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dedication…all attributes found in a good project manager. However
in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, these are the necessary attributes our
colleagues, neighbors, and loved ones must muster or possess in dealing with
the clean-up, repair and rebuilding of their homes, businesses and communities.
Sincere Thanks and
by Judy Balaban, PMP
- President PMINJ
Caring is also a strong attribute of a good project manager, they care
for their projects and project teams. And some take it a step further
to care for others in need outside of the workplace. I must express
my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the PMINJ members that answered
my call to volunteer and assist those in need within NJ and our surrounding
areas. Many thanks to those that participated in the food drive at
the monthly chapter program meeting earlier this month.
Volunteer efforts will be going on throughout the upcoming months, not
just for a few short weeks. If you still want to volunteer, but have
not had the chance to contact firstname.lastname@example.org, it is not too late
to help those in need.
In addition to our volunteer efforts, PMINJ has made substantial donations
to the Red Cross, Trenton Soup Kitchen, Greater Newark Holiday Fund, Elijah’s
Promise, and Operation Shoe Box. They are all charitable organizations
serving those in need within the state of New Jersey.
by Deven Trivedi, PMP,
MBA, VP of Symposium
Welcome to the World of Gala Events: PMINJ Symposiums
If you want to
experience the workings of a high performance team and their capabilities,
you should look no further than PMINJ Symposium team. The Symposium team
performs significant planning activities since requirements for these large
and complex projects have fixed budgets and high customer standards. In other
words, these are Project Managers at their best!
The Symposium team flawlessly executes two large events in a calendar year:
Due to the chapter’s superior
quality of work, these symposiums have both sold-out. The Symposium team
aims to bring you an opportunity to earn Professional Development Units (PDUs)
with cutting edge topics and content that relate to PMINJ member interests.
In the process, the team strives to present the best speakers in the country.
- Annual Regional Symposium
in May, - approximately 600 attendees
- International Project
Management Day Seminar in November - approximately 500 attendees
The symposium team consists for 40 to 50 chapter volunteers. These
volunteers believe in giving back to the PM community with their unwavering
work ethics. Below is the list of the symposium teams and current team leaders:
and Audio Visual
Nussbaum, Suzanne Walsh
Fisher-Bara, Anil Mishra
Folder / Handouts
Our Facility team solicits venues conveniently located. They work with
the selected venue for appropriate AV equipment to deliver excellent sound
and video. The team works diligently with the venue provider to finalize
space, equipment, menus and other logistics.
The Speaker team establishes a theme for the May Symposium. Once the theme
is selected the team starts reviewing speaker proposals. A speaker assistant
from the team is the POC and provides all the details about the event. Post-event,
the speaker team compiles lessons learned and shares them with the symposium
The Registration team finalizes the registration rates and works with our
Webmaster to post registration information on the chapter website. They
continuously monitor and respond to all registration inquiries. Based on
the final registration list, the team prepares badges. The registration
team sets-up early and is ready to help members with any questions throughout
the day of the event.
The Evaluation team prepares the web-based survey using Survey Monkey.
They perform various quality checks and review surveys and possible questions
format. This team gathers the survey feedback and tabulates it for
The Vendor Logistics team works with the chapter marketing team to provide
seamless support to symposium exhibitors and sponsors. They help vendors
set-up at the event. The Vendor logistics team works with facility team to
finalize the floor plan and make sure all vendors are provided adequate space.
The Communications team makes sure that appropriate notification and marketing
emails are sent on schedule. Various marketing avenues create buzz about
the event. These include the PMINJ LinkedIn group and our Facebook page.
They also prepare a post-event write up that is published in the PMINJ Newsletter
and PMI Today.
The PMI Community of Practices (CoP) and PMINJ Local Community of Interest
(LCIs) are invited to participate in the symposium. The CoP/LCI team lead
keeps track of interested CoP/LCIs and works with the Facility Team to ensure
that appropriate space is allocated.
