By Kashif Choudry, PMP

The April PMI Atlanta Governance Forum hosted Joseph Sisto, Director of the Global Sales and Marketing PMO at IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group). Joseph (Joe) initiated the topic - “Delivering Business Value with Technology – Running Technology as a Business”. The discussion centered around some new thinking around how to measure value, and insights on managing technology that are gaining traction with executives, and leading consulting firms.


Sisto-JosephJoe’s presentation highlighted some key trends that are affecting major organizations:

  • Digital Transformation
  • Managing Technology as a Business
  • Innovation of the Product and Process Portfolio, and
  • Re-evaluation of the Capitalization and Alignment of the Business.

What is changing?

Disruptive technology trends are creating new value possibilities – with rapid rollouts. This includes:

  • Reengineering Technology
  • “No Collar” workforce
  • Enterprise Data Sovereignty
  • The new “core” (automation/analytics/real-time analysis) baked into systems and processes, Digital reality (augmented and virtual reality), blockchain to blockchains, and the API imperative.

There is a need to explore and experiment with new technologies and partnerships! Currently, many people see IT as a cost and not as an investment to manage their business, but are at a new stage now where emerging technology is an asset to help.

As far as metrics and reporting, Joe showed a few examples of what sort of metrics are now considered important to executives and how partnerships are impacted by these metrics. The examples clearly showed how the traditional management of solely focusing on “on time, on budget, cost to implement” metrics are numbered. Technology Executives are being asked to harness disruptive technologies to evolve the business.

Joe also shared the ten principles of Technology Business Management:

  1. Find the true value of the work – match cost to time: map the data, make the dashboards based on the real metrics
  2. Find the quick hits –e.g. ITSM/data centers/high cost/low value apps / portfolio rationalization
  3. Track depreciation and amortization with the dashboards
  4. Map capital expenditure and operating expense across the IT portfolio
  5. Break out flex and variable expenses
  6. Determine allocations and cost recovery
  7. Determine direct and indirect costs
  8. Determine software project capitalization
  9. Make your future business cases real
  10. Use a new cost taxonomy and classification of costs moving forward – and manage the portfolio as investment / cost instead of prioritization on urgency / KTLO

The key message is that there is an abundance in availability of new capital in the market, given that we are in the ninth successive year of an economic upswing. And, in this environment, technology is not just something that needs to be “managed”; rather it needs to be explored and experimented with to realize value in this opportunity.

Special thanks to Joe Sisto for sharing his thought leadership. This is the third time that Joe has presented at the PMI Governance Forum, and we appreciate his willingness to share valuable ideas with the Atlanta PMI community.

We would also like to thank our sponsors at Global Payments for being our steady and supportive hosts for 4+ years.

If you would like to learn more about Governance and the value it brings to projects, please join us at a future forum. The calendar can be found on the PMI Atlanta web site at

Atlanta Chapter serves Project Management Community in Metro Atlanta, and we're an active resource to corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. With over 5,000 members, PMI Atlanta is among the top 5 chapters in the world. Our professional expertise span across industries; we’re the professionals building healthcare information technology systems, the engineers developing smarter public transportation, and the planners growing our communities more efficiently.

Written by Nevella Paul

“We do Agile, all of our development teams are using it.” Maybe, but maybe not.

PMI Atlanta’s Healthcare April forum attendees were captivated with an insightful and informative presentation delivered by Michael Smith, Intellinet Consulting, LLC.

Speaker-1Mike is Principal Consultant at Intellinet Consulting, LLC, with over 20 years of experience across a myriad of practice domains in the IT industry, as well as program/project management. His extensive experience also includes over 10 years in Healthcare IT, as well as 10 years as Agile Practitioner. Mike is both a Certified Scrum Master (PSM) and Product Owner (CPMP), as well a member of PMI.

He began his presentation with a description of Agile basics and the benefits of Agile, e.g. reduced time to market, higher customer satisfaction, faster ROI and increased collaboration and ownership. He also discussed adoption vs. transformation, defining Agile adoption and highlighting the key differences between Agile adoption and transformation.

