Project Management Articles
New Certificate Holders
Article Submission &
By Linda Schaldonat VP Business Relationships
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In my new role as VP of Business Relationships, my goal is to
foster mutually beneficial, long-lasting relationships with educational institutions
and organizations to support PMI New Jersey advance the profession of project
management. My strategy will be two-fold - the sponsorship side and
enhancing business relationships. In order to increase awareness of the
many opportunities available through our chapter, I aim to build a strong
team of account executives. To enhance our business relationships,
I plan to expand our volunteer team to improve the management of our databases
and create a strategy to encompass all customer touch points across the
Chapter. My plans are to leverage the Chapter’s channels, such as our many
existing databases and social media so we can optimize interactions from
the customer’s perspective to foster customer loyalty. I also plan to develop
processes to track, oversee, and organize transactions between our customers
and PMINJ to deliver consistent customer experiences.
A relationship is one of those things you cannot measure, yet,
like communications, we know how important it is in our professional and
personal lives. I am pleased to have the privilege of building relationships
with talented and ethical volunteers and sponsors and I look forward to solving
many of the distinct challenges our chapter has and helping to shape the
future in the area of business relationships. The whole is greater than the
sum of its parts and I am honored to be part of this well-rounded and well-grounded
Chapter. As our President, Judy Balaban, has said: “a Chapter with a heart
as big” and Judy leads by example.
PMINJ 2014 Survey Results Are In...and We Heard
By Kristine Clark
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PMINJ's primary mission is to provide opportunities to our membership
to enhance their professional growth in the field of Project Management.
To ensure that we are continually striving to meet that goal, we conduct
a Membership Survey every year to gauge our impact and level of service.
The results are in and both the feedback and responses from the various departments
have been gathered and are included in summary below.
Career Opportunities, Networking & Vendor Selection
This was the set of questions from which we garnered the most responses
and feedback. Some of the comments related to expanding the diversity of the
vendors to consultants, recruiters, and the larger employers of PMs in New
Jersey. Other comments suggested a career fair, job placement and expanded
opportunities for the members of the PMIT group – both with networking and
discounts on membership dues and programs.
In response to your feedback, the board is looking to make the following
improvements in visibility, access, and increased opportunities:
- PMINJ Sponsored Career Fair – We will be looking for
input from our members on this in the coming months.
- Website Opportunities – A number of you requested
more job opportunities to be posted on the website, as well as links to
these included in the newsletter. We will look into granting these
more visibility, as well as advertising to employers that they can post
opportunities on the PMINJ website for free.
- Veteran Outreach – There were a few comments regarding
reaching out to our veterans for both membership discounts, or mentoring,
and we will be researching this option to see what opportunities we can
afford to our veterans.
- Networking with Other Professional Organizations –
In order to increase networking opportunities, we will be creating joint events
with organizations such as the Northern NJ Chapter of APICS and the Institute
of Supply Management.
Professional Growth & Millennial Outreach
We recognize that we need to work hard to attract and retain new members.
To that end, in addition to our current Mentor program, which enables members
to utilize the experience and knowledge of mentors in their professional
lives, we will also offer a Guest Pass program in coordination with PMI Corporate.
The Guest Pass program enables current PMI members to try out membership
in their local chapter for free until the end of their PMI membership date.
Additionally, we have begun increasing our social media presence to connect
with all of our members and keep them informed of the trainings, programs,
and opportunities available through PMINJ. A few survey participants requested
that the newsletter be published on a monthly basis instead of every other
month, but at this time, our staff does not have the resources to accomplish
this, so it will remain with the publication frequency of six times a year.
Monthly Meeting Options
There were more than a few comments relating to the monthly meetings and
events involving location, price, and requests for daytime meetings. In
response to this, the board is looking into planning some daytime events,
which may be run by members of our Project Managers in Transition
team. These events would include Breakfast with Judy meetings, Lunch and
Learns, and others where you would have the opportunity to meet the board
A few respondents expressed displeasure over the location and
cost of the monthly dinner meetings. Our current Program Dinner meetings
in the Main location have not seen a price increase in over 10 years, despite
rising costs, by subsidizing approximately 40% of the costs after sponsorship.
Additionally, members have the opportunity to join LCI activities before
dinner, stop by the Membership table to learn about volunteering and job
opportunities, and network with colleagues prior to and following the presentation.
The Programs team is always interested in member suggestions for speakers,
topics, or potential new venues to maintain the balance of North/Central/South
main meeting locations and welcomes new ideas for programs that will help
members grow as successful project management professionals.
The entire PMINJ Board would like to thank all who participated in this
survey and took the time to share your comments and feedback with us. In the
coming year, we will endeavor to address the issues and suggestions you raised,
and appreciate the positive feedback as well.
May 2015 Symposium – Superior Project Management
Through Emotional Intelligence
By Jerry Flach
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Judy Balaban, President of PMINJ, and Deven Trivedi, VP Symposium,
welcomed over 500 attendees to PMINJ's 29th Annual Symposium held at the
Pines Manor in Edison, NJ on May 4, 2015.
