Show cover of 5 Minutes Podcast with Ricardo Vargas

5 Minutes Podcast with Ricardo 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.


Making Sense of the Stanford University AI Index Report 2024
In this episode, Ricardo talks about findings from the "Stanford University AI Index Report," which emphasizes the advantages that industry has over academia in AI research, the efficacy of AI in specific activities, and the high expense of creating sophisticated models. Although regulation is still in its infancy, the US leads the way. While AI boosts efficiency, it can also lead to reliance. Artificial Intelligence accelerates scientific development while raising knowledge and concerns about its effects. Using ChatGPT, Ricardo examines the lengthy report and emphasizes how helpful it is for comprehending AI trends. The report provides insightful information and is free. Listen to the podcast to know more. You can access the report at this link:
10:10 22/04/2024
Myth or Reality: Were Human Skills Only Highlighted in PMBOK Guide 7th Edition?
In this episode, Ricardo talks about the importance of soft skills in project management, noting their relevance since the inception of the PMBOK guide in 1996. The 7th edition introduces a principles-based approach, diverging from the process-based structure of the 6th edition. This change facilitates a holistic understanding, which is particularly beneficial to those preparing for PMP and CAPM certification. Ricardo highlights that soft skills, such as leadership and adaptability, are deeply rooted in human behavior and essential for the success of the project. He encourages listeners to recognize that the PMBOK guide is not the only repository of project management knowledge, advocating a comprehensive understanding beyond exam requirements. Listen to the podcast to know more.
04:51 14/04/2024
The Power of Managing By Exception to Control Project Variations
In this episode, Ricardo talks about "management by exception" in PRINCE2 methodology, which encourages communication and action only in exceptional cases, saving time on routine updates. As an example, meetings are only called when there is a significant delay, a cost overrun, or a risk that is about to happen. Teams can focus on project work when communication is streamlined. Ricardo accentuates project success over meticulous management processes. "Management by exception" can be used with both Agile and waterfall methods, which makes project discussion more efficient. Ricardo suggests using it when making project communication strategies, highlighting the benefits of time savings and increased focus for the team. Listen to the podcast to know more. *PRINCE2® = PRojects in Controlled Environments
03:45 08/04/2024
Why Even Tiny and Simple Projects Fail
In this episode, Ricardo discusses how even small projects like assembling IKEA furniture can become overwhelming if not planned and executed efficiently. He highlights the need for attention, commitment, and streamlined communication to prevent such tasks from accumulating and disrupting larger goals. Planning, dedicating time, avoiding multitasking, and maintaining clear communication with stakeholders are vital strategies for these minor yet impactful challenges. By addressing these small tasks promptly and effectively, individuals can focus on more significant endeavors, avoiding unnecessary stress and complications in both personal and professional spheres. Listen to the podcast to know more.
07:52 31/03/2024
The Hype Cycle of Projects
In this episode, Ricardo talks about the hype cycle, which was first used in relation to technology but is also applicable to project management. He describes how projects go through phases of exhilaration that peak upon release, problems, and disillusionment. This cycle is like how technology hype, like that surrounding the 2022 introduction of ChatGPT, unfolds. As a project manager, Ricardo stresses the significance of traversing this cycle, admitting the early exhilaration, overcoming obstacles and disappointments, and eventually achieving productivity. He provides the example of building a tunnel when the reality of impediments replaces the initial thrill. Considering shifting goals and hype, Ricardo offers guidance on embracing and managing the cyclical nature of projects in his conclusion. Listen to the podcast to know more.
06:58 25/03/2024
FOMO Should Not Be a Metric of Your AI Project
In this podcast, Ricardo discusses the importance of implementing AI projects with metrics, cautioning against the fear of missing out (FOMO) as a driving force. He draws attention to the high expenses of AI, especially those related to hiring qualified personnel and purchasing processing power. To analyze possible time and cost savings, Ricardo suggests using simulations to help businesses properly weigh the costs and advantages. Especially for enterprise-level AI projects, he recommends scaling up after doing small pilots to determine efficacy. Ultimately, Ricardo encourages listeners to consider the financial implications and benefits before jumping into AI initiatives based only on market trends. Listen to the podcast to know more.
