by Christine Rotonda, PMP, PMINJ Newsletter Editor
As we return to work renewed from our summer vacations, a new season begins and excitement is in the air! I witnessed a huge lightning bolt sizzle through the sky during one of our Jersey summer storms, and the theme for this newsletter, Connection, occurred to me. Our VP of Membership, Elizabeth Carfagno, confirms in her article for the newsletter, PMINJ is a large chapter. Many of us already realize the benefits of connecting with other professionals, but we expect many more from our group sharing news, celebrations and support. Our chapter is spread across a vast area, but every one of us is important to the chapter. We want each member to partake in PMINJ networking opportunities. Our monthly meetings are a great place to start. There are also many other ways to connect. Be creative and give some a try. If you can make one new connection this week, and consistently repeat the process, you'll get an explosion of value out of your membership.
As of June 2012, the PMINJ Chapter has grown to over
4,600 members. We are a strong Chapter supported
not only by our many members, but especially those who
volunteer their time to keep the Chapter running and
bring us great events throughout the year.
Currently you are able to view our Chapters open
volunteer opportunities listed on the Chapter
website. In September the PMINJ Chapter will begin
piloting the Volunteer Relationship Management System
(VRMS) for posting our open volunteer positions.
Last year, PMI introduced the VRMS globally to all members. The system design allows members the capability to search both global and local volunteer opportunities. When you apply for an opportunity, your profile, current certifications, previous volunteer positions, events attended, and awards achieved are shared with the owner of the posting. The system also allows you to upload your current resume for submission along with your volunteer application. Finally, the system tracks the volunteer postings you applied for and provides your current status.
The VRMS is easily accessible from the PMI website (www.pmi.org). Once logged in, you will find the link to the VRMS under the “Get Involved” link from the home page menu bar. PMI also provides user guides and training videos to assist updating your personal information, apply for and track your volunteer applications.
PMINJ volunteer opportunities are expected to be included in the system by mid-September. We hope you take the time to familiarize yourself with this new tracking system and take advantage of the many volunteer opportunities at the global and local levels. If you have any questions regarding updating your information or applying for a position, you can contact the VRMS support team directly by selecting the feedback link at the top right of the VRMS home page. You may also contact Nikki John (PMINJ Director of Volunteers) with questions at .
Thanks to all who already volunteer. You've helped grow and evolve our Chapter to what it is today, a beneficial community of professionals. For those of you who have not yet had the opportunity, I hope you will find the time to get involved as a volunteer in the future. It is the time and talent of our volunteer members who bring about the success we enjoy as a Chapter.
Ironic as it sounds, with the beginning of the fall
season, there comes new beginnings. The fall brings
a new school year, a new program year for PMINJ, and for
several members of the PMINJ Board of Directors, a new
term to serve the chapter and its members.
During the summer the chapter membership elected four vice presidents to the PMINJ Board. Effective September 1, 2012, their two-year terms officially began. Two new vice presidents have been elected. Sandra Baptiste was elected Vice President Administration. Debbie Heger formerly held the role. May I extend my thanks and appreciation to Debbie for her years of service and dedication to the chapter and the Board. Also newly elected to the Board is Frank Mead. Frank is Vice President of Professional Development & Training. Ava Heuer formerly held the role for 14 years! My sincere appreciation and gratitude go out to Ava for her dedication and service to PMINJ.
Holding the position of Vice President Symposium, Deven Trivedi returns to serve the PMINJ members by providing outstanding symposia with innovative topics and speakers. The position of Vice President Finance is held by Patricia Bonanni, who is also returning to the Board for another term.
As a vice president is newly elected he/she is able to select Director(s), with Board approval, to assist them in their goals and objectives for their area of responsibility.
Appointed Directors and their area of service as of September 5, 2012 are as follows:
Professional Development & Training:
Also at the September 5 meeting, Barbara nominated a new director:
The remaining Vice Presidents and Directors will continue
with their current positions for another year:
I too am continuing into year two in my term as President
to serve PMINJ, its members, and the PMINJ Board.
I want to express my thanks and best wishes for success to the newly elected vice presidents and approved directors. Good luck to all PMINJ Board members, those new to the Board and those continuing with their roles. The chapter members and the Board are all an integral part of the project management community within New Jersey. Welcome to a new program year and term!