The Thin Folder team works with various team leads to prepare symposium
proceedings including speaker or vendor provided handouts. This team designs
the cover and performs quality checks before final order to print the thin
Our directors of symposium, Jerry Flach and Eileen Szperka, work with individual
team leads to make sure that each team has enough volunteers to perform
the tasks required on schedule. They encourage volunteer team leaders to
bring new ideas, improve decision making, instill volunteerism to the team
and keep them motivated. The Directors and VP make sure that processes
are documented and updated annually in the Symposium Operating Procedures.
Our directors and their leadership is a big reason for our success. Thank
you Jerry and Eileen!
Our chapter is fortunate to have many volunteers who help us execute successful
symposiums and other chapter activities year round. With support from our
chapter president and board members along with commitment from team leaders,
we continue to create successful gala events. Thanks to all our symposium
attendees who enthusiastically provide feedback on speakers and suggestions
for future events. Your high expectations drive us to bring you superior
and United Way of New Jersey Warm Clothes Drive
Barbara A. Fuller, VP of Marketing
The PMINJ Community Outreach Team will conduct a warm clothes drive
during the PMINJ IPM [International Project Management] Day event on November
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 29 should bring their donation
of new items to the Community Outreach Table.
- Gloves / Mittens
- A gift card -
we will shop for you!
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 Spseidorf(:@:)aol.com.
PMINJ, the Community Outreach team and the community need more volunteers
like Sandy, if you are interested contact us at volunteers(:@:)pminj.org.
IPM Day and PMINJ 30th Anniversary Celebration
Join PMINJ’s celebration of International Project Management (IPM)
Day on November, 29, 2012 at The Palace in Somerset Park, NJ
This 7th IPM Day also marks PMINJ’s 30th Anniversary!
Confirmed speakers include Keynote Gene Bowers, Mike Weber and Sally
Volunteer activities and member donations were noted at the PMINJ meeting
on November 13th. An estimated 80 pounds of food plus toiletries were collected
for those in need. All proceeds were donated to My Neighbor's Pantry
in Somerset and the Somerville Food Bank.
• Renee McFadden collected several bags at the Fairfield
• Beverly Thomison-Sadia collected at the main site
• Sandra Seidorf collected in Lebanon
November 29th IPM Day will also have donation
September 2012 Chapter Meeting
by Ron Krukowski and Stacy Kornhauser
PMINJ Chapter started
our 2012-2013 year in a BIG way. And, when I write, “big,” I mean,
really BIG! At the September 19th, 2012 chapter meeting, we were fortunate
to have Virginia A. Greiman, PMP speak about “The Big Dig: Megaprojects
and Risk Management”, one of the biggest transportation projects in the
Professor Greiman began by sharing a bit of her personal background. She
spent her childhood in Pennsylvania and loves our New Jersey beaches. While
she currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts, she has fond memories of
our state. She then captivated the audience by describing her nine
years of experience on The Big Dig in her role as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel
and Risk Manager on the project.
The undertaking of The Big Dig, also referred to as the “Central Artery
Tunnel,” was imperative in order to handle the daily traffic of 190k vehicles
where the existing roadway infrastructure was built to handle 75k vehicle
capacity. In the 1980’s people spent an average of 4-5 hours in commuter
traffic. In order to alleviate the traffic issues and deteriorating infrastructure,
a combined effort or “joint venture” was created with the Federal government,
two state government groups and contractor companies, Bechtel and Parsons,
to begin this project. Actual construction began in 1992 in what was
the largest, highly complex and technically challenging highway and tunnel
project in recent history. Today, with the completion of The Big Dig, the
Boston area highways can now handle 225k vehicles.
As you can imagine, some of the very complex challenges and risks that
were faced included:
Virginia shared important
details of the innovative techniques utilized to address these concerns
and the lessons learned from this unique undertaking:
- 54 design packages
that needed to be reviewed and finalized
- Major city districts
built on water
- Project cost $14.8B,
project manager costs: $2B
- 5,000 construction
workers working 24/7
- 134 separate contracts
- 132 construction
- Potential time &
- Politics between
private and public sectors
- 161 lane miles
- An existing cable-stay
- Jacked tunnels, immersed
- Soil freezing, deep
- High risk insurance
needs if companies along the water were damaged due to tunnel submersions
- 29 Miles of 150 year
old underground utility infrastructure, operated by 31 separate companies
- Safety and fatality
- Historical Society
delays when potentially historic artifacts were uncovered
Lead to Governance: Although it is not unusual to have multiple
bosses and various stakeholders, clear accountabilities and organization
is crucial. The management team worked diligently to develop the most effective
governance with clear roles and responsibilities across the government, private
entity, public entity and project organization.
