Because of the different time zones, my day might start at 6
a.m. and end at midnight. But the biggest challenge I face is
ensuring the program fulfills all the different development
and experience requirements and professional goals.
What’s the one skill
that every project
The ability to be
proactive and make
the right decisions at
the right time—rather
than waiting for
things to happen.
What’s the best professional advice you
A manager once told
me that, just as I was
doing with my small
child at the time, I
should teach others
to walk alongside
me to create trust
and respect, and to
drive them to achieve
What’s one of your
cherished leisure-time activities?
I love to cook food
from all over the
world. Every weekend,
I try new recipes for
my family and friends.
have different priorities, and maybe even different
How do you address those challenges?
By deploying what I believe are the three most
important management practices: teamwork,
networking and empowerment. Teamwork ensures
that our mentors and facilitators provide constructive feedback to our participants. Networking
ensures that all our stakeholders remain active
through regular communication. And empowerment allows mentors and participants to decide the
best way to move forward in their project management career—so that they become accountable for
their own success.
We provide guidance for mentors, managers or
facilitators on how to do that. Although we have
recommendations, they decide what is best for
themselves and the best way to help others
How does your program accelerate the
development of project management skills
We have three initiatives: the PM Vitality Initiative, the Project Management Boot Camp and the
PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)®
Exam Study Groups. The vitality initiative focuses
on new IBM employees who need to gain project
experience. The boot camp gives participants the
education and skills needed for an IBM project
management certification. We have five levels of
certification at IBM: from entry level to thought
leaders. To get the higher-level certification, practitioners also have to have a PMI certification.
In the PMP® Exam Study Groups, we promote
Are all IBM practitioners required to go
peer collaboration to help prepare practitioners for
the PMP exam. Twice a year, we offer study groups
over 14 weeks in six different languages. We’re also
working to extend this program to other PMI certi-
fications, such as the PMI Agile Certified Practi-
tioner (PMI-ACP)® and the Program Management
Professional (PgMP)®. We’re always looking for
ways to improve our training program.
through your programs?
It’s not mandatory, but all programs are available
for employees who need to strengthen their project
management capabilities in a short amount of time.
Maybe they’re assigned to a complex project, or
maybe they have a project that’s first of its kind and
so they need to speed up their skills.
Our program is only one part of IBM’s Project
Management Center of Excellence. This project
management office (PMO) provides the curriculum, project management methodologies and tools.
In addition, it guides the PM Knowledge Network,
a community of practice where members of the
project management profession hold Lunch and
Learns and IBM PM Community news updates.
Who teaches the practitioners? How do you
identify the mentors?
All our programs are mentor-based. Those relationships help participants develop their skills and
complete their education. The participants attend
workshops, but they also do a lot of shadow work
with their mentors and managers to achieve the
project management experience they need. Every
year, we have more than 2,500 project practitioners in our program from around the world, and
each practitioner has his or her own volunteer
mentor. Mentors are experienced project managers at IBM, and all of them are volunteers who
have gone through the same training they’re
teaching their mentees. We measure the program’s
success by the growing number of people who
achieve a project management certification year
after year. PM