The Case for Project Management in Any Organization!

management-and-the-triple-constraintsWhy Should You Care?

  • Behind every project is an idea, whether trying to improve efficiencies, increase margins, or drive product development and innovation. Regardless of the benefits, organizations are using projects to achieve their business objectives.
  • Customer demands for new products and services almost always outstrip internal capacity to deliver. More than 30% of projects end up being cancelled in midstream and more than half of these projects typically run over budget and over the original time estimate.
  • Poorly managed projects may also result in poor quality, rework, and loss of reputation for the organization.
  • Project Management should be a core competency for any organization. Project Management can help you deliver the right products at the right time, resolve problems and issues, optimize the use of organizational resources, and manage change in a better manner.

The Pace of Change:  Due to the speed of change and market competition, every organization is required to adjust much faster today than in the past.  To do so, organizations launch projects and expect them to deliver results.

What is Project Management?:  A managed approach to achieve all of the project goals and objectives while honoring the constraints of Scope, Time, and Cost.  Projects typically perturb the organization with respect to meeting daily ongoing operations.  Project Management identifies and resolves conflicts for competing resources and priorities.

 Value Proposition for Project Management:  Starts with the knowledge that it takes time and effort to proactively manage a project.  This cost is more than made up for over the life of the project by being more predictable, practicing proactive scope management, effective problem resolution, and managing expectations more effectively.

Organizational Processes to be Defined and Developed:  Each organization has unique characteristics and their Product Roadmap and Project Life Cycle process will need to be developed based on the organizational structure, culture, customer requirements, and specific industry.  However, the project management processes and knowledge areas to effectively meet customer requirements in the completion of projects is a methodology that is universal across industries and organizations.

Project Management as a Core Competency:  My project management philosophy is designed to move your organization from utilizing “accidental” project managers to an organization that recognizes project management as a “core competency.”  Effective and efficient project management will be considered a strategic competency the organization.  This will add real value to business performance by tying project results to business goals, competing more effectively in their markets, and having the ability to respond to the impact of business environment changes.

I Have Been Organizationally Socialized…

onboarding_difference-between-orientation-and-on-boarding…and I liked it!

Onboarding (per Wikipedia), also known as organizational socialization refers to the mechanism through which new employees acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to become effective organizational members.  Research has demonstrated that these socialization techniques lead to positive outcomes for new employees such as higher job satisfaction, better job performance, greater organizational commitment, and reduction in occupational stress and intent to quit.

Research has shown evidence that employees with certain personality traits and experiences adjust to an organization more quickly. These are a proactive personality, the “Big Five” (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism), curiosity, and greater experience levels.  For more information from the Wikipedia entry, click here.

I would put myself squarely in the “Proactive personality” category, which refers to the tendency to take charge of situations, information seeking, and achieve control over one’s environment. I think that this accelerated my socialization process, enabling me to adapt more efficiently and become an immediate contributor to the organization.

I firmly believe that the organizational socialization starts during the interview process, aligned with the organizational culture and values.  Any new team members must be considered a fit for the organizational environment.  An organization that knows the type of people that they are looking for, such as the proactive personality or an experienced worker, will select a new team member that compliments the organization.  This person will not only be able to, as a mentee, to adapt and be effective in the current organization, but to act as a mentor to help the organization realize continuous improvement and improve performance.

I have been fortunate during my career to be associated with companies that practice onboarding, and my current employer is no exception.  My first two weeks was dedicated to onboarding, with a mixture of meeting with the different departments, and of learning the specifics of my particular role and preparing to assume my share of the project management responsibilities.  Entering this onboarding period, I was focused on building relationships and seeking information and feedback.  During each onboarding interview, I was interested in their perceived functional interface with the project development process, and their assessment of what worked and what needed improvement.

For the duration of my onboarding, which extended beyond the initial two weeks to allow for specific project turnover, I had a daily debrief with my manager.  In my case, the manager is the President of the company, and we were able to discuss observations and develop plans of action in real time.  By the end of the onboarding process, we had a list of improvement items that will serve as the basis for our Project Management Priorities and Key Performance Indicators for the ensuing year.

Project Management 2019 Commitment

Screen-Shot-2014-02-15-at-8.30.54-PMAs we close out 2018, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on my PM Journey since changing careers back to Project Management from Quality in 2017.

The year started strong with my Executive Consultant position doing well, finishing up the development and performance of a Project Management Assessment process, and successfully identifying performance and knowledge gaps for my client.  It was a great way to re-ground myself in organizational project management.  I also developed and presented a PMP Certification Course, with a strong success rate at passing the PMP, and updated my materials to PMBOK 6.

