Project Management Articles
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Happy New Year! Welcome
By Judy Balaban, President PMINJ Chapter
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Similar to a gift, 2015 has been wrapped up - its lessons to be
remembered and utilized.
At the close of one year and beginning of another, we reflect upon the
year behind us and look forward to the year ahead. Let me express
my deep gratitude for all your participation and support in 2015.
I want to give heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make 2015 a great
year for the PMI New Jersey Chapter – the volunteers, members, committees,
and the Board of Directors. Your loyalty to the chapter is uplifting.
We started 2015 with sadness in losing Board Member Barbara Fuller, yet
rallied to accomplish great things. As a chapter, we expanded our reach into
schools and corporations to provide project management expertise and support.
We offered basic PM training to students competing in multiple state science
fairs and Boy Scouts pursuing an Eagle Scout award. PMINJ participated
in multiple Project Management Days throughout the state at various corporations.
The NJ Chapter hit high marks with an outstanding Customer Service Center
to answer member’s queries in a timely manner. PMINJ offered stellar
PMP / CAPM prep courses, two sold-out symposia, numerous workshops and
matched multiple mentor / mentee teams. The chapter continued monthly
program meetings with engaging and thought-provoking speakers, and will
continue to increase the number of satellite locations for members to remotely
attend monthly meetings. Chapter volunteers planned community outreach
events throughout the year, built homes with Habitat for Humanity, and
facilitated coat and food drives. The chapter recognized Excellence
in Project Management in awarding the Project Manager of the Year and Project
of the Year Awards. The chapter also awarded and renewed scholarships to
children of members attending college and awarded a scholarship to a chapter
member pursuing a Master’s Degree in Project Management.
The chapter didn’t forget to thank the chapter volunteers who make all
the chapter offerings possible with a Volunteer Recognition Dinner that
had a Mardi Gras theme! The volunteers do this all for the members
with the goal to build a stronger PM community.
We closed out 2015 with great pride by announcing that the New Jersey
Chapter was awarded two PMI Chapter Excellence Awards – PMI Leader of the
Year to Past President John Bufe and the PMI Chapter Excellence Award for
I want to thank each of our members who attended events and offered comments
and suggestions. Each and every interaction is a gift that you have given
me. Please do participate in as many events as possible in 2016 and
volunteer to get the most from your chapter. To the volunteers, I
want to say a heartfelt and sincere thank you.
2016 will be an extraordinary year with so many more updates and
offerings to come! Wishing you all health, happiness and success
in the New Year.
PMINJ Volunteer of the Quarter 3Q15 - Alvin
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Alvin Chingcuanco joined the PMINJ Marketing team in March 2015
and was charged with improving the chapter’s social media presence.
In a few short months, Alvin made significant contributions to our social
media sites which has helped to increase attendance at various chapter
meetings and workshops. Over the summer, he led an initiative with
Montclair State University students to create a social media strategy and
calendar of postings our new chapter year. With very limited supervision,
he managed three student teams to create a social media strategy and identify
content for these sites in six weeks. He now manages two volunteers
to coordinate regular content updates.
Alvin was also instrumental in the update of the chapter brochure.
He faciliated the necessary meetings to collect content from board members
and redesigned the brochure with a new format and graphics.
Alvin is a Project Manager / Office Manager for NBP Holdings Group and
an academic tutor for DeVry University. He is working on completing his
MBA with a concentration in Project Management at DeVry’s Keller Graduate
School of Management.
PMINJ Volunteer of the
Quarter 4Q15 – Dennis Ryan
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Dennis Ryan joined the PMINJ Chapter Audio / Visual (A/V) team
as a volunteer in 2009. He has now successfully supported more than 10
major symposiums and 50 monthly meetings. As part of the A/V team, Dennis
is responsible for soliciting, selecting, managing, and working with the
A/V subcontractors for the monthly meetings, annual symposium and IPM day
events. Every facility has different challenges in terms of ensuring that
the presenter can be seen and heard by everyone in the audience. He works
with presenters to make sure they are comfortable with the microphone, video
screen, moving presentation on the chapter laptop and music for the event.
