For What It’s Worth

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One of the best things about being the president of PMI-DVC is I get invited to the screening meetings for potential speakers.  Last week I met Joshua Barnes from Process Mentors who will be the speaking on Understanding Value Stream Management for Digital Products at our July 23, 2024 meeting.  The fun thing is after going through all of the necessary questions we started just taking about what makes projects successful.  What might surprise some of you is that we were in quick agreement that on time and on budget are important, in the end all that really matters is did the project deliver business value.  This is not to say that being on time and staying budget are not important, just that they are only important in terms of how much they contribute to the business value of the project.  We exchanged some stories about our experiences that only project managers could appreciate. 

While we are on the subject of project value, Mike Palladino, a past president of the chapter delivered a wonderful talk “What is Agile and the Agile Mindset” on April 9, 2024 that dove deep into the value that the agile mindset brings to projects.  If you missed it, you can watch on YouTube https://youtu.be/B2AxjND955A

Going forward we will be posting videos all of of our free Zoom event on our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/@pmi-dvceducation8249  As of May 20, 2024 we have Mike’s talk another three videos of recent presentations along with some older videos.  Follow the channel so you get notifications of new videos. 

Regarding videos, if any of you are aspiring videographers but are not quite ready to move to Hollywood, the chapter does want to expand our content to include videos of in person meetings, shorts about project management, interviews with project managers and project stakeholders.  If you have a video camera, wait a minute, we all have video cameras on our phones, and feel creative, reach out to me and we can help you find your subjects and your audience.

The SIGs have been busy lining up speakers.  We have five events scheduled in May, details are elsewhere in this newsletter and on the chapter calendar https://pmi-dvc.org/calendar.

Here is a list of what is lined up so far:

In this month’s picture I am just to the right of Bill Nye near NASA HQ in Washington DC.  I was there as part of a Planetary Society Event lobbying congress to fund NASA projects to explore the solar system.  Even when I am not doing PMI stuff, I am busy supporting projects.  There was much discussion about the value of those projects and how to explain it to the congressional staffers we met with.  For most of us, our projects do not need congressional approval, but the training for this event that focused on how to explain the value of space exploration to Senators and Representatives, knowledge and techniques that are transferable to the environments most of us work in.  After all, who knows when you will be innocently walking down the hall and suddenly a senior VP will come up next to you and ask “That project you are working on, what value will it bring to the organization?”

Ken Golkin

President PMI-DVC

kgolkin@pmi-dvc.org

APRIL 2024

What You Give Is What You Get

PMI-DVC exists for the benefit of oKG-Cropped01w300.jpgur members.  Our primary way of doing that is to help project managers be successful in their careers.  A corollary is to raise the visibility of the importance project management, as a rising tide lifts all ships, as organizations recognize the value of project management all of us benefit.  PMI-DVC provides this in three ways

  1. PMI-DVC events
  2. PMI-DVC classes
  3. Volunteer activities

Events are the main interaction that most of you have with our  chapter beyond reading emails and maybe looking at our website.  We are trying to bring information that is important for project managers to you.  Our goal is to have three virtual and one in person meeting a month so that we can cover a wide range of material and provide a rich networking experience.  To see what is coming up check out the chapter calendar.  If there is some topic you think is important and we are missing, reach out me at president@pmi-dvc.org.

Classes are what pulled many of us into the chapter in the first place, especially the PMP Exam Prep course.  Since the earliest days of the chapter, we have offered classes to help new and aspiring project managers quickly get up to speed (Foundations in Project Management) and prep course for both CAPM and PMP exams.  We have recently started marketing PMI on demand course in various bundles, details are on the website.  We have also have a partnership with Penn State Great Valley where chapter members get a 10% discount on any project management related course using the code PMIDVD in addition to any other discounts that apply.  These classes are also on the chapter calendar.

