SCHEDULE

Oct. 9

8:30-12:00
Pre-conference Workshops

8:30-12:00
Pre-conference Workshops

Optional pre-conference workshops offer an in depth look at System Development Life Cycle, Project Management Methodologies or Project Essentials (Additional fee required). See the Workshops page for more information.

1:00-1:30
Registration

1:00-1:30
Registration

Pick up your badge and program at the registration table.

Note: Those attending pre-conference workshops will also need to visit the registration table at this time for conference registration.

1:30-2:45
Keynote Address

1:30-2:45
Keynote Address

12 Traits of Truly Successful Project Managers
Mark Stone 
Presentation Slides

Using the story of a Sudanese refugee boy as the backdrop, this presentation will consider twelve overlooked (or dismissed) traits that are characteristic of truly successful project managers. These traits will be pointed out as the story of the refugee boy unfolds. In a completely unique (and non-technical) presentation, the audience will be both entertained and challenged to embrace these overlooked traits of a truly successful project manager.

3:00-3:50
Breakout Session 1

3:00-3:50
Breakout Session 1

CASE STUDIES
NASA HUNCH Project Management for High School students
Wei Zhan 
Presentation Slides

To increase the interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) among high school students, NASA created the "High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware" (HUNCH) program. In 2012-2013, NASA selected a total of eight high schools to develop modules for use on the International Space Station. These HUNCH projects were completed by high school students with guidance from their teachers. To enhance the experience of the students, NASA sponsored two additional projects that required universities to design and implement educational modules for the eight high schools in the area of project management. Texas A&M University was one of the universities selected for these tasks. These modules exposed the students to project management concepts and tools that were applied in their NASA HUNCH project. The benefits of the project management modules are: 1) the learning of knowledge in project management, 2) timely, cost-effective execution of the NASA HUNCH projects, and most importantly, 3) increasing students' interest in STEM. In this session, discover how Texas A&M designed and implemented the project management modules, implemented a mentoring program between undergraduates and high school students, and analyzed the effectiveness of student learning.

 

FUNDAMENTALS
What the Auditors Look For
David Maggard and Kim Rutledge 
Presentation Slides

Auditors from The Texas A&M University System Internal Audit will give you an inside look at how auditors think. Hear it from the source as auditors tell you about their processes.

 

TOOLS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Using Microsoft Project
John Gonzales 
Presentation Slides | Example Project

Using Microsoft Project to help you manage projects, keep track of deadlines, allocate resources, assign tasks, set date constraints and plan contingencies. Learn how to set up a Microsoft project and find out how the software can help you get things done in the most efficient manner.

4:00-4:50
Breakout Session 2

4:00-4:50
Breakout Session 2

CASE STUDIES
Constellation Project Management
Matt Leonard 

The Constellation Program was created in 2007 to answer the President's Vision for Space Exploration Returning to the Moon by 2015. When the program was formed, a small group was put together to manage the requirements for Lunar Exploration while a larger group focused on developing the Space Transportation System that will deliver the Lunar Exploration assets for their mission. Mr. Leonard will discuss managing the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office within the Constellation Program Office, and the coordination challenges of managing the Primary Goal of the Constellation Program and a Secondary Objective.

 

FUNDAMENTALS
Orchestrating a Team through Change
Anne Mayer 
Presentation Slides

Like a conductor directing the movements of a symphony, a project manager guides a team through its various transitions. The skills of a project leader can greatly influence whether the team - with its variety of players and multiple changes in tempo - creates harmony or discord. In this session, participants will learn the stages of the transition process, the effects of change on team productivity and morale, and tactics to navigate a team through the transition process.

 

TOOLS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Conducting Projects on a Creative Team
Lacey Baze, Allison Oslund, Michelle Osterholm, Ethel Vaught
Presentation Slides

The Texas A&M IT Product Strategy and Communication team has built a streamlined project management process using simple and effective tools. This session will introduce the tools and techniques they use every day to manage approximately 20 concurrent projects. Projects range from large-scale communication campaigns to web design, development and interface optimization. You can easily implement these tools to manage project requests, prioritize projects and manage schedules.

5:00-8:00
Reception - Symphony Gala

5:00-8:00
Symphony Gala

Unwind and enjoy drinks, hors d'oeuvres and great networking opportunities at the Symphony Gala.

