Is there an entrepreneurial dimension to managing projects?

Abstract

Dominic Telaro (1999) acknowledges the evolving role of Project Managers, by stating that:

If projects are to succeed on time, and on budget, the definition of ‘Project Management’ must change. To achieve this, three variables must become integral to the project management equation: a single point of accountability, trust and objectivity from the external consultants, and a core set of competencies needed to optimize outcome.(p.43)

Given the increased reliance that corporations are placing upon successful project execution to bring products to market quickly; Project Managers are increasingly expected to be more than “implementation specialists” who take direction from a Project Sponsor or Client. Of the three required attributes defined above, the Project Manager has generally been considered the single point of accountability for the project implementation and has also been responsible for cultivating trust and objectivity among the project stakeholders. However, even with these two points, the Project Manager has done this within the guidelines and accountability established for him/her, the focus of which has been strictly upon implementation, rather than the definition and follow-on after project culmination.

The attribute that is new for Project Managers, however, relates to the competencies needed for optimizing the outcome for the project. If you consider that “optimizing the outcome” means more than timely and cost-effective delivery, but rather incorporates the upfront design of the delivery solution, the alignment with the customer’s needs through a “fitness for use” application, and the post-project focus upon additional opportunities requiring innovation of thought and action, than this is a new arena and set of expectations for the project manager. If this is the case, then we are now finding that there is not only a need, but an expectation that Project Managers will have the aptitude to apply consulting and entrepreneurial skills within the realm of project implementation by leading the initial stage of a project’s conception in requirements definition, taking ownership of managing stakeholder expectations from project conception to culmination and proactively identifying follow-on opportunities with the client.

Davidson Frame (1994) defines these new responsibilities as the “New Project Management,” where there is an increased emphasis toward consulting/business development acumen for the Project Manager, which is an attribute we would normally attribute to an Entrepreneur. Therefore, in order to ensure current and future project success, Project Managers must go beyond the mechanics of project implementation and develop refined people management and communications skills which are geared around negotiations and persuasion, become keen business problem solvers resulting in defining new and creative business solutions, and be capable of conducting sophisticated risk management strategies, therefore demonstrating their ability to be calculated risk takers.

What we are asking then is to define a “best in class” individual who possesses the skills and attributes of two entities, which are completely different in style, approach, background, expectations etc. In trying to merge the mindsets of Project Manager and the Entrepreneur, we are faced with the following Pardox:

▪     If the nature of an Entrepreneur is NOT to be tied to rules, processes and methods, then how can project management as a methodology be of value to an Entrepreneur?

▪     Conversely, how does a Project Manager whose basis of success is measured by the ability to follow rules and attain the triple constraint adapt to a risk-taking entrepreneurial state of mind?

Methodology vs. Approach

Project Management vs. Entrepreneurship

Let’s begin with defining the philosophy behind the Project Management and the Entrepreneurial disciplines.

As defined in the 2004 edition of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project. Project management is comprised of five processes – Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, and Closing – as well as nine knowledge areas. These nine areas center on management expertise in Project Integration, Project Scope, Project Cost, Project Quality, Project Human Resources, Project Communications, Project Risk Management and Project Procurement. (PMI, 2004, p.23)

What can be seen from this definition is that Project Management is a methodology and systematic approach for how one would plan and manage a project’s outcome. However, unlike other disciplines, project management is actually a very flexible and adaptable methodology and has cross-applicability across all industries and business disciplines.

On the other hand, consider how Entrepreneurism is defined. Kuratko (2001) considers Entrepreneurism from a Macro and a Micro “School of Thought”

Macro “School of Thought” Views

▪ Environmental – An emphasis on the external factors that impact an entrepreneur’s lifestyle, such as physical institutions or sociopolitical norms.

▪ Financial/Capital – An emphasis on acquiring seed or growth capital to fund an entrepreneur’s ideas with buy-in and exit strategy for the investors as a focal point.

▪ Displacement – An emphasis on group phenomena, an instigator to force an individual into an entrepreneurial state because they have been “ousted” by more traditional job modes.

