Project of the Year Awarded to Connect by Hertz
The 2010 PMINJ Project of the Year has
been awarded to Connect by Hertz, the car-sharing initiative recently implemented
by Hertz Corporation.
At the PMINJ April meeting, the award was
presented to Terri Ciccodicola and Jackie Van Der Ploeg, both executives
of Connect by Hertz. Terri and Jackie provided the membership with a multimedia
presentation of the project management principles and risk mitigation techniques
used in their successful launch of this initiative, on time and within
The nomination was submitted by Terri on
behalf of Dan Flynn and Griff Long, Connect by Hertz Project Managers.
Connect by Hertz was selected for this award after Dan and Griff had successfully
completed an interview process with three senior members of the PMINJ Executive
Board. Similar interviews were conducted with the two other finalists for
the award – Rabobank International and Marina Energy LLC.
The selection committee was gratified by
the overall quality of all submissions, and look forward to expanding the
number of nominations received next year.
of the Quarter
Lange has been a member of the Program Evaluation team for 3 years. He
has been consistent with his support. As a team member, Michael is
required to summarize anywhere from 30 to 50 evaluation forms every month
using the team’s MS Excel spreadsheet. What has set Michael apart is his
initiative. Over the years he has recommended various reporting improvements
and modifications to the spreadsheet calculations which have resulted in
more meaningful data mining.
In addition to his regular monthly activities
of collecting data, Michael recently volunteered to help the chapter test
the use of Survey Monkey to provide an electronic program evaluation survey
for the satellite locations. Michael created the program evaluation
survey based on the paper version while at the same time enhancing the
electronic version for ease of use and data entry.
The electronic survey has demonstrated
it is possible for the chapter to go ‘green’ and improve the satellite
location program evaluation reporting. The electronic evaluation form has
reduced handwriting interpretation issues and reduced the time it takes
to summarize and collate the various question’s answers into a single master
MS Excel spreadsheet report.
Michael continues to provide improvements
to the electronic evaluation form. Two great examples are the addition
of a ‘pointer’ to the PMI.org site upon completion of the evaluation form
which serves as a reminder to program attendees to submit their PDU's and
the addition of check box's for the various volunteer activities available,
making it easier to complete and faster for chapter leadership to complete
Michael has helped the program evaluation
team make a difference and provides value added support to the chapter
Congratulations to Michael.
Laws Of Risk Management
Risk Doctor Briefing: © October 2009
Dr David Hillson PMP Nonfarm
The term “risk management” covers many
different types of risk, including strategic risk, financial risk, reputational
risk, operational risk, project risk, environmental risk, legal risk, contract
risk, or technical risk, as well as corporate governance, business continuity
and disaster recovery. While each of these areas has its own special language,
processes and techniques, there are some principles which apply to them
all. These might be called “universal laws of risk management.”
The first law of risk management is
that risk is uncertain. A risk is something in the future which might
or might not occur. This is vital to a proper understanding of risk and
its management. Risks do not yet exist; indeed they may never exist at
all. They are potential future events or sets of circumstances or conditions.
This makes them quite different from things which have happened in the
past or which currently exist in the present. Past and present events can
be analyzed and measured, but future events can only be imagined or estimated.
A risk which may or may not exist in the future cannot be experienced directly
unless or until it happens. This makes risks different from issues, problems
or constraints. In every type of risk management, risk is in the future,
which is inherently uncertain.
The second law is that risk matters.
If they occur, risks will have consequences which make a difference in
some way. It is not possible to have an inconsequential risk, by definition.
While various types of risk management focus on different sorts of consequence,
all agree that a risk must affect something. This is because risks are
inextricably linked to objectives. Wherever some field of human endeavor
is attempting to achieve something, it is possible to identify uncertainties
which might affect the chances of success. Whether the objectives are to
achieve good corporate governance, successful projects or business continuity,
risk management aims to identify possible future events which could influence
those objectives, and to enable them to be understood and managed effectively.
The third law is that managing risk
is a process. They may have different steps, but all approaches to
risk management provide a framework which is designed to maximize both
efficiency and effectiveness. Although the details of risk processes are
different, every type of risk management has two important parts: analysis
and action. Before risk can be properly managed, it must first be identified,
described, understood and assessed. Analysis is a necessary first step
but it is not sufficient – it must be followed by action. A risk process
which does not lead to implementation of actions to deal with identified
risks is incomplete and useless. The ultimate aim is to manage risk, not
simply to analyze it.
