BREAKING NEWS: Program management legislation passed

Breaking News: Program management legislation passed

We are excited to announce that The Program

Management Improvement and Accountability Act

(PMIAA) was passed 30 November by the U.S.Senate.



You recently received an email announcing the passage of the Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) by the U.S. Senate, which will make improvements to program and project management policy across the U.S. government.

This is an exciting achievement for PMI, for our members and for our profession. Please be sure to celebrate with us, and share this information with your chapter members. Send an email. Post a tweet. Place a link on your website to the official press release. To make it easier, we have provided some copy ideas below.


As always, thank you for your continued support.
Remember, good things happen when you get involved with PMI!




I’m pleased to announce some exciting news from PMI: The Program Management Improvement and Accountability Act (PMIAA) was passed 30 November by the U.S. Senate. The bill will now go to the President for his signature and enactment.
This legislation is a landmark achievement that will make improvements to program and project management policy across the U.S. government.
The PMIAA validates what we as project professionals already know: investment in program management resources and standards within an organization improves outcomes, accountability and efficiency. The reforms outlined in the bill were driven by PMI member input and research, and will change program and project management within the U.S government by:
Creating a formal job series and career path for program and project managers
Developing a standards-based model for program and project management
Recognizing the value of executive sponsorship and engagement
Breaking down silos through an interagency council
For more information on the passage of the PMIAA, read the official press release.
As a member of PMI and the [YOUR CHAPTER NAME HERE] you are part of this achievement. Without members like you, PMI would not be able to advocate on the behalf of our profession. So, thank you for being a member. Celebrate this success and spread the word!



#USSenate improves outcomes, accountability, efficiency in govt w passage of #PMIAA. Thx @SenJoniErnst @SenatorHeitkamp @SenBobCasey #EfficiencyCaucus #pmot



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PMO of the Year Winner

Three trends above all have transformed the landscape in which health insurers like WellPoint compete. The global recession increased the number of low-income people qualifying for health insurance through state-sponsored Medicaid plans. The U.S. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which incentivized states to expand the number of residents qualifying for Medicaid. Finally, enrollment in Medicare, the federal healthcare program for people 65 or older, began surging as more of the aging population became eligible.

WellPoint spotted a major growth opportunity in those historic changes. So in 2012, the Indianapolis, Indiana, USA-based organization acquired Amerigroup, which specialized in managing care for Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries. As part of the US$4.9 billion deal, the company gained the engine that had helped power Amerigroup’s unprecedented growth since 2010: its project management office (PMO).

Read the full article here.

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Knowledge Areas, Process Groups, and Processes

One of the most discussed tables in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI), A Guide
to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK
® GuideFifth Edition is the “Project Management Process Groups and Knowledge Areas Mapping” matrix, found in Table 3-1 on page 61. This table maps the 47 project management processes to their corresponding Knowledge Area, as well as to their corresponding Process Group.

 At first glance, the table seems quite complicated, so let’s break it down and uncover why a solid understanding of the relationships between processes, Process Groups, and Knowledge Areas is important to anyone preparing to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) ®exam. It’s so important, in fact, that we suggest you memorize this matrix and the relationships it calls out. Memorizing the table will prove to be a valuable asset to you during your PMP Exam.

 Let’s start with the building blocks of the matrix-what is a process? At its most basic level, a process is simply a way of transforming an input into an output using proven tools and techniques. The PMBOK® Guide defines a process as “a set of interrelated actions and activities performed to achieve a specified set of products, results, or services.” Good processes-based on sound principles and proven practices-are extremely important for a project’s success. Processes, like a roadmap, keep the project going in the right direction; they can also help minimize confusion and uncertainty among the project manager and the project stakeholders and can help drive progress from start to finish. The PMBOK® Guide identifies 47 processes that are instrumental to project success.

 The overarching piece of our matrix are the Knowledge Areas. Each Knowledge Area is made up of a set of processes, each with inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. These processes, together, accomplish proven project management functions and drive project success. Thus, the Knowledge Areas are formed by grouping the 47 project management processes into specialized and focused areas. Knowledge Areas also assume specific skills and experience in order to accomplish project goals.

 The PMBOK Guide currently recognizes 10 Knowledge Areas, each of which includes a detailed description of the processes associated with that area. These Knowledge Areas are Project Integration Management, Project Scope Management, Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management, Project Human Resource Management, Project Communications Management, Project Risk Management, Project Procurement Management, and Project Stakeholders Management (added in the Fifth Edition).

