I began my career as a network technician in 1982 in New York City installing and troubleshooting voice and data systems. Through commitment, personal drive and a great work ethic, I moved up through the ranks and became a Project Manager in 1996. Since then, I have delivered countless successful projects, providing an innovative and reliable sense of business, operations, and account management.
I am a “hands on” project manager with a passion for developing strong teams, solid communication networks and results that exceed internal and external expectations. I established a distinguished record of accomplishments at all levels within the industry by managing a multitude of diverse projects within the tri-state area (PA, NJ, DE) in all market sectors (Commercial, Education, Financial / Banking, Health Care, Transportation, Government, State, Local).
The Hopewell/Capital Health Project started in 2009 when Kratos was awarded the $1.2M Nurse Call System integration project for 237 patient beds. The system was to be installed in the six-story structure with an attached medical office building, all measuring 940,000 square feet.
Once the P.O. was provided, I was asked to start the process. The project’s SWO was to provide the new hospital with a turn-key, fully integrated Nurse Call system for the entire facility which involved a cabling and device installation throughout the entire campus, programming, testing, staff training, warranty and system certification.
I was responsible for the overall project activities which included equipment and drawing submittals, system layout design, equipment procurement, developing and overseeing the project schedule, assembling the installation team which included internal and subcontractor resources. I was also responsible for attending and conducting meetings with stakeholders, developing a SOV, invoicing, conducting performance audits and arranging system training for employees, spread-out over a two week span and provided by the system manufacturer that flew in from Chicago.
I was responsible for pricing and providing the customer with change orders as requested (including Primex GPS wireless clocks installed throughout the facility) which increased the project value by more than $280K. I also delegated certain responsibilities to an internal office administrator to help develop some of the closing documentation, such as O&M manuals and As-built drawings.
The toughest challenge I faced was during the final stage of the project while testing the system. Quite a few patient stations had a malfunctioning module that would not recognize TV control inputs. After an investigation and further troubleshooting, I realized that we would not be able to resolve the issue without external support. I reached out to the Manufacturer’s VP of Operations and worked with their team to get a support engineer on site to assess the issue. The engineer flew in overnight with equipment that was used to replace all defective devices. Clear communication between stakeholders, obstacle mitigation and team planning skills helped our company resolve the issue within a 48-hour window.
The project was successfully completed and turned over to the customer on time for their Grand Opening. The project was brought in with an 11% margin increase, making this project one of my greatest accomplishments as a project manager. The client and my organization were very pleased with the results.
My project management course with Villanova taught me more about Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), scheduling and documentation. Now that I’ve completed the course, I am able to provide better documentation and develop a more efficient schedule for larger projects. This will further help me track and better organize resources.
The PMBOK® proves to be an incredibly important tool in my career. Gaining more exposure to PM processes through my studies with Villanova’s PM courses and staying up-to-date with trends, new practices, and the PMI organization proved to be very helpful in improving my PM skills.
My first recommendation is to ensure that the scope of work is fully understood and that the project schedule is clearly laid out; understanding these two things provides the tools to control the project and avoid unnecessary costs. Also, risk management is very important; risk will affect every part of the project, such as cost, time of completion and finally project success. Being able to assess and manage risk is critical throughout the life of the project. Managing stakeholders should also be considered. Each stakeholder expects and needs different things, so managing them can be challenging sometimes.
The role of a project manager is and should be an important role for all companies, no matter the employer’s culture or industry. There can be a fine line between the role of a Project Manager and the role of a Project Management Office, which without proper identification of responsibilities, can lead the PM to lose focus and engage too heavily in clerical office activities. I believe that in the near future, more companies will find greater success by placing more emphasis in a Project Manager’s role within their organization. They will either hire a PM or develop one from within, building strategies to support the PM effort and management function in order to keep projects on schedule and within budget.