Finally, the fourth law is that risk
is managed by people. The human aspects of risk management are vital
to its success and effectiveness. People implement processes, though we
may use machines to automate calculations, to record results, or to generate
reports. People set risk thresholds, identify risks, assess the degree
of uncertainty and extent of possible impact, propose appropriate responses
and implement agreed actions. These require judgments, estimates and decisions
to be made in the presence of uncertainty. These judgments are subject
to a range of influences, both explicit and hidden, which can significantly
affect the outcome. Risk management at every level is exposed to sources
of bias arising from overt and covert influences acting on individuals
and groups who are trying to make risk-based decisions with imperfect or
Whatever type of risk we face, we have
to follow these universal laws of risk management. To manage risk effectively
we need to deal with uncertainty that matters, follow a structured process,
and take account of the people aspects.
www.risk-attitude.com This site is
a focus for the work being done on Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude.
www.atom-risk.com ATOM (Active Threat &
Opportunity Management) Risk Management is a practical method for managing
risk on projects.
So Why Should We
If you are currently in a job search chances
are you've been asked that question already. Undoubtedly, it is the most
feared interview question, but one of the most common. It pays to be ready
to answer it. It also helps to understand that the question is an invitation
for you to sell yourself. This is a good thing. No one is going to hire
you until they have been sold on you. This is your chance to state your
value to the prospective employer. The best way to answer this question
is to prepare for it like a sales person. There are three steps to selling
yourself with confidence.
1. Know your product “YOU”
Every successful salesperson knows their
product inside and out. They understand the benefits of each product feature.
In like manner, you must be able to articulate your transferable skills.
First, take inventory of your skills. Make sure the skills you focus on
are in demand for the position you seek. Next, take stock of the times
of crisis when you've used those skills to solve problems. Finally, ask
yourself what your employer got out of your successes on the job. Did you
save time or money, increase revenue, improve service or increase productivity?
Your success stories carry more weight when you can quantify the results.
These success stories make up your selling points.
2. Know the challenges of the position
Before you can tell them why they should
hire you, you must understand their current challenges. After all, you
couldn't sell a car unless you knew understood how it was to be used. Until
you know what challenges go with the position you won't know which of your
selling points to talk about. To learn about their challenges you must
In the beginning of the interview ask your
interviewer, “What challenges do you see as most significant for this position
in the first six months?” Take careful note of his/her response. You will
learn the “hot button” issues that you must sell you.
3. Match your skills to their challenges
Here is where you get to sell yourself.
Once you understand the critical skills they need for the job you simply
share with them your success stories of when you have faced similar problems
and how you solved them. Be sure to include the all-important benefit your
company received. Start off your value statements with phrases like:
Remember, even if you don't get asked “why
should we hire you” it is the underlying question and the point of the
whole interview. Job interviews are your chance to sell your skills, talents
and expertise. Before your next interview practice good salesmanship and
prepare to sell yourself like a pro.
“I found a significant savings opportunity
“My team gained efficiency when I discovered
“My boss achieved his quarterly objective
Deborah Walker, Certified Career Management
Read more career tips and see sample resumes
The PMINJ Chapter currently has 275 volunteers
that assist in various initiatives within the Chapter. Volunteers are members
of the PMINJ Chapter and their dedication and commitment is a key contributor
to the success of our organization. We are always looking for volunteers
to join our team as the Chapter continues to grow and broaden its services
to the member community. If you are interested in volunteering for our
Chapter or learning more about what volunteering can do for your personal/career
development, go to www.pminj.org/volunter.mr
The volunteer openings listed below are
the current available position.
1. Newsletter Writer
The Programs Team is looking for volunteers
to work together to summarize the topic that is presented by the speaker
at the monthly meetings. Since one person may be unable to attend
all of the meetings, it would be great if 2-3 people are willing to do
this. All interested volunteers should include a writing sample in
their response to this communication and have writing experience.
The contact information for the first
5 people who express interest in this position will be forwarded to the
Programs Team lead.
2. Speaker Feedback for Monthly Team
Provides feedback to the speaker each
month on the results that were obtained from the evaluation forms and tracks
the topics/speakers recommended by the attendees at each meeting.
The contact information for the first
5 people who express interest in this position will be forwarded to the
Programs Team lead.
3. Certificates for Monthly Chapter
Alternating with one other volunteer to
prepare the certificate that is given to the presenter(s) at the monthly
evening meeting. In addition, this individual needs to be able to research
whether the speaker has any certifications (such as PMP).