Vanessa Druskat kicked off the symposium with her keynote affirming the
challenge of leadership in light of stress and the demands on our attention.
Vanessa cited Social Psychology and Emotional Intelligence (EI) as key insights
into this. EI begins with the way you manage yourself. We are in the emotion
revolution! Vanessa referenced Daniel Goleman and Richard E. Boyatzis'
four categories of EI competency: self-awareness, self-management, social
awareness, and social skills. Affirming the Business Case for EI, Vanessa
cited a study that showed how self-awareness builds a better work environment
92% of the time vs. non self-awareness which creates a negative environment
72% of the time.
Guy Burns' lunchtime keynote presentation reminded PMs that they are 100%
responsible for their communications and as such, need to consider how different
personalities communicate to achieve understanding. PMs need to be aware
of how the different personalities they encounter receive and respond to
information. Guy added fun to the challenge of deciphering communications
and showed the value of diverse personalities on a team by affiliating personalities
with animals. - a Lion prefers accomplishment, a Monkey appreciation, a Turtle
accuracy and a Puppy, agreement.
Eric D Hieger presented the closing keynote and began his Change Leadership
presentation by demonstrating that the pace of change has accelerated. Attempts
to manage complexity can lead to more ambiguity; volatility is a natural
progression and outcome. The new change leadership activates and sustains
commitment in contrast with the more staid change management which implies
control. “Organizations don’t change, people change."
The Symposium had three Tracks: Leadership, People Management and Knowledgebase.
- In the Leadership Track: Frank Saladis highlighted
the attitude and enthusiasm of the Indispensable Project Manager as LEADER:
Likeable, Energetic, Attitude, Deserving, Everyone’s, Respect! A world
class leader is a world class learner! Richard Heaslip highlighted the “superstar”
project and program manager and the governance interactions. Tanveer Naseer
highlighted four leadership principles – Build Community, Develop Competence,
Earn Credibility, and Cultivate Compassion to drive personal and organizational
- The People Management Track: David Offenkrantz spoke
about transforming stakeholder relationships through collaboration. Deven
Trivedi and Chris Turner highlighted how KPMG’s Project Management and Change
Management efforts are combined to realize business transformation.
Jessica Soroky spoke about learning from and through transformation efforts
by developing effective, high performing teams.
- The Knowldgebase Track: Raju Rao began with
defining how PMs can leverage a more ‘Dynamic’ WBS to move beyond Scope
Management to other stages of the project lifecycle in line with objectives.
Katia Passerini discussed measuring the knowledge and learning that a project
generates or assures among a project’s or product’s outcomes. Te Wu affirmed
how PMs can and do deliver value in every aspect of the project management
More information about these amazing speakers and topics, their
presentations and recorded webinars will be available on the website.
Corporate Outreach Team Attends Data Connectors
By Tod Burrus
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Our chapter was very fortunate to be given a vendor table at the Data Connectors
Central New Jersey Tech-Security Conference on Thursday, March 12, at the
Westin Princeton at Forrestal Village. Linda Schaldonat, PMP, Tod
Burrus, and John N. Tse, PMP, CSM, were on hand and took turns fielding
questions and introducing several IT Security Managers and Professionals
to our chapter benefits, many of whom knew very little or nothing at all
For John, it was a reminder that PMI asks us to deliver a consistent
message when talking about the organization to folks in this category.
He shared the following facts from the PMI Brand presentation:
- PMI is the world’s largest Project Management member association,
representing more than half a million Project Managers in over 185 countries.
- As a global thought leader and knowledge resource, PMI advances
the profession of Project Management by developing global standards and
credentials, creating collaborative communities, and conducting and publishing
There was a good turnout at the conference and many were interested
enough to provide us with their contact information so that we can follow
up with them. But it wasn’t all newbies in the crowd - Sherree Cushner,
PMP, stopped by the table and confirmed the importance of her PMI training
to her most recent assignment at Johnson and Johnson. She inherited
a multi-year SAP project and had no SAP experience. The project came in
on time, within budget and scope! Her team created a plan that is now being
used as a Gold Standard within J&J. We were also pleasantly surprised
to reconnect with Cindy Cortell who delivered the presentation for the winner
of our chapter's 2009 Project of the Year Award! All agreed it was
a very successful outreach and it was personally rewarding for our volunteers.
The Central New Jersey Tech-Security Conference featured 40-60 vendor exhibits
and 8-12 educational speaker sessions discussing current tech-security issues
such as cloud security, email and social media security, VoIP, LAN security,
wireless security, USB drives security & more.
March 2015 Meeting - Large Scale ERP Deployments
Using the Microsoft Project Portfolio Management Solution
By John Haggerty
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The keynote presentation for March’s monthly program was “Large
Scale ERP Deployments Using Microsoft Project Portfolio Management Solution”
presented by Alexander Rodov, PMP, MCTS, CSM, Managing Partner of Trusted
IT Group and a distinguished Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. The presentation
focused on Microsoft Project Server and how it extends the capabilities
of Microsoft Project to further define complex scopes, analyze resource
workloads, align corporate strategic drivers to project portfolio, increase
stakeholder visibility, and make data-driven decisions.
