I am excited to start a blog focused on IT project management. I am even more excited that this blog is being posted on CIO.com. I am not convinced that CIOs and project managers are well connected. In fact, I am currently developing a class for project managers focused on business management. While good project managers are very good at leading successful projects, they are not always in tune with the business decisions that affect their projects. I am hoping that this blog will help to increase the connection between CIOs and project managers.
With that stated objective, I would like to introduce myself. I started thinking about project management in 1985. (Interestingly, that was the year the Project Management Institute (PMI) developed the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.) At the time, I was working in an organization that was pretty chaotic, and I was struggling to impose some order. The PMI offered a framework for organizing and running a project, so I took classes on project management and started to apply the principals. Lo and behold things in my organization began to improve. This led me to continue applying these techniques despite resistance from the organization. The resistance came not only from senior managers, who often believed that project management was merely an overhead activity with no value, but also from the engineers who enjoyed being heroes by fixing the problems of their own creation.
In 1988, I took on a large assignment to deliver the first non-Japanese cellular system into the Japanese market. Working with my senior design engineer, we created a network diagram that was about 8 feet wide and just as high. While the diagram was not perfect, it provided a baseline for the work to be conducted on this 18-month project. We delivered the project on-time, with all the requirements, and had a satisfied customer. This proved to me that project management was an effective tool for delivering projects on time, on budget and with all the business requirements.
With this proof in the pudding, I became a change agent to institute project management within Motorola. I developed and led several project management offices (PMO) from architecture to deployment and everything in between. I joined the PMI and became certified as a PMP. I became active in the PMI Chicagoland chapter in 2004. I spent two years as the programs director, two years as the vice president of education, and I recently started my second year as president of the chapter. I am an adjunct teacher for project management at DePaul University.
I often run my life like a project, which, according to my wife, may not always be the best thing. I am currently attending the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University working toward a Masters Degree in Spirituality.
I look forward to reading your comments, thoughts and ideas around the field of project management. Since my intention is to be writing for you, please send me any topics that you would like me to cover.
I hope to hear from you soon,