We join organizations for many reasons: common
interest, having a sense of camaraderie, a resume
booster, and/or peer pressure. But where do
you take it from there? That is entirely up to
you. Out of the ~4500 PMINJ members , 187 members
volunteer. PMINJ is a large chapter to serve and
the current volunteers do an amazing job to provide
programs, events, courses, mentoring, awards, and
community outreach every month throughout the year.
I am asking each member to consider volunteering for a PMINJ team or committee .
We need your help.
One hundred and eighty-seven people do a phenomenal job of supporting the chapter; just think what we could accomplish with several hundred, even a thousand?!
Ten years ago, I complained to a co-worker about something in the chapter. We decided to volunteer, get more involved, and make a change. The thought process was if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Here I am today, your humble President asking you to join me and your fellow 187 chapter volunteers. You too can make an impact.
Morris’s focus on IT Project
Management came as a natural evolution during his 20+
years in data center, computer, and Help Desk
support. His skill in leading teams and
working with technology are key ingredients to his success
leading the PMINJ Programs’ rapidly growing Satellite
Team. His team is comprised of a network of
over 25 members statewide, and they coordinate with the
Programs’ A/V Team to broadcast the monthly programs to
fifteen remote meeting locations around the state, from
Mahwah to Atlantic City.
Always positive and decisive, with a project manager’s attention to detail, Morris works with his Satellite Logistics Coordinator to make sure each Satellite Coordinator gets the list of individuals who will be attending the meeting at that remote site each month, so members can be signed in and be confirmed eligible to claim PDU’s. His prompt answers to logistics questions and regular communications with the Satellite Team throughout the month ensure each location is prepared to host as many as 25 guests for the meeting.
After the event, Morris contacts each Satellite Coordinator to collect registration forms; discuss communications or logistics issues; and ensure continued improvements to this new process. With his guidance and leadership, the Satellites have grown from a few small locations with a handful of participants to a thriving program whose attendance now exceeds registration at the Main Meeting location.
A PMP and PMINJ member since October, 2010, Morris first started volunteering as a way to earn extra PDU’s. Originally he was a Marketing Team volunteer, when he was asked to assist the Programs Team in a Satellite Coordinator role, Morris immediately accepted. With his help as a Coordinator, the team has developed a standard process for qualifying, setting up, and running satellite locations. Now the Satellite Team Leader, he reports, “I enjoy providing an opportunity for PMINJ members to participate in the monthly Programs and enjoy local ‘networking’ when the Main meeting is not close to where they live or work. It’s a way to ‘give back’ to PMINJ, and a great way to ensure that as many members as possible have access to the monthly Programs.”
PMINJ is a volunteer organization and the chapter’s success is attributed to volunteers like Morris who work tirelessly to provide quality service for chapter membership and we thank him for that.
The simple definition of
Marketing is to inform others, in a positive light, that
you exist. Done correctly, it brings attention to you and
establishes your brand. The marketing group for PMINJ has
several teams: Sponsorship, Community Outreach, Corporate
Outreach, Public Relations and Communications which
includes all email blasts and the Newsletter. Following
are the various teams in Marketing and the areas where we
need additional volunteers.
Community Outreach (PMI New Jersey Cares) currently has three facets: Food, Shelter, and Scouting.
Food: we currently conduct holiday food drives. We plan to expand to include a summer food drive because the need for food for families increases in the summer. (Many school children receive free meals during the school year but not in the summer months.)
Shelter: We currently need volunteers to work with the Habitat for Humanity in their efforts to provide housing for those in need.
Scouting: builds leaders and the role for PMINJ is to recognize and acknowledge the Girl and Boy Scouts that achieve the Eagle and Gold Awards. We need volunteers in this area also.
Corporate outreach builds relationships with the business community to share the message of the importance of project management as a profession, the value of a project manager and what it means to the bottom line. We need a Director as well as quality speakers for our internal Speakers’ Bureau. This is a great opportunity for a volunteer to gain exposure.
The Public Relations team is focused on exposure outside of PMINJ. Done correctly, it conveys a positive message about what our chapter is doing for its members and the community. Maureen Sammis is the Director of PR. She and her team have built a relationship with PMI which allows PMINJ to showcase their activities in PMI publications. Her team is also responsible for PMINJ Social Media; LinkedIn and Facebook. Maureen is in the process of building relationships with the local press to publicize the positive messages about PMINJ.
