197 episodes

Elise Stevens is the voice for women in project management. Podcaster | Speaker | Facilitator.

I work with women in project management roles to reinforce within themselves their true value to their team, company and industry. I provide a channel for women’s voices to be heard, supported and embraced in project management. It’s time for women to dream big in the industry, and to know that they can achieve their career goals.

For over two decades, I have worked closely with project managers to positively impact and innovate effective management processes. I have collaborated with a range of organisations including Queensland Urban Utilities, Ipswich City Council, Coca-Cola Amatil, Hutchinson Telecoms and Ansett Australia.

I am here to re-ignite the passion and satisfaction that you once had for your career; and to re-connect your team members for true confidence in the workplace. Too often we let ourselves believe other people’s narratives about our own skills and abilities. My goal is to remind you of how valuable you truly are, and to give you a clearer understanding of your career goals so that you ooze confidence within your project management role and team – every single day.

Elise Stevens Project Management Podcast Network

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Elise Stevens is the voice for women in project management. Podcaster | Speaker | Facilitator.

I work with women in project management roles to reinforce within themselves their true value to their team, company and industry. I provide a channel for women’s voices to be heard, supported and embraced in project management. It’s time for women to dream big in the industry, and to know that they can achieve their career goals.

For over two decades, I have worked closely with project managers to positively impact and innovate effective management processes. I have collaborated with a range of organisations including Queensland Urban Utilities, Ipswich City Council, Coca-Cola Amatil, Hutchinson Telecoms and Ansett Australia.

I am here to re-ignite the passion and satisfaction that you once had for your career; and to re-connect your team members for true confidence in the workplace. Too often we let ourselves believe other people’s narratives about our own skills and abilities. My goal is to remind you of how valuable you truly are, and to give you a clearer understanding of your career goals so that you ooze confidence within your project management role and team – every single day.

    Podcast Episode #170: Jen Dolden – How to set up a group for women in project management

    Podcast Episode #170: Jen Dolden – How to set up a group for women in project management

    Podcast Episode #170: Jen Dolden – How to set up a group for women in project management

    Jen Dolden was fed up with walking into a project meeting or networking event and finding she was the only woman in the room – again!
    But when she started searching for a group of women she could lean on for support, she soon realised there wasn’t much out there, and she’d have to build one herself.
    Emboldened by a small group of like-minded project managers, both men and women, Jen started Women in Projects Australia. Recently the group celebrated their one-year anniversary and they’re now considering branching out of Sydney with similar groups in Brisbane and Melbourne.
    In this podcast with Elise Stevens, Jen explains how she built Women in Projects Australia and why it’s been such a success.
     
    Points raised in this podcast with Jen Dolden:

    When setting up a networking group, it’s vital to have a strong objective that makes the purpose of the group clear. For Women in Projects Australia, success is an environment where women are more confident to go after their goals and dreams.
    The group should be a safe place for women to share their experiences, and somewhere they can get advice on how to deal with challenging work environments and support when it’s time to move on from a toxic employer.
    Getting men involved as allies and supporters can create balance and perspective.
    Don’t try to do it all alone. Having a few people in your founding group means you can lean in and out when life and work gets busy.
    Set a consistent meet-up time that suits most of the organisers and guests so people can plan ahead.
    Time is valuable – it’s important to make every event worthy of your guests’ time with speakers, panels, and workshops as well as plenty of time to network.
    Be mindful of the motivations of people who offer to speak at your events – make sure they’re appropriate and helpful for your group.
    Apps like Meet Up are useful tools for organisation and for spreading the word about your group to new people.
    You should aim to attract enough people so there’s plenty to talk to but not so many that you can’t say hello to everyone.
    Food and drink are great ice-breakers.

