I am excited to have taken on the Membership function
this program year, and the excellent team of volunteers
in our area is here for you, the PMINJ member! We
want to make sure you get the most value out of your
membership. Here are some of the upcoming changes we are
making to assist you as a PMINJ member:
Member Service Center
One of the big changes we are making this year is the launch of the Member Service Center. It will be the key point of contact - a “one-stop shopping” location for all member inquiries.
Cathy Bruce, who currently leads our online registration teams, will also lead our Member Service Center. We are in the midst of building up the team with “front-line’ volunteers who will answer your questions and concerns quickly, or route them to the appropriate part of PMINJ to get your questions quickly resolved.
What can you ask at the Member Service Center? Here are just a few examples of what we will be able to handle:
Michael Vitale joined PMI in 2011 and began working as a volunteer in December 2012, when he was directed to Barbara Fuller. In early 2013, he began work on the school outreach program which involved bringing PM knowledge into schools [k-12]. He immediately started researching PMIEF [PMI Education Foundation] to learn what other chapters were doing and what materials were available. He developed a small team and began putting together a PMINJ custom presentation. They adopted the concept of working with students that were tasked to lead a project. This led to the connection with the Boy Scouts of America, and, in particular; the Gold and Eagle Scout program and to schools involved in the FIRST Robotics competition. In November 2013, the team presented to 35 Eagle Scout candidates from across northern New Jersey at the Patriot's Path Merit Badge Workshop in Parsippany and followed up with a presentation in December 2013 to the Piscataway High School Robotics Team. To assist after the PM presentation, Mike’s team designated a mentor to work with the team. The team is also working with the Hillsborough High School Robotics team on an ongoing basis.
In today’s competitive job market, having a PMP
certification is an important differentiator for a project
manager candidate. When you have a PMP, you let potential
employers know that you have at least a certain level of
knowledge and experience in project management and, just
as important, that you are committed to future training.
We started offering a PMP Exam Preparation (PMP Prep) course more than a decade ago to meet the growing need from our members for quality, affordable and convenient training to help them successfully pass the PMP exam. In the early days, classes were taught using an overhead projector and the students were only provided with two binders containing a copy of the slides. Now, with our partnership with Velociteach, classes are taught using an LCD projector and our students are provided with a variety of resources: bound copy of the presentation, textbook, flashcards, quick-reference card, six months of on-line training, and five CDs on exam content and test-taking tips. However, one important thing that has not changed is that each topic is still taught by an experienced PMP from our chapter who is not only adept at explaining and highlighting important PMBOK concepts but can also share lessons learned from their personal PMP exam experience.
Last May, in response to the increasing use of agile project management methods in industry, we began offering a PMI-ACP & CSM Exam Preparation (ACP-CSM Prep) course by partnership with BigVisible Solutions. The ACP-CSM Prep course is presented from a Scrum methodology perspective with the distinctives of the PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) exam highlighted. Lessons are taught using a combination of lectures and group activities where students will iteratively apply Scrum techniques to complete a class project. At the completion of this course, students are not only better prepared for the PMI-ACP certification exam but are also qualified to take the CSM (Certified ScrumMaster) certification exam – an opportunity to earn an additional, sought-after credential.
Going forward, we continue to look for ways to improve our offerings and are currently considering:
If you’re a project manager with a minimum of five years experience, consider becoming a mentor in the PMINJ Mentor-Mentee Program. You’ll have the opportunity to share your career insights and ideas with budding project managers seeking to enhance their skills. The Program Director will train you to become an effective mentor.
Or, are you a PMINJ member looking to receive valuable career guidance and deepen your knowledge of project management to become a more confident project manager? If so, consider becoming a mentee in PMINJ’s Mentor-Mentee program. The program director will assess your needs and you will be assigned to an appropriate mentor. You will be on your way to receiving one-on-one mentoring from a project management professional in your field!
All that is needed by either mentor or mentee, is a few hours a month, a willingness to share experiences and learn new things. The program is flexible and allows mentors and mentees determine their own session schedule.
