Global Recognition With a Local Flare Promoting Professionalism Among Project Managers



Photography by Wes Battoclette

What the business world needs now are project managers. And the more skills one has to manage those projects, the better for a company’s bottom line.

The Southwest Ohio Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI-SWOH) hopes to welcome many new faces to its current 1,100-member fold with an expected 15.7 million new project management roles to be created across seven project-intensive industries through 2020.

Global PMI touts more than a half-million members, with credentialed holders in 185 countries. Established in 1989, PMI-SWOH’s local advocacy for project management certification is strengthened by the worldwide recognition of PMI standards and extensive academic, market research, volunteer outreach and professional development opportunities. 

“We promote everything Global PMI does, but with local flavor,” says Dan Eslinger, vice president of      marketing.

Their mission is to serve as the premier project management professional organization in Southwest Ohio. Their vision is to develop and sustain project management professionals who are capable of delivering excellent project and program results through adopting PMI standards and executing best practices.

“Overall, our goal is to help people advance their project management careers through Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and others,” says Eslinger.

To that end, PMI-SWOH offers prep classes for PMP, PMI-PBA, CAPM, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP and PMI-PgMP – certifications that measure project delivery, annual reviews, job searches and other pertinent aspects of a successful project management career. Class instructors for winter and spring prep classes are experienced, certified and motivated volunteers selected on the basis of dynamics, communication skills and presentation abilities.

In addition to Eslinger, the roster of PMI executive board members includes Sandip Basu, president; Missy Semm, president elect; Ann Sandman, past president; Beverly Strochinsky, vice president, administration; Keith Siepel, vice president, finance; Leah Schlosser, vice president, membership; Lacey Strete, vice president, outreach; Kristy Calhoun, vice president, professional development; Jagdish Phuloria, vice president, training and certification; and Charlie Slaven, strategy executive.

An integral part of PMI-SWOH’s role is its respected outreach program involving Deer Park High School Career Academies that is designed to support the development of project management professionals throughout Greater Cincinnati.

“Our Deer Park High School Project Management Academy helps students learn about project management, teaching them about a profession they might want more exposure to after high school,” Eslinger says. “We set it up so that professional project managers take time to visit classrooms so students can ask them about the realities of their jobs. It’s been a true cooperative effort between  the district, instructors, Transform Consulting, Communities of Practice, PMI Educational Foundation, and PMI-SWOH locally– a  win-win for everyone involved.”

Considering the tremendous growth of the IT industry and its strong project management component, Eslinger says it’s imperative students of all ages and experience familiarize themselves with what it takes to develop and deploy a project successfully. Because of the growing popularity of the Project Management Academy, the Southwest Ohio Chapter is regularly on the lookout for professional project managers to contribute to up-and-coming academic communities as Volunteer Subject Matter Experts. 

Volunteering is but one avenue for PMI-SWOH certificate holders to accrue a minimum of 60 professional development units, or PDUs, every three years in order to maintain certification. Members also earn PDUs by volunteering for Global PMI through PMI Learn, an e-learning environment. Eslinger emphasizes that volunteering is more than earning PDUs. It includes collaborating, making a difference in students’ lives, expanding one’s professional network and improving one’s knowledge. Like the website asks: “What’s not to like about volunteering?”

“Our biggest value is community and networking in the same geographic location,” Eslinger says. Maintaining one’s PMI certification is clearly a significant competitive advantage, keeping professional project managers relevant and in a better position to offer what IT and other companies demand.

And, Eslinger points out, PMI’s continuing certification requirements (CCR) align with the PMI Talent Triangle – Technical Project Management, Strategic Business Management and Leadership – that outlines ideal employer-demanded skill sets for each of those three arms of the project management profession.

Included under Technical Project Management: agile practices; data gathering and modeling; earned value, life cycle, performance, requirements, risk, schedule and scope management; governance; and time, budget and cost estimation.

“Our membership is growing,” says Eslinger.  But there are thousands more in project management roles who can benefit from what PMI-SWOH offers. 

He encourages anyone interested in learning more about project management – PMI members and non-members alike – to attend one of the monthly meetings and the April 2017 Mega Event, “Navigating Projects in Turbulent Times.” Registration for the event, to be held at Jack Casino in Cincinnati, will be available through the PMI-SWOH website.

“This annual PMI event is some of the highest quality continuing education in leadership, strategy and project management technical skills offered in the region, and focuses on managing change through introducing innovative initiatives, providing inspirational leadership and leading change with compassion, and rapidly delivering incremental value continuously,” Eslinger says. “All very important to technology-based initiatives.”

To learn more about PMI-SWOH, visit www.pmiswohio.org or email board@pmiswohio.org.