Track Room Presenters


Project Management Symposium

May 17, 9:45 – 10:45 a.m.Back to Top

Stephen Fierbaugh

Stephen Fierbaugh

Seed Company

Under-Spend: An Earned Value Analysis Case Study of Two Projects in the Sahel

Rm: JSOM 1.107
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  • Abstract

    Earned Value Management (EVM) is a rigorous and widely used analysis technique that provides valuable information about projects’ costs and schedules. A brief introduction is provided in this paper. Seed Company is a faith-based grant making organization which supports more than 800 projects world-wide. The Sahel is the semiarid region of Africa south of the Sahara desert.

    Two superficially similar Seed Company projects in the Sahel are compared using EVM. How to compare the projects in a robust manner is explained, demonstrating that they actually have quite different project progress. Conclusions are shared for 60 analyzed Sahelian projects. EVM is used to answer the following questions: 1. How is each project progressing? 2. How significant is the under-spending? 3. Is each project using resources efficiently? 4. Is there a way to compare the projects to each other? 5. How much funding is necessary to complete each project?

    KEY FINDING: If present trends continue, most Sahel projects will complete reasonably close to their original budget but take longer than planned.

    KEY FINDING: Only 26 of 60 projects contained data suitable for analysis. Seed Company needs to improve progress tracking systems.

    KEY FINDING: EVM provides a useful way for Program Managers and Area Directors to determine which projects need additional focus. Development Representatives may use it to assess future investment opportunities.

    Technical Project Management 100%

    Bio

    Stephen Fierbaugh has a MA in Intercultural Studies with a focus on ICT4D. He is a PMP with extensive cross-cultural and remote leadership experience. His focus is on project management in Emerging World contexts.

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Sandi Mitchell

Sandi Mitchell

APEX Leadership Mastery

The (Fun!) Neuroscience of Conversations – Building Trust and Innovation

Rm: JSOM 1.212
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  • Abstract

    Conversational Intelligence (C-IQ) is a new take on an old addage: “Talk with me and I’ll listen, talk to me and I’ll tune you out.” Being able to communicate effectively with people is one of the most important aspects of a leader’s skill set (even those leaders without the title!). C-IQ gives a framework that enables us to utilize our “executive brain” to help build common goals throughout an organization. It helps build trust, the most basic human instinct, which creates the foundation needed to transform cultures and companies. Trust enables conversations to connect teams for higher performance and purpose, enabling them to innovate faster and easier. Words create worlds. So think about the world (or culture) of your business, of your team. Do your words create innovation, co-creation, good decisions … or conflict, chaos, and wasted resource? Daniel H. Pink, best-selling author of “Drive,” says “If you’re not getting the results you want, maybe it’s time to give your ‘C-IQ’ a boost.” This experience uses neuroscience, social science, and a dose of folk wisdom with models, tools, and examples relevant to enhancing your professional and personal communication lives.

    Leadership 100%

    Bio

    Sandi Mitchell is CEO of APEX Leadership Mastery, a firm focusing on building strong leadership and high performing teams. We are raising the good in the world through building emotionally intelligent leadership for extraordinary leaders – both those with the official leadership titles and those unofficial leaders. While working for a Fortune 500 company, Sandi ran the global innovation team. Although Sandi is a leadership consultant and coach, her pups, Coco & Chanel rule the roost at home!

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Hung Huynh

Hung Huynh

Fidelity Information Services (FIS)

Innovative Concepts in Legacy Applications Domain
Co-Presented with Somanna Udiyanda

Rm: JSOM 1.117
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  • Abstract

    Innovation is the life blood of any industry. Innovation comes in various forms and in various areas like, techniques, processes, research and development, project management etc. Establishment of innovative project management concepts and strategy is essential for any project to thrive in any industry. This is particularly critical in the domain of legacy applications. Our presentation will focus on how innovative concepts and strategy have helped to maintain our competitiveness when the legacy products we support were given just few years to survive in the current market. Based on our experience, even though the new generation of users do not like the technology or traditional ways of conducting business of legacy products, completely sun-setting these applications has not been easy. In the banking software industry, there are lot of functions these products perform with great efficiency. As software companies find ways to replace these legacy products with products developed using latest platforms and technology, it puts a lot of pressure on small groups within organizations to find innovative concepts to keep the legacy products afloat. With decreasing maintenance and increasing pressure from other departments within the organization, project managers are forced to think outside the box to increase efficiency or maintain revenue streams. Even though in other typical organizations, project managers may not directly get involved in sales or revenue, when it comes to this unique environment, project managers wear multiple hats. We would like to share scenarios based on our experiences on how innovative concepts during a typical project life cycle has helped us increase revenue and remain competitive through strategic/tactical enhancements to these legacy products.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Hung Huynh is an UTD alumni and a Development/Project Manager with over 25 years of experience working in software development, customer support and implementations with large financial institutions in the US. His team are developing, installing and supporting customized applications in item processing for many large banks in the country such Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase etc.

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Somanna Udiyanda

Somanna Udiyanda

Fidelity Information Services (FIS)

Innovative Concepts in Legacy Applications Domain
Co-Presented with Hung Huynh

Rm: JSOM 1.117
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Innovation is the life blood of any industry. Innovation comes in various forms and in various areas like, techniques, processes, research and development, project management etc. Establishment of innovative project management concepts and strategy is essential for any project to thrive in any industry. This is particularly critical in the domain of legacy applications. Our presentation will focus on how innovative concepts and strategy have helped to maintain our competitiveness when the legacy products we support were given just few years to survive in the current market. Based on our experience, even though the new generation of users do not like the technology or traditional ways of conducting business of legacy products, completely sun-setting these applications has not been easy. In the banking software industry, there are lot of functions these products perform with great efficiency. As software companies find ways to replace these legacy products with products developed using latest platforms and technology, it puts a lot of pressure on small groups within organizations to find innovative concepts to keep the legacy products afloat. With decreasing maintenance and increasing pressure from other departments within the organization, project managers are forced to think outside the box to increase efficiency or maintain revenue streams. Even though in other typical organizations, project managers may not directly get involved in sales or revenue, when it comes to this unique environment, project managers wear multiple hats. We would like to share scenarios based on our experiences on how innovative concepts during a typical project life cycle has helped us increase revenue and remain competitive through strategic/tactical enhancements to these legacy products.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Somanna Udiyanda is a Sr Business Analyst with FIS. He has worked in various capacity within the organization, leading both onshore and offshore teams. He has over 10 years of experience working with large financial institutes in the US. Somanna earned his MBA in 2004 from Oklahoma City University. The past few years of his career has been primarily focused on development, testing and project management with Clients at many large financial institutions in the US.

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Lon Roberts

Lon Roberts

Roberts & Roberts Associates

Does Your Project Have a Pulse?

Rm: JSOM 1.217
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  • Abstract

    Are your projects vibrant and alive—a breeding ground for innovation and creative thinking? Or, are they better described as zombie projects—brain-dead creatures that plod along but are devoid of life and vitality? And more to the point, does it really matter one way or another, assuming the job gets done? The author of this paper defends the position that creativity and innovation are essential in contemporary projects, despite the fact that they create special challenges for project leaders—especially those who are tend toward being process-oriented. Distilling lessons learned from his research, the author offers a set of principles for “seeding” creativity and innovation by creating a project environment that fosters a healthy curiosity on the part of individuals and project teams. To reinforce his suggestions for creating a curiosity-friendly project environment, the author also cites specific actions and behaviors of Robert Wilson and Leon Lederman—the exemplars who designed, built, expanded, and managed the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL).

    Leadership 100%

    Bio

    Dr. Lon Roberts is a principal partner with Roberts & Roberts Associates, where he is a speaker, seminar leader, and management consultant. He has held positions with E-Systems/Raytheon, Alliance for Higher Education, and Texas State Technical College. His areas of expertise include data analytics, measurement systems, project leadership, and process reengineering.

    Lon has authored numerous articles, four books, and is a contributing author to Defense AT&L magazine. In addition to earning a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma, he earned B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State University.

    On a personal note, Lon is the author of a children’s book and he also conducts science-magic programs to stimulate young people’s interest in science, math, and engineering.

