[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 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.
[00:00:30.530] - PMO Joe
Welcome, everyone, to Project Management Office Hours. We're the number one live Project management radio show in the United States, and we're broadcasting to you today from the Phoenix business Radioactive Studios in Tempe, Arizona. I'm your host, PMO Joe. And for the next hour or so, we'll be talking project Management apologize for the technical challenges there at the beginning of the show. Modern technology stuff happens, right? But we are live today, and I certainly encourage everybody who's listening to us live to let us know where you're located, drop into the chat, add your comments and let us know where you're joining from. And then throughout the show, if you have any questions for Bruno, certainly drop those questions into the comment section as well. Before we get started in just wanted to make a couple of announcements, as we normally do. First of all, I want to say thank you to the PMO Leader community. They had invited myself to be a panelist along with Laura Bernard and America Pinto for the kickoff of the Digital Transformation webinar series. If you missed that show, it's now available out on the PMO Leader YouTube channel, which we have listed there.
[00:01:47.570] - PMO Joe
So I encourage you all to go out and take a look at that. It was a good time. First time America, Laura and I ever got together on the same stage to chat through a really fun discussion about digital transformation. Also, a friend of mine had sent over an email this week. Sometimes you take things for granted and you forget about them. In her email, she said, I love this Bingeworthy page on your website, and that's the page where the podcast is listed. Pdus just for watching amazing content for free. That's a great deal. And I never think about that right, because I'm always doing the show. So I never think about using the show for PDUs. But we're up to this is show number 98. We have 98 hours worth of information on our industry that you can claim PDU for. So if you're approaching certification time or you're just interested in putting in your PDUs early, go out to the site, listen to some shows, and glad to see everybody. We got Switzerland, Czech Republic, UK, California, New Jersey. It's great to have so many people joining us from all over the world to what I love about this show, Spain joining us.
[00:03:04.360] - PMO Joe
Well, certainly. I also want to take a moment to thank our sponsors, the PMO Squad and the PMO leader. Without them, this is impossible. They have covered the cost for everything. And if you need project management assistance, whether setting up a PMO, getting project management resources, or perhaps building out your processes and tools, better go out and visit the PMO Squad website. Anything PMO related or project management related, we're there to be able to support and help you. We are now live streaming on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, over the Internet radio. We are coming to you live with our special guests. So we're here to interact with you, as I mentioned, let us know where you're joining us from and also let us know any questions you have or comments during the discussion. So with that, I'm very excited to have Bruno Morgante joining us from Germany. Welcome, Bruno.
[00:04:04.020] - Bruno Morgante
Thank you, Joe. Thank you, everyone. I'm happy to be here and happy to went through the technical issues at the beginning.
[00:04:13.610] - PMO Joe
It's always fun to be live. That's the beauty of our show. The recorded podcasts are great. You can cover all your mistakes when you're live. We give it our best shot and hopefully it works out okay.
[00:04:25.670] - Bruno Morgante
That's true. That's true.
[00:04:27.190] - PMO Joe
Bruno, if you could take a moment just to say hello to everybody and let us know a little bit about yourself, I think you're calling in from Berlin, Germany, I believe, right?
[00:04:37.230] - Bruno Morgante
[00:04:38.880] - PMO Joe
Just take a moment to say hello to everyone.
[00:04:41.000] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah. So hello, everyone. I used to introduce myself. I solve problems and deliver results. And the tea is actually something that I'm doing since quite a while. Quite a long time, both professionally and in the personal life. My name is Bruno Morgante and I am Italian from Milano, but I am living in beautiful Berlin, Germany, since eight years and a half now. And yeah, it's 712 here 07:00 p.m.. So it's quite dark dinner time, but excited to be here with all of you and to have a nice entertaining conversation today. Joe.
[00:05:26.470] - PMO Joe
Yeah. Thank you so much. I know whenever we have our European guests on, they're joining us, usually in their evening hours. So certainly appreciate that you're taking time away from your family and also sharing your European background. Right. I mean, from Italy, now in Germany, wife from Poland. You're just the blending of all the great things that Europe has to offer with the connection of the different countries and how close you all are over there.