Volunteer Activities are what makes everything we do as a chapter possible, provides great opportunities for networking, are an easy and often fun way to earn PDUs, gives rewarding experiences and opportunities and gives you a line or two of unique experience that might be just enough to make you stand out from the crowd next time you have to float your resume around.  The chapter as a nearly infinite need for volunteer.  The time commitments vary from a few hours once a year (helping with the Future City Competition or Young Men and Woman In Charge) to 20+ hours a month and everything in between. 

With expansion of our SIGs, we will be having up to three or more virtual meetings a month.  If you are good with Zoom or want to get really good and you are also comfortable with being the MC at our events, contact Steven Casiano at scasiano@pmi-dvc.org and attach your resume when you do. 

We have an urgent need for senior project managers to take on a mentoring role.  Contact Ted Szklenski at tszklen@gmail.com and attach your resume if you are interested.

In the coming months you will see a lot of changes in the website to improve the user experience and make it easier for you to find the things you need and do things that you need to do.  I will have more on that next month. 

Ken Golkin, PMP

Connect with me on LinkedIn

President, PMI Delaware Valley Chapter

 

March 2024

Remembering Jim

Jim Snyder’s passing is the end of an era.  Jim was the last living founder of PMI.  For a lot of us it is much more personal.  Jim was also the founder of PMI-DVC and he served the chapter and mentored its leaders for over four decades.  PMI-DVC’s  45th Anniversary and Honor Jim celebration has evolved into PMI-DVC’s 45th Anniversary and Remember Jim celebration.  It will still be a good time, but with a touch of sadness.  Join with us on April 16, 2024 for the celebration.  Learn more and register

 

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Jim Snyder's 
Famous PMI Vest

Penn State Great Valley (PSGV) is now a chapter sponsor.  Among the benefits we get is that all members get a 10% discount by using the code PMIDVC when they register for a course.  We will also have free use of some of their facilities for our PDD and in person meetings. 

Courses currently offered under the agreement are:

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) Exam Prep Course:

7 Week Course / 23 hours / Remote Delivery

 Monday Eves (6:00-9:15pm), begins ​​April 8, 2024

Cost: $775 (10% discount to PMI-DVC members. Check your Monday PMI-DVC emails for the code.

Learn More and Register

 

Project Management Office (PMO) Fundamentals Certificate:

This certificate course is designed for project professionals working with PMOs

7 Week Course / 21 hours / Remote Delivery

Wednesday Eves (6:00-9:00pm), begins April 24, 2024

Cost: $795 ($100 discount if registered by April 17 and additional 10% discount to PMI-DVC members. Check your Monday PMI-DVC emails for the code.

Learn More and Register

 

Risk Management Certificate:

This certificate course is designed for Project Managers who need to focus on risk management for large projects.

10 Week Course / 30 hours / Remote Delivery

Tuesday Eves (6:00-9:00pm), begins May 7, 2024

Cost: $895 ($100 discount if registered by April 30 and additional 10% discount to PMI-DVC members. Check your Monday PMI-DVC emails for the code.

Learn More and Register    

 

We are ramping up to have at least 4 events per month, with at least one of them being in person.  Looking at the March list of events below, I think the chapter has hit that target for March.  Networking does work much better in person.

Upcoming events are:

March 14 - AI, Ethical Considerations and Project Management

March 18 - Networking Breakfast at Judge Inc. Headquarters (In person)

March 19 - PMI Delaware Valley Chapter: Member Orientation Call

March 20 - Adapt, Adopt and Thrive: The Robot Revolution, Agile and their Impact on Your Profession

March 21 – PMI-DVC Board of Directors Meeting (by invitation only, request an invitation via email )

April 8 - What is Agile and the Agile Mindset

April 16 - PMI-DVC: 45th Anniversary Celebration Honoring Our Founder, Jim Snyder (In person)

April 17 - AI Roadmap: Asana and Industry Perspectives

 

