, you need to get them on board. And so that was quite an interesting change. And I learned that very early on that, okay, everyone needs to lean into influence a lot more. Authority is not the way to go. Not that I try to use a lot of authority, but you see, it the people side of it, I guess other than that, the transition overall, it's a little scary, for sure.
[00:10:43.670] - Kandis Porter
You look at all of your performance evaluations, I'll call them from the military, which is the equivalent on the civilian side. And it talks about, oh, I forecast hail 8 hours in advance, and I save them billions of dollars in the military. And you try to put that on your resume and people are like, what the heck is this, right?
[00:11:07.990] - PMO Joe
[00:11:08.730] - Kandis Porter
How does that translate? Right. Trying to figure out how your skills and what you accomplished really translates into a resume into the skills that are going to set you up for success on the civilian side. I think that that was also something that unless you're able to really get the language, it can be hard doing that.
[00:11:30.410] - PMO Joe
Yeah, that's a great point. And we hear that all the time in VPMA, as well as we're mentoring the spouses and veterans themselves, that the situations, while similar, just have such a dramatic difference. Right. As an 18 year old may be responsible for a billion dollars of equipment compared to the 18 year old who's in College out partying all night and skips a class, how do you go tell somebody afterwards that at 18, I actually commanded was a leader over 20 different soldiers. And with all this responsibility and equipment, and people don't have that frame of context because they weren't there. They didn't do that. They think back to when they were 18, too, when you're experienced in the Pentagon and others. So it's definitely a hard transition. And that's why we enjoy mentoring. And many of our mentors are veterans themselves who have been through that transition and want to give back to help others. So, again, thank you for your service and sharing with us the struggles that you kind of had as you came out kind of staying along those same lines or any fun or funny stories or anything related to that.
[00:12:42.280] - PMO Joe
And you were in Turkey for a while. You said, I don't know if that had any humor to it or not. There's got to be lighthearted moments on the journey as well, I would imagine.
[00:12:52.070] - Kandis Porter
Oh, of course. First of all, I love Turkey. It's a beautiful, beautiful country. And I didn't really know what I was getting into when I first got stationed over there, I remember I was transitioning so from an enlisted weather forecaster to a services officer. So that was a transition one changing jobs to going from enlisted to actually an officer. And I also had orders to go out to Arizona. That was my duty station. And right before I left for officer training school, I called into my commander's office and he said, hey, you have new orders. You're going to Turkey right after officer training school. And I wasn't prepared for that because I'd already had my plan, already looked at where I was going to live in Arizona. And so it was one of those things you have to just have an agile mindset for sure. But best thing that ever happened. I was so excited to get over to Turkey. And I mean, culture there is incredible there. Very hospitable. And it was a unique mission as well. We were actually on a Turkish Air Force base, and so we had other Turkish military members on the base.
[00:14:17.210] - Kandis Porter
It was an accompanied tour for a lot of families. So there were spouses there. There were children there. We had local national so Turkish civilians that weren't in the military working on the base. So when you look at it and how everyone kind of works together in the moving pieces, it's really incredible. But I guess a fun story. So I was in Adana, Turkey, and it's about 45 minutes north of the Mediterranean Sea. So if you look at a map of Turkey about central Turkey, 45 minutes north. And so several people, several junior officers went in and we rented a beach house on the Mediterranean Sea in this incredible little town called Kitscalacei. And we used to go down a lot of weekends and just hang out at the beach, living the good life and just having a blast there. There was a Castle out in the sea. It was called Castle of the Sea off the beach there.
[00:15:22.840] - PMO Joe
It's really cool.
[00:15:23.590] - Kandis Porter
You could swim out, too. You can explore the Castle, but a lot of fun. We had a hard mission during the week, and not every weekend. Of course, we worked a lot of weekends there as well. But that was really cool, really fun. A lot of camaraderie amongst kind of other people we're working with in the military members.
[00:15:42.820] - PMO Joe
Yeah. What a great experience to be able to share that. And I don't know if we should be talking about that. It sounds like you're supposed to be. That's too much fun for what we think of the military. Right. Where you don't get to have fun. You're supposed to be deployed and sweating all the time. Right. And not enjoying it at all.