Balances: Although the management team was successful in bringing
together the public and private sector to work as one team, auditors felt
that they were too “cozy” and needed to demonstrate that they had procedures
to demonstrate effective checks and balances of each other.
& Incentivize Project Vendors: In order to minimize cost overruns,
schedule delays and quality risks to the project, consultant companies were
required to invest some of their own equity into the project with incentives
on the back end for positive results. Tracking “lost time” was used
to reward contractors with actual compensation if there were no absences for
a defined period of time.
Processes: It was crucial to have a formal process for the Risk
Management of this initiative and what was used was very close to what is
in the PMBOK. Drafting a Risk Policy and having formalities around Risk
Assessment, Risk Control, and Risk Response with consistently identifying
risks, developing mitigations, and looking for patterns were key in managing
current risk and anticipating future ones. Risk strategies were also
used to create opportunities. Partnering approaches were used to improve
understanding of stakeholder needs and concerns and incentive programs to
motivate workers. Scenario planning was used to stimulate innovation
and test current processes. An emergency response and critical infrastructure
protection program was used to monitor risk.
Safety Program: There was an obvious concern for the expected number
of fatalities due to the complexity of putting tunnels in water and securing
them. The initial Risk Analysis expectation was that 52 fatalities could
occur and this eventually grew to 170 over the life of the project. However,
Virginia and her team set their goal of zero fatalities and incentives were
put in place to achieve this key goal. Under the remarkably high-safety
standards in place, there were just four actual fatalities. Root Cause
Analysis was employed to prevent similar accidents from recurring as well
as forward looking, beyond project completion, to assess loss exposure potential.
Some questions they addressed in the analysis follow:
Virginia concluded by saying
that while megaprojects bring many challenges and complexities for project
risk management in order to prevent disastrous failures and assure project
success, in the end, they can be very rewarding. More of her expertise
and insights can be found in her upcoming book on Megaprojects scheduled
to be published in 2013.
Lessons Learned meetings were conducted weekly at 6am. The attendees
learned a great deal from all the managers around the table. This
included all areas of the project from the project participants, stakeholders
in the private and public sector as well as government oversight.
- Had cost and schedule
pressures detracted from safety-critical design and/or design verification?
- Was there an effective
pathway to express one’s concerns?
- Had safety-critical
maintenance activities been identified/conveyed to others by the proper
- Were inspections
implemented in a timely manner?
- Had all stakeholders
worked to understand root causes associated with any unexpected results
or off-nominal behaviors in development, testing or integration?
- Was the assumption
an engineering accountability or was it delegated to others?
- Did we have the
knowledge we needed or was it assumed that someone else was watching for potential
long term failures?
Virginia A. Greiman, PMP, Professor of Project Management, Boston University
Professor Greiman has more than 20 years of experience in international
project finance and development in both developed and transition economies
and is a recognized expert in mega project management and finance, risk management,
legal reform, and privatization. She is an Assistant Professor at Boston
University in project and program management and planning, and holds teaching
appointments at Harvard and Boston University Law Schools and the Kennedy
School of Government. She previously served as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel
and Risk Manager to Boston's $14.9 billion dollar Central Artery/Tunnel Project
(The Big Dig) and as international legal counsel to the US Department of
State, the US Agency for International Development and the World Bank in
Eastern and Central Europe, Africa and Asia on privatization, infrastructure
development and legal reform projects. Prior appointments include serving
as United States Trustee to the U.S. Department of Justice where she oversaw
the reorganizations of Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant and the Bank of New England.
She has published extensively and lectures internationally on project management
and risk management, project complexity and infrastructure development. She
is a certified PMP and a member of the legal bars of Virginia, D.C. and Massachusetts.