With close to 4,000 members, we realize there are a lot of us with have specialized interests.  Thus, we are spinning up Special Interest Groups (SIGs). We have rebooted and rebranded our Agile program and Academic Outreach as SIGS. If you are interested in helping to identify speakers or manage the events, reach out to the SIG Director in your area of interest.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence – Director Paula D’Amico - pdamico@pmi-dvc.org
  • Agile (rebooted and rebranded) Director Sanjoy Bhattacharjee - sbhattacharjee@pmi-dvc.org
  • Green Project Management - Audrey Wilson - awilson@pmi-dvc.org
  • Communication and Leadership - Vaughnda Johnson - vmjohnson321@proton.me
  • Consultants and Contractors – Tariqah Johnson – tariqahjohnson@yahoo.com
  • Teaching Project Management (rebooted and rebranded) - Samir Shah - sns72@drexel.edu

We expect to start up a few more in the coming months.  The role of the director of a special interest group is to:

  • Recruit a team of between 2 and 8 members
  • Use the team to identify relevant topics and speakers
  • Work with your team and the Professional Development team to stage events for the chapter.

Targeted areas where we do not have a SIG leader are:

  • Industry specific groups (pharma, medical, construction, aerospace, electronics, infosec, software development, computers, publishing, financial services, transportation, banking)
  • Information Technology
  • Risk Management
  • Anything else that somebody wants to lead.

If you want to lead a SIG that does not yet exist, contact me president@pmi-dvc.org and we will make it happen.  Also, if you have managed some particularly interesting, challenging, or large projects and want to share the experience of how things went right or left, reach out and we can give you an opportunity to do that.

Ken Golkin, PMP

Connect with me on LinkedIn

President, PMI Delaware Valley Chapter

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February 2024

There is no such thing as doing nothing

As all project managers know, sometimes plans just don’t work out because key people are not available.  Suzanne Dreitlein was our 2023 volunteer of the year and was supposed to receive her reward in November.  However, we have not been in the same place at the same time since she was selected.  That is until we met up at the Philadelphia Future City Competition on January 20th.  I was finally able to give her the award plaque (see photo above).  Suzane was one of the 10 PMI-DVC volunteers (out of the more than 100 volunteers) who made the event successful.  Collingswood Middle School from Collingswood, NJ won the PMI-DVC sponsored ward for Project Management Excellence.

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A long time ago I worked in a PMO where the manager decided that we should have a team building exercise by going whitewater rafting in Pennsylvania.  The worker at the concession suggested that we spend a bit of time paddling in a straight line and some circles in the flat water.  We did that then headed downstream.  As it turned out, one of the team didn’t quite get the idea that we had to keep doing what we practiced and decided to “take a break” as we headed into section with a lot of rocks sticking out of the water.  It quickly became very had to steer.  After some loud discussion, the team decided that that member didn’t have to paddle, we could handle it.  Then the boat started doing a sharp right turn, a certain paddle was in the water.  Some yelling happened.  Then a few minutes later suddenly, a sharp left turn, more shouting as the paddle that wasn’t paddling was in the water randomly steering the boat again.  We iterated this with variations a few more times.  Finally, I asked, “What are you doing back there?” The reply was “Nothing.”  To which I replied, “There is no such thing as doing nothing in a small boat.”  I have thought about that trip that a lot over the years and decided that there is no such thing as “doing nothing.”  This is especially true when it comes to your career.  Your paddle is always in the water and you are always being swept downstream in a boat full of other project managers.  If we all paddle together, we will reach our destination and have a good time on the way. 

PMI-DVC is here to help you navigate around rocks and snags so you can land in a safe harbor.  Like being in a small boat, you will get the best experience if you paddle along and help steer.  One of the things that PMI-DVC does to help you paddle stronger is provide educational opportunities.  You can help us help you by telling us what kind of courses you would be interested in.  Many organizations want to partner with us and we need some clues as to what courses we should offer.  Please take a few minutes to tell us what interests you, click Do the survey.