[00:15:59.370] - Kandis Porter
We did plenty of that as well. Don't worry. But I do have incredible memories. I miss the Air Force a lot some days. And I'm starting to see some of my peers. I've been out for a while now. They're in very high rank, some of them retiring or have retired. And it's really interesting to just think, what if I would have stayed on course with that? How would my life be different? I know it would be significantly different.
[00:16:28.710] - PMO Joe
Yeah. But hey, you've done great. The path you took. Right? I'm sure you're pleased with that as well.
[00:16:36.810] - Kandis Porter
Absolutely. And I want to go back to the transitioning part for military members.
[00:16:44.090] - PMO Joe
[00:16:46.110] - Kandis Porter
I would encourage people to give them a chance because our transitioning military members, maybe their resumes look a little bit different than what you see in the civilian world. But our military members have the best critical thinking skills that we're going to figure it out. They're incredible at risk management, and the work ethic is second to none. And I think that is so important. Just give them a chance. Maybe it looks strange on paper, but get to know someone, because I guarantee a majority of the time you're going to be quite impressed.
[00:17:25.050] - PMO Joe
Yeah, toot. Our own Horn with the PMO squad. This year, we won the platinum medallion from Hirevet dot. Gov for the work that we do at veterans and support veterans hiring. And we have a bunch of veterans on our team as well. And what we never have to worry about is the commitment to our cause. That's something that is just ingrained within your military training that not everybody has. And again, it's not black or white. It's not. Everyone does and everyone doesn't. But for each of the veterans on our team, the commitment is unquestioned. And it's fantastic to be able to know. And sometimes you take it for granted because you see it all the time. Right? It's like, Jeez, you just know the job will get done and it will get done well, because you can't do it half past in the military, right. There's life and death situations that are depending on this. So you have to make sure you do it the right way.
[00:18:20.310] - Kandis Porter
Absolutely. I just toured here in Reno. We have Beaver Fit. I don't know if you've heard of Beaver Fit. They do a lot of fitness equipment. It gets deployed, so it's in shipping containers and they could ship it to a deployed location. They can move it around. It's a really incredible just organization. And they hire a ton of veterans. But I went and toured their facility, and the work that they do is quite cool. And again, they're big on hiring veterans. And you could see it. You could see it in their facility, in their warehouse where they're actually doing the work. It was clean. You'd hear people say, yes, sir, if someone asked him to do something, it was kind of fun. Not that that is required there, I'm sure. But I'm just so impressed when you get back in the situation where you're surrounded by other veterans, we've got a great organization here called Vet work, which is veterans networking, where it's people that have transitioned to kind of the business world. And we meet up and we talk about stuff and, hey, is there anything that you need help with? Anyone looking for a job, anyone hiring?
[00:19:33.580] - Kandis Porter
It's just creating that environment again. And I really love being a part of that.
[00:19:39.390] - PMO Joe
I'm trying to remember back from our conversation. I think you also obviously know you started your own business, but there is a program you went through. Right. I believe to help get you into that mindset of entrepreneurism and how to be able to get some benefits from that. What was that?
[00:19:56.620] - Kandis Porter
Yes. So Syracuse University has a ton of veteran programs and transitioning military programs. I always tell people so I am an instructor for Project Management Institute for their PMP exam prep programs. When someone reaches out to me if they're a veteran and says, hey, tell me more about training, what this would look like, I point them to Syracuse because they have programs that those transitioning military and veterans can go through that lead to certifications that lead to training. So I can't say enough good things about that. One of the programs that I went through was called Vwise. So Vwise, and it was for veteran women and veteran spouses. And we met up. There was a couple of different tracks. One is starting your own business, so kind of earlier in the process, and one was growing your business. So at the time, I was really starting my business. I went in that track, and I met so many incredible women in that program. I think that building a network is one of the most important things if you're branching out on your own to start a business, because I say a majority of the work that I do is through referrals through my network and so other women owned businesses, veteran owned businesses, just small businesses to where, you know what, I'm not trying to boil the ocean with what I offer as services, but I know someone that's really good at what you're asking for.
[00:21:37.840] - Kandis Porter
So I'm happy to make an introduction. Yeah. That is really important.
[00:21:43.840] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I agree. Building your network is so important. And the best business is referral business. Right. And through the bigger your network, the better your opportunities for that. So thanks for sharing all of that history and the journey that you've been on from military into where you are today. So fast forward now into current situation. Can you explain a little bit more, share a little bit more about effective flow consulting and how that all happened and what that was like for you now as a business owner. Right. Instead of being a captain, you're now the general of your own business.
