PMINJ March 2013 Newsletter 

March 2013

Welcome Chapter Announcements Event Reports Project Management Articles New Certificate Holders

Article Submission & Publication Information




Patricia Bonanni, PMP, PMINJ VP Finance

The mission of the Finance team is to oversee the management of funds for the purposes of the Chapter as authorized by the Board. The Finance team includes two directors; Joyce Nussbaum and Kim Hinton.

We are responsible for managing the Chapter’s receipts, funds and securities. One of our primary goals is to keep the costs as stable as possible for Chapter members. We’ve managed to keep chapter dues at $20 since the chapter’s inception in 1982. Expenditures for events have also been maintained at an average of $25 per PDU. We are focused on minimizing any increases of fees to our members while expanding services. Another example of our success is our recently formed remote sites for monthly meetings where members can attend for free. We now support 22 satellite locations.

A Scholarship program initiated in 2007 as a way of giving back to our members is a helpful benefit of membership. For the past six years we have awarded 10 undergraduate scholarships annually to PMINJ member children. We focus on candidates who have excelled academically and also have a record of service and leadership. In 2011 we also introduced a Master’s scholarship. PMINJ has awarded $243,000 in total scholarships to date.

In 2012 we donated $5,000 to the American Red Cross to support the recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy. We also support other charities including: the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Homefront, Elijah's Promise and Operation Shoebox.

The Finance team is looking forward to a productive 2013 continuing our mission to benefit our members in many ways.

Chapter Announcements

Volunteer of the Quarter 1Q13

Dan Ackerman

DanDan is one of the exceptional PMINJ volunteers on the Programs Team, and currently the Team Co-Leader for Venue Management.  Dan, along with his Co-Leader Marc Matrulli, is responsible for the great facilities and excellent meals PMINJ members enjoy at the Monthly Meetings.  Dan started volunteering for Programs with the On-Site Registration team in 2009, and is still one of the many faces you may see behind the registration desk at the Main Location.

 As Venue Management Co-Lead, even before the Program year begins, Dan is hard at work evaluating facilities and negotiating the contracts with venues to host the Main Location monthly chapter meetings.   Venues must be able to meet not only PMINJ’s requirements for space and technical specifications (presentation delivery and broadcast to satellite locations); they must also provide excellent dinners at competitive rates.   

 In the weeks before each Monthly Meeting, Dan starts coordinating with the other Programs Teams and with the Venue to make sure the facilities and accommodations are in order.  He makes sure the Audio team has the connectivity in place and all is functioning or are getting the necessary support.  He also makes sure that the PMO and Networking LCI teams have what they need to run their respective pre-meeting events.

 On the day of the meeting, Dan works with the venue's event manager to make sure tables are set as expected, food is correct and plentiful, and everything operates according to plan.  He is the gracious host throughout the evening, making sure that last-minute logistics are addressed, and all the guests are enjoying themselves.  At the end of the meeting, he obtains the final count from the On-Site Registration team and works with the venue contact to review the invoice, making sure the Chapter is billed correctly and sometimes negotiating further discounts before providing approval for the Chapter to make payment.

 The smooth execution each month is just another example of Dan’s skill as a PM. When not playing the role of Programs Meeting Venue-Meister, he works at Morgan Stanley supporting Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, where he recently completed work on a three year effort to integrate Smith Barney's suite of Corporate Equity business applications into the Morgan Stanley environment.  As Program Manager, Dan managed the Program Office and his team's linkage with the rest of the firm's integration efforts.  

 A PMI, PMINJ member and PMP since 2005, Dan plays a critical role as a volunteer and Co-Team Leader for PMINJ’s Monthly Chapter Meetings.   When asked what he liked about volunteering for PMINJ, Dan said, “I like all of it.  It is great to be able to interact with so many people across PMINJ and be part of the success of our monthly chapter meetings.”

To run successfully and give the best service to its members, PMINJ relies on the help of dedicated, hard-working volunteers like Dan.  We appreciate Dan’s commitment and energy, and extend sincere thanks to him for his valued contribution to the PM community.

Click to see previous VOQs.

PMINJ – Volunteers are needed 

Special Volunteer need - PMINJ Cares - Tour de Franklin

 Volunteers are needed to help the Franklin Township Food Bank in Somerset County at the 2013 Tour de Franklin Bike Event.  Last year we worked with the Franklin Township Food Bank on the day of the event but this year we have taken it to a new level and will also be assisting them with our PM skills in planning and organizing the event. We need volunteers for pre-event, day of the event and bike riders. The event date is Sunday, April 28, 2013 at the Municipal Complex, 475 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873.

