Sp r ing 2 015
A P u b l i c at i o n b y M o r g a n S tat e Universit y â€™s G r a d u at e P r o g r am in Project Management
Project Management Everywhere! Success Never Tasted So Good page 2
Supporting Life As We Know It page 3
The Performance Behind The Performance page 5
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
About This Issue The spring 2015 issue of Morgan’s PM Magazine is a product of twelve weeks of intensive work by a team of students. The Project Seminar course in Morgan State University’s Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) has served as a capstone and a venue to integrate project management knowledge areas and processes that are covered in the core courses of the graduate program.
Dr. Ali Emdad
Students document the project management process and present the project plan along with the project deliverable, PM Magazine, in print and in PDF format. The informative articles in this issue are based on their research and interviews with Project Managers and domain experts. Students estimate project cost and time and set the milestones. They communicate and negotiate with vendors, evaluate vendor proposals, assess risks, and work within constraints. This publication is a fine example of how our project management students put theory into practice, deliver an outstanding product while keeping the project within the required scope, time, and budget. Enjoy! Ali Emdad, Ph.D. Associate Dean E. G. Graves School of Business and Management
1 Examining The Methods In Healthcare Projects Ahoefa Stephanie Tshibaka
2 Restaurant Management: Success Never Tasted So Good Rotimi Osunsan II
3 Pipeline Management: Supporting Life As We Know It Richard Colbert III
4 Achieving A Balanced Bottom Line Daniel Janak
5 The Performance Behind The Performance Rotimi Osunsan II
6 Planning For A Strong Foundation Daniel Janak
7 EVM and Agile Project Management: Two Tools In The Project Manager’s Toolbox Ahoefa Stephanie Tshibaka
8 Grooming Leaders To Pioneer A Better Future Rotimi Osunsan II
9 The Thrill Of Research Management
ABOUT THE EDITORS
10 Earl G. Graves School Of Business and Management Status Report Ahoefa Stephanie Tshibaka
10 Preserving History Through Management Rotimi Osunsan II Richard
Richard Colbert is a Morgan State University graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Project Management degree. He is currently working in the profession of Procurement/ Supply Chain Management.
Rotimi Osunsan II is a Morgan State University graduate student pursuing a Master of Science in Project Management degree. He is currently working for the federal government in the profession of I.T. Procurement and I.T. Project Management.
11 MSPM Students In The Real World Ahoefa Stephanie Tshibaka is a second year Master of Science in Project Management degree student at Morgan State University. She is currently working as a Graduate Assistant for the Department of Information Science and Systems.
Daniel Janak is a graduate student majoring in Project Management in the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University. He is currently employed within the School of Architecture & Planning at Morgan State University and in the profession of Technology Management operations.
Ahoefa Stephanie Tshibaka
12 IT Projects Supporting Higher Education Opportunities Daniel Janak
13 MSPM Student/Editor’s Future Plans On the Cover: Rendering of the new Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
Examining The Methods In Healthcare Projects by Ahoefa S. Tshibaka Dr. Monica N. Kay is an avid practitioner of project management in both the private and public industry. Dr. Kay has over 18 years of business and project management experience which includes working as a consultant for five years and her current employment with the federal government. Dr. Kay, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP ©), serves as an adjunct professor at Morgan State University, Anne Arundel Community College and Howard Community College teaching Microsoft Access, Visio, Outlook and project management classes. With such an impressive resume and accomplishments, I had an opportunity to ask her several questions on her experience in the healthcare industry.
Talk about your experience in running healthcare projects. I have spent the last 15 years working on small and large program and/or project implementations. With each project implementation, my project management role has provided a wealth of experience in understanding and interpreting law that will be operationalized into programs. It has also taught me the value of working with large implementation teams who have a varied background in policy, systems, education and outreach. All of these must come together for a successful project or program implementation. What was your actual role in the last project you participated in? I was the project manager, and this included directing the project team, serving as the Agency Project Management Office Liaison to provide updates to key stakeholders that included my senior leadership, Health and Human Services (HHS), other HHS operating divisions and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on project progress, key risks, issues and decisions that needed to be made. How do you handle unproductive team members? It really depends on the individual and the conflict that they are facing. My belief is to assume “positive intent” and to determine if it is a “can’t do” vs. a “won’t do”. A person who is unproductive because they “can’t do” a task is someone who may benefit from ad-
our projects. Conference rooms and Adobe Connect are used for meetings, team discussions and idea sharing. Ultimately, as a project manager, I try to include people in the beginning where needed to provide the best use of their time and effort.
Dr. Monica N. Kay
ditional training, guidance, or mentorship. With a “won’t do”, a project manager really needs to understand why this is occurring with the unproductive person, and determine the root cause for the issue. In either case, conversations (or a series of conversations) are needed to understand the issue in order to address it accordingly.
“[Communication] can be the reason why your project goes well or goes horribly wrong.” In your opinion how important is communication in projects? In my opinion, it can be the reason why your project goes well or goes horribly wrong. With communication you work out your expectations, task assignments, conflicts, agreements, and negotiations with all of the interested stakeholders that are involved. Communication early and often typically dictates the pace and progress of your project activity. How do you manage a virtual team? Fortunately, with a lot of tools that have been provided by my organization. Many of the stakeholders on the projects that I work on are in different locations, so the ability to work together on critical pieces of work is crucial.We employ the use of Microsoft Project Team Server and SharePoint to manage
How do you motivate burnt out or bored team members? Does that exist? (joking) In any case especially when you are dealing with high priority, complex project endeavors there are points in which you are at 100% capacity all of the time. For my team in particular we run the risk of always being “on”. I try to alleviate that by allowing team members the opportunity (when possible) to decompress. This includes taking vacation time. My philosophy is that if you are not good to yourself and your family, you will not be good on my project. For bored team members, I am fortunate that we get a variety of projects to work on; I also allow team members to select (when possible) the work that they would like to do. Sometimes I have a staff person who may want to gain more insight on a particular program, another may want more systems experience. I try to match the interest with the project, which alleviates boredom. What are the success criteria that will indicate the objectives have been met? For the projects that I work on, it is typically an operational program and those objectives that have been defined at the beginning of the program. In your opinion what is the most important skill a project manager should have? This is a hard question as I believe a project manager does not rely on just one skill, they must be able to pull from a cadre of skills at any given time. Sometimes communication is needed, other times it is technical expertise, and even then it may be flexibility or negotiation. It really depends on the situation and the stakeholder. n
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
Success Never Tasted So Good By Rotimi Osunsan II
Ms. Joy Dukes
There is a-lot of hard work and preparation that is involved in the business of restaurant management. It requires that a restaurant owner wears many project management hats in order to successfully produce quality products and services customers will accept and enjoy. To give us insight a restaurant manager, Ms. Joy Dukes shares her management expertise and how she manages her restaurant that provides ready to eat meals, catering services, and catering deliveries.
