PMINJ November 2016 Newsletter

November 2016

Welcome Chapter Announcements Event Reports Project Management Articles New Certificate Holders

Article Submission & Publication Information


Welcome Address


Elaine Tanimura, PMP, VP Marketing 

It’s hard to believe we are already into November and that the holidays are fast approaching!  As the VP of Marketing, I am very thankful for the many volunteers who have contributed their time and talent by writing articles for our newsletter.  Without your contributions, we would not be able to produce this bi-monthly publication.

I would also like to recognize our core group of volunteers who have taken the time to post information to our various social media sites including LinkedIn LinkedIn, Facebook Facebook and Twitter Twitter.  For members who are not aware of our presence on these social media platforms, I encourage each and every one of you to take a few moments and visit these sites.  We welcome any ideas, suggestions, and hopefully your own contributions!  This will strengthen our presence within the community and will open new dialogues within our own membership.

I would like to take this time to recognize our current newsletter editor, Deb Foote, who has spent many hours writing, editing and formatting this newsletter.  Deb recently took a job outside of New Jersey and will be ending her role as editor.  I am very thankful for Nievalyn Keel who has graciously volunteered to take on this new challenge.  

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!

Chapter Announcements

PMINJ Volunteer of the Quarter - 2Q & 3Q


PMINJ is proud to announce the Volunteer of the Quarter Award recipients for 2Q & 3Q:

Kristin Hopp took over scholarship renewals two years ago and she has kept participation up through her diligent follow-up and answering questions from students and parents. Recognizing right away that students have a lot on their plates, she implemented a process that gently reminds students before applications are due in February / March by sending a link to the new application and including deadlines.  When it is time to send grades, she sends a reminder and copies the parents.  The reminders have resulted in significantly increased renewal participation.   

Max Abrams Max Abrams has provided a pivotal role as Speaker Angel and now has moved up to Speaker Team Lead.  He has gone above and beyond in all phases of soliciting, researching, negotiating and working closely with the speakers for the symposium as needed.  He has volunteered to fill in for other Angels as needed to ensure the success of the symposium.  He works well with the speakers and symposium team to ensure strong communications which has led to our successful planning and execution of our biannual symposium events.  His leadership and commitment have had a strong impact on the success of our Speaker and Symposium teams.

See all past recipients.

If you would like to nominate a Volunteer member for this recognition, send a note explaining who and why to recognition(:@:)  If you would like to volunteer for the chapter, contact volunteers(:@:) or visit the volunteer listings on the website.

Call for Speakers – PMINJ Student LCI

By Jon Rice, PMP, D-LCI

JonPMINJ is working with multiple NJ academic institutions to foster Student Communities of Interest around Project Management as a career.  If you are a PMINJ member, current with your certification, and would be interested in being a quest speaker or share 'war stories' with the students, please reach out to Jon Rice at to discuss the opportunity.  Volunteers with availability for daytime classes are needed. .

Event Reports

International Project Management Day

By Jerry Flach and John Bufe


PMINJ’s 11th celebration of IPM Day was held on November 3rd at the Palace in Somerset. Judy Balaban, PMINJ chapter President, and Darlaine Scott McCoy, VP-Symposium, welcomed attendees.

The first keynote address came from Matt Morey, PMP, who provided the audience with a twist on Murphy’s Law that he aptly calls Morey's Laws of Project Management. What can go wrong will go wrong is too much of a catchall and in the midst of too many that are not meeting their requirements.  Matt had the chance to review a handful of his 25 laws as he shared some sage advice: a Project Manager is not a Superhero, Risk Management is a risk in and of itself and finally to be sure to focus on the problem not the blame. Project Managers were also reminded to maintain procedures like roads with clean-up required along the way!  

Our next keynote speaker was Kathy Bellwoar.  She reminded the audience to leverage Stakeholder Knowledge in her presentation on The Secrets to Executive Engagement: How to Gain and Sustain the Support You Need for Project Success. She adapted the PROSCI model for stakeholder assessment and emphasized the importance of building relationships with executive stakeholders at Steering Committee Meetings. Best practices for leveraging meetings with your executive stakeholders in attendance included the proverbial pre- and post- meetings!

AT&T industry executive Paula Doublin spoke on The Evolving HetNet & the Role of the Project Collaborator to Guide It. Focusing on wiring up buildings with 450 projects under construction and 800 more projects in a month or so, the Project Collaborator is essential. Clarity of mission, strategy and keeping communications simple and straight forward helps her to build trust across her division with 88 Project Collaborators on the ground and 12 in a program role; together her team mobilize true north to mobilize coverage.