04:29 18/03/2024
5 Quick Tips for Effective Remote Project Management
In this episode, Ricardo talks about remote project management, drawing from years of experience. He stresses using online tools like Asana and Slack to stay organized and talk to people. Clear communication rules are fundamental and should include casual office hours for spontaneous discussions. Setting clear goals, roles, and standards helps team members be more independent. Collaboration tools like Miro make it easier to work together, and online social events help people get to know each other. When you work from home, you must be flexible and put results over strict control. Ricardo predicts that working from home will become the norm, which shows adapting is essential. Listen to the podcast to know more.
08:25 11/03/2024
Balancing Executive Demands for Transparency, Resources, and Deadlines with the Need for Agility
In this episode, Ricardo talks about the dilemma of balancing executive demands for transparency, resources, and deadlines with the need for agility. He makes it clear that agility doesn't mean having any control but rather a mix of control and flexibility. Flexibility, imagination, and new ideas are valued more than strict rules when using agile methods. Ricardo stresses the importance of educating executives on the nuances of agile approaches, especially in innovative and volatile environments. He suggests hybrid methods as a middle ground between agility and control. To finish a project successfully, you need to balance stakeholder interests and apply different methods to different project aspects based on experience and project requirements. Listen to the podcast to know more. * The image for this podcast was created in DALL-E using PMOtto Via ChatGPT Plus
07:26 04/03/2024
Harnessing AI for Smarter Risk Identification in Projects
In this episode, Ricardo talks about AI's role in risk management, particularly in risk identification, which is based on human experience and often involves techniques such as brainstorming. AI can analyze large amounts of data to identify links that people might overlook, such as the placement of diapers next to beer on supermarket shelves. Using AI in risk management provides insightful data despite concerns about its ability to predict sensitive personal data. Ricardo recommends integrating human experience with AI-generated risk lists for more efficient risk management. He suggests crafting accurate responses and advocates starting risk discussions with AI-generated lists before human brainstorming. This approach leverages the strengths of AI and human intelligence. Listen to the episode to know more. * The image for this podcast was created in DALL-E using PMOtto Via ChatGPT Plus.
07:19 26/02/2024
From Plans to Pandemonium: A Project Manager's Home Move Journey
In this episode, Ricardo talks about his recent adventure of moving homes. He shares insights from selling his old house and buying a new one, planning the move for a less busy time, and the unexpected turn of events when he decided to renovate his new apartment. The journey, filled with planning and chaos, offers a unique perspective on project management applied to personal life. Ricardo reflects on the lessons learned during the move, emphasizing that no matter how much you plan, unforeseen changes are bound to happen. He highlights the importance of commitment to deliver and the reality of facing a "chaos point" in projects, sometimes extending to a whole week of chaos, contrary to what one might expect. Listen to the episode to know more.
08:08 19/02/2024
Mastering Uncertainty in Projects: The Art of Recognizing Triggers and Early Warning Signs
In this 5 Minutes Podcast, Ricardo covers the necessity of recognizing triggers in project management and artificial intelligence. Triggers indicate patterns, risks, or occurrences before they happen. Ricardo uses analogies such as plane catastrophes and building collapses to illustrate the need to pay attention to signals and indicators. He underlines the importance of identifying triggers in various scenarios, such as geopolitical developments or supplier inquiries, to foresee future concerns. Ricardo recommends remaining informed through social media and newsletters and employing tools such as custom GPT. The capacity to recognize triggers and take preemptive measures is emphasized as a critical talent for project managers. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
06:30 05/02/2024
You Can Change Almost Anything in a Project, But You Must Not Change Its Purpose
In this episode, Ricardo emphasizes the need for change in project environments while cautioning against modifying the project's primary purpose or DNA. He underlines that while adapting and evolving is essential, changing fundamental goals can lead to confusion and a lack of focus. Using the example of building a school vs a hospital, he proposes that if the project's purpose changes considerably, it may be more effective to cancel the existing project and begin again. Ricardo highlights the need for clear project objectives to prevent projects from being disjointed and losing their initial intent. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
03:30 29/01/2024
Why Project Managers Can't Miss the Bigger Picture: Lessons From Davos
