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Chapter President Titu Hariharan, PMP, CSM

Candidman, FlickrThe Journey & the Destination

The month of June brings many transitions. For some, June is simply a shift to summer weather activities. For others, the month brings graduations or another forward look toward the future be it college preparations or the first step in a graduate’s career. For me, this month brings a transition to my role here at PMI Portland. I’ll be shifting my responsibilities to those of Past President and working hard to share my knowledge and experience with Penelope Luedtke to help her transition into her new role as President. I’m excited to continue my work with the Chapter in this new capacity and partner with Penelope closely to support her vision and goals.

This year and in years past, I’ve felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to the project management community here at PMI Portland. When I joined the Chapter eight years ago my primary goal was to learn - I’m very motivated by the educational process and learning and executing can be as exciting to me as the outcome of any project. Over time, I had several mentors and the value of that experience motivated me to return that encouragement and support to other PMI members.

For the same reason I was inspired to run for President, and the great team of volunteers across all the portfolios motivated me to continue working hard every single day to provide additional professional development, training, and educational opportunities and further the cause of project management. The Chapter is a wealth of these opportunities. Learn more about our new Outreach Community Service Initiative, which seeks to engage, empower and advance project management in our community; our Emerging Leaders in Project Management; and our hosted workshops and conferences in this month’s newsletter on our website.

And speaking of conferences, last year marked the 35th anniversary of the chapter and our 17th Annual Conference. This year’s Annual Conference will continue to build on that success and highlight how the PMI Chapter is an established, informational powerhouse for project management. We’ve already got amazing speakers lined up to share key insights across Leadership, Strategy, Program and Portfolio Management, and hands-on experience with Tools and Techniques. The content will help illuminate core competencies across talent, inspiration, motivation and emotional intelligence. And registration is open so you can reserve your spot today!

Please join me in welcoming Penelope as our new Chapter President during this exciting time in our Chapter’s history. Thank you for an incredible year and what promises to be another exciting one to come!

“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar


Titu Hariharan
(Soon to Be Past) President, PMI Portland Chapter



Motivating Project Team Members

By Reni Towns, PMP

Jun2019 Article Motivation Project Team Members

As a project manager, one of your many responsibilities is to provide clear direction to ensure your team will perform as needed to accomplish the project goals. In other words, you need to motivate your team.

When starting a new initiative, there is a lot of work to do. How does a project manager tackle all the planning activities while also properly motivating the people they will be working with?

Motivating others can be challenging. An important lesson many new project managers learn, often the hard way, is that there is no silver bullet for motivation. What motivates you probably won’t motivate everyone on the team.

Additionally, project managers often work with colleagues without a direct reporting relationship. This frequently means the project manager is not able to control all the work on other people’s plates, and does not have the ability to provide salary changes to reward good work. While not the only factors, work allocation and financial incentives can have big impacts on someone’s motivation at work.

There are other tools project managers can leverage when rallying their teams towards success. Some companies have a formal awards process. Informal verbal or written feedback can also go a long way, such as a handwritten thank you note. A team meeting that includes senior leaders can also be a forum to recognize someone’s efforts. Treating colleagues to coffee or lunch can help perk up a team when working long hours. Different strategies will work for different people, so it’s helpful to know what will work for your team.

So how can a project manager determine what motivates the team? Ask them!

Sources of motivation are based on personal preference, so it can be helpful to have a one-on-one conversation. You can learn a lot by asking for input instead of making assumptions. Keep in mind that someone’s motivations can change over time, based on different factors including length of time working on a specific project, phase in career development, or even time of year (it can be extremely motivating to get an afternoon off in the summer).

Bottom line: Be sure to consider team motivation as a key responsibility as a project manager. Spend time planning and getting to know your team, so you can take the right actions to create a motivated team that will be eager to work towards project goals.


Meet an Emerging Leader: Jennifer Murphy Talks Leadership and Project Management in the Engineering Field

By Rachel Crane, PMP

Photo credit: Heidi Riggs, ParametrixJennifer E. Murphy, PE, CSE, is the Oregon Water Group Manager at Parametrix, engineering and environmental service consulting firm, spoke with the PMI Portland Chapter to provide her views on leadership, project management and the important role of PMI.

Imagine you work for a growing urban municipality and are facing capacity issues in your water and wastewater systems. To solve this, you will need to creatively balance this increase in treatment system use, rising energy costs, and limited capital funds with the long-term impacts of climate change and seismic events. Meet Jennifer Murphy.