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Dwight Davis

Dwight Davis

Lighthouse Performance Consulting

Innovative Project Management Concepts and Techniques

Rm: JSOM 1.110
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  • Abstract

    Why are basic projects, products, and marketing failing to fully meet customer needs with high satisfaction? As Albert Einstein well stated it, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” We need a new perspective and concept on innovation and strategy. This will open up new concepts on leading project management with outcome driven innovation techniques that will produce improved productivity on projects. Also, new innovation processes and concepts will drive company revenue growth and enable companies to discover hidden growth opportunities, create products and services that customers want to buy – and predict, with a success rate that is five times the industry average, and also indicate which new products will succeed in their given market. Instead of the old hit-and-miss innovation processes, the new outcome driven innovation concept and techniques makes innovation five (5) times more predictable and minimizes project risk impacts. Using a new 9 facet outcome driven innovation process within organizations can help move projects, products, and marketing; as well as the entire corporate culture, to an improved performance and successful position in the competitive marketplace. Increased innovative customer solutions and satisfaction produced increased marketing revenue and moved a number of companies to the leading edge of market advance for projects, products, and services.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Dwight Davis, MBA, PMP®, CPT is Owner and Senior Program Management Consultant for Lighthouse Performance Consulting, his own firm based in Garland, Texas, USA. Dwight is a seasoned high tech project management leader and senior consultant who has served in Project Management Leadership over 40 years in IT Services, Telecom and Defense industries, such as: Hewlett Packard, EDS, MCI WorldCom, Andrew SciComm, Raytheon and E-Systems. He has remarkable results in leading increased IT productivity with innovative leadership for turnarounds of multiple major projects with successful results that far exceeded customer expectations. He received both a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Grace University and his Bachelor of Science in Electro/Mechanical Engineering (BSEME) with Computer Science from Texas Institute of Technology (now merged with DeVry University-Texas).

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Dan Vickers

Dan Vickers

Marsh Clearsight

The Art of Project Management

Rm: JSOM 1.102
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  • Abstract

    What is art? It is an expression of one’s inner self via medium that can be pondered and appreciated, and is aesthetically interesting.

    The profession of project management is something we do. The art of project management is something we are. Who are you as a project manager? Are others drawn to your style of project management? Do you provide value other than checking off a list of tasks?

    In this session we will discuss and consider how we can improve our art so that we can: 1) become a better business partner with all of our stakeholders, 2) positively influence the people we have the opportunity to work with, and 3) affect innovation in our processes so we can positively impact our profession and our career

    Topics:

    • Digging Deep – Leading yourself and Leading others
    • Digging Wide – Expanding your influence on your project and in your organization
    • Digging Long – Planning and preparing your future

    Questions:

    • Why not you?
    • How do you sharpen your shovel?
    • When is the right time to lead, follow or get out of the way?
    • What is that strange light up ahead?

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Dan Vickers, a project leader at Marsh ClearSight, has worked with a variety of clients in multiple industries: Banking, Insurance, Staffing and Manufacturing. A graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1992, he began in project management in 1996, was certified as a PMP in 2003, and has led hundreds of projects from start to finish. He works in a fast-moving, multi-client, multi-team environment delivering risk management software solutions to clients across the U.S. He has led project management webinars to other project managers from around the world, authored numerous blogs and has been published in several online trade journals. He has a passion for continuous improvement in all areas of project management.

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May 17, 10:55 – 11:55 a.m.Back to Top

Michael Pace

Michael Pace

Texas A&M University

An Approach to an “Xtreme Project”

Rm: JSOM 1.110
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  • Abstract

    Robert Wysocki defined project whose goal and solution are not known as “extreme” projects (xPM). Traditionally, these are seen in the realms of research and development or process improvement, where something is to be done but what that something is is vague and unclear at the onset. These are high-risk, high-change, and high-failure projects. Texas A&M’s Division of IT recently underwent a project to achieve compliance with still-unfolding (and vague) government regulations, which was met with uncertainty, anxiety, and organizational politics. This presentation will outline the initiative of that project, solutions employed to manage it as an xPM project, and lessons learned from the process.

    Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Michael Pace is a lecturer with Texas A&M’s Mays Business school and PMO Manager for their Division of IT. In addition to teaching on management topics, he is responsible for Portfolio, Program and Project Management for the division’s university-wide initiatives. This includes direct accountability of a portfolio of programs and initiatives, leadership of a team of project managers, and guidance to the University’s project professionals. His experience ranges more than fifteen years across a range of organizations, including for-profit and non-profit, private-equity-held and publicly traded, and industries from healthcare/biotech through telecom to higher education. Michael has earned his practical expertise through years of creating, optimizing, and leading Project Management Offices in organizations which include Ameritox, National Jewish Health, Dish, and Texas A&M University. He earned a BS at Baylor University (Forensic Science), MS at Sam Houston State University (Forensic Science) and PhD at Capella University (Business Management). This odd mixture of science and business fosters novel interpretations of business processes. When not attempting to drive improvement internal and external to his organization, Michael enjoys researching, reading, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

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Darrel Hubbard

Darrel Hubbard

D.G. Hubbard Enterprises, LLC

Innovation Ecosystem Management Leadership in Project Management and Business
Co-Presented with Peter Rogers

Rm: JSOM 1.117
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  • Abstract

    Innovation is strategically positioned ideas implemented to create business value and benefits for the enterprise. Every enterprise, and department therein, including the project management discipline and wherever project management manifests itself within the enterprise, will benefit from leading a managed innovation ecosystem. An ecosystem, wherein specific principles, practices, processes, and tools guide behaviors and decisions to create a mindset and culture, working harmoniously with organizational structure and in alignment with strategy, resulting in sustained enterprise-wide creativity and innovation. This innovative mindset and culture must permeate and be integral with the enterprise’s organizational structure and strategy, and not be sequestered within its own innovation lab or silo. The enterprise’s business units, including the PMO, must be responsible for managing innovation, using agreed upon goals, metrics, and budget, and a governance model with metered funding and gates. Establishing a managed innovation ecosystem requires organizational-structure changes and culture changes, to foster innovation across and within organizational functions, using formal change management processes. This requires an Organizational Project Management strategy, structure design, and culture that is harmonious within the enterprise, promotes innovation, and can effect business strategy realization through project management. This requires specific agile management principles and methods that foster and support a culture of innovation. Though every enterprise and PMO has its own innovation ecosystem, few understand and actively manage their ecosystem. In this digital age, with five generations in the workforce, those that develop and manage their innovation ecosystems will outperform all others, and thrive within an increasingly competitive marketplace.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Darrel Hubbard provides executive consulting and assessment services and has 50-plus years of experience in consulting, and in executive, line, and technical management positions. As a Subject Matter Expert, he advises organizations in achieving their enterprise’s business strategies and tactical objectives. This includes executive analysis of management structures, business processes, general business operations, and project management capabilities, and supplying specific recommendations on business, innovation, methodology, and process improvements. During the past twenty years his research and work have stressed the managerial development and establishment of Project/Program/Portfolio Business Management Organizations (PBMOs) focusing on business management aspects of Organizational Project Management (OPM). He supports companies in the managerial development and establishment of OPM and PBMOs and delivers workshops focusing on the business management aspects of project management.

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Peter Rogers

Peter Rogers

P17Group LLC

Innovation Ecosystem Management Leadership in Project Management and Business
Co-Presented with Darrel Hubbard

Rm: JSOM 1.117
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Innovation is strategically positioned ideas implemented to create business value and benefits for the enterprise. Every enterprise, and department therein, including the project management discipline and wherever project management manifests itself within the enterprise, will benefit from leading a managed innovation ecosystem. An ecosystem, wherein specific principles, practices, processes, and tools guide behaviors and decisions to create a mindset and culture, working harmoniously with organizational structure and in alignment with strategy, resulting in sustained enterprise-wide creativity and innovation. This innovative mindset and culture must permeate and be integral with the enterprise’s organizational structure and strategy, and not be sequestered within its own innovation lab or silo. The enterprise’s business units, including the PMO, must be responsible for managing innovation, using agreed upon goals, metrics, and budget, and a governance model with metered funding and gates. Establishing a managed innovation ecosystem requires organizational-structure changes and culture changes, to foster innovation across and within organizational functions, using formal change management processes. This requires an Organizational Project Management strategy, structure design, and culture that is harmonious within the enterprise, promotes innovation, and can effect business strategy realization through project management. This requires specific agile management principles and methods that foster and support a culture of innovation. Though every enterprise and PMO has its own innovation ecosystem, few understand and actively manage their ecosystem. In this digital age, with five generations in the workforce, those that develop and manage their innovation ecosystems will outperform all others, and thrive within an increasingly competitive marketplace.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Peter Rogers provides executive team development coaching and consulting services, in the space between strategy development and execution. Throughout his 40-year career, he has taken a holistic approach to business challenges, by uncovering the less obvious elements that are critical for success. During the past decade, he has focused on business and team agility, optimizing organizational and management structures in response to changes in strategy, and the management of innovation and culture. In particular, these relate to organizational structure and strategy, and to the evolution and success of PMOs with respect to the realization of strategy. Peter’s approach is to identify the essential and eliminate the rest, while getting the very best out of the most valuable resource—people.