 Other Volunteer opportunities: 

  • PM - Agile LCI Core Committee
  • Speaker Angels for Symposium
  • Monthly Program On Site Registration Team Member
  • Chapter Reporter
  • Community Outreach – Director
  • Event Reporter / Writer
  • Sales
  • Program Speaker Team Member
  • Member Retention Initiative
  • Communications Team Event Reporter

Visit the Volunteer page for more details

Event Reports

PMINJ Corporate Outreach Visit SAIC

saicDennis McCarthy, PMINJ Director of Corporate Outreach, visited the PMINJ satellite site at SAIC in Fairfield for the February monthly program. The visit was the first of many that the Corporate Outreach Team plans to make this year to our satellite partner companies.

 The goal of these visits is to reach out to the satellite partner companies and volunteers to let them know about what the Corporate Outreach Team offers. We also gather Voice of the Customer (VOC) feedback in order to meet their needs.

 Our satellite volunteers and partner companies provide a valuable service to the members of PMINJ by offering their time and facilities so that we can bring our monthly programs to a wider audience. Most of these sites reach 25+ attendees. The convenience of this program is a huge benefit to our members. Many of these members would be unable to attend our programs without these satellite sites.

 John Verlangieri, PMP, and Tom Betts, PMP, both longtime members of PMINJ, voluntarily run the Fairfield satellite site and are a tremendous asset to PMINJ. As the hosts at SAIC they work hard to ensure everyone is properly registered and informed of the location logistics.

Many of the participants at SAIC are PMINJ members with PMPs. Renee McFadden, PMP, and David Vincenti, PMP, from the PMINJ Community Outreach Team also attended the satellite meeting. Renee described her work of providing PMINJ certificates of achievement to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who earned Gold and Eagle awards and David talked about how he is working to bring Project Management education to the K-12 schools in NJ.


Picatinny Arsenal begins a Monthly Boost of Project Management

On January 30, 2013, the PMINJ Director of Programs , Sandy Sandlin, gave a presentation to the assembled Project Managers at Picatinny Arsenal’s Kickoff Meeting for their new Project Management Forum.  Sandy provided comprehensive information on PMI, the PMINJ Chapter, and the variety of related certifications available from PMI.  He also focused on the mechanics and benefits of obtaining PMP certification for the Project Managers and Engineers at Picatinny.

 The Picatinny EMPO will continue to host monthly Project Management Forum events on a variety of topics including the PM Knowledge Areas described in the PMBOK.  Sandy is a member of the PMINJ Board and has been working with the PMINJ Marketing and Corporate Outreach teams to partner with Picatinny Arsenal to assist upcoming engineers with their careers in project management.

PMINJ February 2013 Chapter Meeting: Agile in the Financial Services – A Framework in Focus

By Kristine Clark

John Hudson, B.Sc., PMP, CSMA was the featured speaker at our February chapter meeting. Mr. Hudson presented a brief breakdown of various types of Agile. Discussing the most prevalent, Scrum, along with lesser known, eXtreme Programming (XP). He gave details on the foundational tenets of Agile methodology and how it differs from traditional waterfall methodology. Mr. Hudson also provided factors that need to be present in an organization for Agile to be successful.

 The advantages of the Agile Scrum method lie in the gradual building of requirements and work effort coupled with regular check-ins with stakeholders to ensure the product being delivered meets the needs and directed through the User Stories which shape the software development and direction of the project. Sprint Planning enables the team to prioritize the User Stories into a Sprint Backlog. This gives them the freedom to organize themselves and their tasks within the Sprint to design, implement and test the changes. After the time allotted for the Sprint, the team reconvenes with stakeholders to present the new developments for review. Once reviewed, the team begins the next Sprint cycle.

 The Agile method is collaborative, above all, which depends on and is guided by the consistent communication between the project team and the stakeholders. The iterative approach enables the team to have more independence on the direction the work takes, and also affords the practitioners of this method to deliver a final product more quickly than they might have been able to do using the traditional waterfall method.

 Mr. Hudson goes on to outline the growing popularity of the Agile method, and to discuss the fundamental foundations which must be present within a company in order for Agile to be successful; one principle is the IT organization’s strategy must align with the business strategy, and their objectives cannot be at odds, but one must support the other’s growth to achieve success.

 PMI now offers a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI‐ACP) certification.

 John Hudson is a practicing Scrum Master and PMP certified and currently works for Prudential Financial Services.  He has over 35 years of experience and is currently engaged on a multi-year, multi-million dollar software development project.

