by Christine Rotonda, PMP, PMINJ Newsletter Editor
When I was recruited to my position of Editor, Barbara Fuller, PMINJ VP of Marketing , mentioned that a theme usually emerges depending on the articles and current activities surrounding each newsletter. In preparing this newsletter I’ve witnessed team collaboration and this theme certainly emerged as we gathered material and deliberated the articles. Throughout the process, the energy generated from our fellow PMINJ volunteers with their charitable activities, awards, scholarships and article submissions was inspiring. I encourage you to get involved in the superb PMINJ collaboration process. Become a volunteer and submit an article on your favorite topic to . Collaboration is well worth the effort.
This is my last article as your VP of Professional
Development and Training, a position I’ve held for the
last 14 years (beat that, Mayor Bloomberg!) It’s
a good time for reflection as I look back over many
accomplishments, and a good time to focus our sights
on the future. Coincidentally, the deadline for
this article was nearly the same date as my first
PMINJ Executive Board Meeting, when my position was
formally announced. That evening is forever
burned into my memory – July 7, 1998.
The meeting took place at Snuffy’s in Scotch Plains. Getting to know all the board members and learning about my many responsibilities was all a bit overwhelming at that time. I did have a sense of “Uh oh, what did I get into?” That feeling was reinforced after I departed the meeting and found my car had been broken into and my cell phone stolen! A flurry of police activity followed including dusting for fingerprints. I do commend the Scotch Plains police force, as I was notified eight months later that they caught the perpetrator.
Fortunately, the following board meetings were less stressful, although many action items were handed to me. I’ve often said it feels like I spend more time on this volunteer position than I do on my salaried work. However, this PMINJ work has been, in many ways, more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done. And most of those rewards come in the form of the gratification I receive from guiding individuals in their project management career paths, teaching them the Tao of PMBOK, and helping them achieve professional certifications.
Our Saturday PMP/CAPM Exam Prep courses have been running 3 times a year for the past 14 years. There may have been one or two along the way that didn’t quite fill to capacity, but I honestly can’t recall them. Almost all courses fill up rapidly and have a waiting list. Over the years, venues and materials have changed. While our first location was at the facility of a small defense contractor in Hanover, an eerie environment on Saturdays, a variety of hotel, corporate and collegiate locations followed. Today we utilize a formal training facility in Parsippany, and have new venue possibilities in the mix for future classes. We began by creating our own materials, generating handouts for the students, hauling many boxes of copies, collating, binding, and making presentations using overhead transparencies. Today we use PowerPoint presentations and pre-packaged professional materials from a PMI Registered Education Provider. Even the best materials are ineffective, as many students will attest, without a competent instructor to provide insight and elaboration. Although the logistics and tools may have changed over the years, the one thing that remained constant is our team of tireless, dedicated, and talented PMINJ volunteer instructors who give 100% of themselves to educate and prepare students for their PMP Exams.
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you, to both current and past instructors, and to all who have supported the members with our successful PMINJ Training program these past 14 years.
Looking ahead to the future of Professional Development and Training, there will be additional preparation courses for the new certifications that PMI offers. First on the agenda is Agile Certification with Risk, Scheduling, and Program Management certification prep classes to follow. New methods of delivering content will undoubtedly be part of the future to capture a wider audience and meet demands for asynchronous training. As the paradigm for online training continues to evolve, new models for providing information will be created. Although the merits of face to face training cannot be argued, it is clear that the future of teaching in our global-mobile world does not lie in that direction as the prime vehicle for training. But who knows? Perhaps we will be back in the classroom, only it won’t be our physical presences in the room, but our holographic images. Interesting times are ahead, for sure!
The PMINJ election results are final. Congratulations
to the following:
VP-Administration – Sandra Baptist
VP-Finance – Pat Bonanni
VP-Professional Development and Training – Frank Mead
VP-Symposium – Deven Trivedi
We appreciate the willingness of Bhaskar DasGupta, Fareed Hosain, and Vijay Arokia-Raj to serve and look forward to their continued support of the Chapter.
PMINJ is proud to announce the Scholarship winners for
2012. Nine of the 11 students were presented with
awards at the June meeting. By providing our
support of their academic careers, we hope to instill
educational values and celebrate achievements. We’re
very proud of the winners and wish them much success as
they pursue their degrees in a variety of career paths.
Parents and children celebrated together at the
Parsippany Hilton and PMINJ is happy to provide this
Each year, the New Jersey Chapter of Project Management
Institute, (PMINJ) presents its’ prestigious Project of
the Year award to a New Jersey organization, which
successfully demonstrates superior and exemplary project
management principles and techniques resulting in a
successful project. The Project Management
Institute (PMI) has established the Project Management
Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) which defines the principles
and techniques used to evaluate submissions.
