Project Management Institute

PMI Update: My First 100 Days

12 June 2019

Greetings to the global PMI family!

I started in my role just a few short months ago, and I have to say that I remain as excited to be leading PMI as I was on day one. It’s an absolute pleasure to represent such a meaningful and purposeful organization. This communication covers a brief summary of where I am with the six priority areas I outlined previously, including a new organizational framework for PMI that I have put in place – effective immediately.

Here are the updates on the six priority areas I identified to focus my personal attention:

Enhancing the quality of our two-way communications.

I’ve consistently heard a desire for more interaction with PMI leadership, and I want to be sure it’s a two-way street. That is why I’m providing regular email updates to nearly 600,000 members of our global community, and we’ve launched the “Straight Talk with Sunil” (STWS) video series to offer transparent discussions on how we are evolving as an organization. I’ll be offering future STWS interview opportunities to a wide range of employees, R.E.P.s, Chapters, Volunteers and members of our Board of Directors. Beginning with the upcoming episode, I’m also answering “speed round” questions from the community. I have also received brilliant input and suggestions via email from many of you, so please keep it coming at [email protected]. I try to respond to approximately 40 emails each day, and have also directly called some folks to gain additional insights.

Developing cutting-edge products and services that provide value for our stakeholders.

PMP® certification growth continues, but the rate of growth is slowing and we know that payment terms remain a big issue. By not accepting local currency, not allowing payment plans, and not offering price parity for different countries/regions, we make it difficult to transact with PMI. I have committed to fix this, and our plan is to quickly trial a new purchasing approach in one or two countries. If I’m being honest, another factor is relevance. Whilst the PMP remains the overarching professional project management certification, the profession is seeing huge uptake of Agile certifications. This is an identified gap for PMI, and I have my team investigating options to add more Agile offerings to our certification portfolio – in addition to the PMI-ACP®certification.

As discussed in a recent STWS featuring VP of Global Solutions, Mike DePrisco, I believe we need to accelerate our efforts to create more products and services to enable the Project Manager of today and the future. In some instances, it will require that we partner with other organizations to enhance and revamp our products; in other instances, we can build our own or explore options for acquisitions. More to come soon.

Embracing our status as a global organization.

I have received feedback from around the world that we are too U.S.-centric, and should be doing more to support the global PMI community. In less than 90 days, I have met personally with the following stakeholders:

  • San Francisco/Northern California Chapters
  • Brussels – UN Conference
  • Germany – Frankfurt, Koln and South German Chapters
  • Washington D.C. Chapter
  • London – Brightline
  • EMEA LIM/Congress, Ireland Chapter
  • Singapore Chapter and Congress
  • Houston Chapter and Congress
  • Brazil Chapter and Congress

I feel that the Chapters are keen to be more involved and contribute toward the future activities of PMI globally – perhaps in such areas as digitization activities, regional strategy, and even product development. In an upcoming episode of STWS, I talk with Director of Chapters & Volunteers, Brantlee Underhill, to explore how we can get more people involved in PMI’s global programming. In addition to our offices in Brussels, Dubai, Singapore, China and India, we plan to establish a small office in the UK to better support our stakeholders in time zones to the East and West. I also invite you to read on to learn about the new organizational structure I’ve put in place to further globalize PMI.

Accelerating and streamlining PMI’s Transformation Plan to better serve you.

To help usher in its next 50 years, PMI is on a journey toward becoming more focused, more agile, and more customer/stakeholder centric. Together with my team, we have been soliciting input from stakeholders around the world to help shape our thinking around the organizational structure and operating model necessary to take PMI to its next phase of success. We have settled on a new organizational structure that is informed by our PMI 2.0 pillars of Strategic Focus, Organizational Agility and Customer Centricity. In parallel, we are streamlining our Transformation Plan to ensure that we are doing the most critical work with flawless execution – and with a laser focus on outcomes and metrics to mark our progress against the three strategic pillars.

Let me briefly touch on our new organizational design. We are creating three core functional areas:

  1. Strategy & Growth
  2. Customer & Operations
  3. Support Services

Murat Bicak will serve as Chief Strategy & Growth Officer (CSGO) – leading a team with a keen eye on the future to deliver all things “new:”

  • Brand Management (including the brand refresh)
  • Corporate Development & Innovation (M&A, partnerships)
  • Strategy, Research & Planning (market/customer segmentation)
  • Executive Relationship Development (Brightline)

Joe Cahill becomes PMI’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO) – overseeing a Customer & Operations team aimed squarely at maximizing:

  • Global Experience of our stakeholders (Voice of the Customer, Segments & Industry Groups, Geographic Regions)
  • Global Engagement (Account Management, R.E.P.s, Chapters & Volunteers, Marketing)
  • Global Solutions under the leadership of Mike DePrisco (PMI’s “factory” to create products, services, content and events. It also includes Digital Services and the PMI Educational Foundation.)
  • Global Operations (Operational Excellence, IT Operations, Analytics & Data Management, Customer Care)

Joe will also continue to serve as PMI’s Treasurer for the time being. Also, within this Customer & Operations function, I am elevating China for added strategic focus to ensure that we are maximizing our opportunities in the world’s fastest-growing market for project management. Bob Chen, who leads China, will also join my Executive Leadership Team.

Support Services manage and sustain a portfolio of internal and external relationships and those that keep the business running day to day. Reporting to me, Support Services will be comprised of:

  • Finance & Procurement (led by new VP of Finance, Christine Millaway)
  • Human Resources (Dot McKelvy)
  • Legal & Compliance (Bill Scarborough)
  • Communications & PR (Sheri Woodruff)

Beyond the organization design, we are redefining how we deliver value to our customers – both internally and externally. As such, we are adopting new ways of working that increase accountability and better align to metrics and outcomes that are being developed in the near-term.

Implementing our Strategic Plan to create the “association of the future.”

The world is changing at a rapid pace, which has implications on every organization type – including associations such as PMI. We have a unique opportunity to position PMI to lead the change, and to guide our stakeholders through that change. As an “association of the future,” PMI can power the Project Economy™, strengthening society by enabling organizations and empowering people to make ideas a reality. The careers of knowledge workers will increasingly revolve around a portfolio of projects, rather than a static list of job responsibilities. PMI sees an opportunity to power the Project Economy™ by understanding its implications on careers and work, and helping organizations determine how to organize around projects for success. I am assigning a team to look deeper into this, examining how we can partner and collaborate with other associations facing technology and work practice disruption to create the working practices of the future. More on this later in the year.

Expanding Brightline to further integrate leadership of the CSO, CTO and COO.

Brightline is a PMI initiative – together with leading global organizations – that is dedicated to helping executives bridge the expensive and unproductive gap between strategy design and delivery. After a full two-day workshop to “double click” on this platform, we are expanding Brightline’s current Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) positioning to also include the Chief Transformation Officer (CTrO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). This brings Brightline closer to PMI to serve a key set of our stakeholders at the C-suite level. Over the next few months, we will further integrate Brightline with PMI as a core service offering – leveraging our existing channels and relationships to offer specialized education, training, and certifications. Additionally, PMI and TED have established a strong partnership that we expect will grow and expand over the coming years. TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas around the world. Who better to partner with than people who make ideas a reality…project managers!

As you can see, there’s lots going on – all aimed at ensuring that we are delivering value for our stakeholders and positioning PMI for continued relevance in a fast-moving global economy. Our team’s goal is to ensure that we are delivering everything you need to be successful in the full arc of your careers, and for you to be absolutely essential to the organizations you serve. I look forward to our continued work together.