Dennis began his project management career while working for a contract
manufacturing firm in the 1980s where he was responsible for new product
launches and seasonal promotions in the personal care industry. In 1998,
he jumped to the pharmaceutical industry and has been with Bristol-Myers Squibb
for the last 10 years. He works on R&D projects supporting the
development and clinical trials of new medicines. Dennis earned his PMP in
2006 and immediately joined PMINJ to network with other project management
professionals and enhance his expertise.
Dennis’ A/V experience goes back to his days as a student leader in high
school and continues today through his volunteer work for several organizations.
He has kept his skills fresh by working with one of the most successful
bands in history – hint: they were just inducted into the Rock &
Roll Hall of Fame!
Dennis can always be relied on to keep his cool during emergencies like
equipment malfunctions or unforeseen presenter requests. Over the years,
Dennis has shown leadership, patience, perseverance, adherence to the highest
standards of quality – and he brings good music and cheer to each event.
Please stop by the A/V table at the next meeting and thank Dennis for his
years of contribution to successfully managing A/V for the chapter events!
PMINJ Project of the Year
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What do the NJ Turnpike Widening Program, Atlantic Health System
Chilton Integration, and Solix Design Connect2Compete Program have in common?
They are all past recipients of the PMINJ Project of the Year Award!
The purpose of the Award is to recognize, honor, publicize, and celebrate
the accomplishments of the Project Team involved in the Project of the
Year (POY) for superior performance and execution of exemplary project
Any project with some or all team members located in New Jersey, coordinated
by a NJ-based company, or completed within NJ that is perceived as having
effectively applied project management principles and techniques is eligible
If you have any questions regarding the POY, please send an email to
d-ProjectAwards(:@:)pminj.org or contact Louis A. Vazquez (Director, Project
Awards) at 908-799-3006.
Find additional details and nomination form on the PMINJ POY site.
Third Annual ADP Project
By Kevin Fitzpatrick
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ADP held its third Annual Global Project Management Conference on November
13. The day was co-organized by PMINJ VP-Marketing Elaine Tanimura.
The agenda was full of fantastic information and knowledge sharing for
the ADP Project managers.
The morning was focused on Project Managers as Leaders and the
Importance of Strategic Business Execution. Elaine led a group discussion
on the upcoming changes to the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements
(CCR) that were introduced in December.
The latter part of the program was focused on PM Career Growth
and Development along with a session on Increasing Influence, Commitment,
Accountability without Authority and the day closed with a session on How
to Build your Professional Brand.
It was a very successful day for the ADP Project Management team
and PMINJ was there to encourage membership and participation in all of
its upcoming events.
Pictured above: Elaine Tanimura, Kevin Fitzpatrick and an
Boy Scout Merit Badge Workshop
By Michael Vitale
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For the third straight year, the PMINJ School Outreach team spent a day
teaching project management skills to Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Eagle Scout
candidates. The training course was delivered by PMINJ members Dennis McCarthy,
Kevin Fitzpatrick and Mike Vitale at the Patriot's Path Merit Badge Workshop
in Parsippany. The Scouts were introduced to project management fundamentals
as they relate to their Eagle Scout Service Project. The interactive sessions
were interactive and well-received by the Scouts and BSA leadership alike.
If you know of an organization that can benefit from the introductory
course, please contact Mike Vitale at schooloutreach(:@:)pminj.org .
Above - Dennis McCarthy and Roger Gallo
Below - Kevin Fitzpatrick and Michael Vitale
LinkedIn – Showcasing Your
By Joan Galay
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Who are you – a project manager, IT person, marketing expert,
e-commerce specialist? What do you do? Where do you want to go?
How do you fit who you are, what you do, and where you want to go into
a LinkedIn profile?