[00:05:55.850] - PMO Joe
All right. So let's jump into some good project management talk. And one thing I'm always fascinated by when I talk with all of our different guests is how everybody gets started in project management. Right? All of us. You get the Gray in your beard. Mine is not as long, but plenty of Gray in mine as well. There wasn't project management at a University when we were there. Right. You couldn't take coursework in that. So how do you start? What was the beginning of your journey?
[00:06:23.990] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah. And it's a beautiful question. I love to start with this one. It was in the year 2005 kind of when I started. I joined just fresh after the University multinational company, It's, a manufacturing company, French manufacturing company Alstom and I joined in their It Department as starter stager, in turn doing particularly business analyst business analysis. And it was basically translating business needs into It actionable things. And I did it for about six months, more or less up to a point in which my manager at that time told me, you know what, Bruno, I believe you're going to be a great project manager. At that moment he saw in me something like me being always planning things, being accurate, being very precise, detail oriented, focus on delivering. And these are the aspects that he saw in me and that he said, you will be a good project manager. But the funny thing is that until that moment the only example of project managers I saw around me, it was not a very good example of PMS. It was the type of PMS that were external and they were approaching the customer, which were us with the type of approach.
[00:08:07.010] - Bruno Morgante
As I come in, I design a plan, I assign the tasks, I tell you what to do, and I come back in a week just to see if the things are moving. So that was in my eyes back then what a project manager was doing. To which I said to my boss back then, no, not at all, I don't want to be one of them. And we had a good laugh and a good conversation. But then of course he started assigning me to small tasks. They were work packages within projects. Later on it became little project. So I started the typical career. So it was small things and small projects, bigger projects. Then it started to be to enter into the world of the program management. So it was programs then bigger programs up until the typical multi million dollar programs. And that was my career. So technically almost 17 years in the corporate world, I spent them in project management. Except the first six months I would say.
[00:09:25.790] - PMO Joe
Did you go to University before you started in your career?
[00:09:29.870] - Bruno Morgante
I did engineering. I studied engineering of telecommunications. But again also here, there is a funny thing. When I was still in high school with a group of friends of the high school, we decided to go to University. It was about four or five of us and we had in mind this idea of we need to take the piece of paper. That was what we had in mind as a high school student again back then. And during the University years I was in parallel. I had my thing with who was at that time my best friend. Now we don't really talk too much to each other, but we're still in contact and we were doing our thing, which was organizing concerts. So that was a parallel stream, which I also had in my first couple of years while I was working in Alston, while I started in project management. But that was already ongoing. University. Yes. It was engineering of telecommunications police, technically Milano, which is my city. I was born there, grown up there right there and studied there. And that was it for quite a few years in my life, I would say.
[00:10:49.370] - PMO Joe
So when we had met, I guess a month, a couple of months back or whatever, we talked about this. But I'm originally from New York and in New York, we love pizza. Certainly we probably don't love pizza as much as the people in Italy. But I said, how could you be from Italy living in Germany? I can't imagine there's good pizza in Germany. But you said you've actually found some good pizza in Germany as well.
[00:11:14.380] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah. I have to say, in Berlin in particular. Berlin is not Germany. Berlin is Berlin. And you really find ethnic and multicultural city. And in the past few years, the things have changed. I have to say, when we moved here about eight and a half years ago, it was different. It was not so easy to find a good pizza place right now. There are so many and some of them are really good. They would be successful back in Italy. Absolutely. They are, of course, run and managed by Italians, most of them from Napoli. So they do the Napoli style pizza, which is a thing. Absolutely.