Ms. Murphy has over 13 years of experience in engineering design and construction management and was recently promoted to the position of Oregon Water Group Manager.

She got her professional start working in construction before becoming an engineer and excelling in technical project management and leadership roles.

“My hands-on experience in construction gave me an appreciation for the people working in the trenches, but also an understanding of the higher-level planning that went into projects,” says Murphy. “This work instilled in me the sense that if I see something that needs doing, I should do it. That mentality is how I ultimately came to occupy my current role as Oregon Water Group Manager.

Though Murphy now holds a higher-level leadership role in her department, the majority of her engineering experience has entailed project management and project engineering roles. She stresses that years of building project management expertise has provided her with transferable skills that she leverages on a daily basis.

“In project management, it’s very difficult to be both the doer and the manager. That is why it’s so important to delegate and allow others to take on responsibility,” she says. “Project management requires a servant-leadership approach, which I have relied on heavily as my formal leadership role has broadened.”

In both leadership and project management, Murphy stresses that she strives to bring honesty, energy and empathy to her interactions with clients and her team. To elaborate on her approach to projects and professional relationships, she points to the themes of the September 2019 PMI Portland Annual Conference, ‘Talent, Inspiration, Motivation, and Emotional Intelligence.’

“I believe in the importance of creating a culture where talented people can be free to execute without feeling unnecessarily encumbered.” She adds, “Talent should be encouraged and cultivated.”

Murphy declares that to foster inspiration in a talented team, she aims “to connect projects to our larger mission and vision, so that the team can keep sight of the high-level goals and feel inspired in their daily work. Teams that are truly inspired have a special sauce, where they are able to stockpile inspiration so that they can push through even when there are setbacks.”

Speaking of the importance of motivation and its tie-in to inspiration, Murphy says, “It’s what gets a person through the everyday. Inspiration is the mindset; motivation is the energy. The management side of project management is essential to motivation. By planning ahead and ensuring that there is enough bandwidth to continue executing at a high-level, a project manager can keep team motivation high.”

As she serves in a role in which she builds client relations and leads internally, Murphy considers emotional intelligence of tantamount importance to her work, and essential to fostering talent, inspiration and motivation.

“I try to put myself in my clients’ shoes and consider what keeps them up at night so that I can figure out how we can meet their needs. Internally, as a leader I engage with team members to find out what they need to be successful. To do these things, I foster empathy, trust, and clear communication, which are all components of emotional intelligence.”

When asked about her thoughts on the importance of having credentials to validate one’s professional skills and experience, Murphy names the PMP as being the gold standard for project management and an important certification in engineering.

Are you or someone you know interested in being interviewed for the PMI Portland newsletter leadership profile? To nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration, please contact us at content@pmi-portland.org with a few details about your nominee.

Money Can’t Buy Motivation, Mostly

By Liz Lockhart, MBA, CSM

Image source: https://pixabay.com/photos/blue-motivation-neon-lights-sign-1845901/

Consider a project you worked on recently where you needed the team to pick up the pace or power through a tough challenge. What motivated the team over that hurdle? Was everyone motivated by the same things? Chances are, no, in fact, it’s expected that various teams and even roles within those teams are motivated differently.

Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation

Did you know that more money can lead to less motivation? Sounds strange, but it’s true! Studies conducted at MIT and other notable universities have identified that money is a motivator, but only to a point. To motivate performance improvements, we must utilize a balanced blend of both extrinsic (if/then, $$) and intrinsic (non-$$) motivation. Blending monetary and non-monetary rewards are key to lasting, deep motivation.

Dan Pink, a notable business writer, lawyer and social sciences researcher, described this in a 2009 TED Talk on motivation, confirming that it’s not so easy to get what you want through if/then (extrinsic) rewards. “If you want people to perform better, you reward them. Right? Bonuses, commissions, their own reality show. Incentivize them… These contingent [extrinsic] motivators—if you do this, then you get that—work in some circumstances. But for a lot of tasks, they actually either don't work or, often, they do harm. This is one of the most robust findings in social science, and also one of the most ignored.”

What’s the solution? Intrinsic motivation. Especially important in knowledge worker roles, intrinsic motivation is focused on 3 elements:

  1. Autonomy - “the desire to direct our own lives [and work]”
  2. Mastery - “the urge to make progress and get better at something that matters [or is important to us]”
  3. Purpose - “the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves [that we care about]”

In moments where money is not a motivator, we rely on intrinsic motivation to track towards goals and focus on quality There are some assignments that “neither inspire deep passion nor require deep thinking.” In these cases, extrinsic rewards may help, but you’ll see better results by adding intrinsic features, such as offering the why behind the task, admitting the task is repetitive, possibly even boring and empowering employees to do the work their own way.