IPM Day Anthony Awerbuch enlightened the audience with Body Language on Purpose: Want to Know What They are Really Saying? Citing that a texting and slumping pre-interview pose or the half smile half frown revealing contempt during the discussion does not lead to a call back!  Since we are better at speaking than listening, Anthony taught the audience how to learn to listen not only with our ears but also with our eyes and our own physical cues.

John DiNapoli provided guidelines for Leadership in the Digital Age and the VALUE of Trust.  Trust is even more essential with four generations in the workforce. John cited Covey’s Trust Model.

Attendees had the opportunity to visit chapter and sponsor booths during breaks.  The booths provided participants with opportunities to learn more about the business analysis, membership, agile, volunteer and professional opportunities offered by PMINJ as well as meet sponsors and earn some exciting door prizes!   

Jerry Flach, Director-Symposium, summed up the event in the closing minutes, sending everyone off with a haiku:

On IPM day
We arrived with the sun rise
And head home more wise.

See other pictures from the event.

View webinars of the presentations.

PMINJ Outreach

By Michael Vitale

BSA On November 5th, for the fourth consecutive year, the PMINJ School Outreach team spent the day teaching project management skills to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The training course was delivered by PMINJ members Snigdha Mitra, Dennis McCarthy and Mike Vitale at the Patriot's Path Merit Badge Workshop in Parsippany. Eagle Scout candidates were introduced to project management fundamentals in support of their Eagle Scout Service Project. The sessions were interactive and well-received by the Scouts and BSA leadership.

PM Articles

PMINJ Mentor Program

By Lystra Haynes

LystraIn August 2010, the PMINJ chapter launched the Mentor Program.  The Mentor Program links experienced and knowledgeable project managers with those who would like a mentor to guide them through the steps of becoming a valuable project manager.  The mentee will be matched with a mentor working in a similar industry who will help them to understand and gain more project management knowledge and become a more confident project manager. As the profession evolves it is important to stay abreast of new developments, process and methodologies.  The Mentor Program can help guide you through this evolution.

To date, the chapter Mentor Program has mentored 60+ mentees.  The mentees have provided positive feedback and many of the them have moved on to PM roles with knowledge and confidence.  According to one mentee “this is the only PMI Chapter that provides a Mentor Program on the East Coast”. Our Mentors also benefit from the Mentor Program by reinforcing the knowledge they have earned but may not utilize daily.   

The Mentor Program consists of two Support staff, Santy Pattabiraman who has been with the Mentor Program for 5+ years and one of the original members to established the Mentor Program and continues to manage it today.

To participate in the program, you must be a PMINJ member in good standing.  You must also have:

  • A willingness and interest to take an active part in the mentoring process
  • An interest in any part of the project manager process outside of studying for the PMP exam. If PMP exam preparation is your goal, then check out the cost-effective chapter offerings.  
  • A desire to learn more about project management

Do you want to enhance your skills and get insightful advice from senior professionals?  Do you have an interest in professional development and expanding your professional network?  If so, then you could be a great candidate for the program.  Learn more here and then register:

What Does It Take to Succeed? 

By Igor Zdorovyak PMP, CLSBB, ITIL, CSM, BSCS, MSM


This article is the third part in a series focused on What It Takes to Succeed based on the feedback of PMO Leaders (see the September issue for the earlier article) about PMO benefits.  It’s well-known that a PMO can provide positive results in such areas as budget analysis and forecast, coordinated resource management, scope management, change control, issue management, risk management, quality management and continuous improvement.  With that in mind, the leaders shared their thoughts about how others in their company viewed the PMO – is it seen as a necessity or overhead.  

