Project Management Institute

2001 Seminars & Symposium offers latest project management trends

Photo: Phyllis Picardi


New products, networking events and learning opportunities await project management practitioners in Nashville.

by Kathleen Tierney

The skyline of Nashville,Tenn., with the Music City Queen riverboat in the foreground.

The Project Management Institute's Annual Seminars & Symposium, to be held 1–10 November 2001, in Nashville, Tenn., USA, will be this year's largest project management forum in the world. The conference will feature more than 100 exhibitors, 180 paper presentations in 20 technical subject areas and a number of evening events to provide networking opportunities.

PMI® is offering a new and exciting format this year to provide attendees a fresh platform to learn about and discuss current project management trends. “We are redesigning [the Seminars & Symposium] to make it more appealing and to be on the leading edge in conference design,” explains Liz Ely, CMP, manager of meetings and conventions for PMI.

Using PMI 2001 as the foundation, the Institute has highlighted the PMI Professional Awards Ceremony, provided three dynamic keynote speakers, and arranged for a “dine-around.”

A Moment to Honor

On Monday, 5 November, PMI will present its Professional Awards Program to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to both the project management profession and to the Institute throughout the past year.

The awards program, established in 1974, recognizes the achievements that have been instrumental in advancing the project management profession and PMI. This year's event will highlight the presentation of the PMI Fellow Award, PMI Linn Stuckenbruck Person of the Year Award, PMI Distinguished Contribution Award and PMI Educational Foundation Student Paper Award. The ceremony will conclude with the presentation of the highly sought after award, the PMI Project of the Year.

PMI Project of the Year

The PMI Project of the Year passes through a rigorous three-tier selection process to recognize a project and its team members for superior performance and execution of exemplary project management techniques.

Criteria for the award include meeting or exceeding owner/client's needs; meeting or improving budget and schedule performance when compared with originally established goals; applying original or unique project management techniques; advancing the image of the project management profession by demonstrating effective applications of the principles presented in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide); and acknowledging the complexity and unusual issues, conditions and barriers that require special management team action and performance throughout the project.

The three-tier process begins with nominations submitted to a participating PMI Chapter. A panel of judges designated by the chapters selects a project to advance to the next level. At the semifinalist level, a global panel of judges reviews the nominations. Another panel of global reviewers then reviews the three project finalists, and a winner is chosen.

Last year's PMI Project of the Year was the Trojan Reactor Vessel and Internals Removal Project, submitted by Portland General Electric Co., Portland, Ore., USA, and sponsored by the PMI Portland Chapter.

Keynote Speakers

Three keynote speakers will address attendees Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 5–7 November.

James Taylor, Ph.D., will kick off the keynote addresses on Monday by discussing the “Age of Uncertainty.” Taylor spoke of the “Age of Possibility” at PMI‘s Annual Seminars & Symposium in 1998. Possibilities included groundbreaking technology and the socio-economic climates. This year, uncertainty includes where project management is headed and how to steer a path toward that future destination.

Keynoter Lance Secretan will build on Taylor's ideas on Tuesday when he covers the personal side of leadership today. Gaining the most out of life includes making the most of a career, according to Secretan, who will talk about organizations where people come to work and look forward to being challenged.

A not-to-be-missed keynote is Rick Barrera, who will wrap up the ideas on Wednesday with “Putting It All Together.” Part of motivation, he says, is learning why people do what they do.

“Understanding those differences allows a manager to better utilize the team,” Barrera says, “helping team members to become more comfortable with one another, to enhance communication and creativity.” Conflict is avoided when knowledge and understanding are at work, he says.

Technical Papers: What to Expect

More than 180 papers will be presented in 20 areas of expertise:

Aerospace, Defense and Government: Verification of operational cost and maintenance; cost as an independent variable; maturing project offices

Automotive and Manufacturing: Implementing project management strategies; managing projects in the manufacturing arena

Communications in Project Management: The multicultural dimension of project management communications; philosophies and flexibilities of project management; effective written communication

Design-Procurement-Construction: Configuration management; project engineering evolution; high-tech construction

Education and Training: Accelerated learning; teaching project management; successful Internet training

Financial Services: Operational readiness; acronym decoding for companies; managing projects outside of their fiscal budgets

Future of Project Management: Missing pieces of project management; work and home life balance; next-generation project management offices (PMOs); government and industry project comparisons

Global Communications Technologies: The Web; applying project management techniques to the Web; future of communication and how to survive it