This year’s award winner was St. Peter’s University Hospital, for their “Clinical System Implementation” project. St. Peter’s is a technologically advanced, 478-bed teaching hospital serving the healthcare needs of central New Jersey.
The project involved building and implementing an acute care clinical computer system installed across all service lines to deliver an entirely paperless Electronic Health Record System. The scope included building 20 applications, configuring 75 interfaces and the deployment of 750 devices. In total, 3,500 end users were trained including nurses, physicians and ancillary department users.
Thanks to everyone that donated food for the June 19,
Food Drive. We collected 237 pounds of food for local
food banks in our communities. Food Banks experience
more need over the summer months since local schools,
scout troops and many service organizations are on
summer break. Thanks to our PMINJ community for making a
Special thanks for the following food donations:
The June 19th, 2012, PMINJ Chapter Meeting was held at
the Parsippany Hilton and was the final chapter meeting
before summer break. This evening included two LCI
pre-meeting events. The PMINJ Career Networking
LCI conducted its monthly networking session and the NJ
PMO LCI featured its second audience interaction panel
discussion. The PMINJ featured events for the
month included the Project Manager of the Year Award,
Scholarship Awards and the main event presentation
“Leadership and Innovation: A Medical Device Project
from Concept to Implantation”, by the esteemed Robert C.
Robert began his presentation by sharing his personal background. He is a mechanical engineer specializing in orthopedic implant design. He is the Chief Technology Officer for Pipeline Biomedical Holdings and also served as Vice President of Research and Development for Pipeline Orthopedics. Robert, who is no stranger to start-ups, has extensive experience in the strategic positioning of medical products and technologies for investment return. He has an in-depth knowledge of all phases of the product development cycle including research, design, intellectual property, manufacturing, physician evaluations, clinical studies and global regulatory. He has twenty patents, numerous peer-review publications, and is an active presenter at global medical conferences.
The presentation continued with Robert explaining that in the medical device industry, innovation is rapid and the product offering competition is intense. The time to market from concept to market release must take into account many factors. These factors include the complexity of design, testing standards, production process determination, sterile packaging validation and the FDA acceptance cycle. Robert then walked the group through this intense process using the Orthopedic Hip Implant Initiative they have been working on for the past two years.
Some interesting statistics were shared regarding the Hip & Knee Implant Industry:
The objective of the Orthopedic Hip Implant Initiative
undertaken by Pipeline Orthopedics:
Robert then took the group on the journey that he and
Pipeline Orthopedics took in an attempt to achieve these
critical objectives. This journey began with the
fact that the decision was made to follow a project
management “best practices” roadmap to ensure that the
initiative would start on the road to success. The
following SDLC was followed:
Project Planning Design Phase: Within this phase, the implant design was conducted which included the hip stem, taking into account various bone sizes and stability requirements. Also included was the design of the instruments which needed to precisely complement the hip system for the implantation preparation. Final consideration for design was the pelvis cup that needed to achieve bone fixation long-term and be the product differentiator for Pipeline Orthopedics.
Process Development Phase: This phase integrated all of the Design, Marketing, Fabrication, System, and the new Metal Laser Sintering process that would need to come together to successfully create the hip stem and pelvis cup implantation components.
Product Testing Phase: The testing phase was required to incorporate mechanical, chemical and biological testing acceptance and quality assurance. This was challenging since there are very tight tolerances, complex shapes, interacting parts and new materials being introduced to the process which require additional proof of facility safety.
Verification and Validation Phase: This phase focused on meeting all the rules and requirements per Medicare, Insurance Laws and final FDA approvals. This is usually a very challenging phase but this time there were additional challenges since Pipeline Orthopedics was adding a new Metal Laser Sintering process and materials for making hip replacement components which needed to be quality audited and approved.
Robert stressed the fact that we must create beneficial Academic Relationships to utilize universities effectively. This is an untapped opportunity since Academia is looking for Industry Relationships as well. Utilizing universities for various parts of initiatives brings a high value per dollar, access to high-tech test equipment and access to expert professors.
Robert spoke a bit about some of the challenges along the way including the project management software solution that was utilized for this initiative. The goal was for the tool to be easy to use, encourage collaboration, stay on task/accountability and be a comprehensive system to track all projects online. After extended research they chose Clarizen as a Saas Model that would accomplish all of these. Unfortunately, this tool did not fit into the existing corporate culture and eventually they went back to using Microsoft Project 2010. As Robert stated, “Good project management tools still only work with a strong project leader and a motivated project team…people make it work!”