Communications includes the Newsletter team headed by our current editor Simon Tsang. He will be stepping away from the Editor role which creates a great opportunity for a qualified and willing volunteer. We wish Simon continued success and a thank you for filling such an important role.
No doubt, you have been the recipient of an email blast to inform you of an upcoming event or an action that you need to take. Well, that too, is a part of the Marketing Team.
The sponsorship team is led by Director Raji Sivaraman, PMP. Her team sells to companies that want to share their message with professional project managers. Sponsorship opportunities include advertisements in the PMINJ Newsletter, email blasts, website and on-site sponsorship at PMINJ events: Dinner Meetings, May Symposium, IPM Day, and Local Communities of Interest. All sponsorship opportunities can be found on the website at: /nj_adv.mr
To volunteer for any role go to /nj_vol-opp.mr or contact Nikki John at .
Have you heard that PMI is
offering a new certification? The ACP (Agile certified
practitioner) certification is new. According to the PMI
website, the examination became available in January of
Agile is an approach to managing projects that has increased over the last several years. PMI research shows that the use of agile has tripled from December 2008 to May 2011. According to a Gartner prediction, by the end of 2012, Agile development methods will be used on 80% of all software development projects.
David Gruber is PMINJs first ACP Certification holder. We thought it would be good for you to hear from him.
PMINJ: What led you to want to get the ACP?
David Gruber (DG): As a software development PM, I have long been an advocate of Agile practices. There's been quite a bit of infighting in the Agile (specifically Scrum) communities of late and I felt that PMI would bring a degree of professionalism to the table that was missing. At a local PMI chapter dinner, I had the opportunity to speak with members of the new certification program and became very excited to get in on the ground floor.
PMINJ: What did you do to prepare for the exam?
DG: I took a combined ScrumMaster certification/PMI-ACP prep course sponsored by PMI-NYC. In addition to the basic CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certification, the course provided the necessary contact hours to qualify for the PMI-ACP exam.
PMINJ: What was your experience preparing to take the exam?
DG: Unlike the PMP certification, there is no body-of-knowledge guide which can be used as a reference. Instead, PMI issued a reading-list of 11 separate books, some of which I was already familiar with. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to read all 11 before sitting for the exam. I felt very comfortable with Scrum and XP, but did take the opportunity to brush up on Kanban.
PMINJ: What are some key points for success in obtaining the certification?
DG: As with the PMP exam, having real-world experience (in this case Agile) is not only required for qualifying, but is a key for passing the test. For PMPs, it's important to connect the dots between traditional PM Knowledge Areas and the Agile practices. It is vital, for example, to know how Agile handles Risk Management and Scope Management.
PMINJ: What is your background and did that lead you to wanting the ACP?
DG: I've been working as a technical PM for about 12 years, and was a software developer before that. I got into Scrum about two years ago and completed my CSM certification just last year. I am a HUGE Agile fan, particularly Scrum as I've found it transformative in its ability to build strong, highly motivated teams that can get more done with less overhead.
To continue this discussion and to ask David your own questions we have asked him to start a discussion about the ACP Certification on the PMINJ LinkedIn Group site. To join the conversation, go to LinkedIn and search under groups for PMINJ and request to join.
Do you possess knowledge in an area of Project Management
that you want to share with others? Interested in helping
other people and sharing your knowledge in the Project
Sign up to become a mentor!
New Jersey PMI is looking for mentors to help other project managers in our area to succeed and grow in the Project Management field. The requirements are few but the benefits are extraordinary.
If interested, please e-mail
for an application or additional information.
Did you know that one of the strategic objectives of
PMINJ is to add value to NJ communities through outreach?
The chapter board felt it was appropriate to determine how
PMINJ could assist NJ communities, by creating a Director
of Community Outreach, reporting to the VP of Marketing
several years ago. Two of the Community Outreach actions
by PMINJ during 2011 demonstrated that we care about NJ
communities that are having challenges during these
difficult economic times.
The chapter had a Food Drive at the November 2011 monthly meeting both at the main location and at the satellites. The effort was led by Sandy Seidorf. Thanks to the generosity of many of our members, 267 pounds of non-perishable food was collected and donated to the following charities:
Each holiday season PMINJ makes donations to worthy
charities. In December, 2011, donations were made to The
Newark Holiday Fund, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, Market
Street Mission in Morristown and HomeFront in
Thank you cards from these organizations conveyed their appreciation to the members of PMINJ. In addition, the chapter received recognition in the Star Ledger, in a wonderful article describing a few of the beneficiaries of the Newark Holiday Fund.
