Who We Are
Our contributors are practicing managers and team members with years of experience on a large variety of project types—product development, IT, marketing, biotech, aerospace, and more. We're dedicated to providing fast access to practical PM resources for all our colleagues managing projects large and small, and to those trying to make good project management work across their organizations. We learned the hard way; you shouldn't have to. Our motto is, "You don't have to live it to learn it."
So, while this page currently hosts the standard heavy-weight bios on our key contributors, one more thing we really want you to know is that we've all been there, done that, and lived to tell about it. We've dealt with project flameouts and experienced project triumphs; lived through overloaded portfolios and also seen how to masterfully crafted business-driven ones. This site is here to pass along what we can, to make it all easier for you.
Our major contributors you see here provide templates we've used, guidelines we've created, project stories we've experienced, how-to we've found to really work. (Want to be a contributor, too? We'd love to talk to you—please email us.)
Cinda Voegtli, Founder, President, and CEO of ProjectConnections, has over 20 years of project management experience in start-ups, rapidly growing companies, and large corporate environments. Her portfolio includes a wide variety of activities: developing products; managing projects; building organizations; and implementing and improving project management, portfolio management, and development processes. Her project experience includes communications and medical systems, IT application and infrastructure, industrial automation, desktop software, facilities construction, biotech drug development, and aerospace/government programs. Cinda has held director and VP-level positions managing budgets of up to $50 million across large portfolios of projects in technology development companies, and has provided senior management consulting to clients such as Hewlett Packard, Lam Research, Pacific Bell, Dow Chemical, NASA, FAA, Nellcor, Aviron/MedImmune, and Mobil Corporation. She is a Past President of the worldwide IEEE Engineering Management Society, an author and speaker on engineering and project management, and co-author of a Fortune 500-targeted book on rapid product development.
Carl Pritchard is the principal and founder of Pritchard Management Associates and a recognized lecturer, author, researcher, and instructor. He is considered a leading authority on risk management and presents on a variety of management topics, ranging from project essentials to the complexities of network diagramming and team motivation. He has published articles on project management maturity, the international trends in PM, advances in risk management, and the nuances of training on the Internet. His work as an instructor has taken him around the world, training with some of the leading international training organizations, as well as for private clients and the Project Management Institute®. He is also the U.S. Correspondent for the U.K. project management journal Project Manager Today. Carl regularly consults and coaches on project management, presentation skills, risk, distance learning, and course development with a variety of organizations. He holds a B.A. from the Ohio State University, and is a Project Management Professional as certified by the Project Management Institute. To learn more about Carl and his work, visit www.carlpritchard.com.
Geof Lory, PMP, CSM is a Partner for GTD Consulting, an information technology consulting and training firm based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Through daily practice leading information technology projects, experiential training and on-site consulting and coaching, Geof helps organizations develop best practices for successful project delivery. His special emphasis is helping project managers improve team productivity by focusing on the people and processes rather than technology. Geof maintains project management certifications to deliver curriculum for the Microsoft Solutions Framework, Fissure Simulations for Project Management, multiple Agile curricula, and several supporting project tools. He has co-authored one book on MSF and numerous articles, papers and presentations on a wide range of project management topics. As a Practical Project Management coach, Geof develops customized workshops that integrate common sense project management principles and disciplines with an organization's specific culture, processes and tools. Through these workshops and his seasoned consulting background, Geof helps clients maximize project performance through appropriate integration of practical and adoptable best practices.
Geof has worked with numerous formal industry accepted and internally developed methodologies from highly structured to very informal. His strength is his ability to compare, contrast and integrate the inherent principles and project disciplines of project management to diverse environments. With 25 years of project management experience, Geof clearly reveals a passion for his craft in all settings and applies his experiences in a fashion that is productive, educational, and motivational. He is the father to two adult daughters who have provided the material for most of his articles.
Kent J. McDonald specializes in successfully applying pragmatic approaches to strategic planning, project and portfolio management, and business analysis. His 13 years of experience include work in business intelligence, business planning, and product development in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, performance marketing, human services, non profit, and automotive. When he is not helping organizations get more done by doing less, Kent writes a column for ProjectConnections.com about value based leadership. Kent is currently Director of IT Content for ProjectConnections.com where he is developing and organizing practical resources for teams involved in information technology projects and interested in agile approaches.