 So, where do Process Groups fit in? The 47 processes are also grouped into five categories: 1) Initiating, 2) Planning, 3) Executing, 4) Monitoring and Controlling, and 5) Closing. These groupings reflect the logical integration and interactions between the individual processes, as well as the common purposes they serve. That is, the Process Groups band together the project management activities that are relevant to each project phase and provide a means for looking at best practices within one Knowledge Area at a time. For example, in the Initiation Process Group, you’ll complete the individual Initiation processes like defining scope, goals, deliverables, assumptions, limitations, etc., that make up the project charter. Within the Initiation Process Group, you would also complete all activities and processes for identifying project stakeholders. Similarly, processes required to track, review, and regulate the progress and performance of the project are all included in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group. So, processes with a common goal or theme are grouped together into a Process Group.

 It’s important to remember that Process Groups are not the same as project phases-most projects are comprised of multiple subprojects or phases, and you’ll likely repeat each of the Process Group activities within each project phase or subproject.

 Why do we group processes like this? One way to think about this is that the Knowledge Areas encompass what the Project Manager needs to know, while the Process Groups describe the actions the Project Manager (and team) needs to do. Or, put another way, Knowledge Areas are about knowledge on project management topics, while Process Groups seek to apply that knowledge. They provide a logical sequence of steps within the Knowledge Area.

 Every one of the 47 processes can be mapped to one Knowledge Area and one Process Group, identifying the proven project management principle(s) behind the process, and at the same time providing the means to accomplish it. As you study the processes within each Knowledge Area, it’s helpful to remember that the processes have a logical connection across the knowledge areas, so try to focus on that, rather than solely trying to memorize which process goes where.

 So, why do I need to know this for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam? Recognizing the interdependent nature of the development lifecycle is critical to effective project management. As a project manager, you’ll need to be able to identify ways in which the process groups interact with each other through the life of your project. Execution within some of the Knowledge Areas and processes will accomplish some project objectives directly; delivering on other Knowledge Areas provides a method to achieve other objectives.

 Because the project management processes, Process Groups, and Knowledge Areas span the entire project lifecycle, questions discussing their relationships appear frequently in the PMP® Exam. Remember that the Knowledge Areas focus on what the Project Manager needs to know, while the Process Groups describe the actions the Project Manager (and team) needs to do. Understanding and memorizing the hierarchical and yet interdependent relationships between the Knowledge Areas (strategy), the Process Groups (steps), and the building blocks (processes) will help you during the PMP exam. Most exam takers use the first 5 minutes of their exam time to draw this table onto an empty sheet of paper (from memory!), so that they can use it as a reference in answering their 200 exam questions.

 About the author: Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM is a noted PMP expert. He has helped nearly26,000 students prepare for the PMP exam with The Project Management PrepCast and offers what is probably the best PMP exam simulator on the market.


An image of the Author can be found at

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Why I volunteer with PMI Hampton Roads

We all know how difficult it is to find free time...and the second we do locate an actual second, someone or something seems to grab it….and then it’s gone. But before you label me as just another time grabber, I would like to share why I volunteer with PMI Hampton Roads.

I became interested in project management, not because it was a career requirement nor did I even know anyone who was actually certified in project management but rather just Sunday night browsing on the internet. It wasn’t long before I found our local chapter; within a month or two, I slid anxiously into a meeting and not long after, registered for the chapter’s weekend bootcamp. The bootcamp was the first time I had actually seen the PMBOK, much less read it, but I was hooked.

Somehow, someway (Ken’s class was very helpful!), I passed the exam and volunteered for the chapter’s first upcoming Professional Development Day. I thought I would enjoy handing out brochures at the event, or running around assisting with errands. I started listening in to the weekly planning telephone call and soon volunteered to become part of the core team at the chapter’s inaugural event.

The chapter members I met were dedicated, professional, approachable and oh yeah….brilliant. As a director of business development and planning for an academic medical group…..I was totally out of my league academically! Certainly as a professional who believes in the importance of planning, I have always felt data gathering and risk assessment as essential pieces of planning but joining the PMP fold has solidified my commitment to all aspects of what it means to be a PMP.

