PMI Atlanta Chapter - Forums Summaries

"Cultivating the Product Mindset" by Raju K: February 2024 Agile Forum Summary

Written by: Alex Leonard, PMP

Presentation Overview K-Raju

On February 20th, the PMI Atlanta Chapter reconvened for the first time in 2024 at Motion Recruitment (formerly Matrix Resources) for the Agile Forum titled “Cultivating Product Mindset”, which was presented by Mr. Raju K. During the forum, Mr. Raju K. discussed those key areas of focus that should be top of mind for Project Managers and Product Owners alike to have “successful” projects and products.

Mr. Raju K gave an incredibly interactive presentation with multiple “Break-Out” points in the session. These “Break-Out” points gave the audience a chance to get comfortable and think with a product mindset. Raju asked ice-breaker questions such as “What is a successful product according to you?

Raju provided insights into what makes a product successful, and what makes one unsuccessful, using the launch of the Ford Edsel Project as an example. The Ford Edsel Project was unsuccessful because it was not received well by the public. However, Mr. Raju K noted that the project did introduce new and innovative technologies that would be utilized by Ford and others to revolutionize the car experience. He argued that because of the advances in technology and the residuals that came from this product, there were successes seen in this project as well.

Near the end, Mr. Raju K discussed the relationship between a project and a product, and which team role should take ownership of specific responsibilities. Lastly, Mr. Raju K emphasized that although Project Managers and Product Owners may sometimes have overlapping responsibilities, it is up to the individuals to ensure they are fulfilling their respective roles. Most importantly, Product Owners own the product, and therefore they need to maintain a product mindset.


  • Product Owners and Project Managers are often unclear about each other’s respective responsibilities. Ensuring both sides are aligned on who is supposed to take ownership and make key decisions is important for the success of any project or product.
  • A successful product can come in many forms, even amidst a failed project.
  • Product Owners own the product and require a “product mindset” to succeed in their role.

Next Events

Join us at the next Agile Forum on Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Keynote Presentation: “Social Impact Agile: How Agile is Used to Improve the World” by Rocío Briceño

Register at 

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"Cybersecurity in the Healthcare & How Project Managers Can Influence the Resilience Posture" by Phanishankar Chaganti: February 2024 Healthcare Forum Summary

Written by: Rishea Johnson, MHI, CAPM

Healthcare is undergoing a major transformation, and, in tandem, is at its most vulnerable. Effective project management is the pillar for cybersecurity. Continue reading to discover how you can effectively lead a project and safeguard your company from cyber-attacks!

Presentation Overview Chaganti-Phanishankar

In this conversational session, Phanishankar Chaganti (Phani) discusses why project management is essential in Cybersecurity and Information Security with a specific focus on the healthcare industry.


  • Cyber situation: Healthcare industry by the numbers
    • 47 million people have been impacted by data breaches in the first half of 2023 alone
    • It’s not only the numbers, but the impact of data breaches on healthcare
      • A data breach can shut down an entire hospital, restricting care to patients in need
  • Anatomy of a cyber breach
    • Breachers only need to be right one time to access an entire network
    • Breachers look for weaknesses that can be exploited
    • It is the job of the employee to be the gatekeeper of their organization’s data
  • Fundamental steps to cyber security in healthcare
    • Get the baseline security posture of your healthcare organization
    • Be an advocate and quickly point out red flags
    • Consider both in scope and out of scope requirements when assessing security risks
    • Develop a detailed risk register and leave no room for ambiguity
    • Frequently assess requirements for risk and impact
  • Identifying who is responsible for security and the role of the Project Manager
    • It is everyone’s responsibility to secure ill-intentioned access to data
    • The Program/Project Manager should understand their organization’s security plan as cybersecurity is a critical aspect of PM
    • The PM should not only understand the principles of cybersecurity but also integrate them into the project management process
  • Security First Philosophy
    • Security is everyone’s responsibility

Next Event

Join us at the next PMI Atlanta Healthcare forum on Wednesday March 20th, 2024

Register at 

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"Penetrating The Commercial Transportation Market" by Robert Brainard: February 2024 AEC Forum Summary

Written by: Catherine Binuya, Ed.D.