[00:12:06.130] - PMO Joe
I have a wood fired pizza oven in my backyard, so I'm certainly not an expert, but I try to be I pretend one at home at least. And nice to see again, we have just some additional users coming in from Costa Rica, from France, more from the UK. It's great. We're getting people all over the world. So thank you so much for joining in. Another thing you mentioned when we talked about University was again, you went for engineering and telecom, right? It wasn't that. And you touched on concerts. So many of us in the project management space start in a different career and somebody else sees in us. Hey, you would be a good project manager because we kind of just have those qualities innate to us. Right. We like to be organized. We like to lead people. We like to have good communication. Tell us about the concert experience. I love music as well. I have a little thing I've done on high voltage project management where I utilize AC DC songs to talk about our profession. What was concert organizing like for you, and how did your project management skills come in handy with that?
[00:13:13.510] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah, that's a beautiful story. It will take a few minutes.
[00:13:18.790] - PMO Joe
That's what we're here for, right. This is beautiful. I love it. Yeah.
[00:13:22.470] - Bruno Morgante
So how did this started in our around 1819 years old, actually, probably a little bit earlier. And we saw something happening in Milano in our city. Then later on we discovered that it was a thing everywhere in Italy and actually in most of the cities. What we have observed, me and my friend, is that on one side we had so many music bands that they were playing. The only thing that they wanted to do it was to play their music, whatever music they were doing. They just wanted to play their music in front of an audience, in front of public on the other side. Back then in Milano, I don't know if it is still the same, but I assume it is. Most of the clubs were full only on Friday night and Saturday night, all the other evenings during the week. They were empty. Sometimes they were even keeping the place closed because there was no reason to keep it open. So we thought about it and said, what if we try to put the two things together, we try to organize somehow. The fact that there is all this group of bands that they just want to play their music and we potentially have the possibility to do it in several slots.
[00:15:01.130] - Bruno Morgante
So we started with nothing except this idea. It was just an idea and it was the two of us, me and my friend. And this is how we started. We got in touch with a couple of clubs at the beginning, small clubs, of course, and we proposed the idea and they said, yeah, that's fine. Just to ensure that you bring people in the place, we need the place. And they were giving us a certain threshold to meet. And then speaking with trying to find the bands. We started with a few bands and then it was a bit more and a bit more and we were able to make it work. We started, as I said, like that. And slowly we ended up growing and growing. We ended up having a lot of bands, any type of music from the 15 years old, the kids playing pop rock only cover rock songs up until the 40 plus years old, basically professional, great musicians that were doing any type of particular new age music, everything in the middle. So there was really everything. Of course it was up to us to organize evenings with the same or similar events because of course we wanted the public to enjoy the same type of music and not to switch from pop rock to black metal and then go, I don't know, back to something else.
[00:16:45.410] - Bruno Morgante
So we started like that. We started with a few evenings only like one evening a week, not even one a week. It was maybe one every two, three weeks. But then it started to be more and more. We have more bands, we have more clubs, bigger clubs. We started having the Monday evening. Nobody wants to go out Monday evening because we were good. They were giving us the Tuesday, then the Wednesday. Then it was the Thursday. Then we started having Sundays, and then it was again. Sometimes we also got Fridays and Saturdays. It was a thing up until a point in which we said, okay, we need to expand. Milano was working. We were doing pretty well in Milano, and it was only the two of us doing everything, getting in touch with the bands, finding the bands online, in the clubs, in the schools, finding the clubs, proposing our deal with them. And then we decided to expand. We decided to then find someone in other cities that could do the same with the same idea, with the same brand and doing it in the other cities. We extended it in Roma, then in Bologna and Torino.
[00:18:09.010] - Bruno Morgante
These were the four cities that we had in the end. And of course, together with expanding, we also decided to do something more. We decided then to do a national contest. So we were organizing and having the bands playing in their cities, going through the stages and then to have the winner of the city and then all of them to join, to come in Milan and play the final evening. And the contest was a thing. The contest was really the next step. It was more people loved it. Bands loved it. There was competition. You could see it. It was really a thing. And yeah, so it was a great experience, I have to say. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:19:02.730] - PMO Joe
Yeah. That's fantastic. It makes me think of for us who didn't grow up in Italy. I love the Foo Fighters, one of my favorite bands, and Jeez it's several years back now. But there was the thousand musicians coming together over in Italy trying to convince the Foo Fighters to come play a concert in their small town.