Micro “School of Thought” Views

▪ Entrepreneurial Trait – A focus on studies that have been conducted on people who are classified as entrepreneurs and trying to identify which characteristics are common to each of them. For example, four most common attributes would be achievement, creativity, determination, and technical knowledge.

▪ Venture Opportunity – A focus on the opportunities available in terms of idea sources, concepts and venture opportunities. Creativity and market awareness are considered critical.

▪ Strategic Formulation – A focus upon the planning process in the successful venture development effort.

Corporate Expectations/Requirements

The Digital Age (defined herein as the Age of Interactive multimedia communications) has brought with it an entirely different set of expectations in terms of product/service differentiation, customer responsiveness, and the increasing role of the knowledge worker. For example, the time-to-market driver now requires a matrixed team to utilize the discipline of project management, the techniques of Design for Manufacturing (DFM) and advances in technology to streamline the product development lifecycle process in order to be competitive. The team would focus on the integration among the following product attributes:

 

▪ Positioning – How the product fits into the corporate project portfolio or product line.

▪ Planning –Planning required for the entire product development lifecycle.

▪ Partnering – Identifying opportunities to leverage the skills, technologies and positions of strategic partners.

▪ Producing – Includes the product design and manufacturing design processes.

▪ Processing – The mechanics and logistics of procurement, manufacturing and packaging, maintenance and inventory, order processing and shipping, billing and collection for the product.

▪ Packaging –Exterior “wrapping” of the product, but also the way the product is used by the consumer.

▪ Pricing – For each targeted market, identifying the price breakpoint.

▪ Promoting – Making the consumer aware of the product through advertising, marketing literature and enticements.

▪ Placing – The identification of effective distribution channels

▪ Pleasing – Customer Follow-up to ensure that the product’s intended need is actually meeting expectations.

In looking at this comprehensive list of corporate expectations, we realize that if one person would be held accountable for all of these areas in a single effort, then that person would need to have BOTH a Project Management and an Entrepreneurial acumen. But does such a person exist?

The Difference in Thought, Word and Deed

The Nature of the Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are often described as dreamers and idealists who possess a high degree of optimism, which carries them through when 85% of the time their ideas fall short of their vision. Their perseverance and hard-driving nature are driven by a self-imposed necessity to succeed, and their commitment to their objective is paramount because they will not spend time on anything to which they are not 100% committed. One of the analogies that is used to describe the heart and spirit of an entrepreneur is that of the Olympic athlete who challenges himself to break new barriers, to define self-endurance beyond typical pain and agony, and whose unshakeable tenacity keeps his/her hopes alive despite any external challenges. Within a business context, Entrepreneurs are differentiated from their business management counterparts because they are the ones that are known for continuously seeking opportunities, for taking risks beyond the conventional norms of security, and who possess an undeniable tenacity to push their ideas through.

Myth 1: Entrepreneurs are Doers, Not Thinkers
Entrepreneurs are known for being movers and shakers, but actually they are often very methodical individuals who carefully strategize their moves (thus could readily adapt to a project management framework).

Myth 2: Entrepreneurs are Born, Not Made
Just as there are different levels of expertise in any discipline, there are different levels of entrepreneurial talent. An individual who has a natural talent or bent toward entrepreneurism and then is taught the skill sets for such would be in a better position to excel in this realm.

Myth 3: Entrepreneurs are Always Inventors
There are numerous inventors who do not have the business acumen to market and sell their product or service, but rather their ability lies in the technical prowess of invention. Other entrepreneurs do not invent original products or services, but rather are able to envision enhancements to a current product or service, find new ways of packaging or new market niches.

Myth 4: Entrepreneurs are Academic and Social Misfits
This myth stems from some entrepreneurs who have dropped out of college but started exceedingly successful businesses. This is definitely the exception to the rule. In today’s realm the entrepreneur is actually considered a necessary professional in the business setting and for corporate success.

Myth 5: Entrepreneurs must fit the “Profile”
There are numerous books and publications that taught the characteristics of an entrepreneur as if they are an end-all checklist and an individual must possess every one of those traits. In fact, many entrepreneurs will possess a number of the characteristics on these lists, but not all of them.

