Project Management Articles
New Certificate Holders
Article Submission & Publication
By Lisa Blake, PMP, VP Programs
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On behalf of PMINJ, welcome to the 2015-2016 Program Year!
I am honored and delighted to have been re-elected as your Vice
President of Programs. The Programs Team is responsible for fulfilling
members’ professional development needs by delivering Monthly Program Meetings
to PMINJ members throughout the state, conducting PM Workshops, and organizing
other special member events.
Program meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every month from September
through November and January through June. An exception in 2015 is the September
meeting, which will be held on Thursday September 17, after the Jewish holidays.
Monthly Meetings are a great opportunity for members to network, catch
up on Chapter news, and hear speaker presentations on timely project management
topics while earning 1.5 PDU's per event. In addition to a live
speaker presentation, the Main Meeting Location features a buffet dinner
at one of several different locations, with multiple LCI pre-meeting activities,
a Membership Kiosk with Volunteer and External Job Postings, a Sponsor Table,
and lots of lively conversation.
PMINJ members who can’t attend meetings at the Main location due
to time and distance constraints can still join in via webcast at one of
over 15 different satellite locations around the state. Attendance at
satellite locations is free for PMINJ Chapter members, thanks to Satellite
Leaders who coordinate logistics with host corporations such as Prudential,
SAIC, Alcatel-Lucent, Verizon Wireless, DeVry University, CSC, TD Bank, PSEG,
Deloitte, and Selective Insurance, just to name a few.
After a successful pre-dinner-meeting “Meet the Board” event in May, PMINJ
conducted a special set of summer morning programs for members to attend
a free “Breakfast with a Board Member.” The meetings gave members a
chance to ask Board members questions directly and to provide input on how
the Chapter can better serve members’ needs, and PMINJ plans to hold similar
events in the future.
For those who are looking for other professional development opportunities
on special Project Management topics, the Programs Workshops Team presents
half-day and full-day workshops throughout the year, based on members’ input.
Recent events have included topics on Agile, Risk Management, and Strategic
Project Management Transformation. A second half-day Risk Management
workshop is scheduled for October 17.
The Programs Team’s mission is to meet PMINJ members’ professional
development needs, so if you have ideas for a speaker, a workshop, a new
satellite location, or other Programs possibilities, please join us or contact
me with your suggestions vp-Programs(:@:)pminj.org!
PMINJ Team Celebrates IPM
Day This November
By Jerry Flach and John Bufe
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Join the PMINJ team on November 5, 2015, in Somerset to celebrate
33 years of dedicated service to PMI, PMs, and NJ communities. This will
be the tenth IPM Day Seminar held at the elegant Palace in Somerset, NJ.
Dave Sherman, best-selling author and expert in Schmooze, will
kick-off this year’s IPM day. Dave will be your guide to discovering
the art of networking for personal and business success. Next on the agenda
is Enterprise Technologist, Amit Panchal, with expertise in Competitive Strategy.
Amit will share case studies from his cloud transformation experiences to
illustrate the drivers of a successful global IT initiative and pitfalls
to avoid, expanding on lessons learned. Shobhna Raghupathy, MS, PMP,
a Global Strategy and Project Portfolio Management consultant, will share
her wisdom on the 21st century leadership that’s required to build and manage
a high-performing and diverse, networked workforce. Shobhna will offer strategies
for building bridges of understanding and collaboration.
In response to past attendee feedback, PMINJ will be offering two
afternoon workshops. Professional public speaker Vitaliy Fursov, PMP, will
provide attendees with collectively developed and individually customized
tools to help develop healthy working relationships toward authentic 'win-win'
thinking and desired results across a variety of situations. The second workshop
will be led by award-winning Human Resources professional, Abby Kohut. Abby
will reveal the secrets of success in the ‘hidden job market,’ and how to
differentiate yourself from others so people will remember you.
Networking opportunities abound on IPM Day! Join fellow PM’s as
we extend our Project Management expertise, connect with each other and service
providers to continue building personal and shared excellence in project
management and earn PDU’s. PMINJ’s IPM Day is consistently a sold-out event;
register today! See more on the website.
PMINJ Career Fair Survey
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The Career Fair Survey was taken by 205 members during the Summer.
The results include:
- 50% of the respondents would like to have assistance
- Most individuals are interested in Project Management or
- Jobs in the IT industry are the most popular followed by
Pharmaceutical, Financial, and Manufacturing
- Individuals were definitely interested in assistance with
LinkedIn, Interviews and Resumes.