His work in the non-profit community includes serving as the Chair of the 2005 Central Iowa JDRF Hope Gala, Co-chair of the 2006 Central Iowa JDRF Hope Gala, and Vice President of Strategic Planning for the Central Iowa chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He co-founded the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) and currently serves as President. Kent also helped organize the Central Iowa Business Analyst Development Day 2008.
Kent has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Kent State University.
He is co-author along with his partners in Accelinnova of Stand Back and Deliver, a book that describes a set of leadership models that organizations can use to improve their own effectiveness. The book is due out early 2009.
Formerly VP of Program Management at Outride, a Xerox Parc spin-off, Kimberly Wiefling facilitated the establishment of a company culture there that still impacts those who worked with her. Kimberly's philosophy in a nutshell: "Business leaders need not choose between enabling a highly profitable business and a high quality of life for their people." With 10 years experience at HP and five years in Silicon Valley start-ups, she's been in a position to test that philosophy. Some of her favorite exploits include her work with Embedded Works, which became profitable in just nine months with Kimberly as one of the two founding executives, and Elite Horse Clothing, founded in 2002 and still expanding with Kimberly's help.
Today, Kimberly is a keynote speaker and business leadership consultant, as well as a highly regarded workshop instructor with UC Santa Cruz Extension in the Project Management Certificate Program. In 2004 she helped establish the Management Institute of Leadership Excellence. She holds an M.S. in Physics from Case (in her words, the perfect preparation for her specialty of "tackling the impossible") and has facilitated leadership workshops all over the world, notably in Japan, Holland and Armenia. She also facilitates an active project management blog, The Art of Project Management, sponsored by the UCSC Extension Silicon Valley.
Alan S. Koch, PMP is a speaker and writer on effective Project Management methods. He is a certified Project Management Professional and President of ASK Process, Inc., a training and consulting company that helps companies improve the return on their software investment by focusing on the quality of both their software products and the processes they use to development them. His 30+ years in software development include 14 years designing, developing, and maintaining software and more than a decade in quality assurance and software process improvement. He was with the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for 13 years. His book Agile Software Development: Evaluating the Methods for your Organization was published by Artech House in 2005.
Alan has consulted with a variety of software organizations in their process improvement programs. Hundreds of professionals in numerous organizations and government agencies have taken his classes on project management, process improvement, and software quality and responded with high praise for his training. He is a Senior Member of IEEE, an SEI-authorized PSP Instructor and TSP Coach candidate, an SEI Transition Partner for the PSP and TSP, and a member of the board of the National Speakers Association, Pittsburgh Chapter.
Peter Michels has served as Director of Engineering and Program Management, Senior Project Manager, Software Development Manager and software developer in large and small companies, with most recent focus in commercial wireless and 802.11 network communications. Pete's professional interests are in project recovery, organizational behavior and organizational restructuring.
Pete has been described as having a higher tolerance level than average for negativity, which he explains must be the reason he enjoys, remains in and excels at the project management profession. He maintains that "almost everything is a project of some sort," and uses MS Project for many personal activities, too. Pete firmly advocates that schools should teach basic project management along with consumer economics and shop classes. Pete has an irreverent sense of humor and finds something amusing in most projects or programs. His last team shirts read, "If you can't juggle, don't join the Circus," next to a juggling clown on a unicycle.
Anita Wotiz has held high-level management positions at a variety of companies and has transitioned from large, government research firms to small start-ups. With over 20 years of software engineering experience, she is adept at tailoring best practices to meet a company's needs, regardless of size, and at putting in place practices that will reap the most benefit for the cost. Her most recent position was VP of Engineering at a small enterprise application software company. Her years of experience allowed her to understand what works and—sometimes just as important—what doesn't work. She has been able to successfully apply her expertise in growing engineering organizations, defining ownership roles and responsibilities, and identifying interfaces between organizations for success in companies, large and small. Anita holds a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science.
