The Project Notebook

Grateful and Resolute – 2010 in Review

Christmas 2010 found me in Palm Springs once more for one last getaway before 2011 started with a bang! In just two days I’ll be departing for Philadelphia for the sixth annual PMI Leadership Institute Volunteer Strategy Meeting — this will be my third year on the Community Development Governance Committee of the Project Management Institute. On the 16th I’ll be taking the train to Washington DC and spending a week meeting with and training clients there.

2010 has been a year of abundance and family, loved ones, and friends of course remain at the top of the list of things for which I am grateful. I have an ever expanding contact list of amazing colleagues throughout North America and on multiple continents. My work as the Director of Project Services and Support also allows me to have an impact on education, which I’m sure everyone knows has become a serious issue across the country. And with the minor health issues of the past year behind me, 2011 is shaping up to be one of the most productive and abundant years ever.

For you, my readers, I am also grateful. Despite the fact that I’ve taken an extended blogging break, the site continued to have a steady stream of visitors. My special thanks to Susan Peterson who continues to allow me to republish her articles and Fadi El-Eter of PM Hut for his continued support.

Some of my highlights for 2010 include:
– A substantial improvement (and increase) of EDmin’s support and services offerings
– Two additional online offerings of Controlling Project Costs and Risks as part of the UCSD Extension Project Management Certificate program.
– Continued contributions to the PMI Educational Foundation Project Management Scholarships targeted to teachers, school administrators, and unemployed Project Managers in the Southwest US; medical research at three significant university facilities tackling some of the medical issues which have had the most impact on family and friends; The Clarkson Fund; and World Vision. See the “I Support” area on the right of the blog.
– Graduation from PMIs invitation only Leadership Institute Masters Class
– I began integrating social networking with Linked In and FaceBook to the blog and completion of a blogging platform upgrade

The Project Notebook is now celebrating its Grand Re-opening. There will be a special event and some special giveaways to commemorate the occasion. Details and timelines are available in a “sticky post” which head up the blog. As promised, the blog is re-opened on a new platform. I’ve chosen WordPress for its component architecture and availability of hundreds of available plugins, hosted by Dream Host (one of Orange County California’s top employers). The new services and template for the blog will allow me to offer some advanced features not previously possible. For the blog theme, I’m using Grid Focus by Derek Punsalan of — I’ve been reading Derek’s Uneasy Silence blog for some time now. It contains news of offbeat and unusual technology.

Have you been shy about commenting on a blog article? The new site will has two ways to share your expertise and opinions. First, there are a series of voting buttons at the end of each post. No need for a detailed explanation — just click the button to vote (after which you will see how other rated the article or page). The site also supports the reCAPTCHA application for detailed comments — in addition to commenting, your validation (are upi human or computer spam?) contributes to digitizing books. Its a win for all!

So if you have any thoughts you would like to share, please rate the post, leave a comment, or drop me an email at Thanks for reading and a Happy, Healthy, and Abundant New Year to all!

left-to-right: Gregory Balestrero, CEO; Ray; Gene Bounds, Board Chair

Amazing Colleagues

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Project Management Institute, the “world’s leading organization for the project management profession“. I recently returned from the Leadership Institute Masters Class 2010 and the North American Leadership Meeting, two events in Orlando Florida which preceeded the North American Congress. I’ve personally reached the 9 year mark of volunteering with the Institute and had an opportunity to reflect on the amazing colleagues I have within the organization.

The LIMC 2010 is comprised of 23 leaders from 7 countries (10+ if you count country of origin, rather than residence) over 5 continents. This is perhaps one of the most distinguished groups of project executives and directors, board members, authors, and speakers that I have ever had the privilege working with. Our facilitation included studies of leadership styles, strengths, trusted relationships, and building sustainable organizations.

