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Celebrating Leadership in Students and Women
Preparations are on for Project Management National Conference 2014 hosted by PMI India Pearl City Chapter (PMIPCC) in Hyderabad on 11-13 September. A few eminent personalities have agreed to be keynote speakers at the conference while discussions with others are at an advanced stage. As on date, 400 practitioners have expressed interest to be part of the conference.

PMIPCC has been championing the International Student Leadership Day on 3 February for the past seven years. This year they reached out to various educational institutes with the help of volunteer groups. Students took a pledge, followed by a presentation on the “Student Leadership Competency Building” program to help generate interest among students in the program. As a part of this initiative, the chapter plans to cover 66 government schools, in collaboration with Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, Hyderabad. These schools are spread across the state and will be covered in a one-day program in May.

Elections were held for posts to the chapter board under the supervision of an independent election officer. The elected members for the next two years are:

Learn & Earn, Volunteer Meet

PMI West Bengal Chapter’s second Learn and Earn event of the year was hosted on 22 February. Mr. Raj Kakarla, general manager, Novotel Kolkata Hotel and Residences, was the speaker for the event. He spoke about the need for communication and expectation management in the daily projects that are being executed in this service industry. During this session, members of various industries exchanged ideas on the scope for training in the hospitality industry.

Novotel is coming up with its first hotel chain in Kolkata and is in the pre-launch phase. Mr. Kakarla presented on the various design adoptions, cost, schedule variations, and workforce preparation for the new construction.

On 28 February, the chapter organized a volunteer meeting wherein new members were welcomed and existing volunteers felicitated, besides sharing of ideas and discussions on the way ahead.

Chapter president encouraged volunteers to meet regularly as a group to discuss on portfolios, volunteer involvement, share ideas, and give/receive feedback for better ways to connect and make the chapter grow.

Participants at the session on organizational and portfolio management

Volunteer Recognition and New Board Constitution
PMI Mumbai Chapter organized its 13th annual general meeting on 15 February to comply with the statutory norms. It was also an opportunity to felicitate 74 active volunteers and 73 speakers who have contributed to the development of chapter in the following areas:

To encourage more volunteers and spread the awareness of project management, the chapter board has also felicitated the following members with special awards as in Table 1.

Volunteer Name Award Category
Anand Kumar Subramaniam Volunteer of the Year 2013
Yagna Boorada Volunteer Excellence of the Year 2013
Minaxi Vaishnav Volunteer Excellence for Ahmedabad Branch Program 2013
Ahmed Ashfaq Volunteer Excellence for Membership Program 2013
Nimish Panchal Student Volunteer of the Year 2013
Rohan Gupta Student Volunteer Excellence of the Year 2013
(table 1)

During this meeting, a new board of directors was constituted to manage chapter activities from 1 April 2014. The new chapter board is as in Table 2.

Board Position PMI Member Name
President President
Secretary Mr. Yagna Boorada
Vice President – Finance Mr. Ketan Vyas
Vice President – Certifications and Training Mr. Bharat Bhagat
Vice President – Professional Development Mr. Sreegith Nair
Vice President – Branches Mr. Oscar D. Souza
Vice President – Outreach Mr. Manoj Sarasappan
Vice president – Volunteer Development Mr. Jay Raval
Vice President – Membership Mr. Ahmed Ashfaq
Vice President – Marketing Mr. Bhavesh Thakkar
(table 2)

On Target 2014
PMI Pune-Deccan Chapter organized its annual national conference, OnTarget 2014, on 16 February in Pune. OnTarget is an annual mega-conference of business leaders, practicing project managers, senior leaders in government and professional organizations, academicians, and school and college students. This year’s theme was “Leadership for Effective Project Management.” Over 250 practicing project managers, senior managers, entrepreneurs, and academicians attended it. A major highlight of the event was global participation through the Webcasting option by people from different geographies. Practitioners participated in online discussions and shared their thoughts, feedback, and queries through 500+ tweets and numerous Facebook comments, besides interacting on the chapter’s collaboration portal, WizTango. The conference has set new benchmark in terms of the services offered and the value delivered to delegates. The professional track has seen 125 percent year-on-year growth in delegate registrations. This year’s introductions of multi-track sessions for diverse interest groups and the e-learning collaboration platform, WizTango, were highly successful.

In his welcome speech, chapter president, Mr. Girish Kadam, spoke on the importance of leadership in effective project management. The other conference speakers were Mr. B. G. Jayaram, past president, PMI Bangalore Chapter; Mr. A. C.

PMI Pune - Deccan Chapter annual conference OnTarget 2014
Chaturvedi, executive director and chief knowledge officer, National Thermal Power Corporation; Mr. Achyut Godbole, managing director, Softexcel Consultancy Services; and Ms. Rena Striegel, president, Empowered Business Strategies. For the first time this year, the conference had parallel sessions in which experts presented on a variety of topics centered on leadership and people in project, program, and portfolio management.

The conference was also an occasion to honor members and organizations for their contributions, including the PMI Pune Awards for Life Time Achievement, the PMI Pune Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Social Sector, and the PMI Pune Awards for Outstanding Project Management Practitioner.

The GyanLahari students’ track of OnTarget 2014 was organized on 8 February and was hosted by Pawar Public School, Magarpatta, Pune. GyanLahari is an initiative through which the chapter works towards nurturing and building leadership competency among high school students. The event had over 150 students and 20 teachers across five schools in Pune. It was inaugurated by Dr. Anil Avachat, social worker, sculptor, poet, and literature awardee. There were a host of activities, including speech, essay writing and skit competitions for students.

OnCampus 2014 was an integral part of OnTarget 2014, and is an annual event for students, alumni, academia, and professionals. Students gained knowledge about project management from professionals. The event was held at the Institute of Industrial and Computer Management and Research (IICMR) on 22 February. Besides speeches, there was a networking session and a panel discussion.

Engaging Members in Varied Ways

On 7 January, PMI Bangalore Chapter put up a stall at the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) International Conference on Electronics, Computing and Communication Technologies (CONECCT) 2014 exhibition and conference held at J. N. Tata Auditorium at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, that generated a lot of interest about PMI among conference participants.

Chapter board members held a focused strategy meeting on 8 February and drafted a vision plan on how to nurture and grow the different initiatives of the chapter.

The team from Rotary International, West Bangalore, came to the chapter office and presented a project report on the Vidyadeepa project that it is jointly promoting with the chapter. Through this project, schoolchildren from backward areas in the region receive solar lamps that help them study during power cuts in the state.

On 8 March, a workshop was organized on “The Art of Managing Project Stakeholders” by Mr. Venkatesh Seshadri and Mr. Shankar Thayumanavan, PMP, from the Arbinger Institute. As part of PM Footprints, on 13 March, Mr. S. A. Kumar, head, business excellence, Infineon Technologies, spoke on the “Key Project Management Practices in an R&D Focused Product Development Environment”, and on 27 March, Mr Venkatesh Seshadri, CEO, Arise Awake, spoke on “Deep Self Awareness — How it can Help at Work.”

Industry-academia Interactions

PMI North India Chapter re-introduced its newsletter, Synergy, in March with a new look. It had articles on talent management, scope creep in construction management, keeping small team motivated by simplifying processes, and test driven development.

The chapter hosted two industry-academia interactions. The first session, “Assessing Organizational and Portfolio Management Best Practices using OPM3 – A Practice Approach”, was a half-day event that was organized along with the International Management Institute. The interaction with students and professors gave insights on new ideas and the research work taking place in colleges and universities.

Mr. Raju Rao, PMP, SCPM and OPM3 professional, conducted an interactive workshop for members and students. This was followed by a session by Mr. Hemant, director – Riskpro India, in which he spoke about the nature of risks and how to deal with them effectively. There were close to 150 participants. The second session was an interaction with infrastructure project management veterans on 7 March. The half-day event was organized along with ERA Business School. Mr. Harish Chawla, who has more than 50 years of industry experience and over 30 years in project and contract management, spoke at the event. Mr. Tanmoy Prasad, consultant in the IT advisory group, Government of Haryana, presented as how the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is transforming itself to meet the ever-changing needs of the competitive world.

The chapter celebrated 26 April as Agility Day. Agile project management methodology is a topic of growing importance today. This full-day event started with a presentation on the “Agile Manifesto”, followed by a session on scrum. There was a post-lunch session on “Pull Planning, Lean and Kanban”. Before closing out, there was an open discussion on the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certification during which the speakers and the chapter guided participants on how to prepare for the certification.

(Chapter news was contributed by Mr. Ravi Vurakaranam, PMP, Mr. Prashant Malhotra, PMP, Mr. Rinoo Rajesh, PMP, Ms. Rekha Unni, PMP, Capt. L. N. Prasad and Mr. Bhavesh Thakkar, PMP)
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