Please welcome the newly elected members to the Board of
By Pamela Eden
Jerry Meier - Programs – On-Site Registration Team
Jerry Meier has been volunteering as a member of PMINJ
Programs On-Site Registration activities since November,
2011, when he joined the team led by Dennis Komsa. As
a dedicated team member with detailed knowledge of the
On-Site Registration process, Jerry agreed to take the Team
Leader role when Dennis stepped down in June, 2013.
Since then, Jerry has worked tirelessly to recruit, train,
organize and manage a team of volunteers who welcome
members and guests at PMINJ Programs’ Monthly Chapter
Meetings. Each month, Jerry coordinates with his team
members to develop a schedule to ensure full coverage of the
registration table; obtains and copies meeting handouts;
manages attendance tracking and reporting at the Main
Meeting location; and verifies accurate headcount numbers
for the dinner meeting bill. He also helps facilitate
sponsor and outreach activity logistics. Always ready
and willing to tackle new challenges to improve the
registration process, Jerry worked with John Bufe to pilot
and deploy automated walk-in registrations via smartphone
and has helped streamline attendance tracking using Google
docs. An efficient, organized Team Leader, Jerry can
be relied on to ensure On-Site Registration runs smoothly,
and should be recognized for his longstanding support of
PMINJ as a volunteer and Programs On-Site Registration Team
Leader. See other VoQs on the website.
How to nominate:
Each quarter, the Board recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a volunteer from the PMINJ chapter. The Chapter newsletter will feature a “Volunteer Spotlight” section that will include the write-up and picture of the winner. Selection criteria includes, but is not limited to:
If you would like to nominate a volunteer, send your recommendation to: . Nominations will be discussed and voted upon at the next PMINJ Board meeting.
By Marianne Burke
The NJ Chapter of the Project Management Institute has a
number of outreach programs to engage its members and the
community of Project Management. One of the best ways the
Chapter does this is to reach out to the children of members
to offer an opportunity for support as they prepare for
Each year a dedicated team reviews applications received from members’ children who are seniors in high school. Each year the team goes through every application and scores each applicant based on a rubric comprising a number of areas; transcript / scores / leadership / recommendation and an essay. Each year the accomplishments of the applicants nearly overwhelms the team as they review every piece of information that the applicants provide.
This year the team awarded ten (10) scholarships to upcoming college freshman and one (1) to a Graduate student member. The awards were personally delivered to the recipients at the June Chapter meeting, providing an opportunity for all PMINJ chapter members to meet them. The group, once again, was a diverse mix from all over the state and from 9 different high schools. Their combined accomplishments covered a spectrum ranging from music to science to Scouts to math to literature…and on and on.
Every applicant was a strong one. The purpose of the committee is to provide a fair assessment of every student. It is not an easy process and as with all projects, the timeline is tight. The work is tough but it is so meaningful to the Chapter, the members, the students and of course, their parents, that it is worth the effort to get it right.
Once awarded, the scholarship is renewable for the next 3 years provided each consecutive year results in a GPA of 3.0 or higher. This renewable portion of the scholarship is unusual when compared to other scholarships and provides an added incentive to the students to maintain their developed study habits as they move to the much more difficult college level while at the same time that they leave home.
The website lists our current winners as well as our past winners. Please take a look at it and know your support of the PMINJ Chapter makes this outreach program a success in all ways.
By Cathy Bruce
Member Services is celebrating our first year of operation!
We are a team of volunteers who are dedicated to providing you the help and assistance you need regarding our chapter and our many events. Launched in May of 2014 we have responded to more than 600 emails while maintaining our professional daily careers.
The Member Service Center serves as a single point of
contact for all PMINJ Member questions, issues and concerns
that relate to PMINJ. We
work with all the PMINJ teams that provide PMINJ activities
and events. Our goals is to offer a timely
and consistent response, navigating your issues to the right
The Member Services Team consists of the following volunteers
To round out the team, we have volunteers dedicated
specifically to Symposium related activities:
Our top ranking question is supporting team members in the
login process. If you have not visited us in
more than one year you may need to use the reset password
option to re-establish your account details.