[00:19:24.450] - Bruno Morgante
Yes, I think it was in Chiseena.
[00:19:28.960] - PMO Joe
That's right. And the beauty of that, the power of music. The Foo Fighters went there and played a concert. Right. That's fantastic. So maybe the organizer of that, I've actually tried to invite him to come on the show. So if he's out there listening somewhere, I'd love to talk to that guy who helped organize that concert, because to me, that's project management. Right. Organizing 1000 musicians to play one song with the stated outcome to be able to get the Foo Fighters to come. So you had the scope, you had the change management, you had the execution, and you had benefits, realization all wrapped up in one. What an amazing project story to tell. And it's same for you, right. Organize your project. What did you take away from all of that experience to bring into your project management career?
[00:20:18.510] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah, a lot. But if I have to nail it down to two things in particular, one of them is clearly communication. It's the ability to communicate, which is not to say what you want to say, but when sure that the other person understands what you want to say. The ability to communicate effectively with different type of stakeholders for us every day, not only when we had the events, but every day. We had to speak with the band, we had to communicate with the clubs, and we had to communicate with the public, which was around about 80 to 120 people every evening. And you had people from all ages, different backgrounds. We had to speak with the technicians in the club. It will be the music stuff. It will be the people at the bar or serving the food. We had to handle all of that. And if we would not have been able to communicate clearly, that would not have been possible at all. So definitely, communication is one of the two big things that I took away from that place. And in project management, you definitely need to communicate with different stakeholders at every level.
[00:21:56.370] - Bruno Morgante
And you have the type of executive that is telling you you have only two minutes of my time. Convince me, convince me that this is the right thing to do in this project, or you have the member in the project team, the one that needs to be inspired, the one that needs to be convinced that it is actually the right thing to do and not the other way around. So communication absolutely is one thing. The other one is the negotiation skills. The negotiation skills. It is something I didn't know I had within me when I started this, but it is something that we quickly had to develop. When you are in your early 20s, which was our age back then, and you deal with the owners or the managers of those clubs, it's not easy. And the managers of those clubs, they are particular type of people everywhere in the world, not only in Italy, I can tell you. So you can imagine that for us, in some cases, it was easier than others. In some cases, it was extremely tough, extremely difficult, and negotiating with them because, of course, they wanted this to happen, but they wanted the best for them, not for us.
[00:23:31.640] - Bruno Morgante
And we had to get the best not only for us, but also for our bands and for the public that was coming and attending the event. So it was tricky. It was tough sometimes, but then again, you can imagine that years later. I remember when I was growing in my corporate career when I was going through some of the interview stages, and it was like, oh, now I have to have an interview with the vice President. And for some of my peers, it was like, yeah, well, that's a thing. That guy is a tough guy. I was like, yeah, I've done something more.
[00:24:16.300] - PMO Joe
He's not a club owner, right, exactly.
[00:24:21.650] - Bruno Morgante
So these were definitely the two big things, communication skills, effective communication, and on the other side, negotiation skills. These are the two things that I took out as a biggest learnings and that I definitely have been able to apply during all my career, from the beginning up until now, they are sitting with me.
[00:24:48.350] - PMO Joe
Yeah, those are obviously super powerful for good project managers. I'm going to take a risk right now and ask what the sign next to you says? I can read part of the sign, but let's take a leap of faith and see what this says.
[00:25:07.130] - Bruno Morgante
It says, Get it done. But before there is a grade S and a grade H. I love that.
[00:25:18.210] - PMO Joe
So why so close? What's the inspiration behind that to have that a reminder there for you all the time.