Presentation Overview 

Merlin Solar, founded in 2012, is now a world-wide leader in solar solutions for mobile, transportation, and grid-tied applications. Their products are seen in applications that span commercial transportation, trucking, marine and the military.

The company stress tests their products in all seven continents under vastly different weather conditions and latitudes to enhance performance capacity levels. Merlin Solar operates out of the U.S., Thailand, the Philippines, and India. Their current market valuation is more than $100 million dollars.

Robert Brainard is the Vice President, General Manager, and Co-founder of Merlin Solar. As the co-inventor of Merlin Solar’s innovative interconnected technology, he also manages the company’s IP portfolio of 75 US and international patents. Their patents include how their solar grids are made, special features, and how grids are attached for application.

Robert himself holds over 50 patents and has written for numerous publications in the fields of solar technologies, optical and telecoms components, materials chemistry, and high TC superconductors.


  • Unique patented design overcomes the rigidity and brittleness of traditional solar panel construction and is lighter weight because it eliminates the need for a glass panel overcoat.
  • Their designs allow the company to manufacture portable, mobile panels such as those carried by soldiers to set up in mobile command posts and have been used in emergency disaster relief events.
  • Their copper webbing design creates more electrical connections (up to 2000+), greater structural integrity, provides more protection.
  • Real-life applications address challenges of generating and storing solar energy under scattered light, shady, hazy, night-time conditions as well as a wide range of extreme climates.
  • The company’s innovative design perspective begins with the consumer’s specific needs in mind, “what problem are we solving for the client?”
  • Merlin Solar’s business model focuses on business operators to achieve a faster path to market.

Next Event

Join us at the next PMI Atlanta Architectural, Engineering, & Construction (AEC) forum on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Register at 

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PMI Atlanta Payment System Improvement

Technology-ImprovementsSquare Payment replaces PayPal to provide secure and convenient payment options online and in-person.

Our volunteers on the Technology Team work behind the scenes to provide efficient and improved systems for our volunteers and members. Our current team has been incredibly busy on this front!

Last Fall, we upgraded our website which brought better security, faster response times, and a cleaner look. And the holidays did not slow them down! 

We have transitioned online and in-person credit card payments from PayPal to Square. Square also offers a variety of payment methods for in-person transactions, including: credit and debit cards, Apply Pay, and Google Pay. With chip and contactless options available, your transactions are more secure and efficient.

All of this translates to less hassle and more protection for our members! If you encounter an issue with the new payment system, please email us!

PMI Atlanta Announces 2023 Fall Scholarship Award Winner

The Atlanta Chapter of The Project Management Institute (, the world’s leading professional membership organization for project managers, announced tthe award winner for the Fall scholarship offered to undergraduate majors enrolled with our university partner, University of North Georgia. Submitted essays were based on the topic “Powering my career with project management skills."  

The Atlanta Chapter chose the essay “Where will I be in five years?” written by student Hugh Pruitt, a freshman at University of North Georgia. Pruitt shared how he thought applying the PMI Talent Triangle would impact his work as a student and his future plans. 

“No matter if I am working on an engineering task, volunteering at my local Humane Society, or holding a club activity at UNG, these PMI Talent Triangle skills are universal to ensure a tremendous result,” remarked Pruitt in his essay. 

About The Scholarship 

PMI Atlanta created an essay-based scholarship of $2500 to be awarded to two students each academic year who are interested in pursuing project management studies and making a difference in our profession. One scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student at University of North Georgia this Spring.  

About PMI 

PMI stands for The Project Management Institute.  PMI is the world’s leading project management organization with over 600,000 Global Members and over 300 Local Chapters Internationally. The organization supports professional growth and development of project managers through education, professional development, certification, networking and other initiatives. The PMI Atlanta Chapter celebrated 40 years in 2021! The PMI Atlanta chapter is one of the largest and most dynamic chapters in the world with a leadership team that is diverse in origins, experience, expertise, and thought. Our chapter values are inclusiveness, volunteerism, and servant leadership. We have approximately 6,000 local members. 

Visit us at, and, LinkedInFacebook, and on X @PMInstitute.