Myth 6: All Entrepreneurs Need is Money
Without a doubt, entrepreneurial ventures often require money to be launched. However, this does not guarantee success. Consider the “rise and fall” of the “dot.coms” – these were entrepreneurial ventures that had a great influx of funds, but very poor management, and therefore failed.

Myth 7: All Entrepreneurs Need is Luck
“Being in the right place and the right time” is always an advantage. However, if you consider the definition of luck as being “when preparation meets opportunity” – this is the type of luck that an entrepreneur will aspire.

Myth 8: Ignorance is Bliss for Entrepreneurs
Today’s environments demand detailed planning and preparation. Given our corporate drivers for time-to-market we often overlook the necessity of this step, so rather than suffering from “analysis paralysis” we are prone to lack of preparation.

Myth 9: Entrepreneurs Seek Success but Experience High Failure Rates
It is from our failures that we learn. In fact the Corridor Principle states that with every venture launched, new and unintended opportunities often arise. The fact that one is willing to fail to succeed is what differentiates an entrepreneur from his counterpart.

Myth 10: Entrepreneurs are Extreme Risk Takers (Gamblers)
Actually entrepreneurs are calculated risk takers and generally know the amount of risk that they are taking on and have studied the odds to know that the benefits would greatly outweigh the potential losses.

This being said, we often find that Entrepreneurs prefer to rely almost exclusively upon their own initiative, and their greatest satisfaction is gained from independence and autonomy over any measure of security that might be offered through a corporate structure (these are eagles - they don’t flock together…. rather than geese, who have an instinct for flying in prescribed patterns).

Although we do not subscribe to be able to provide a definitive list of characteristics of an entrepreneur, consider the following attributes of an Entrepreneur as defined by John Kao in his book The Entrepreneur (Kao,1991):

▪ Total commitment, determination, and perseverance

▪ Drive to achieve and grow

▪ Opportunity and goal orientation

▪ Taking initiative and personal responsibility

▪ Persistent problem solving

▪ Realism and a sense of humor

▪ Seeking and using feedback

▪ Internal locus of control

▪ Calculated risk taking and risk seeking

▪ Low need for status and power

▪ Integrity and reliability

The Value of Project Management to the Entrepreneur

Where entrepreneurs cross over into the realm of project management is in the execution of their ideas. An entrepreneur needs to be more than a tenacious idea generator; he also needs to have a keen sense of how to implement their ideas, as well as being outstanding negotiators and politicians. It is often up to the entrepreneur to rely upon their own tenacity and skills to push an idea through because of the challenge convincing those around them to take the chance. An entrepreneur knows that “no risk, no gain”. However, given this “idea to action” mindset, entrepreneurs may overlook key steps to attaining success with a minimal amount of obstacles. With the onslaught of new businesses, 807,000 new small firms have been established since 1995 (Kuratko, 2001). However, the “rise and fall” of the “dot.coms” were an example of uncontrolled entrepreneurial spirit (or a Vegas-style business mentality!) that did not have the guidelines of sound business planning and expectations. The spirit and interest of launching new ideas was excellent. However, launching these ideas without a sound business model, without a savvy market analysis, and without checks and balances that validated business expectations significantly contributed to the downfall of the American economy and the technology industry at the turn of the 21st century.

The Nature of the Project Manager

Project Managers are often described as pragmatic implementers who readily adhere to a process or framework and who have the tenacity to reduce uncertainty and increase the likelihood of a successful project outcome. The Project Manager functions within a very prescribed methodology, and strives to control all outcomes by keeping precise records and control of every detail of the process in order to reach the outcomes, which are defined by someone else. The Project Manager is committed to the project outcome, and therefore the focus of their job, their role, and the goal they are set to achieve for someone else’s expectations. However, where the Project Manager crosses over into the realm of the entrepreneur is when they are expected to function in an upfront role in project definition, managing client expectations during project execution, and defining additional opportunities when their project concludes.