[00:22:24.450] - Kandis Porter
Yes. Well, I just love what I do. And as I mentioned, I try to keep it in my Lane. Right. Like, we want to do what we do extremely well. And that is working with organizations and setting up processes that work. Project management, change management, that leadership development. I think that's one area that I especially enjoy working with people on, because if you don't have support at that leadership level with project management or with change management, it's going to be a lot harder than it has to be or it's not going to be successful. So helping them understand what's your role in being a leader within the organization and supporting others. But yeah, usually working with someone, I'll have someone reach out and say, hey, so and so told me to check out your website or reach out to you. Do you do XYZ? And I always like to meet with people and truly understand what it is that they're looking for and usually go through some type of a discovery phase within the organization because I've had people say, you know what? We need a new project management tool. So do you know Asana, do you know Ms.
[00:23:45.960] - Kandis Porter
Project? Do you know Jared? Do you know Smart sheet? Yeah, sure. Can we set up a training for my team? Okay. And then you start digging and it's maybe not a tool that they need. Maybe they need foundational education on what project management is. Some of the details there. And then later the tool can come in to support them. But a tool won't make someone successful as a project manager, right?
[00:24:11.420] - PMO Joe
Yes, I agree with that. Plenty of experience along those lines as well.
[00:24:15.870] - Kandis Porter
Do you often get that question, hey, can you just deploy this first real quick where you need to go a bit deeper?
[00:24:22.850] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Everyone self diagnoses. What their problem is it's like us with access to the Internet, we all think, what's wrong with us before we go to the doctor? And then when we get to the doctor, they tell us, sorry, you don't have bronchitis, you have pneumonia. Right. That's the same thing we run into consulting where people everybody's run a project in their life. So they think they know project management at a deeper level. So, yeah, they self diagnose and we go and do some discovery and often point them in a direction that's actually going to help them more than what they asked for.
[00:24:56.730] - Kandis Porter
Yeah, absolutely agree. And I mean, the first sign that it's going to be a success is that they're reaching out and asking for help. Right. I mean, when someone reaches out, they know something's wrong. But are you treating a symptom or are you getting to the root cause of where you really need to be treating something? Yeah, WebMD, every medical provider out there just rolls their eyes. You're not a doctor. Don't go off the Internet.
[00:25:28.290] - PMO Joe
What are some of the hardest or most challenging projects you've had to work on? What have you encountered out there that you still because we still learn. I've been doing this for nine years as a consultant in 20 years before that in corporate world. But every time we have an engagement, I usually learn something as well as what we're helping teach to the clients. What have you encountered out there?
[00:25:49.760] - Kandis Porter
I'd say just about any project that involves people is a challenging one. And I say that lightheartedly. That's what makes project management change management so rewarding as well, because you're making a difference. There's project outcomes and objectives. You're trying to do something. People are everywhere. And if you forget about them, you're not going to succeed with your project. I mean, employees are people, customers are people, everyone's a person. And so we've got to truly understand our audience, the culture of an organization. And this is why you've got to spend some time with people, not just say, yeah, come in and do training based on that line you just gave me because it may not be what they need. You need to understand because the culture of the organization is make it or break it for a lot of things. And there's no off the shelf. This project management practice is going to work for you. So I think that the most challenging project that I've worked on, it was directly because of culture. And this was during my Air Force time, shortly after I got to Turkey. So, yeah, we used to go down to the beach.
[00:27:10.110] - Kandis Porter
It was fun and games, but we had a very challenging operation. We worked on the non combatant evacuation operation. So it was called Neo, where we were evacuating Americans from Lebanon once a war broke out there in 2006. And we had like 1700 evacuees come to our base pretty much overnight. And they ended up staying there for about ten days. Some of them the State Department was working to get them flights back to the United States. So we had a very short amount of time to plan, which I think makes any project challenging when you're fighting against time. So a short amount of time to plan. And then we have something called Patriot Village on the base there in Turkey. I would guess that a lot of people that have been through insert air base knows what Patriot Village is, but it's pretty much ten buildings, like ten the material. And it is set up with bunk beds and COTS. And it was stood up to house military members. You can set up a kitchen out there and you can have roughly like 1500 between 2000 people there. So we filled that up very quickly with about 1700 evacuees.
