Technology Forum

"We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us: Cyber Security Issues and What You Can Do About Them": January Technology Forum Summary

Written By Glenn Boylan, PMP

Scott-David-2The January Technology Forum was held on Tuesday, January 31st, and featured a very interesting keynote presentation titled “We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us: Cyber Security Issues and What You Can Do About Them” presented by David Scott.

Steve Kruger and Nancy Berlin kicked off the event which was hosted by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in their new café at their office in Alpharetta. The café has been completely re-done and is a beautiful facility for both HP-E and HP employees. Our thanks to HP-E for sharing it with PMI Atlanta.

The Forum also wants to thank the Rezult Group which sponsored the food for the event, and provided some great swag for the meeting attendees. The Rezult Group provides staffing solutions for companies seeking talent in healthcare IT, finance, accounting, and of course, technology. They have just opened an Atlanta office. For more information, go to their web site at www.rezultgroup.com.

Steve and Nancy reviewed PMI Atlanta volunteer opportunities and events, including this year’s Technology Forum schedule. The Tech Forum will meet on the fourth Tuesday of the month except for August (when Nancy will be at the beach) and December. Melody Cookson announced that there will be an Alpharetta series of the popular “PM in the AM” breakfast meetings on the third Wednesdays of each month, starting April 19th. For more information on volunteering and upcoming events, go to the chapter web site at PMIAtlanta.org.

Nancy then turned the meeting over to David Scott of Mission Advantages, LLC. David got everyone’s attention by asking the question “Are you aware of the greatest threats and risks to your organization?” and he kept it by linking The Varsity, a rubber duck, and Mountain Dew to the key basic principles of cyber security.

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"The Internet of Things": February Technology Forum Summary

By Glenn Boylan, PMP

At the February Technology Forum, I gave an overview of the Internet of Things (IoT); looking at what it is, what it requires, and providing some examples of where it is being used.

Steve Kruger and Nancy Berlin opened the meeting by welcoming all the attendees and thanking Hewlett-Packard Enterprise for hosting the forum in their Alpharetta office. They also reviewed upcoming PMI Atlanta events and reminded everyone about the many volunteer opportunities with the forum and the chapter. Be sure to check out the PMI Atlanta web site at PMIAtlanta.org for more information.

The overview of IoT started out with the example of a connected vending machine. We talked about “the old days” when vending machines were not connected to the Internet. The people responsible to re-stock the machine had to go by historical data to estimate how many of each product would be needed to re-stock the machine.

But in the case of a machine connected to the IoT, the restocking team would know exactly how many of each item were needed, and could build the restocking inventory for these specific quantities. This saves time, reduces waste, and increases customer satisfaction by making sure the vending machine is properly restocked.

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August Technology Forum Summary

Written by Glenn Boylan

The August Technology Forum discussed project management consulting roles, especially in the healthcare arena and the many technology-related jobs that are available in that industry.

Mike Cooper was the featured speaker. Mike is with Healthcare IT Leaders out of Alpharetta. The healthcare industry is going through enormous changes, many of them technology-related, which is driving a need for project managers for the IT projects.

The explosion of projects and the need for project managers covers all aspects of the healthcare industry, including producers, payers, pharma, device makers, and the public sector. Project managers are needed for ERM implementations, regulatory compliance, security, mobility, and cloud-based projects, and for Agile development projects.

With Healthcare IT Leaders’ experience in placing project managers, Mike shared their tips for effective interviews, their view of the consulting world for PMs, and how to work with recruiters.

Mike suggested several ways to best prepare for an interview. First, do your research. This will help you articulate why you are a good candidate for the job and will help you ask thoughtful questions during the interview. It’s very important to know yourself – your experience, qualifications, and traits. While you want to present yourself in the best light, always be truthful, and concise, in your answers. And don’t forget to practice! Go through some mock interviews and practice your answers out loud.

Healthcare IT Leaders work in the consulting area, which can be a different experience for a project manager. Some of the advantages of consulting are higher pay, flexible schedules, travel, and exposure to different work environments and industries. Working as a consulting PM requires you be comfortable marketing yourself.

Finally, Mike talked about working with recruiters. Project managers need to build a relationship with the recruiter they are working with. Be honest with them about your requirements, goals, and availability. It’s vital to keep your resume and references up to date at all times. And don’t forget to keep in touch with the recruiter even while you’re on an assignment.

Healthcare IT Leaders have several project management opportunities at this time. Check out their web site at healthcareitleaders.com.

We do want to acknowledge that the recruiting firm Tech USA was also scheduled to speak at the August meeting, but they were called away at the last minute. Tech USA was able to leave some valuable information on their company and the how they work with project managers for the meeting attendees to review.

"How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk": January Technology Forum Summary

Written by Glenn Boylan, PMP

PMI Atlanta’s Technology Forum started 2016 with a great presentation from Marcia Trajano titled “How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk”.

Steve Kruger welcomed everyone to the meeting, and thanked Hewlett-Packard Enterprise for hosting our forum again this year. Nancy Berlin reminded everyone that the Technology Forum relies on volunteer help; especially with meeting registration activities and getting – or being – a speaker for upcoming events. Nancy also reviewed upcoming PMI Atlanta events. The full calendar of events can be found on the chapter’s web site at www.pmiatlanta.org.

A new agenda item was added to this first forum of the year, an open roundtable discussion. Topics covered during the discussion included the new Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) requirements, potential topics of future meetings, and the time of the meetings.

The new CCR requirements are in effect, requiring us to classify Education PDUs into the categories of Technical Project Management, Leadership, or Strategic Business Management. We reviewed several of the recent Technology forum meetings to show how they would fall into these categories. The group suggested that PMI Atlanta should categorize all future meetings based on the subject matter to eliminate confusion for the attendees.

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"Cloudy Forecast: How it Disrupts our Interaction with Technology": June Technology Forum Summary

By Ben Heisler

This month, PMI Atlanta's Technology Forum explored how the Cloud is changing our projects and our lives. The Forum was proud to host David Hoff of Cloud Sherpas. Hoff serves as CTO and co-founder of Cloud Sherpas and is a graduate from Atlanta’s own Georgia Tech.

Hoff’s presentation explored the different kinds of innovation, how disruptive innovation works and why we should strive for projects that innovate despite the costs of disruptive aspects. As Hoff broke it down, there are two kinds of innovation:

     • Sustaining Innovation does not create new market, instead it evolves existing with better value. With a sustaining innovation, you are looking for something like five to ten percent bonus. Often it established firms lead sustaining innovation.
     • Disruptive Innovation creates a new value network. With this, it is a typically lower price that appeals to different consumers when first introduced. As this innovation matures, it grows into existing market with lower price point. New entrants usually won out over existing firms with this kind of innovation.

A traditional example of disruptive innovation would be LCDs, which back in the 1980s provided a cheap display for watches and clocks with a few pixels. As the technology matured, it expanded into the television market. Eventually LCDs disrupted and overtook traditional CRT screens which had enjoyed market dominance and are now both commonplace and cheaper.

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