The Value of an Entrepreneurial Mindset to the Project Manager

It is the drive, tenacity, and “can do” spirit, as well as the opportunistic nature of the Entrepreneur that is of value to the Project Manager, but which needs to be adapted to fit into the realm of project management. Fleming (1998) discusses the changing business landscape and the need for project managers to adapt a “Portable Mindset.” As such, project managers can no longer rely upon receiving directions but must take a proactive stance to find market opportunities for their skill sets, be willing to move from assignment to assignment (which is actually a natural requirement given the nature of projects are initiatives with a defined timeframe) and be capable of transferring their project management skills across the board to a variety of projects and client environments. In order to function more effectively in this “contract-based” environment, the project manager will need to adapt the following Entrepreneurial Skills/Attributes:

 

A Portable Mindset –seeing yourself as a personal services business, rather than an employee.

Focus on Results/NOT Status – in this turbulent economy advancing will no longer be defined as climbing the corporate ladder but rather through achievements.

Commit to Continuous Learning – As a personal services business you will need to constantly be upgrading your skills and investing in “your” product.

Be Flexible/Not Rigid – Companies are in dire need of change leadership to stay competitive. With the advances in technology and the changing expectations of customers; responsiveness and customization are key attributes.

Promote a Spirit of Cooperation – With the focus in specialization, collaboration among specialists is imperative to create a winning end result.

Look for Reward/Not Salary – Rewards are given based upon merit and outstanding results and goes beyond the concept of “just going your job” for a base salary.

Understanding the Paradox

Merging Methodology and Mindset

We have not yet discussed the ability or potential for an Entrepreneur to become an effective Project Manager, or vice versa, and if it is actually required. How much of what dictates an individual’s capacity to perform in these two fields is innate and how much is learned? These distinctions can be categorized as characteristics (which are subjectively defined) and approaches (which are objectively defined).

For example, a characteristic distinction is in the way in which the Entrepreneur considers the “sense of self” as compared to that of the Project Manager. Whereas Entrepreneurs tend to be exceedingly competitive and self-oriented/focused, if a Project Manager becomes overly competitive and self-oriented they will not be able attain the requisite buy-in and support from the organization (including the project sponsor) that is required for project success. Their “sense of self” makes Entrepreneurs believe that they can make anything a reality; however, Project Managers recognize that without their team and sponsor – their efforts are “dead in the water”. This “sense of self” also is prominent in how “failure” is regarded by these two entities. Entrepreneurs see failure as a learning tool, and thus expect to encounter failure (actually more frequently then success, thus they play the odds). Project Managers, on the other hand, are not in a “trial and error” environment, but rather have been given an opportunity to implement something to which the corporation has committed time and resources and need to be confident that it will succeed. Therefore, project managers are held accountable for absolute triple constraint attainment, and failure to attain this is considered negatively within the organization, as well as an indication of an individual’s poor project management skills and abilities.

An approach distinction could be in the way these two entities interact with “the team.” Unlike Entrepreneurs, who are NOT known for their team management skills, Project Managers are required to have “team perseverance,” and be able to function effectively within the corporate bounds as both excellent team players and motivators. This means that Project Managers are expected to cultivate and develop their teams, and when they are acting as team members themselves, to be adaptable and let go of the ultimate decision-making authority. On the other hand Entrepreneurs see the team as a means to a specific end, and therefore do not perceive any need for personnel development, and by their very nature they would not act as team members forgoing decision-making and power, because this is at the heart of their orientation - autonomy. This would mean that adapting a team mindset and demonstrating a proactive interest in the development, synergy and well-being of the team would be a developmental requirement for an Entrepreneur to be successful within a project setting.

However, harmony can be attained between these two perspectives/fields according to Bridges (1994) who has recognized an increased value in merging a project management discipline with an Entrepreneur Mindset. He believes that in the future the only organizations which will survive are those that are based upon a project management framework, but also denotes that the individuals who will survive are the ones that make themselves indispensable through operating within the firm as if they were a vendor. For example, in his book Jobshift Bridges (1994, p. 61-75) says that the future will demand a new set of career development strategies, such as:

  1. The organization, on both sides of the organizational boundary, is a market. Consider the organization as a market and who is selling to whom? What customers are not finding what they need in that market?
  2. Markets (inside or outside of the organization) are made up of the individuals who are best understood as customers. Forget your job description and forget who reports to whom. Look at your managers and colleagues – they have customers too.
  3. Your relation to them must be based upon need-satisfaction. Define their real needs; do not rely only on stated wants. Whatever it takes to satisfy those needs will have greater staying power than your specific job function.
  4. Today, all markets are changing very rapidly. What are the changes that are currently reshaping your organization – stay current on the changes because they are your allies when you are entrepreneurially focused.