Goal Setting and Execution. What are the yearly goals and mission of your organization?
The mission is to increase profit margins and maintain customer satisfaction. The yearly goal is to increase sales and improve upon quality food products offered to customers.To help achieve this the historical sales data is reviewed that conveys what previous sales costs were in a previous year and what products were well received.This helps the decision making process in improving upon underperforming services and expanding upon successful services. Finally, a focus is set on three core components of efficiency to support achieving profitability. The first is to control waste output to help decrease cost. The second is increasing product sales through staying current with market trends, and the third is better trained employees in support of improving overall execution of operational processes. Plan into Action. What approaches to planning do you exercise with your team to define and sequence yearly sales and improved service goals?
The first thing that is planned is the budget.The budget planning process begins on the final quarter of the previous year (September). Leadership training and development in support of the service and sales goals is provided to improve current skills and teach newer skills for the management team.The team then conducts leadership meetings quarterly. All-purpose team meetings are held to discuss daily operational sales results, areas of improvement, and areas of success. These meetings also are utilized to re-enforce any challenges that are critical to the success of the yearly goalâ€™s plan.
Core Areas of Importance. What are the most important operations of your business that you direct and manage to help you achieve sales and improved service goals and why are they so important to support success?
As a manager and owner of a Subway restaurant many job duties must be conducted such as Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Human Resources Manager, and Operations Director just to name a few.With each of these various positions it is important to gauge the efficiency of weekly operations, adjust operational goals, and oversee restaurant compliance to the yearly goals through daily inspections that holds the team accountable for their responsibilities and recognizes them for their accomplishments. Monitor and Control. What are methods of monitoring and controlling you utilize throughout a year of operation to ensure goals are achieved?
Subway restaurant franchises are a very highly developed Information Technology (I.T.) based organization that offers a-lot of reporting tools that captures imperative meta data.This information is utilized to improve and maintain successful business operations. It provides various metrics to study trends, conduct revenue/profit analysis, study areas of efficiency, and areas of deficiency. It allows a manager the ability to be a multi-functional manager to Key Performance Measures (KPM). Networking for Success. How have you adjusted your approach to managing goals of your business more efficiently to help improve team performance and success in support of goals?
Improvement to managing the team for better performance is achieved by being more active by building a network of peers in Subway franchise management goals to gain ideas and innovative management techniques. These adjustments and improvements to management style are made to keep the team productive, make improvements to training, increasing employee compensation, employee recognition, and to help improve profits overall. Avoiding Team Boredom. What processes do you have in place to challenge team members reasonably and develop them with newer professional skillsets?
I implement contests that highlight skills and encourage skill improvement and all contests involve a prize of some kind. Employees are also encouraged to take free online training and paid training to move up in employee rank to perform duties with greater responsibility and pay. n
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
Supporting Life A s We Know It
by Richard Colbert III
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) serves a 1,000-square-mile area in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, MD that maintains more than 5,500 miles of fresh water and 5,400 miles of sewer mains to 1.8 million residents. The realization of how critical these water mains are to our everyday life goes unrecognized and WSSC’s Infrastructure Systems Group takes on these responsibilities of strategically placing, analyzing, and investigating water and sewer pipeline systems. To get a better understanding of what it takes to manage such crucial projects for a large number of customers, I interviewed Water Infrastructure Unit Coordinator, Ms. Hala Flores.
What gravitated you into this career field? I come from a family of engineers where both my parents are very successful professional engineers in the areas of mechanical engineering and sanitary engineering. I was initially gravitated toward a career in health … however, I immigrated to the United States as a college Freshman and finding myself in an entirely new system with limited funds, I decided to lower my risk and increase my chance of success in this new environment by following into my parents’ footsteps. I grew fond of civil engineering with every course I took and my interests led to a specialization and masters in water resource engineering. Following my graduation, I worked for two private firms and quickly realized that civil engineering, unlike other engineering disciplines, is primarily a public service/function. Civil Engineers build roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, channels, clean up the environment, etc. All are extremely important public services that everyone expects but no one wants to pay for it. Due to this, all this work is entirely funded by tax dollars and managed by the public sector that sources the work to the private sector “who really act as an arm for the public sector rather than a true private sector”. I knew early on in my career that I needed to join the public sector if I’m to truly work on strategically managing and improving the profession. In the past 20 years, I have been lucky to work for the federal government, state departments of transportations, two county governments, and finally WSSC.
I now realize more than ever that the success of our governments to maintain and renew the critical public infrastructure lies in our ability to efficiently work together rather than in silos.
What is a typical day like in your shoes? Life as a Unit Coordinator at WSSC is very busy especially in a high production unit as the Water Infrastructure Unit. I often work 10–16 hour days constantly engaged in solving and detangling problems. I like to solve problems by tackling the root cause instead of just situation handling … this result in an unintentional increase to my already full workload. There is very little routine that may characterize my typical day. Every day presents us with new problems, new challenges, and new solutions. For example, this morning, I attended a meeting with managers at the Maryland State Highway Administration to discuss better ways for coordinating our respective infrastructure projects.
What is the one quality that a successful Project Manager must have and why? I would say “finesse”. In a dictionary, it means: 1. refinement or delicacy of workmanship, structure, or texture 2. skillful handling of a situation: adroit maneuvering 3. the withholding of one’s highest card or trump in the hope that a lower card will take the trick because the only opposing higher card is in the hand of an opponent who has already played Why, because a PM is like a ballerina. You may be in pain and tired yet during showtime … which is all the time. …you must execute with a flawless performance … you can’t show anything but ut-
most leadership and confidence. …specially when presented with challenges. Even failure must be accepted gracefully.
If you could rate Project Management as a career, from 1–10, where would you rate it, and why? I would rate it at number six. Project management is a high responsibility position and successes and failures are directly pinned to the management of the project. Unlike many other careers, the reputation of the project manager is always at stake. A project manager without a solid team is very vulnerable. Team building and sustainment is very challenging.
A project manager without a solid team is very vulnerable. Team building and sustainment is very challenging. What seems to be the reason why there’s such an increase of need for project managers and project management principles in just about every career field? Everything is typically managed as a series of projects or programs with a scope, cost, and schedule. However, in addition to understanding the principals of project management, the best project managers must be highly educated in the fields they manage. For many fields, specially engineering, it is unethical for a professional to practice in an area that they are not experienced in. For example, a project manager for a bridge project must be a professional civil engineer with expertise in transportation systems. A project manager for an environmental remediation project must be a professional civil engineer with expertise in remediation. …and so on. n
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
Achieving A Balanced Bottom Line by Daniel Janak
Daniel Janak met with Mr. Sidney Evans, Morgan’s Vice President for Finance and Management to talk about various projects that his division is undertaking and to learn about his management approach. How does your division help faculty/staff to improve student success?