  • Wow, that is a loaded question! I think most of the people in the company see the value a PMO provides. However, senior management and Finance tend to look at PMOs only through the cost lens, rather than the benefits or value they deliver. Kristopher Sprague, MBA, PgMP, PMP, PMI-RMP, CSSBB, DTM, Site Director – Strategy, PMO and Operational Excellence, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • The re-established Agile PMO is viewed as an important partner in connecting the strategy with the execution.  It is important that we never lose the sight of what brings value to the individuals, teams and the whole organization. We adhere to a lightweight process that enables us to be nimble and move fast. Frequently, we reflect on the process and evaluate what is still needed, what can be retired and what we might need to introduce based on the needs of the organization. Whatever we do we always ask “will it bring value”, “who is an audience for this”, and “will it help remove waste from the process”. As long as we stay true to this concept we are seen as a valued partner whether at the team level or at an executive level. Ewa Erickson, ACP, CSM, Director – Portfolio Management Office, StubHub
  • It is an evolving process. Some people or teams see PMO as a necessary part; others don’t. More people work with PMO better when they understand and appreciate PMO’s role and value. Usually the biggest resistance is in the beginning of PMO’s existence. Olga Milne, Senior Vice President – Head of PMO, AxiomSL
  • Other businesses recognize that PMO is necessary and we’ve certainly demonstrated the value. And the pain points that the organization experience prior to not having a PMO. Kevin Ruthen, Head of Software, Applications, and PMO, American Institute of Physics Publishing
  • If you look at the cash flow I think PMO falls as a corporate expense. But it is how we “sell” ourselves:  how we prove our value is to report out on how well the investments are made. What is the ROI? Are we investing enough in the areas that are needed? Are we in line with company’s strategies of 1 year, 5 years? With data that we provide we show how we are doing on a project or a program. How we measure them, how we show traceability. Kiran Adibhatla, Director – Business Technology PMO, SunPower Corporation
  • They certainly see that PMO is required. If they don’t have a project manager, they are going to have to hire a project manager. Which tells you that they have a need for a project manager. So, the organizations see PMO as part of organizational business. Otherwise they won’ be successful. It becomes how well the PMO is run and how well the PMO leader can communicate out to change the perception out to a partner from administrative head. Krishna Mullangi, Sr. Director – Head of PMO, Technology Governance, Western Union
  • I think what you’ll see in many areas. In a small group like ours with 15 people you have top down support. And like any organization. Some people are more process oriented, do documentation, can appreciate the value. So, I think from that perspective from top/down there is value. Edward J. McCloskey, VP – Project Management, TAI (Tindall Associates)
  • In our organization, our PMO is part of IT. However, the types of implementations that we run are both business and IT. In fact, you can't stand up a whole line of business for the organization unless you manage for that business expect of the organization. Ultimately they see us as part of the business because we are very much embedded in the business. You can't start up a new part of an organization unless you understand what the business wants. They see us as part of the business. But it took a lot of work. Initially when I came into this company there was a perception of “oh here comes the PMO lady, hold on here comes the process.” Jenny Burg, PMP, MCP, MCTS, Director – Program Management, Government Business Division, Anthem

In my personal experience from working in companies with less than 1,000 employees to a conglomerate of over 100,000 employees, others from various departments their BU leaders and executives expressed the need and the gratitude of having projects completed with the help of PMO.  Not too long ago one technical architect said to me “Igor – you are doing an enormous amount of work here. I don’t know how you keep track of 100s and 100s of projects and all the things surrounding them? I wouldn’t be able to do that. With my other clients, they have many more people doing the work that you do and that’s per project. I really appreciate your hard work.”  I respected, and still do, him greatly. He is one of the finest technicians that I have ever dealt with. Somehow that recognition, that praise, more than any other thank you or CIO achievement awards that I gotten before, touched me. It touched me so much that it brought tears into my eyes. Technically, no pun intended, he was right.  Because of budget constraints, I was doing the job of a portfolio manager, project manager, and many other roles. As PMO leaders or project managers the buck stops with us. And we must do anything and everything to finish the job.

In my current position, I was brought in by a CIO to start up a PMO from scratch. He said that he saw the need to bring project management methodologies, processes and standards into this organization – he wanted the PMO in place quickly before anything went awry. Others in the organization saw the value of projects now being aligned to strategic initiatives, work, issues, dependencies tracked and resolved more efficiently and effectively. Communication was flowing from the folks who were doing their jobs all the way to executive levels. Informed decisions were being made based on PMO dashboards.

In the January installment of this series I will share what it takes to run and create PMO based on experience of contributing PMO leaders and my own experience.  Until then, enjoy the rest of the year and the holidays with your family and friends. Stay happy and healthy. Reach for the stars and keep learning something new every day. When you learn something don't forget to take action on it because it is when you take action on knowledge that's where fruition comes.

If you have a suggestion for a future topic or want to share your own success story, then contact Igor at


Value of Membership

By Nievalyn C. Keel

The Advantage

Nievalyn Being a PMI member has many benefits that extend beyond the three-letter abbreviations you may add to your name on your business card, résumé or professional social media platforms. In the form of retail discounts, networking opportunities, and endless chances to increase your understanding of the profession, PMI provides access to a well-rounded experience for its members. Launched in 2000 as (a nod to the tool that kept nearly all projects on track before Kanban Boards took over), is one such hidden gem.