The best use of money as a motivational tool is to pay people enough to take the issue of money off the table where a slight pay increase is not a large shift in lifestyle. If we’re paying people appropriately for their contributions, intrinsic motivators win out and inspire long-term, sustainable levels of motivation amongst individuals and teams.

Keep Your Team Motivated with Agile

Agile leadership is all about servant leadership. We “carry food and water” for our teams, while knocking down barriers impacting progress. Here are a few tips to keep your team going week after week through tough challenges, with a blend of extrinsic and intrinsic methods:

  1. Ensure a transparent, balanced workload - Visualize the work wherever possible and share the burden.
  2. Harness the power of small wins - Don’t only celebrate the big milestones, celebrate the small stuff. This helps promote feelings of mastery and purpose among the team.
  3. Continuous inspection and adaptation - Be open to emerging information or a better way to deliver. Look around, inspect the work and adapt as needed. If adapting, be sure to communicate early and often with stakeholders.
  4. Create the condition you describe - How do you describe your working condition to a person looking to join your team? Be sure your behaviors are aligned with what you describe.
  5. Be human and have fun - Part of the joy of work is solving problems collaboratively with others. Always remember to be human to one another, treat others as you would like to be treated and have fun.


PMI Portland Outreach

By Jennifer Whybra-Ucar, PMP, VP of Outreach

Call to Action  https://www.pexels.com/photo/people-taking-group-photo-1374360/

The PMI Portland Outreach Team is launching The Outreach Community Service Initiative: Engage, Empower, and Advance. The initiative looks to provide project management volunteers who will guide local non-profit organizations in initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling various projects by utilizing the standards and competencies of the PMBOK.

This opportunity also will give aspiring project managers valuable experience, help them achieve PMP certification, and even provide future careers that enrich others and themselves. At a higher level, this outreach program advances PMI Global’s mission and vision to nurture aspiring project managers, and its emphasis on giving back to the community.

Program Goals:

Engage and nurture the next generation of project managers by giving them an opportunity to accumulate PM hours to fulfill requirements toward PMP certification.

Empower local organizations by providing them with volunteers who will share project management principles and help apply them to the non-profit's projects.

Advance the PMI mission and vision within PDX communities by giving back to the community and providing value to our members.

The non-profit sector is generally not exposed to PMI principles and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), even though their projects have strict boundaries and are just as complex as private sector projects. PMI can help equip our non-profit partners with knowledge, tools and techniques to carry out their projects more effectively and efficiently.

This Pilot Program is targeted to launch in Fall 2019. If you are interested in earning PMP hours towards your PMP certification or mentoring a junior PM in helping a non-profit organization serve our communities, please reach out to Jennifer Whybra-Ucar, VP of Outreach at vp_outreach@pmi-portland.org.


Have Knowledge to Share?

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Chapter Meetings

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

Alex Ryan, Sr. Solution Consultant with Experis, is our guest for the June chapter meeting. Co-author of “Advanced Change Methodology: a Tactical and Practical Guide and Tools for Strategic Organizational Change,” Alex has supported global start-ups to Fortune 100 organizations for more than 20 years. She believes every initiative should begin with the people it impacts and what they need to be successful. The meeting is set for June 18 at the Lloyd Center Doubletree from 4-8 pm. Log into PMI’s Portland site to register by June 13 for best pricing.

Chapter Meeting | June 18, 2019

Education Presentation – "Change Management for Project Managers: Change Leadership through Project Implementations." Alex Ryan offers insights about how project managers can lead through change and increase the success of their projects.

Keynote Presentation – "Leading through Change and Disruption." Also presented by Alex, the keynote will explore how our world of work changes by the minute, and how we can expect - and plan for - disruption.



Workshop – “The Science of Persuasion, Influence and Negotiation for Project Managers: Improve your Ability to Communicate and Obtain your Needs in the World." Presented by Martin Medeiros.

Friday, June 21, 2019, from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm at the 2WTC Building, Portland World Trade Center located 25 SW Salmon, Portland, OR, 97204. Late Fee for registrations after 6/12/2019. Click here to find out more or download flyer.


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.

PMP/CAPM Exam Prep Bootcamp | July 15-18, 2019
Monday-Thursday, July 15-18, 2019, from 7:00 am - 5:30 pm. Prepare for PMP or CAPM certification through the Portland Chapter of the Project Management Institute. Click here to find out more.


PMI Portland and Other Events

Summer Mentoring Session | Application deadline: June 21, 2019
The purpose of the PMI Portland Chapter Mentoring Program is to foster professional development and advancement in project management by connecting individual mentors and mentees beyond the immediate working environment.

We have openings for both mentors and mentees who are looking to build their professional project management skills by setting goals and gaining feedback from mentors who have multiple years in the field as well as PMP certification.

Sound interesting? Get a move on! Applications close June 21. Contact mentoring@pmi-Portland.org for details.


Future of Work Portland | June 22, 2019
On June 22nd, the second annual Future of Work (FoW) Conference in Portland, OR will explore the way we work at the intersection of Agile, Lean, Responsive, and Design Thinking, furthering the conversation on what is best across these movements (and beyond) to our current work environments in the 21st Century.

The format of the conference is innovative, following the 'open-space' meeting methodology, meaning there are no pre-planned speakers or sessions. Instead, the agenda is co-created at the onset of the day, allowing the crafting of a meaningful program based on the topics in which you are most interested. Last year’s FoW conference was a sold out event that brought more than one hundred visionaries across multiple industries to the drawing board, all of whom left energized and eager to continue the conversation. Come benefit from this conversation. Let your voice be heard. Share your perspective. Join the discussion.

What: Future of Work Portland
When: June 22nd, 2019 (8:00 AM - 5:30 PM)
Where: SellerEngine, at 133 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214
Cost: $75 regular, $35 student (scholarships are available)

Find out more about the FoW Conference, register, or contact Rhea Stadick.


Advancing the Careers of Technical Women (ACT-W) | June 28-29, 2019
The ACT-W conference is being held in Portland on June 28-29 as part of a 4-day event (including two-day equity segment prior to the main conference). The regular ACT-W conference provides talented women and allies with opportunities to build their skills, grow their community and accelerate their career path. The event features "lightning talks," one-on-one coaching sessions, hands-on workshops, a career fair and more. Register at https://achievingequity.act-w.org.

PMI Portland Chapter is hosting an exhibit booth as a community partner at the 2-day event. If you are interested in promoting project management as a great professional field by helping to staff the table, please contact presidentelect@pmi-portland.org. You will have a chance to check out the conference while you are there!


PMI Portland Annual Conference | September 20, 2019
Portland Chapter’s 2019 Annual Conference will be here before you know it. This year’s conference, held at the Oregon Convention Center, is shaping up in exciting ways.

The PMI Portland Annual Conference has provided premier educational experiences for Project Management in the Portland region for the past 18 years. This year, with a theme focusing on TIME: Talent, Motivation, Inspiration and Emotional Intelligence, we’re looking to bring the best and brightest in the profession together to expand our knowledge, make connections, and elevate our industry to new heights.

Visit Annual Conference 2019 for more information. Save and sign up early!
Individual Registration | Group Registration



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 


PMI Portland Nomination for Featured Leadership Profile

Are you or someone you know interested in being interviewed for the PMI Portland newsletter leadership profile? To nominate yourself or a colleague for consideration, please contact us at content@pmi-portland.org with a few details about your nominee.


Need assistance? Get a mentor!

Check out our three mentorship programs. We are happy to announce the start of the Spring 2019 PMI-Portland Chapter Mentoring Session.

We have three mentoring tracks, offering options for any project manager:

  • Basic track - for those who are new to the profession and would like guidance and advice about project management, certifications available, and what life is like as a certified Project Manager.
  • Military track - for those returning from military service who might have received project management training and would like to pursue the profession in civilian life
  • PMO/Portfolio track - those with at least 5 years’ experience as a PMP with an eye on transitioning into a PM Office or managing a portfolio of projects

If you have any questions about the program or difficulties applying, email Shel Philips PMP, who is the Director of the Mentoring Program.





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Chapter Membership

Total Members 2350
New members this year 541
PMP® Members 1487
CAPM® Members 42
PgMP® Members 9
PMI-SP® Members 2
PMI-RMP® Members 5
PMI-ACP® Members 87
PfMP® Members 1
PMI-PBA® Members 3
Breakdown by type  
Individual Members 2301
Student Members 40
Other Members 9


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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