A number of student related activities report to me. Mr. Sidney Evans In the facilities management area, one of the goals of that organization is to provide a safe and healthy learning environment. We must do this successfully in order to help student’s succeed. The bookstore reports to me through auxiliary enterprises and our goal there is to provide textbooks and other goods and services that would help the instructional and learning environment. We try to have competitive book prices so that students are inclined to buy books here rather than other retailers. The dining facility is another area, where we hope to provide healthy food options for students. This is critical when students are trying to study.You don’t want to study on an empty stomach. Finally, since the university’s budget is under my purview, our goal is to maximize the financial resources of the university and to allocate resources to the appropriate areas.
Doing this successfully has a definite positive impact on student success. What period of the fiscal year does your division experience the most pressure to achieve the University’s strategic priorities?
Given the fact that tuition is one our largest source of revenue. It is paid in the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Consequently, a significant amount of money comes in. During May, June, and July summer school is in session, but it is not as financially robust as the fall and spring semesters. I would say those would be the most difficult times. It takes very precise planning to get through those months.
has that affect faculty. I have only been with Morgan State University for four months and I hope to quarterly meet with the different Deans. I have given one presentation to one of the schools during their annual workshop. I would like to meet with the Deans and the faculty on a quarterly basis. Right now we do not directly have a way to measure this means of communication. We use a lot of matrix in my area because it’s finance, accounting, and budgeting. We use a lot of benchmarks with other institutions such as the state of Maryland and the University of Maryland System. I am still researching a tool to effectively measure these communication methods.
What do you think are the best means to communicate with your team in accomplishing your division’s goals and objectives?
Communication is very important, I have a staff meeting with my direct reports every two weeks. I use that form to communicate information from the president and the president’s cabinet; and we have a round table session during that meeting which gives everyone a chance to hear what the other departments are hearing. Secondly, I have one-on-one meetings with my direct reports to address confidential issues and things we need to address in terms of what that individual is doing for his or her job. I am doing these once a month.Those are the two major ways that I communicate with my team. I also contact everyone via email throughout the day. What are your best means of communication to assist faculty/staff with information, and is there a measurement tool you use to measure the success of these means of communication?
I have an open door policy to meet with faculty, staff, and students. I meet with the Provost on a monthly basis to see what issues she
Have you had to adjust your approach with communication with certain team members/ faculty/vendors/cabinet members/Board of Regents, etc.? What did you do, and is it currently working for your division’s best interest?
Yes, I think each constituent needs a communication strategy. I communicate with the Board of Regents and the university president in person. I meet with the cabinet members on an as needed basis. Another activity I’m putting in place is to meet with my departments (physical plant, auxiliary enterprises, budget office along with the comptroller, etc.) quarterly. This method is currently working because I can see productivity improving and opening the lines of communication. So far this has been the most effective way to successfully accomplish our goals. n
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
The Performance Behind The Performance
by Rotimi Osunsan II
For an organization like Center Stage giving back to the community through educational and entertaining theater productions is just a fraction of the multifaceted beneficial services it brings yearly to the entire city of Baltimore. In theater production it is important to not just have beautiful stage presentations and captivating performances. It is important to provide substance that is thought provoking, relatable, and comprehensively understandable. To expand our understanding on the process of managing production teams that help make various stage productions succeed I interviewed Production Manager, Ms. Caitlin Powers. There’s a process to making a world of hope, magic and possibility unfold on stage.
What types of services and special programs in addition to stage productions does your organization provide?
Our organization has a very strong education and community programs department that interacts with local schools and students every day through many different projects and events that relate directly and indirectly into some aspect of the liberal arts and more. We also have supplementary events conducted for each production to further the education and community outreach programs in order to better know and communicate with our audiences. Who’s your audience and what’s your goal?
What are the yearly goals of your organization when it comes to stage productions?
Many of the yearly production goals change depending on the different themes, the theme’s complexity, and the artistic intentions for the organization. My main goal in
We also track individual deadlines for each production department via a calendar monitoring system, for each show, which allows us to manage the timeline of designs so they can be completed on time.
terms of production management would be to successfully help to guide the artist’s vision to the stage on time and on budget through frequent organized communication between those artists and the production staff at the theater.
There has to be a positive and consistent conversation to complete anything with some sort of balance of the good, fast, cheap requirement triangle. Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
What approaches to planning do you exercise with your team to define and sequence yearly stage production?
We maintain production planning by utilizing an in-house full season calendar of events similar to our box office website. This calendar contains all the scheduled performances and events, most of which are set six months or so out from the beginning of the season, which is late August.We also track individual deadlines for each production department via a calendar monitoring system, for each show, allows us to manage the timeline of designs so they can be completed on time.The show has to open on a certain date, so we work backwards from there to decide when builds need to start and back further from there to date when designs need to be completed and approved.
some sort of balance of the good, fast, cheap triple constraint requirement. Keep your focus on the prize. What methods to achieve success of monitoring and controlling stage productions, special programs, and services do you utilize?
We’re pretty simple in terms of additive technology. We use the Microsoft Office suite for most of our calendar monitoring requirements. All of our production technology varies show to show based on the production’s requirements. Besides this important aspect, it’s a constant presence of staff and artisans that helps to keep a production objective moving forward on time and on budget. Being adaptable where it counts. How has
your approach to managing theater operations adjusted in better managing goals, achieving objectives, improving services, and managing costs?
Many of the techniques involved in adjusting and improving management style is supported collectively among other production managers. In production management our main goal is to support the production by maintaining the communication between guest artists and production staff to create the ‘product’ of the show. Over the course of the process we monitor the budget in coordination with the heads of the production department which helps to identify and resolve any funding shortfalls that can negatively impact a successful production. Helpful management techniques. What
have you found to be the most helpful skill set for managing your team for your organization specifically and why?
Help me, help you, help us. To help support
a team member produce helpful contributions towards organizational goals what methods of management have proved most successful?
There has to be a positive and consistent conversation to complete anything with
The ability to maintain a positive attitude and a sense of humor throughout the process is key. I also do my best to make sure all our artists feel taken care of during their time supporting our organization as often times they are not from the area. n
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
Planning For A Strong Foundation By Daniel Janak
Ms. Cynthia Graves-Wilder, MSU’s Facilities Planner shared her views with Daniel Janak on managing the planning process for new construction projects on campus. How exactly does your division help people on campus?
My office is responsible for the planning and programming of all major new construction and renovation projects. As such we coordinate Ms. Cynthia Graves-Wilder the development of the university’s 10-year Facility Master Plan and the development of facility programs. The Master Plan and program documents are required and must be approved by the State as a condition of State funding. What is the most high-tension time of the year for your department in completing your annual goals?
The end of spring and beginning of summer are the most high-tension times of year. Our annual and five year capital budget requests are due on June 30th and the preparation for the requests and the supporting documentation is a major effort, requiring input and support from various segments of the university community. What do you think are the best means in communicating with your team in accomplishing your division goals?