Meglaughlin of Atlantic Health Systems was the winner of
PMINJ Chapters Project Manager of the Year award! The
award was presented by Eric Stetson and Srimal Ekkadu
during the June PMINJ monthly meeting at the Hilton
By committee vote, Danielle Meglaughlin earned this award. She is the embodiment of a true Project Management Professional. In 2011 she led a mission-critical project that involved the replacement of 70 individual systems and the integration of a recently acquired organization which had to be completed in less than 8 months due to regulatory requirements. Even though there where several challenges, including requirement changes, Danielle always maintained her professionalism, drive and sense of humor to deliver the project with success. Based on the letter of recommendation received for Danielle, she earned the respect and admiration of everyone involved in the project.
The PMINJ Community Outreach Team will conduct a warm
clothes drive during the PMINJ IPM [International Project
Management] Day event on November 1, 2012.
Several times during the year the team has “New Jersey Cares” initiatives where volunteers from PMINJ reach out to help those in need in the community.
In the past we have done food drives to help stock food pantries across New Jersey during the holiday season and recently in the summer months.
This new initiative is in collaboration with the United Way of New Jersey’s program ‘Gifts of the Season’. It entails collecting new:
Women, Men and Children's:
It is simple to help. All those that are attending IPM
day on November 1st should bring their donation of new
items to the Community Outreach Table.
Many thanks to Sandy Seidorf for her idea for this initiative and for taking the lead to make it happen. You can help by volunteering to staff the collection table along with Sandy. Let her know that you will be a volunteer by contacting her at .
PMINJ, the Community Outreach team and the community need more volunteers like Sandy, if you are interested contact us at .
Join PMINJ’s celebration of International Project
Management (IPM) Day on November, 1, 2012 at The Palace in
Somerset Park, NJ
This 7th IPM Day also marks PMINJ’s 30th Anniversary!
Confirmed speakers include Keynote Peter Monkhouse, Chair of the 2012 PMI Board of Directors and Martha Legare CEO of the Gantt Group as well as an Agile afternoon workshop presented by Sally Elatta, President of Agile Transformation.
While opening the Chapters 26th Annual Symposium, which
was a sold out event on May 7, 2012 at the Pines Manor in
Edison, New Jersey, the Judy Balaban, PMINJ Chapter
President, and Deven Trivedi, VP of Symposium, welcomed
over 600 enthusiastic participants. The theme
“Strategic Project Management” enabled the Symposium
committee to provide tools and knowledge to the local PM
Eric Verzuh was the opening keynote speaker, , He energized attendees as he discussed the evolution of project management in the work place. It went from being not quite visible in the 1980s as PM 1.0 to the current PM 4.0 version which is geared towards delivering strategic value for corporations. Eric spurred the audience into an in-depth analysis of the “Seven Strengths to Power Innovation”.
The afternoon keynote speaker, Terry Schmidt, brought the participants together for another invigorating discussion on “Applying Strategic PM in Work and Life”. Terry showed the audience how they could use a logical framework to assess and deliver project value.
Frank Ryle's closing keynote “Simplicity Project Management – an approach for the Pros” challenged PMs to keep things simple in an environment of ever increasing complexity. Frank elaborated his Simplicity message by providing nine steps and symbols to follow.
Symposium participants had the option to enhance their knowledge base via three strategically planned tracks throughout the day; Strategic Project Management, Strategic Leadership and Strategic Processes and Tools.
The Strategic Project Management track was led by Skip Weissman. Skip's three-pronged approach was developed for a Stadium build project; start to finish in just over 70 days! Skip described how a leading organization starts with a Vision Strategy, is bolstered with excellent personnel, performance management standards and backed by leadership with a focus on teamwork development. Skip presented a twist on the Pareto Principle by advising participants to focus on the 80% that you can control, with 20% being what you can influence, a perfect segue to the next session.
Dale Caldwell's Influence Driven Strategic Project Management session moved beyond SWOT to present his highly innovative “Influence Awareness” model and encourage participants to raise their influence intelligence. Dale compelled attendees to consider their individual influences. Dale suggested that to innovate, one must seek people who think differently. In essence, Dale provided a formula to build the Learning Organization from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence. Even without authority, PMs can use vision and goals to innovatively influence projects and deliver business value.