Alex began with a basic overview of Project Server and noted some
key features. The project center feature supports reports across an organization
at the project level by assigning Enterprise Custom Fields at the task,
project, and resource level to customize the Project Server data. This benefit
allows the managers to further examine the project details. Another key
feature is the resource center which analyzes resource workloads by project
and resource. This allows organizations to calculate future resource requirements
and better manage multiple workstreams. These combined features allow
for portfolio optimization by aligning each project directly to a corporate
driver and strategic objective.
Project Server also stores custom calendars, views, tables, filters, and
fields and updates users to real-time data and allows teams to efficiently
work together from virtually anywhere, especially work from home. Prior
to the presentation, a Project Manager working primarily in Germany described
the challenge of working within Germany’s work hour restriction of maximum
10 hour/day and 50 hour/week, especially when his business trips are only
four days long and travel time can exceed 60% of the trip. After the presentation,
he noted this feature of Project Server would definitely reduce that challenge.
This feature also has the potential to improve productivity of work from
home employees with more visibility for management.
Alex concluded the presentation with how project server integrates
everything together with the “Ultimate Matrix Approach.” The principle of
this approach is to deconstruct a large, complex objective down to multiple
simple objectives that can be easily managed. The relationships and metrics
of these simple objectives must then be setup according to resources, schedules,
issues, risks, constraints, and especially external dependencies. The top
three major reasons for failure of Enterprise Project Management solutions
is due to discrepancies in scope, lack of stakeholder transparency, and
efficient communication. This Ultimate Matrix Approach through Project Server
addresses these issues and ensures successful ERP deployments.
Additional Information about this program including the presentation
slides, pictures, and the webinar are available on the website.
Project Management Article
Traditional Project Management versus Agile
Project Management- How are they different?
By Adrienne Wheelwright
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Agile seems to be in the news a lot these days, and this article
will delve into some of the role and responsibility differences between
traditional and Agile project management.
Traditional Project Managers are responsible for charters, resources, schedules,
costs, scope, change control, communications, quality, risk and procurement.
Frequently, they also prepare business requirements, presentations and any
additional project information needs.
Agile shifts traditional project responsibilities to the team. For example,
if a resource reassignment decision needs to be made, the team would decide
and take action. At the moment, Scrum remains the most popular framework
under the Agile umbrella. The Scrum Guide as authored by the co-founders,
Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland is available as a 16-page light read.
In Agile, Scrum, one of many agile practices, provides a framework for
roles and responsibilities within the team. These roles are Product Owner
(PO), Scrum Master and the Development Team.
The Product Owner (PO) is responsible for all business decisions to create
the right product, at the right time and address competing priorities. The
PO, who is not a committee, is available to the Development team to ensure
decisions are made as quickly as possible.
The Scum Master is the team’s coach and ensures that they work together
at a highly efficient level. The Scrum Master removes obstacles affecting
the team, facilitates work sessions and handles some traditional project manager
tasks including issues resolution and progress tracking. The Scrum Master
is also responsible for the process and how efficiently it is used by the
team to achieve the PO’s vision.
The Scrum Team is responsible for project management responsibilities that
will deliver a quality product to the PO. In Agile, the entire Scrum Team
welcomes changes to ensure product goals are met. They also make decisions
on engineering practices, schedules, resources and technical strategies
to achieve a high quality product. The Development Team are the worker
bees who get the work done including programming, change requests, testing
and other tasks.
While there is a “single wringable neck” i.e., the PO, the success of the
initiative is truly shared by the entire Scrum Team, and not the responsibility
of one person.
The ScrumAlliance and Scrum.Org are the only two credible certifying bodies
in the world of Scrum. PMI has recently added the Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) as a newer certification. The ACP, however, is broader and also requires
professionals become familiar with other Agile practices such as Kanban,
eXtreme Programming (XP), etc.
2015 PMI-ACP Exam Changes
In July 2015, the PMI-ACP exam will change based on a recent study involving
Agilists from 60 countries.
If you have questions or need guidance on certification paths, please reach
out to the Agile LCI Chairperson, Nitin Khanna, who served as a resource
for this article, at pminj.agile(:@:)gmail.com. Nitin currently holds
multiple certifications from various bodies, including PMI. He is a Scrum
Coach and is familiar with bridging the gap between traditional Project Management
and Agile practices. He is also familiar with scaling Scrum Teams via different
formal approaches such as “Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)” or “Scaled Professional
Scrum (SPS)” and “Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)”.
New Certificate Holders
The following have received their certifications since the last
newsletter (through 30 Apr 2015):
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Article Submission & Publication Information
Editor Kristine Clark
- Where to Send: Contact the newsletter editor,
at editor(:@:)pminj.org for newsletter related items, to submit articles
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the PMINJ website by the 25th of the month.
- Kristine Clark – PMINJ Newsletter Editor
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& Newsletter Writer
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