The selected individual would need to
be able to attend the meetings in which he/she creates this certificate
and know how to use PowerPoint.
The contact information for the first
5 people who express interest in this position will be forwarded to the
Programs Team lead.
4. Member Retention Initiative
PMI is encouraging the chapter communities
to reach out to members who are scheduled to expire within 60 days, and
personally encourage them to renew their memberships. The PMINJ Chapter
is looking for as many volunteers as possible to make these calls on an
monthly basis. Volunteers will be given a script and a call list.
Contact the news editor, Dave Case, at
firstname.lastname@example.org for newsletter related items.
Please submit articles in MS Word, plain
ASCII text, or as part of an email. Pictures and/or graphic
files should be high resolution (1MB+) J PG or GIF.
All members are invited to submit articles,
meeting review, or other items of interest for publication.
PMINJ is not responsible for the content
or quality of any advertisement included in this newsletter.
Articles Due By 15th of each month
Emailed by 1st weekend after 1st of
Everyone at the 2010 Annual PMINJ Symposium and Sunday Seminar
Sunday, May 2, 2010
project managers attended a Sunday Seminar conducted by Anthony Reed entitled
“Debits and Credits for Project, Managers: Fundamentals of Accounting
and Related Business Cycles”. The seminar was developed for project
managers who have limited work experience in accounting or people who want
a refresher. A good working knowledge of accounting is critical to
successfully understanding, implementing, and maintaining business applications.
Tony Reed was well received and enhanced
his presentation with the use of humor and an engaging style. He
provided a simple two handed model to assist in tracking debits on the
left and credits on the right. He provided real life examples and excellent
suggestions including how to engage auditing to further understand the
entire financial process and the impact on the project and possible risk
Monday, May 3, 2010
2010 PMINJ Regional Symposium on Project Management was once again a record-breaking
and trend-setting event! Over 620 attendees met at the Pines Manor
in Edison, NJ. This year’s theme, “Business Savvy Project Management”
was a terrific learning event with many positive comments in the post-symposium
survey. The symposium met its goal to provide creative solutions
and innovative techniques to traditional project management challenges
with three excellent keynote speakers and knowledgeable and informative
Anthony Reed CPA/PMP provided an
excellent keynote to jumpstart the symposium with his presentation, “Finding
the I in TEAM: Project Management Lessons From Some of the World’s
Toughest Marathons”. He integrated individual performance-enhancing
techniques based on getting your work done early so you can go out and
play! Tony also shared his unique experience of completing over 100 marathons
including hazards on all 7 continents and most of the USA. He showed the
video of the marathon in Antarctica and the slides from Africa with the
wildlife and provided risk mitigation.
Tony Reed stressed the importance of each
member of a team. When working together as a team, you are
only as strong as your weakest link. He told the audience that
we need to set SMART goals and to surround ourselves with people that will
support us. Once you start reaching your goals you will be attracted to
other people who have achieved success in their lives.
There was a buzz the rest of the day with
attendees and speakers who continued to quote from Tony’s presentation
-- a reflection of an outstanding presentation!
The lunch-time workshop, “Stop Talking,
Start Communicating!” was conducted by Mark Wiskup. The workshop
centered on the topic of communications in the workplace. Mark emphasized
that communication is most effective when the focus is on building connections
with people. He encouraged audience participation to deliver his
first step to effective communications is proper goal setting, which involves
understanding and implementing the following four steps: realize what you
are up against; master specific connection tools; dump your lousy habits
and practice along the way
Mark continued to elaborate on each of
these steps, with useful tips on what “is” and what “is not” communicating.
For example, he pointed out that talking or making a presentation or talking
about what you think is critical is not communicating. Communication
is about building a connection with your audience. This is
achieved through speaking slowly, pausing appropriately, ensuring that
your audience is listening to you and understands you.
The 9 tips, recommend by Mark, on building
a connection with your audience:
Develop a specific agenda for every meeting,
Focus the agenda on changing status quo.
Use pictures, for future success (or failure)
instead of relying on facts.
Make the future believable, using real stories
and past success.
Talk about your customers’ success to make
your company come alive .
Get to the headline quickly, and demand that
others do the same.
Learn to pause frequently, especially when
asked a question.
Praise with specific stories and criticize
with specific stories.
Accept a compliment! – It’s the first step
to making a new connection.