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Dwaraka Iyengar

Dwaraka Iyengar

LeadForward Management Consultants

Tools and Techniques to Inspire Innovation

Rm: JSOM 1.212
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  • Abstract

    Business dictionary defines innovation as translating an idea into a product of value to the customer at an economical cost to them. This definition clearly implies that to innovate a product pr service, businesses do not need plentiful of dollars. However, if we survey many business leaders they will lead us to believe that they do not have any budget for innovation. Given this environment created by business leaders how do we still inspire innovation so we create products and services at an affordable cost to the consumer. This session will walk you through some simple techniques to inspire innovation in your project, program, portfolio, discuss the elements that form the innovation equation, barriers to innovation and finally how to stimulate creative thinking in the project.

    Leadership 75%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Having over 35 years of experience in providing business solutions to corporations in competencies such as communications, negotiations, leadership, team building, procurement, mergers & acquisitions, outsourcing and offshoring, Dwaraka provides businesses with assistance in their management and leadership training. Dwaraka is a highly reputed speaker in Project Management and has been a speaker at various symposiums in the country. Dwaraka currently serves on the boards of various organizations, and has served as a Past President of the Dallas Chapter of PMI.

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Satinder Baweja

Satinder Baweja

Milestone Consultants

CPM Scheduling and Pull Planning: Two Pillars of the Bridge to Innovation
Co-Presented with Lori Vidak

Rm: JSOM 1.107
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Innovation is something new. It requires creativity, right? Unfortunately, innovation is not that easy. New ideas pop up by the thousands every day, but only a small percentage of them become noteworthy and even fewer motivate change within an organization. For innovation to be nurtured within a project management team, a secure bridge must be built from the status quo to the unknown. Building this bridge within project management requires two strong pillars: Critical Path Method (CPM) scheduling and Pull Planning. At first, they seem to be opposing forces that will tear the bridge apart, but we demonstrate they are complimentary. CPM scheduling is stability. Pull Planning is flexibility. We will briefly identify what CPM scheduling is, then demonstrate how its simple structured approach provides a roadmap for the project, without which much creative energy would be wasted trying to chart new paths that are not new. CPM schedules give a point of reference from which innovation can begin and be measured. In comparison, the development of pull planning will be addressed. Once believed it would eliminate the need for the CPM schedule, we reveal how it finds its true strength in the CPM schedule. And, we demonstrate how, done regularly throughout the life of the project, pull planning encourages innovative thinking among the project team to improve processes and address the project challenges that were noticed in a timely manner by using the CPM schedule.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Satinder Baweja is the founder and CEO of Milestone Consultants, with over 25 years of global experience. Satinder has assisted executives and corporations in USA, Europe, Middle East and South America organize & manage large programs, launch products and enter new markets. Satinder is considered an expert in the areas of planning large-scale complex initiatives and turnaround of troubled programs and projects. Satinder always takes a partnering approach with his clients to simplify complex decisions and projects through collaboration and creativity. Satinder has lived, worked and studied in East Africa, India and the US, which enables him to bring his unique global perspective and work with diverse cultures. Satinder’s education includes a Masters in Engineering from Texas A&M, USA.

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Lori Vidak

Lori Vidak

Milestone Consultants

CPM Scheduling and Pull Planning: Two Pillars of the Bridge to Innovation
Co-Presented with Satinder Baweja

Rm: JSOM 1.107
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Innovation is something new. It requires creativity, right? Unfortunately, innovation is not that easy. New ideas pop up by the thousands every day, but only a small percentage of them become noteworthy and even fewer motivate change within an organization. For innovation to be nurtured within a project management team, a secure bridge must be built from the status quo to the unknown. Building this bridge within project management requires two strong pillars: Critical Path Method (CPM) scheduling and Pull Planning. At first, they seem to be opposing forces that will tear the bridge apart, but we demonstrate they are complimentary. CPM scheduling is stability. Pull Planning is flexibility. We will briefly identify what CPM scheduling is, then demonstrate how its simple structured approach provides a roadmap for the project, without which much creative energy would be wasted trying to chart new paths that are not new. CPM schedules give a point of reference from which innovation can begin and be measured. In comparison, the development of pull planning will be addressed. Once believed it would eliminate the need for the CPM schedule, we reveal how it finds its true strength in the CPM schedule. And, we demonstrate how, done regularly throughout the life of the project, pull planning encourages innovative thinking among the project team to improve processes and address the project challenges that were noticed in a timely manner by using the CPM schedule.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Lori Vidak is a content writer and marketing director for Milestone Consultants. She is a novelist and blog writer with over thirty years of experience as the owner of a silk-screen printing and promotional products company from which she is now retired. Her experience in the silk-screen printing industry, personal interests, and fitness training give her insights into self-discipline, motivation, ethics, management and creative problem-solving. She is a long-time resident of Texas, with roots in Colorado and Missouri.

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Abby Kohut

Abby Kohut

Absolutely Abby

Working the Room for Project Managers and Creating Your “Zing”

Rm: JSOM 1.217
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  • Abstract

    Do you attend networking events or work events and walk away feeling like you could have been more successful in meeting more people? Do you wait for others to approach you? Do you feel anxious when you try to start a conversation? In today’s world networking isn’t just for those NOT working. It’s a powerful personal and professional tool we can all use to leverage relationships. To build your business or to advance in your career, it’s imperative that you get comfortable with networking. But why just be comfortable when it can actually be fun???

    Leadership 100%

    Bio

    Abby Kohut is an award winning Human Resources professional with 22 years of experience. She is credited with offering over 10,000 people jobs from all industries and at all levels of employment during her recruiting career. Abby is well known in the Human Resources and job search world as “Absolutely Abby.” Her website, AbsolutelyAbby.com, was selected as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career” by Forbes because it teaches candidates secrets the Absolute truth about the job search process that other recruiters typically don’t share. Abby was selected as one of the top 100 influential people online according to Fast Company Magazine. She has offered her Human Resources perspective on Fox 5, NBC, CBS, ABC, LinkedIn, Monster, The Ladders, and Bloomberg Radio.

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Katharina Kettner

Katharina Kettner

Online Business Systems

Towards a Culture of Innovation: How Agile and Organizational Change Management contribute to the success of Culture Change

Rm: JSOM 1.102
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  • Abstract

    It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. (Charles Darwin) Same goes for organizations in the jungles, swamps and rough seas of global economy. Even – especially – industries and regions on the periphery of change now feel the pressure to innovate. So how to achieve that goal? The first part explores definitions and models, outlines the strategic importance of corporate culture – and structure – for organizational moves towards Innovation, and makes the case for enterprise change management as a vital strategic factor in any culture change. After examining some myths about innovation and creativity, the second part demonstrates what kind of leadership and tools can help foster these qualities. The third part shows why projects are a good vehicle to make this change happen, how the systematic application of agile is especially suited and how Agile and Change Management contribute to the success of Cultural Change towards a Culture of Innovation. Methods: Practitioner’s view –strategy, practice and interactive elements, tools, innovation climate examples

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    As an innovative Sr. Organizational Change Manager with over 25 years of experience in designing and implementing programs for corporate clients in Europe and Canada, Katharina has been involved in large transformations (IT, M&A, reorg), including enterprise & portfolio CM and strategic planning. She also worked with start-ups, artists and in patent projects. Katharina is well-versed in waterfall & agile, a strong facilitator, and an expert in organizational culture & leadership development. She holds a PhD in Communication & Media, a certificate in Economy & Business Studies (Strategic Management & Leadership), and certifications in PRINCE2, Scrum, PROSCI ADKAR, and Business Process Management. She has published articles and a book on OCM Best Practices in IT projects published by gpm-ipma and is active in professional networks.

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May 17, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.Back to Top

Aaron Drazin

Aaron Drazin

Lennox International

Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo….Who’s the Best Schedule of them All?