My department is comprised of two people, myself and my assistant. In the past we’ve also had support from student interns. Additionally, I also rely heavily on the Departments of Design & Construction Management, Physical Plant and consultants that are in the development of supporting documentation for the projects. In terms of communication e-mail is the fastest but communication via meetings or conference calls seems to work best
as e-mails can be misinterpreted, lost or overlooked in a fast paced work environment. I’ve also found that you often have to be the “squeaky wheel” to get things accomplished. I’m always hunting for information from people with competing priorities related to their respective areas of responsibility and in order to get them to respond to my requests; I have to be persistent. What are your best means of communication to assist the University with information, and is there a measurement tool you use to measure the success of this means of communication?
We often communicate via e-mail when trying to disseminate information university-wide. In the development of the Master Plan for university improvement projects currently underway, we have also organized meetings to obtain feedback and established a website. We have not established a measurement tool to measure the success of this means of communication. However, for the Bicycle Master Plan portion of the university’s Master Plan we conducted onsite surveys and distributed surveys via e-mail. Our response rate was fair. Have you had to adjust your approach with communication with certain team members/faculty/students/vendors/ Cabinet members/Board of Regents, etc.? What did you do, and is it currently working for your division’s best interest?
I’m learning that consistency and constant interaction is vital to my success.
The main thing I’ve learned to adjust is the need to be repetitive with my requests. Usually, I am dealing with individuals with extremely busy agendas. I’m learning that consistency and constant interaction is vital to my success. In some cases it might mean scheduling a meeting in order to get a response because most of the folk I deal with have extremely busy agendas and priorities related to the success of their own individual areas of responsibility. n
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
EVM and Agile Project Management:
Two Tools In The Project Manager’s Toolbox by Ahoefa S. Tshibaka
Professor Jim Sklenar, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP©), is an Adjunct Lecturer in the Master of Science in Project Management program in the Department of Information Science and Systems. Professor Sklenar received a B.A. in Urban Studies from Lake Forest College, a Master’s in Public Management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and a certificate in Amphibious Warfare from the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College. While he was at Kellogg, he was a U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare Public Service Education Fellow. He is retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel, from a Fortune 100 company as a Director, and from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as the agency’s expert on using Earned Value Management (EVM) in projects. With such background, there is no one better than Professor Sklenar to give us an insight on the use and application of EVM and the progression of Agile project management over the years.
EVM — One Tool In The Project Manager’s Toolbox As the title above suggests, EVM is only one of the tools that a successful project manager may deploy on projects. Many people make EVM out to be a big deal; it’s not. Others consider EVM to be the be-all and end-all of project management and control; it’s not. It simply is a tool for identifying, managing, and controlling the value earned by work completed on a project. This provides the project manager, project team, and other stakeholders with useful information concerning progress on the project. Most successful projects start with a document called a “charter.” The charter states what the organization expects the project to accomplish and how the project supports the organization’s strategic goals and objectives. The charter authorizes the
organization’s resources (funds, equipment, people, material) to be committed to the project, and is signed by a person authorized by the organization to commit its resources. Once the charter is signed, project staff begins detailing the work to be done, including sequence and schedule of tasks, budget, scope, standards, deliverables, process, and procedures. Depending on the complexity, duration, and estimated cost of the project, individual plans are developed for many of these factors (although a simpler, shorter, cheaper project may only have one, integrated project plan). One plan that some people (especially senior staff) tend to focus on is the budget. The budget is the plan that establishes a “baseline” for allocating and spending the organization’s money on this project.
No more; no less. How are we spending money on this project relative to how we planned to spend money on this project: that’s what EVM is. Earned Value Management is a tool that provides a look at how we’re actually doing, spending the organization’s money on this project, compared to the baseline, or the plan. No more; no less. How we are spending money on this project relative to how we planned to spend money on this project: that’s what EVM is. There are over thirty EVM data elements that various organizations require their assorted projects to collect and report, although these can be boiled down to a basic few. • Earned Value (EV). How much value has been earned? What was the budgeted cost of the work that has been completed? • Actual Cost (AC). What is the actual cost of the work actually completed? • Planned Value (PV). What is the budgeted cost of the work actually completed? • Budget At Completion. How much was budgeted for the whole project? • Estimate At Completion. How much do we now expect the whole project to cost? • Estimate To Complete. From this point on, how much more do we expect it to cost to finish the project? • Variance At Completion. How much over- or under-budget do we expect to be when done?
Those are all fairly simple ideas; they mean just what the words suggest. And, that last data element introduces most of the additional metrics that are common to EVM: variances. Cost Variance (CV) is simply EV minus AC; how does the actual cost to this point compare to the value earned to this point? Schedule Variance is merely EV minus PV; how does the planned value at this point compare to the value earned to this point? Others are Cost Performance Index, Schedule Performance Index, Cost Variance Percent, Schedule Variance Percent. Some of these are required by contracts. Some of these are required by internal procedures or state or federal government regulations. Some of these are best practices for monitoring and controlling costs on your project. Whatever you use for your project, remember that EVM does not provide “solutions” to project problems nor “decisions” on project-related questions. EVM provides information for you to use when considering solutions or making decisions. EVM is one tool in the projects manager’s tool box. Use it when it’s appropriate…or required.
What Is Agile Project Management? Years ago in the software development industry, some smart software developers began early involvement of potential users of the software they were developing through “prototyping.” For example, a prototype of an online screen would be developed well before the whole system was ready, so that the customers could try doing the types of things they were going to use the system for through the prototype screen. This element meant that—when the final product was delivered—this piece of the system would work exactly as the customers needed it to work. This procedure worked so well that some software developers wondered why the whole system couldn’t be prototyped, bit by bit, then assembled after everything had been prototyped for customer approval. In 1971, several software developers developed and published the Manifesto for Agile Software Development to codify what “agile” was. Most agile development methods do not involve long-term planning, and break work elements into small “iterations”, which are short time periods (“sprints”; continued on following page >
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
EVM AND AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT:
Two Tools In The Project Manager’s Toolbox
Grooming Leaders To Pioneer A Better Future Rotimi Osunsan II
(continued) typically from one to four weeks). Each iteration involves the project team working on all functions: planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, unit testing, and acceptance testing. At the end of an iteration, a working result is provided to users for appraisal. The idea is that this minimizes overall risk and allows the project to adapt to changes quickly. An iteration might not add enough functionality to warrant a release to customers, but the goal is to have a relatively bug-free product at the end of each iteration. Multiple iterations might be required to release a product or new features. Some people who had worked on such software projects began to wonder if this type of approach could be used for non-software development projects, as well, breaking whole projects into pieces that could be developed independently, then integrated into the whole. This was essentially a manifestation of one of the best practices for project management: MCOW. MCOW stands for breaking a project’s work elements into Manageable Chunks Of Work, which is one of the best ways to ensure a successful project. The appellation “agile” came to describe either software prototyping or MCOW project management, but acquired some specific techniques along the way, including iterations, Kanban, “product owner/customer representative”, “RAD” (Rapid Application Development), “SCRUM,” “timeboxing,” “extreme programming”, “lean software development”, and others. Unlike a traditional methodology, agile requires that project managers take a different approach in scope management and project planning. A risk management process becomes more important in agile project management. Standard project management processes are significantly modified for agile projects. For example, weekly sit-down status meetings are frequently replaced by daily stand-up meetings that cover what got done yesterday, what’s ahead of schedule, what needs help, adjournment, and back-to-work. Different techniques are often used to maintain quality. All of an organization’s processes need to be reviewed when implementing an agile methodology. n
Mr. John Kos
The Project Management Institute, Baltimore Chapter (PMI-BC) is a nonprofit professional society dedicated to educating Project Managers and promoting professionalism in Project Management. The Baltimore Chapter provides various opportunities and supportive services for corporations, academia, non-profit organizations, and government organizations. Some highlights of these services are training in project management, educational seminars, and networking event opportunities. Providing further insight into the management process that makes it all possible I interviewed former PMI-BC president, Mr. John Kos.