Return to top
Networking CLI - Strategic Networking
by Graham Wisdom
At the September
Networking meeting at the Pines Manor, attendees heard a presentation from
Barbara A. Fuller PMP on the topic of Strategic Networking. Barbara
pointed out that while we all know how important it is to build a strong network
of professional and non-professional contacts that can help with career growth
as well as in various other ways, many of us don’t go about building that
network in a very organized way. Yet as project managers we know the
steps we should take to approach any strategic project:
Barbara illustrated this
with stories of how a half-hearted networking effort could become much more
interesting and productive with a solid plan. Each of us might come
up with a different plan to meet our individual goals using the particular
resources we have available. Perhaps you’d like to be recognized by
more for your skills. The goals that you set should have a timetable
and be measureable, and the strategy should identify how much time will
be spent in each of the available areas, such as attending various networking
group meetings, arranging interviews, participating in online social networks,
writing articles, volunteering, etc. Quality counts too. Networking
is a game of collecting the most business cards. This is about how many
people you follow up with afterwards in a meaningful way, perhaps by offering
help and it is definitely about building a more lasting relationship.
Finally, Barbara pointed out that attitude is critically important when
meeting new people, so if times are stressful, “get it together before entering
- Identify your purpose
- Select the goals
you want to accomplish
- Identify the strategy
or approach that needs to be implemented
- Develop an action
- Assess, monitor and
update the action plan
Barbara A. Fuller PMP is a consultant and coach with a specialization in
working with small businesses, and also a speaker and writer.
She has a BS degree in Information Technology and MBA in ‘Systems Approach
to Management” from Baldwin-Wallace College.
October 2012 Chapter Meeting
by Kristine Clark
The featured speaker
for October was Anthony Reed, CPA, PC, and the title of his presentation
was “Nailing Gelatin to the Wall or How to Gather Business Requirements.”
Mr. Reed has over 25 years of experience in the field of IT project management.
He has worked for various companies, including Ernst and Young, Siemens
and Frito-Lay. He’s the author of five books and is also an accomplished
runner who has competed in 118 marathons.
Mr. Reed’s experience both in his work and personal life hascontributed
to his success and ability to translate basic project planning principles
using real-life examples into concrete ideas so non-project management workers
can relate to and understand. The main premise he sought to illustrate with
his presentation – relationship building with stakeholders and fostering
their understanding of the work which needs to be done. Mr. Reed believes
this is of paramount importance to the success of a project, and without
it, the project is doomed to failure from the start.
Mr. Reed began his presentation outlining why the Business Requirements
Phase is the litmus test which will predict a project’s success. He stated
that without the understanding and ultimate buy-in of the stakeholders , specifically
the executive sponsors and the subject matter experts, the project will be
started without the necessary information you need to adequately plan and
deliver the project to completion. He advocated focusing on the people involved
to make the project a success, not the methodology or technology. He reasoned
that if you understand the people you are working with and how they think,
you can more effectively manage both the information you glean from them,
as well as their expectations. This ultimately will lead to agreement and
successful working relationship throughout the project.
Mr. Reed did not advocate a “magic bullet” or fool-proof process for gathering
business requirements. His process is fairly simple; get to know the people
involved, what they do in their everyday work life, and how they think.
This inside-out understanding of the various elements involved in the project
and relationship building that happens in the process, will contribute to
a successful Business Requirements Phase, leading to a successfully completed
project in the end.
Project Management Articles
in the Eye of the Storm
By Gareth Byatt, Gary
Hamilton, and Jeff Hodgkinson
Storm chasers are professionals (or should be) who watch for tornados and
hurricanes during the summer months in the southern and Midwestern United
States. Their goal is to get close enough to a storm to photograph and
video it without incurring any harm to themselves. Some do it for the
thrill, while others chase storms for legitimate research purposes. Though
most are trained and experienced in what they do, they can in no way control
the direction the storm will take (without warning, storms can often veer
off in a new direction). One way to view the situation is as a high-stakes
‘cat and mouse’ game, with the participants risking injury or even death if
they get caught in the path of the storm. To mitigate the risks, storm
chasers rely on inputs (such as seismic data and weather predictions), using
modern technology and expert judgment for the planning and execution of their
What does this have to do with program and project management? Well, aside
from the obvious dangers that storm chasers face, one could say that these
professionals deal with a high degree of complexity and ambiguity, much like
many project and program managers. There is another similarity to which
we will draw a comparison, having to do with the internal structure of the
storm. Inside the tornados/hurricanes storm chasers are chasing, there is
a calm environment known as ‘the eye of the storm’. As the program or
project manager, you must hypothetically keep yourself and your team positioned
in a calm environment, even if and when serious issues arise and various chaotic
events are ‘swirling’ around you. What steps and actions can you take in
order to shield your team from the chaos, and ensure they stay in the calm
eye of the storm when times are difficult?
