5 Minutes Podcast with Ricardo Vargas

Ricardo Viana Vargas

Since 2007, Ricardo Vargas publishes the 5 Minutes Podcast where he addresses in a quick and practical way the main topics on project, portfolio and risk management.

All Episodes

In this second episode of the series, Ricardo talks about three challenges to applying Artificial Intelligence in project management and product development in general. The first challenge is regarding the quality of the data that will be used. Ricardo explains that in project management, a clear business rule is not respected, which makes it much more complex to have reliable data for artificial intelligence to cross-reference this data to generate relevant patterns for analysis. The second challenge is to stipulate and predict standards for human behaviour. A simple challenge that a professional has when commuting to work one day can directly impact work and productivity. The third challenge is the ethical aspect. How would artificial intelligence make the decision faced with an ethical dilemma? Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Nov 29

8 min 28 sec

In this week and next, Ricardo talks about the uses, benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence applied to the project scenario. He explains that artificial intelligence is a branch of computer science that seeks to develop equipment and software capable of performing tasks that are typically human, giving examples of products that use artificial intelligence to replace and facilitate our work. Ricardo also comments that the great benefit of artificial intelligence in project management is monitoring and identifying patterns. These patterns allow the optimization of administrative tasks, preparation of realistic budget and schedule forecasts, and even suggest specific teams for each type of work. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Nov 22

9 min 38 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about the fears we have during the development of a product, where situations are not totally in our control. Whether in the speed with which we have to carry out our deliveries and releases or in the concern of not delivering the value expected by our client, which leads us to the fear of failing and not being accepted as a leader in the project. He explains that these fears are natural reactions we have. With the pandemic, there were many changes and a massive disruption in the supply chain, affecting organizations and leaders who need to deal with the changes with their teams and stakeholders. In the end, Ricardo gives 5 tips on how you can live with these fears and accept that not everything is in our control. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Nov 15

8 min 25 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about resilience and adaptability. He says that when big disasters happen, we first think about resilience, and we associate this term with resistance and more solid constructions that can withstand impacts. But there is psychological resilience and organizational resilience related to developing skills in the project team, in the organization, and ourselves. Ricardo explains that resilience does not mean that you will go through a crisis without suffering and stress, but when you have good psychological and organizational resilience, you can recover faster and with minor damage. And finally, Ricardo gives three tips for psychological resilience and three tips for organizational resilience. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Nov 8

7 min 26 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about our perception of time when we try to assess values, risks, and scenarios in the more distant future. Time significantly affects our ability to judge, understand and evaluate scenarios. He makes an analogy between the promises made at COP 21 for the years 2070 and 2100 and comments that it is impossible to project an event for the year 2100 without having an incredibly high margin of error. Finally, Ricardo gives three tips for us to deal with projects in this distant future scenario. Listen to the podcast to know more.

Nov 1

8 min 35 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo explains the concept of Systems Thinking. He compares systems thinking with traditional analysis, where the system is broken down into smaller components to assess problems, impacts, and improvements. In Systems Thinking, the process is practically the opposite. The focus is not the components but the connection and interactions between them and their behavior over time. Systems thinking, despite using various tools and simulations, is a holistic and often behavioral process seeking to identify connections and influences that are not seen in the usual and traditional way. Ricardo ends the episode by discussing the balance between system overload (reinforcement) and balance (equilibrium) as key work components. He reinforces this concept with several applicability examples. Listen to the podcast to know more.