Next, Mike discussed the culture and organizational transformation to Agile, informing that this transformation is more about culture and people than technology and processes. The culture shifts from silo or function-oriented to team-oriented; change avoidance to acceptance; from task-oriented to goal-oriented; and, suspicion to trust. He emphasized the critical role of leadership and management to the success of Agile transformation - Leadership must support the move and promote the vision, take ownership of setbacks and failures (as well as successes).

RoomTraining in the Agile transformation is important - understanding the strategy of Agile is not is critical. Training is not a one-time event, but is ongoing for everyone at every level of the organization.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Mike addressed a number of questions from an engaged audience, specifically relative to the continued usefulness of the PMO in an Agile environment. Martha Quarles closed the meeting by thanking Mike for joining us tonight, and thanking the Healthcare Forum participants for their attendance.

Please join us Wednesday, May 16 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Healthcare Forum for the Keynote Presentation: “Healthcare: Let’s get personal….It’s all about you!
Get ready. Genomic data and precision medicine are redefining the point of care.” presented by C. A. Bud Zborowski, Healthcare Executive.

Location: Philips Healthcare
PHA Academy
One Deerfield Centre
13560 Morris Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004

Written by Nevella Paul, PMP

PMI Atlanta Healthcare March forum attendees enjoyed a highly interactive and informative presentation on how to overcome obstacles a project manager may face on a daily basis. Our speaker Maxim Nazaire created an energetic atmosphere through reciprocal conversation and practical exercises.

NazaireMaxMaxim “Max” Nazaire is a Wellness Expert who specializes in double digit weight loss, injury rehabilitation and athletic/human performance. He has been featured on CNN Headline News as their go to health contributor where he shares his easy to use workout programs with television viewers all over the world. Max is an author of two critically-acclaimed books including his latest book Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wellness.

Max opened his presentation by sharing a few challenges project managers may face on a daily basis such as, juggling multiple projects, the struggle to meet impossible deadline, budget restraints and communication barriers. Many of the attendees related to these challenges and openly shared their desire to overcome them.

Max presented the “2 millimeter difference concept” where he illustrated how this small shift can lead a project to success or failure. He emphasized the need to be precise versus accurate. Being precise displays consistent execution and a level of understanding of the task. He stressed the importance to adapt and adjust to changes. This is needed to remain competitive and pivot to the demands of an ever-changing environment.

Next, he led the attendees in role play exercise to improve alertness, energy levels and communication to create a positive first impression. These exercises allow one to experience two types of interactions (1) with an energetic, enthused, confident individual and (2) with a dull, shy and distant individual. The practical exercise gave a good visual understanding on the type of communication and traits one should display to captive others to gain buy-in or interest in one’s cause.

The next technique Max shared was the Fit2DMax baton method which emphasizes the need to take full responsibility and ownership of the communication process. Max states “it is your responsibility to pass the baton (deliver) your message effectively by seeing it all the way through. Doing this will create action and the interest of others to help you achieve the desired results.

Lastly, the focus was shifted from self-development to helping others maximize their effectiveness through positioning questions such as:

  • Do you know what the person needs are?
  • Do you know what they want?
  • Do you care about their wants and needs?
  • Do you know what their strengths or weakness really are?
  • Have you positioned them in a situation to maximize their strengths and minimized their weaknesses?

Max ended the presentation with powerful leadership statements and Fitness and Wellness Tips that will move the needle in your life.

Overall, the presentation was packed with great information on verbal and non-verbal communication techniques, quality and strategies to manage the unexpected while staying physically, mentally and psychological fit.

Please join us Wednesday, April 18th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Healthcare Forum for the: Keynote Presentation: “Agile Transformation – The Challenges beyond Adoption presented by Michael Smith, Intellinet Consulting LLC / Principle Consultant

Location: Philips Healthcare
PHA Academy
One Deerfield Centre
13560 Morris Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004


Written by Neal Tomasin

Reo Oravec, Adjunct Professor for the Global Executive Academy of the Internazionale Instituto di Decisioni Scienze, AKA The "Ninja Negotiator" and Norm Brodeur, RapidIT, Master Negotiation Practitioner, AKA The "Arranger Negotiator" joined our January Technology Forum to discuss "Best Practices for Project Negotiations."

