PMINJ September 2014 Newsletter 

September 2014

Welcome Chapter Announcements Event Reports Project Management Articles New Certificate Holders

Article Submission & Publication Information



Deven Trivedi, PMP, PMI-ACP, CGEIT – VP Symposium

I would like to welcome you all to the upcoming year for the PMINJ Board. Some of you might have attended and might be familiar with PMINJ’s excellent symposiums.  PMINJ offers two grand events or professional development days - one in May as an annual regional symposium and the other in November in celebration of International Project Management Day. In this article, I wanted to highlight the rigorous planning efforts similar to any large and complex program that goes into execution of the symposiums and meeting the iron triangle of cost: (fixed budget for nonprofit organization), schedule (date is fixed) and quality meeting high expectations of our members (meeting or exceeding customer expectations.) 

Over the years, symposium attendance has grown significantly e.g. from 100 to 600 professional attendees. And to flawlessly execute an event at this scale requires adherence to standardized and well-established processes. Success of any large program depends on structure of the team that helps execution, similarly the entire symposium team is broken down into twelve teams.

Directors of symposium, Anne Fisher-Bara, Jerry Flach and Karen Kogut, work with individual team leads to make sure that each team has enough volunteers to perform the tasks required on time and address other team needs to ensure event success. They encourage volunteer team leaders to bring new ideas, improve decision making, instill volunteerism within the team and keep them motivated. The Directors and VP make sure that processes are documented and updated annually in the Chapter Operation Procedures. Our directors and their leadership are a big reason for our success.  Let’s thank all three symposium directors as well as all the fifty plus volunteers for their hard work and dedication to provide great quality symposiums.

Chapter Announcements

Welcome to the 2014-15 New PMINJ Vice Presidents

Please join the newsletter staff in welcoming the newly elected vice-presidents to the Board of PMINJ:

Sandra Baptiste – VP Administration
Joyce Nussbaum – VP Finance
John Tse – VP Professional Development
Deven Trivedi – VP Symposium

sandra   joyce   john   deven

PMINJ Featured in July 2014 PMIToday!

PMI Today published an article about the Tour de Franklin team efforts for the Franklin Township Food Bank in its July 2014 issue.


Call for Real-Life Stories from Our Members

Have you ever worked on a really challenging project and brought it to completion with flying colors? Were the challenges rooted in ever-shifting requirements or unforeseen scope changes? What words of wisdom would you offer to a fellow project manager if they found themselves in a similar circumstance? Do you have a funny story about something that happened while managing one of your projects that you would like to share?
Sharing stories and experiences helps us both personally and professionally to bring new perspectives on our work, educate, and entertain us. We all have them, and the staff of the newsletter would like to hear them. The PMINJ newsletter staff would like to ask you, our members, to send us stories about experiences you have had while managing projects – whether they are funny, informative, or educational – we want to hear from you. 

Please send your stories to  . If you would like to share a story anonymously, please state this when you submit the article. If you aren't a writer, but would still like to submit, I will put you in contact with one of our writers. I look forward to hearing from you.

New and Disbanded Satellite Locations Announcement

We are always looking for new satellite locations to host the Monthly meetings.  If your company would be willing to host 25 PMINJ members at their facility or you know a location that wouold accomodate our needs, contact the Director of Programs - Prasanna Punmann at .

As of September 1, the following satellite locations will no longer host the monthly PMINJ meetings:

  • Holmdel
  • Lebanon
  • Mahwah
  • Whitehouse Station

IPM Day 2014 is November 6, 2014

By Jerry Flach

Celebrate the 9th Annual International Project Management (IPM) Day and PMINJ’s 32nd year of dedicated service to the PMI community in the tristate area! IPM Day is a global celebration of Project Management in recognition of the Project Management Value Quotient. This year’s IPM Day will be held on November 6, 2014, at the Palace in Somerset Park located at 333 Davidson Avenue, Somerset, NJ.

Hear a Fortune 500 industry leader on the employment value proposition to sustain profitability and growth in a global workplace. Learn how to engage and motivate teams with just ‘seven things,’ and improve organizational efficiency. Hold on with Project Management - on the Edge - Crisis Intervention in the midst of international chaos.

Networking opportunities and PDU’s combine with project management solutions to manage in the midst of an ever-changing global marketplace. Join us to connect with other Project Managers and service providers and continue building personal and shared excellence in project management. PMINJ’s IPM Day is consistently a sold-out event; register today!