- Most individuals wanted an event to be held on a Saturday
in Central New Jersey.
The results are being used by the Board to plan a career fair to
help our members with their career transitions. We will publish additional
details in a few months. If you would like to assist with the planning,
send an email to volunteers(:@:)pminj.org.
PMIT Team Member Takes On
Email Campaign to Increase Satellite Attendance at Monthly Meetings
By Snehal Patel
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Early in 2015 the PMINJ board turned its focus to increasing the
monthly member attendance at the satellite locations. Snehal Patel,
a member of the PMIT (Project Managers in Transition) team stepped up to
head this project. Elaine Tanimura assumed the role of project sponsor, and
worked with Lisa Blake, Mark Barash and John Bufe. They felt that in addition
to the satellite coordinators' efforts, a more direct action was needed to
improve attendance and involvement of current PMINJ members. The team also
wanted to highlight to all members that they have the opportunity to attend
monthly meetings at convenient satellite locations – this could mean close
to home, close to work, or somewhere in between.
Once the objectives were agreed upon, the next challenges were which satellite
locations to select for the pilot project, how to identify members who either
live or work near these satellite locations, how to reach them, how many
times to contact them for each event, when to reach them, and lastly, how
to measure the effectiveness of the campaign.
Nora Leary suggested reaching out to members via email, and the project
team agreed to use emails as the primary tool reminding members about the
opportunity to participate, interact and earn 1.5 PDU's for attending. The
emails would be sent two times before each event.
The following were the outcomes of the three email campaigns:
Intangible (most important):
Stacy Kornhauser, New Providence satellite Team Leader, specifically commented
that she noticed and appreciates increased attendance.
Tangible (most important too):
- This list includes all PMINJ Satellite Locations
- The yellow highlighted locations were selected as the Pilot
Targets for the email campaign during April, May and June.
- The blue highlighted locations are selected for the second
phase to expand the campaign.
Additional emails sent out prior to event dates definitely help remind
members about location, date of the event and the topic. Also, email campaigns
by nature are more effective with larger audiences. This is evident by looking
at the numbers for April, May and June for the Pilot Locations (highlighted
Breakfast with the Board Helps to Inform and Communicate with Members
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During the months of July and August, several of the Board members
had the distinct pleasure to share breakfast with our members. The events
were scheduled in different geographical locations to provide an opportunity
for our members to attend a location close to their home or work. These
gatherings were designed to learn what our members need from the chapter and
share information with them about what we do provide and what we are planning
for the future.
The one recurring theme present in all of the meetings was the desire to
obtain assistance with career transition. Members are looking for PMINJ
to provide assistance to negotiate the job market as well as the ability to
enhance their careers. During the sessions attendees learned that we
- Resume posting on the PMINJ website. (several of the attendees
have done this now)
- Website job postings are updated at least weekly and the Career
Networking email list receives an email when new opportunities are posted.
- The Career Networking Local Community of Interest (LCI) will
begin meeting every month this year in conjunction with the monthly meeting.
- The Board is planning a career fair to assist our members
- Our Professional Development group provides a Mentor Program to provide one-on-one
- The Professional Development group also provides certification
training for PMP, CAPM, ACP and CSM to enable members to “check the box.”
Other certifications are being investigated.
PMINJ also provides opportunities to earn PDU's in the following
- Volunteer Opportunities – several of the attendees
have signed up for volunteer positions since the events.
- Webinars on the website are available to review after
- Attending monthly meetings and seminars
- Monthly meeting attendance at the satellite locations. A number
of attendees were unaware that opportunities are available close to home or
work to “attend” the meetings. This can easily be extended to other
Some of the new members who attended were interested in our events,
but unaware of them. They also demonstrated interest in joint meetings with
other professional organizations, and also becoming aware of who's who at
the meetings. Some attendees were also unaware of the PMINJ LinkedIn
and Facebook groups which we utilize to share information between members.
The Board will be using the comments from the breakfast meetings to formulate
our tactical plans. We appreciate all your comments and feedback.
Project Management Article
Certification Requirements Program Changes: Summary
By Adrienne Wheelwright
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The purpose of the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR)
Program is to help certified project practitioners grow and develop within
the profession. As employer business requirements change, the CCR
Program will change to keep up with new skills in demand. On December
1, 2015, the CCR program will change. An outline of the program
updates is provided below with links to the PMI website for more detailed
Talent Triangle highlights key components including technical, leadership,
strategic and business management skills demanded by businesses today. The
CCR Program updates were designed to ensure certified project practitioners
re-focus their training in these areas. Employers expect certified
practitioners to have leadership, business intelligence and business management
skills to deliver project initiatives that contribute to strategic goals
with bottom line results.