[00:25:24.030] - Bruno Morgante
This is something that I decided to put here during the beginning of the pandemic. At the beginning of 2020, we all started working from home. Like everyone. I started saying, okay, yeah, it will be a couple of weeks. And then when we realized that it was longer, I had to set up my place, which is a corner of my bedroom. It's not my place, it's a corner of my bedroom. So I had some very particular constraints that I had to follow. My wife is a designer, so you can imagine I could not just do bad stuff. And I absolutely wanted to have something next to me, which I knew it was going into the video and something that would represent me. And as I mentioned at the beginning, I get things done. I said, this is perfect. It's not actually a motivational poster for me, but it's me.
[00:26:23.900] - PMO Joe
Yeah, I love it. When we were live radio, I would never worry about saying what it says. But being live on LinkedIn, I don't know if they have filters on there of listening to what content is being produced. But I believe that's as project managers, that's our whole purpose, right? I mean, it's to accomplish stuff. It's to get stuff done. Yeah, great to see that. That's up there next to you as a reminder every day of who you are at the quote.
[00:26:54.990] - Bruno Morgante
Yes. And it's a good thing, if I may say, if there are project managers listening to us when I interview a project manager, this is what I want to perceive. This is what I want to get from them. It's like, why you do what you do. It's because you want to get things done. You want to get things delivered. That's the point. The rest makes sense. It's helpful, but it's about getting things done.
[00:27:21.770] - PMO Joe
Our next show, we're going to have Ben Peters joining us from South Africa, Cape Town. And I chatted with him yesterday, and we were just reminiscing about early career stories that helped shape us. And I won't share his story because he'll do it in the next show, but there's a get shit done story that's instrumental in his career as well. So I think the successful people realize that early. It's so important to accomplish something, not just do something again for those who are listening. And if you're early in your careers, or even late in your career if you don't have that mindset as a project manager, we strongly encourage that to happen. Bernard, you shared with us the beginnings of project management and the career growth that you had. But eventually you get to PMO leadership, right. How is being a PMO leader different than being a project manager?
[00:28:22.970] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah, it is different. Really a lot different for me. The transition was happening about six years ago, kind of six years ago. Immediately I realized that I was transforming from being an individual contributor. That has to get things done, get things done into someone who is responsible for the people who are responsible for getting things done. There was no training about that in my company. It was like the typical thing that, okay, you have the opportunity. We think you are the right one. I got the position, and then it was about to make it happen yet again, but definitely the main difference. And this happens to a lot of people. You might be getting a promotion into a manager position because you are one of the best. Maybe the best. Maybe not the best. Yeah, maybe I was the best. I don't think I was the best team in my team, but I was one of the good ones. And we were a great team. A bunch of all Alpha men and Alpha women, an army of delivery machines. It was amazing. The best pool of project managers I have ever worked with up until now.
[00:29:55.230] - Bruno Morgante
So when I got that, I couldn't play my role anymore. It was not me. It was not my show. It was their show. And I had to make it happen. And that switch, that mental switch, I believe it changed everything. When you move in from an individual contributor position into a leader position, in a team leader position, it is what changed everything. In particular. If you look at it from as a PMO lead, the scope was definitely bigger. As a project manager, that's my project. I just have to take it, nail down the scope and ensure that I deliver that one on time and on cost. Well, as a PMO, it is different. It is bigger. You need to understand what does the organization need from you from that particular PMO? And then you need to start implementing it, start listening to all the people around you. It's not only the pool of project managers, it is different. It is more. There are controllers. There is the governance piece, the methodology piece, the portfolio management, the interaction with the strategic side of the organization. It is much more. It's not just about taking something and delivering it.
[00:31:21.070] - Bruno Morgante
It is bigger. And for me, as I said, it was about six years ago, and it was a journey, the beginning of a journey. And it is still continuing, still ongoing.