Oct. 10

8:00-9:00
Registration and Continental
Breakfast

8:00-9:00
Registration and Continental Breakfast

If October 10 is your first day at the conference, pick up your badge and program at the registration table. Breakfast is available for all conference attendees and includes coffee, orange juice and a selection of fruit and pastries.

9:00-10:00
Keynote Address

9:00-10:00
Keynote Address

9:00-10:00
Keynote Address: Say Yes-or Say No? What to Do When Faced with the Impossible
Johanna Rothman
Presentation Slides

Imagine these scenarios: You're a project manager who's managing two projects and your boss asks you to manage a third, a writer who's supposed to simultaneously work on two different areas of the product, or a developer who's supposed to work partly on this project, and partly on that one. Imagine being dragged away from one project to work on another one, or working on a project that is so badly stuck that it makes no sense to continue unless you also work on another completely different part of the project. Welcome to the wonderful world of multitasking!

Multi-tasking is a huge drain on projects. Multi-tasking can prevent an otherwise reasonably planned and executed project from completing. But in the face of too few people and not enough time, what can you do? In this talk, we might experience some multi-tasking, and we will discuss and practice techniques to deal with senior management, the project team, and ourselves.

10:10-11:00
Breakout Session 3

10:10-11:00
Breakout Session 3

CASE STUDIES
Capstone Design Project Management
Joseph Morgan, Ph.D 
Presentation Slides

The Electronic Systems Engineering Technology (ESET) Program at Texas A&M University has updated its undergraduate curriculum to focus on embedded product and systems development.  In support of these new goals and objectives, the program curriculum includes a two-course Capstone Design sequence that requires teams of two to five students to transition an idea from problem statement to fully functional prototype. This presentation provides an overview of the ESET capstone design process and how project management tools, concepts and processes are used.  Also, lesson learned and future activities will also be discussed.

 

FUNDAMENTALS
Introducing Practical Project Management to your Teams and Achieving "Just Enough"
Cinda Voegtli 
Presentation Slides

A wonderful, thorough, well-documented, philosophically sound project management process does not guarantee successful projects! Teams have to consistently use the new tools and techniques and work together willingly in new ways. This talk focuses on what it takes to successfully bring new project management approaches into an organization. Situations from a variety of organizations including IT, product development, and biotech illustrate how different groups achieved high-leverage "just enough" project management in their situation.

Learn to introduce new project management approaches so they are seen as practical, not paper-heavy. Find out the main attributes of powerful, easy-to-accept project process, and discover how to maintain consistent use of your new project practices, in the face of extreme deadline pressure, varying project types, and churn of project personnel.

 

TOOLS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Mission Possible
Amanda Arriaga and Jessica Iselt 
Presentation Slides

The Department of Public Safety transformed project management efforts by establishing an Enterprise PMO. The agency implemented an Enterprise PMO to invest in the right projects and drive successful execution and delivery of those projects.

Gain insight into the opportunities and pain points that drove the executive leadership to create the Enterprise PMO and the steps taken to build it. Discover how the agency established core project management methodologies, processes, and a governance framework to maximize project success and Agency benefit. Throughout the presentation, the speakers will share examples, tools, and techniques the audience can leverage. Time will be allotted for questions following the presentation.

11:10-12:00
Breakout Session 4

11:10-12:00
Breakout Session 4

CASE STUDIES
The Road to Project Management at George Washington University
Adeleke Adetunji
Presentation Slides

The George Washington University created an IT Project Management Office in 2004 with a manager and two project managers. Today we have a Director of the PMO, a senior project manager, eight project managers and two junior project managers. This presentation will cover the evolution of the PMO; the steps the PMO took in setting up a project management methodology and how that methodology has evolved over the years to become a project management methodology used by other areas within the University; and lessons learned from the journey. During the presentation and through handouts, a copy of the methodology, access to templates, as well as training materials used in training IT staff on the project management process and methodology of the University will be shared.

