Capability Maturity Model (CMM) for Project Management


PMI Olympia Chapter is excited to bring speaker Barbara Bard to the June dinner meeting. This presentation will show you how to use a Capability Maturity Model to assess and mature your Project Management Office (PMO) and project management processes. Highlights of the presentation include:

  • Definition and benefits of the CMM approach
  • How the CMM approach can be applied to PMOs
  • Tips and tools to implementing CMM for your organization

Barbara Bard is the Consulting Director of the Sierra Systems Justice Practice. Barbara has supported Sierra Systems for 21 years in several roles and working on many projects. She is a graduate of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, where her studies focused on strategic change management.

Sierra Systems is supporting the State of Washington Department of Revenue where Barbara is serving as the Asst. Project Director of Legacy Systems Replacement Project.


 PDU Category A, Component ID C331 (1 PDU)   pdf How to Register PDU's (538 KB)

The Value of a Veteran

PMI Olympia Chapter is excited to bring speaker Steve Vincent, Captain US Navy (Retired), PMP to the May dinner meeting. As Governor Jay Inslee notes in his Executive Order on Veterans Transition Support, “Hundreds of military personnel separate from the service each month, and select Washington State as their home after serving our country with distinction. We honor their service and commitment by supporting their transition to civilian life. As part of our efforts to rebuild a robust economy and return to full employment, I have asked private and public leaders throughout our state to help veterans and their families in effectively navigating this transition, and increase our collective efforts to help them obtain living wage jobs.” 

Many barriers exist to achieving the Governor’s goal. Despite years of combat operations, less than 1% of the U.S. population has served in the military. The cultural divide can prevent well-intentioned employers from understanding how these men and women can add value to their workforce. At the same time, exceptionally experienced, technically savvy individuals with a wealth of leadership and management talent often struggle to translate their abilities into terms that make sense in the civilian marketplace.

Steve Vincent serves as Senior Client Engagement Manager for tiag, an Information Technology services and solutions consulting firm with a strong presence in the Department of Defense. Steve previously supported the Bellevue College led “Health eWorkforce Consortium”, a Department of Labor program designed to increase the number of veterans in the health IT sector. In this capacity tiag provided both veteran advocacy services and custom software development and desktop delivery of content to support classroom instruction at 9 separate campuses. He currently serves as the project manager for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs where he is overseeing the implementation of an Enterprise Veteran Case Management System utilizing MS Dynamics. tiag currently supports several federal, state, and local government agencies across Washington state – providing a wide range of information technology services and solutions. Approximately 1 in 4 of tiag’s 250 employees across the country are military Veterans. Steve serves on the Washington Military Transition Council Career Technical Training Work Group and is an Advisory Board member for the Washington Center of Excellence for Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Steve regularly speaks to employers on the value of a veteran and highlights opportunities for improving veteran accession. Prior to joining tiag, Steve served 25 years in the U.S. Navy, “retiring” in 2012 at the rank of Captain. He commanded USS Germantown (LSD 42) as well as the Navy Reserve Center in Bremerton, WA. Steve also served as Deputy Director in the Business Operations Office of the Vice Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon.

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Strategic Planning for Non-Profits

PMI Olympia Chapter is excited to bring speaker Katie Rains to the March dinner meeting. Katie is leading the GRuB team to develop a five-year strategic plan.  One of the greatest trappings of the non-profit sector is the scarcity of resources, either real or perceived, to invest in wise planning and good business practices.  At GRuB, we engage in multi-year strategic planning, as well as annual budgeting, work plans, and business planning.  It is our belief that we cannot fulfill our mission without taking a broad view of the community context that we're working within, evaluating our internal strengths & weaknesses, and identifying the unique and valuable products that we can offer for the good of greater Thurston County.  We are currently in the process of strategic planning for the next 5 years and have elected to take an unconventional approach, using emergent dynamic system mapping tools, to create network maps & a dynamic strategy map. The software that we are using is called KUMU and it's free and open-source. We recognize that we live in an increasingly complex society where change occurs quickly. We strive to be an organization that is agile and responsive to emergent community needs & opportunities. As systems thinkers, we believe that mapping the systems at play within our work will enable us to identify they key leverage points, those places that we can have the most impact, and will support our team in iterative decision-making processes that will enable projects and programs to evolve and adapt to a changing environment over the next 5 years.

