Project Management Expertise Matters

September 25, 2012 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

Project Management Expertise MattersAny time your business has an IT project of any size, it will benefit from an experienced project manager. An experienced project manager can help ensure that your business's projects will always have the following:
  • An identified strategy that identifies all potential risks and identifies how they will be addressed.
  • A "roadmap" that is easy to follow with all steps leading to a successfully completed project.
  • The flexibility to adopt a different solution in the event that your business's needs change.
  • Final results that meet all identified requirements and exceed expectations.
Val Hector has been with All Covered for more than a decade. Through her career with All Covered, she has developed the reputation of being a Project Management Subject Matter Expert (SME). All Covered: Please tell us about your employment history with All Covered. Val: I have been with All Covered for over 11 years. When All Covered opened up a market in Minneapolis, I was the third person to join that team. At that time, I held the position of Senior Consultant. Over the past several years, I have held several other titles such as Principal Consultant and Relationship Manager. Currently, I am a Solutions Architect. Over the course of my career with All Covered, my various roles have given me the opportunity to develop professionally; some of the most important opportunities that I have had a chance to experience include:
  • Managing and coordinating multiple project timelines, resources, and budgets across the United States in a matrix team environment
  • Communicating with project teams, stakeholders, and clients
  • Selecting the best tools and software for implementation of business goals
  • Training and supporting other project managers on internal project processes
  • Advising in the development of project management processes and procedures
  • Bridging the gap between business and technology and developing technology business plans for hundreds of clients
  • Assisting in the development of National Standards for Hardware and Software
  • Mentoring colleagues
  • Designing and implementing backup and disaster recovery plans
  • Developing network designs and implementation plans
  • Providing remote technical support for hundreds of clients
All Covered: Your experiences seem to have given you a foundation for being a Project Management Subject Matter Expert (SME). Please discuss what project management is and explain why it is important to have an expert involved with IT projects of any size. Val: Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. All projects need a minimum degree of attention to make them happen. Without planning, resources may not be lined up or things might be done in the wrong order—this is where being an expert project manager can make the difference on how successfully a project can be implemented. Having a recognized and respected project manager in charge helps ensure that projects will be executed smoothly. Clients and teammates trust that a project manager has the knowledge and skills to design and direct a project to ensure that time as well as human and capital resources are available when they are needed to complete the project. When an experienced, expert project manager is involved, communication with clients and the All Covered team is clear and direct to ensure that the project's scope, timeline, risks, and budget are understood. An experienced project manager can easily monitor the project through every stage to ensure that progress is occurring as planned. All Covered: What did it take for you to become Project Management SME? Val: For over 17 years I have participated in projects in various roles from team member to technical lead to project manager. The projects that I have been involved in ranged from shorter duration projects for small- and medium-sized clients to projects that spanned the length of a year for enterprise-sized clients. Through these experiences, I have participated in all aspects of projects and project management. My formal education consists of several training and project management boot camps. I have had training in project management life cycle, scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, people management, communications management, and procurement management as well as other project related topics. I have also had training in business communications and organizational management, business analysis, and technical writing. I have also taken Dale Carnegie coursework. I keep my project management skills updated by being an active member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI). The PMI organization sponsors many events throughout the year where they host experts on many project management topics. The membership also offers access to many publications, articles, and webinars that help project managers gather knowledge and learn new approaches to project management. Through my education and experiences, I believe that I have developed an expertise that allows me to tie technology solutions to business needs which empower me to support clients' projects in a respectful, responsible, and timely manner.