That brings me back to why I volunteer with PMI Hampton Roads. I feel my road to the chapter may be slightly different from most, and that offers me the opportunity to sharpen my skills and meet folks who may never have crossed my path. Both are important to my personal and professional growth. PMI Hampton Roads members are from many different industries and businesses, but however we got here, the principles of project management cement us. Chapter membership calls us to communicate our project management commitment to our shareholders, both professional and personal. Volunteering with the chapter is way to share our time, talent, expertise and just as importantly, our voice.

Some of our volunteers have shared they volunteer as a way to stand out with an employer with lots of PMPs. Other volunteers are searching for new careers and volunteering is a perfect path to meet the right person at the right time. Why do you volunteer?


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Education, Certification, and You

By Ken Halloway, PMP, ITIL
Vice-President, Education and Certification Programs
PMI Hampton Roads Chapter

I'm often asked about how one might go about obtaining education credits or opportunities. Some ask for the best way or method, others ask about different ways of studying for the now numerous certifications there are out there and which ones might be best. There is no easy answer to any of these. It depends largely on the type of individual you are; whether you know enough about yourself to know about your level of self-discipline; and whether you need structure to help you or just some recommendations on materials to use.

Unlike times past, companies have reduced their internal budgets for training and education of their employees. Most still offer some sort of Educational Assistance or Reimbursement Program with the stipend ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 annually. This means that employees need to choose wisely when they look for educational opportunities that cost money. Overall, you want to look for those opportunities that cost less than $100 per credit hour or PDU.

Let's start with the PMP credential. The PMP Handbook, published by PMI contains all of the requirements necessary to qualify for the PMP credential. As with many professional credentials today, there is an examination required. Appropriately, this causes candidates a great deal of trepidation. The Exam is challenging indeed, but if a candidate is well prepared, success is a reasonable expectation. But how does one go about it? It really depends on how you study best. As there is no requirement to attend a specific course of instruction as a prerequisite to taking the Exam, the candidate is free to choose anything or nothing at all.

Here's one way: once you have applied for the PMP credential and been cleared to take the Exam, look at a calendar and pick a date-certain for taking it, about 4-6 months out. Then walk back the calendar and plan your study preparations. You should devote 1-2 hours per night initially. Read the PMBOK at least twice. You may wish to take a class. The Chapter offers a 14-hour Exam Prep course twice a year. It offers an intense review of each of the 10 Knowledge Areas and 5 Process Groups plus provides tips for taking the Exam. There are similar offerings on the web. There are also "Boot Camps" which offer an intense look at the Exam over the course of one work week. These can be pricey and many offer a "guarantee" of Exam passage. This is a bit misleading. What the guarantee means is should you fail the Exam, you are able to return to the course and re-take any or all of the modules free of charge. Whichever you choose, ensure that the provider is a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P) and a listing is available on PMI's Global Web Site. One sure way is to invest in some type of Exam Prep software that replicates the Exam questions in degree of difficulty and style, with full explanations for all answers. Then practice answering 20 or so questions per night. Look at the responses and understand the correct answers. Once you can answer correctly about 85% of the time, you should be ready for the Exam. The added advantage here is that you will be so used to the mechanics of taking the Exam using this method, the Exam itself won't be so intimidating.

But there's more than the credential. To be sure, the PMP credential is well sought after and more businesses and government at all levels are beginning to require it. However, having a credential is one thing. It indicates a desire to seek out education and certification. As with anything else, what you do with it makes all the difference. What do you think about it? As PMPs we are charged with being good stewards of our profession. How are you doing that? Are you "giving back" to the profession by volunteering your time or adding value to the projects around you? Are you adding knowledge to the profession? How do you respond to potential conflicts of interest? Perhaps you don't think about these issues very much. Maybe they don't come up in your daily routine. Nevertheless, something to think about.

With all of the certifications out there, it's hard sometimes to maintain a perspective on all of the requirements, not to mention the costs, mostly borne by the individual. PMI has the resources to keep you straight. However, all of those are mechanics. We're human - what makes us different. The requirement for the management and control of programs and projects are increasing all-the-while those customers who are demanding this are reticent to "pay the freight" for that level of management and control. Again, what makes us different? How would you respond to a customer who wants to cut costs by reducing management hours? I would submit that using our skills actually saves the customer money and provides a better service, product, or result.

Whatever the case, we represent a growing profession, but a profession that perhaps is under assault by those ignorant of what skill sets we bring to the table. It is incumbent upon us then, to spread the word about project management. Institutions such as a local PMI Chapter are a great way to provide outreach to those individuals and organizations that are looking to improve their bottom line. PMPs create value - show them how.

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