Career development for certified project practitioners is on-going.
The CCR Program changes will require a different approach as you plan for
re-certification. Click What
does this mean for you? to understand how the program changes will
help you stay relevant in a globally changing business environment.
The CCR Program framework will not change. Project practitioners
will continue to earn PDU’s in the Education and Giving Back categories
for a total of 60 PDU’s. The key change is how PDU’s in each category
will be classified. Here is a high-level summary of the classification
- Education PDU’s are aligned with the PMI Talent Triangle
and 60% are focused on the employer demanded skills
- A minimum of 35 Education PDU’s must be earned
- A minimum number of 8 PDU’s must be earned in each of these
- Technical Project Management
- Strategic Business Management
When you meet the PDU minimum in each classification, the remaining
units can be applied to any of the three classifications.
- Total PDU’s in this category deceased. A maximum of
25 can be earned.
- Activities remain unchanged: Volunteering, Creating Knowledge
and Working as a Professional
- PDU’s earned as a Working Professional decreased. A
maximum of 8 can be earned.
To review all the program change details, click Know
the Details. It is also important to understand how the timing
of the Program changes will affect you. Click Certification
Renewal Dates for timing information and the CCR Program FAQ’s
to review any questions you may have. You can also view a webinar
on the CCR Program changes.
You Know to Do Something Good: Applying PM Concepts to Non-Profit Volunteer
By Doreen Clark
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Almost all local non-profits – a food pantry or animal shelter,
for example, hold fundraisers to augment donations and raise awareness in
the community. The larger events can require three months to a year
to plan and prepare and a number of committees to execute. Large, successful
fundraisers are not just about luck and hard work – they’re also about planning
and coordination. This is where Project Management concepts come in handy,
because a fundraiser is effectively, a project.
In most cases, a four-level deep Microsoft Project Gantt chart
would be overkill for a local non-profit’s fundraiser, as would mapping
BCWP for Earned Value Management, or calculating ROI or IRR. But with firm
deadlines, tight budgets, and time-constrained volunteers, fundraisers are
indeed projects that can benefit from the judicious application of any number
of Project Management concepts.
As an example, I volunteered through the PMINJ chapter as the
Media Coordinator for the Franklin
Food Bank's Tour de Franklin bike ride fundraiser. It is
the Food Bank’s largest annual event, attracting over 600 people to raise
over $60,000, and requiring a solid four months of planning and preparation.
My committee consisted of just me with help from the Chairperson, but had
a long list of potential public relations tasks. Given the situation,
these are the Project Management concepts I chose to apply:
In a typical non-profit fundraising effort, there is
always more to do than time and resources allow. Establishing scope sets
expectations, both for yourself and your team. It also allows the event Chairperson
to focus your committee’s efforts where they feel they will be most valuable.
In the Media effort, scope was defined as developing and distributing press
releases to media outlets in the targeted geography. The following year,
extra bandwidth was used to establish a Social Media presence.
Develop a Plan:
A simple plan stating objectives, tasks, resources, and
schedule of time required provides a vehicle for consensus and gives the
effort structure. Everyone knows (approximately) what will happen,
when. In the Tour de Franklin Marketing Plan, I provided a timeline for waves
of distributing the press releases. The Chair had an opportunity to provide
feedback in the beginning, and had a good understanding of when the Media
activities would occur.
Create a Communication Plan:
Fundraising teams are often dispersed, and sometimes
I would not meet with the larger team for a few weeks. I made a point of
sending out a status email to the chairperson every two weeks and also after
distributing a press release. The simple communication plan tied me into
the larger group and helped create cohesion.
Often there aren’t enough volunteers, so there is
a need to sign-up for multiple tasks and tackle them one by one.
Monitor and Control Along the Way:
A fundraising event has one shot at success, so monitoring
frequently during execution in the months leading up to it is critical.
There probably won't be a need to calculate BCPS, but a good spreadsheet
is useful. Reflecting rapid industry changes, some Tour de Franklin media
contacts disappeared, and the first rounds of press releases were fruitless.
We wouldn’t have known to expand the contact efforts if I wasn’t monitoring
the web hits.
Take Time for Closeout:
Volunteers come and go. Make “the book” of vital information
that someone can pick-up and work with next time.
It may not seem like much, but a light application of these Project
Management concepts contributed to the success of the Tour de Franklin,
and helped the Franklin Food Bank fight hunger in the local community.