The November PMINJ Career Networking Local Community of Interest (CNL)
session provided great advice for how to showcase your career on LinkedIn
from two guest speakers: Gail Rolls and Michael Milutis. Gail
is an award-winning Senior Recruiter at the global IT services firm Computer
Aid, Inc. and Michael is the Executive Director of the IT Metrics &
Gail started by walking the audience through how to professionally craft
a résumé by using sample résumés to point out
common flaws. Among the most egregious flaws: not crystallizing who
you are and what position you want at the top of the page and neglecting
to include your LinkedIn URL and contact information at the top of the page.
In today’s market, the LinkedIn professional account is so ubiquitous that
if you lack a profile, recruiters may wonder what you might be trying to
hide. Experienced recruiters read résumés in 30 – 60
seconds so be concise. While your aim may be to appear suitable for
many positions, leaving recruiters to wonder about your goals could take
you out of contention.
Michael opened with a walk-through of his own LinkedIn profile.
He admitted to agonizing over each section and its unique challenges.
He explained that each section changed as he refined his personal objectives.
According to Michael, LinkedIn is a branding tool. You need to decide
how you want to be seen. As he transitioned from programming to lobbying
Congress to marketing, Michael had to learn to sharpen his goals and describe
Michael advised to “program your profile as a heat-seeking missile” to
find those specific opportunities that represent your dream job.
Don’t succumb to résumé paralysis – instead you should plunge
into an audit of your life and create your brand.
Did you know that the first things a potential employer see in LinkedIn
are your photo and title? Think about the image you want to portray
and what it says about your suitability for the position you want.
Consider the Summary section your fundamental career DNA and not a condensed
résumé. Use it as your personal mission statement instead
of a recounting of your past. Describe yourself in the first person
instead of in the third person. This is your vision of who you are partnered
with finely crafted stories of what you have done. As you describe
accomplishments in your profile, Michael suggested embedding the company
mission statement to provide context for the achievement.
Both Gail and Michael had similar advice for members whose aim is to
target a related but different career path. Be sure to capitalize
on strengths, minimize what you are moving away from, and play up those
skills that would be important to a hiring manager in your target field.
If you’re in transition, then describe what you’re doing to keep yourself
Michael shared one last tip – consider contributing a LinkedIn article
that demonstrates that you are a thought leader in your field. This
could significantly increase connections and one of those connections just
might be the link to your next job!
PMI members are welcome to attend CNL events. The
group provides opportunities for project managers to meet, share ideas
and contacts and learn how to effectively grow their professional network,
whether in career transition or to support professional activities; it
offers members facilitated open-networking sessions and expert speakers
on relevant career topics. The CNL team encourages members to scan
the open positions posted in the “Careers” section of the PMINJ Website,
to enroll in the CNL email list for job posting alerts, and to consider
posting a résumé on the website so that it may be viewed
by interested employers and recruiters.
PMINJ members are encouraged to alert CNL Team Member Joan Galay to any
openings for Project Managers to assist job-seeking members to identify opportunities.
No commitment is required – simply share relevant information to help a
colleague land a job. Send a note to networkinginfo(:@:)pminj.org.
Project Management Article
A Journey into the World of Project Management
By John Haggerty
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I recently began my journey into the diverse world of project
management and this is the first in a series of articles on my and many others’
transition into the field. As a new project manager enters the field
or into a new position, it’s easy to assume that the process will be clear-cut:
plan, execute, monitor, and close the project while meeting budget and
deadline constraints. But in practice, the process is hardly straightforward
and project managers are confronted with unexpected challenges such as handling
conflicting deadlines, producing complex deliverables, meeting demanding
expectations, adjusting to project amendments, ensuring stakeholder satisfaction,
and everything else that comes with the chaos of the profession.
Previous to my project manager position, I held a highly technical role
within a toxicology laboratory that epitomized a strong matrix organization.
I was involved in several coordinated projects, but only at the functional
role where I delivered specific components under an established work breakdown
structure. Most of my work was methodical, straightforward, and protocol
defined. Aspiring for more challenging work, I transitioned to the project
management group within the pharmaceutical development division. Looking
back, it was less a transition and more a baptism by fire. Previous to this
role, I held project manager volunteer positions for nonprofit charities
and established a decent network of veteran project managers through the
Project Management Institute as well as from other personal relationships.