In this episode, Ricardo discusses the World Economic Forum in Davos, emphasizing the need for project managers to expand their perspectives beyond the immediate concerns of the project. He highlights the rapid pace of global change, including technological advances that impact jobs and industries. Ricardo encourages listeners to stay informed about global trends by watching the Davos discussions to gain insights. He warns of the potential for positive impact and challenges, highlighting the importance of adaptability, continuous learning beyond traditional project management methods, and understanding each person's role in an uncertain future. Listen to the podcast to learn more. * Photo: Tabitha Written WEF
07:10 22/01/2024
AI and Misinformation at the Top of the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report 2024
In this week's episode, Ricardo addresses the Global Risk Report recently released by the World Economic Forum. He emphasizes and validates some clear risks, such as climate change and extreme weather, as well as long-term risks, noting that although they are not new, they are reaching a critical point of no return. Beyond the immediate risks, there is something he talks and posts about almost every week: the combination of AI and social polarization that brings enormous pressure to the truth, signaling the possibility that, soon, the distinction between what is true and what is not may become increasingly difficult to discern. Ricardo also highlights a surprising omission in the report: the absence of the pandemic among the risks discussed. Despite being at the top of the global agenda in recent years, it is now not even among the top ten. This fact, unfortunately, shows the human tendency towards short-term memory. The download is free at the link: Listen to the episode to know more.
07:39 15/01/2024
Welcome to 2024: Exploring the Top 3 Game-Changing Trends in Global Project Management
In this first episode of 2024 of the Five Minutes podcast, Ricardo addresses the current presence of artificial intelligence and its impact on project management and the job market. The podcast offers insights into Ricardo's considerations for this year, covering AI, mathematical tools, geopolitical shifts, and evolving design methodologies. Listen to the episode to know more.
08:14 08/01/2024
Why Projects are Like War: Quite Easy to Start and Almost Impossible to Finish
In this episode, Ricardo explores the difficulty in completing projects, highlighting three leading causes. First, anxiety causes you to start more projects than you can finish, resulting in a backlog of work. Second, planning based on ideal conditions leads to underestimating the actual complexity of the work, which causes delays. Third, a lack of awareness about the underlying nature of the change results in changes that distort the essence of the project. Ricardo emphasizes the importance of controlling anxiety, planning realistically, and avoiding changes compromising the project's DNA. Listen to the episode to know more.
07:43 18/12/2023
Google's Gemini: AI Revolution or Refined Illusion?
In this episode, Ricardo talks about Google's latest AI endeavor, Gemini. It includes a native multimodal environment, allowing people to write, talk, or draw and get answers live. One of its demo videos was so impactful that it instantly got millions of views ( But one day later, Bloomberg released an article where Google admitted that the video was edited, or for some experts, "fabricated." The bottom line is that the demo was incredibly edited to suggest that Gemini is far more capable than it is. Anyway, the hype is significant, but the trend is here. I can easily see a board meeting being recorded and commented on by AI live or a camera onsite, providing instantaneous project updates. Maybe or probably, this is not ready now, but it will come. And soon. Listen to the episode to know more.
06:35 11/12/2023
What is Reality?
In this episode, Ricardo discusses a prank at the Web Summit where two individuals posed as a rapper and an Adidas executive, promoting absurd ideas like implanting SIM cards in workers to control productivity. The audience applauded, highlighting a concerning disconnect from reality. Ricardo emphasizes the responsibility of project managers to align ideas with societal values, cautioning against blindly pursuing disruptive technologies without ethical considerations. Drawing parallels to a tragic incident influenced by a chatbot, Ricardo calls for a conscious integration of core values in technology projects, emphasizing the importance of ethical considerations over mere profit motives. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
05:33 04/12/2023
Surviving the AI Wave: Skills, Adaptation, and the Future
In this episode, Ricardo talks about the recent developments at OpenAI, including the departure and return of Sam Altman. Rumors say that OpenAI is creating a potentially revolutionary language model with the capacity to pose a threat to humanity. In the Financial Times, he published an influential article detailing how ChatGPT has already impacted workforce wages, particularly in translation services ( Ricardo acknowledges the unpredictable future, emphasizing the need for adaptability, especially in project management. The rapid evolution of AI raises questions about the role of project managers and the broader workforce. Adaptation becomes crucial for survival and success despite unprecedented technological advancements. By the way, this episode illustration was created by Generative AI using DALL-E.