 

FUNDAMENTALS
Apprenticeship Patterns: Project Management as Craft
Josh Masterson 
Presentation Slides

Many aspiring and inexperienced Project Managers have found that the best growth opportunities have come when working with a more experienced and expert manager. This is no coincidence, as the apprenticeship model has borne fruit for centuries. Both master craftsman and apprentice benefit from this approach. This session will draw heavily from Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye. I have adapted their pattern language for project management, because I have found the structure of their thought to be cross-disciplinary in nature. In this session, I will first offer evidence on behalf of the efficacy of the Apprenticeship Model. Then, I will illustrate five overarching Apprenticeship Patterns which can help both mentor and apprentice in their journey.

 

TOOLS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Influence and Authority: Using Your Personal Power to Get Things Done 
Johanna Rothman 
Presentation Slides

How often have you been in a position where you can see the solution, but you can't get anyone to hear you? You've tried persuading others, selling your ideas, and even manipulating people to see things your way. But, nothing is working. You're convinced you'll have to play politics to get people to do things your way, and that feels slimy.

We use our personal power and influence at work every day. We have options to be congruent, authentic and specific about the result we want, and to look for the short-term and long-term benefit for everyone in the situation. It's not easy. However, with preparation, you can have this conversation and make it a good one. You can build personal power from influence which will, in turn, build your authority. Join Johanna to examine how you can be more influential in any corporate culture and some of the axes of your personal power in light of your corporate culture.

12:00-1:10
Lunch

12:00-1:10
Lunch

An Italian-style buffet including pasta, salads and desserts will be served. Vegetarian options are available.

1:10-2:00
Breakout Session 5

1:10-2:00
Breakout Session 5

CASE STUDIES
Implementing an Enterprise-Wide Learning Management System
Josh Kissee 
Presentation Slides

You've just been assigned as the Project Manager for a large, complex, enterprise-wide software project with high stakeholder visibility. How do you get the project plane off the ground when you don't understand how the new software works? Should you use the traditional waterfall project management approach, Agile/Scrum approach, or a hybrid for managing the project? Once you're flying, how do you develop new processes quickly while managing change and maintain momentum? Gain helpful insights on these questions and more by exploring what worked well and what didn't work so well for our team through an honest and respectful dissection of the project.

 

FUNDAMENTALS
Reaching the Finish Line - Surviving a Career in Project Management
John T. Cole 
Presentation Slides

In the past 10-20 years, economies have changed, the way companies do business has changed and careers have changed. Even within the Project Management job family, the way PMs approach careers had to change. Depending on the challenges, each person must determine whether to approach his or her career as a normal project: just keeping up with all the issues and deadlines, or as a troubled project: making drastic changes just to get it back on track.

In this presentation, learn about career choices within Project Management, how progress through the PM ranks is changing, flexibility in planning a career and how strategic choices can enable you to make it to the finish line and retirement.

 

TOOLS, TIPS AND TECHNIQUES
Project Management Information Systems Panel Discussion
Moderator: Jim Rosser

Jim Rosser will moderate a panel discussion on the pros and cons of multiple project management tools.

2:00-2:45
Exhibitor Session

2:00-2:45
Exhibitor Session

Enjoy an afternoon snack and some networking opportunities. See services available to Texas A&M University System members and meet the keynote speakers. Visit four exhibitor tables to be entered for a chance to win dinner and a movie.

  • St. Edward's University Professional Education
  • Deloitte
  • Upland Project Portfolio and Work Management Applications
  • Project Management Institute, Houston Chapter
  • Texas A&M Enterprise PowerSteering Offering
  • Texas A&M IT Project Management Office Professional Services
  • Texas A&M Project Management Training
  • Texas A&M Employee and Organizational Development
  • Project Management Institute Brazos Valley Venue
  • Keynote Speaker, Cinda Voegtli, Project Connections
  • Keynote Speaker, Johanna Rothman

2:45-4:00
Keynote Address

2:45-4:00
Keynote Address

Crescendo
Cinda Voegtli 
Presentation Slides

As project managers it is critical to understand our role, responsibility to our team and how senior leaders see us. This session will discuss key takeaways from the entire conference and ways to identity high-leverage things to go implement now. When you leave this session, you will:

  • Recognize project management as a means to achieve business benefits
  • Realize the benefits of being seen as a strong, effective, results-minded project manager in the eyes of senior leaders and customers
  • Identify a truly "just enough" approach to project management for your organization/department and project sizes and types