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Chapter President Titu Hariharan, PMP, CSM

Feb2019 IMG Presidents Letter

We’ve had a crazy winter so far with cold snaps and housebound with 6-inches of snow. With the sunshine, I find myself pulled from my warm home and family to connect with other people, and PMI draws me back again and again. In my time volunteering with PMI Portland, I have learned so much and met a variety of project management professionals with great stories and a great insight.

What stands out is how rewarding it has been to have a chance to see how generous people are — with their time, their advice, their openness to trying new things. I was asked recently about how I have succeeded since I got involved with the chapter. My answer: building relationships and using transparent communication.

Active listening is key as is showing respect for the other person even if you disagree about something. As we work to make this Chapter better and stronger, and an organization designed to push forward the PM profession, building and employing strong communication and relationship-building skills is essential.

A challenge I have worked to improve is making sure I communicate my messages clearly, using both content and context. It took a long time to get where I am today; I am more reserved than the person most people see. Having volunteered as a servant leader with PMI in different roles has helped me a great deal, in not only improving my leadership skills but I’ve also been fortunate to meet a number of people who have become mentors and role models. Great things happen when you get involved with PMI.

I have found, over the years, is that you can be really good at what you do and have great style, but being a great communicator and willing to build relationships is critical. There is an African proverb I like to follow: “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.” That sentiment motivates me to get out of my comfort zone — for what I have given, I’ve gotten in return tenfold.

So, I’m excited about where our Chapter is headed as spring nears. We’re about to launch the work of the Annual Conference; we are offering a good variety of workshops — including Spencer Horn’s two-part daylong workshop on February 20. The first half of the day is called “Communicate with Impact,” while the second half focuses on “Effective Delegation and Coaching.” There are still spots available and I hope you take advantage of these offerings as a chance to build your own leadership skills through communication and relationship building. And, of course, there is our monthly Chapter meeting, with an education session, networking time, and always a compelling keynote speaker. If you are unable to join a workshop right now, take the first step by joining us at a chapter meeting. I guarantee, with a little effort, you too can make some connections, begin building relationships and improve both your professional and personal lives.

I look forward to seeing you soon.


Titu Hariharan
President, PMI Portland Chapter



The 2019 Annual Conference Summed up in Two Words

By Ashish Gupta, PMP, PMI-ACP, BRMP

The Annual Conference is the biggest project managed by the PMI Portland Chapter. The Conference was initiated 17 years ago by Portland State University and was later taken over by the PMI Portland Chapter. Today it plays host to world-class education, fantastic sponsors, and hundreds of members and attendees.

Earlier this year while preparing for the Conference I noticed myself becoming a little stressed at the long road ahead. Some initial plans were not coming together as expected due in part to the holidays. After a particularly challenging conference call I pushed back in my office chair and stared up at the ceiling.

Feb2019 IMG AC Fun FriendlyMy youngest son approached and placed his small hand on my shoulder. I looked into his eyes. There was a look of concern on his face. I realized even he was noticing my stress.

“Dad,” he said to me. “I learned something that will help you.”

Surprised, I let out a small laugh. “Ok.”

“I learned that if you use two F-words, everything will be fine.”

I stared back at my seven-year-old son unsure of what to say. My mind raced as I thought about how to deal with my son’s new vocabulary. I took a breath as I prepared an impromptu speech about the use of foul language but before I could speak, my son interrupted me.

“Keep it fun and friendly,” he said.

I let out my breath, both surprised and more than a little relieved. Fun and friendly. That was precisely the working principle of the 2019 Annual Conference team.

The Annual Conference supports the mission and vision of the PMI Portland Chapter. It promotes the project management profession by creating a culture and community that facilitates professional growth through education and volunteerism.

In our early plans we looked at making this the biggest Conference in chapter history. However, we soon questioned whether that was really the correct objective. After unpacking a little more, we determined that the real goal of this year’s Conference is to provide an opportunity to connect, learn, and apply that learning in our daily jobs. Our focus for this year is centered around inspiration, motivation, and emotional intelligence.

Since the day I received my son’s advice, a lot has been accomplished. Our core team of 11 talented individuals has been hired, the steering committee is in place, and we have a high-level project management plan accepted. In the next two to three months this team will grow into over 40 volunteers dedicated to the success of your Annual Conference.

It truly is your Conference, and it’s not worth the effort if it doesn’t achieve its goals and provide value to the membership. Therefore, I am making a call to you to join the Conference team. We can use your help to accomplish our goals, to showcase the right topics and speakers, and to provide feedback. With your help we can make this Annual Conference a fun and friendly experience for everyone.

Feel free to reach out to me at presidentelect@pmi-portland.org or contact the Annual Conference Director at annual_conf@pmi-portland.org. Thank you for your partnership.


Engaging Your Team

By Yolanda Karp, MBA, CAPM, Social Media Director

Feb2019 IMG Engaging Your TeamHow much time do you as a project manager spend getting to know your team members? Do you understand their communication and personality styles? Why does this matter? One word: engagement.

At some point in time, we all have been disengaged. Have you asked yourself why? Perhaps your were not being heard. Maybe you thought, “it’s just a job” or maybe you were not part of the office clique. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to make sure your team understands their accountability to the project, or in other words, how their piece of the work fits into the whole pie and why it is important.