05:43 27/11/2023
OpenAI Leadership Crisis: The Governance and Communications Madness
In this episode, Ricardo discusses the recent upheaval at OpenAI, likening it to a dramatic chapter from HBO's succession. CEO Sam Altman was fired on a turbulent weekend, leading to speculation and confusion. Microsoft, unaware of the decision, expressed concern. Key researchers resign, and Altman is rumored to return. OpenAI appointed Emmett Shear as CEO, and Microsoft later announced Altman's joining. Ricardo emphasizes the lessons on volatility, communication failures, and the importance of governance in tech giants. The sudden changes raise uncertainties about AI development and investments, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the industry.
08:33 20/11/2023
It's Dangerous to Give an Opinion About Anything
In this episode, Ricardo highlights the danger of uninformed opinions, especially in the era of influencers. Ricardo emphasizes the need for a "place of speech" where individuals speak from a position of knowledge. Drawing from personal experiences in conflict zones, he urges caution in expressing opinions without a solid understanding of the subject. This warning extends to project management, advocating for informed decisions and discouraging the misuse of influence for unsupported viewpoints. The overarching message is to seek reliable information, exercise caution in expressing opinions, and be ethical in leadership roles. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
06:28 13/11/2023
The Cult of Immediacy is Dangerous and Very Risky for Your Project
In this episode, Ricardo emphasizes the modern cult of immediacy and the impact it has on professionals' patience and ability to concentrate. The younger generation seeks instant results in various aspects of life, including work and learning. This mindset is compared to "TikTok project managers," who expect quick outcomes and shallow understanding. Ricardo highlights his concerns about the next generation of project managers aiming for credentials in 15-second learning sessions. He also stresses the importance of deeper thinking and avoiding becoming too addicted to instant gratification. Ricardo encourages professionals to balance agility with patience and understanding that some things take time to develop or understand. We live in a TikTok generation where everything happens in 15 seconds, but real life isn't like that. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
05:32 06/11/2023
Project Management, AI, and Sustainability: Is This the New Triple Constraint?
In this episode, Ricardo discusses the broader context of AI in sustainability. While environmental sustainability is often the focus, Ricardo emphasizes the importance of social, environmental, and economic sustainability. He draws an analogy with the project management triangle (scope, time, cost) and introduces the "three C's": complexity, cost, and carbon. Balancing these aspects is essential as complexity, often driven by interdisciplinary demands, regulatory requirements, and data overload, increases costs. The environmental part is highlighted, citing the high carbon footprint of AI training. Ricardo provides a five-step approach for building sustainable AI applications, emphasizing understanding sustainable objectives, centralizing data, customizing algorithms, starting small with pilots, and implementing projects gradually to ensure long-term sustainability. He recommends reading his article for more insights. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
08:53 30/10/2023
How the Calculation of the Risk's Expected Monetary Value Can Mislead Our Project Reserves
In this episode, Ricardo discusses the common practice of calculating Expected Monetary Value (EMV) for risk management. EMV involves multiplying the probability of a risk by its impact to determine the exposure and, in turn, the financial reserves needed. He points out that using EMV for risk reserves is only effective when managing a large portfolio of risks as an insurance company does. For small projects with just a few risks, relying on EMV is insufficient, and a different approach is needed. Ricardo suggests using more extreme scenarios, such as worst-case or best-case, depending on risk tolerance and project specifics. Large, complex projects, like nuclear power plants, require special consideration due to the potentially catastrophic impacts that may be financially unmanageable. Therefore, these projects are often funded by governments or large organizations. The key takeaway is that risk management involves more than just EMV calculations; it depends on the project's size and risk tolerance.