The Leadership Institute Meeting was attended by more than 720 leaders from 38 countries. These are just a fraction of the 5,000 volunteer leaders worldwide that interact with the 305,000+ members (from 180+ countries) and over half a million stakeholders from an estimated market of 16 million project management practitioners. The keynote and closing speaker was Dr. Gary Bradt, author of The Ring in the Rubble”. Paricipants had an opportunity to learn and share in three tracks – Association Governance, Institutional Knowledge, and Individual Leadership Development. I had the opportunity to facilitate a governance session on external relationships and later, with co-presenter Richard Polendey from Honolulu, offered leaders a way for “Governance Made Easy” through operational tools and templates.

Throughout the next year, I will be working with the LIMC 2010 group and my learning group. There is a physical meeting in Scottsdale in April and our final meeting and graduation will be in Washington DC next October. My learning group team is considering developing a presentation on transitioning an operational board of directors to a strategic board of a sustainable community. I’m looking forward to the path ahead.

If you would like amazing colleagues too, then visit the Project Management Institute and consider volunteering.

Leadership Quotes – Part I

[Over the next year, I will be participating in the Project Management Institute’s Leadership Institute Masters Class. This is a unique opportunity for personal growth which is offered to committed volunteers. The inaugural meeting of my class is this coming Sunday, so I thought it might be appropriate to include some articles on favorite quotes on leadership.]

Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

Jack Welch

The book From Good to Great calls it relentless execution. It is the unrelenting and tireless drive to achieve the vision. I personally like to think of this as being results oriented. While reaching the perfect state described by the business vision may be difficult or far off in the future, its about setting and reaching those achievable milestones along the way. Without a vision, without goals, we are simply wandering aimlessly and undisciplined.

Jack’s leadership made GE a great company, even though the Collins study may not have recognized it for a few reasons. His three-ring cocktail napkin drawing has to be one of history’s simplest communications of a vision. There were clear guidelines for how the company was to progress. Along the way, the ride may have been bumpy. During the 80s, there were brutal organizational changes which flattened a deep hierarchical management structure and made the company more efficient. But the company survived and prospered. As a long time shareholder in that period, I saw my investment value triple every three to four years, after which there was a two or three to one stock split. Dividends were consistently paid.

A few years ago, while visiting Toronto, I had the opportunity to personally meet Jack at a book signing. I related to him the fact that I was a former employee of a division which ultimately found itself outside the three circles. His only comment: “That wasn’t the best of times’. Clearly a passionate and committed leader, I could still sense his loss in not being able to keep us in the circles, even though nearly a decade had passed.

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It’s Official!!

I have two very important announcements from The Project Notebook:

1) I’ve been selected by the Project Management Institute to participate in a group of 25 volunteer leaders from around the globe in the 2010 PMI Leadership Institute Masters Class (LIMC). This is a year long program scheduled to begin October 5-7 2009 in Orlando Florida. The program consists of three physical meetings in addition to virtual participation.

The class experience includes:
· Participant Evaluations: LIMC participants will complete a 360-degree Assessment. Additional psychometric tools and assessments will also be incorporated into the program.
· Coaching: Individual coaching sessions will be provided to each participant.
· Virtual Leadership Forums: Participants are provided with an ongoing and open forum for continued learning and discussion between the face to face meetings.

2) My next offering of Controlling Project Costs and Risks Online through UCSD Extension begins the week of October 5 too! This online course is delivered by the UCSD BlackBoard Learning System.

Project control is simplified by good planning from the start. Explore project selection, evaluation, initiation, and the planning that follows. Discuss project scope and its relationship to costs, as well as the cost estimating process. Learn how simple but effective tools, like MS Excel and MS Project, can help control project costs. You will also study risk management – including the nature of risk factors; methods of assessing and estimating impact of risk; and ways of avoiding or mitigating risks. Other topics include monitoring and reporting, sustaining commitment, resource reallocation, balancing time versus quality, performance measurement and change management.

Controlling Project Costs and Risks is now in its 7th year and offered fully online. The next online class begins on Monday, October 5th for 10 weeks. Enhance your project management career or complete the PM Certificate requirements for UCSD Extension. For more information or to enroll in the class, please visit Controlling Project Costs and Risks at UCSD Extension.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP