Symposium 2018

September 14, 2018 - PMI CVC Symposium

 Keynote & Speaker Abstracts



Opening KeynotesJohn Stenbeck, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP



Presentation Title – Coping with a Marketplace in Disequilibrium

Using project management to unlock success anywhere!

Danger Will Robinson…danger! Netflix has brought Lost in Space back to life and every credible view of the future says robots – a metaphor for disruption – will impact your enterprise, your career, your life for better or worse…depending on how prepared you are!



Cookie cutter recipes don’t work. You need the keys to a reliable, adaptable, proven model that is reality-based, technically- sophisticated and easily applied. Make no mistake… Agile is not enough!

Rick and John distill their experience, research and expertise into actionable insights that you can acquire, master and deploy to supercharge your career in the midst of disruption. Buckle up and hold on it is going to be a wild ride and a great adventure into the future!


Closing Keynote – Colonel (retired) Matthew Klimow


Presentation Title – Human Excellence in the Face of Crisis 

Adversity and challenge are inevitable... how will you respond?

In the dark, harrowing hours of a crisis, a glimpse of excellence often shines through! Colonel (retired) Matt Klimow will recount his experience in the Pentagon on 9-11, where he served as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He will bring you into the National Military Command Center where a handful of our nation’s leaders wrestled to respond to the coordinated terrorist attacks on that terrible, infamous day! 

During this powerful presentation Colonel Klimow will explore project management through the lens of planning, decision-making, instincts and courage that define human excellence in the face of unthinkable crisis!

The lessons about the power and impact of professional preparation you will hear are born from real world experience on a day that will never be forgotten.  Colonel Klimow will share insight encapsulated into best practices that can help you move your career to where it should be!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime presentation you will never forget!

Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to see Colonel (retired) Matthew Klimow speak!  





David Walizer

David Walizer 299x300 2

Presentation Title – Developing Strategy

Tops-down Hoshin planning meets bottoms-up Lean Startup: learn how each approach uses similar management activities that are used to set priorities and align resources working toward common goals.

Presentation Title – Executing Strategy

Agile, waterfall, agile-fall? Most companies suffer from a strategy-to-execution gap, regardless of their project management approach. Learn how high performing senior teams bridge this gap and its effect on projects and project teams.


John Gates

Gates 3

Presentation Title – The Five Coaching Conversations (Part 1 & 2)

Part of a project manager’s job is to be a good coach.  After all, a project’s success hinges on the ability and motivation of project team members, and through effective coaching, a project manager can help team members perform to their potential.

John Gates of Avion Consulting has over two decades of experience working with project managers in many different industries around the world, and in this pair of hour-long workshops, he will share with session participants the five basic types of coaching conversations that every project manager must be skilled at having with project team members.  And in these highly interactive and applied workshops, participants will have an opportunity to actually practice the skills associated with these different types of coaching conversations.

By the end of these two one-hour sessions, each participating project manager will have identified the “central issue” he or she needs to work on in order to become a better coach, as well as specific action steps in order to actually get better at coaching.  And participants will find that the practices taught in this workshop will help them not only on the job as project managers, but in life in general.



Michael J. Hughes

Michael J Hughs

Presentation Title – Networking as a Strategic Project Management Resource

Successful project management involves the ability to harness and leverage the power and potential of available resources, knowledge and support. Networking is a required skill in today’s matrix-oriented corporate environment. This session is a complete strategy to accelerate project success, positively impact career advancement and get more done through the corporate network.

  • Two types of corporate networks and how to use each.
  • The ”social” network phenomenon and how it is secretly working for you.
  • Six phases of networking and how to maximize each for optimum results.
  • Three secret relationship drivers that impact and accelerate trust.
  • Four-Step Corporate Networking Action Plan.

During this session, participants will discover how to mine and maximize every networking contact. As a result of participating in this program, they will have the ability to build even more productive and profitable relationships, while accelerating results


Presentation Title – We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto!

Secrets to Using LinkedIn to Build Online Relationships for Fun and Profit

Experts continually extoll the need and importance of being active online. Although most online marketing programs promote the fact that online visibility creates connections, they are solely centered on the technical and tactical aspects of social networks.