     
    About Jen Dolden:
    Jen Dolden is a PMP certified Project Manager with more than 10 years’ experience in customer- facing projects across the finance, legal, government, manufacturing and logistics industries. She’s a specialist in operational change, benefit realisation, risk identification and mitigation and stakeholder engagement.
    Her passion for helping people and the project management industry prompted her to start Women in Projects Australia in 2018.
    Women in Projects Australia seeks to support project professionals striving for their goals and dreams. The group is a support network that helps project professionals build the confidence to achieve their goals. They meet on the third Tuesday evening of the month in Sydney.
    You can connect with Jen on LinkedIn or find out more about Women in Projects Australia here.
     
    More Inspiration
    Visit my shop to grab a copy of my #1 best selling book: Age Defying Careers For Women At 40, along with my brilliant Guidebook for those wanting to really nail out the details of their goals with complete clarity.
    See the Workshops I offer, and my project management eCourse to help you deal with difficult stakeholders.
    Have you heard of the Celebrating Women in Project Management event? I started it right here, and now it’s a global network of incredible women! Submit your profile for the 2020 event.
    We have a very active community online too! Get involved. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. See other projects I’ve been involved with on the Press page.
    If you would like to work on a collaboration, or simply say hi – send me a message here. I’d love to hear from you.
     
     

    • 24 min
    Podcast Episode #169: Vicki Griffiths – Why the Women in Project Management SIG is so valuable

    Podcast Episode #169: Vicki Griffiths – Why the Women in Project Management SIG is so valuable

    Podcast Episode #169: Vicki Griffiths – Why the Women in Project Management SIG is so valuable

    There’s more women than men coming into project management at entry level, and yet the large majority of senior roles are still occupied by men. Why is that? Any woman working in project management probably has a few theories!
    For 26 years, the APM Women in Project Management Special Interest Group has worked to even the playing field and empower women to build successful and rewarding careers in project management.
    Vicki Griffiths is the current Chair of WiPM and in this podcast, she speaks to Elise Stevens about what makes the group so valuable to its members.
    According to Vicki, if we want women at the top of the game, we need to start listening to them.
     
    Points raised in this podcast with Vicki Griffiths:

    The mission of the APM WiPM SIG is to develop a powerful profile, promote a no-barrier culture, engage with and respond to project professionals and build a collaborative community.
    WiPM has built its profile by being active, inclusive and visible, and having an enthusiastic and motivated committee. It now has 2500 members.
    This profile allows it to be the voice of women, and an opportunity for other women to see female role models.
    Although some progress has been made in supporting women in project management and other industries, there continue to be barriers that make it harder for women to advance their careers. Some of these barriers include a lack of role models, family responsibilities and unconscious biases.
    WiPM engages with its members through its events, networking opportunities and webinars. More than 600 people attended its annual conference in London in September.
    These events build a network of like-minded people, so even women who do not have female role models in their organisation can feel connected.
    Starting a great SIG begins with finding enthusiastic people with diverse backgrounds and life experiences and developing services that will have genuine value to its members.
    A SIG for women should be founded on market research that reveals barriers for those women, and what they feel they need to better develop themselves as professionals.
    What about men? WiPM exists specifically to support women, and its value is proven by the level of interest and engagement it attracts. Men are actively invited to engage with WiPM in order to encourage all project managers to succeed in their careers.

     
    About Vicki Griffiths:
    Vicki is a Senior Project Manager at Fugro’s offices in Falmouth, UK, a chartered project professional and Fellow of the APM. She is the 2019-2020 Chair of the APM Women in Project Management Special Interest Group. She joined WiPM as a volunteer in 2017 and joined the committee in 2018.
    With a background in geology, Vicki began in project management 13 years ago for an aerial survey company working on LiDAR projects. Seven years ago, she moved to Fugro as a project manager on offshore geotechnical projects.
    You can connect with Vicki on LinkedIn or find out more about WiPM here.
     
    Need More Inspiration?
    Visit my online shop to grab a copy of my #1 best selling book: Age Defying Careers For Women At 40, along with my brilliant Guidebook for those wanting to really nail out the details of their goals with complete clarity.
    You might also like to learn about the Workshops I offer, or see my project management eCourse to help you deal with difficult stakeholders.
    Have you heard of the Celebrating Women in Project Management event? I started it right here, and now it’s a global network of incredible women! Register your interest for the 2020 event.
    We have a very active community online too! Get involved. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. See other projects I’ve been involved with on the Press page. If you would like to work on a collaboration, or simply say hi – send

    • 24 min
    Podcast Episode #168: Carole Osterweil – What does neuroscience have to do with project management?