Practitioner Perspective

Throughout this paper we have focused on trying to understand how to resolve the paradox between an Entrepreneurial mindset and Project Manager mindset through the available literature. However, one of the key assumptions has been that the defined similarities and differences between these two disciplines are based upon knowledge acquisition and application, which means that in theory a person with an entrepreneurial orientation can be taught the project management discipline to the extent that they are effective project managers and vice versa. But is this a valid assumption?

With regard to a defined knowledge set, Project Management has now become a recognized and prominent profession and has a substantial knowledge base. However, the field of entrepreneurship has traditionally been considered more of an orientation than a defined discipline with guidelines that can be mastered. Without a doubt entrepreneurs were expected to have business acumen, but the value and focus has been more geared toward what was perceived as their orientation. Entrepreneurs were people who: had innovative ideas, were calculated risk takers, possessed a strong sense of drive and determination and we recognized their need for loose organizational structure to prosper. This is changing. In a 1999-2000 National Survey of Entrepreneurship Education (Solomon, 2002), the researchers found a small, but growing trend in university programs which have a small business or entrepreneurship focus. This means that both Project Management and Entrepreneurism have an established knowledge base and framework that can be taught – which means knowledge acquisition is available. However, this does not directly relate to the effectiveness of knowledge application.

Therefore, to better understand the effectiveness of applying a project management or an entrepreneurial knowledge base in a setting where the individual’s orientation is the opposite of this new found knowledge base, I identified 13 people with whom I observed in the work setting as having to address this challenge. These practitioners are in the position of having to balance these two perspectives, approaches and mindsets (See Appendix A for the bios of the individuals who participated in this study). When asked where each of the participants saw themselves in relation to their Entrepreneur /vs/ Project Manager acumen:

Six (6) participants considered themselves an Entrepreneurial PM (Individual who has effectively defined & attained a blend of both disciplines)

Three (3) participants considered themselves in-between Entrepreneur and PM
Comments: Began in Project Management – definite interest in Entrepreneurial area and see this as a more interesting development area. Comfort level in corporate arena, however. Background and Opportunities in PM – A Definite Interest in Entrepreneurial

Four (4) participants considered themselves a Project Manager
Comments: Strong Operations and Project Management history/background and a great comfort level in this structure. Not a big Risk Taker. Do possess an appreciation and understanding of the need and value of the entrepreneurial aspects

With regard to defining “what is Entrepreneurism” and what are the accompanying characteristics and skills of such an individual, the participants defined:

Entrepreneurism as the identification and/or recognition of opportunities or the creation of something new (service, product, opportunity) as well as the willingness to proceed forward, recognizing a significant profitability potential from effectively implementing an idea.

They identified entrepreneurial characteristics as: Visionary, Innovative, Calculated Risk Taker, Out-of-the-Box thinking, Goal Oriented, Business “Jack of all Trades”, Preference for a more loose organizational structure, Confidence, Negotiation Skills, Leadership focus rather than a managerial focus, Good Communicator, Determination.

With regard to defining “what is a Project Management” and what are the accompanying characteristics and skills of such an individual, the participants defined:

As a discipline for leading a project teams through the effective and timely execution of a project plan, facilitating and managing conflict, and attaining customer satisfaction of end goals or needs.

With regard to characteristics, the participants emphasized that the Project Manager needed to have leadership ability, possess a solid project management knowledge base, detail and results orientation, structured/process orientation, perseverance, discipline, determination, resourcefulness, flexibility, outstanding communications, organization and planning abilities, risk management, negotiation skills, strong business management.

However, when the practitioners were asked about the need and/or ability for an Entrepreneur to be a Project Manager and vice versa, the responses were varied:

Some believed that the skills, characteristics and most particularly the orientation of an Entrepreneur and a Project Manager were so different that it was highly beneficial to have each type of person on the team, but that it was unlikely that both attributes could be effectively within one person. As such they did not believe that either type of person could be effectively taught to operate in the role of the other, although they did emphasize the need for an understanding and appreciation of what each side brought to the table. Another point that was highlighted by this group was that in some cases it could be a detriment and confuse the roles and responsibilities if an Entrepreneur started trying to be a Project Manager and vice versa.