06:20 22/10/2023
Organizations Want to Change Everything Without Changing Anything
In this episode, Ricardo discusses the standard rhetoric of change in organizations and individuals. While many talk about the need for change, they often struggle to take action. Ricardo emphasizes the importance of understanding the purpose of change and how it benefits individuals and organizations. Without a compelling reason to change, people tend to resist it due to fear of the unknown. Fear can be managed by providing predictability and assurance. The podcast underscores that merely discussing change without a clear purpose and addressing fear won't lead to actual change. Convincing people to embrace change requires a critical sense of urgency and a compelling purpose. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
05:08 15/10/2023
The Devastating Uncertainty of Life: The Tragedy of The Recent Events in Israel
In this podcast, Ricardo expresses deep sadness and extends condolences to those affected by the recent tragic events in Israel and Gaza. He emphasizes his personal connection, mentioning that he has brothers and sisters in both Israel and Palestine. Ricardo highlights the importance of understanding and managing uncertainty, a crucial skill for project managers. He believes that the recent events will have direct and indirect consequences, impacting global trade, technology, and political environments. Ricardo also draws attention to the hard times in the history of global society. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
06:45 08/10/2023
How to Poorly Manage Crisis: My Swiss Airlines Nightmare
In this podcast episode, Ricardo shares a recent experience with Swiss Airways that highlights the mishandling of a crisis in the airline industry. Ricardo's flight from Lisbon to Punta Cana via Zurich was delayed progressively, ultimately leading to a seven-hour delay. When the flight was finally canceled due to technical issues, the airline did not assist in accommodation or support. This resulted in significant inconvenience for passengers, including children and elderly individuals. He emphasizes three critical lessons for crisis management: empathy, responsibility, and damage control. Ricardo expresses disappointment with Swiss Airways' handling of the situation and underscores the importance of customer-centricity and effective crisis management. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
11:36 01/10/2023
Unlocking the AI Potential: Top 5 Courses to Advance Your Skills in Generative AI
In this podcast episode, Ricardo emphasizes the increasing relevance of artificial intelligence (AI) across various professions, particularly in project management. He recommends several free online AI courses, including those by PMI, Google, Linkedin, and Microsoft, highlighting their differences and merits. Ricardo encourages professionals to dedicate time to these courses to enhance their AI understanding, emphasizing the importance of continuous learning. He mentions the Masterclass and concludes by urging listeners not to procrastinate and to take advantage of these valuable AI resources.
09:44 24/09/2023
My Participation at Burning Man Was Much More Than Attending an Event
A new Podcast is on the air and this week Ricardo discusses how our work and personal relationships tend to feed back into our perspective and set of implications. In the last Newsletter he published, Ricardo spoke about an event that was introduced to me by a great friend, Burning Man. Ricardo went to Burning Man this month looking for something “out of the box”. In this week's podcast, he talks a little about his experience, where the place, the people, and the social organization opened up new perspectives. Check out a little of what happened and come and reflect with him on the importance for project managers and transformation agents to allow themselves to see the multiplicity of ways of seeing what is around us, including when making decisions within our projects. See you next week for another 5 Minutes Podcast.
06:04 17/09/2023
My Insights About Our First Research of Artificial Intelligence in Project Management - Part 2/2
In this "5 Minutes Podcast" episode, Ricardo discusses topics 6 to 10 of the research on AI in project management. Topic 6 reveals that 25 to 26% of experts see AI as a tool to enhance diversity and reduce bias, while Topic 7 highlights the concerns of 75% regarding AI's ethical implications, particularly in decision-making. Ricardo stresses the need to balance AI's potential for positive change with ethical considerations, especially in areas like hiring. Topic 8 underscores AI's role as an innovation catalyst in project management, recognized by 65% of respondents. Ricardo encourages embracing AI for transformative change. Topics 9 and 10 address challenges in integrating AI into existing frameworks and the importance of investing in AI exploration. Some struggle to adapt old frameworks and 20% hesitate to explore AI's potential. Ricardo emphasizes the necessity of investing time and resources to understand AI's impact to prevent falling behind, drawing parallels with industry disruptors like Blockbuster. Ricardo concludes by offering the research report for free, urging ongoing discussions to navigate AI's influence in project management effectively. See the research report at Listen to the podcast to learn more.
08:33 03/09/2023

Similar podcasts