Randall Englund's Project Management Consultancy helps discover and create organic systems that optimize results from project-based work: his presentations create an experience about why, what, and how to create an environment for successful projects; his workshops are the catalyst for individuals and teams to assess the environment, adopt and adapt proven practices, and create action plans that optimize project success; consulting engagements discover, design, and apply these practices to achieve more within the organization. Creating a memorable and actionable learning experience is key to every engagement. Randy's work—as an author, speaker, trainer, partner in advanced project management training with MadelineLearning, an associate to other organizations, and adjunct professor at California universities—draws upon 22 years as a senior project manager at Hewlett-Packard Company and 10 years at GE. With cultural anthropologist Dr. Robert J. Graham he co-authored the books Creating an Environment for Successful Projects (Second Edition) and Creating the Project Office: a Manager's Guide to Leading Organizational Change. These works come from reflection and action as a program and project manager on complex projects in high tech. He has an MBA in management and BSEE, is a certified New Product Development Professional (NPDP), and a Certified Business Manager (CBM). He regularly speaks and presents workshops around the world for the Project Management Institute and other organizations. Contact him on the web at www.englundpmc.com.
Tony Christopher is the principal and founder of Digital Places, a consulting firm in Silicon Valley, CA focused on collaboration and knowledge management solutions. He has led collaboration and knowledge management programs for Apple Computer, NASA, and the FAA. His unique expertise combines technology depth in web applications with business depth in organizational processes.
Recently, Tony created and led a team of 15 facilitators to address the team collaboration and organizational knowledge management needs of an 800-person government and private industry program. Earlier, Tony led technology development and operations as VP Production for an award- winning project management web service. In the mid 90s he was Executive Director of Fujitsu's popular online consumer community, WorldsAway. Early in the personal computer era, he was the founding Product Manager for AppleLink, Apple Computer's visionary extranet service that connected its employees with its dealers, developers and corporate accounts. AppleLink was renowned for the 400% annual ROI it returned to Apple and for its role as the intellectual inspiration for Quantum Computer Corporation's 1987 service: America Online.
Tony earned his BA from Columbia University and MBA from Stanford University.
Brian Irwin has worked in project and program management roles for more than fifteen years for companies such as Gateway 2000, Hewlett Packard, and Rockwell Collins. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Project Management, both from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs. He is certified as a Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Brian's experience includes roles focusing on project teaming, leadership development, assessment and recovery of troubled projects, and OPM3 organizational self-assessment and improvement implementations. He also lends his time to serve a leadership role on the OPM3 2008 update team and the Portfolio Management Standards team for PMI. Brian frequently speaks on project management topics. His book Managing Politics and Conflict in Projects (published by Management Concepts) was released in December 2007.
From Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to Beijing, China, Doug DeCarlo has lived in the trenches with Project Management Organizations and project teams for over 12 years. As principal of The Doug DeCarlo Group, he devotes his expertise to project management organizations, teams and managers working in extreme environments: settings characterized by high speed, high change, and high uncertainty, where the rules of traditional project management no longer apply.
Doug's work has earned him international recognition as a consultant, keynote speaker, trainer, facilitator and columnist. His approach to self-mastery for today's project manager is featured as Chapter 7 in The World Class Project Manager: A professional development guide. He also is noted for his innovative, motivational and humorous keynote speeches in which he plays live percussion instruments to illustrate the dynamics of working in cross-functional teams.
Doug is also a Senior Consultant on Agile Project Management for the Cutter Consortium where he was recently named consultant of the month. He is an advisory board member of ProjectConnections and has served on the project management curriculum advisory boards of ProjectWorld and George Washington University. His book is based on his highly successful just-in-time workshop, eXtreme Project Management: Getting a Grip on Chaos. Doug can be reached through www.dougdecarlo.com
Warren Craycroft is Vice President of Development at Tensys Medical Corporation, where he oversees overall project management and Software Quality Assurance as well as managing Software Development. Warren has held director-level management positions in development, engineering, and project management for hardware and software products, in computing systems, medical instrumentation, industrial automation, office automation and information systems. He has extensive experience managing multi-site and international projects as well as expertise in setting up and managing software development and software quality assurance. Warren was co-founder and Director of Workstation Development of Maxitron Corp. (now Digital Automation Corp).
