Project Management Evolution

Maturity Forum Logo  With two major milestones underway at the PMI-Silicon Valley Chapter, this week seemed like a good time to take stock and share thoughts along the theme of “Project Management Evolution.”  Joining me in blogging this week will be Harish Chinai, Chapter President, and Larry Bull, PMI’s Director of OPM3® product and services.

I left my Silicon Valley roots “decades” ago — before Apple’s Macintosh Plus, while the Valley still had orchards, and when project management methodology was hardly mentioned outside of Lockheed.

As a UCLA undergraduate, project management was not on any prescribed curriculum let alone offered as a credentialed program.  My awareness of PM as a career path developed slowly when I entered the workforce, scrambling for better tools while putting out project fires on the two coasts, in South East Asia and across Western Europe.  It became the career of choice as I re-calibrated a “Work Smarter” optimism and finally came to accept the Triple Constraints as truth.  While planning, managing & leading projects has always been at the core of my career, as with many of us, a good chunk of my PM expertise was developed independently without the benefit of an environment that supports organizational project management maturity.  Best practice was learned more often from trial & error or observation than from a formal approach to project management learning.

We’ve come a long way since then, and in the short time I’ve been back in SV it’s been very encouraging to see structures in place that deliver more proactive project management learning.  The PMI-Silicon Valley Chapter’s upcoming milestones are excellent examples of this progress:

Sep 14 the Chapter will sponsor the first full-day event of its kind in the area:- the Project Management Maturity Forum 2007:  Projects, Programs & Portfolios in Organizations.  This event explores the value of establishing a high-performing project management culture for a greater return on project investment, targeting an audience of senior leaders who can affect change from the top.  I love the proactive approach:  helping project managers to secure greater executive level commitment for best practice, tools and leading solutions by promoting the benefits of a more mature project environment to that executive audience!

Oct 16 the Chapter will host its 10 Year Anniversary Dinner — celebrating a decade of support to the Valley’s project management profession with education, vision and a community that’s grown to 1500+ members.  Keynote speaker Chris Meyer will share his latest research on the customer experience, explain the difference between Customer Experience Management (CEM) vs Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and discuss how the future of project management will play a role in delivering good customer experience.

Your insight and comments are most welcome as we share ideas & observations this week on project management maturity and the future of project management.  Next up: Harish Chinai talks about a more customer-centric future, and Larry Bull addresses the measure of a successful project.

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