Most people recognize the need for food drives around the holidays, but did you know that the summer months have the highest need? Why? Because many school children receive free meals during the school year but not in the summer months. If you want to volunteer to be a part of the Community Outreach team and to satisfy the need for food in the summer of 2012, contact Sandy Seidorf at .
Thank you PMINJ members for showing that you care.
Volunteers are needed to help raise funds for the
Franklin Township Food Bank in Somerset County, April 29,
2012, at the 2012 Tour de Franklin Bike-A-Thon:
Volunteers are needed to support the following:
If interested, contact Sandy Seidorf at
We all know that we only get one chance to make a great
first impression, but what should we do to make sure it is
great? Linda Trignano addressed both the online and
offline aspects of this in her presentation to the Career
Networking LCI at the January 2012 PMINJ chapter meeting.
The message you convey when you meet someone face to face is estimated to be only 7% based on what you say – the rest of the message comes from body language and tone of voice. Good communication and presentation skills increase your confidence. Projecting confidence is not only essential to appearing authoritative, a quality that helps build better relationships in many realms, but also results in less stress. You are more comfortable in presenting your ideas if you know you communicate well.
When you meet someone their impression of you is assembled from many inputs – voice, posture, clothes, style, handshake, eye contact.
Business casual dress is very common these days, but for a best first impression plan to “dress up one notch”. And get advice from others on how you look – clothes that may still fit from many years ago can make you look out of touch – be up to date.
Grooming is critical – grooming trumps style!
And then finally, smile! A smile lets the observer know that you are approachable. But make sure it is a genuine smile - fake smiles are discernible and send quite a different message.
Actively listening is very important – listen with your face, and make sure to be fully engaged in the conversation. No distracting thoughts, no cell phones, no typing, no texting! Nothing is more important than to fully connect with the person you’re speaking with in a job search context.
The online first impression is also key. Recruiters are now reported to be Googling applicants and reviewing LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook before even reading the resume. So make certain that these networking sites present you in the right way. It is becoming increasingly important to have a solid and active online presence – not just avoiding problem pictures, but being able to be seen as an active and useful contributor to professional online communities, a guru or a thought leader. LinkedIn allows searching for questions asked and answered by a person. Make it a habit to search the Web for all material about yourself, because someone else will certainly find it. Regularly purge any material that is not flattering.
* The Career Networking LCI (Local Community of Interest) meets before each dinner meeting at 5:30 pm. You should attend if you want to be more effective in networking.
If you are a certified Project Management Professional
(PMP®), then you know that the acronym PDU stands for
Professional Development Unit. Every PMP needs to earn 60
PDUs every 3 years to keep his or her certification. Why?
The idea behind PDUs is simple: the Project Management
Institute (PMI) wants every PMP to learn continuously.
Just like doctors or pilots who have to take classes
regularly and practice new skills in order to keep their
license, PMI wants credential holders to learn new project
management skills so that we can be the best project
This article is based on an interview with Rory McCorkle, Product Manager Credentials, from PMI.
The rules around PDUs changed in March 2011, but many people are still confused about the new structure. Let’s look at the main changes.
One hour equals one PDU
When Rory and his team were benchmarking PMI against other organizations, they realized that it would be useful to standardize the amount of PDUs individuals get for the time they spend on activities. “We’re truly global and dealing with a global audience has challenges,” he said. “That was something we found an important learning: regardless of whether you are sitting in a classroom, giving a presentation or volunteering, we have rewarded you appropriately for the investment of your time.”
As a result, nearly all activities are now credited on the basis of one hour of activity equaling one PDU.
PDU divisions and categories
The old system had 18 different PDU categories – not including the sub-categories. The new system divides PMI PDUs into two broad areas: education and giving back to the profession. This makes it much easier to understand, but there was another reason for the change. “The important thing the division enabled us to do was to ensure that through their recertification cycle, every practitioner had at least some hours in the education area,” Rory said. “That gave us the assurance that everyone would continue to invest in their lifelong learning.”
In the new structure both divisions have 3 categories.
The Education division
Category A: Courses offered by a PMI Registered Education Provider (REP), Chapters or Communities. “Most of these activities are stored in the Continuing Certification Requirements System already,” said Rory, “so all you need to claim them is simply to enter that activity number and demonstrate that you were there if you’re audited.”