We know that having the PMP credential give your career a boost.  The PMI-DVC PMP Exam prep course starts on March 2 and meets weekly for 5 weeks.  Registration is open Register Now >>.  

It is often said that everything that goes around, comes around again.  For PMI-DVC we have come back around to having a bunch of special interest groups that hold meeting and discussion on specific topics that are probably not interesting to all project managers, but are to some.  PMI-DVC has almost 4,000 members so we know there is a wide range of industries and interests among the membership.  We have started special interest groups for:

  • Artificial Intelligence – Director Paula D’Amico - pdamico@pmi-dvc.org
  • Agile (rebooted) Director Sanjoy Bhattacharjee - sbhattacharjee@pmi-dvc.org
  • Green Project Management - Audrey Wilson - awilson@pmi-dvc.org
  • Consultants and Contractors – Tariqah Johnson – tariqahjohnson@yahoo.com

We expect to start up a few more in the coming months.  Targeted areas are:

  • Leadership and Interpersonal Communication Skills
  • Infosec 
  • Software development
  • Risk Management 
  • Industry specific groups (pharma, medical, construction, aerospace, electronics, infosec, software development, computers, publishing, financial services, transportation, banking)
  • Anything else that somebody wants to lead.

What do the groups do?  Get speakers (or be a speaker) at a meeting, have discussion groups, work with the professional development team to bring specific knowledge to the membership. If you are interested in volunteering email me at president@pmi-dvc.org.

If you want to join the team of any of the SIGs, contact the director listed above. If you want to lead a SIG that does not yet exist, contact me president@pmi-dvc.org and we will make it happen. 

Also, if you have managed some particularly interesting, challenging, or large projects and want to share the experience of how things went right or left, reach out and we can give you an opportunity to do that.  Reach out to me at president@pmi-dvc.org.

 Do the survey if you have not already.

 

Ken Golkin, PMP

Connect with me on LinkedIn

President, PMI Delaware Valley Chapter


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New year New Goals - January 2024

I hope everyone had a joyous holiday season and that this new year is showering you with hope and opportunity.  Many of us, use this time of year to review the past year and set new goals for the coming year.  If your goals include advancing your career or expanding your professional network, PMI-DVC is here for you.

I have a short, very short survey for you.  You can do it in less than a minute, or a bit more if you follow a link in it and do some reading.  Do the survey  You can also wait until you read through this post then do it, link also at the end.  

Most of us joined PMI to help accelerate our careers.  Undoubtably the two thirds of us who have earned the PMP certification have seen how it helped us have successful and rewarding careers.  For the about one third of our membership who have not yet earned their PMP, my advice is that now is the time to go for it.  The chapter offers a great PMP Exam prep course and study groups to help you get there and registraion is open now.  Learn More 

 

One of the main benefits of chapter membership is the networking opportunities we provide.  But there is one catch to that, you can only meet new people and expand your network when you show up.  There are basically two ways to show up:

ork when you show up.  There are basically two ways to show up:

  • Attend chapter events in person and virtual
  • Volunteer

One of the chapter’s main goals this year is to provide more opportunities for you, our members to “show up” and engage with other chapter members and other professionals so you can grow your network.  One way we are doing that by increasing the number of events we have each month with the goal of having one in person and 3 virtual events each month.  We are not there yet, but that is the goal, not the starting point.

Volunteering is the other great way PMI-DVC can help you expand your network and build deep relationships.  PMI recognizes the value of volunteering to the profession of project management and to project managers by allowing up to 25 PDUs to count towards renewing your PMP.  PMI-DVC provides a variety of networking opportunities.  They can be things that help you learn new technical skills and polish them, test your leadership in a non-threatening environment and sometimes they are just a lot of fun.  