Rm: JSOM 1.217
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    It’s Friday afternoon, and you’re headed out for a nice weekend away from the office. As you are just about ready to dash to the car, your boss comes in. “I know you’re on the way out for the weekend, but I really need to get a feel for Project Unobtanium’s ability to meet schedule. I just got out of a meeting with the Leadership Team and they are very concerned that we’re going to miss schedule and impact our market position. I need some visibility into the critical path, and how to deploy resources so that we make execution schedule a 100% certainty.” Take a deep breath, and with a slight grin, you respond that this will be no problem and you’ll have some talking points by 10AM Monday. You leave the office with no anxiety of a ruined weekend because you know that you have a secret planning tool which will answer your boss’ questions with ease. Using Monte Carlo analysis on the project schedule is an innovative application of an old technique and should yield all the insight that your boss needs. This paper and presentation will define Monte Carlo simulation and then walk through a sample schedule risk assessment. The learning objective is to understand how common mathematical principles can be applied to provide the project manager insight to the management of complex projects.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Aaron Drazin is currently a Principal Engineering Program Manager for Lennox International. In this role, Aaron provides program management leadership for new product development programs of residential HVAC products.

    Prior to Lennox, Aaron spent nearly 20 years in the defense sector. Most recently, he was the Director for Aircraft Survivability Programs at DRS Technologies. Prior to this position, he spent nine years at Lockheed Martin as a systems engineer / operations analyst. Aaron began his career with the US Department of Defense.

    Aaron holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Systems Engineering, both from Virginia Tech. He obtained an MS in Management from Southern Methodist University. He is a certified Project Management Professional.

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Curt Raschke

Curt Raschke

Product Focused Project Management

Digital Transformation through Product and Project Innovation Management

Rm: JSOM 1.110
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    So, what exactly is a “Digital Transformation” and how is one actually implemented? Answers to these questions, unfortunately, are often hard to find in the “tsunami” of white papers, presentations, advertisements, webinars, and blogs on the subject that are generally more philosophical than actionable. Although many digital technologies are indeed new, technology driven “transformations” are not and historically have succeeded not through the technology itself but through the innovative products enabled by the technology that deliver valuable services not previously possible. A successful “Digital Transformation,” then, will bring innovative, digitally enabled products to the marketplace that deliver previously unavailable valuable services and these innovative products, in turn, will be created through innovative projects. This presentation will discuss how project management “conventional wisdom” should be revised to more effectively execute such innovative product development projects, specifically with regard to project success metrics, project management processes, organizational strategy, and stakeholder requirements. The concept of an “innovation matrix” will be introduced to help assess and manage the degree and type of innovation in both the product and project dimensions. The deployment of such innovation management concepts across the 14 business units of a $12B global electronics company to re-engineer its product development process and Project Management Office structure will be discussed. Through this strategic initiative, the company was able to rationalize and streamline portfolio planning across the Business Units while facilitating the introduction of strategically important new products in the individual Business Units

    Technical Project Management 100%

    Bio

    Curt Raschke is a product development thought leader, innovative project manager and business process change agent helping global high technology companies adapt their products, projects and processes to changing market opportunities. He also teaches an Executive MBA course on “Effective New Product Introduction” at the UT Dallas Center for Intelligent Supply Networks on using innovative product introductions as the basis for sustainable competitive advantage. Curt founded the UT Dallas Applied Project Management Forum in 2004 and served as Chair of the Project Management Institute New Product Development Specific Interest Group for five years. He has a Ph.D. in Solid State Physics with PMP and Lean Six Sigma certifications.

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Neil Farquharson

Neil Farquharson

Reporting USA

Learn To Love Conflict – And Enjoy Anxiety-Free Sleep

Rm: JSOM 1.117
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Are you conflict allergic? Does conflict activate your fight-or-flight response? Do functional managers always seem to find good reasons to retask your people resources to “urgent priorities”? And does your composed, voice-of-reason demeanor get you nowhere? Do you sometimes wake up in the night simultaneously angry and filled with anxiety? Maybe now is the time to try a new tac. In this session we’re going to give you 10 benefits of conquering conflict. For example, when project managers appear calm and under control – the voice of reason – the other stakeholders tend to reciprocate, and in doing so become very guarded about their problems. Instead, we’ll show you how to respond to conflict with guided conflict, so you can capture the unguarded, real reasoning behind stakeholder objections. Never assume that all people avoid conflict. Many people actually enjoy conflict – it can be fun for them. We need to recognize this and use conflict as a stimulus for new thinking that can then be incorporated into the project. At least one study has suggested that over 20% of a project manager’s time is spent “dealing with conflict.” If that time must be spent in conflict, let’s use it to our advantage and turn conflict into an asset.

    Leadership 100%

    Bio

    Neil Farquharson has been speaking on technical topics to audiences for many years. As well as being a PMP, he’s a15-year marketing veteran who takes pride in applying PMI processes to large-budget marketing campaigns. Neil holds an MBA from the Naveen Jindal School of Management, UT Dallas, and a degree in electronics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

    Neil has previously worked for Cadbury, the well-known British and international confectionary company, and Alcatel-Lucent now part Nokia where he cut his teeth by arranging sales events, speaking to large and small live audiences, and rewriting marketing communications to remove traditional marketing speak: what he calls “superlative-filled text that has lost credibility with modern audiences.”

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Susan Hostetter

Susan Hostetter

U.S. Census Bureau

Taming the Tsunami: Governance Strategies for Project Portfolio Management
Co-Presented with Sherri Norris

Rm: JSOM 1.102
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    The U.S. Census Bureau has made project portfolio management a priority for its programs over the past five years. The best known program at the Census Bureau is the population census that is conducted every ten years, but there are other large program areas at Census, such as IT investment, survey methods research, and economic and demographic survey areas, that manage hundreds of projects within their portfolios. Each area has a unique set of programs, projects, investments, stakeholder and oversight obligations and each faces a tsunami of project information produced by its portfolio of projects. For example, the 10-year Census is a $15 billion program with a high volume of technical projects and investments that face extensive internal and external oversight, the IT area has the responsibility of managing IT investments without direct funding for IT purchases, and the economic and demographic areas have hundreds of small survey programs with a multitude of funding sources and customers. To manage these different portfolio situations, each area has developed a governance structure to handle the management demands of their project portfolios. This paper and presentation will profile project portfolio management challenges common to all organizations and provide governance strategies from the Census Bureau that will help other organizations to tame their tsunami of project information and ensure that their leaders have the right information for decision making. We will cover governance strategies that successfully gain and maintain traction and discuss why they work. Additionally we will discuss strategies that tend to fail and why that happens.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Susan Hostetter, PMP, is a Project Manager at the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, DC, USA. As a data analyst and project management professional, she has been instrumental in standing up and improving PMO processes for risk management, project management, portfolio management, schedule management, cost management, performance management and strategic planning. Her papers have been published in the PM World Journal and she has presented project management topics at PMI chapter events and at the University of Maryland’s and University of Texas at Dallas’ PM Symposiums. She has a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University, a Master’s Degree in Management with Project Management emphasis from University of Maryland’s University College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, with a minor in Economics, from Mary Baldwin College. Susan can be contacted at susan.lynn.hostetter@census.gov

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Sherri Norris

Sherri Norris

U.S. Census Bureau

Taming the Tsunami: Governance Strategies for Project Portfolio Management
Co-Presented with Susan Hostetter

Rm: JSOM 1.102
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    The U.S. Census Bureau has made project portfolio management a priority for its programs over the past five years. The best known program at the Census Bureau is the population census that is conducted every ten years, but there are other large program areas at Census, such as IT investment, survey methods research, and economic and demographic survey areas, that manage hundreds of projects within their portfolios. Each area has a unique set of programs, projects, investments, stakeholder and oversight obligations and each faces a tsunami of project information produced by its portfolio of projects. For example, the 10-year Census is a $15 billion program with a high volume of technical projects and investments that face extensive internal and external oversight, the IT area has the responsibility of managing IT investments without direct funding for IT purchases, and the economic and demographic areas have hundreds of small survey programs with a multitude of funding sources and customers. To manage these different portfolio situations, each area has developed a governance structure to handle the management demands of their project portfolios. This paper and presentation will profile project portfolio management challenges common to all organizations and provide governance strategies from the Census Bureau that will help other organizations to tame their tsunami of project information and ensure that their leaders have the right information for decision making. We will cover governance strategies that successfully gain and maintain traction and discuss why they work. Additionally we will discuss strategies that tend to fail and why that happens.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Sherri Norris is a project management and statistical professional with over twenty years of public policy, project management and operations experience. Ms. Norris has coordinated and implemented schedule, requirements, performance management, and governance processes for survey and Census Programs. She has a Public Policy Master’s Degree in Justice: Law and Society from American University, a Master’s Certificate in Program Management from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from University of Delaware. Sherri can be reached at sherri.j.norris@census.gov