Others believed that it was imperative for an Entrepreneur to understand project management, because they needed to understand what it takes to effectively implement an idea. For the Project Manager, they needed to be able to see beyond the specified direction of a given project and be able to understand what drives the needs for a project as well as what additional opportunities could fall out of a project. They also felt that the Project Manager would function as his own CEO of the project that s/he was managing. This contingent did recognize that attaining this, however, was contingent upon both the openness and willingness of the individual to adapt and the culture or environment in which they were working.

And a third subset believed Yes and No. They believed that many Entrepreneurs have never had the opportunity to be ingratiated into project management, but if the individual had the right orientation that this could be accomplished and in fact make them better Entrepreneurs. On the opposite side, many Project Managers have never been put in the position of being the “ideas people” and to operate in a risk-charged environment, however, if they were given this chance and they had the guidance of how to effectively manage in such a setting that they would actually be considered value-add project managers. The crossover between these two disciplines was seen as Leadership /vs/ Management and that it would be valuable to have individuals who had an acumen and potential in both disciplines – and thus could be measured on a continuum such that an individual was not one or the other but could be placed on a continuum between these two end points. This subset also acknowledged that for some people this could be a real challenge because it was outside of their natural comfort zone and abilities.

Summary: Defining Balance

To understand the paradox then, it is necessary to recognize the balance and value of the attributes of both the Entrepreneur and the Project Manager for corporate success. Corporations must define and recognize what they specifically want to promote when they encourage their Project Managers to behave more like Entrepreneurs, because in its purest form, a true Entrepreneur would not be a good Project Manager. This focus on balance between Entrepreneur and Project Manager attributes is emerging in corporations through Strategic Project Management and Project Portfolio Management, which by definition recognize the strategic and tactical requirements for successful business operations, including the implementation of projects.

A good model for defining this balance between culture and infrastructure can be realized in the Eight Basic Principles (and chapters of their book) defined by T. Peters and R. Waterman in their book, In Search of Excellence (Peters & Waterman 1982).

  1. A bias for action: a preference for doing something – rather than sending a question through cycles of analysis.
  2. Staying close to the customer.
  3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship – breaking the corporation into small units and encouraging people to think independently and competitively.
  4. Productivity through people – an awareness of best efforts.
  5. Hands-on, value-driven, insisting those executives keep in touch with the firm’s essential business.
  6. Stick to the knitting – doing what the company does best.
  7. Simple form, lean staff – few people in administration or at the upper levels.
  8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties – fostering a climate where there is dedication to the central values of the company combined with tolerance for all employees who accept those values.

So what is the answer to the Paradox? Balance. As such, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That is the heart of the pendulum game; you always come back to center – or you will always eventually find that balance, at least for the interim.

Appendix A: Study Participants

John Buxton, PMP is a lecturer and consultant in modern program management techniques. Mr. Buxton was a member of the International Staff, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. Mr. Buxton has an M.B.A. (University of Colorado), an M.S. in engineering (Ohio State University), an M.S. in management and a B.S. in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He also completed the Executive International Business Program at Georgetown University and has a Masters Certificate in PM from GW University and is a certified Project Management Professional and a registered professional engineer.

J.Davidson Frame, PMP Professor at UMT (1998 to present). Professor at GWU (1979-1998) as the Director of Program on Science, Technology, and Innovation; Chairman of the Management Science Department (two years); founder of the project management program. He has published some 30-40 scholarly, refereed articles, and written eight books. He received his PhD from American University (economic development and quantitative methods).

Ted Haggblade has over 9 years with Nortel Networks, including leading a 70 person Program Management and program office group, and leading a sales support function for a Managed Services organization. Prior to joining Nortel he spent 10 years with Electronic Data Systems as an SE, Financial Analysis, and an Account Manager.

David Koplovitz, PMP has over 7 years in Information Technologies, including leading SW development projects. He has improved operational delivery readiness through the development and implementation of sales and PM processes. Mr. Koplovitz has a BS from Boston University, a Masters from the University of Albany, and received his PMP designation. Mr. Koplovitz has also been an Olympian in Greco-Roman Wrestling for two Olympics.