We have set our team goal to respond to member inquiries within 2 business days. We are monitoring our service level agreement. As you can see below, we are doing great so far.
We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our fellow PMINJ members. Email us at . We will respond within 2 business days.
By Lisa Blake
The PMINJ Programs 2015-2016 schedule is nearly final, with great speakers, LCI events, and rotating Main Meeting locations (see webpage).
Starting in August, PMINJ Chapter members will have an exclusive opportunity to pre-register for all of the Chapter’s monthly programs. Members who pre-register by September 12 will have the combined benefits of doing all registrations at once and a $25 discount on the monthly programs fees.
The standard $25 monthly pre-registration cost for monthly programs is still a great value for the meal, networking, LCI events, and speaker presentations worth 1.5 PDUs ($225 for all programs during the year). By pre-registering, members’ discounted cost will be $200 (that’s attending one program free!). After September 12, the special Early Bird price is not available, and the Early Bird registration cannot be refunded.
Only PMINJ Chapter member are eligible for this Early Bird opportunity. If you’re not a member already, becoming a PMINJ member ($20 per year) will save $185 on the registration fee. (9 meetings @ $45 (non-member rate) = $405.)
With the exception of the September 17th meeting (Thursday), monthly meeting dates are on the third Tuesday of the month. Early Bird registration is NOT available for satellite locations.
Remember, you must be a PMINJ Chapter member to take advantage of this opportunity. Hope to See You in September!
Additional schedule details are on the website.
By Lisa Blake
Chapter President Judy Balaban kicked off the breakfast meetings on July 1st at the Time to Eat Diner in Bridgewater to start a series of casual meetings and candid conversations about the Chapter, its services, the profession, and how PMINJ can help support members’ growth and success as project management professionals.
Breakfasts will be held at locations around the state, so if you’re interested in joining the conversation, check the calendar on the website for an upcoming breakfast, and sign-up to attend. Only PMINJ Members are eligible to register for the breakfasts, and reservations will be limited to 10 people per event. Registration will open about 2 weeks prior to each event, and will close 3 days before the event, or when reservations are full, with location details / directions sent to registrants the day before the event.
Have breakfast with a Board member, and join the conversation! See additional details and schedule on the website.
Billions of dollars are wasted each and every year as a result of failed projects, and that’s just in the U.S. alone! Failed projects, quite simply, are those that do not achieve their forecasted business benefits. A strong emphasis is placed on project delivery, but the focus on benefit attainment is seriously lacking. The transformation from project management to strategic project management is long overdue. All levels of organizations must embrace this transformation if we are to prevent this disturbing trend from continuing. What can we, as project managers, do to help achieve this transformation?
Here’s your chance to learn how to transform your approach to strategic project management! On August 31, PMINJ is co-sponsoring a 1-day workshop with the Resch Group on Strategic Project Management Transformation. The workshop will be led by Marc Resch, President of Resch Group, and will be held at SHI International Corporation in Somerset.
Join Marc for an energizing, informative session and learn how to be a strategic thinker and business leader in the global project-based environment. Workshop participants will learn how to apply strategic planning, leadership best practices and business innovation to all of their projects, and as a result, will be able to consistently maximize and sustain the business results from project investments – the ultimate goal of any project or program.
All attendees will be eligible to earn 8 PDUs, and will
receive cutting edge templates, free of charge.
Class size is limited, with discounted pricing through July 31st. Register today.
Additional details are on the website.
Thanks to a series of conversations between Bruce
Herniter, Associate Professor at DeVry University and John
Tse, PMINJ VP Professional Development about establishing
a Project Management Student Group, PMINJ was able to
engage a class of graduate students studying project and
program risk management at DeVry University.
On April 6, 2015, Dennis McCarthy, PMINJ Director of Corporate Outreach gave a presentation on Risk Management using materials prepared by Claudia Campbell-Matland, Independent Consultant and PMINJ Volunteer. Despite the near 90 degree heat in the classroom and the quality of the presenter’s jokes, the students remained engaged and asked numerous questions about the real-world application of risk management. A case study of the Apollo 13 mission was reviewed in terms of risk planning, risk mitigation and the iterative nature of risk management. In addition, a small experiment in soliciting information validated the process of crowd-sourcing and the law of large numbers’ ability to provide accurate input when estimating.