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Jaana Simula

Jaana Simula

Enterprise BlockChain Solutions

Managing Successful Blockchain Projects

Rm: JSOM 1.107
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Blockchain is coming, are you prepared? Blockchain is the hot new technology behind bitcoin and Cryptokitties, but the use cases for it span beyond cryptocurrencies and adorable avatars. The size of the global blockchain technology market is expected to almost tenfold by 2021, and companies all over the world are looking into blockchain solutions to streamline business processes, cut middlemen and ultimately, to save costs and be ahead of competition. The time to learn the basics of the new technology, and the opportunities and challenges it brings, is now! The recipe for successful projects – stellar planning, having the right team, good communication, and controlled risk – is technology agnostic. Nevertheless, Gartner estimated that 90% of blockchain projects launched in 2015 will fail within 18-24 months. New technology and new business models have added an additional layer of difficulty in managing the projects. How can the biggest mistakes be avoided? This presentation will introduce the fundamental concepts and benefits of blockchain, and share insight about the risks and challenges companies have faced during their blockchain projects. It will outline the building blocks of a successful blockchain project, and the characteristics that are needed from a successful Blockchain Project Manager.

    Strategic and Business Management 100%

    Bio

    Jaana is a PMP and an entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in IT and software industry in various roles, from development, to consulting, to project and product management. She is co-founder and owner of Enterprise BlockChain Solutions, a company that uses disruptive technologies to help customers eliminate inefficiencies and risks, reduce costs, and gain competitive advantage. In addition, Jaana is one of the leading blockchain consultants for Universal Health Coin, a public benefit corporation which is reinventing healthcare finance and payment for everyone utilizing blockchain technology and leveraging the explosive growth of cryptocurrency to arbitrage, decentralize and provide fair payment of health services worldwide.

    Jaana is a passionate advocate of blockchain technology amongst women, and is educating women about the opportunities that the technology brings, as well as business models of the future through her Blockchain for Women seminar. Jaana also has a leading role in in two Dallas – Fort Worth blockchain networking groups–DFW Corda Meetup and Government Blockchain Professionals–where she is educating and building strong blockchain communities, which benefit companies and individuals in DFW area.

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May 17, 2:10 – 3:10 p.m.Back to Top

Panel Discussion

Leading Breakthrough Projects

Rm: JSOM 1.117

Abstract

“Breakthrough” Projects create innovative products and services that are significantly different from existing offerings with regard to product usage, target users, product configuration, underlying technologies, or any combination of these. These product differences necessarily introduce requirement vagueness, approach uncertainties, and execution risks (known and unknown) into the project, which scale with the degree of the product changes, and generally require innovative solutions.

So how does a Project Manager identify, plan and implement the project innovations needed for a successful “breakthrough” project, and what kind of leadership style is best suited to deliver the innovations? Come join our panel discussion as the panelists share their extensive insights and experiences leading “breakthrough” projects to answer these questions and others you may have.

Panel Discussion

Creating the Innovation Incubator for Project Management Careers

Rm: JSOM 1.212

Abstract

Are you interested in how companies hire the best and brightest innovative minds in project management? Perhaps you are a potential candidate looking to find your next opportunity at an innovative company pushing new boundaries. This session will be a panel discussion which will cover several concepts related to careers in innovative companies and how to create an atmosphere capable of servings as an incubator for innovation. We will investigate, the link between the company’s culture and the innovation process. We will also talk about how to influence new and/or existing teams to become more innovative. If you are interested in being a project management organization or a project manager skilled to meet the strategic direction of the business, meeting the financial forecast for the company, and leverage innovation to grow, you should attend this workshop.

Panel Discussion

Analytics in Project Management

Rm: JSOM 1.217

Abstract

Go beyond simply capturing data and checking off tasks as they come by embracing analytics! Adding analytics to your project management repertoire can help you better handle complex projects by leveraging data to generate meaningful and actionable insights.

May 18, 10:55 – 11:55 a.m.Back to Top

Myles Miller

Myles Miller

LeadUP

Project Management Maturity Model — A Pathway to Project SUCCESS

Rm: JSOM 1.110
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    The road map to organizational project management success has been created and is being used by many organizations around the world.

    So, how is your organization moving towards its continual project success? Does is have a maturity model that it is using? Does it need one?

    This session will explore the basis and foundation for creating a project management maturity model using the PMI OPM3. The five levels of Project Management Maturity will be presented and allow those present to do an assessment in the session to determine the current and future state of their organization and its project management maturity.

    Each level will be shared in detailed and steps to get from one level to the next will be shared.

    Various examples of each level from the real world and how these levels can be used effectively will be shared.

    At the session conclusion, attendees will have a clear understanding of what OPM3 is and how they can implement and use it to improve their own organization’s project management maturity.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Multi-national CEO, two-time Best Selling Author and Radio Host of “Myles of SUCCESS”, Myles Miller is the CEO and Founder of LEADUP, LearningBreaks and SUCCESSHQ, international training and success development companies spanning 6 continents and employing 500 plus contractors operating in over 100 countries around the globe.

    Myles has over 30 years’ experience in the project management field, across multiple industries including retail, defense, state and federal government, international countries and hospitality. During his varied career, he has led projects and programs impacting the United States and countries abroad ranging in budgetary size from $100K to $500B and leading teams of over 10,000 members.

    Myles has a BS in Business Management from Penn State University and a MBA from La Salle University in International Business Management and recently acquired his PhD from Baylor University.

Chris Vandersluis

Chris Vandersluis

EPM Guidance

How to Increase Resource Capacity Without Hiring

Rm: JSOM 1.212
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Needing more resources but not being able to hire is a challenge almost every Project Management Office today. Every project manager knows about the project management constraint triangle: Scope, Time, and Resources. Each element affects the other two. In today’s modern economy, there is an almost universal pressure to do things faster, to do more, and to do so with fewer resources. You are probably already making the most out of available project resources using good project management so being more efficient in your project schedule can only yield so much in the way of improvements in resource capacity. Implementing good portfolio selection practices helps by not having to use resources on starting projects that won’t return good value but a lack of sufficient project resources still is a challenge. This presentation will show real world examples of how organizations are able to configure internal systems to track and measure both project and non-project tasks and personnel and as a result generate increased project resource capacity in some cases by as much as 50%. There is often an enormous capacity available to projects that is overlooked in the organization because it is not currently being controlled by project personnel at all. Configuring project control systems between project personnel and human resources personnel can identify resource capacity you didn’t know you had. Categorize non-project work opens a source of data that can be used to free up staff from tasks that are not productive and thus increase project resource capacity.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Mr. Vandersluis is the president of HMS Software based in Montreal, founded in 1984; a company specializing in Project and Timesheet systems. HMS is the publisher of TimeControl, a project-based timesheet system.

    He has a degree in economics from McGill University and over 30 years’ experience implementing enterprise timesheet and project management systems. Mr. Vandersluis has been a member of Microsoft’s EPM Partner Advisory Council and has worked with Oracle-Primavera and Deltek on their project management systems.

    Mr. Vandersluis’ has been published in a number of publications including Fortune Magazine, PMNetwork magazine, Microsoft’s TechNet and is the author of the popular project management blog EPMGuidance.com.

    Mr. Vandersluis has taught Advanced Project Management at Montreal’s McGill University and has been a member of PMI since 1986.

