Solutions Leadership Membership Site

Project Management Considerations has a new offering. Effective problem solving, finding solutions, is one of the key attributes that separate great leaders from average ones.  In addition to problems that crop up and must be solved, leaders at every level are faced with handling the challenges associated with leading in a rapidly changing environment.  This is solutions leadership. Below is a description of the membership, and this is a direct link to the Solutions Leadership Membership Site.

From my experience, having access to a collaboration site of like minded individuals, and access to tools and templates, can let you not have to re-invent the wheel to resolve challenges you may be facing.  This is included in both levels of membership.

I have also found over the past five years, that participating on a regular basis with trusted colleagues can help you go to the next level in your solutions leadership capability.  The first level of membership provides this opportunity.

If you want to be an active participant in helping improve this community and have access to proven training materials, and also have a 1:1 coaching/mentoring session with me, then the second level of membership is for you.

I look forward to sharing this solutions leadership excellence journey with each and every one of you!

7/16/20 SL Meeting

The Renaissance Executive Forums Indiana Solutions Leadership forum held our monthly meeting today. Appreciation to our attendees and their active engagement.

After introductions and discussions of our personal and business bests, we discussed our experience with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. The focus of our discussion was on data analytics, but it became apparent that of the participants, none had really experienced intentional analytics of the contents of the CRM. One example of how such data could be used was of a product that was 70% purchased by women, but that data was discovered by accident, not through data analytics. I am sure that many organizations make use of CRM data, but for the large organizations that we have belonged to, it was startling to realize that CRM data may be effectively used for quotes and selling, but there is a missed opportunity for mining the data for other uses in many organizations.

Next, based on several of our participants being in the job market due to COVID-19 organizational challenges, we discussed ideas for effective job opportunity investigation. During these challenging times, it was agreed that only relying on a recruiter could prolong finding their next opportunity. Instead, an intentional approach of finding a company that you would be interested in working for based on their values and reputation was the first best step, then to focus on LinkedIn members that are in areas that you could bring value too. After looking at these employees profiles and posts, make a connection request offering genuine insights that they may find beneficial, or attributes of their posts and experience that you find inspirational. After you have had some interaction, then request a discussion and at that point, request assistance in your opportunity investigation. It was emphasized that during the request to connect, being transparent that you are interested in potentially working for that organization is made clear, but not to connect only to ask for assistance. This process will take time, and works best when you already have a position but are potentially looking for your next best opportunity. This approach forces you to focus on what you bring to the table and how you can add value to help solve their challenges.

Since during the job opportunity investigation LinkedIn was mentioned as a valuable resource, we then discussed how to best leverage LinkedIn as a networking resource. We discussed how posting articles with relevant content to your contacts and your experience are key, that LinkedIn can be used to help with career training opportunities, and that building your brand and presence takes discipline and should be a habit to maximize the benefit that LinkedIn can provide.

Solutions Leadership Contemplation…

Our REF-IN Key Executive Meeting held on 5/14/20 resulted in some key learnings.

Our first discussion point was related to how our organizations handle Risk Management.  The consensus was that many organizations practice a “bury the head” philosophy.  For those organizations that do address risk management, the focus is to try and keep it simple, and to incorporate risk management concepts into regular team meetings, even if there is not a formal risk management tracking mechanism.  Standard Work practices and Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (DFMEA & PFMEA) are the most common risk management tools in use for manufacturing organizations.

Our second discussion point revolved around how to refocus teams, especially in a virtual environment and the new normal (Covid and workforce reductions).  Many organizations started out with Covid discussions as the stay-at-home orders were implemented, but with the use of virtual meeting tools, the norm quickly transitioned to task oriented discussions.  The outlier was for organizations that were going through workforce reductions, and they had a very difficult time focusing on immediate tasks as there was a constant fear due to the uncertainty of being let go.  In general, morale has suffered in most organizations.

Key Point: Using a retrospective approach to determine what is working and what is not working, has helped individual contributors hash out their feelings and to get them on the table, allowing the organization to address improvement opportunities.  Change Management is critical for these situations.  Having a helping mindset is extremely important to help team members weather these difficult times.

Our last discussion point revolved around personal freedoms versus protecting the workforce.  There was a lot of discussion around this issue.  The consensus was that the organization must enforce what is necessary to protect the entire organization, and if there are individuals that want to have their personal freedom, that is their prerogative, but not at the expense of the safety of others in the organization.  However, no organizations involved in the discussion had developed a comprehensive policy on how to handle dissenters from within the organization.

Are You A Great Leader?

Solutions Leadership:  As I started on my journey with Project Management Considerations, I was focused on Project Management as a profession.  As part of this endeavor, I started a Project Management Forum with Renaissance Executive Forums.  At first we focused strictly on project management skills and discussions, but as we evolved and discussed what we were trying to achieve, it became clear that we are really about Solutions Leadership (project management provides just some of the tools and capabilities that can be used).  The rest of this entry is all about how I perceive our new Solutions Leadership Forum.

Strategic success is, in a large measure, a function of having strong leadership.  You need individuals who have the background, skills and motivation to drive business results and organizational performance while gaining the support and commitment of those around them.  This requires applying business acumen to achieve results through relevant, contextual, and practical techniques.

Effective problem solving, finding solutions, is one of the key attributes that separate great leaders from average ones.  In addition to problems that crop up and must be solved, leaders at every level are faced with handling the challenges associated with leading in a rapidly changing environment.  This is solutions leadership.