Oct 24

6 min 39 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about "The Great Resignation", a term created by Anthony Klotz, a professor at the University of Texas, A&M University. He explains that in the first few months of this year, 4.3 million people resigned in the United States. This phenomenon is not unique to the US. It is happening worldwide. Ricardo comments on the influence of the pandemic on this behavior and on four factors that lead people to resign. Finally, he addresses the challenges for both the professional leaving work and the company and managers who need to create value to attract the professionals they need to deliver projects. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Oct 17

8 min 24 sec

Ricardo talks about affinity diagrams in this week's episode and how this technique can help you and your team organize ideas. He explains that when structuring a process, the scope of a project, risks, and other ideas, we usually create groups and distribute information within these groups. We will think differently using the affinity diagrams; first, we will have the pictures and then group; it is like an EAP in reverse. Ricardo describes how creating the affinity diagrams should be done and the benefits of using this technique. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Oct 10

4 min 59 sec

This week we return to the theme from a few weeks ago, how technology projects are riskier than most people imagined. Surprised by the paralysis of Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, we were more than left out of communication. The damage caused throughout the world by the hours out of the air on these platforms is incalculable. What to learn from what happened? How to deal with this dependence on companies today? Listen to this week's Podcast to know more.

Oct 3

6 min 10 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about self-knowledge and how it can improve the results of your projects. He explains that when you are more aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can adjust your project approach, assuring the project's success. He comments that if a person knows their weak points to carry out an activity, they will mitigate the project's risk by, for example, putting another professional with more knowledge on the subject to carry out the activity in question. Ricardo wraps up this week's episode by providing three tips for getting to know yourself better. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Sep 26

8 min 11 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about the risks that can be associated with technology projects. He explains that the approach to managing technology projects, where releases are delivered faster and more frequently, can allow aspects that are not thoroughly thought out and validated to produce security flaws, risks, and even use and encouragement of unexpected behavior when used. Ricardo comments that today we have incredibly complex and critical operations that can generate huge risks concerning fraud, cybercrime, invasion of privacy, Cyberbullying, and all kinds of unexpected results. Technology is advancing a lot and making life easier for everyone. However, as ease appears, the opportunity for wrong things to happen grows at about the same rate. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Sep 19

6 min 30 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about the legal aspects of project management. He explains that the project manager often may perceive that their work is being delayed due to the requirements of other areas, for example. Ricardo explains that these requirements are made to protect the project and, in the end, your organization. Often in the eagerness to do things quickly and be agile, the project manager generates future turbulence in which he/she is not prepared. The project exists as part of an organizational enterprise that continues to exist after the end of the project. There must be instruments that can protect both the supplier and the buyer, for example. If there is a different understanding regarding payment, delivery, guarantees, obligations, protection, and insurance, the solution will only be possible through the contracts made between the parties. Legal criteria exist to protect your organization, and it is your duty of care as a steward to protect and support the project and the company you work for.

Sep 12

5 min 2 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about the importance of having clear criteria as a reference when we evaluate a project. He explains that people's perception is different, and if we create a personal reference, it will have a different interpretation. Ricardo shows many examples of not explicit references, and besides that, the evaluation for these criteria will generate ambiguity. He also shows examples of detailed references.

Sep 5

7 min 31 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo explains what conflicts of interest are. He also shows some examples where decision-making based on personal interest can harm the project, the organization, and other project stakeholders. He also presents the 5 ethical principles (based on the Harvard Program on Negotiation) that must be considered in project decisions to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

Aug 29

5 min 47 sec

In the last 20 or 30 years, project management has taken on a vast proportion, and a good part of the population works, even if they don't know it, in some way with projects. So why do people see the world for projects as a threat? What are the misunderstandings? Let's talk about how I see project management and how to support future generations to work in a different world, a world by projects. Listen to the Podcast to learn more.

Aug 22

8 min 15 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about the form of development approach you will choose, according to the type of project. He comments that one of the Performance Domains of the new PMBOK® is the Development Approach and Lifecycle. And he explains that for some projects, it is better to choose the predictive approach, while for others, the adaptive approach is more suitable. Listen to the Podcast to learn more.

Aug 15

11 min 16 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo reflects on why we often overlook the obvious. PMI principles that have often been forgotten or the Voluntary Blindness that prevents us from seeing what is in front of us. Why do we insist on preferring inertia or denial? Listen to the Podcast to learn more.