    Podcast Episode #168: Carole Osterweil – What does neuroscience have to do with project management?

    Podcast Episode #168: Carole Osterweil – What does neuroscience have to do with project management?

    Just take five deep breaths. 
    We’ve all heard this advice when we’ve been stressed or overwhelmed or anxious. But do you know why it helps us relax and focus? In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with coach Carole Osterweil about why it’s especially important if we want to make better choices at work.
    How do you lead projects which are tricky in unconventional ways? How do you deliver results when the goalposts keep shifting? What about when the political situation changes? And how should you respond when your project isn’t going the way the textbooks promised?
    As Carole explains, how we respond to threats at work is wired deep inside our brains.
    Points raised in this podcast with Carole Osterweil:

    Understanding how the brain works helps us understand human behaviour.


    Our brain’s number one priority is survival, and it doesn’t just look out for physical threats but also emotional threats like the ones you might not realise you encounter at work.


    Social threats according to the SCARF model include: our Status being under threat, not being Certain of what’s happening next, having our Autonomy taken away, our Relatedness to the team and how we perceive the Fairness of the exchanges between people around us.


    Our brains are wired to respond to threats with either a fight, flight or freeze response.


    At work, responses to these threats might manifest as defensiveness, withdrawal, or hesitation to engage constructively with the team.


    Once we recognise this is normal human behaviour, we can respond in different ways, and adjust our reactions to others’ behaviour.


    Psychological safety means being able to show oneself without fear of negative consequences including rejection, humiliation or career uncertainty.


    Leaders should work to ensure team members feel safe to talk openly about projects.


    People who feel psychologically safe aren’t wasting energy on fight, flight or freeze and can focus on the job that needs to be done, therefore improving productivity.


    Deep breathing can help suppress the fight or flight instinct.


    Practising mindfulness can help you check in with your stress levels and how you might be able to relax and focus to make better choices rather than knee-jerk reactions. 

     
    About Carole Osterweil:
    Carole is a trouble-shooter and coach who works with executives and project delivery teams who are seeking higher productivity and better outcomes with less stress.
    She runs Visible Dynamics where her current projects include work with Cranfield University and PA Consulting to increase the UK government’s senior project and program management capability – so she knows first-hand what leading projects during turmoil is all about.
    She is the author of Project Delivery, Uncertainty and Neuroscience – A Leader’s Guide to Walking in Fog. You can connect with Carole on LinkedIn.
     
    Need More Inspiration?
    Visit my online shop to grab a copy of my #1 best selling book: Age Defying Careers For Women At 40, along with my brilliant Guidebook for those wanting to really nail out the details of their goals with complete clarity.
    You might also like to learn about the Workshops I offer, or see my project management eCourse to help you deal with difficult stakeholders.
    Have you heard of the Celebrating Women in Project Management event? I started it right here, and now it’s a global network of incredible women! Register your interest for the 2020 event.
    We have a very active community online too! Get involved. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. See other projects I’ve been involved with on the Press page. If you would like to work on a collaboration, or simply say hi – send me a message here. I’d love to hear from you.
     
     

    • 23 min
    Podcast Episode #167: Jools Barrow-Read – Building a successful PMO

    Podcast Episode #167: Jools Barrow-Read – Building a successful PMO

    Podcast Episode #167: Jools Barrow-Read – Building a successful PMO
    A successful PMO is one that’s tailored to the needs of the business.
    That might sound simplistic, but Jools Barrow-Read believes that’s the only definition a PMO needs. Jools has been working in PMOs for 15 years. Five years ago, she started her own PMO consulting business, RedWizard, which helps organisations set up project, change or transformation management solutions.
    She’s obsessed with making change a positive experience and believes there’s great scope for evolution of the PMO function into the trusted change partner of the future.
    Jools is on a mission to find out why the failure rate for PMOs beyond three years is so high. In this podcast, she speaks with Elise Stevens about how we can help PMOs evolve and remain valuable assets to their organisations.
    Points raised in this podcast with Jools Barrow-Read:

    RedWizard’s four focus areas for a PMO are People, Communication, Agility and Insight.
    Transforming the PMO begins with identifying who your customers are and getting out from behind the desk and opening a line of communication that allows you to build relationships.
    Then, a PMO must have the agility in its decision-making and resource-planning to deliver what the customer really needs; insight not simply data.
    Developing relationships and building trust allows you to regularly check in on how your customers are using the information you provide and what more you could be doing to help.
    Once you are immersed in your organisation’s business, its challenges and the factors motivating it, you can then develop the services that the business needs to succeed.
    Without a grasp of the organisation’s strategy, you will not be able to give insight about whether a project should live or die.
    The type of people working in PMOs is changing. PMO managers are now more outgoing, and enjoy talking to people and listening to what they need.
    Organisations should embrace the digital tools that enable flexible working, such as virtual teams and video conferencing, but always be mindful that behind all technology is people. Ultimately, business is about people.

    About Jools Barrow-Read:
    Jools Barrow-Read has worked in the project management space for most of her professional career, undertaking a variety of roles along the way from Project Support to Project Manager, PMO Lead to Enterprise PMO Manager.
    After seeing first-hand, the fear poorly managed change can cause within the workplace and serious impact it can have on a business, she decided to make a big change of her own. In 2014, Jools founded RedWizard, a management consulting firm that helps organisations set up project, change or transformation management solutions, from uncovering the right model to meet their needs to embedding the model in their business’ ways of working.
    You can connect with Jools on LinkedIn.
     
    Need More Inspiration?
    Visit my online shop to grab a copy of my #1 best selling book: Age Defying Careers For Women At 40, along with my brilliant Guidebook for those wanting to really nail out the details of their goals with complete clarity.
    You might also like to learn about the Workshops I offer, or see my project management eCourse to help you deal with difficult stakeholders.
    Have you heard of the Celebrating Women in Project Management event? I started it right here, and now it’s a global network of incredible women! Register your interest for the 2020 event.
    We have a very active community online too! Get involved. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. See other projects I’ve been involved with on the Press page. If you would like to work on a collaboration, or simply say hi – send me a message here. I’d love to hear from you.
     
     

    • 21 min
    Podcast Episode #166: Susanne Madsen – Changes in project leadership

    Podcast Episode #166: Susanne Madsen – Changes in project leadership

    Podcast Episode #166: Susanne Madsen – Changes in project leadership
    It’s been five years since Susanne Madsen released her book The Power of Project Leadership.
    In that time she’s worked with project leaders in nearly every corner of the globe, and noticed a lot of changes in the demands and expectations placed on them– enough changes that she’s released a new edition of the book with all her new insights.
    In this podcast, Susanne speaks to Elise Stevens about the trends she’s noticed in project leadership and why innovation is more important than ever before.
    Points raised in this podcast with Susanne Madsen:

    Project managers often have more influence than they think because they can feel limited by their team, their budget, and the scope of the project.
    The “VUCA” theory, which acknowledges the world generally is becoming more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, is more pronounced in project management than ever as the world becomes more competitive and interconnected and technological change occurs exponentially faster.
    Leaders must now not only instruct, but collaborate, empower and innovate – which doesn’t have to mean new products, but also new ways of operating.
    Some organisations that once believed they must operate as either Agile or Waterfall, are now considering their own hybrid systems that remove limitations and restraints.
    Changing behaviour in project leaders is challenging. While some may want to change their behaviour to be more collaborate and conciliative, they may be stymied by the environment set up by their organisation.
    There is now more demand than ever for coaches to speak on the topic of stress in project management.
    Project leaders should take time to think about their leadership style and how it impacts their teams and seek feedback.
    Taking time out to consider your own development and to observe the development of the project will help you become a more effective leader.