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Rebecca Brady

Rebecca Brady

Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT)

Change Management and Innovation – The Starship Enterprise Project Model
Co-Presented with Michael Borts

Rm: JSOM 1.102
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    “The essential process of all existence is change.” – Mr. Spock Your role as a Project Manager and leader is like the role of a starship captain. Battles are fought and won using innovation, change, and strategic management. In our projects the scope and finished deliverables are often in flux, like a space mission. As captain of projects, your duties are to ideate, innovate, and strategically manage course corrections with acumen to achieve success. “There is a way out of every box, a solution to every puzzle; it’s just a matter of finding it.” — Jean-Luc Picard Identifying the need for innovation and change starts the strategic management process. Techniques include: gathering data, brainstorming, idea refinement, supporting innovators, gaining consensus, communicating solutions, implementing and documenting changes, evaluating solution efficacy, and utilizing lessons learned. You provide the leadership and guidance for innovation. If a change is not effective or market conditions vary, the process is repeated until effective results are achieved. As captain you ensure all members of your crew actively participate in innovation and change management. “When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Mr. Spock Project risks can be as catastrophic or beneficial as those associated with a space mission. The starship captain is responsible for identifying and mitigating these mission critical risks, just like the project manager. In our experience, with every project innovation successfully implemented, we are better strategic partners in our business and project successes. The process to innovation is the mission.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Rebecca Brady has been teaching and facilitating ESL and adult literacy with Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) since 2014. She acts as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Collin County to advocate for foster children. Rebecca is a board member and gardener at the Plano Community Garden. She and PCG gardeners annually donate thousands of pounds of locally-grown, organic vegetables to local foodbanks. For the past year she has also been involved with voter registration and state politics.

    Rebecca was formerly with NICE Systems in multiple roles, including Director of Educational Services, Project Manager, Client Manager, and Senior Manager of Implementation. She has over nineteen years of project management experience. She has a MS in Finance and is a PMP.

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Michael Borts

Michael Borts

Exigo

Change Management and Innovation – The Starship Enterprise Project Model
Co-Presented with Rebecca Brady

Rm: JSOM 1.102
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    “The essential process of all existence is change.” – Mr. Spock Your role as a Project Manager and leader is like the role of a starship captain. Battles are fought and won using innovation, change, and strategic management. In our projects the scope and finished deliverables are often in flux, like a space mission. As captain of projects, your duties are to ideate, innovate, and strategically manage course corrections with acumen to achieve success. “There is a way out of every box, a solution to every puzzle; it’s just a matter of finding it.” — Jean-Luc Picard Identifying the need for innovation and change starts the strategic management process. Techniques include: gathering data, brainstorming, idea refinement, supporting innovators, gaining consensus, communicating solutions, implementing and documenting changes, evaluating solution efficacy, and utilizing lessons learned. You provide the leadership and guidance for innovation. If a change is not effective or market conditions vary, the process is repeated until effective results are achieved. As captain you ensure all members of your crew actively participate in innovation and change management. “When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Mr. Spock Project risks can be as catastrophic or beneficial as those associated with a space mission. The starship captain is responsible for identifying and mitigating these mission critical risks, just like the project manager. In our experience, with every project innovation successfully implemented, we are better strategic partners in our business and project successes. The process to innovation is the mission.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Michael Borts has over nineteen years of project management experience. He is skilled in implementation project management. Currently he is enjoying work at Exigo in Dallas, TX as an Implementation Project Manager. Previously he was employed as a Senior Project Manager with NICE Systems Inc. He has a BA and is a PMP.

    In addition, Michael is a member of the Vocal Majority chorus, lead singer with the Dallas Knights an cappella quartet, and is a National Anthem soloist for the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Rangers. He conducts and facilitates workshops for a cappella groups to assist with competitions and performance. Michael and his wife Cindy participate with their dogs on Sure Shots, a nationally-ranked Flyball club.

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Mechelle Davidson

Mechelle Davidson

Vistra Energy

Agile-Fall: The Best of Both Worlds!
Co-Presented with Rachel Higgs

Rm: JSOM 1.117
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Why does it take so long to launch a new product? That’s the question that started us down the Agile-Fall path. Vistra Energy had been migrating to an agile environment for two years when our leadership tasked us with creating a team with the goal to improve our speed-to-market for new products. The journey to form this agile team took an unexpected turn that has proven advantageous to our products team as well as other operational teams. As we created our charter, we realized the agile methodology alone couldn’t get us to our goal. Tackling this challenge required us to be innovative and develop a new type of implementation that our company had never attempted. Agile was the perfect framework to create our products; however, launching those products required a more traditional waterfall approach. Thus Agile-Fall at Vistra was born. This idea was met with much skepticism at first. Those who were waterfall purists thought that the team would not succeed with our transition to agile. Those who were early adopters of agile at Vistra Energy felt that incorporating waterfall components into our new product creation process would be an anchor around our necks. It was clear within the first year, though, that we had hit upon something wonderful. The blending of these two worlds has allowed us to not only launch our products over 30% faster, it has also increased trust between our technology and business teams. It truly is the best of both worlds!

    Technical Project Management 100%

    Bio

    Mechelle Davidson is a Program Manager in Vistra Energy’s delivery office. She has worked for Vistra Energy and its retail arm, TXU Energy, for 10 years in both a project and people management capacity. With responsibility for implementing complex projects and programs, Mechelle’s current role has led her to the agile methodology, where she has developed a distinctive technique for blending traditional waterfall tasks with the scrum framework. A certified project management professional (PMP), scrum master (CSM), and six sigma black belt (CSSBB), Mechelle is passionate about project management and finds opportunities to use these skills both in and out of the workplace. Mechelle’s professional background includes project management, process improvement, learning & development, and consulting.

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Rachel Higgs

Rachel Higgs

Vistra Energy

Agile-Fall: The Best of Both Worlds!
Co-Presented with Mechelle Davidson

Rm: JSOM 1.117
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Why does it take so long to launch a new product? That’s the question that started us down the Agile-Fall path. Vistra Energy had been migrating to an agile environment for two years when our leadership tasked us with creating a team with the goal to improve our speed-to-market for new products. The journey to form this agile team took an unexpected turn that has proven advantageous to our products team as well as other operational teams. As we created our charter, we realized the agile methodology alone couldn’t get us to our goal. Tackling this challenge required us to be innovative and develop a new type of implementation that our company had never attempted. Agile was the perfect framework to create our products; however, launching those products required a more traditional waterfall approach. Thus Agile-Fall at Vistra was born. This idea was met with much skepticism at first. Those who were waterfall purists thought that the team would not succeed with our transition to agile. Those who were early adopters of agile at Vistra Energy felt that incorporating waterfall components into our new product creation process would be an anchor around our necks. It was clear within the first year, though, that we had hit upon something wonderful. The blending of these two worlds has allowed us to not only launch our products over 30% faster, it has also increased trust between our technology and business teams. It truly is the best of both worlds!

    Technical Project Management 100%

    Bio

    Rachel Higgs is a Senior Project Manager in Vistra Energy’s delivery office. She began her career with Vistra Energy as part of TXU Energy’s prestigious analyst program. Rachel has been instrumental in several large programs, implementing critical regulatory enhancements integral to the industry. As a scrum master for technology services, Rachel has led agile teams responsible for product creation, website and mobile technology. Rachel is a certified project management professional (PMP), scrum master (CSM), and she is ITIL certified. Rachel has an extensive background in project management, regulatory processes, and communications.

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Vincent Yauger

Vincent Yauger

The University of Texas System-Office of Facilities Planning & Construction

Driven to Distraction: Information Overload in the Age of Connectivity

Rm: JSOM 1.107
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    We live in an age of connectivity, the consequence of which is we work in an environment filled with constant interruptions and distractions. If not properly managed, access to instant information can bog down project managers, resulting in decreased efficiency and increased project risk. Most Project Managers deal with multiple projects, so the ability to stay current with project metrics is critical to project success. Yet the sheer magnitude of information can be overwhelming. In this presentation, we will explore tools to effectively sift through this mountain of details, focusing on what is most important to the success of your projects.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Mr. Yauger has 37-years’ experience in design and construction, working as a project manager for both private industry and the government sector. His construction experience covers a broad spectrum of building types, ranging from small residences to multi-million dollar multi-family high-rise, airport terminals, and higher education projects. Vince currently serves as the Senior Resident Construction Manager for the North and East Texas Regions of the University of Texas System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction – managing new construction and major renovation projects at the University of Texas at Dallas campus since 2007.

    Vince earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design (Architecture) from Texas A&M University, with additional graduate studies in Architecture and Management. He holds multiple professional certifications: Project Management Professional (2011), CSI – Certified Construction Contract Administrator (2006), CMAA – Certified Construction Manager (2017), LEED Accredited Professional (2004), and Registered Architect (1999 – Texas).

