By Alex Blench, PMP

The PMI Atlanta Governance Forum hosted a discussion with Amanda Sheehan, the Portfolio Manager at OshKosh. Amanda was instrumental in the foundation of the Retail Division PMO. She delivered a thorough, operational level seminar on how to efficiently implement governance and build a PMO. Amanda stressed that disciplined governance is essential, and this fact is shared amongst many business leaders. Leaders recognize that change is required and yearn for improved visibility to costs, schedules, and deliverables. Amanda championed the need at OshKosh for Project Managers to lead that change and how to efficiently implement the governance of that team. Amanda emphasized that it was the backing from management that gave her the support she needed to build a PMO.

Sheehan-AmandaEstablishing governance is all about building standardized, repeatable processes. One of Amanda’s first tasks was to establish a common-core methodology for the organization to follow. This involved developing templates and other tools. These templates and tools served 2 purposes. First, they would allow her project managers to understand how the business operated and what was important to keep track of. Second, it provided leadership with visibility to costs, schedules, and deliverables because projects could be measured against a unique set of criteria.

Amanda clearly outlined the steps an organization should take when standing up a PMO:

  • Crawl:
    o Establish a PM team
    o Establish basic governance
    o Manage top tier projects
  • Walk
    o Create repeatable processes and templates
    o Map out how projects align with strategy
    o Partner with the business
    o Focus on business cases
  • Run
    o Align portfolios around corporate strategy
    o Lead vs. Manage

Special thanks to our presenter Amanda Sheehan for an engaging discussion and for sharing her experience building a PMO from the ground up.

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 http://www.pmiatlanta.org

Thank you to our sponsors at Global Payments for making this event possible.


ABOUT PMI
PMI Atlanta serves project managers in Metro Atlanta. Our Chapter is an active resource for corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. PMI Atlanta is the second largest chapter in the US and fifth largest in the world with over 4,000 members. Our professional expertise span across all 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

PMI Atlanta’s Healthcare August forum attendees were highly engaged and intrigued with the informative presentation delivered by Laura Visconti, Business Analyst at Philips Health Systems.

Laura Visconti is a Business Analyst with over 17 years of experience. She is currently an active contributor to the Business Intelligence System team at Philips. Her area of focus is in Data Analytics and Reporting. She is trained in the industry’s best practices for data warehousing and business intelligence, Kimball Dimensional Modeling techniques, and reporting tools such as Business Objects and Tableau.

Visconti-Laura-squaredPrior to Philips, Laura has worked in the Financial and Healthcare Industries where she was heavily involved in fostering support and growing the Analytics department. She has B.A. from Dalhousie University and a Certificate in Applied Information Technology.

The presentation “Business Intelligence (BI): A Prescription for Success in the Healthcare Industry” focused on how BI can help various aspects of the industry drive tangible business results. Laura began with an introduction to Business Intelligence; discussing the history of reporting and the evolution of tools used to produce reports, from Excel to canned reporting tools, to more robust BI Tools such as Tableau and Qlik. The newer tools allow for self-service and advanced analytics to provide more actionable insight into the data.

The presentation focused on how Business Intelligence reporting can provide actionable insight to drive business in these challenging times using specific real-life examples. Industry challenges include how the Affordable Care Act (and potential repeal) impact other areas of healthcare such as Big Pharma, retail pharmacies and service/solutions providers, regulatory reporting, and the shift of the reimbursement model from fee-for-service to value-based care in the hospital/provider setting.

Laura concluded with her views on how to execute a successful BI project, touching on each of the critical steps within the lifecycle of a project: problem definition; scope & staffing; requirements gathering; data modeling; dashboard design; validation & deliver; and business acceptance. Laura states “by leveraging tools, best practices and the proper resources we can ensure positive project outcomes and enable the business to drive results.”