Warren has been involved with ProjectConnections.com since its earliest days. He has created much of the content throughout the site - learning culled from his own and others' hard-won project experience; useful books, papers, presentations, and web links ferreted out so others won't have to; and several featured papers and case-studies -- all contributed with the goal of helping members find the practical info they need quickly.
Dr. B. Michael Aucoin, PE, PMP provides consulting and corporate training in engineering management and project management, and has experience in electric power, energy management, energy strategy, project management, engineering management, and e-business. In addition to the courses he has taught at Texas A&M University (which include a graduate course in Total Quality Management) Dr. Aucoin teaches project management and engineering management courses. Presently, he is President of Leading Edge Management, LLC., a College Station, Texas based company that provides consulting and training, and Electrical Expert, Inc., with litigation support and expert witness consulting in electrical engineering. His books include Right-Brain Project Management: A Complimentary Approach (Management Concepts, 2007) and From Engineer To Manager: Mastering The Transition (Artech House Publishers, 2002). He offers dynamic short courses based on his writings. He has been involved with ProjectConnections since its early days, creating content and directing the design and hosting of online learning events, all based on his passion for practical project management that works for new PMs and managers in the real world.
Dr. Aucoin holds five patents and has earned the Project Management Professional certification provided by the Project Management Institute. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and has served on a Mishap Investigation Board for the NASA Johnson Space Center. He has been a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Engineering Management Society and served as their Vice President of Education. He has been a regular contributor for the Successful Project Management Newsletter and Today's Engineer magazine. He is also a recipient of an R&D 100 Award, an Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, and a Third Millennium Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Matt Glei is Managing Partner of Know-how Consulting in Honolulu, Hawaii. This consultancy provides performance coaching in areas such as collaboration, knowledge management, intellectual property, virtual teams, as well as program, project and risk management. Matt also has long experience in product development, managing project portfolios and strategic planning.
Matt has spent his 30-year career in high technology and medical product development and operations, managing at companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Nellcor, and Hoana Medical. His background includes significant periods in Research & Development, Operations as well as Marketing. His career includes five-person start-ups, all the way to 350 M$ high-volume businesses with thousands of employees. As different as these company situations appear, the fundamental performance problems remain the same.
Matt is one of the co-founders of ProjectConnections.com.
Ann Drinkwater's twenty years of professional experience has focused on consulting and managing within the disciplines of project management, software development, organizational design, business management and marketing. She has worked with multiple organizations to customize project and software delivery programs, focusing on continuous improvement and the resulting quality of all project interaction and deliverables. For optimal project value and goal attainment, she brings an integrated marketing view to all projects, ensuring all aspects of promotion and positioning are integrated within the project planning and delivery processes.
Educationally Ann holds four degrees and multiple certificates spanning twelve years of formal university training, including a Master of Science in Technology Management and Executive Education Programs completed at the University of Notre Dame and Villanova University. She has been a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2004, a certified ScrumMaster since 2007 and has been a member of the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Project Management Institute since 2003.
Her contributions to the project management industry include dozens of published articles in leading industry journals and online communities such as: Cutter Consortium, Project Connections, Projects at Work, PM Boulevard, PM Hut and eZine Articles. Her viewpoints are focused on the blending of industry standards and best practices with practical wisdom. From a business and technology standpoint, Ann is an active book reviewer for StickyMinds.com, a Division of Software Quality Engineering.
Todd Fuller is founder of Constrada, LLC, a project management training and consulting firm. He has 20 years of experience on projects across multiple industries including manufacturing, distribution and information technology. Todd has become an authority on project management processes as described in The Guide to the PMBOK as the result of teaching over 85 courses to prepare 1,000 students to pass the PMP® exam. His claim to fame is that only one person has ever fallen asleep in one of his courses on project management (seriously). Project management and fun are not mutually exclusive. He also works with organizations to assess current project management practices and develop company project methodologies.
Todd holds a Bachelors of Industrial Engineering from Auburn University and Masters of Manufacturing and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is also a Project Management Professional. To learn more about Todd and Constrada, visit constrada.com (Flash required).
Brian Jaffa is a Senior Account Manager within the Information Technology department at Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, provider of laboratory diagnostic testing. He has been managing large software implementations for the past 8 years, including applications developed internally and supplied by outside vendors.
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