[00:28:40.770] - Kandis Porter
And the way that it was always set up with our military operations was males in certain buildings and females in certain buildings because there are showers at the end of each building. So we take our plan and we decide, let's move forward to executing. And we knew within the first few hours that we're going to have to change course because what we didn't think about as well as we should have where the people that were arriving, they were terrified with their family members, males and females. They don't want to be separated and put into two different buildings. Families wanted to remain together.
[00:29:23.110] - Kandis Porter
And so we had to rework our entire plan and figure out, okay, how are we going to adjust on the fly? Because this is going to be harder than what we typically would do if it was military members. But lots of lessons learned. And I think putting yourselves in the shoes of people that are going to be impacted by a project or part of a project, you have to know your audience and you have to tailor to them. So that was extremely hard. Like I said, it was roughly ten days. I mean, we served tons and tons of meals, came up with entertainment. I think that we knocked it out of the park. Overall, as far as that operation, it was really incredible to feel like you're making a pretty important difference in life.
[00:30:14.950] - PMO Joe
No, it's interesting about that is take the scope of your project, of course, would change for every project we're involved in. But aren't we always confronted with that? At some point during the project we get a situation that wasn't what we thought it was going to be. And how are we able to react to that and respond to that? Right. Using either agile techniques, maybe, or traditional techniques to be able to adjust to that. Every project at some point has that Oops or wasn't expecting that moment. Right. You can't plan everything. I would imagine tremendous lessons learned, as you mentioned, came out of that that have helped you now as a business owner, be able to support clients with that same sort of mindset.
[00:30:57.670] - Kandis Porter
Absolutely. And I think admitting early on when you realize something isn't working, the sooner you can say we need to adjust our plan, the better. So you've got to get the pride out of it, the emotions out of it, and say, how can we make this work? I completely agree with you, though. I always say the only guarantee in project management is that something is going to change from your plan. I mean, that's about right. You've got to take the time to plan, however. And that's my number one thing. I know people get excited. Okay, we have an idea for a project. Let's skip over and start executing. Let's start doing the work and moving things forward. But you have to stop. You have to get that plan in place. I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. So let's slow down, make sure everyone is clear on roles and responsibilities, what we're trying to do, get that project charter in place. I love my project charter. And then figure out how we're going to successfully execute and be able to make decisions quickly when you need to.
[00:32:11.510] - PMO Joe
Right. The decision making is so important had you been in that project, in that situation and not decided to change up your normal course of action, you would have had a major disaster on your hands. You would have to work through. Right. So what are maybe some tips or tricks you've learned along the way on decision making and helping make that be more effective?
[00:32:32.530] - Kandis Porter
I'm big on decisionmaking processes and structures. I do think that this is an area that a lot of organizations struggle with is making those timely decisions and moving things forward. You saw right away during the pandemic organizations that just changed their course immediately and were succeeding and maybe those that were still in shock sitting there, not sure what to do. I think that timely decisions gives an organization a competitive advantage. Right. We're able to be more agile decision making roles. That's a big one. So I like to boil it down. I actually teach a decision making course I teach at University of Nevada here in Reno as part of their extended studies and their advanced leadership Academy that I'm a part of it's. The piece that I teach is decision making. So I like to call it D-I-D-I. So we've got to make a decision. Who are the roles? D-I-D-I think it's pretty simple to remember that one. So who's the driver of the decision? Who needs to provide input? Who's the actual decision maker, and is it a person? Is it a group of people? Is it the board of directors? So who's the decision making authority and then who needs informed of the decision driver?
[00:34:04.420] - Kandis Porter
Input? Decision maker. Who needs informed? And I think that if you slow down to think through, that pretty much like a stakeholder analysis of the decision. Who's going to fulfill what roles, then you can make sure that you don't forget about anyone. And once that decision is made, I'll say implementation is critical, so it doesn't end when the decision made. The hard work begins there. How do we implement this now?
[00:34:35.710] - PMO Joe
Yeah, that's so important. Right. As you were explaining all that, I was also thinking like a Racy. Right. We use races all the time, so people are comfortable with that concept, but I don't think they really follow through with the decisions that are out there. Oftentimes we'll implement a raid log. Right. Risks, actions, issues and decisions or assumptions sometimes in there. So we'll list the decisions, but we don't usually go through a process to be able to actually determine how to make the decision. So it's great to be able to have that tip from everybody. D-I-D-I. Right, as you said, easy to be able to understand that. So I love that. Thank you for sharing.