Leadership related focus areas include such things as strategic planning, change management, emotional intelligence, project management knowledge areas, conflict resolution, and problem solving.  Every leader needs a kit of solutions that work against the most common challenges life throws at us.  This involves:

  • Developing your personal leadership style
  • Learning from others experience
  • Developing a compelling vision
  • Self awareness, flexibility, and intentionality
  • Polishing your people skills
  • Inspiring others

Learning from other leaders will challenge your current perceptions about leadership and the values that shape it, encouraging you to think and lead differently.  Participants can tap into the experience and insights of other organizational leaders.  We provide additional tools to ensure immediate application, behavior change, and continued learning.  This is achieved using results oriented round-table problem resolution sessions.  Leaders who transform their lives, their teams, and their organizations model the highest levels of personal and interpersonal effectiveness, and achieve results time and time again.

This begs the question, “Is your leadership team prepared to take on the key business challenges they face?”  Our Solutions Leadership Forum helps you to be able to answer this question with a resounding YES!



Operations/Proj Mgmt Forum Meeting

Our next Project Management/Operations Forum Meeting will be 2/27/20 in downtown South Bend.  We will be having an educational component on Change Management, and then discussing how to make our forum better (i.e., workshops, monthly vs quarterly, etc.).

If you are interested in attending, or would like more information, please comment, message me, or email at

PM/OPS Forum Meeting at Daman

We had an outstanding meeting last month at Daman Products.  Thank you to our host Matt Giloth!  Daman has really internalized the cell methodology and continuous improvement, and it shows in their operations.

Our educational component was on Product Business Case development, something I am currently working on at Vista Manufacturing, so it was a relevant topic.  I look forward to implementing the things we discussed during the presentation.

We had four members and two guests at our PM Forum Meeting, and the feedback was to not only focus on Project Management, but to also focus on ongoing operations.  Since anything that perturbs day-to-day operations is considered a project, that was really good feedback.

8/22/19: PM Forum at Daman Products

Our next project management forum will be conducted at Daman products.  Our educational component will be on project/product business case development.  Then we will have an overview of Daman Products and a tour of their world class facility.  Daman is a manufacturer of high pressure manifolds, but the lessons that can be learned from them are suitable to any industry.  If interested in attending this Renaissance Executives Forum PM Forum event, please contact me at or  There is no fee for attending.

5/23/19 PM Forum Meeting @ Dwyer

Cole Basta

A big shout out to Cole Basta of Dwyer Instruments, and a member of the Renaissance Executive Forums Project Management Group, for hosting our quarterly meeting yesterday.

We welcomed out six first time participants, established the purpose and flow of our meeting, and made introductions all around.  We were fortunate to have Donn Novotny of “The Goal Institute” as our Educational Component (EC) speaker.  Donn presented on Achieving Ambitious Targets and the Critical Chain Method of scheduling.  The presentation was well received (we had six Dwyer Instruments leaders present for the EC portion), and provided some great food for thought on how to drive better performance in the organization through effective management of critical resources, and to bring projects to the fruition sooner.

Dwyer TourCole, the Manufacturing Engineering Manager, then gave us an overview of Dwyer and took us on a tour of the Dwyer Michigan City facility, showing us the processes they use for testing their products and manufacturing methods.

Last, we held our Round Table discussion where we had a facilitated discussion of one of the first time attendees challenges in his company.  It was a great discussion and everyone participated and explained how they would approach the problem if

 they were in the problem presenters shoes.  

I always feel energized after one of our meetings, knowing that all that attended were able to take away something that will help them in their organization.  Our next meeting will be in August at Daman Products.  Please message me if Dwyer PM Mtgyou would be interested in attending, there is no charge for first time participants.


PMCLLC Now Offers Learning Materials

Project Management Considerations has addetraining-icon-5d a “Product” page to the website listing the learning materials available. Are you preparing for the PMP/CAPM Exam, training your project team on project management terminology and tools/techniques, or learning about project management in general?  Follow this link to learn more.  #pmckenriches

NPD Familiarization Training

life-cycle-costing-10-638In my last entry, I discussed the steps we were taking to establish an updated phased approach to new product development.  As part of this revised approach, it was important to develop a training package to level set the organization on vocabulary, the process details, expectations, and accountability.

As we were developing the training, the best approach soon became apparent, set up the training to mimic the project process flow.  We provided an overview of the process flow, the tools used for listing and providing status on the projects, the collaboration tool used for day-to-day project execution and communication, the formal forms required to:

  • Initiate (request form, project list, project file folder, schedule & collaboration tool)
  • Budget
  • Define Scope (this is key to schedule development and change control)
  • Change process and documentation
  • Pre-Production Build Packets (to familiarize operations with the product and build samples)
  • Phase Gate Approval
  • Product Launch (produce release checklist to formally update the ERP system)
  • Project Closeout
  • Project/Product Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)
  • Communication Expectations

We had originally allotted an hour and a half for the training, and after the first session we added an hour, and still did not have time for the collaboration tool videos.  We really could not justify additional time to complete the entire training, so assigned homework to review the training videos and only highlighted the operations build packet process since each department has differing roles and responsibilities that need to be detailed separately.

The training was well received, as evidenced by the engagement and questions from all the departments.  We are also going to be using this training package for on-boarding of new employees (non-production), and we will allow a full four hours for that training.

This is the fifth time I have been involved in process development, training, and execution, and it never gets old.  Being part of the maturation of the organization for construction projects or new product development never gets old.

Please reach out if you could use assistance in either of these areas, I would welcome the opportunity to assist in your project development or maturation process.