How can you then make them feel involved and appreciated? Use persuasive language and conversation to engage your team. Marcel Schwantes, Founder and Chief Human Officer at Leadership from the Core, makes the case based on data from Gallup that managers need to possess the following talents: (Schwantes

  1. They motivate every single employee to take action and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.

  2. They have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.

  3. They create a culture of clear accountability.

  4. They build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency.

  5. They make decisions based on productivity, not politics. 

When was the last time you exhibited these behaviors? The more you know your team, the better you will be able to motivate them with the right incentives. Start the conversation with your team today.

Have Knowledge to Share?

Submit an article -- or share an idea -- by sending an email to Director of Content Marketing.  


Chapter Meetings

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D'Angelo

Join us for our monthly Chapter meetings, open to non-members and members alike. Enjoy an evening of learning with exciting topics, networking with others, and a keynote presentation with a wonderful dinner served at your table. And yes, dessert is included! Click on the dates below to find out more and register.


February 19, 2019

Education Presentation – "Office Mythology: The Truth About Authentic Leadership."

Most leaders want to be authentic. This can be challenging when personal values conflict with leadership responsibilities. Many leaders struggle with role changes or when they receive constructive feedback.

Attendees will learn how to succeed without selling out. Participants will become aware of the power of patterned emotional responses and learn to retrain their brain to develop more productive habits. Techniques to manage conflict and challenging behaviors will be reviewed.

This presentation is all about the stories we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves that we are a certain "type" of person, and that keeps us stuck. We can change our story to align with our strengths to achieve better results, even in challenging or stressful situations.

Keynote Presentation – “Chairs Communication Exercise.”

Most organizations struggle with communication. It is often listed as the number one problem executives have in leading their businesses. They struggle with lack of clarity, disengagement, incomplete information, bottlenecks and more. These gaps cost organizations millions in lost revenue each year.

When managers are unable to get buy-in for change initiatives, projects are delayed. If customer feedback does not get to the people who can take action, improvements are not implemented. Poorly communicated goals leave team members in the dark with little direction and motivation.

During a highly interactive process, attendees will learn about unique KCI’s (key communication indicators). Participants will experience the realities of organizational communication across different roles and situations. By the end of the exercise, members will have new tools to improve their communication skills, resulting in increased team productivity and engagement.

Spencer continues sharing his expertise at an all-day workshop the following day. See Workshop details below.


March 19, 2019

Education Presentation – To Be Determined.

Keynote Presentation – “Conversational Ballgames: How You Speak and Listen Unknowingly Impacts Project Teams.”

Everyone knows that good communication on project teams drives results. What they don't realize is how “cultural layering” impacts the way they think communication should happen. Most overlook that culture includes not only country and language, but also region, family, gender, age, and conversational style.

This interactive presentation addresses four “conversational ballgames” that determine the “game style” people use to speak and listen, as well as the “rules of the game” they unknowingly apply when interacting with others. The discussion will illuminate how differing games can impact assumptions that result in conflict. In turn, it can undermine the success of project teams, particularly those with other cross-cultural factors.



Workshop – “Communicate with Impact" (4 hrs) "Effective Delegation and Coaching Skills for Busy Leaders" (4 hrs). 
Presented by Spencer Horn, M.S., CTPC. Wednesday, February 20, 2019, from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm at the Portland World Trade Center, located at 25 SW Salmon, Portland, OR, 97204. Early Bird discount for registrations by 1/15/2019. Late Fee for registrations after 2/16/2019. Click here to find out more.


Certification Classes

The PMI Portland Chapter offers certification prep courses for project leaders ready to become Project Management Professionals (PMP), individuals looking to establish credibility in the application of project management processes as a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), and Agile professionals looking for formal recognition with the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) credential.

PMI-ACP Exam Preparation Course
Saturdays from Feb 23 to March 9, 2019. Click here to find out more. 



PMI hosts various roundtables across the metro area. Roundtables are a great way to get connect, earn PDUs and guidance on project issues from fellow PMs. Click here  to learn more about roundtables and find the one closest you.


Chapter Event Calendar 


News from PMI Portland Academics

Are you a student? And are curious about general answers to this question? What is Project Management? “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements and therefore help individuals and organizations achieve goals on time and on budget.” – Mark Langley, President and CEO, Project Management Institute (2018). Access information here.

The PMI Portland Chapter is sponsoring an academic scholarship valued up to US $2,500 for undergraduate students. Deadline is May 1, 2019. Read about guidelines here and apply!

News from PMI Academic Network

Nominate an outstanding project management researcher, educator, author, or practitioner. The PMI Research and Academic Awards recognize individuals, groups, and published works that significantly advance the concepts, knowledge, and practices of a project, program, and portfolio management. Deadline is March 1, 2019. For more details click here.

“In the Know” with PMIEF

A new year brings new board members to PMIEF. With exiting 2018 board members Frank Parth and Mario Trentim, whose contributions over the past few years have been invaluable, join the newest board members for 2019, Cecil White and Olivier Lazar. Meet the Board here.





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Chapter Membership

Total Members 2344
New members this year 464
PMP® Members 1474
CAPM® Members 42
PgMP® Members 9
PMI-SP® Members 2
PMI-RMP® Members 5
PMI-ACP® Members 88
PfMP® Members 1
PMI-PBA® Members 3
Breakdown by type  
Individual Members 2289
Student Members 45
Other Members 10


We wish to thank each of the Chapter sponsors for their continued support of the organization and their recognition of the importance of project management in the Portland area. To learn how your organization can become a Chapter sponsor, please visit Become a Sponsor

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