In an after action review at the end of the class, the students were asked if they had learned anything new and potentially useful. Many said that identifying and monitoring risk triggers and the concept of predefined project success criteria looked to be very applicable in their experience.
PMINJ would like to thank Professor Herniter and his students for this opportunity and look forward to seeing them at the PMINJ Monthly Programs. In addition, PMINJ volunteers staffed an information table at the May 20, 2015 DeVry University Career Fair; providing information on project management as a career and the benefits of PMI and PMINJ membership and certification.
If your organization, school, or university need a speaker, or a lunch and learn session (on virtually any project management related topic), contact Dennis McCarthy at .
For 26 years, the Tour de Franklin bike ride has been the
Franklin Food Bank’s largest annual fundraiser.
Starting as a small bike ride of 30 riders raising $1,500
in 1989, the Tour de Franklin has grown to a major
community and biking event with 660 people coming together
in 2015 to raise over $62,000 for the Food Bank.
During the day there were 7 rides or walks, including a
62-mile, 40-mile, and 25 mile ride through Franklin
Township; lunch and t-shirts for all participants; and an
on-line registration and donation payment system.
The undertaking requires a full 4 months of planning.
The Franklin Food Bank has also grown from an annual budget of $3,000 in 1989 to a budget of $600,000 in 2014 as it continues to fight hunger in the community. As part of this growth, the Food Bank has seen approximately a 10% increase in demand annually for its services since the start of the “Great Recession” in 2007. The graph shows the number of food packages distributed per year:
Figure 1 - Food Packages Distributed by Franklin Food Bank
The Franklin Food Bank is not part of any government agency and is supported only by community donations. It is operated by a small paid staff and a large group of volunteers. Like many small non-profit organizations, it does not have the resources to plan and manage an event as large as the Tour de Franklin or to analyze the results for future efforts. So for the past 4 years, the Food Bank has partnered with PMINJ for help with the event planning, execution and analysis. As the relationship matured, PMINJ’s role has expanded from volunteers on the day of the event in 2011 to volunteer management, process improvement, total event planning, and public relations management, including social media marketing. In 2015, the following PMI NJ members participated in the Tour de Franklin Planning Committee:
Tour de Franklin Chairperson Lisa Frey
This successful effort and the relationship it fostered have led to other PMINJ efforts at the Food Bank in recent years. PMINJ members have participated on the Food Bank’s Strategic Planning Committee, led a facility planning effort, and are supporting another Food Bank fundraiser, Canalfest.
PMINJ held a spring food drive at the May Symposium and
May 19 Monthly meeting to help local food pantries.
The theme was “2-Cans-2-Bucks”, and participants were
asked to consider donating two non-perishable food items
or $2 in cash. Springtime food drives such as
PMINJ’s are very important to local food pantries because
donations are low this time of year while demand increases
as school ends for the summer.
PMINJ participants donated over 100 lbs of food and $147 at the May Symposium. Additionally, the Paramus satellite participants donated 20 lbs. of food and $71 at the May 19 meeting. The items and cash were donated directly to the Food Pantry at the Roman Catholic Church of the Little Flower and the Teaneck Food Pantry.
Thank you to everyone who donated and who volunteered for the food drive.
As these numbers clearly demonstrate,
project management is a viable career, and as such, an
option that should be seriously considered when starting a
career. To that end, the PMINJ Chapter and the PMINJ
Corporate Outreach Team have been making a concerted
effort to reach out to students currently enrolled in
colleges and universities.
On April 15, 2015, PMINJ Corporate Outreach speaker and project management consultant, Snigdha Mitra conducted a presentation for students taking an Introduction to Project Management class at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA (actually at the Bethlehem, PA campus) being taught by Instructor Eric Hagan. Snigdha spent over two hours with the students - providing a presentation on soft skills for project managers, answering questions, and leading the students in a role playing exercise around effective project management. Both the students and Eric were “taken” by Snigdha and her delivery as clearly shown by the following excerpt from Eric’s thank you letter.