At the end of the first quarter, my Executive Consultant contract came to an end, but I felt I had a strong base for moving forward with my consulting practice.  Unfortunately, as documented in a previous entry, I was diagnosed with cancer and spent about five months undergoing chemo and recovering.  My financial cushion disappeared as a result.

I decided that the most prudent move for myself and my family was to return to the workplace for awhile.  I was fortunate to find a position with a small manufacturing company, with an excellent culture, that was seeking a lead project manager to help enhance and drive their product development process.  Six weeks into this new role, I feel that it is an excellent fit and that I can contribute to our growth and success.

With this new project management role in product development, I commit to making regular entries to document my continuing journey in project management excellence with product development as a common focus area.

Wishing You a Happy and Healthy 2019.


PMP Certification Prep Course, 10 Weeks, Sept-Dec 2018, Partnered with IU-NW

logoThe Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is the most sought after certification for project managers because it signifies an ability to speak and understand the language of project management. Employers and individuals alike benefit from the PMP certification. Individuals are better prepared to manage projects from start to finish and enhance their earning potential. In addition, employers benefit when their project manager is PMP certified because projects tend to be completed on time and on budget.
Topics covered during the ten-week course include:

 Integration management

 Scope management

 Schedule management

 Cost management

 Quality and procurement management
 Resource management

 Communication and stakeholder management

 Risk management

 Professional development

Click here for registration link.

The PMP certification prerequisites are:
1. Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree) + 7,500 hours leading and directing projects + 35 hours of project management education; OR

2. Four-year degree + 4,500 hours leading and directing projects + 35 hours of project management education
The instructor, Ken Riches, brings over 30 years of relevant expertise to the classroom. This experience includes electrical design, regulatory compliance, product development, continuous quality improvement, and project management, as well as roles in supervising project managers. He is an active member of the Project Management Institute. For the last four years, he has served PMI as the Region 2 Mentor, providing strategic planning facilitation and conflict resolution services to 21 PMI chapters in the North Central United States. He is also a Forum Leader for Renaissance Executive Forums, leading a Project Management Forum, and provides project management consulting and education services through his own company.
The 40 hour course will be held on the IU Northwest campus on Thursday evenings, 5:30 – 9:30 pm, on September 20, 27; October 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15, 29; and December 6.
The cost of $1495.00 includes:
 In class, instructor-led activities and projects through which a PMP expert guides you through learning the material.

 Textbook

 Flash drive with instructor-prepared materials

 Parking

 Registration fees
Register at by September 13, 2018.
The Center for Professional Development in the School of Business and Economics at IU Northwest exists to provide our students and local business professionals with exceptional leadership, professional, and management development opportunities.
We are the regional resource for professional certification courses, offering certification preparation programs for Lean Six Sigma, Microsoft Office Specialist, QuickBooks, Project Management Professional, Certified Public Accountant, Entrepreneurism, and more.
We also provide continuing education resources to local professionals to assist them in maintaining and advancing in their careers.

Adversity Lessons Learned & a request

Lessons Learned graphicBackground: I was admitted to the hospital in Gainesville (Shands Cancer Hospital), FL on 6/15/18 with Stage IV Double Hit Lymphoma, released on 7/10/18, and returned to Indiana for the remainder of my chemotherapy treatments. This entry represents some lessons learned and thoughts that I captured during the early morning hours at the beginning of  my stay in Gainesville, and as I received my treatment.


I always wondered how I would react in the face of true adversity.  I am satisfied that when faced/looking at death, Beth and I maintained who we were; good and fun people at heart, who maintained their core values, and who love each other, our families, and our friends.  We maintained our unique blend of humor, our sense of fairness, and our belief in the underdog.  As part of this assessment, I asked myself, what does it mean to be a “good person” and how would I measure up?

The Good Person (immediate thoughts from the hospital)

  • Deep vs Shallow
  • Focused on others vs on self
  • Family & Faith vs loner
  • Giving Back vs Wealth focused
  • Fun vs Success focused
  • Be yourself vs trying to be who you are not (celebrity, athlete, model, lady’s man, etc.)

I found that I was at peace with the person I am, but also recognized that I can improve in each of the attributes I identified above.

It is important to realize that what a “good person” means changes as we go through life, and that it relies on who our influencers are and on what experiences we have had that determine our turn-offs.  When we are teenagers it is different than when we are in our middle years (maybe with a family, maybe not), and when we are in our middle years it is different than when we are in our sunset years.  However, our “good person” attributes should include some core values that do not change while we are on our life journey.  If you are honest with yourself, you already know how you measure up to your Good Person attributes.