PM Articles

Cultivating Communications on Global Projects

By Gareth Byatt, Gary Hamilton, and Jeff Hodgkinson

In this communications piece, we talk about some of the nuances of working in an international project team, and in particular, things to bear in mind when you communicate with, and present to people from cultures different cultures.

Examples of communication factors

 Our efforts to communicate, either one-on-one or in a group, are influenced by many factors, well documented in various studies, research papers and the general media.

 To give just a few examples of how we communicate with others, consider the following factors that can impact your communication when you send and receive a message:

  • Is the objective of the communication regular/general or important / critical?
  • What impact does your personality have both in terms of your own perception of its impact, and the actual impact on the other person or people?
  • What impact do you think your mood or physical condition at that specific time has on how you deliver your message?
  • Does your own culture have a significant impact on communication?

Of the factors mentioned above, studies have shown that culture plays a big part. Culture can be generational, geographical, organizational, or a combination of these. For example:

  • Your culture has a large impact on the way that you project your message, whatever the chosen format, and
  • Culture and norms of the people with whom you are communicating, whether they are in a group or on their own, in addition to factors such as their personality and mood, can have a significant effect on how they interpret your message.

A few thoughts on the impact of different cultures in project teams

 Project communications take place through many different mediums, and the old maxim of “communication being 90% of a Project Manager’s job” is probably true. Many projects are international in their team composition (whether many nationalities co-located or far-flung across the world working remotely with each other); indeed, this was true in the past and is equally true today.

 Our brains typically filter and distort communications into “our perceptions.” What you “think” you have communicated might not be what the recipients received as the message. This is true regardless of culture, but it is certainly pertinent when you are communicating with someone from a different culture. So be certain that what you believe you communicated is what the recipient(s) of that message understood. A way to achieve this is to ask people to rephrase what you have just described to them, or ask for questions and feedback.

1.    Check your general understanding of their interpretation.

     If you are currently working on a project with team members from several different nations, or when you are next working in such a team, take a moment to consider the effect of culture on the perceptions of those with whom you communicate. Would discussing this issue be of value?

2.    Review your style of face to face communication with people from different cultures

     When we are communicating with an individual or a group, studies have indicated that less than a tenth of a message is conveyed verbally. Most of the message is being perceived by the recipient(s) through the tone and pitch of your voice and – in particular – your body language.

     If you are presenting to a group of people from a different culture, take the time beforehand to learn how people from that culture typically like to receive a message or presentation, e.g., do they like structure or do they prefer a random story? Do they like imagery or detail? One of us recently experienced a good example of this when making a presentation to an audience of a different culture; he discussed the preferences with the Host to gain knowledge of what typically works well, and adapted his style to suit.
3.    Consider cultural norms of those with whom you communicate.

     Learn about the cultural norms of those with whom you will be working. For example, is direct confrontation in a meeting expected / welcome?  Perhaps you should take the time to understand any of their national “hot topics.”

We hope this short article has spurred you to reflect on your communications when you work in an international project team. There are many different aspects to consider.

New Certificate Holders

The following have received their certifications since the last newsletter (through 28 February 2013):
 Francis Adjodha
 Zameer Ahmad
 Funmilayo Aluko
 Peter Amendolara
 Joanna Belcik
 Marilyn Berta
 Marilyn Berta
 Wen Chen
 Stephen Conger
 Anthony Costello
 Linda Decelle
 Meg Eggert
 Kenichi Enokita
 Lynn Fleck
 Philip Gerhardt
 Michael Giudice
 Lisa Hanger
 Jesse Judson
 Ashwini Khanna
 Brian Kilcoyne
 Sharon Kimmel
 Tatyana Kravtsiv
 Vladica Krstic
 Wenjuan Luo
 Richard Maiella
 Matt Matulewicz
 William McCann
 Sourya Mohanty
 Alexis Moore
 Laura Moyeno
 Tracy Oxner
 Kristy Parsils
 Ketan Patel
 Michael Patten
 Milan Pophristic
 Ryan Rahey
 Claudio Ramos
 Barbara Sport
 Shawn Springfield
 Balasubramanian Subbiah
 Joan Sun
 Elizabeth Swiezkowski
 Nick Trivedi
 Lauren Ziegler

Mark Rodrigues
 Matthew Kopet
 Nancy George
 John Ferraioli

Oladele Lamidi


 Jesse Wolfgang
 Penchalaiah Batta

Article Submission & Publication Information

ChristineEditor Christine Rotonda, PMP 

    • Where to Send: Contact the newsletter editor, at for newsletter related items, to submit articles and to provide feedback. All members are invited to submit articles, meeting reviews, or other items of interest for publication.
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