I will start with the fun one first. PMI-DVC is again sponsoring the Future City Competition on Saturday, January 20, 2024. It is a project based learning activity for middle school students and is the most fun you can have while earning PDUs.  You do not have to be an engineer or a tech person to volunteer, you just need to know how to talk to middle school students.  The competition is on Saturday January 20 at Archbishop Carroll High School, Radnor, PA.  The time commitment is 4 hours from 8:00 AM to noon.   At this late date go to the website FutureCityPhilly.org and register there and be sure enter PMI-DVC as your professional society when you register.

If you want to take a leadership role, we are expanding the number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and need leaders to lead them.  We have a few areas we want to target that are still missing leaders.  Some possible SIG areas that would launch if we find a leader are:

  • Agile
  • Interpersonal communication and soft skills
  • Risk Management
  • Software Development, Infosec, and Computer Systems (any or all of them)
  • Industry specific groups (Pharma, Financial services, Construction, Aerospace and Electronics, Transportation)
  • Green Project Management (group has been formed and Audrey Wilson audreyjw19966@gmail.com) is leading it, contact her if you want to help.
  • Roll your own SIG (What part of the profession are you passionate about?)

 

The main role of the SIG leader is to 1) recruit a team 2) Work with the team to identify speakers 3) work with the VP of Continuing Education plan and execute chapter events that focus on the area of interst.  If you are a bit burned out from leading a team at your day job, be a doer instead.  Join one of the existing SIGs and be a the person who goes out and finds someone who is both knowledgeable and can do an interesting presentation.  If you want to step up, contact me at president@pmi-dvc.org.  We have 19 volunteer opportunities listed in the PMI’s Volunteer Engagement Platform (VEP) so check that out.  If you have a skillset and want to volunteer but do not know where it fits, contact me.

You can find upcoming events on our website calendar 

The first event of the year is Leveraging the Power of AI in Project Management: Exploring ClickUp and their Cutting-Edge Tools on Thursday January 18 managed by the chapter’s AI-Special Interest Group (SIG).  Learn More  

On January 23 we have our PMI-DVC: Member Orientation Call 

January 25 Your Work, Your Way: Embracing the New World of Work  Learn More

Also, if you have managed some particularly interesting, challenging, or large projects and want to share the experience of how things went right or left, reach out and we can give you an opportunity to do that.  Reach out to me at president@pmi-dvc.org  Just one more thing, registration for our winter/spring courses is now open. 

 

Ken Golkin, PMP

Connect with me on LinkedIn

 


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If an opportunity comes your way, take it!

 

In this season of short days, I wish everyone a happy holiday and pray that peace will break out across the globe.

PMI-DVC is going to start the New Year off with bang.  We are planning three, possibly four events for January and have a bunch of great volunteer opportunities too.

The first event of the year will be a demo of the AI tool ClickUp on January 18 managed by the chapter’s AI-Special Interest Group (SIG).  Register Now

PMI-DVC will again be sponsoring the Future City Competition on January 20. It is a project based learning activity for middle school students and is the most fun you can have while earning PDUs.  You can volunteer for it on the on the Volunteer Engagement Platform Opportunity #42924.  You can also go to the website FutureCityPhilly.org and register there. 

We will also have Laura Burford PMP, consultant author and speaker at our 2022 Certification Night, presenting on Your Work, Your Way: Embracing the New World of Work which will be a Zoom event.   In February there will be a talk on The State of the Job Market for Project Managers and a resume review workshop sponsored by TEKsystems at their facility in Wayne, PA.  Registration will be limited. Watch you email for more information.

If you have met me at a chapter event, you definitely heard me say something about volunteering.  As you know the chapter is volunteer run, and the more volunteers we have the more things we can do for you, our members.  I cannot think of an area of the chapter where we do not need more leaders and doers.   