Category B: Continuing Education. This covers any training that you undertake at a college, university, or with any other training provider that is not an REP. Training in your workplace counts as Category B too. Rory advises that you keep proof of attendance in case you are audited. “That could be a certificate of completion,” he said.
Category C: Self-directed Learning. “This is really a great place for folks to get learning that you don’t have to go to a classroom,” Rory said. “It captures a lot of the things that I hope certainly that professionals are doing, if not on a daily basis, certainly monthly”. This includes being mentored, webinars, podcasts, reading and so on. You can only claim a maximum of 30 PDUs in this category.
The Giving Back to the Profession division
This division has a maximum of 45 PDUs. Any PDUs earned in the following 3 categories counts towards this cap.
Category D: Creating New Project Management
Knowledge. “This involves creating, developing, expanding
and communicating new project management knowledge or
perhaps augmenting existing knowledge that might be
available in the field,” Rory said. It ranges from
authoring a textbook to giving a presentation at your
Chapter dinner about a topical issue in project
management, and can include writing articles. “At PMI
there are a lot of periodic publications that will publish
a PMPs knowledge pieces,” Rory said.
Category E: Volunteer Service. You don’t have to be a PMI Chapter officer to claim these PDUs. “This can be volunteer service for any project management organization,” explained Rory. “We know there are other project management organizations out there. They do have to be non-profit in order to count, so volunteering for your company isn’t going to count because that could be your job.” Another opportunity to earn PMP PDUs in this category is by providing non-paid project management services to non-profit organizations.
Category F: Working as a Professional in Project Management. This is the only one of the 6 categories where the “1 hour of service equals 1 PDU” rule doesn’t apply. “This is essentially an amount we give for working as a professional project manager,” Rory said. “As on your original application for your certification, we recognize experience as part of the eligibility requirements.” As long as you work a minimum of 6 months within the 12 month period you can claim the PDUs relevant to your credential.
“I’d encourage folks to look at the handbook for their certification,” said Rory. There is no longer a separate handbook just for continuing certification requirements, as the rules are embedded in the handbook for your credential. While the new guidelines are much clearer than the old system, Rory recommends asking for help if you are unsure.
“I would encourage folks if they have a question about specific activity to reach out to Customer Care,” he said. “We’ll make sure we get an answer for you because the categories can encompass a lot and sometimes can be a little confusing as to what counts and what might not.”
Yes you can! Ever since the PMI published the new
Category and Structure for PDUs in March of 2011, earning
PDUs has become much easier. This ease is especially
visible in Category D “Creating New Project Management
Knowledge”: Every hour that you spend creating and / or
presenting new project management knowledge counts as 1
This means that if you decide to write a project management related article, and you invest 3 hours in writing it, then you have just earned 3 PDUs. (Please note that there is a maximum of 45 PDUs that you can earn in Categories D, E and F, therefore these 3 hours would count toward that maximum).
Are you thinking that this way of earning PDUs isn’t for you because you have nothing to write about? Think again! Let me give you three simple ideas:
One: write a white paper about your last project. Describe what and how you managed it, focusing on project management best practices.
Two: there isn’t one project meeting that I have attended where I don’t learn something new about being a PM. Think back to your last 3 meetings and describe what you have learned.
Three: discuss a particularly difficult area on your project with one of your colleagues at work and then write an article about what the problem is and how you decided to solve it. And of course in one month down the road you can write another article describing how well / badly your actions worked.
But beware... there are some topics that won’t count toward earning you PDUs. For example, an article that talks about the latest and greatest features of project management software won’t earn you any PDUs. Similarly, articles on how to prepare for the PMP exam or articles on earning PDUs like the one you are reading right now don’t count either. These three topics don’t count, because any article written about them isn’t creating new knowledge - it is just describes a “product”. So, be safe and write about what you learned in your daily work as a PM managing your projects.
Once you have your first article completed you need to publish it. But where?
From my past discussions with PMI, I have learned that they do not have a list of specific publication channels where you must publish. The important point to keep in mind is that the article must discuss project management topics and that it is published where other project managers are likely to find it.
Here are some ideas for where you could publish your PM articles:
Also remember to always keep records of your
articles, so that you can show PMI during an audit that
you truly deserve to have earned these PDUs. As a best
practice, you should keep a copy of your original article,
print a screen shot of the website where your article was
published, keep a copy of the magazine where your article
In my view, every project manager has something to say and share with others in our worldwide community. So pick up that pen... I mean keyboard… and start writing.
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