Aug 8

8 min 17 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo shows the differences behind the concepts of Stakeholders for the Principles, Performance Domains, and Knowledge Areas. He explains the Stakeholder' vision for these items and the importance of each. Listen to the Podcast to learn more.

Aug 1

6 min 3 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about how good people can become incompetent when promoted to positions that require different skills than those that make them stand out. Ricardo gives tips on preparing ourselves not to fall into this trap and grow in organizations with the necessary skills. Listen to the new podcast episode to know more.

Jul 25

7 min 36 sec

In this third episode of the PMBOK®️ 7th Edition series, Ricardo talks about the Performance Domains, which are the areas PMI believes you should focus on to demonstrate the behavior that the principles advocate. Ricardo comments that the 7th edition comes as an umbrella over the 6th edition, looking for attending all types and forms of project delivery. Ricardo explains that the eight performance domains have no sequence; they must be developed simultaneously. They address the areas you should focus on, depending on the development approach used. Ricardo also explains that the performance domains are divided into chapters, and each chapter has three parts. The first part explains what is expected as an outcome of that area, the second part explains aspects of that area, and the third part describes how you measure the desired outcome for that area. Ricardo comments on each domain and associates it with the principles shown in the second podcast of this series. He is also already preparing his new video about the Guide that will be available on his YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/rvvargas). Subscribe and activate notifications to have first-hand access to videos.

Jul 18

9 min 52 sec

In this second episode of the series about the new PMBOK®️ Guide, Ricardo talks about the first part of the guide, which is the ANSI standard. Ricardo explains that these principles are the DNA of the person who wants to manage projects and participate in a project team, regardless of your approach to managing and delivering your project. The 12 principles embrace attitudes that support your work in the project management field, such as ethics, responsibility, respect, collaborative environment, stakeholder engagement, value delivery, tailoring, VUCA, internal and external factors to the project, and others. Ricardo is also preparing his new video that will be available on his YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/rvvargas). Subscribe and activate the notifications to have first-hand access to the videos.

Jul 11

9 min 34 sec

This week comes with a special episode. With the release of the PMBOK®️ Guide 7th Edition by PMI, Ricardo decided to talk for the first time about the new guide in a series of 3 episodes. This first episode is about the rationale behind the changes and the overall structure of the new guide. Next week, Ricardo will cover the 12 principles of Project Management and, in the following week, the 8 performance domains of the new PMBOK. Ricardo is also preparing your new video that will be available on his YouTube channel (https://youtube.com/rvvargas). Subscribe to the channel and activate the notifications to have firsthand access to the guide.

Jul 4

8 min 40 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about the relevance of being a role model and an example to foster leadership and improve results. Without being an example of behavior, character, ethics, and determination is impossible for you to lead a team effectively. Listen to the Podcast to know more.

Jun 27

6 min 21 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo discusses the misconception related to the "As Soon as Possible" and "As Late as Possible" approaches. Many professionals believe that we should focus on ASAP and avoid procrastination at all costs. But this is not necessarily true. Listen to the Podcast to know more.

Jun 20

5 min 6 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo shares three tips that can help align disagreements and accelerate action when a project is in crisis. Listen to the podcast to learn more.

Jun 13

6 min 44 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo discusses the proper level of control we need to have on a project, preventing the rise of chaos or the construction of an empire out of papers and reports. Hear more on the podcast.

Jun 6

6 min 57 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about three aspects, features or characteristics of agile that we all should learn and apply. Listen to the podcast to know them.

May 30

8 min 29 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo makes an analogy on how you can use the same approach to close a project in your own professional life when it is time for you to move on. Sometimes we know that, for any reason you may choose, it is time for you to end a cycle to give the opportunity to start a new one. But this process is not as happy and joyful as the beginning of a project or job. Ricardo shares the 4 things you need to be mindful of to avoid destroying what you built when it is the time of your departure. Listen to the podcast to know more.