There are lots of other local non-profits with large fundraisers that could
benefit from these and other Project Management concepts.
You have the skills and you know the concepts, so what are you
waiting for? Go find a non-profit, and do something you know to do something
Agile Wars - Purists vs. Pragmatists
By Doug Shelton, PMP
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Why “Agile “Opinions”? Many Project and Program Managers
new to agile frameworks / methodologies [e.g., Scrum, Kanban] tend to think
that they have very prescriptive and clear-cut approaches to all or most
aspects of implementation. However, the reality is that the basic frameworks
for Scrum and Kanban are quite simple and relatively non-prescriptive, particularly
as compared to standard PMI / PMBOK teachings.
Instead, it is the agile teachings of various groups created to
support and promote these methodologies that tend to dive into prescriptive
details, and even among the most senior members of such groups (e.g., the
Scrum Alliance; the
Agile Alliance, etc.),
there is much disagreement of the “right” details to follow. And so
– more often than not - it is a “matter of opinion” which drives the thinking
behind the arguments you can read in these posts.
Agile “Purists” and Agile “Pragmatists” - What Are They?
One of the longer-running areas of disagreement is seen in exchanges on
various agile blogs and forums between agile “Purists” and agile “Pragmatists.”
It’s fair to state that there isn’t any one definition of an agile
“Purist” or an agile “Pragmatist.” For the purposes of this article, I’ll
define them as follows:
- Purists: This type tends to insist on rigid adherence
to various agile principals, typically citing as their justification the
Purists may answer agile forum requests with quotes straight out of well-known
agile texts - without considering or asking about context. Most purists
also promote the concept of “thinking with agility” – i.e., “being agile”
- along the associated connotation of cultural and perhaps even organizational
change. Their members include some of the most senior agilist and thought
leaders – although not all, by any means.
- Pragmatists: This type is often an agilist who
has worked with very large companies, and / or those entrenched in their
culture and bureaucracy, where change – particularly cultural paradigm shifts
- happens very slowly. These people may have been previously “burned”
in attempting to introduce cultural and/or organizational change, and now
have a perspective that they may instead be able to improve processes by
simply introducing and getting acceptance and use of agile practices and
leave the hard work of cultural change for a long-term effort.
So What Is the War and Why Should You Care?
The “war” is simply this:
- Agile purists condemn agile pragmatists for not sticking
to “agile doctrine” and / or not cultivating “agile thinking” and associated
cultural change. They do this because they feel agile cannot ultimately
be successful – or “truly be agile” without these components.
- Agile pragmatists, on the other hand, often scoff at purists
who insist on adherence to a set of agile principles and / or promoting
agile thinking, as “being unrealistic” – and even “unnecessary.” They also
condemn purists for not recognizing the value of other, non-agile-specific
processes and practices.
The good news is that both perspectives can provide value and
useful service – and as a Project, Program, or Portfolio Manager – or a manager
of a PMO – you should be aware of this. Agile Purists can and should be thought
of as the “flag bearers” in the forefront of the agile movement. They
are typically the ones with the most enthusiasm – and often the most all-around
knowledge - of agile frameworks and processes. If, as a PM and / or
manager, you find yourself in a position to offer them support – do so.
What is your payoff? You will have an evangelist who “promotes” both
the value of agile as well as the “how to's” willingly and often.
Even if your Agile Purist tends to insist on implementing certain specifics,
the value here is that for groups new to agile, this can be a good thing
– it starts them off on the right foot.
Agile Pragmatists, in contrast, provide a reality check. The better
ones often have specific agile experience in large “slow-changing” companies
to know what agile process details can actually be accomplished more quickly,
versus which components need more time and / or can be “blended” with other
methodologies to meet organizational structure and hierarchy requirements.
Agile Pragmatists with sufficient experience have seen the progression of
agile within large companies and can suggest the all-important “when” and
“where” for promoting agile practices while minimizing pushback. They
can provide an acceptable starting point with an end goal of spreading agile
thinking and possibly even that most difficult of efforts: company cultural
Agile coaching – (i.e., “true” coaching – where one helps other
agilist with motivation for finding the solution on their own) is one of
the best solutions to helping to bring together these disparate resources
(i.e., the Purist and the Pragmatist) as well as moving companies along the
path toward small “a” agility – thinking and behaving in an agile manner,
which should be a long-term goal for all those backing agile approaches.
New Certificate Holders
The following have received their certifications since the last newsletter
(through 30 August 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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website by the 25th of the month.
- Kristine Clark – PMINJ Newsletter Editor
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