Please join us Wednesday, October 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Healthcare Forum for the: Keynote Presentation: “BRCA1 and Women’s Cancer: Discovery to Personalized Medicine” presented by Dr. Veena N. Rao, Morehouse School of Medicine / Professor and Director Cancer Biology Program, Department of OB/GYN.

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

By Alex Blench, PMP

Klein-Eric-2-squaredThe PMI Atlanta Governance Forum hosted a discussion with Eric Klein, General Manager of Demand Planning at Delta Air Lines TechOps. Eric joined Delta as a contractor in 2011. A few short years later, he created a department to standardize Maintenance instructions. He brings his background in team building and process improvement to the Atlanta Governance Forum.

Overview: Managing an efficient organization is all about hiring the right people and trusting them to do the job. Eric emphasizes the value of certifications which demonstrates a commitment to self-improvement. He circled back to these core principles frequently and underscored them as the bedrock of a successful organization.

Eric went on to explain that he shifted his management approach from focusing on money to time management. He pointed out that money can be acquired, moved around, and increased. Alternatively, time is a constant and inflexible constraint. Eric manages his time like a bank account, and consistently stresses time management to his teams.

• Highlights
    o Challenge the status quo
    o Be persistent
    o Establish clearly defined rules and make them available
    o Always be kind
    o Have courage
    o Constantly pursue knowledge
    o Always tell the truth

“If you are producing results, people will recognize that”

Special thanks to our presenter Eric Klein for an engaging discussion and sharing lessons learned from over 36 years of management experience.

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 http://www.pmiatlanta.org

Thank you to our sponsors at Global Payments for making this event possible.


ABOUT PMI
PMI Atlanta serves project managers in Metro Atlanta, and we're an active resource to corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. With over 4,000 members, PMI Atlanta is the second largest chapter in the US and fifth largest in the world. Our professional expertise spans 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.

By Alex Blench, PMP

The PMI Atlanta Governance Forum hosted a discussion with Kirk Talbott, Deputy CIO for the City of Atlanta. Kirk drove a PMO transition in Lake County, IL and brings his experience standing up PMOs to Atlanta and the Atlanta Governance Forum.

Overview

Building a PMO in an organization where siloes have established their own cultures is no small challenge. In culturally diverse organizations such as a city government, the PM cannot be the only person advocating for change. Kirk underscores the importance of a champion in upper-level management in achieving buy-in from your stakeholders.

  • Keys to success
    o When dealing with large groups, cluster by area of interest. These clusters then elect delegates to represent their teams in the decision making process.
    o Benchmark project completions against prior years to demonstrate value and build consensus.
    o Remove ambiguity by creating criteria for success.
    o Limit Project Inductions to team capacity; keep WIP under control.
    o Gear your solutions to alleviate the pain caused by current processes.

“The cause of the pain that will get people in the room to talk about changing things”

Forum Highlights

Kirk stood up a PMO in 2 years by achieving high level support for his ideas and by adapting his solutions to the needs of the internal stakeholders. His tactics often focused on personal relationships, building consensus, and communicating the advantages of Project-based work over functional workflow. Successful sustainability is dictated by the extent to which internal stakeholders accept change and stick to new processes.

Special thanks to our presenter Kirk Talbott for an engaging discussion and sharing lessons learned from over 24 years of experience IT Governance.

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 http://www.pmiatlanta.org

Thank you to our sponsors at Global Payments for making this event possible.


About PMI

PMI Atlanta serves project managers in Metro Atlanta, and we're an active resource to corporations, community and government agencies throughout north Georgia. With over 4,000 members, PMI Atlanta is the second largest chapter in the US and fifth largest 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 Glenn Boylan, PMP

As part of PMI Atlanta’s career month, the Technology Forum and Healthcare Forum combined in July to hold a recruiter panel discussion. The panel featured Brittney Schelich, Business Development Manager, Rezult Group; David Sheehan, Atlanta Branch Manager, Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group; Holly Bail, Talent Manager, OneSpring; and Boyd Christian, Director and Atlanta Office Leader, CapTech.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Alpharetta was gracious enough to host the two forums. Our thanks go out to HPE. Nancy Berlin and Steve Kruger started the festivities. They reviewed the upcoming Atlanta chapter meetings, and reminded everyone that both the Technology and Healthcare Forums, as well as the Atlanta chapter, have volunteer opportunities available. Volunteering is a great way to try out a “stretch” assignment to see if it’s something you’d like to pursue further. And you get PDUs for volunteering! For details on either upcoming meetings or volunteering, go to www.PMIAtlanta.org.