    About Susanne Madsen:
    Susanne Madsen is an internationally recognised project leadership coach, trainer and consultant and the founder and director of Susanne Madsen International Ltd. Susanne also founded The Project Leadership Institute in 2017. She has extensive experience in the corporate sector, having worked for Standard Bank, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase and is the author of two books, The Project Management Coaching Workbook and The Power of Project Leadership, now in a second edition.
    You can connect with Susanne on LinkedIn or Twitter.
     
    Need More Inspiration?
    Visit my online shop to grab a copy of my #1 best selling book: Age Defying Careers For Women At 40, along with my brilliant Guidebook for those wanting to really nail out the details of their goals with complete clarity.
    You might also like to learn about the Workshops I offer, or see my project management eCourse to help you deal with difficult stakeholders.
    Have you heard of the Celebrating Women in Project Management event? I started it right here, and now it’s a global network of incredible women! Register your interest for the 2020 event.
    We have a very active community online too! Get involved. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. See other projects I’ve been involved with on the Press page. If you would like to work on a collaboration, or simply say hi – send me a message here. I’d love to hear from you.
     
     

    • 24 min
    Podcast Episode #165: Crystal Richards – Politics and Projects

    Podcast Episode #165: Crystal Richards – Politics and Projects

    Podcast Episode #165: Crystal Richards – Politics and Projects
    “Because it’s you, I’ll do it.”
    Some people seem to have no issue getting others to bend over backwards, put in a good word or sign that cheque. According to Crystal Richards these people all have one thing in common – a knack for politics.
    ‘Office politics’ often gets a bad rap, but in this podcast, Crystal speaks to Elise Stevens about how project managers can navigate the politics of an organisation in a way that boosts their relationships.
    Crystal is an experienced project manager and talent development consultant who knows the difference between networking and gossip and why you should always get to meetings early.
    Points raised in this podcast with Crystal Richards:

    Being politically aware within the organisation allows you to understand who holds the power and writes the cheques, and who can best support you in your role.
    Authority does not automatically translate into political power within an organisation. Administrative and executive assistants wield a lot of influence.
    It’s tempting to avoid office politics altogether but staying under the radar means you may miss opportunities.
    Overlooking the politics within an organisation can inadvertently ruin relationships and put your project back.
    Mastering the politics of a project requires getting out of your seat and building relationships through face-to-face interactions with stakeholders.
    Informal interactions and small talk can be ideal for getting people to open up on a personal and professional level.
    Small talk is not gossip. Gossip is not helpful, but networking and friendly banter is crucial.
    People want to work with people they know, like and trust.
    Your teammates are your advocates. If they see you as a leader, they will reflect both you and the project in a positive light.

    About Crystal Richards:
    Crystal Richards is the principal and owner of Mosaic Resource Group, a talent development consulting firm dedicated to helping business professionals better themselves in all things project management, communications and leadership.
    Crystal is a dynamic trainer, results-oriented facilitator and versatile project manager with more than 16 years’ experience in healthcare management and project management, working with private and public sector clients.
    Crystal is a certified project management professional, a PMI agile certified practitioner, a member of the Agile Alliance and a member of the Association for Talent Development.
    You can check out Crystal’s blog for videos on project management and leadership, or connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.
     
    Need More Inspiration?
    Visit my online shop to grab a copy of my #1 best selling book: Age Defying Careers For Women At 40, along with my brilliant Guidebook for those wanting to really nail out the details of their goals with complete clarity.
    You might also like to learn about the Workshops I offer, or see my project management eCourse to help you deal with difficult stakeholders.
    Have you heard of the Celebrating Women in Project Management event? I started it right here, and now it’s a global network of incredible women! Register your interest for the 2020 event.
    We have a very active community online too! Get involved. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter. See other projects I’ve been involved with on the Press page. If you would like to work on a collaboration, or simply say hi – send me a message here. I’d love to hear from you.
     
     

    • 18 min

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