My “good person” contemplation happened pretty early in my 25-day hospital stay in Florida, while I was being stabilized, diagnosed, and treatment was determined.  Once my treatment started, I watched a lot of news, and the vitriol and lack of respect and thoughtful dialogue was shocking.  I vowed that I was going to break that paradigm for myself and not allow myself to exhibit such characteristics.  While I appreciate passion and welcome input from all parties, be aware that I seek to understand the views of all involved, especially those with no voice.  I will not tolerate a lack of respect and civility.  In addition, my opinions and actions are made only after quiet contemplation.  Please honor my process.

What does it all mean for me?  I am going to live my life full of love for all and for life itself.  I look forward to having good times and laughs with those around me.  I am going to focus on giving back and fighting for others, living my core values, and providing guidance and mentoring when appropriate.  I will conduct myself, and expect the same from others, with compassion, civility, respect, and dignity.

If you clicked through and have read through to this point, then you recognize that since June 15th, I have had some challenges to overcome, with more ahead.  While the purpose of this post is to share learnings from an adverse situation, I also humbly ask for your assistance in reducing the financial burden of this experience.  If you are so inclined, please follow this GoFundMe link and contribute.  Any amount helps as Beth and I navigate this cancer experience.

PM Forum Meeting #7 In The Books

A huge shout-out to Cole Basta of Dwyer Instruments for hosting our seventh Project Management Forum meeting on Thursday.  He provided a breakfast spread, provided branded notebooks, and did an outstanding overview of Dwyer and how the Manufacturing Engineering group has journeyed over the bast 5 years in using agile principles and techniques for new product development support.

We started the session with networking, which was great as we had four first time attendees, and one second time attendee.  Just as the juices were flowing, we started our educational component.

Time Management Techniques

Our educational components was based on prioritizing the activities we perform on a daily/weekly/monthly basis using the philosophy from Scale by Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel.  The focus was on A,B,C,D activities. based on applying the pareto principle four levels deep:

  • D Time is the 80 percent mass of unleveraged, even wasteful time that produces only 20 percent of your total return. Delete, delegate, defer, or design it out (4D’s)
  • C Time is the leveraged 20 percent of  your time that delivers 80 percent of your results. This is your “Leveraged Time.”
  • B Time is the highly focused 4 percent that produces 64 percent of your results. We call this the “4% sweet spot.”
  • A Time:  Magic 1 percent generates more than 50 percent of results!

After going through and exercise to identify and share our A,B,C,D activities, we moved into what an “Ideal” week would look like.  The key is to find your most productive part of the week and pre-schedule time to work on your A&B tasks.  As this becomes a habit, you will find yourself making progress toward your strategic goals.

Agile Considerations at Dwyer      (, 2018)

Agile Development is an umbrella term for a set of methods and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the Agile Manifesto.

Solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams utilizing the appropriate practices for their context.

Methods primarily being used in Manufacturing Engineering at Dwyer are:

  • Scrum – Cadence of meetings for prioritizing and planning work items, working through impediments, demonstrating deliverables, and continuously improving the process.
  • XP – Pair Development – two or more people work together on the same work task sharing equipment.

Agile Values

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

12 Principles of Agile

1 – Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software product.

2 – Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.

3 – Deliver working software product frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

4 – Business people and product developers must work together daily throughout the project.

5 – Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.

6 – The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a product development team is face-to-face conversation.

7 – Working product is the primary measure of progress.

8 – Agile processes promote sustainable product development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

9 – Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.

10 – Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.

11 – The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.

12 – At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.

Agile Today in Manufacturing Engineering at Dwyer


  • Scrum work management with Kanban project prioritization
  • 2 week “Sprints”

Team Makeup

  • Product Release / Test and Calibration Team (4.5 members)
  • Automation Team (4.5 members)
  • 1 each Product Owner and Scrum Master over both teams


  • Stakeholder Prioritization Meeting (30 minutes)
  • Team Planning Meeting (1.5 to 2 hours)
  • Daily Team Standup Meeting (15 minute)
  • Look Ahead Project Scoping / Backlog Estimation Meetings (as needed)
  • Sprint Demo and Retrospective Meeting (1.5 – 3 hours)


  • Worked Well, Challenges, Start Stop
  • Happiness Index

If you are interested in learning more about our Renaissance Executive Forums PM Forum, please contact me at

I have a 1 hour workshop, that includes two exercises, that I look forward to presenting at your organization to help your team be more productive and effective in their daily activities and in making progress on their strategic goals.  Reach out to me at PMCkenriches@gmail or visit