    Past speaking engagements include the 2017 UT PM Symposium, one of several keynote address at the 2015 UTD PM Symposium, 2016 Virtual Construction and Field Technology Conference, UTD Applied Project Management Forum, 2013 Texas Society of Architects Convention, 2013 UTD Facilities Management Conference, and multiple UT System OFPC annual conferences. He also serves as a guest lecturer for UTD’s PM core curriculum program, speaking to groups of foreign graduate students visiting UT Dallas, and conducting construction site tours on campus.

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Abby Kohut

Abby Kohut

Absolutely Abby

How to Interview like a Project Management Rock star

Rm: JSOM 1.217
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    One day soon, a recruiter will call to interview you for your dream job. Are you really ready to receive that call? Do you know how to answer the tricky HR questions? Are you really sure that you have what it takes to land that job? Join the fun as everyone in the audience learns how to interview like a rock star!

    Leadership 100%

    Bio

    Abby Kohut is an award winning Human Resources professional with 22 years of experience. She is credited with offering over 10,000 people jobs from all industries and at all levels of employment during her recruiting career. Abby is well known in the Human Resources and job search world as “Absolutely Abby.” Her website, AbsolutelyAbby.com, was selected as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career” by Forbes because it teaches candidates secrets the Absolute truth about the job search process that other recruiters typically don’t share. Abby was selected as one of the top 100 influential people online according to Fast Company Magazine. She has offered her Human Resources perspective on Fox 5, NBC, CBS, ABC, LinkedIn, Monster, The Ladders, and Bloomberg Radio.

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May 18, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.Back to Top

Suchitra Veera

Suchitra Veera

Snayu

Adaptive and Agile in the Face of Uncertainty and Change: A Toolkit to deal with complex, rapidly changing and technologically intensive environments

Rm: JSOM 1.117
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    As 2017 came to an end, Yahoo, Business Insider, MSN and other news media published articles on “Ten Brands that will disappear in 2018”, citing declining sales, losses, dwindling market share, rising costs, for their parent companies as reasons for these brands’ demise, and reflecting the challenging business environment that many firms face. Managing the external environment effectively with the appropriate types of internal processes that will allow the firm to respond quickly and effectively to its competitors can be a major challenge that not all organizations are equipped to deal with. For organizations operating in complex and technologically intensive environments, the need to adapt to change is critical. Staying competitive in a fast moving and challenging external environment that heavily relies on technology, requires the organization to be innovative on a continual basis. Agility, adaptability and flexibility in thinking and processes is required at all levels – from development of organizational strategies to implementing them at the project level. Organizations can greatly benefit from the use of portfolio, program and project management methods and processes that allow them to be quickly aware of changes in the external environment, and remain responsive to its changing customer needs. This paper evaluates the optimal set of methods and processes from the organization’s strategic level down to its execution level. The author and provides an integrated toolkit of portfolio, program and project management techniques for organizations to manage their business in complex and dynamic environments, to equip them to deal with evolving customer needs.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 25%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Senior Business Analyst and Program Manager Leader with extensive experience in leading cross-functional teams for deploying IT applications, products and services.

    • MBA, Master of Science and Master of Planning degrees from universities in US and the UK.
    • 20+ years of business analysis, agile and waterfall project/program management & training experience.
    • PMP, ITIL, ScrumMaster, Six Sigma and SAFe Certifications.
    • Volunteer trainer, facilitator and conference reviewer for professional and academic associations including PMI, AOM, and Education Director for PMI.
    • Taught business and IT courses at Universities, and also at the PMI.
    • Providing project and program management consulting services in the DFW area for retail, banking/financial services, manufacturing, and Travel IT companies for past five years. Over ten years’ experience with a Fortune 100 Company delivering IT products and services.
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Sarah Wagner

Sarah Wagner

Texas Capital Bank

The PMO as Innovation Accelerator
Co-Presented with Jeanne Moore

Rm: JSOM 1.212
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    How does a PMO avoid being a bottleneck and instead propel innovation and accelerate business value delivery? Three years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for the majority of the 100+ projects in the company’s portfolio to push their dates weeks and even months or years. Third-party survey results confirmed this wasn’t due to a lack of project manager skills or burdensome PMO processes. Instead, it illustrated the direct correlation between on-time delivery and number of projects in progress. The culprit was an ineffective and inefficient project intake process. Projects were rarely declined because there was no prioritization process or direct alignment between projects and corporate strategy. That’s where “Bank Tank” came in. In a process modeled after the hit TV show Shark Tank, business ideas are ‘pitched’ to the company’s CEO / president and senior executives and if they’re aligned with the core strategies, they progress quickly through initial assessments for resource capacity, risk, complexity and scheduling. On-time performance improved 50% and regularly scheduled ‘look-backs’ provide greater accountability and visibility to business results. With new reports, the PMO now supports executive decisions to approve projects, evaluate tradeoffs and even decline projects (approximately 10%). This new project intake process complimented the existing entrepreneurial business DNA of the company’s employees and clients, but it can be implemented by any PMO motivated to foster innovation and drive ideas to market faster.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Sarah Wagner, SVP, leads the Enterprise Program Management Office for Texas Capital Bank. She’s responsible for the delivery of business and IT major initiatives and the company’s project office functions, including governance and portfolio management. Sarah has also led the PMOs at American Airlines and Lehigh Hanson, focusing on maturing project management capabilities and implementing Agile methods. She has more than 20 years’ experience managing projects and programs and has been a project management consultant for external clients. Sarah earned her Project Management Professional ® certification 1999-2009. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

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Jeanne Moore

Jeanne Moore

Texas Capital Bank

The PMO as Innovation Accelerator
Co-Presented with Sarah Wagner

Rm: JSOM 1.212
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    How does a PMO avoid being a bottleneck and instead propel innovation and accelerate business value delivery? Three years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for the majority of the 100+ projects in the company’s portfolio to push their dates weeks and even months or years. Third-party survey results confirmed this wasn’t due to a lack of project manager skills or burdensome PMO processes. Instead, it illustrated the direct correlation between on-time delivery and number of projects in progress. The culprit was an ineffective and inefficient project intake process. Projects were rarely declined because there was no prioritization process or direct alignment between projects and corporate strategy. That’s where “Bank Tank” came in. In a process modeled after the hit TV show Shark Tank, business ideas are ‘pitched’ to the company’s CEO / president and senior executives and if they’re aligned with the core strategies, they progress quickly through initial assessments for resource capacity, risk, complexity and scheduling. On-time performance improved 50% and regularly scheduled ‘look-backs’ provide greater accountability and visibility to business results. With new reports, the PMO now supports executive decisions to approve projects, evaluate tradeoffs and even decline projects (approximately 10%). This new project intake process complimented the existing entrepreneurial business DNA of the company’s employees and clients, but it can be implemented by any PMO motivated to foster innovation and drive ideas to market faster.

    Technical Project Management 50%, Strategic and Business Management 50%

    Bio

    Jeanne Moore, SVP, is a Senior Manager in the Enterprise Planning and Strategic Initiatives Team for Texas Capital Bank. Jeanne manages the bank’s 5-year roadmap, facilitates the governance process to initiate strategic projects, and assists with oversight of the Bank’s Innovation Lab.

    Jeanne has almost 30 years of banking experience. Her banking career includes JP Morgan Chase Bank as a Senior Project Manager in Global Credit Risk Management; Bank One as a Project Manager in Credit and Loan Operations; and Team Bank as a Manager in Loan Operations. She began her career at Texas American Bank in Fort Worth, TX.

    Jeanne earned her Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) certification in 2012. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s in Business Administration.

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Abby Kohut

Abby Kohut

Absolutely Abby

Success for the Seasoned Search…The Benefit of Being Overqualified

Rm: JSOM 1.217
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  • Abstract

    Many seasoned job seekers find themselves being called overqualified because they have more years of experience than the job description calls for. Learn powerful strategies to overcome your interviewer’s misconceptions about you. It’s impossible to BE overqualified unless YOU believe you ARE overqualified.

    Leadership 100%

    Bio

    Abby Kohut is an award winning Human Resources professional with 22 years of experience. She is credited with offering over 10,000 people jobs from all industries and at all levels of employment during her recruiting career. Abby is well known in the Human Resources and job search world as “Absolutely Abby.” Her website, AbsolutelyAbby.com, was selected as one of the “Top 100 Websites for Your Career” by Forbes because it teaches candidates secrets the Absolute truth about the job search process that other recruiters typically don’t share. Abby was selected as one of the top 100 influential people online according to Fast Company Magazine. She has offered her Human Resources perspective on Fox 5, NBC, CBS, ABC, LinkedIn, Monster, The Ladders, and Bloomberg Radio.