Although every situation on a program or a project is different, below are
our principle suggestions for dealing with the difficult situations on projects
and programs, garnered from our combined experience:
Follow the plans
At the start of
the program or project, under your guidance, your team will have developed
several project plans (Risk, Communication, Schedule, Success, Cost, Implementation,
Iteration, Quality, Training, perhaps Safety, etc.) that, at the time they
were created, were your team’s best assessment of the work to be done and
how it should be performed. We also assume that your customers and stakeholders
approved your plans so that you could begin to execute them. It is
important to continually refer to those plans as your baseline for documenting
gaps or deviations. Even simple things such as tracking Milestone dates and
showing missed or updated milestones are important to managing the plans.
For example, if a milestone is missed, keep it in the document but mark it
as ‘crossed out’ and insert the new date beneath the original milestone,
or rebaseline in the schedule to reflect both the previous agreed date, and
the new. This approach will keep all parties aware of and in tune with the
plan versus reality.
It is widely agreed
that communication comprises 90% of project management. We believe how communications
are delivered (both the medium, tone, and expression) is just as, if not
more, crucial as what is being communicated. When focusing your team and
stakeholders, to remain within the eye of the storm, we believe it’s best
to follow some key principles which we summarize below:
- Deal with facts,
- Summarize the detail
for appropriate levels of management.
- Keep it timely,
accurate and of a high quality.
- Follow a pattern
– get people accustomed to your updates.
- Present Program/Project
impacts and alternatives to Key stakeholders. (Not just, “here are the issues.”)
- Don’t focus on blame
if things go wrong – focus on solutions (i.e., options analyzed and the recommendation).
Others Will Follow Your Example
At all times,
‘Remain Calm’. If you as the leader of the team begin to waver or fall apart,
it will have a ripple effect throughout your team. Further, your stakeholders
and customers will continue to believe in the team’s success if confidence
permeates team communications. Let people vent their emotions when necessary
(when appropriate and in the right environment – negativity should be controlled).
Allowing time for venting may serve no other purpose but to reduce the pressure
or stress proportionally, but it will be appreciated later.
Focus On the Key Milestone Dates
‘Keep the eye
on the prize’ (remember that the agreed benefits are the reasons your program
or project exists) and continue to drive to the next milestone date.
Getting there will increase everyone’s confidence and you can then do an impact
analysis on the changes from baseline.
80/20 Decision Making
Don’t wait on
all facts to make an informed decision. When you have sufficient information
– act upon it. Yes, it’s a bit of a gamble but delaying action can also
have the same negative impact. This is where experience, instinct, and
‘gut’ feel come into play. However things turn out in the end, it was
the right action to do at the time. Sometimes mistakes may occur as
a result, but you will learn from any mistakes made. By keeping focused on
what you need to do, you will get there.
Clearly Define Success vs. Time
If the benefits
change during program/project execution, advise the appropriate stakeholder
and customers accordingly so they adjust their expectations. Ensure
that they want to continue the effort. Accept discontinuation of the
project if it gets to the point at which the costs (not just financial) outweigh
the benefits. Always capture and record lessons learned, and agree on
how to share them so that new programs and projects take them on board.