Mark concluded with some tips on bad
habits that a good communicator must dump, such as, the use of qualifiers
like “somewhat”, “for the most part”, “as far as I know”, and “pretty much”.
Or the use of integrity-challenging words such as “honestly” or “frankly”.
He effectively involved members of the audience to demonstrate these points
using live examples.
closing keynote speaker was Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, whose topic
was, “From Talk to Action - Making ROI Real in Your Organization”.
Michelle, the CEO and Chief Cheetah of Cheetah Learning, the well-known
project management training organization, gave a high-energy closing keynote.
Using examples from everyday life as well as from project management, Michelle
showed the audience how to leverage five different sources of capital to
increase ROI, in both personal as well as professional situations.
Michelle used five points of a star or
the human body as ways to remember the five dimensions: Financial, Infrastructure,
Social, Knowledge and Brand. After providing vivid examples of how
individuals can assess and increase ROI from five different perspectives,
Michelle demonstrated how project managers could use a simple but effective
prioritization tool to gauge ROI, and make both personal as well as professional
project portfolio decisions.
Project management is more than a business
skill, Michelle told Symposium participants; it’s a LIFE skill. Michelle’s
dynamic presentation gave the audience ideas and tools to use right away,
and with her enthusiasm and energy, she ended the Symposium’s Business-Savvy
Project Management theme on a high note. Post Symposium survey comments
included the following:
TRACK 1 SPEAKERS---RISK MANAGEMENT
“Very focused, very informative - kept audience's
attention, even though late in afternoon.”
“Had a swagger to herself and her story. “
“Would attend another of her sessions.”
Jenny Ambrozek presented “Stakeholder
Engagement & Co-Creation: Reducing Project Risks”. Ms. Ambrozek
demonstrated through various exercises how to apply a network mindset to
project management. She told the audience that involving key stakeholders
and having them be co-creators during planning improves the overall project
Ms. Ambrozek conveyed that applying a network
mindset to your projects will help you achieve project goals. All
projects start with a business strategy – structure, culture, systems and
shared values. Projects fail because the ‘networks’ are not
working and people are not connected. You need to make team
members feel engaged to make a project successful.
The primary reasons for failure of projects
are: poor communication, poorly defined scope and lack of adequate resources.
Ms. Ambrozek told the audience that they need to think strategically about
building relationships among the people on the project. The
networks that you develop really affect the outcome and success of your
project, relationships, and understanding. As project managers
we need to focus on how and to whom we network on our projects and how
we get and receive information. Network analysis allows one to identify
how communication flows through a project and points out strong and weak.
Vijay K. Verma, PMP, MBA, P.Eng,
PMI Fellow presented “Influencing Without Authority”. Vijay provided
a very interactive session with the audience participating in role-play
to demonstrate the importance and dynamics of power and politics in project
management. He stressed that politics are inevitable in project environments,
but as project managers, skillful politicking and power-brokering are vital
to successful project management. As a project manager you have influence
on the thoughts and actions of your team members.
Vijay explained the importance of recognizing
human factors, such as behavior and emotions, in dealing with perceived
areas of authority and power. Just because a project manager rarely
has authority or power doesn’t mean that they cannot influence the outcomes.
By recognizing the nuances of human behavior and emotions, a project manager
drive the discussions and other interactions with sponsors and team members
to both influence outcomes and drive towards opportunities for a successful
project. He also explained that politics within our organizations
create dynamics which help us strategically communicate and interact with
the right individuals to drive the influence we desire, without the actual
John Wurch, PMP, presented “Change
Management: 6 Steps to Guarantee Adoption”. Mr. Wurch started his session
explaining change management. Change management is what is happening
to the end users of any given project and how the change is impacting them.
Change management looks at the “people” impacted by the business need for
change. Mr. Wurch indicated the top reason most CEO’s lose their
jobs is their failure to manage change. When bringing change into
an organization the project sponsor needs to share the vision of the change
with managers and employees. The sponsor’s role in managing
change effectively, will build support from all parts of the business.
Managers resist change because they sense
a loss of authority or do not have the time to make the change. Employees
may lack awareness of the change and this may result in a loss of job security.
Communication regarding any change should be done as early as possible
so you can create awareness among those who are impacted by the change.
For any change to be successful, you need to engage employees at the very
beginning and provide continued, constructive reinforcement.