ITMPI PMINJ As PMI’s Knowledge Portal and self-described “community for project managers in all industries, [it’s] mission is simple: to make project managers more successful.” serves to bridge knowledge gaps and be a resource to its members by providing countless hours of educational interventions (and PDUs!) by way of videos, webinars, expert articles, and more. also offers access to templates, expert advice, and networking opportunities.

LinkedIn, “the world’s largest professional network,” encourages its users to join the 500+ connection club to maximize their access to like-minded professionals. With over 550,000 users, a similar opportunity exists for members to share stories, dilemmas, and best practices and capitalize on (or “exploit,” for your die-hard PMs) connections with the broader PM community. You can leverage the wikis, discussion threads, blog posts, etc., all for no additional cost beyond your PMI membership fee.

Chock-full of useful (and fun!) nuggets of information, the overall structure of is also easy to navigate. The site has five main categories:

  • Webinars: Either live or on-demand, these webinars are easy ways to earn PDUs to maintain your PMI credentials or to help fulfill training requirements to apply for any PMI certification.
  • Templates: Take advantage of these templates for Deliverables (RFPs, Workbooks, Project Scope Statements, etc.), Project Plans, Presentations and Checklists. If your organization’s PMO cannot provide templates or your existing templates are out of date, this part of should be your third home, as it is packed with time-saving templates, tools and tips to keep your project under control.
  • Knowledge & Tools: Broken up into three subsections: Resources, Education and a Reference Center, this is another area that will keep you busy. Whether you’re gearing up for the PMP certification exam or just want to stay PMBOK sharp, the PMchallenge is a great way to answer 1000 questions, earn badges and “test your PM knowledge.”

The PM Challenge even offers encouragement for correct answers:


If you are keen on testing your knowledge and have a need for competition, you can start a PMwar with other PMs to whom you are already connected. These wars can make for an intense minute-and-a-half. You can easily lose yourself in either activity for an hour or more at a time.

You will also find educational and reference materials in the form of podcasts, white papers, and more; all ways to enhance your knowledge and earn those ever-important PDUs.  The materials include:

  • Practice Areas: This section offers materials, information and contacts in topics / fields ranging from aerospace and defense to virtual teams. If you are looking for information or to connect with people who are in a similar industry or an industry you want to break into, this is a great place to start.
  • Community & Events: Offers more opportunities to connect with other members via discussion threads, blog posts. Register to attend online and in-person events, many of them free.

As a new PMP and PMI member, I stumbled upon, immediately registered and use the site daily. No matter where you are in your professional life is an invaluable perk. Register today!

New Certificate Holders

The following have received their certifications since the last newsletter (through 30 October 2016):
Steve Adler
Roberto Alvarez
Michele Anene
Michael Brackin
Eric Butrym
Glenn Cantor
Art Certisimo
Esteban Chen
Suresh Dondapati
Robert Ferioli
Howard Hall,Jr.
Gail Hinds
Rachel Howley
Laura Johns
Kris Juall
Kathleen Kientz
Christopher Lavin
Jessica Napoleon
Michael Nardone
Kathleen Nodzak
Pratik Patel
Rebecca Potts
Malik Rasool
Sergey Shkop
James Spota
Liliana Tawata
Brian Timpe,Jr.
Nick Torraca

James Gormley
Melissa Logan
Talisa Pino


Steven Tieman
Anthony Allen
Abraham Jacobs
Thomas Morrison
Anju Nandwani
Eric Rehr

Ayman Alminawi
Catherine Galloway
AnnMarie Regan

Neenu Sachdev


Article Submission & Publication Information

DebEditor Deb Foote

    • Where to Send: Contact the newsletter editor, at for newsletter related items, to submit articles and to provide feedback. All members are invited to submit articles, meeting reviews, or other items of interest for publication.
    • How to Send Articles: Please submit articles as word documents or plain ASCII text attachments via email.
    • How to Send Graphic files:  Please submit all graphics files as high-resolution (1MB+) JPEG or GIF file attachments via email.  

Publication Information:

    • Newsletters are published every other month: Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov
    • Articles due to the Editor by the 1st of the month.
    • Newsletters will be published via email and on the PMINJ website by the 25th of the month.

    Newsletter Team:
    • Deb Foote – PMINJ Newsletter Editor
    • Nievalyn Keel – PMINJ Newsletter Writers

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