[00:31:31.870] - PMO Joe
Yeah. If we think back to your story of the music industry. Right. All the members of the band or the individual contributors are kind of like the project managers, but they need a manager. They'll be able to go book their shows and ensure that they're getting treated fairly and that they're playing the type of music that the club wants and understand the audience. Right. Because I like to use non project management terms for people, because the bosses of the organization, they're not project managers. Right. They're business leaders. And if we speak their language, usually we can be more effective if we try to talk to them in our language, as you mentioned previously. Right. Communication is so important to understand the audience. So I like to always think that way. And it's fresh in mind about the musical component. So I would imagine a lot of what you learned, doing your concert organization really helps you build a PMO is better because you understand how to be able to meet your stakeholders, like you said.
[00:32:32.190] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah, absolutely. I briefly mentioned you need to understand what successful PMO is for that particular organization. And there is no secret recipe that you can apply in all companies. It depends on the level of maturity of the company, what the company needs, the industry, the business in which the company is. So one side is about definitely listening to what the organization needs and do more and do the additional piece that they couldn't see. For me when I took that PMO, it was a transformation period in the company. The PMO that was previously in place, it was doing pretty good. It was doing what that organization wanted in that PMO, which was the typical old style, control, governance and controlling PMO. That was what that organization needed, because before that was not in place. So they wanted the typical first step. We want all project managers to use the same methodology, the same templates, reporting in the same way, speaking the same language, working the same way. We want to have a consolidated reporting, consolidated financial view, and so on. When I covered that PMO in that transformation period, which was particularly challenging from a financial point as well, I had to understand what did we have to do different.
[00:34:17.150] - Bruno Morgante
And for sure, I could see everyone around me in all teams, in all functions, was speaking about doing more with less, doing more with less money, with less time, with less people, and anyway, do more. So I had to start working with the team and understand how could we move to the next level and not just keeping the situation as it was, but bringing it to that other stage. And that is what basically we went through. It was about improving what we had, simplifying our processes, reducing documentation. I remember one year we reduced the typical PMO documentation from something like 120 documents up to 40 something. And it was like the biggest achievement. But this requires you to think out of the box, to think about, okay, we are doing well. The company is happy with us, but we can do more. We can do something that is actually adding value to the organization. And at that moment, for us, in that particular case, in that particular company, it was about improving simplifying, reducing waste, reducing the number of times people were saying, okay, I just need to fill this form just for the sake of filling the form, just because it is written on a checklist, which is yet another document which we might not.
[00:36:01.450] - PMO Joe
Yeah. It was a movement towards value addition as opposed to processing.
[00:36:06.280] - Bruno Morgante
[00:36:08.290] - PMO Joe
We got a great question that came in from I hope I pronounced your name right. Pierre Paolo from the Czech Republic. And he's commenting how your experience works across industry. But oftentimes people within industry don't think that's possible. You may get a non government organization or a charity that wanders. Hey, you're an It project manager. How can you come over and do a project in our space? Or maybe you're coming into the It space. Do you think those skills are transferable across industries? And how do you convince those people that you may not have that specific industry experience but your skills are transferable?
[00:36:53.900] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah. The short answer is I believe they are transferable. And yes, I believe you can convince them. But sometimes it might not be easy. One thing to do it's always, as you said not long ago, Joe, it is to speak their language. Let's say that you do it project management and all the projects that you have done across your career, they have something in common. If you go into a completely different reality that is looking for project management experience, but not particularly in it and you only talk about it, you only talk about that time in which you had to set up two data rooms replicated in real time, one to another. They might say, yeah, but how this applies to me, well, if you speak their language using the same examples, they can connect, they can say, okay, I see what you did there. I see this is exactly what I need here. The fact that communicating that in a proper way, it changed a lot.
[00:38:11.430] - PMO Joe
Yes, I would agree with you and I dad in again, using my non project management speak to them. I'd say, listen, if I'm an electrician who primarily helps wire homes and I get asked to be an electrician who builds an arena, it's much larger in scale and it's a different municipal rules and regulations involved in a public place. But I'm an expert at being electrician and I'm going to bring that expertise to your industry to help your arena or your home be built better, be wired better. So I totally agree with you, Bruno. I think it speaks their language. It helps them understand what we do and how that benefits them.