James Miller, Jr., PMP is a thirty-three year telecommunications industry veteran with an extensive managerial and technical background. He was also a long-term employee of Nortel Networks where he served as the Senior Director and Project Management Principal for the Western Region Services Account Practice. He is a Certified E-Commerce Consultant, Project Management Professional, and Telecommunications Engineer and has earned Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Management from the University of Texas at Dallas and The Richard D. Irwin Graduate School of Management at the American College.

Vivienne Mitchell has coached a range of projects at Unocal Thailand in IT, Public Affairs, and the Asset Teams. Her role has also involved the ongoing development of the PM Methodology and procedures. She has worked in local government for 5 years as a Project Team Manager responsible for a group of Project Managers undertaking urban development and construction projects. She gained her PMP certification in 1998 and has been a Board member of the Information Technology and Telecommunications Specific Interest Group. She also graduated from the inaugural PMI Leadership Institute in October 2002.

Robert Nazareth, Certified Project Manager and Business Manager and Associate Member of the Business Continuity Institute in the UK. Graduate of the PMI Inaugural Leadership Institute 2002. He is venturing into advertising/marketing PR related initiatives to visions/purpose and work with the Scouts and Knights of Columbus.

David Offenkrantz was a senior Project Manager in the EMC Federal Professional Services organization. His experience includes program, project and relationship management both at home and abroad, in data storage and security, telecom and financial services. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.

Craig D. Peterson, PMP, has 17+ years of PM experience including work in Software dev., system integration, and new product development. He is a managing Consultant with EDS in Herndon, VA. Mr. Peterson received his PMP in 1993, is currently the President, PMI’s Risk Management SIG and has served as a_Risk Management Instructor for PMI Wash DC the past +8 years. Mr. Peterson has his MBA from George Mason University and Undergraduate degree from the US Coast Guard Academy.

Bruce Rodrigues, PMP,MBL, PrEng is an acknowledged project management authority with over 30 years experience in industry. Bruce is a recognized opinion leader on the globalisation of the project management profession. He specialises in the strategic implementation of project management using generally accepted global standards and best practice. Bruce established BRP Project Management (South Africa) in 1993 to address the growing need to manage the project-driven enterprise more effectively.

Bruce R. Shaw P.E., PMP has over forty years experience in engineering, project management, organizational management, and operations improvement. Mr. Shaw has taught review courses for the Professional Engineering exam and for the Project Management Professional exam for the WDC chapter of PMI since 1992. Mr. Shaw is a consultant and teaches project and systems management courses for the Institute for Professional Education, the College of Southern Maryland, Florida Institute of Technology, Center for Systems Management etc. Bruce has been on the WDC chapter of PMI board for twelve years, including serving as the VP of Finance and President.

Bob Tarne, PMP, is a Senior Project Manager for PM Solutions and was previously with Sprint PCS. Bob worked as a software development project manager for Owens-Illinois, a leader in glass and plastic packaging. Bob spent seven years in the U.S. Navy as a Cryptologist. Bob holds a Master’s Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University. Bob attained his PMP in 2001. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MS in Business from Johns Hopkins University. Bob is a graduate of the inaugural class of PMI’s Leadership Institute.

George Walker, P.E., PMP, was a Naval Officer in the Civil Engineering Corp. (Sea Bees). A 27 year career with Mountain Bell/US West/ Qwest focused primarily on Operations and Construction of new facilities. As Director, he supervised depts and multi-state ops of up to 500 engineers and telecommunications craftsmen and managed budgets of $180 million. After leaving US West, he was the Deputy Director of the MT Dept of Transportation. He also directed and provided engineering design and support for construction of fiber optic networks in the 30 largest cities in the U.S. He is a registered Professional Engineering in the State or OR as an Electrical Engineer, in the State of MT as a Civil Engineer, and in the State of CO in both Civil and Electrical and received his PMP in 1995.

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© 2006, CJ Walker Waite, Ph.D., PMP
Originally published as a part of 2006 PMI Global Congress Proceedings – Seattle Washington

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