[00:35:15.970] - Kandis Porter
Absolutely. And sometimes I'll add a D to the Racy type of matrix. So responsible, accountable, consult, inform, and then who is the decision maker? If there's a decision that's in there, add a D to that. And you know who has that authority? So I always tell clients a template, a template tailored to whatever you need. If it is a race and you need to add a D to it, like do it, because I think that that's key. What's going to work for them.
[00:35:47.730] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love that. And we're seeing lots of people join us online. Lucho, my buddy was on the show earlier a few months back. So nice to see you with us. And Jason up in North Dakota, fridge in North Dakota, and then, of course, Saudi Arabia, Madrid, people joining around the world. I love this, that we're able to reach such a broad audience with guests like you. It's fantastic.
[00:36:11.890] - Kandis Porter
Yeah. Welcome, everyone. And Jason, I used to weather forecasts for the Air Force bases in North Dakota, so I know how frigid it is there. And I remember we had some big snowstorms come through and actually had to tie ropes from buildings to buildings on the Air Force base so people didn't get lost when they got Blizzard like conditions. So send you some warm vibes and some Sunshine.
[00:36:37.030] - PMO Joe
I would imagine you had mentioned you might have been stationed in Arizona. So somewhere like North Dakota. Arizona, the weather would be easy, right. It's going to be cold in North Dakota and hot in Arizona. What's tomorrow's forecast? Same as today?
[00:36:51.610] - Kandis Porter
It could be. I mean, terrain has so much to do. Temperature. You can get guesting wind so quickly if there's mountain ranges or anything as storm fronts come through, just you'll go from zero to 70 mph winds. I still love the weather. I'm obsessed with it. So I could talk weather all day. But that'll bore people for sure.
[00:37:18.610] - PMO Joe
Maybe that's a project manager thing. I'm in exactly the same way. Right. If I could have had a career other than project management, first choice would have been a major League baseball player. But second choice would be I'd be a weather person. I just fascinated. My wife doesn't understand it. Right. But it's this draw. I think there's a lot of similarities also between weather and project management. Right. You mentioned what's the terrain, what's the forecast? What is the impact of geography and people and situations and the equipment we're using? All of that is in a project. Right. We're forecasting projects. We're trying to read the terrain to see when something's going to go in or not, how to be able to react to that, give people the influence they need to make decisions. I see a lot of similarities between weather and projects.
[00:38:06.370] - Kandis Porter
I completely agree with you. And I think that being a weather forecaster really drove me to make decisions, I think more quickly with the data that I had so really focused on being logical and taking emotions out of it, because forecasting weather for the Air Force is high stress when there are storms moving through. I mean, we're talking about huge thunderstorms. You can't let a pilot fly close to that. If a tornado is going to hit somewhere and you've got fighter planes on the runway, you are talking billions of dollars and you have to make good decisions based on the information that you have. And I think that that's exactly like project management. So risk management, we've got to be good at that. We've got to think about worst case scenario. And when decision making comes about, I call it Devil's advocate. So how do we get people in a room and say, here's our plan, and now I want you to poke holes in it, because what's going to go wrong? And when you allow people the ability and the freedom to do that, I think people are less likely to poke holes in a plan if they feel like they're being a squeaky wheel.
[00:39:28.300] - Kandis Porter
But if you allow them the freedom and you say, I want you to poke a hole in this, tell me what's going to go wrong, then they could think of all of these interesting scenarios, and it just makes your plan that much better.
[00:39:40.110] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love that. And so many different lessons from when we talk with clients, we always try to not use project management terms. We try to put it into context that maybe that's more familiar to their role or their company or their products and services. And I had never really used weather before doing that. But now I'm going to think up some new scenarios where weather can come into play as well.
[00:40:01.870] - Kandis Porter
One of my favorite. And I mean, I geek out all the time. A lot of my students are probably like, okay, Candace, but I use turbulence to talk about change management. And I actually have a chart that talks about light turbulence, moderate turbulence, severe turbulence, and what happens when these are taking place when you're on a plane and I always tell people you're going to experience light turbulence no matter what you do, you could have the best plan in the world. When a change is taking place, there's going to be some turbulence. However, if you don't plan at all, you're going to get into that severe turbulence. People are screaming, drinks are flying out of their hands, they're panicked. They don't want to be there anymore. And that's when you start losing people. If you stay in that severe turbulence for too long, people don't want to be in an organization that it just feels really turbulent. So I like to use that. Feel free to use that as well.