Event Reports

Corporate Outreach Team Presents to NJOIT PMO

By Dennis McCarthy

On July 22, Snigdha Mitra, PMP, gave a presentation to the project managers and key project team members involved with the PM User Group established by the New Jersey Office of Information Technology (NJOIT) Program Management Office.  Snigdha's presentation and sample case study covered the benefits of having an established Project Management Office (PMO). Snigdha, who is a core member of the PMINJ PMO Local Community of Interest (NJ PMO LCI) and an award-winning project manager, volunteered to give the presentation on behalf of the PMINJ Corporate Outreach Team.

njoit Snigdha's presentation was very well-received. The feedback collected after the presentation was universally positive with 100 percent of the participants rating the training and the speaker (Snigdha) as either “Excellent” or “Satisfactory,” and 100 percent said that the session was informative and / or applicable to their job.  Many of the participants enjoyed the case study that was conducted and some suggested that the session should be extended to allow more practice and correction, or that other presentations on complementary topics be added to reinforce the concepts that were being taught.

Kathy Smith, PMP, PMO Director / NJOIT and Karl Pisarczyk / PMINJ Corporate Outreach Project Manager, coordinated this initial joint session between NJOIT and PMINJ so that the two organizations could share knowledge and best practices. Kathy is hopeful that NJOIT can continue to partner with PMINJ on future presentations to the benefit of both organizations.

If your organization could benefit from having an experienced speaker, presentation, or lunch and learn on any topics related to project or program management, contact Dennis McCarthy / Director, Corporate Outreach at . We look forward to helping you in any way we can.


Spotlight on the Satellites – Mt. Laurel, NJ

By Nora Leary

Attending the PMINJ Chapter monthly meeting is a great opportunity to network, meet new people, and can be an interesting and stimulating event. PMINJ makes it easy and convenient to fit the monthly meetings into your schedule by offering 16 satellite locations throughout the state. And it is Free for PMINJ members.  This month we are debuting a new column in the newsletter to spotlight our satellite locations. The first location is Mt. Laurel, located in South Jersey.

Mt Laurel The leader of the Mt. Laurel satellite office is Jeremy Lippman, PMP, and infrastructure project manager for TD Bank. Jeremy is not just a facilitator; his engaging and friendly manner immediately makes the group feel relaxed and a part of the PMINJ community.

“I try to make meetings fun. It’s a great way to network,” says Jeremy. The location draws about 10 people from about three to five different companies in the region.
Jeremy became the leader of the satellite office in January 2013. There is a casual professionalism present at the meetings, which are held in a glass enclosed conference room in the bank’s atrium. Prior to each meeting, Jeremy sends an email to the attendees with specific directions and gives them the opportunity to order take-out dinner for the meeting.

The meeting attendees start to assemble about 6:30 PM and typically share pizza and soda as they gather around the conference table and AV for the simulcast. There is a friendly atmosphere and conversations about travels, good restaurants, family, and PM challenges are often part of the evening.

“We are all having the same problems and we share ideas, past experiences, and tell our war stories,” says Lippman, referring to the pre and post meeting conversations.

The Mt. Laurel satellite was started in 2012 by Anne Stich of TD Bank and is located at 17000 Horizon Way, Mt. Laurel, NJ. Anne petitioned the PMINJ Chapter to create a satellite office in South Jersey because there was an adequate number of PMs locally and a satellite office would benefit the goals of the chapter to create a PM community in the region. The added benefit for host locations, such as TD Bank, is other bank employees at the business location may attend the meetings which creates an additional networking opportunity for members.

TD Bank headquarters is conveniently located off Interstate 295 and the intersection of Route 73. It also can be reached using the NJ Turnpike. These main roads provide access to this location from multiple directions, making it easy for busy PMs to travel and attend.

Anyone who lives in South Jersey is keenly aware that attending the monthly chapter meetings are beneficial but traveling to the main meeting location can be challenging. Prior to establishing the Mt Laurel satellite, a South Jersey PM either had to travel to locations in North Jersey, or attend the Deleware Valley Chapter meeting in King of Prussia, PA. Both of these commutes are a considerable distance from South Jersey and the traffic can be heavy during rush hour.

Registering to attend a meeting at a satellite location couldn't be easier – just sign-up on the PMINJ registration page. You get the benefits of attending a monthly meeting – PDUs, networking, and you meet people from your region.

PM Articles

PMP Exam Myths - True or False?

By Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM

You have read the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) publication, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), from cover to cover; studied other Project Management-related texts and you feel you are preparing well to take and pass the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Exam. There are, however, a number of myths related to the exam process and the exam itself that you are not sure are valid.  In this article, we are going to take a look at six myths related to the PMP Exam process and bust them so you can quit worrying about what is true and continue with studying for and taking the exam.  