May 23

9 min 9 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about something nobody talks too much about. The pain of the end. When the project releases its main products or services, it is pure joy. However, there is a less joyful moment happening at the same time: the feelings surrounding the end of the work, the loss and fears about the future. Listen to the podcast to know how communications and a human approach can reduce the trauma of demobilization and disassembly.

May 16

7 min 25 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo makes an analogy between the book "The Burnout Society" by the Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han and our current work. The book talks about how the pressure we put on ourselves to break the limits has produced a sick society. Ricardo's analogy centers on our choice process. Companies want to do everything without investing in anything. During their portfolio selection, the executives aim to make everything, but there are no resources. People want to do more with less until a point is reached of making the infinite out of nothing. In the end, he addresses three topics: the importance of focus, our inability to do everything, and our choice process.

May 9

4 min 44 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo makes a personal reflection on why he chose to work with project management. He explains how the desire to create new things and the happiness and fulfillment when you get things done were a fuel to select his profession. The happiness for the achievement. Listen to the episode to hear his perspectives about the profession.

May 3

6 min 20 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo explains the fundamental differences between 3 roles in the project environment: the product owner and Scrum Master, widely used when applying Scrum and the Project Manager. All of them have critical roles in supporting their projects to deliver the results. However, each of them comes with a different set of accountabilities and responsibilities. Listen to the podcast to know more.

Apr 25

5 min 54 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo reflects on how our experiences, the media, and the different voices of society affect our perception of risks. We often increase, decrease or disregard the relevance of different threats and opportunities due to imperfect and biased information we receive every day. Ricardo also shares three simple tips you should always keep in mind to analyze future risk scenarios in the best possible way.

Apr 18

8 min 29 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo explains the 5 Whys technique to help you identify the root cause of an event, a specific risk, or even support your decision-making process. The technique, although simple, has nuances that allow you to be more effective and expand its range of uses beyond what was proposed by its creator, the founder of Toyota in the 1930s. Ricardo shows how to use 5 Whys in measuring intangibles, problem-solving, risk response development, and also in combined applications such as the use of 5 Whys with AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process).

Apr 11

7 min 5 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo talks about accountability and the discomfort we face most of the time when making decisions. Having the chance to make decisions are one of the most significant freedom examples we have. However, it comes with a lot of pain because we do not know precisely a decision is correct or not. If we take only the professional lens, we have to make decisions constantly, bringing stress, but we have no other option. It is our duty. And do not think that delay decision is a good option. When you delay decisions, you are deciding anyway: you just chose to do nothing. This was your decision.

Apr 4

5 min 27 sec

Ricardo tries to see the incident from different perspectives. From the standpoint of Evergreen Marine (ship operator) to the other shipping companies. From the perspective of the Egyptian government to the perspective of countries that rely heavily on global trade. Finally, he discusses your view as someone managing a project that relies on equipment or supplies coming from the other side of the world.

Mar 28

9 min 34 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo shares a concept he saw in a Design Thinking course he did recently: The Ebb and Flow of Ideation. Dev Patnaik introduces this straightforward and effective concept in the Product Development Best Practices Report. It is centered on the concept that better ideas are interspersed with absurd ones during ideation, and a wild idea is the fuel to generate new brilliant ones.

Mar 22

4 min 39 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo introduces the Kano Model, one of the easiest and more effective ways to prioritize product and service's features based on their potential to satisfy clients. Listen to the episode to learn more about the five patterns or categories created by Noriaki Kano to classify the features and identify those you should focus on developing.

Mar 15

7 min 4 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo discusses one of the critical principles of the PRINCE2 method: the management by exception. Managing by exception is a key pillar to save time and the overload of communications by setting boundaries of action and escalating issues. This principle is useful in every type of project and every method. Listen to the episode to learn more about avoiding unnecessary reporting and communication, empowering your teams to manage their work boundaries and keeping your focus on exceptions.