In the third session, Aaron Shenhar emphasized the need for strategic project leadership as an approach to next generation project management. The project manager needs to be flexible and adaptive, and be an advocate of the business goals and hence be an inspiration to the project team.
On the Strategic Leadership track, Michael O’Brachta with his background in the CIA provided a very entertaining perspective on the top 10 factors associated with great project managers. Mike spoke about the famous Shakleton story of men stranded on the ice during winter and how he went to each member to ensure they had his support and knew exactly what to do which contributed to their survival. Mike referred to this as “servant leadership” and emphasized that project managers who develop this skill combined with an executive decision making style are more successful. Mike's mantra, "What can I do to help?" and the top 10 factors he shared: meet the needs of others, be heroes with a plan, employ process with discipline, be servant leaders, work on successful projects, succeed broadly, deal with complexity, spend more time communicating, reduce cycle time, and master the soft skills.
Star Dargin further clarified the key aspects of leadership for a strategic project manager by elaborating on three unique styles of management – leader, coach and manager. In her interactive session, Star demonstrated how these three leadership styles can be applied based on project context and team needs by an effective project leader. Star quoted Paul Hawkins, “Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them”.
Brian Jaffa shared his real life experiences when he took a leap from IT to the Business side at Quest Diagnostics and challenged the tremendous unknowns on the "other side". He had to meet quotas and build a new India R&D test center from scratch. Brian went from eliciting requirements to providing them and building revenue pipelines. He was successful in stretching his abilities to build a new Greenfield India test center. Brian's examples demonstrated project managers as strategic leaders, and how we can apply skills to all aspects of business.
The third track at the symposium on Strategic Tools and Processes provided a good roadmap on the path to strategic leadership and management, beginning with Mark Layton’s informational discussion on how Agile QA processes are changing project management and allowing teams to deliver products faster with higher customer satisfaction.
Kathy Haas zeroed in on the strategic roles of Business Analysts (BA) and how to make this discipline align with Project Management in building successful project strategies. Kathy made the point that project management is increasingly complex with the new business models in the global age. Business success requires critical thinkers who can innovate, collaborate, and leverage complexity to compete. Creativity is the most important leadership quality per a recent CEO study and projects succeed by closing the gaps in business analysis. There needs to be a change in the project approach to provide a competitive advantage. Kathy described four steps to a successful approach:
The BA keeps the focus on strategic value and the PM on
complexity management to partner as creative leaders.
The event hosted 24 vendor exhibitors, Chapter Communities of Practice (CoP) and Local Community of Interest (LCI) booths that provided participants opportunities for networking with 600+ area Project Managers.
In closing, Jerry Flach, Symposium Director thanked the 50+ volunteers for their dedication to make this event a grand success and challenged attendees to become chapter volunteers. The post-event survey indicated more than 93% of the respondents, believed that PMINJ 2012 Symposium had met or exceeded their expectations
Barbara A. Fuller, PMINJ Marketing VP, and members of her
Marketing Team, have a strategic objective to increase
Corporate Outreach in 2012. The PMINJ Marketing Team
formed a partnership several years ago with Merck, a major
pharmaceutical organization based in Whitehouse, NJ. This
year our chapter was invited by Tina Gertsch, coordinator
of the Merck annual Project Management Day, to participate
in their 2012 event.
One of the PMINJ goals in participating in Corporate Outreach events is to increase local corporate knowledge of the capabilities offered by PMI and the New Jersey Chapter. Dennis McCarthy, the newly appointed Director of Corporate Outreach commented “the event was very well attended and very well organized. Interest in Project Management Professional (PMP) certification was high, as was interest in other certifications in other areas of Project Management such as Agile or CAPM. Many people were asking about membership in the PMINJ Chapter, and many were impressed that we offer free monthly programs at satellite locations around the state to make it easier to attend. Given the interest in certification, the fact that PMINJ sponsors PMP preparation courses appealed to many Merck attendees as well”.