Myth1: You need to score a 61% to pass the PMP Exam

    No, while this was true at one time, it is no longer the case. Passing the PMP Exam is no longer determined by the percentage of questions you answer correctly. It is calculated using a sound psychometric analysis. In essence this means that the harder questions are worth more than the easier questions. So you get a higher score if you answer more of the harder questions correctly and a lower score if you answer more of the easier questions correctly. The minimum score needed to pass is determined by the overall difficultly of your individual exam.

Myth 2: Only PMI Registered Education Providers are authorized to give PMP Exam Prep Courses

    No, there is no authorized or unauthorized training material for the PMP Exam.  Several types of training companies can provide training for the PMP Exam, which may include courses or programs offered by PMI Registered Education Providers (REP); training companies or consultants; PMI component organizations (PMINJ); employer- or company-sponsored programs, distance-learning companies, which need to include an end-of-course assessment; or even university or college academic or continuing-education programs. Essentially anyone can provide training for the PMP Exam. The advantage of ensuring your training comes from a PMI REP is you have the assurance that the provider has been reviewed by PMI for standardization and quality.

Myth 3: Obtaining the PMP Certification will lead to a higher salary

    That depends. The potential to see an increase in salary depends on several factors including your country of employment, years of experience, and the average size of projects you manage. Every year PMI conducts and publishes information related to their salary survey. In the 2012 report, it was found that even with a sluggish economy, the average salary for a PMP credential holder had risen. However, there is no guarantee that passing the PMP Exam will lead to a higher salary.

Myth 4: The exam application audit process uses applicant profiling

    No, the exam application-audit process is completely random. When completing your PMP Exam application, keep in mind that you may be audited, so be prepared just in case you are selected. Make sure you are 100% truthful; have documentation to back up anything you claim on your application such as training certificates; and mention to current and former employers or colleagues that you are applying to take the PMP Exam in case they are contacted by PMI to verify any assertions on your application. Think of this application as a job application; there is a chance that your references will be checked.

Myth 5: You must know the Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs (ITTOs) by heart

    No, you do not need to spend time memorizing the around 500 ITTOs described in the PMBOK Guide; instead you need to understand the concepts behind them. It is possible you will have questions on the PMP Exam such as “Which of the following is not an input to the Create WBS process?” where memorizing the ITTOs may help. However, it is more likely you will have questions that relate to how or why a specific ITTO is used in a process and memorization will be of no use to you when answering those types of questions. So, your goal needs to be to fully understand the concepts of each process in the PMBOK Guide, not the memorization of the ITTOs.

Myth 6: You need 35 PDUs before you can take the PMP Exam

    Almost. You need are 35 contact hours before you take the PMP Exam -- not 35 Professional Developmental Units (PDUs). So you are required to have at least 35 contact hours to be eligible to take the PMP Exam. You do not need to worry about PDUs until you have obtained your PMP Certification, then you must follow PMIs Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) and earn 60 PDUs every three years to maintain your PMP Credential. Remember, you need contact hours before taking the PMP Exam and PDUs after.

There are many PMP Exam myths, and it is often difficult to distinguish what is the truth and what is myth. Myths can be difficult to eradicate so remember, anytime you come across something that makes you scratch your head or say “hmmmmm,” you can verify what you have heard or read by checking the PMP Handbook or writing to PMI Customer Care; they are happy to help dispel myths.

New Certificate Holders

The following have received their certifications since the last newsletter (through 30 Aug 2014):
KrishnaVeni Bayya
Erin Brophy
Lesley-Anne Caporelli
Margaret Cavalluzzi
Qing-Hong Dai
Kelly DiGian
Alison Fairchild
Cynthia Fitzgerald
Charles Fleming,III
John Flis
Jennifer Foley
Chi Fu
Ashok Gandhi
William Gulla
Gina Heluk
Fan Li
Jason Lord
Mark McDaniel
Jeff McKenzie
Kelli Mercurio
Hassan Moustafa
Stephan ONeill
Narendrakumar Patel
Alexis Sadowski
Derek Shannon
David Spell
Larry White,II

Aditya Lal
Viswanath Maddali
VinayKumar ShankamNarayan

Catherine Riggs
Nancy Rivera
VinayKumar ShankamNarayana



Article Submission & Publication Information

KristineEditor Kristine Clark

    • 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.
    • How to Send Articles: Please submit articles as word documents or plain ASCII text attachments via email.
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Publication Information:

    • Newsletters are published every other month: Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov
    • Articles due to the Editor by the 1st of the month.
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    Newsletter Team:
    • Kristine Clark – PMINJ Newsletter Editor
    • Nora Leary – PMINJ PR / Marketing Communications & Newsletter Writer

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