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Zelda Jones

Zelda Jones

Tyler Technologies

Escape Room Tactics for Project Management

Rm: JSOM 1.102
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  • Abstract

    An ‘escape room’ is a real-time on-premise collaborative challenge game where the players solve a series of puzzles and riddles that lead to obtaining the objective: escape from the room. The number of escape rooms continue to grow world-wide with over 5000 rooms in located in 88 countries in 2017. The tactics used to break out of an escape room are very much like the strategies used to bring challenging projects to closure. Teamwork, communication, and adherence to a time line are crucial. Unlike managing a project, an escape room doesn’t allow for up front planning, so thinking outside the box and paying attention to the smallest clues are the keys to successfully escaping. Project documentation seldom provides the full picture of the project. How to deal with personalities or the myriad of unknowns is generally left to the project team. Project managers often find themselves relying on observation, team member feedback, and lateral thinking skills to discover the hidden clues within a project. Let’s face it: you wouldn’t be a PM if you didn’t appreciate a challenge. In this presentation escape room tactics will be used to compare and contrast the tactics used to manage projects. Problem solving styles, research techniques, and unique documentation ideas will be discussed in the context of escape room strategies.

    Technical Project Management 25%, Leadership 50%, Strategic and Business Management 25%

    Bio

    Zelda, a UNT grad, earned her PMP in 2006, and has over 20 years of project management experience focused on technology and, most recently, technology in Courts and Justice. With such vast PM experience Zelda naturally equates most of her experiences with project management. She has recently become acquainted with ‘escape rooms’ where team players are challenged with solving puzzles to find clues that ultimately lead to ‘escaping the room’. What could be more like career related project management?

    Zelda is a 12 time presenter at the UTD Project Management Symposium, and has authored/co-authored 24 publications including international works. She now connects escape room tactics with project management.

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May 18, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Back to Top

Jason Lindmeyer

Jason Lindmeyer

Keyot

Threading the Needle; Bringing Agile Techniques into a Waterfall Organizations

Rm: Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center
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  • Abstract

    This interactive session will explore tools, processes, and approaches that project managers can utilize to create agility on current and future projects. Together we will collaborate on the following three areas:

    • Enhancing the weekly project manager routines by modifying common project tools.
    • Identifying where project managers have influence to create agility within their existing projects.
    • Exploring opportunity areas for agile (or iterative) delivery within your organization and outside of your existing project. We will create visuals and talking points around those areas as well.

    Bio

    Jason is an Agile Coach, Program Manager, and Consulting Leader with 18 years of delivery experience. During the last 10 years, Jason has helped several clients move from a structured waterfall delivery model to an iterative or agile model. He has experience and training as a Project Manager (PMP), Product Owner (CSPO), Scrum Master (CSM), and Business Analyst (Six Sigma Green Belt). He leverages those experiences to help leaders, managers, and teams deliver more business value in less time.

    Jason is currently on-assignment at a large financial services client, leading one line-of-business through an Agile Transformation. He has responsibility for enabling nine Scrum teams to deliver software every two weeks and guide senior leaders through changes from waterfall to agile (one tool, process, and meeting at a time).

    When not working, Jason is likely on the lake fishing with his wife, in the field hunting, or chasing adrenaline by jumping out of airplanes.

May 18, 2:20 – 4:30 p.m. Back to Top

Derek Lane

Derek Lane

USAA

Scrum! The Board Game
Co-Presented with Tim Snyder

Rm: Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center
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  • Abstract

    Learn Scrum with feedback loops measured in minutes, rather than weeks: It’s been said that Scrum is simple but hard. That is, simple to understand but it can be hard to apply the discipline needed to cause the effect that it’s designed for. In spite of this, one can learn the basic elements of Scrum quickly. However, to learn its subtleties and nuances, it will take most of us years. Learning takes time. If you want to accelerate learning, you must shorten the feedback loop. Scrum! The Board Game simulates building software in a board game format that offers fun and reflective conversation in a series of short rounds, a.k.a. cycles, making for a feedback loop measured in minutes rather than weeks.

    Scrum! The Board Game is a great way to introduce people to Scrum for the first time. It’s also a great way for experienced Scrum practitioners to iterate quickly, adjust how they work, and experience the effects of their adjustments in minutes. Short feedback cycles help us learn deeper lessons about the subtleties of Scrum while having fun doing it.

    Bio

    After years of fumbling around with fire and smoke, Derek Lane has in recent years found his calling as a BBQ Life Coach and a practitioner of all things BBQ. In a completely unrelated but parallel universe, Derek has been known to successfully ply both the art and science of BBQ to the Agile Mindset, Software Craftsmanship and introducing Organizational Culture Change in ways scientists are just now beginning to contemplate the full impact of. Coincidence? We think not!

    Striving to find efficient, productive and fun ways to build successful software and highly functioning teams has taken Derek on a journey as a mentor, coach, consultant, strategist, visionary, architect, developer, trainer and methodologist, all while striving to harness the best technologies available for the job at hand. He is also a contributor to various books, projects and conferences as an author, presenter, committer, technical reviewer and organizer. Feel free to share your experiences with Derek about BBQ, Software Craftsmanship, BBQ, Agile, Virtual Reality, BBQ, your favorite technology or BBQ. Oh, or perhaps even BBQ!

Tim Snyder

Tim Snyder

USAA

Scrum! The Board Game
Co-Presented with Derek Lane

Rm: Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    Learn Scrum with feedback loops measured in minutes, rather than weeks: It’s been said that Scrum is simple but hard. That is, simple to understand but it can be hard to apply the discipline needed to cause the effect that it’s designed for. In spite of this, one can learn the basic elements of Scrum quickly. However, to learn its subtleties and nuances, it will take most of us years. Learning takes time. If you want to accelerate learning, you must shorten the feedback loop. Scrum! The Board Game simulates building software in a board game format that offers fun and reflective conversation in a series of short rounds, a.k.a. cycles, making for a feedback loop measured in minutes rather than weeks.

    Scrum! The Board Game is a great way to introduce people to Scrum for the first time. It’s also a great way for experienced Scrum practitioners to iterate quickly, adjust how they work, and experience the effects of their adjustments in minutes. Short feedback cycles help us learn deeper lessons about the subtleties of Scrum while having fun doing it.

    Bio

    Tim Snyder wrote his first computer program in 1981 on a Commodore PET computer. From a simple program with less than 10 lines of Basic code, he was hooked for life. His professional career began in 1987 as a programmer and to this day, 30 years later, Tim’s focus is on software development, the value and joy that it brings, and the eco-systems that surrounds this noble pursuit.

    Tim first encountered Scrum as a result of reading the proceedings and publications from OOPLSA in the late 1990s. Years later, through many a trial, error and occasional success, having learned, taught, and re-learned, Tim has spent years digging into the foundations and thinking tools that inspire Scrum and the Agile movement. From the opportunity to learn from some true masters to being granted the privilege to teach hundreds of software development professionals, Tim has continually sought to find better ways to help others recognize and understand the true nature of both agility and agile development.

    Working with friend and fellow enthusiast Derek Lane, the two have developed a board game to help others recognize and learn the subtle underpinnings that separate real Scrum from its all too often implemented cargo cult form.

May 18, 2:40 – 4:30 p.m. Back to Top

Gary McCants

Gary McCants

CharlesGary, LLC

The Once and Future Project Manager

Rm: Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center
  • Read Abstract and Bio
  • Abstract

    The role of project and program management has been vital to delivering valuable stuff these past many decades. But the role’s place, even its usefulness, has been questioned in today’s agile environments. Come hear about two of the many reasons why the role remains important, from a once and future project manager turned agile hippie.

    Bio

    Gary McCants entered the craft in 1986 and has played roles from Analyst Programmer to project manager to CIO to Scrum Hippie. Gary’s work passion is centered around improving others’ conditions with Agile methods, whether that be working with the executive leadership or the freshly-hired developer. Being an old fogey, he is witnessing the pendulum swinging back to the simpler, common-sense methods that prevailed when our industry was newer and it was fun to solve our friends’ problems with shiny new technology.

    Gary is an experienced agile practitioner, a twice-Certified ScrumMaster, and has authored and presented multiple classes and presentations on Agile topics. He most often fills the role of Agile Coach/Mentor, which allows him to leverage his skills in training, team dynamics, and Agile adoption. His focus of late has been larger-scale adoptions that wish to become transformations.

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