IMG0734Nancy then introduced the panel who gave some opening remarks. Brittney told us that the Rezult Group started in 2001 and focuses primarily on healthcare IT. Holly said OneSpring specializes in rapid development and deployment of web apps. Boyd introduced CapTech, which has been in Atlanta for 17 years and is a management and IT consulting firm. David told us about Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group, which are strong on managed services.

The first question given to the panel was what hiring trends they were seeing in 2017. The answers included data scientists, implementation lifecycle managers, Agile transformation leaders and Agile coaches, network security, and big data opportunities. The panelists made a point of saying that no matter what the position, candidates that show overall intellectual curiosity, have credentials, and can show a history of positive ROI on their projects will have a leg up on the completion.

Brittney and David primarily answered the question of how to break into healthcare IT if you’re not already in that field. (It was noted that healthcare is the largest industry in Atlanta.) Having a clinical background, or showing awareness of clinical issues was an important step. There is training available for that for those who do not have clinical experience.

When Nancy asked the panel what was the best way to secure a job, Boyd answered it is best to be referred by someone you know at the company. Every other panelist vigorously nodded in agreement, settling that question.

Holly kicked off the discussion on resumes, emphasizing that resumes need to be visually appealing, with lots of white space. Studies have shown that a person reviewing resumes assesses it in about six seconds, so the need for it to be attractive is critical. A recent trend is to include graphics in the resume. One example is to show your strengths using icons, another is to use icons next to your LinkedIn URL or tools you use on your job. But it was noted that graphics can take up a lot of space and should be used judiciously.

It may seem obvious, but make sure your resume has NO ERRORS. Any errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar send a very negative message. Fonts should be consistent throughout, and easy to read.

As far as resume length, it was generally agreed by the panel to try to keep your resume to two pages, but four pages might be OK for a senior level person if the content is compelling enough. Try to limit yourself to 3 to 4 bullet items per job, and include ROI information when appropriate.

Some final notes on resumes that everyone on the panel agreed on was to send resumes in pdf format and to customize the resume for the job you are applying to. And with regard to career gaps, such as due to unemployment or time spent with family, the panel agreed that it was best to “own it”. Put it on your resume and explain what was happening. (Unless you spent the time sitting on the couch playing video games. Don’t put that.)

If you are looking for an executive level position, they are out there, but the higher you go the fewer opportunities there are. Strong communication skills are a must for these jobs, and you should be prepared to relocate.

The panel was asked how to handle the “What is your current salary?” question that frequently comes up in interviews. (It was noted that several states have made it illegal to ask this question, but Georgia has not.) One good way to answer that is to do research on the position you’re looking to get, and answer the question with regards to what you expect to make if you are hired.

The panel also attacked the not insignificant question of how to maintain work/life balance. They all agreed that if you find a job you are passionate about, doing something that makes you happy, work/life balance won’t be an issue because you’ll be doing what you love – and loving what you’re doing. Constantly assess your work situation and realize that you have one life to live and it’s all (work and non-work) connected. Having 3 to 4 people in your life who you can counsel you can prove to be enormously helpful.

Be sure to view the photos from the event!

A big thank you from both the Technology and Healthcare Forum to Brittney, David, Holly, and Boyd for their time and some great career information.

The next Healthcare Forum will be on Wednesday, August 16th, at Philips Healthcare in Alpharetta. There will not be a Technology Forum meeting in August. The Tech Forum will, as The Happenings so famously sang, see you in September.