Despite having these resources available for consultation, nothing prepared
me more and helped navigate through my role better than the PMBOK Guide and
courses I’d taken towards the Project Management Professional Certification.
The immediate challenges going into the role consisted of managing the
client’s immediate expectations, overdue deadlines from previous projects,
stakeholder complaints, and building relationships all while an acquisition
and merger was in progress. All internal training sessions were expedited
or postponed so I could start working to balance the team’s overall workload
demands. The project management division was facing challenges due
to PM attrition and operational cost reduction initiatives, which resulted
in managers trying to do more with less people. This left me in the
position of being the first to support the workload of many ongoing projects
of previous PMs. The environment was initially hectic as most of the remaining
PMs were awaiting relief on their added workload, especially on the complicated
projects where the stakeholders were demanding and aggravated. While
I was excited to take on the responsibility and resolve ongoing issues,
the challenge came with constant pressure and stress. I embraced the
chaotic environment and looked to thrive in it, but my resources were limited
and there was no given methodology from the company to approach these issues.
Fortunately, I had a senior network to consult with on many challenges
who supported my implementation of several key PMBOK processes. Specifically,
I applied the process templates on project communications, project scope,
and stakeholder management in creating sub projects to handle the immediate
demands of each project. Thanks to the communications template I was able
to realign communication channels that addressed previous breakdowns where
external inquiries didn’t reach internal teams responsible for the deliverable
in question. The stakeholder register provided a tool to input and
track requests and the responses of the applicable functional teams. When
faced with a functional team with competing priorities and timeline estimates
that far exceeded sponsor expectations, I facilitated an in-person meeting
with the team and together we were able to create a micro work breakdown
structure to prioritize and expedite tasks to meet the sponsor’s deadline.
As I move forward, I realize that the challenges will come and go.
There is no doubt that my professional and personal networks along with
my foundational PMBOK knowledge have been key in navigating my first 90
days as a professional project manager. Based on conversations I’ve
had with many senior project managers, it seems that the culture shock of
the transition from a technical role into a project management role is very
common, no matter the industry.
In the coming months, I will continue to share experiences from my and
other project management professionals’ transition into their respective
fields and highlight how they overcame their early, mid, and senior career
project management challenges.
2016 Project Management Resolutions
By Deb Foote
It’s that time again – time for New Year’s resolutions.
While many of us will resolve to eat healthier food or to lose weight, we
may want to add resolutions for our careers, too.
How does your expertise stack up against these desired project
- Effective leadership
- Ability to set a clear vision
- Sound technical knowledge
- Negotiation and consensus-building
Resolutions to build on these skills won’t succeed overnight or
on their own. You already know how to design and execute a project
plan – it’s time to make a plan to implement your career resolutions.
New Certificate Holders
The following have received their certifications since the last newsletter
(through 31 December 2015):
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Article Submission & Publication Information
Editor Deb Foote
Do you have Project Management subject matter expertise
and knowledge to share with the chapter? Is there a topic you’d like
to see addressed in the newsletter? If so, then please contact the
newsletter editor (editor(:@:)pminj.org). All members are invited
to submit articles, meeting reviews, or other items of interest for publication.
- Articles should be submitted as Word documents or plain
ASCII text attachments via email.
- Graphics files should be submitted as high-resolution (1MB+)
JPEG or GIF file attachments via email.
- Articles due to the Editor by the 5th of the month.
- Be sure to check your email or the PMINJ LinkedIn group
on the 25th of Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, and Nov for the latest issue.
- Deb Foote – PMINJ Newsletter Editor
- Kristine Clark – Newsletter Writer
- John Haggerty – Newsletter Writer
- Adrienne Wheelwright – Newsletter Writer
- Contact Linda Schaldonat (vp-BusinessRelationships(:@:)pminnj.org)
for advertising / sponsorship inquiries.
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