Nancy Berlin & Steve Kruger started the meeting at 5:45 PM and introduced the speakers. Reo identified three for the evening - Educate, Develop Condition Response, and Introduce Negotiation Skills. Why Learn to Negotiate? Negotiating will: a) improve life, personally & Professionally; b) improve relationships and communication (ie: married couples negotiating over garbage takeout?); c) conversations will have more control; d) agreements more durable; e) express Creativity by producing Win-Win situations; f) build Confidence and Relationships; and g) ability to handle Conflict Resolution.

In negotiations, a term we learned is BANTA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). Nancy and Norm then acted out a skit where several classic negotiating "Gambits" were used. These were the Nibble, Higher Authority, Takeaway Clause or Clawback, Counter Concession, & Condition.

Reo then discussed Intelligence Gathering of your adversary, and stressed the importance of matching personality grids (similar to Myers-Briggs charts of Amiable, Analytical, Driver, Expressive). Individual power (Physiognomy) plays an important role in negotiation, you are judged by people in these areas, based totally on your appearance: Social Position, Income Level, Education Level, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Credit Worthiness, Level of Detail.

We then did a mini Negotiation workshop, where 2 teams of 4, attempted to negotiate a contract for services and gain agreements. This was a valuable exercise in the 3 stages of a negotiation, maintaining the "no" posture, providing concessions, comparison to your SLA & BANTA, and finally an outcome.

Overall, an excellent presentation and thought provoking session, especially the live negotiation exercise.

Written by Nevella Paul, MBA, PMP

PMI Atlanta’s Healthcare October forum attendees enjoyed an informative presentation about breast cancer and BRCA1 by Dr. Veena Rao, Morehouse School of Medicine / Professor and Director Cancer Biology Program, Department of OB/GYN and a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Cancer Scholar. Her long years as a researcher led to breakthrough findings in breast cancer research where she documented and replicated the BRCA1 isoforms.

Dr. Rao has been working in the BRCA1 field since the cloning of the gene in 1994 and has spearheaded numerous breakthroughs in breast and ovarian cancer research. Her work has recently led to discovering a BRCA1 function-based assay, which she patented. The assay is the only one in the world that can stratify risk for Triple Negative Breast Cancer development and develop drugs for targeted therapy for the disease which currently has no targeted treatments available.

Dr. Rao’s presentation began by sharing the 2017 cancer cases and deaths estimates in male and females. The astonishing estimates show breast cancer in females had a rate of 30% new cases and 14% deaths. This lead Dr. Rao to expound on the high mortality rates of breast cancer among African American women. Breast cancer risk factors such as breast density, obesity and type II diabetes were shared. To reduce the risk of developing these risk factors, Dr. Rao stated an adequate diet and exercise regimen should be followed.

Next Dr. Rao delved into the mutations of BRAC1 which are called BRAC1a and BRAC1b. BRCA1 mutations increase breast and ovarian cancer risks. African American women with BRCA 1 mutations and also have TNBC similarities to BRCA1-associated breast cancers. An illustration of the BRCA1 healthy cell and a BRCA1 cancer cell clearly showed the differences in non-tumor environment and a tumorous one. Dr. Rao also discussed tumor suppression and the role of stem cell activity to monitor how and where the BRCA has traveled.

Overall, the presentation was filled with excellent background information on breast cancer and breakthrough discoveries on the horizon to win the fight against breast cancer.

Please join us Wednesday, November 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Healthcare Forum for the: Keynote Presentation: “Patient Generated Health Data (PGHD) - The What, Why, and How’s” presented by Lucy Osuna, Healthcare IT professional.

Location: Philips Healthcare
PHA Academy
One Deerfield Centre
13560 Morris Road
Alpharetta, GA 30004