The Mentor-Mentee program is a free service that is open
to all PMINJ members with a duration period of about 6-8
months. This is a great opportunity to network, increase
your visibility in PMINJ and obtain or share insightful
and valuable information about your project management
Dean Kamen and company are at it again. High school
teams all over the world are in the “Build Stage” of their
six week project to design, fabricate, and program a
competition robot for the 2014 USFIRST Robotics
The USFIRST program was designed to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and to "show students of every age that science, technology and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future." Along with learning and applying STEM principles, the kids also learn and apply such critical skills as forming strategies, leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and project management.
The School Outreach team has been active in their training events since the program was launched at the end of 2013 for the Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scouts candidates in Parsippany, and when Josephine Giaimo and Mike Vitale met with Piscataway High School Team 224 (“The Tribe”) to review project management basics
At the same time, another member of the School Outreach team, Dennis McCarthy, had also been working with the Hillsborough High School Team 75 (“The Roboraiders”) as a project management mentor. Most of the focus this year is a repeat of last year’s lessons on a basic tenant of project management - organizing one's work through the use of a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This year will also include how to sequence the work via the use of Network Diagrams. Deadlines are tight in the competition and it's critical that every team member be as productive as possible, so using Network Diagrams should help the team leaders see dependencies and when tasks can be done in parallel. To read more about how Team 75 is doing, please visit their website.
On Friday the 7th of March, PMINJ held a recognition
dinner for volunteers within the organization. There are
320 volunteers in the chapter and 127 attended the event.
PMINJ volunteers support over 4500 members through a
multitude of services. Such services as public relations,
marketing, member retention, training programs,
networking, symposiums, mentoring, transitional
opportunities and the list just goes on and on.
The event was held at the Imperia on Easton Avenue in Somerset, the food and the venue were delightful. The program started with an introduction of the board members by Nita Parikh, who then gave thanks collectively to the volunteers. This was followed by a slide show highlighting the hard work done by our volunteers in the past year. Individual VP’s and Directors then took the opportunity to step up to the mike, each providing a summary of the work done and then giving recognition to their teams and individual team members.
It was not only nice for volunteers to be recognized but it was also a great opportunity for those volunteers who work remotely to see all the people whom they themselves are involved with but have never met.
See pictures of past volunteer recognition events.
PMINJ’s speaker for the January meeting was Frank Saladis
whose presentation, “Managing Organizational Change –
Practical Strategies for Leading During Turbulent and
Challenging Times," addressed the impact of change within
an organization and focused on strategies and techniques
to assist managers and leaders in overcoming the
resistance often encountered with change. Frank began by
discussing how the destructive impact of change can wreak
havoc within an environment, how to positively influence
people toward change, and also how to assist organizations
and people to live life “change ready.”
Project managers readily acknowledge change has become the norm within today's ever-changing business environment, which makes it imperative to find new methods to handle an environment that is fast becoming the expectation rather than the exception. PMs can create greater vision of the future by looking for common indicators that change may be just around the corner.
Additionally, Frank advised, by performing continual self-assessments, project management professionals will be more prepared and better equipped to handle the future. The results of these self-assessments may point in the direction of the need for a continuing education or self-improvement plan. Frank's quote from John F. Kennedy most aptly illustrates what is needed to keep projects and careers in the project management profession on track:
John Hudson was the speaker for the February meeting and
presented “The PM Side of Agile,” which offered an
in-depth look at the activities and resources needed to be
successful in an Agile world. The presentation provided
exciting real-time information with tools and takeaways
used in conjunction with real world experience. Mr. Hudson
recently completed a large scale web development project
using the SCRUM framework which spanned 18 two-week
Sprints over 9 months, 3000+ code components delivered,
over 3200 widely disbursed users, and $1.8 Million spent
Mr. Hudson presented a retrospective look at frameworks, the people, planning, execution and monitoring aspects that live in an Agile environment. His presentation provides samples of the tools he used in planning with a copy of proposed release plan, roadmap, and lifecycle map, execution and monitoring with burn down / up chart, senior management dashboard and resources listing of all resources used in his work process.
Additional information about John Hudson, the presentation slides, and the webinar are all available on the PMINJ website
While there are about 50 formulas that you need to know
for Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam success,
there are only seven that are absolutely necessary to know
for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Exam.
Even better, for the first three we are going to discuss you don’t even need to know the formula. What you do need to know for them is how to handle the results of the calculations, which is: “The larger value is the better value”. Here they are:
1. Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
Favor St. Matthew Daniel