Katie Rains is the director of Garden-Raised Bounty (GRuB).  GRuB is a community based non-profit located in Olympia.  Katie is a graduate of Evergreen State College.  Katie was the founding Executive Director of the Washington Free Clinic Association, where Katie worked to start up seven new free clinics.  Katie has a passion for health and for health foods and volunteer service.

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 PDU Category A, Component ID C331 (1 PDU)   pdf How to Register PDU's (538 KB)

Building a Better PMO

PMI Olympia Chapter is excited to bring speakers Brian Coolidge, Garth Johnson and Cindy Palko to the April dinner meeting. This will be our first event in a series to learn how we, as project managers, can better serve and lead within our Project Management Offices. PMO leaders from various agencies will share their experience about projects, tools, challenges, and vision for their organizations. The panel will then answer your questions during the Q&A portion of the event. 

Brian Coolidge, started out of college as a software developer working in private sector fields like manufacturing, banking and insurance. Transitioned to state service 2003 in the IT department. After 4 years in IT, spent 7 years on the ProviderOne project as the functional manager and the implementation manager for the Social Services 1099 release. More recently, joined the HCA as the EPMO manager in Jan 2015 to execute a strategic initiative to mature the organizations project management discipline.

Garth R. Johnson, MA, PMP, is Acting Manager of the Department of Labor & Industries IT Project Management Office. He came to the Agency right after Y2K and has been managing projects there for the last decade. He is exploring the hypothesis that being part of a good project team is the best place to have a creative, satisfying, humane experience at work.

Cindy Palko, PMP / Project Management Office Administrator / Economic Services Administration Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

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The Surprising Truth about Engaging Culturally Diverse Stakeholders

samad aidane photoAs globalization continues to gain speed and strength, the 'one-size-fits-all' approach to leadership is no longer sufficient to effectively engage an increasingly diverse, multicultural, and international project stakeholders. More than ever before, the capacity to manage and leverage cultural differences is becoming an increasingly important skill for individuals at all levels of the organization and especially at the managerial and senior leadership level.

Drawing from the growing body of research in cognitive, social, and cultural neuroscience, the presentation will introduce a framework for understanding cultural differences by focusing on core cultural dimensions that drive behavior in cross-cultural collaboration. Understanding these dimensions is critical to understanding why the most consistent underlying source of misunderstanding and conflict in culturally diverse teams is linked to “dignity violations”.
You will gain fresh insights about the essential role dignity plays in leading across cultures and what dignity means in different cultures. You will examine your culturally learned assumptions about leadership and come away with a greater understanding of how to adapt your communication and leadership styles to the needs and demands of cross-cultural environments.

Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the challenges of leading in a cross-cultural environment and gain a better understanding of the essential leadership skills for leading culturally diverse teams and stakeholders
  • Understand how culture shapes our definition of dignity and respect and the implications for engaging culturally diverse teams and stakeholders
  • Gain practical strategies for how to adapt your communication and leadership styles to the needs and demands of culturally diverse teams and stakeholders

Mr. Samad Aidane, MSc. PMP, is a cross-cultural leadership development researcher, trainer, and coach. His industry experience spans telecom, finance, health care, and government projects in the U.S., Germany, Austria, and Belgium, with organizations such as HP, Cap Gemini, Time Warner Telecom, and Telefonica. Samad holds a Master of Science Degree in the Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University, U.K. His current Ph.D. research interest in Applied Neuroscience investigates how findings from social and cultural neuroscience informs our understanding of the effect of culture on emotions, cognition, and behavior and their practical application to leadership and Cultural Intelligence development.

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 PDU Category A, Component ID C331 (1 PDU)   pdf How to Register PDU's (538 KB)