Having read this far, you have already heard something about PMI-DVC’s AI Special Interest Group (AI-SIG).  We have several more SIGs that are simmering, and we need leaders with some passion to bring them to a boil, and a bunch of volunteers to serve them up.  Some of the areas identified are listed below, but we are eager to talk to volunteers who have additional ideas about what Special Interest Groups PMI-DVC should start up.

Potential Special Interest Groups

  • Interpersonal communication and soft skills
  • Green Project Management (group has been formed and Audrey Wilson audreyjw19966@gmail.com is leading it
  • Risk Management
  • Software Development and Computer Systems
  • Industry specific groups (Pharma, Software and computer systems, Financial services, Construction, Aerospace and Electronics) 

If you work or have interest in any of these areas and want to take a leadership role in forming and leading a Special Interest Group, please reach out to me..

Also, if you have managed some particularly interesting, challenging, or large projects and want to share the experience of how things went right or left, reach out and we can give you an opportunity to do that.

Just one more thing, registration for our winter/spring course is now open.  Go to our Education page to get more details.

Thank you for giving me a few minutes of your time.  Have a great holiday season, be safe and make a New Year’s resolution to enhance your career options by increasing your engagement with your PMI chapter.

If you want more information about the chapter or volunteering reach out to me president@pmi-dvc.org

Ken Golkin, PMP

President, PMI Delaware Valley Chapter

 


 


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I am honored and a bit overwhelmed to have been chosen to lead PMI-DVC as the president.  I feel that I have inherited a large responsibility to lead an outstanding organization move forward during a time of great change in our profession.  These changes are going to touch all of us and PMI-DVC exists to help project mangers like you thrive on these waves of change.

In the coming year PMI-DVC is going to provide more opportunities and more different ways for the chapter to engage with you and for you to engage with the chapter in ways that help you grow your career.  We have just launched the AI Interest Group that has monthly events planned from now through June of 2024.  These events are specifically addressing the three ways our profession is being impacted by the rapid proliferation of AI.  First our tools are becoming AI enhanced, second, we are or will be managing projects that implement AI solutions to business problems, and a few of us will manage projects that develop new AI tools. 

The Agile Community of Practice is bringing back the Thursdays noon Agile Kaffeeklatsch and will resume frequent speaker events early in the new year.  Expect to hear more about Agile as plans are developed.  We also have a speaker lined who will focus on communications and soft skills for project managers and another to provide insights into life as a project management consultant or contractor.  Watch this newsletter and your emails for more details.

PMI-DVC is entirely volunteer run.  That means we need people like you to step up and join an amazing team to help bring the value of being a member to all our members.  Between now and January there will be a lot of new postings on PMI’s VEP (Volunteer Engagement Platform) https://www.pmi.org/membership/volunteer for a wide variety of roles.  Among other things we will be starting up several more Interest Groups beyond the AI and Agile ones that already exist.  They will need leaders, doers, and speakers.  Some of our members who have presented at these meeting have been asked to present to other chapters an at national events.  These are the kind of things that differentiate you when the time comes to update your resume and find a new position and for sure that time will come.  Whatever it is that you like to do, we probably have or are willing to create a role that matches.  Two thirds of our members have PMP certifications and need to collect PDUs to renew it.  Volunteering for the chapter is a lot more fun than watching a video of someone drone on about running a scrum meeting or building a risk register for an hour to get a PDU. 

As the president of the chapter, I am here to serve you.  I cannot solve all your problems but if it is PMI related, I can probably connect you with someone who can help.  If you need to reach me, send an email kgolkin@pmi-dvc.org.

I cannot end without thanking our outgoing president Robert Cochran who led the chapter through the pandemic and a rebuilding phase that is still in progress.  Marie Hagerty who has been on the Board of Directors and VP of Membership and Volunteer for 6 years and is our guiding light in DEI, social good outreach and so many other areas has reached her term limit and is stepping back from her leadership role, but will continue to work on the Membership and Volunteer team.

 

Sincerely,

Ken Golkin

President, PMI Delaware Valley Chapter