[00:41:03.450] - PMO Joe
Absolutely. I love it. I talked to a gentleman yesterday, and he talked about when he's training on projects, he puts everybody into a Thanksgiving dinner planning session and has everybody go through that as if they're planning their large family and neighborhood Thanksgiving dinner instead of using typical project management type thing. So it's this who hasn't been on a plane where you've experienced some turbulence, and sometimes you feel it. And you're like, oh, I guess that was turbulence then. Sometimes you really feel it. Anyway, your stomach goes up in your throat and you're like, I've been on a project a few times where my stomach has been in my throat, where I had to go to a meeting with steering committee or stakeholders and realize, boy, we're in trouble here, and I really need some help. So again, I felt it. I know what it feels like to be there.
[00:41:56.350] - Kandis Porter
And that's just it. People don't forget a feeling, especially if it's a feeling of fear. So if you start talking about severe turbulence and people have been on a plane where people were screaming, I do not like turbulence. And I know it's just there. I know that there's very small number of incidents that are because of turbulence. However, when you start talking about that, it does. It both an emotional response and people know what you're talking about. I think that that's a really great one. I have to say, I loved your conversation with Tim Creasy from Prosai as well, back in late 2021, and I believe you referred to kind of change management and project management as peanut butter and jelly. They're both good by themselves. However, when they're put together, it's like an incredible sandwich. I loved that. I think that that's really important. I have to say, I became a pretty solid project manager before I understood the importance of change management, and I think it's that technical side coming from more of a technical background with the weather forecasting and whatnot. And I learned the change management. I got Precise certified, and I knew a bit about change management before then.
[00:43:16.410] - Kandis Porter
However, if you're able to put that peanut butter and jelly sandwich together sooner in your career, it is so much easier. You're not fighting those uphill battles the whole time.
[00:43:28.530] - PMO Joe
Well, you'll be happy to hear we've got Tim coming back on the show, I think, in April, if my timing is correct. So we'll make some more analogies and talk some more change management and get some different perspective. That conversation just ended way too early with him, and there was so much more ground to cover. So we're excited to have him come back on and talk about all things change management, Prosai and add Car and everything else from his experience.
[00:43:54.790] - Kandis Porter
Awesome. Prosai is staple. I have their good old stick, best practices and change management on my desk at all times because it's important. It's right next to the pin box. Actually, they're just stacked right here. If you looked around my desk, I've got a lot of books on here that I use all the time.
[00:44:14.680] - PMO Joe
I love it. Hey, well, since you just went there, what else you got there? What are some other good reading material for folks? This is the beauty of being live right and just go with the flow.
[00:44:25.600] - Kandis Porter
Yeah, I love it. It's so funny. Let me pull all these books. So love, love the book decisive. So it's by the Heath brothers. Great decision making book. It's one that I actually have my students read when I teach at University. This is an oldie but I Getty Who Moved my Cheese? Oh yeah, the little fable about the mice.
[00:44:54.250] - PMO Joe
Those that Survive required corporate reading from the 90s and 2000s. Absolutely.
[00:44:59.940] - Kandis Porter
So funny. I read it again. It's such a quick read. You can lay in bed and read it in 30 minutes. It's so funny because you look at it through different lenses. If you read it day one of your first job in your career, you're like, okay, why am I reading a book about mice? But later on you're like, this makes so much sense. It's pretty true. And then this is another one. Change management focus switch. Also by the Heath brothers. Big fan of the Heath brothers and their books. So that is what is within arms reach right now.
[00:45:33.450] - PMO Joe
Thanks. Sorry for putting on the spot with that. But it's always great to see what others are reading, right? To be able to get that insight from them and know what makes me want to go get my stuff. For me, one of my go to is Always A Hand to Guide Me by Denzel Washington. And it's a collection of letters that famous athletes, politicians, actors have written about the influence of mentors in their lives and how they didn't get to where they are if it weren't for other people in their lives that helped them get there. And that always helps me be grounded and recognize that where I'm at today is really a journey that was written by many other people who've helped me along the way.
