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Look forward to global perspectives on nation-building from eminent speakers
PMI National Conference PMO head Venkataraman S. Subramanian speaks to Manage India on conference preparations
How has been your experience so far as the chair of the PMI India Conference 2011?

PMI India’s third annual Project Management National Conference will be hosted by PMI Bangalore Chapter on 8–10 September at The LaLiT Ashok in Bangalore. It has been an exciting experience for me as the Conference PMO head. After being actively involved with five project management practitioners’ conferences (PMPC) by Bangalore Chapter from 2006 to 2010, this is a step forward. PMPC conferences have always had themes around architecting project management that symbolizes creativity. ‘Architecting project management’ have been the theme of previous PMPC conferences. It is a powerful theme and I am looking forward to having eminent speakers and presenters from diverse fields to build on it. We’re excited to have former president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, as the conference chief guest. We look forward to Dr. Kalam addressing project management practitioners on having the right mission and vision.

What should delegates look forward to this time?

Besides the inaugural address by Dr. Kalam, the other exciting news is that Mr. Mark A. Langley, President and CEO, PMI, will be there.

Delegates can look forward to global perspectives on nation-building from our eminent keynote speakers. We will have a panel discussion with representatives from manufacturing, construction, engineering, and power sectors. The other panel will consist of representatives from major IT companies. We also have planned 4 case studies, 10 technical papers, and 6 invited speakers. All in all, delegates can expect great content and speakers at this conference.

We have two special sessions for participants this year. A session on “Agile Project Management” by Mr. Jesse Fewell, PMP, and “Testing Techniques with Orthogonal Arrays” by Mr. Kedar Phadke. Both these programs are scheduled on 8 September, before the conference inauguration.

How many speakers are you expecting?

We will have 9 keynote speakers, 6 invited speakers, and 10 technical paper presenters. The keynote speakers are all exciting personalities who will draw delegates to the conference. Each of them is expected to have a message that is commensurate with the theme. The invited speakers will cover specific aspects of project management.

How many delegates are you expecting this year? What measures are you taking to further enhance the experience of delegates in this conference?

Last year the national conference as well as PMPC 2010 drew about 700–750 delegates. This year, we are aiming for 1,000 delegates. After each of the earlier conferences, we had conducted a lessons learned analysis. We have made necessary alterations to the program taking into consideration the lessons learnt in the past conferences.

How many volunteers are working with you and what has been your experience in garnering volunteer support?

Volunteers are the backbone of our events. Volunteers who have assisted us in the past PMPCs have expressed their interest in working for the 2011 National Conference. We needed volunteers to handle technical paper presentations and PMI India awards. For this, we decided to look for volunteers from across the country. It was extremely gratifying that against a requirement for 50 volunteers, we received applications from 150.

What are the various subcommittees working for the conference?

A conference of this magnitude cannot be conducted without, in true project management style, specific individuals taking the roles of team leads, and committing to appropriate deliverables. It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the team leads and their contribution toward the conference. More than 600 people indicated their interest in participating by registering in the conference website. All are waiting for registrations to open, which is now expected to be made around 15 July.

Our Advisory Board consisting of Dr. U.D. Choubey, Dr. B.N. Suresh, Mr. S.B. Iyer, Mr. Dravida Seetharam and Mr. Amar Bhaskar have contributed immensely.

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