Well Defined Strategic Planning. What are the yearly goals and mission of your organization? The lessons of successful project management demonstrates that the more time that is put into the planning process to meet an end goal or goals the greater the probability of success. The PMI-BC exercises this very practice of planning for yearly goals. The yearly goals are identified and supported based on a strategic plan developed collectively by the Vice Presidents (VPs) and President of the PMI-BC. Every three years theVice Presidents and President hold a two day strategic planning meeting to identify and prioritize yearly objectives within several areas of operation for the organization. These areas are the Education Certification Programs, special project support programs, Communication Public Outreach, Finance/Budgetary needs for event planning, and PMI-BC membership/ enrollment objectives. Navigating Towards Success. What approaches to planning do you exercise? The planning process that is exercised to define the sequence of yearly activities from the strategic plan involves a once a month board meeting. This board meeting will be conducted face to face, virtually via teleconference, or in some circumstances a combination of both. It is during this planning process that three main activity objectives are discussed. The first activity is to review and adjust upcoming scheduled organization business opportunity events, the second activity is to discuss and adjust training goals based on attendee interests and feedback, and the final activity is to discuss special event objectives such as award ceremonies for recognition, and the scholarship programs that they have for members. Being a Team Player and Coach. To help a team member produce successful contributions towards organizational goals what methods of management have proved most successful? Each month PMI-BC reviews reports of where the organization is in achieving its objectives, issues needing resolution, and constraints that will prevent their progress. Collectively all of the VPs help one another to provide solutions to reduce or eliminate all issues and resolve concerns. Avoid Tunnel Vision. What are the methods of monitoring and controlling you utilize? Monitoring and controlling all objective progress is absolutely essential to reducing the impact of risks and improving probability for success. To help achieve this very purpose PMI-BC collects feedback information when members register for educational sessions, training, and seminars for example. The data provides information on how beneficial the various programs are for chapter members and which programs are receiving the most attendee registrations.The PMI-BC will cater more support towards programs found to be the most beneficial based on feedback data. Historical data is also reviewed and it is utilized to alternate the schedules of events throughout the yearly planning exercises. Using historical data in this way improves attendee registration and program preparations.VPs do this individually and then combine the data collectively to make comprehensive corrective adjustments to yearly objectives accordingly. Adjusting Management Methods. How have you adjusted your approach to managing goals and objectives? Adjustments to managing goals and objectives is done on a constant basis to improve productivity performance of the team and the organization overall. For example, PMI-BC reviews quarterly the trends of membership involvement in activities and functions. When data reveals a drop off in program attendance or an increase in negative feedback an analysis needs to be done to determine what could have caused positive or negative feedback. From a project standpoint this is called a continuum.As one learns one makes modifications based on positive or negative results. PMI-BC takes this approach. Being Clear In Message. What have you found to be the most helpful method to having a strong communication process and plan? When it comes to communication the more people you have the harder it is to communicate effectively and thus the greater the possibility for miscommunication. PMI-BC addresses this risk by making it a common practice to conduct face to face meetings for all critical objective discussions. At these meetings keeping the message simple is the key.The message of progress, issues, and potential risks are limited to a clear and concise format. All discussion points are then verified in order to confirm that they were understood correctly and that the next steps were captured accurately. n
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
The Thrill Of Research Management
Dr. Victor McCrary
Research is an important part of Morgan’s mission. Dr. Victor McCrary, Vice President of Research and Economic Development shared with Daniel Janak his approach to supporting and expanding research activities on campus. They discussed the role of communication in the success of his team and with internal and external stakeholders. How exactly does your division help faculty on campus?
Well our division of Research and Economic Development is involved in different aspects of phases of research. One phase is advocating faculty, we have some great intellectual faculty that are extremely smart and talented people and now we say “Are you willing to go after funding, and are you able to write competitive research proposals”. The next step after the award is granted is to ask ourselves how do we administer this grant or research so that we follow the proper federal and state guidelines.We also must be compliant with local regulations and best practices in the region. Another aspect we look at is “Wow, in doing this research it may have some commercial value as well, so how do we take the proper steps to get it patented or licensed and make a business out of it.” Our goal is to move it from the lab to the market place.We do this by enabling the faculty while assisting them to take it from paper to the lab, to get it funded, and then to the market place. What is the most high-tension time of the year for your division in completing your annual goals?
A lot of our grants and contracts are federally funded. I would say the timeframe with the highest tension is during the federal government cycle from October to the end
of September.This is disjointed from our academic calendar which runs from July to June.The highest part of the tension it seems occurs between the August or September timeframes when faculty is trying to submit proposals, get credit for that fiscal year and have everything processed properly. On any given day there are a lot of issues that arise.You may be working on one project and you may have a “fire drill” where a faculty member may come in and he or she may say “I need this proposal by next week” and you have to provide it. What do you think are the best means of communication with your team in accomplishing your division goals?
First we set our goals and ask ourselves what do we want to accomplish? Once a month, I host a divisional meeting with all of my team members of DRED (Division of Research and Economic Development). I communicate what we are doing at the senior level of the institution.The senior level includes the university cabinet members, the President, and the Board of Regents. In this meeting, I explain what we need to get
I believe it’s not important about being right but it’s about being effective done and what are our high level priority issues.We do a round table session where we discuss pending issues that are in jeopardy. I want to hear from my team what everyone is working on at the moment. In regards to current projects, we have project matrixes that we have updated to be completed by email so that we can see our progress in real time. I believe email provides an important role in communication with my team, but I don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to resolve issues quickly when they need to be escalated and tracked more closely. What are your best means of communication to assist faculty with information, and is there a measurement tool you use to measure the success of this means of communication?