[00:38:57.730] - Bruno Morgante
If I can just to underline I'm not saying it's easy. That's right, it is easy. I'm not saying just speak their language and it will work. No, not at all. There are some companies that will just say, if you don't have that particular experience, I don't even want to talk to you. I'm not saying it's right. I'm not doing it. For example, when I interview for people joining my reality, my PMO, I don't put that type of filters. But actually I do exactly what I'm saying here. I want them to listen to them, to listen to them telling me their story in a way that they can convince me that they have what I'm looking for.
[00:39:37.950] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I think with the PMO squad, we had an example. We had never worked in the semiconductor industry, and we were invited by a client to come in and help them improve project management. We were starting from scratch. I didn't know anything about designing a chips and making chips and the process involved in the vendors. But by the end of our engagement, we had turned around that company's ability to deliver their projects on time because we brought to them a unique skill sets. We married those two skills and made sure that we provided value. So you're right, it's not easy, but collectively it actually can be more impactful. I think one thing that comes across, I think pretty apparent when you're speaking is you're almost like a coaching demeanor. You have this very thoughtful way that you answer questions and present your answers. And I think that's probably a lot to do with the amount of mentoring that you do. And I know that's very important to you as well. Can you talk a little bit about mentoring and how important that is and what you're involved in with that?
[00:40:42.370] - Bruno Morgante
Yeah, of course. And I love it. I love the question and I love the topic. Mentoring is something I didn't particularly look into until a few years ago. Later on, I realized it is something that I've been doing and I have been getting as a mentee from mentors in my past. Without knowing that that was actually mentoring, I knew something special was happening, but I didn't know how that special thing was to be called how it started with me. It was kind of around the same time in which I started leading a PMO. So about six years ago, more or less, and there was a colleague of mine. She was a young manager herself as well, and an amazing person. She approached me and she said, Bruno, I have a new starter in my team, and she's struggling with a few topics, in particular being stakeholder management and being strong on her position in front of others that were two or three levels above in the organization. She approached me and she said, I think she would definitely benefit from your support. Are you willing to help? And I said, yeah, of course. And this is how it started.
[00:42:18.050] - Bruno Morgante
This is actually how my first mentoring experience started. I started with this mentee. We went on for about nine months, more or less. It was our the duration of that mentoring relationship, which later on we continued, but definitely not in a very structured way. And then after that one, I had another one, then I had another one. And then I started having two mentees at the same time in parallel. And until that moment, all of this was happening face to face. In reality or in a mix of face to face and over the phone. We were not using video. It was mostly face to face up until the beginning of the pandemic. Then that was when I decided that I absolutely wanted to give back much more back to society. So decided to carve out a lot of my free time to support people. And well, for a while, I helped a group of volunteers building a pro Bono coaching platform. But that's another story. Then, in parallel, I started also doing much more mentoring, pro Bono mentoring online on different platforms, of course, like the mentoring club being the biggest one, which is a nonprofit organization based here in Berlin.
[00:43:48.910] - Bruno Morgante
But I did also through my University Polytechnic, Dominion, they contacted me for being a mentor for some of the students. I did it last year and I just started a new session. Now, PMI and Poland chapter, my project mentor. And there are probably other two or three, but these are, I would say, the biggest one. The mentoring experience is something special if you have never tried it before. It's difficult potentially to understand the benefits. But having someone who has been there and has gone through what you are going through or what you want to go through, and it is there to help you to guide you through that journey. It is a very big added value for the mentee, but not only for the mentee. And this is where a lot of people, they think that the mentor doesn't get anything out of the relationship, which is wrong. You don't know how many times I get incredibly good, challenging questions from my mentees. And I'm like, I never thought about that that way. And then I use it. I work on it. I use it as an opportunity to self reflect on myself, on that particular topic and to prepare myself.
[00:45:15.050] - Bruno Morgante
So this relationship helps also the mentors. It's not only something that it's not only beneficial for the mentees, and it's something that, again, I didn't know it was the case up until I tried it myself on my skin. And it's beautiful.