In conclusion, remember that, as the program/project manager, you are the
leader and your team will tend to mimic your actions – particularly in a crisis
or in times of stress. Follow the basics of keeping cool under pressure
and maintain the ‘calm eye of the storm’ for your team. Remember, your program
or project is a temporary endeavor and ‘it too shall pass’. We hope
you take this short article and put a copy in your crisis or risk folder
About the authors:
Gareth Byatt, Gary Hamilton, and Jeff Hodgkinson are experienced PMO, program,
and project managers who developed a mutual friendship by realising we
shared a common passion to help others and share knowledge about PMO, portfolio,
program and project management (collectively termed PM below). In February
2010 we decided to collaborate on a three (3) year goal to write 50 PM subject
articles for publication in any/all PM subject websites, newsletters, and
professional magazines / journals.
Our mission with these articles is to help expand good PMO, program, and
project management practices by promoting the PM profession, to be a positive
influence to the PM Community, be known as eminent influencers of good PM
practices, and in earnest hope readers can gain benefit from the advice of
their 66+ years of combined experience plus the expertise of co-authors who
kindly write with us on particular subjects.
Gareth Byatt has 16+ years of experience in project, program and PMO management
in IT and construction for Lend Lease. Gareth has worked in several countries
and lives in Sydney, Australia. He can be contacted through LinkedIn.
Gareth holds numerous degrees, certifications, and credentials in program
and project management as follows: an MBA from one of the world’s leading
education establishments, a 1st-class undergraduate management degree, and
the PMP®, PgMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP® & PRINCE2 professional
certifications. Gareth is a past Director of the PMI Sydney Chapter, he is
currently the APAC Region Director for the PMI’s PMO Community of Practice
and he chairs several peer networking groups. He has presented on PMOs,
portfolio and program and project management at international conferences
in the UK, Australia, & Asia including PMI APAC in 2010.
Gary Hamilton has 17+ years of project and program management experience
in IT, finance, and human resources and volunteers as the VP of Programs for
the PMI East Tennessee chapter. Gary is a 2009 & 2010 Presidents’ Volunteer
Award recipient for his charitable work with local fire services and professional
groups. He has won several internal awards for results achieved from projects
and programs he managed as well as being named one of the Business Journal’s
Top 40 Professionals in 2007. Gary is the 5th person globally to obtain
the six PMI credentials PgMP®, PMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP®, PMI-ACP®,
and CAPM®. In addition to these, Gary holds numerous other degrees
and certifications in IT, management, and project management and they include:
an advanced MBA degree in finance, Project+, PRINCE2, MSP, ITIL-F, MCTS (SharePoint),
MCITP (Project), CSM (Certified Scrum Master), and Six Sigma GB professional
Jeff Hodgkinson is a 33+ year veteran of Intel Corporation, where he continues
on a progressive career as a senior program/project manager. Jeff is
an IT@Intel SME and blogs on Intel’s Community for IT Professionals for Program/Project
Management subjects and interests. He is also the Intel IT PMO PMI Credential
Mentor supporting colleagues in pursuit of a new credential. In 2012, he
earned an IAA (Intel Achievement Award), Intel’s highest recognition, with
the team for work in implementing an industry-leading private cloud solution.
Jeff received the 2010 PMI (Project Management Institute) Distinguished Contribution
Award for his support of the Project Management profession from the Project
Management Institute. Jeff was the 2nd place finalist for the 2011 Kerzner
Award and was also the 2nd place finalist for the 2009 Kerzner International
Project Manager of the Year Award TM. He also received the 2011 GPM™
Sustainability Award. He lives in Mesa, Arizona, USA and is a member
of Phoenix PMI Chapter. Because of his contributions to helping people achieve
their goals, he is the third (3rd) most recommended person on LinkedIn with
590+ recommendations, and is ranked 33rd most networked LinkedIn person.
Jeff holds numerous certifications and credentials in program and project
management, which are as follows: CAPM®, CCS, CDT, CPC™, CIPM™, CPPM–Level
10, CDRP, CSM™, CSQE, GPM™, IPMA-B®, ITIL-F, MPM™, PME™, PMOC, PMP®,
PgMP®, PMI-RMP®, PMI-SP®, PMW, and SSGB. Jeff is
an expert at program and project management principles and best practices.
Jeff is currently focusing on gaining expertise in energy efficiency and home
New Certificate Holders
The following have received
their certification since the last newsletter (through 30
Karthik Sriram LakshmiNarasimhan
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