The best way to communicate with the
by Daniel Janak
faculty of this institution is through the web to have general questions and answers by email as well. Currently, we do not have a formal tool of measuring this effectiveness but one tool we could use are surveys from the faculty.
I do try to listen and meet halfway Have you had to adjust your approach with communication with certain team members/faculty/ vendors/cabinet members/Board of Regents, etc.? What did you do, and is it currently working for your division’s best interest?
I think in a role like this whether it be a university or a “for profit” forum, you have to have multiple styles of communication. For example, I think the faculty style of communication is very informal; the goal is to resonate with them. It’s important to listen to them and feel empathetic with them.They want an audience since they are customers along with the students; because sometimes the perception is that senior administration doesn’t listen. My team calls me by my first name,Vic. I feel when I do this; it has helped me with faculty relationship building. Along with the cabinet and the Board of Regents again I’m trying to create that informal relationship outside of formal meetings and talk about subjects and different ideas with them to see what will be the most effective. I use PowerPoint for the Board of Regents and the cabinet. I find that it’s a very effective tool that shares information properly and it shows effectiveness in our division. In regards to DRED’s best interests, I think this method is working but there’s always room for improvement. I’m working on self-improvement and adjusting to other people’s style of management. I have an informal style but if someone else has a formal style I adjust to them, I believe it’s not important about being right but it’s about being effective. I highly believe in Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People “People seek first to understand then to be understood” so I do try to listen and meet an individual halfway. n
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management
Preserving History Through Management
by Ahoefa S. Tshibaka
by Rotimi Osunsan II
The Business Management Center hosting Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management is the first building on our newly forming West Campus that is slated to open for the fall semester of 2015. This project also includes a pedestrian bridge (the “Legacy Bridge”) connecting the West Campus to the Morgan Commons building. Ms. Kim McCalla, Associate Vice President of Design and Construction Management at Morgan State University gives details on some of the features that the building will have and its scheduled opening date.
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is named after one of the most prolific and successful businessmen from Baltimore, Maryland. It provides educational services and public programming. To provide an inside look at the process that goes into managing those programs successfully an interview was conducted with Ms. Terry Taylor.
The building boasts the following features: • T he building will have two at grade entrances one on the quad side and one on the north side adjacent to Hillen Road at level two. The third entrance will be from the pedestrian bridge, which will be at the third level and above the north level two entrance. • A 299 seat auditorium will have two main access points (from the ground/atrium and second level). The front portion may be utilized as a 70 seat classroom. • Three tiered classrooms each of 42 and 50 seats • Eighteen break-out rooms of six for meeting and collaborating inclusive of monitors and writing services. • There are varied sized flat classrooms, and labs for accounting, recitation and data and a demonstration kitchen to name a few. • A four story atrium which allows for casual seating, studying, and conversation. This space may seat approximately 150 for a formal dinner, or it may be used as a presentation space. The atrium also has a large video wall, a living stair for more conversation and a “trading simulation” room which is suspended above the atrium. The atrium will have natural lighting from the quad and from three large skylights. The quad may be accessed directly from the atrium. • There is a quite study lounge on the fourth floor overlooking the newly forming quad which also sports a view of downtown. There are also informal seating and collaboration areas throughout the building. • A demonstration kitchen and ten hotel rooms will be for guests and the hands on experience for the hospitality management program. • Spaces are included for programs such as Business Management Research Center (BMRC), Student Services and Retention, Student Organizations, Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC), etc. • Faculty will be located on the fifth and sixth floors with access to the green roof. Technology • Distance learning in the 50 person classrooms • Lecture offering in a 40 person classroom • A computer and the trading lab • Video recording capabilities in the client and observation rooms • The client and observations room have video recording The quad will be terraced and allow for casual seating and the possibility of programmed events. The quad will connect to the Behavioral and Social Sciences building and the anticipated newly developing Northwood Shopping Center. The pedestrian bridge will span from the third floor of the building across Hillen Road and to the tennis courts. The building and bridge are designed by Ayers Saint Gross / Kohn Pederson/KPN and Fox (ASG/KPF/KPN). The construction management team is Gilbane Building Company and Cain Construction. LEED commissioning is by Kibart Engineering. The building is approximately 138,000 gross square feet with the bridge in excess of 660 linear feet and a project budget of $79,412,000 million. In addition, the Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) for this project is 30% of the project costs inclusive of the various trades and design and management consultants. Several members of the design team are Morgan Alum’s. Both the design team and the construction management team hired Morgan interns throughout the project. This opportunity is given to students to gain some practical experience and apply the theory learned in their various classes.
Goals. What are the yearly goals and overall mission of your organization?
One of our yearly goals includes increasing museum attendance for educational groups and general admission. Additionally, our educational goal is to continue to promote the education curriculum, An African American Journey.This was collaborated with the Maryland State Department of Education. The mission of the Reginald F. Lewis museum is to be the premier experience and best resource for information and inspiration about the lives of African-American Marylanders.The museum seeks to realize its mission by collecting, preserving, interpreting, documenting and exhibiting the rich contributions of African-American Marylanders from the state’s earliest history to the present and the future. The overall vision is to share globally, with integrity, the human drama of Maryland’s African-American experience. Planning To Achieve. What approaches to planning do you exercise?
Our department continually meets internally and with other museum staff to brainstorm and plan “spike” programs and events connected with the museum’s special and permanent exhibitions. We chart events for the year to identify where we need to provide balance and the type of events that we are scheduling. Feedback from other museum staff and from community artists helps with adjusting events for optimal success. Improving Team Morale. What methods of management do you utilize?
I provide feedback and assistance to team members when they ask for suggestions and I provide templates of helpful process documents when needed. Monitor and Controlling. What methods of monitoring and controlling museum objectives do you utilize to support success?
I utilized evaluations/ surveys, visitors comments, budgets, annual reports and strategic plans to monitor and support museum objectives. Making Adjustments. How have you adjusted your approach to managing goals & objectives?
I make it a common practice to document more information from team feedback to assist me with better managing programs and making improvements when they are required. Helpful Management Techniques. What have you found to be the most helpful skill set for managing your team effectively to achieve success and why?