[00:46:16.450] - Kandis Porter
That's awesome. I'm a big quote fan. I love leadership quotes, decision making quotes. I really do like quotes. And also, if we're going to talk about some of our favorites, I love Brune Brown and her book Dare to Lead. Just really cool. And they have a story about the Air Force in there. So that's always fun. Yes. Brunette, Brown, and a big fan there.
[00:46:43.620] - PMO Joe
You had mentioned kind of Who Moved your Cheese. When you read it at one point of your life, you get context from that. If you read it at another point, you get different context. On that same vein, thinking back Candice Porter 20 years ago, what would be some advice that you would give her then based on what you've learned now?
[00:47:06.190] - Kandis Porter
Great question. I've always taken my career very seriously, even at a young age, and I think that that's great. I think that rather than a direction in career advice, because I think that you go down a lot of different roads and I don't do a lot of what if. I'm always impressed when I see some of my previous peers, like retiring from the military and doing awesome things, which happens all the time. So I don't go down that road or I don't really think of I tell them to go into coding or whatever. I think it's more about know what to sweat. Like don't sweat the small stuff and take time off, have fun, don't stress all the time. Because I think I've realized over the years that a lot of the time what you spend your time worrying about never comes through. Right. It's just okay, well I spent a lot of time thinking or worrying about that and it never was realized. But there's something over here that I wasn't thinking about. So it's just about being able to respond in a thoughtful way, gather your data. So I think don't sweat the small stuff, take time off, kind of enjoy your life I guess.
[00:48:35.390] - Kandis Porter
One more thing. So I work a lot with Disk and I also work with Myers Briggs. So kind of your personality types. I'll tell everyone it's going to be out there in the world now. So I'm a DC, I show up as a DC, as my natural style. So if you're familiar with Disk, we've got our dominant, we've got our influence, our steadiness and then our conscientiousness. So I come across pretty direct most of the time. And also in my career I have learned to be more careful and thoughtful with my words because I really am. I have positive intent, I'm focused on results. That's really important. And so I've had to train myself and I think I've said this in a lot of different ways, focus on the technical side before I started thinking like oh, we have to really get people on board and go through those avenues. The same with just kind of my natural style. I tend to go in a very logical manner as far as data getting results that side of it. And so I need to train myself to think about kind of the people and some emotional responses that maybe people are experiencing so that can better ease the fear.
[00:50:00.790] - Kandis Porter
So I wish I would have gone through something like that, like the personality assessment and really understood and got that self awareness earlier, earlier in my career. But it's definitely something that I think is progress every day. Like once you're aware, you keep improving, right. As a leader as you gain experience.
[00:50:21.510] - PMO Joe
Absolutely. And I love that. Don't sweat the small stuff part because we still do it today, right. I mean there's stuff that we put an importance on that maybe nobody else does and we get so caught up into that and we lose vision. It's the forest and the trees type concept, right. We keep seeing that tree that's in front of us but really we need to be looking at the forest. We've got four kids and they're all teens. They're all teens now. Wow, that's crazy. But they're at that age where everything is so impressionable on them and we experience that into our early career because we're thinking about the future. We're thinking about where we're headed. And if I don't do this the right way, I'll never make it to there now as the boss, as somebody that's been there. We don't remember those things. We remember the effort you put into it. We remember the intention that you had. We remember you were thinking about other people and all that stuff. So great advice is don't sweat the small stuff. Remember, there's a big picture to all of this. And don't lose sight of that while you're in the middle of the battle, the heat of the battle of the small stuff.
[00:51:29.010] - PMO Joe
I get it. But just know that we're not seeing what you're seeing. And there's value and benefits of trying to see the forest maybe a little bit more than just the tree in front of you.
[00:51:39.830] - Kandis Porter
I think that is wonderful. I think that you've just stated that so nicely and really separating in your mind what you have control over and what you don't have control over. If you're worrying about a lot of things that you have no control over, let it go and focus on what you can control.
[00:52:00.060] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love that. Well, we are getting short on time, which is always still five years into this surprises me how fast these shows go. So, Kenneth, I want to give you an opportunity to mention anything about yourself or the company that we might not have covered. If you have any training or any events plan that you're coming up with or any last advice for any of the listeners out there, as well as obviously I've got up here on screen how people can connect with you. And here's your website. But if people want to reach out to you, what's the best way to do that?