[00:45:34.330] - PMO Joe
Yeah. I Echo everything you just said and applaud you for the time that you volunteered to be a mentor. It's how I approach these radio shows, to be honest with you and for everybody who's listening or anybody who listens to the recordings, it's an hour conversation that you get with somebody that's been where you're going. Right. It's an opportunity for you to be able to listen to what they've done in their career. And so many times during these interviews or discussions, I sit there and say, man, I am so lucky to be able to be talking to this individual to share this. Right. Because we are exchanging it. And so I really applaud you for volunteering your time. And again, encourage all of our listeners. Go back and listen to old shows. The PDUs are great. Go get your PDUs. But go listen to the experiences that all of these guests have had and what you can learn from them, I think is really impactful to everybody. I know we're getting short on time because of our technical challenges upfront, so I apologize to everybody for that. So Bruno, I'll just ask you, is there anything kind of maybe last words or last thoughts that we didn't get to cover today that you'd like to share with the audience and see if there's who else we can impact out there with your experience and your wisdom.
[00:46:58.530] - Bruno Morgante
There is potentially so much more that we could have talked to. But yeah, within the hour, I think we said a lot. We touched a lot of good points. We definitely didn't cover the aspects of implementing a PMO in different realities. That would have been probably a little bit more technical than that. It is definitely something that we might follow up in another session. But for the rest, I believe it was a good conversation with such a lot of good points. There is definitely much more for anyone listening. If you are interested, you can definitely connect with me on LinkedIn. Linkedin is the best possible source over there. The link. And yeah, we can follow up with questions or other topics.
[00:48:00.510] - PMO Joe
Yeah, we will definitely look to have you either on PMO Squad or PMO Leader will bring you on and dig into the PMO components. I know you've had tremendous experience merging PMOs, separating PMOs, building PMOs, and I think those conversations are really valuable. Unfortunately, again, with the late start today, we ran out a little bit of a time. So I thank you for coming out, Bruno, and really appreciate all of your insights, especially the comments there at the end on mentoring. So thank you for that. And certainly thank you to our audience who joined from all over the world as well. A reminder that these shows are live, of course, as we've proved at the beginning with our technical difficulties. But we record them also, right? So you can go out to project management, office hours website and be able to capture all the past shows, to be able to capture everything. So I also want to remind everybody that we've got a great lineup of guests coming up. I'm super excited for all the additional guests we have coming up the rest of the year. I had mentioned Ben Peters from South Africa, who's coming up on the next show the show.
[00:49:12.980] - PMO Joe
After that will be show 100. I can't believe we're at 100 shows. It'll be on April 7. We've got a couple of special guests joining us for that. Then we'll get Tim Creasy from prosai, Louise wearsley from South Africa, Ricardo Martin from Spain Sanjeev Augustine. Here in the US we'll get Melissa McDonald the smart PM. We have a guest scheduled for later this year, Maria abdelina and I don't know if Maria is going to be able to join us because she lives in Ukraine. Stay tuned for that one and just say our thoughts are with all of the folks in Ukraine and everybody that's listening. Hopefully you can send your positive thoughts and prayers over to them as well. Not trying to be political on the show because that's not who we are. But when you have a guest who's impacted by current world affairs, it's home, right? So Maria is a great leader of a PMO over there was one of the finalists for PMO of the year. One of the top four PMOs the year with the PMO global alliance. So Maria, if you're listening, which I'm sure you're not, we're thinking about you and all of your fellow country folks and rooting for you as you go through this invasion. Again.
[00:50:31.060] - PMO Joe
Reminder, all these shows are recorded and you are invited to go out there and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform, whether that be Apple podcast Spotify or iHeartRadio or others. Thank you to our sponsors, of course. The PMO squad and the PMO leader. That's it for now. Office hours are closed until next time, PMO Joe and you've been listening to project management office hours.
[00:50:59.910] - Announcer
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