One of the helpful techniques/skill sets that I have learned is to listen to others input in order to find methods to incorporate their suggestion and/or feedback in current and future projects. n
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
Morgan State University’s Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) Students In The Real World by Ahoefa S. Tshibaka
Jim Jones Contract Compliance Supervisor
Mr. Jones works for the Maryland State Government in the Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) with the department of Human Resources in the Division of Office of Technology for Human Services. Mr. Jones holds the title of Contract Compliance Supervisor which entails making sure that technical contractors follow the terms and conditions of the companies major IT contracts. The contracts consist of software development, telecommunications, hardware maintenance, Jim Jones technical support and management advisory services. He is also responsible for initiating approved projects and making sure the contractors meet their deliverables submission schedule. In addition, to ensure accuracy he reviews the deliverables contents and makes sure the contractors meet their Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) goals. In other words, Mr. Jones and his division make sure that the prime contractors are apportioning the required percentage of the contract to certified subcontractors of MBE. Mr. Jones takes part in the RFP evaluation committee where they evaluate and rank prospective bidders on the Request for Proposal (RFP). The project management program taught him the concepts and methodologies of project management from a Project Management Institute (PMI) perspective. The program provided him with the foundation and the fundamentals of how to approach project management within his organization. Mr. Jones had some industry knowledge in managing projects prior to starting his MSPM program at Morgan State University (MSU). However, Mr. Jones emphasizes that the MSPM program at MSU helped him connect the dots and provided him with a detailed understanding of project management concepts. At his organization, Mr. Jones has the opportunity to review deliverables and to participate in projects from the initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing phases. In other words, Mr. Jones is involved in the entire process of managing a project. He adds that approximately 80 percent of his work is in the area of monitoring and controlling and he is also heavily involved in all aspects of procurement. Mr. Jones Graduated May 2014 with a Master of Science in Project Management degree from MSU.
Marquita S. Braswell AVID Coordinator/teacher at Prince George’s County Public Schools
I grew up in Prince George’s County. Graduated from Prince George’s County Public Schools. The program Graduated from Morgan State University in helped me to 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. After graduating from Morgan, I returned to focus on my high school Alma Mater to teach. I taught identifying grades 9-12. In spring 2011, I returned to Morgan State to pursue my Master of Science in and solving Project Management degree. While pursuing my problems early master’s degree, I was offered the opportunity to head the AVID (Advancement Via Individual and quickly. Determination) program to instruct, motivate, and support under-achieving students to enroll and be successful in increasingly rigorous courses that prepares them for college admissions. The PM program at Morgan helped me develop an effective plan at the beginning of the school year for my team and my students. It also helped me cultivate effective communication with my students, colleagues, and parents. Moreover, the program helped me with eliminating nonproductive meetings, measuring not only the program’s progress periodically, but also student objectives and success periodically. The program helped me to focus on identifying and solving problems early and quickly. The skills and techniques I have learned at Morgan State University will certainly help me transition to my next step in my career.
Ms. Marquita S. Braswell received her Master of Science in Project Management degree in May of 2014 at MSU.
Juanita Singletary Jones Construction Contracts Manager
In 1999, I was recruited and hired as the Construction Contracts Manager at Morgan State University (MSU) Procurement Department. This position entails overseeing a (3) person unit that is responsible for managing and directing daily activities of construction/construction related Juanita Singletary Jones and maintenance contracts. We perform cradle to grave contract administration on construction, maintenance and service contracts. I was excited and thrilled to learn that MSU offered a Master of Science in Project Management degree as this would be a natural progression for me in my profession. Nothing gives me a greater sense of pride, than being a part of a process that allows me to see a project being built from the ground up! Although I have been a Procurement Officer for over twenty (20) years, I recognize that I can only benefit from being in a learning environment that provides an all-inclusive understanding of all aspects of project management principles and practice. My motivation and commitment to the field of study is twofold; first, to actively expand and develop my skills to assist in the growth and dynamics of the university and secondly, to become an alumnus of a historically black institution. I have chosen Morgan’s MSPM program because the university allows for evening classes for the working professional, real time orientation by experienced faculty; and the convenience of leaving work and walking directly to class. This program allows me to become better at what I love doing every day. The Project Management Program has allowed me to be able to develop project schedules, demonstrate an in depth knowledge of theories and practices, plan, organize, secure, and manage resources to achieve specific goals; thereby bringing added value to the project and university. After completing my Master’s, I plan to pursue a Certificate of Advance Study in Project Management. Mrs. Juanita Singletary Jones will complete her Master of Science degree in Project Management in spring of 2016 at MSU.
NaKisha McLaurin Associate Director of Operations for the Office of Residence Life & Housing
In 2008 I was promoted to the Associate Director of Operations where I am currently responsible for the daily operation of all Residence Halls & Leased Spaces, facilities assessment, departmental strategic planning, security upgrades, counseling & training, departmental liaison between the physical plant, financial evaluator, policies / procedures evaluator, project management, and student satisfaction. The Morgan State University, Master of Science in Project Management degree has provided me with the necessary technical and theoretical knowledge to improve my productivity. I have always considered myself a “planner” however I now know what it means to plan thoroughly, communicate effectively, and complete assigned or planned tasks more efficiently. Project management has opened my eyes to a culture of completion that I did not know existed prior to my graduate degree pursuits. I find that I am better equipped to complete the projects that have been assigned to me because I am a more efficient communicator. I now have the ability to explain and illustrate to my project team members their place in the project, and why their participation is crucial to the successful completion of the project. I would advise the new MSPM students to participate as much as possible in the lectures and try to find as many points of commonality in their current professional positions. Being able to apply the theory with practical experience, helps to increase one’s understanding. I would also advise the new students to get involved with the local Baltimore chapter of Project Management Institute (PMI). Creating new relationships and networking will assist you in your professional pursuits, should one wish to delve deeper into the world of project management. Ms. NaKisha McLaurin graduated from MSU with a Master of Science in Project Management degree in May 2014.
PM magazine | SPRING 2015
The Communication Imperative in Campus IT Projects by D a niel Ja n ak
Daniel Janak discussed IT Project management and various aspects of project communication with Dr. Adebisi Oladipupo, Chief Information Officer at Morgan State University.
Dr. Adebisi Oladipupo
How does your division help faculty and essential staff improve student success?
As you may or may not know, information technology is in the fabric of every business in today’s world. IT is essential, when you look at instruction; most of the student body comes into the campus with smartphones, iPads and tablets expecting to utilize information on their smart devices. So as the IT division, we must empower and enable clear communication that supports the academic needs of the students and enriches faculty instruction. The “Chalk and Talk” days are long gone. Faculty and staff have to make sure that they provide an infrastructure that is able to handle a paradigm shift of learning anywhere and everywhere and on demand. For the students, it’s not just email communication anymore. Students need access to all of Morgan’s network resources in order to effectively complete their assignments from the instructor’s twenty four-seven. Our division also ensures that we have a robust wireless infrastructure footprint on Morgan’s campus, in the classroom, in the residential halls, and the open areas on the campus.
In my experience, a client will accept initial delays and faults if they know that we are trying to provide a better service or product for them.
What period of the year does your division experience the most pressure to achieve the division’s annual goals?
Every semester the peak period is the registration period because you can’t afford any system shut-down when students are trying to register. Also, after commencement in May, you should plan and brainstorm for what is going to come in the next academic school year. The registration period is the most critical; we are in the business of academics and learning. Honestly, registration is the peak period most of the year because if we’re not planning for registration then we’re implementing different activities that support the registration process. What do you think are the best means to communicate with your team in order to accomplish your division’s goals and objectives?