[00:52:33.230] - Kandis Porter
Linkedin is a great way. Please add me on LinkedIn if you want to add a comment that you heard about me on the show. Would love that. I have a YouTube channel out there, if you just search my name as well, where I put out some free training, so free materials out there on project management, that's really what it's focused on, some of the same topics that we talked about today. I just love connecting with people kind of hearing their stories or whatnot as well. So I'd say those are two of the best avenues to really connect.
[00:53:07.910] - PMO Joe
Awesome. Well, thank you so much. And I encourage everybody out there as well. Candice and I connected on LinkedIn and a random occurrence. We were both commenting on a feed by Trevor Nelson. Had a bit of a common bond in the response to the messaging on there. And I said, I got to reach out to that person and see what she's about. And now here she is, a guest on the show. And hopefully we'll continue to connect beyond the show as well. We have a lot in common, a lot of similarities, and I think similar paths that we've both been on as well.
[00:53:40.490] - Kandis Porter
Absolutely. And that was such an interesting thread talking about females in the project management world. And I think that just the numbers are really interesting on that as well. I think that roughly the project management world is about a third female and two thirds male. And I look back, the Air Force as well think that they're at about 20% female as well. So when I talk about the directness and some of the things that I work on is probably also helped me, like being a direct person, I think is important when you're communicating in a world especially for females, that maybe is mostly male. But I'll celebrate one thing here. And then, of course, Joe, I'll turn it back over to you. Last year, there was a breakthrough. So the Fortune 500, they had the most female CEOs that they've seen yet, with about 41, which is roughly 8%. So I think that's really cool that over time we're seeing more and more females in the project management world, in the military on that Fortune 500 CEO list. So it's exciting.
[00:54:58.310] - PMO Joe
Yes, definitely celebrate the successes, acknowledging still a long way to go. But you can't ignore the victories along the journey, right?
[00:55:08.210] - Kandis Porter
[00:55:09.450] - PMO Joe
So I'm with you. We've had Elise Stevens, come on, who celebrates women in Project Management initiative. And we have ACO Watkins, who's going to be on soon, and she has a podcast, Women in Project Management or Women of Project Management. So we try to do about a 50 50 balance on the show because the reality is in life, there's 51% women and 49 men. We've got to give the women the access and do that they have and show that there's amazing leaders such as yourself and others. And we have so much to learn from you. And there's different perspectives that we don't always get to appreciate until we've had those discussions. So thank you for coming on and sharing your story with us. It's been really informative, and I really appreciate having you here with us today.
[00:55:59.150] - Kandis Porter
It's been a lot of fun. Joe, thank you so much. And thank you for getting all of the voices out there in the world. I do think that it is critical that we hear different types of angles, looking at different things. So thank you for what you do, and it's always a pleasure talking with you.
[00:56:18.850] - PMO Joe
Awesome. I also want to say thank you to our listeners. Be sure to visit our website. If you go out there and you can see all of our past shows and also see all the amazing guests that we have coming up. I'll read through a list of this. We're booked all the way into July already, so it's fantastic. Bruno Brigante, he'll be joining us from Germany, Ben Peters from South Africa. I mentioned Tim Creasy from Prose. He'll be coming on as well. Louise, wersley also from South Africa. Ricardo Martin from Spain Sanjeev Augustine here in the States. Melissa McDonald another graduate of that Syracuse University program. She's the smart PM. She'll be joining us Kim essendroup and Asia Watkins. I mentioned they're going to be on my hundredth show. That's coming up in April. I can't believe I'm going to be celebrating 100 shows but they'll be joining me for that. Constantine yeah. Constantine, Constantine ribel and Robert Bruce from Germany, Maria abdelina from the Ukraine and we've got some more surprises for the rest of the year as well. So thank you to everybody who's listened and joined us over the years or reminder we're live.
[00:57:31.230] - PMO Joe
Obviously we're reacting here with Candace live but you can also go out to your favorite podcast platform because we record these and release them as podcasts. That's it. Thanks for our sponsors, the PMO squad and the PMO leader. Until next time, office hours are closed and we'll talk to you in two more weeks. Bye, everybody.
[00:57:52.500] - Kandis Porter
[00:57:54.050] - Announcer
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