Excerpts from his 12 easy ways to Earn PDUs
After earning your Project Management Professional (PMP) or Program Management Professional (PgMP) credential you are required to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every 3 years. We explore 12 simple methods in which you can earn PDUs easily and relatively inexpensively.
[Note: This is an update to the article “10 Easy Ways to Earn PDUs" that was published in July 2010. The update is necessary because PMI changed the categories, structure and policies governing Professional Development Units (PDUs).
PDUs we need and PDUs we want. Professional Development Units (PDUs) dominate our minds, our conversations, and our spare time in the last quarter before our Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) deadline. With a little proactive planning we can all make the PDU procurement process much easier. The bottom line is that we want the fast and consistent path to our PDUs… and we want them now!
How do we accomplish this? By just ‘doing’ what ‘you do’. The easiest way to earn PDUs is to leverage what you currently do. Here is a short list of PDU eligible activities that might already be part of your professional life.
For the details on PDU categories mentioned below refer to the CCR section of the PMP Handbook, which can be found at http://www.pmi.org/certification/~/media/pdf/certifications/pdc_pmphandbook.ashx
1. Your Day Job (PDU Category F)
If you work as a Project Manager this is probably the easiest way to tick off up to 25% of the PDUs you'll need at the end of the recertification cycle. If you are a practitioner of project management services for at least 6 months each year, you can claim up to 5 PDUs per year for a maximum total of 15 PDUs per three year period..
2. Volunteer Service (PDU Category E)
Become a volunteer of your local project management association (either as an elected officer, as a committee member or by managing a project for them) and earn 1 PDU for each hour of service. Note that the PDUs earned in this category count towards the combined maximum of 45 PDUs for categories D, E and F. A letter or certificate from the organization acknowledging the participation is required for confirmation.
3. Formal Academic Training (PDU Category B)
Formal Academic educational courses related to Project Management can earn you 10 to 15 PDUs per semester. It's one of the easier categories, as long as you are not financially challenged. If you are, there may well be project management related courses offered at your local community college that are more economical than the state and private collegiate institutions. The transcript or grade report is required for confirmation.
4. Create new Project Management Knowledge (PDU Category D)
There is a lot you can do in this category to earn PDUs. You could be authoring or co-authoring articles, books or newsletters, present a webinar or podcast, or create and present a project management course. Each will earn you PDUs. The rule is that every hour spent in preparing and delivering these activities is equal to one PDU. The PDUs claimed in this category count toward the 45 PDU maximum for categories D, E and F.
5. Turning CEU’s into PDUs (PDU Category B)
Like Formal Academic Training, Continuing Education (CE) can be submitted as PDUs. Unlike Formal Academic Training, CE’s are courses that comply with IACET standards. CEU’s (Continuing Education Units) can be converted to PDUs; generally at a ratio of 1 CEU to 10 PDUs. Your best bet is to confirm with the provider that the course you are interested in complies with the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard and of course it must be about project management.
6. Self-Study (PDU Category C)
Do you consume a lot of materials like reading articles or books, watching videos or CD ROMs? Or do you have formal discussions with colleagues or customers? Or did you recently get coached? If you participated in any of these activities and the topic at hand was relevant to project management, had a specified purpose and used knowledgeable resources then you can claim 1 PDU for each hour spent on this as “self study”. There is a maximum of 30 PDUs for this and any other Category C activities.
7. Leverage PDU Activities (PDU Category - Multiple)
One of the best ways to proactively plan your PDUs is to get creative and leverage one PDU opportunity upon another. For example, if you attend a PMI Chapter Meeting you will earn PDUs (Category A). Why not piggy-back on that PDU opportunity by taking an active role as a volunteer at the registration desk (Category E). This way, you will have used one event to generate PDUs in different categories. Don't be afraid to get creative and leverage PDU opportunities as much as you can.
So there you have it….
No matter what your budget or your learning media preference, these simple methods are waiting to help you earn the 60 PDUs required for your recertification. If you are proactively planning your PDUs, you will be prodigiously promising as a project manager! Whichever route you take, keep consistent and remember to have some fun with it.
About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is a noted PMP expert. He has helped over 18,000 students prepare for the PMP Exam with The Project Management PrepCast at and he guides PMI credential holders on earning PDUs with The PDU Insider
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