Mar 8

5 min 45 sec

In this week's episode, Ricardo gives tips for optimizing virtual meetings. As everyone knows, this type of arrangement has become a "nightmare" for many. Endless hours in front of a small screen have become a torment for productivity and performance. There are 5 simple tips that are much more related to discipline and behavior than to any type of technology.

Mar 2

7 min 43 sec

This week's topic goes back to negotiation and who should make the first offer. Many researchers claim that the Anchoring bias provides an edge to those who make the first offer since the human tendency supports that counter-offers tend to be proposed around the initial starting point. But there is a way around this if you don't make the first offer... Listen to the episode to find out more.

Feb 22

7 min 19 sec

This week, Ricardo reflects on companies' benefits and challenges with the visible increase in interest in outsourcing activities, especially concerning outsourced activities due to incapacity and lack of knowledge about work. He ponders the damage that the lack of knowledge, mastery of technology and know-how, can generate in the project's sustainability and its benefits.

Feb 15

6 min 37 sec

This week Ricardo returns to discuss the Dunning-Kruger effect and how it is usually more visible in projects and initiatives with more abstract deliveries and products. It is important to remember that the Dunning-Kruger effect occurs when the professional demonstrates confidence and a sense of competence incompatible with his job's real ability. This time, he goes back to discussing one of the most critical aspects of cognitive bias and how it is less evident in projects with clear scope and deliveries and much more apparent when the product, service and purpose of the project are less tangible.

Feb 8

6 min 29 sec

The WEF just published the Global Risk Report 2021. In its 16th edition, the report addresses the significant global risks like war, natural disasters, infectious diseases, and several other events and hazards that could jeopardize companies and governments' operations. In this episode, Ricardo highlights the report's main finds and goes back to 2020 to see how the landscape changed with the COVID-19 pandemia.

Feb 1

6 min 30 sec

Nowadays, all those leading projects and initiatives only talk about outcomes. In this week episode, Ricardo reflects on the concept that outcomes are everything while outputs are irrelevant. For him, outputs and outcomes are equally important because outputs are the only way to produce outcomes. The problem is the disconnection between the outputs we product and the outcome we want to reach. We need to understand that many times a lot of movement, does not mean a lot of progress towards your strategic intent.

Jan 25

5 min 25 sec

With the new PMP® Exam just released by PMI, Ricardo has received several messages asking about the new exam and the relationship with the PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition and the new PMBOK® Guide 7th Edition that is close to being released. He approaches the main differences in the exam and that until the new PMBOK® Guide is released, the part of the exam that MAY cover the guide will be based on the 6th edition as mentioned by PMI at https://www.pmi.org/pmbok-guide-standards/about/current-projects

Jan 18

8 min 32 sec

In the fourth and last episode, Ricardo talks about the importance of reputation and the use of social media. He also discusses our attitude towards failure, empathy, humility and gratitude and how these aspects become fundamental as you progress professionally in life.

Jan 11

10 min 11 sec

This week's episode celebrates the 13th anniversary of the 5 Minutes Podcast and the arrival of a significant milestone: 500 episodes. In this special podcast, Ricardo reviews 2020 and shares his perspectives for 2021. He also shares an interview about podcasts' history and some curious facts, as he has never heard even an episode of his own podcasts. The interview is on your YouTube channel - Link here. An animation about the podcast's numbers was aired today and can be seen here.

Dec 2020

5 min 48 sec

In the third episode of the series, Ricardo shares his method to identify which projects and initiatives he must undertake to achieve his goals. It shows how a Post-It and a flip chart can make a big difference in how you view, compare and select ideas.

Dec 2020

19 min 28 sec

This week Ricardo publishes the audio of the second episode of the What Matters Series (https://youtube.com/rvvargas) In this episode, he discusses the importance of having professional options and how you can increase these options by improving knowledge, networking and mobility. He also talks about how some discomfort and challenges can bring you the resilience and "antifragility" to succeed.

Nov 2020

11 min 18 sec