There are several best practices our division utilizes. First of all, our team has to schedule time to communicate frequently and often. For example, we have maintenance issues that need to be communicated a step ahead of unforeseen events to come. Sometimes we have
emergency issues that occur for which there is no plan. However, we have to gather the communication team to inform the campus community of what is happening in order to assure that “we are on top of it.” Although we have a service desk we don’t want to wait for the client to let us know of a problem.We are well aware of the problem and we are prepping some tools to alert the technical staff of the issues before the client is even aware of it.Also our website will have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and upcoming projects. If there are projects that will involve students like theVirtual Desktop Project in the library, we will talk and organize to have flyers and posters up so that people will be informed about what is going on. In my experience, a client will accept initial delays and faults if they know that we are trying to provide a better service or product for them. At the end of the day, it’s the outcomes that matter, so communication is the most vital part of our job. Technicians and IT folks are at the back end, dealing with switches, cabling and brain storming.The end user doesn’t know what we’re doing and that is why we’re bridging that gap and making sure that the connection with the end user is ongoing. What are your best means of communication to assist the university with information, and is there a measurement tool you use to measure the success of these means of communication?
Well I kind of answered it already with communication to the university but on the measurement tool question; we are developing a matrix for the service desk. We are currently changing the paradigm to be more service oriented. I’ll inform you of how many tickets we closed and how much time it took us to close the tickets. We will be able to measure how well we performed and how quickly we reacted to the client. Communication for me is a two way street. If we think that we communicated with the client and the client thinks that we have not, I will not check it off my list as done until the customer can see the value in what we have done for them. If in the network room, all lights are green and the system is working, but the client calls and says I can’t access my email or log onto the network I will send out a desktop technician to troubleshoot what is wrong. Have you had to adjust your approach with communication with certain team members/faculty/vendors/senior administrators/Board of Regents, etc.? What did you do, and is it currently working for your division’s best interest?
Yes, we are actually looking at different methodologies of effective communication with our clients.We will closely examine internal and external communication strategies whether it be with senior administrators, faculty, and staff. Internally, we are adopting the best practice of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). It’s a service management best practice.We follow a Customer Level Agreement (CLA) between our own internal departments of IT.The service desk is the entry and exit point for IT. So when you have one point of communication to the external folk they know whom they need to contact. This reduces miscommunication between the client and different members of the IT division. n
SPRING 2015 | PM magazine
Q&A with MSPM Spring 2015 Graduates After interviewing some wonderful people in the project management career field, the team decided to sit down and interview ourselves. We were asked the following question: How do you plan on using your MSPM Degree in your future career endeavors? ROTIMI: When I graduate I plan on using my Morgan State University’s Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) degree to further advance my career as an I.T. Branch Chief of a public relations or project management office division in the federal government. What I found to be the most beneficial lessons gained from the MSPM program is the importance of creating repeatable standardized processes to reduce or eliminate the risk of project failure and the great importance of recording lessons learned to improve project management methods. AHOEFA: Being part of the Project Management program at Morgan State University is a rewarding experience. You will leave the program eager to apply
what you have learned because project management courses are well designed to help us manage a diverse array of projects. Being originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana where transportation is one of the major problems, I plan on using my knowledge in project management to help these transportation projects in these countries and around the world. Keeping in mind that with a PMP certification I can not only practice project management anywhere in the world but do what I love, which is working on different projects. DANIEL: After I receive my masters in Project Management from Morgan State University, I plan to enter the fields of both construction and technology management and manage projects in new building technology systems. Coming from a civil engineering background and having work experience in technology, I hope to join these two fields together as a uniquely qualified
person. One of the most beneficial lessons that I learned from Morgan State’s Masters of Science in Project Management program is that schedules and cost tie together closely. If you are late on project objectives, it will cost you dollars to bring it back into correct budgetary alignment. RICHARD: When I complete Morgan State Masters in Project Management program and obtain my degree, I expect to use it in the procurement/supply chain management career field. With my goal to obtain a PMP (Project Management Professional) and a CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) certification, fusing these two principles, I plan on becoming a Procurement Project Manager and assist in ways to strategically source goods and services. The MSPM program here at Morgan State definitely helped me transition into a career field that I would love to do, and the faculty had no problems sharing stories, insights, and suggestions that would help the students in the classroom, as well as in the real world.
OUR PROGRAM & LINKS TO PMI Morgan State University’s graduate programs in Project Management are offered by the department of Information Science and Systems in the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management. The MSPM program is suitable for professionals that want to develop their knowledge and skills to move up to senior planning, consulting, and project management positions. Applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, at least two years professional level work experience, and meet the MSU Graduate School admission requirements. The program requires 30 credits and a comprehensive examination. Program participants complete courses as a cohort. The interdisciplinary feature of the MSPM allows students to take three supporting courses that form the focus areas in a wide range of fields.
Students choose three courses from a list of over 40 courses to integrate project management skills in a specific subject area from Architecture; The Arts; Business; City and Regional Planning; Civil Engineering; Industrial Engineering; Information Technology; Science; and Transportation. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers membership to full time students in degree-granting programs at a college or university that has U.S. accreditation or the global equivalent. A PMI student membership also offers discounts on certifications such as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and the Project Management Professional (PMP). Additionally, PMI in collaboration with MSU has held CAPM and PMP exam prep workshops on the campus of Morgan State and continues to offer the workshops every spring.
Samples of courses offered include: n Foundations in Project, Program, and Portfolio Management n Project Integration and Scope Management n Building and Leading Successful Project Teams n Project Time and Cost Management n Managing Project Procurement, Quality, and Risk
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, Maryland 21251
The Baltimore Chapter provides its members the opportunity to take Prep Courses in order to qualify for the following PMI Credential Exams: Project Management Professional Certified Associate of Project Management Risk Management Professional Schedule Professional
The Baltimore Chapter provides various opportunities for corporations, academia, non-profit and government organizations to promote their product, services or organizational image – through its sponsorship programs. At this time, corporations and organizations can sign up for one or more of the following promotional and networking opportunities we offer: Premier Sponsorship Program – Several advertising & promotional opportunities bundled together Site Meeting Sponsorship – Available throughout the year at many area PMI BC sites PMI BC Annual Meeting – Well-attended ”State of the Chapter” held every November PMI BC Golf Tournament – Play golf and network with area PM’s Project-of-the-Year Award Ceremony – Join PMI BC in recognizing & supporting bestmanaged projects
PMI is the world's largest not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession. Our professional resources and research empower more than 700,000 members, credential holders and volunteers in nearly every country in the world to enhance their careers, improve their organizations' success and further mature the profession. PMI's worldwide advocacy for project management is reinforced by our globally recognized standards and certification programs, extensive academic and market research programs, chapters and communities of practice, and professional development opportunities Visit PMI at www.PMI.org, www.facebook.com/PMInstitute and on Twitter @PMInstitute