Although there were many challenges along the way, the Hip System Implantation Two-Year Project was a Success! The implant sizing and initial fixation were excellent; instruments performed to specification, surgeons were satisfied, FDA approval was received, production was validated and the distribution partner is very happy. It is anticipated that within the month, this system will be implanted in the first live patients undergoing hip replacement surgery. And yes, a company was built!
Project Management Takeaways:
PMI Today showcased the PMINJ interview with Jim Snyder
in their July, 2012, Chapter Links: “A PMI Founder
Shares the History of the Institute”
Citi Group, PMINYC and the New Jersey Chapter have had
a great corporate relationship for several years.
Recently Citi Group hosted a conference titled “Bridging
the Gap between Technology & Business Project
Management”. Citi Group is particularly interested in
bridging the knowledge gap and leveraging best practices
for addressing business problems in an integrated manner
within cross functional project teams.
Judy Balaban, President of the New Jersey Chapter and Josh Lerner, President of the New York City Chapter, participated in a joint presentation where they spoke about the benefits of PMI Membership and what the New York and New Jersey PMI Chapters can offer to members. Citi Group expressed their interest in several New Jersey Chapter initiatives including mentoring / mentee programs, volunteering for the non-profit community outreach programs and the Agile and PMP prep courses offered.
As a result of this Citi Group event and other recent activities, a partnership has been formed between the New Jersey and New York City Chapters. Discussions are underway to consider some reciprocal arrangements and combined activities such as discounts for events and courses, conducting fund raising events together and more “birds of a feather” meetings along various organizational lines among both chapters.
Left to Right: Wanda Osterman, Project
Manager for Project of the Year for the NYC chapter,
Judy Balaban. President of the NJ Chapter, Joshua
Lerner, President of the NYC Chapter, William S Ruggles,
VP of Admin, NYC Chapter and Raji Sivaraman, Director of
Marketing NJ Chapter attending the Citi Group Project
Management Awareness Conference.
In my previous article I predicted that the next
generation of project management will transform project
managers into leaders who must deal with the strategic
and business aspects of their projects, build a vision
to inspire and motivate their project team, and know how
to adapt their style to the project’s context and
environment. I described the Strategic Project
Leadership® (SPL) approach for planning and running
business-focused projects and for adapting projects to
their specific context and environment. In this piece I
outline how project teams identify the specific
characteristics of their project and adapt the right
style for the right project.
There are fundamental differences among projects, and a successful style on one project may lead to failure on another. For example, you cannot compare a construction project to building a space vehicle, or developing a new presentation projector to building an Olympic village. So what can you do about it? Traditional project management and even recent agile techniques do not provide answers.
One of the components of SPL is the Diamond Model. It offers a framework for analyzing a project’s specific context and selecting the right style. The model includes four dimensions that characterize projects, where each dimension is classified into four project types, each requiring a different management style:
A unique Project Diamond describes each project
context, and the specific levels determine the
appropriate style for this project. The Project Diamond
also helps analyze project difficulties and get a
troubled project back on track.
Beyond studying the PMBOK® Guide, how can you make sure
you are able to identify the best answer while taking
the PMP® Exam? Reviewing and learning strategies to help
you identify the best answer along with the utilization
of a PMP® Exam Simulator to practice those strategies
will increase you odds of identifying the correct
answers to the PMP® Exam Questions.
You have studied the PMBOK® Guide and numerous additional materials, you believe you have a solid understanding of project management theories and the application of those theories, and you have taken the steps to schedule your PMP Exam. There is just one lingering question… how can you make sure you are able to identify the best answers when it comes time to take the PMP Exam?
The PMP Exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions that need to be answered in four hours. For each question you are provided a scenario along with four answers to choose. Your job is to choose the correct answer, which can be difficult when more than one answer may look correct. One thing to remember, no matter your personal experiences or even other project management training, the PMBOK® Guide is the basis for answering PMP Exam Questions.
There are several strategies you can use to help determine the best answer when taking the PMP® Exam:
Remember, PMP Questions are based on the PMBOK® Guide
and it is your job to find the “best” answer to the
scenario provided while taking the PMP® Exam. It is
entirely possible that the correct answer may not seem
to be evident even using the strategies listed above.
Even if there are a couple of questions that seem
unanswerable, make sure you guess…you have a 25% chance
with a guess, a 0% chance if left unanswered.
The best method for learning how to put the strategies above to use is practice, practice, practice. Use a PMP Exam Simulator to provide you with that kind of experience.
About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 18,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam and he guides PMI credential holders on earning PDUs
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