As Eric rightly noted, Snigdha has been an
excellent speaker and spokesperson for PMINJ and the
project management profession. She received similar rave
reviews after she gave a presentation to the New Jersey
Office of Information Technology on the benefits of having
an established Project Management Office late last year.
On May 12, 2015 Claudia Campell-Matland, PMINJ Corporate Outreach speaker and project management consultant spoke to Associate Professor Bruce Herniter’s Project Risk Management Class at DeVry University.
Claudia created the materials for the presentations and geared the contents to students who have a mix of academic and professional experience.
Thanks to Eric Hagan, Bruce Herniter, Snigdha Mitra, and Claudia Campbell-Matland for providing these opportunities to inform students about project management.
The PMINJ Corporate Outreach Team is actively looking to partner with other colleges and universities in the area to provide speakers and information regarding project management knowledge and experience for building a career or to use as a life skill. If you are affiliated with a college or university, please contact Dennis McCarthy / PMINJ Director Outreach at .
Also PMINJ has been developing our partnerships with elementary, middle, and high schools (as well as related youth organizations such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc.). Those interested in pursuing these partnerships can use the same contact information: Dennis McCarthy / PMINJ Director Outreach at .
On June 16, Steve Wayman, PMP gave a presentation on
Meeting Facilitation to the project managers and other key
project team members involved with the PM User Group
established by the New Jersey Office of Information
Technology (NJOIT) Program Management Office. The
presentation was interactive and covered what makes good
meetings, facilitation skills, and using Project
Management process groups as a framework for meetings.
Formal feedback collected after the presentation was universally positive and the session was very well received. 100% of the participants responding rated the training and the speaker (Steve) as either “Excellent” or “Satisfactory”, and 100% said that the session was informative and / or applicable to their job.
Kelly Silverstein, PMO/NJOIT and Dennis McCarthy, PMINJ Director, Corporate Outreach, coordinated this joint session between NJOIT and PMINJ so that the two organizations could share knowledge and best practices. This is the second session between these organizations, and based on the continued feedback, Kelly 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.
The One Community idea was first conceived by the late VP Marketing, Barbara Fuller and VP of Program, Lisa Blake. In September 2014, at a PMINJ monthly meeting, Barbara met Professor Te Wu of Montclair State University (MSU) and initiated this discussion.
To initiate the planning of this program, Barbara and Te agreed to include this idea as a part of an experiential learning course. Sadly, Barbara passed away before the course started. PMINJ leadership, including Elaine Tanimura, Mark Barash, Dennis McCarthy and Lisa, continued the program with Te and engaged three students over the Spring 2015 semester on a program planning exercise.
For the first six weeks of the program, Te worked with eight students (there were other students in the experiential learning course) and engaged them in the basics of business consulting. In addition to discussing and reviewing, Te shared his experience as a management consultant. Starting in late February, the Montclair team of three students started working with PMINJ leaders in a series of meetings:
Deliverables and Outcome
As a part of this program, the students, working with the professor and PMINJ leaders created a series of noteworthy deliverables including the following:
The business benefits to PMINJ are tremendous. Through this
experiential learning course, PMINJ has now transformed the
One Chapter One State from an idea to a program. In addition
to the planning deliverables such as the charter, roles and
responsibilities, and proposal template, PMINJ also now has
a mechanism to vet new ideas, prioritize them, and monitor
the implementation of these ideas.
The value to MSU is also immeasurable. Immediately, the students involved in the program learned how to plan programs, from a relatively unstructured set of ideas to creating a program structure that can deal with ambiguities and plan for business execution. The program planning deliverables are based on industry best practices, and the skills can be leveraged in their future career. More importantly, MSU will provide resources to manage the PMO and continue the relationship with PMINJ, benefiting future students by giving them real-life projects for their assignments. Perhaps most importantly, this experiential learning course is a demonstration of how MSU can work with professional organizations to create a synergistic relationship that is mutually beneficial to all parties.
Photo 1: Entire experiential learning course including our sponsors from Franklin Food Bank and Project Management Institute New Jersey.