TRACK 2 SPEAKERS---PEOPLE SAVVY
Dr. Brenda Marshall opened her presentation,
“Emotional Intelligence” with the audience participating in a “cheer-off”,
with her judging as to which side could cheer the loudest. After
this two minute exercise, the room was full of smiles and stress-relieving
laughter from silliness of the quick bursts of energy.
Brenda spoke of her family, her career
and her experience in such a relaxed and conversational way, the audience
felt they were getting to know a friend. She gave humorous examples of
emotional tornadoes from her own life that were both entertaining and relatable.
The message of better decision making
though S.M.A.R.T. goals and Time Management was a very valuable one for
project managers. Dr. Marshall’s views of “reaction as a time thief” and
“negative influences” were inspiring and thought provoking. She explained
how the brain works in times of stress and decision-making, and offered
solutions to break negative patterns and raise self-awareness.
Dr. Marshall’s presentation was both fun
and empowering, which was the consensus in the audience, displayed by the
fact that when she ran a bit over the allotted time and into lunch, not
a single member of the audience moved. Also after the presentation,
a line formed to meet her.
Roger Beatty, PhD, PMP spoke to
the audience about his fantasy role as, “CEO AVATAR as Mentor: Becoming
More Business-Savvy”. This creative presentation was very different
from the typical project management workshop, but yet conveyed some interesting
tips. Roger, in the role of an AVATAR Project Manager named “PM”
enters PROJECToria on a quest to become more “business-savvy.” In
this virtual world, PM discovers that a virtual world organization, a CEO
AVATAR and a specific sequence of ten steps unlocks the secrets toward
becoming a business savvy project management professional.
Linda Trignano, MA presented, “Communicate
with Impact! Power Tools in Your Project Management Tool Box”.
Linda conveyed that the project manager's job is getting the work done
by other people. They must lead by example. Among the characteristics
of an effective project manager, communication, especially via body language,
is most important.
Linda talked about the 6 critical people
skills needed by project managers: leadership, team player, goal-oriented
self starter, excellent communicator, flexibility/multitasking capability
and a sense of humor. She also described the 4 types of DISC profiles for
project managers, characterized by the labels of dominance, influence,
steadiness, and conscientiousness.
TRACK 3 SPEAKERS---BUSINESS VALUE
McClintick, MBA, PMP, and the Chief Learning Officer at Cheetah Learning
presented, “Demonstrating Value of PMO by Using Management Enterprise
Reporting Metrics". The 150 + attendees were surprised that they could
not just sit back and listen to Barbara; in a few minutes over 15 teams
were actively defining their team name, priorities, benefits, stakeholders
and a long wish lists of metrics. Since so many team members asked for
the results, Barbara has agreed to tabulate the results and send it for
posting at the symposium web site for review by these eager team members.
Our chapter VP, Symposium, Aita Salasoo,
PhD, PMP took this opportunity to share her wealth of knowledge in the
area of, “Project Effort Estimation Best Practices”. Aita
emphasized that estimating project effort is a key to predicting project
cost. She addressed best practices related to project effort estimation
including: developing two independent estimates; focusing on assumptions
associated with estimates; managing estimates throughout the project; assessing
the estimate when the project is completed and adjusting estimate technique
parameters based on organizational data.
Aita addressed the main challenges for
project estimation: process culture; disciplined project managers; developing
and maintaining benchmarks; continuity of estimators and/or estimate reviewers;
tools and training and organizational commitment. A Post Symposium
survey comment was, “This was the most useful presentation that I have
gone to at any PMI symposium that I have been to.”
Mark Hronec presented the topic,
"Partnership Models: Flexibility and Effective Execution". As pharmaceutical
companies struggle to reduce their cost structures and improve their productivity,
they are turning more and more to Contract Research Organizations (CROs)
and other partners to provide critical development services. Mark explored
some of the key elements needed to create and manage new and effective
partnership models that deliver superior results. Although the presentation
was geared to the Pharmaceutical industry, one Post Symposium survey respondent
said, “I have already used a few of the gems buried in this presentation”.
these presentation sessions, attendees visited exhibiting vendors and specific
interest groups, purchased books from the speakers, and talked while enjoying
the refreshments. There were prizes and opportunities to get all kinds
of project management and other topics addressed with the business savvy
brain trust present. In conclusion, the Post Symposium survey results indicate
that this was one of the best Symposia ever. Exceptionally high marks
were given to the three keynote speakers. Congratulations to the
Symposium Team for another wonderful day of learning, sharing and networking.