Global Project Management: Ethics; foreign projects; risk management for global projects

Information Systems and Software: Software process improvement; managing project issues effectively; project scheduling and related issues; developing IT solutions

New Product Development: Implementing project offices; releasing multiple projects; utilizing risk management; enterprise project management

Oil, Gas and Petrochemical: Panel discussion; eProject managers

Pharmaceutical and Health Care: Integrating project and knowledge management; establishing an effective culture; cost management for new developments; tracking multiple projects

Project Management (Advanced): Earned value control; project management pragmatic approach; selecting the right contractor; management methodology; assessing organizational project management maturity

Project Management (Basic): Behavior competencies; views of seasoned project managers; reigniting a stalled project

Quality in Project Management: Continuous improvements; simple concepts for PMOs; project reviews; integrating ISO standards

Research Topics: Using project postmortems; increasing success; value of project management

Risk Management: Avoiding risk; explaining Monte Carlo simulation; root causes and protecting against them

Service and Outsourcing Projects: IT consulting loyalty; choosing the right individual for the project; how to manage global talent

Women in Project Management: Effective communication; successful management styles; what the future holds; doors of perception.

Special paper presentations include the PMI Educational Foundation Student Paper Award winner, which is selected through a competitive submission and evaluation process, and PMI‘s Project Management Standards Program Update.

During the Standards Program Update, PMI will present an overview of its current status and future plans for all major Standards Program projects. Topics will include PMBOK® Guide extensions, practice standards for work breakdown structures, organizational project management maturity model, project manager competencies and project management principles.

Other Items of Interest

In addition to the Symposium and the world's largest project management exhibit, attendees can participate in other meetings during the show.

The PMI Standards and Project Management Research Programs will conduct two open working sessions Sunday, 4 November, beginning at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast. Each session will include a brief update on active projects, breakout working groups and a closing discussion.

New members or first-time attendees may benefit from the New Member Orientation on Sunday, 4 November, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., to gain a better understanding of PMI and the conference itself. The grand opening reception on Sunday will be the first opportunity for registered attendees to view the latest products and services displayed during the convention.

The annual PMI Membership Meeting will be held immediately following the PMI Professional Awards Ceremony on Monday, 5 November. The meeting will include announcements of election results and any old or new Institute business.

A Specific Interest Group (SIG) networking function will take place Monday, 5 November, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Also on Monday, 5 November, and Tuesday, 6 November, exhibitors will host their own networking opportunities and receptions after 7:00 p.m.

For more information about PMI‘s annual Seminars & Symposium, visit PMI‘s Web site at

Nashville Events

Known around the United States as “Music City,” Nashville is home to the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The legendary Opry House, opened in 1925, has been host to some of country music's biggest names.

The Opryland Hotel offers an array of attractions.Opry Mills, a 1.2-million-square-foot shopping center, provides retail shopping. Attendees can spend 15 minutes floating down the scenic river winding through 4.5-acres of indoor garden in the hotel as part of the Delta River Flatboat tours. Golfers can enjoy the Springhouse Golf Club, featuring a championship links-style course, which is home to the BellSouth Senior Classic. General Jackson's Showboat and Music City riverboat is another alternative, or check out the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon and its 3,300-square-foot dance floor.

Other events occurring in or around Nashville during the conference include:

From Post Office to Art Center: A Nashville Landmark in Transition—The history of the Frist Center's art deco-style building on Broadway and the founding of the Frist Center

An Enduring Legacy: Art of the Americas From Nashville Collections—More than 140 works of painting, sculpture, photography, furniture and decorative arts from North, Central and South America

American Impressionists Abroad and at Home—Paintings from 28 artists examining daily life at the turn of the 20th century

Leaves of Gold: Treasures of Manuscript Illumination—From Philadelphia Collections

Realms of Faith: Medieval and Byzantine Art—From the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore,Md.,USA

The Second Lady—A comedy play by Jack Sharkey

Annual Nativity Exhibit—More than 100 nativity scenes representative of many styles and cultures

Commemoration of 11th U.S.President James K.Polk's Birth Date—2 November

Longhorn 2001 Championship Finals Rodeo

16th Americana Christmas Sampler Craft, Folk Art & Antique Show—Handcrafted originals and age-old treasures for collecting, decorating and gift giving.

For more information about Nashville, visit

This material has been reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner. Unauthorized reproduction of this material is strictly prohibited. For permission to reproduce this material, please contact PMI.

PM Network October 2001



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