Yet connections are worthless unless they can be converted into relationships. Building relationships online requires a new mindset, an innovative approach and unique skills. Now there’s a program that shares practical, proven strategies that will allow you to:

  • connect more quickly and effectively with others online.
  • dramatically drive online interaction, build rapport and accelerate trust.
  • engage connections, and discover unseen opportunities and untapped options.

Here are the concepts you'll learn about:

  • biggest obstacles to building online relationships and how to overcome them.
  • cornerstones of online relationships and how they affect relationship development.
  • secret (and proven) online networking strategies that radically impact relationships and results.

As a result of attending this program, participants will: 

  1. Have a greater awareness of how to build productive online relationships 
  2. Have a structure to guide them in converting online connections into powerful relationships 
  3. Have the ability to measure progress in moving relationships towards a professional outcome. 
  4. Reduce their stress while networking for online results. 



William McGuire


Presentation Title – Hacking the Future:

Will I have a job with the rise of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain & Machine Learning?

Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain have been around for several years, but the acceleration of inexpensive, powerful, and accessible cloud and data systems for the masses, the innovation of ML, AI and blockchain technologies have grown exponentially.  In this session, William will present fundamentals for these emerging technologies, reveal some tools both business and delivery teams can explore together, and invite the audience into a time of discussion and mutual learning.


  1. How do ML, AI and Blockchain technologies work? 
  2. What tools exist that may enhance collaboration, innovation, and efficacy of my teams' work? 
  3. To stay on the forefront of changes in this space, where can I best spend my resources?


Michael Milutis

Mike Milutis

Presentation Title – Know Thyself!

The Secrets of Self-Actualization and Workplace Engagement

In this session, Michael Milutis will share what he has learned from having consulted with hundreds of project management and IT professionals from around the world on their career development challenges.He will explain why self-knowledge and mindfulness are such critical success factors, while also exploring the key personal questions that everyone must find answers to, and that are universal across functional areas. Michael will walk you through this process and then demonstrate how one's learning strategy, networking strategy, and personal branding strategy all flow logically from the answers. Attendees will walk away with a roadmap for becoming more fulfilled and self-actualized and for positively transforming their careers.

Learning Objectives

  1. Why is 80% of the global workforce disengaged and what does this mean for our lives and our businesses?
  2. What are the most common hang-ups that technology professionals face when trying to plot their career path? What are the most common mistakes they make?
  3. What is self-actualization and "flow" and how can it help technology workers become cleareron their career path and more fulfilled?


Mike O'Brochta

Mike OBrochta 2

Presentation Title – How to Get Executives To Act For Project Success (Part 1 & 2)

Even world-class project managers will not succeed unless they get their executives to act for project success. This is a how-to presentation. The trap of applying best practice project management only to have the project fail because of executive inaction or counteraction can be avoided. This presentation describes how project managers can get their executives to act, it identifies the executive actions most likely to contribute to project success, and it specifies steps project managers can take to get executives to act. 

Attendees will learn about the sources of power available to the project manager and see how a project management council can be used to amplify that power. This presentation draws upon recent research about top performing project managers, about why executives fail, about why new products fail, and about the basis for a strong mutual partnership between project managers and executives.

This topic has drawn overflow audiences at PMI Global Congresses and has also been featured in the PM Network magazine. A list of top ten project manager steps is included.



Dr. David Rico

Dr. David Rico

Presentation Title – Lean & Agile Enterprise Frameworks: Using SAFe 4.5 to Manage U.S. Government Agencies, Portfolios, & Acquisitions

Dr. David F. Rico will give a presentation on "Lean & Agile Enterprise Frameworks: Using SAFe 4.5 to Manage U.S. Government Agencies, Portfolios & Acquisitions."  Dr. Rico will establish the context, provide a definition, and describe the value-system for lean and agile portfolio, program, and multi-team project management (as well as performance measurement).

He’ll provide a brief introduction to SAFe, highlighting its newest features linking lean-budgeting, investment management, and business cases to hypothesis testing-based innovation management, continuous integration, continuous delivery, continuous deployment, development operations (DevOps), and program objectives, increments, and releases. He’ll then walk the audience through each of SAFe’s four major levels and the associated principles, practices, and tools (illustrating case studies; tips, tricks, and techniques; and personal experiences along the way).

Dr. Rico provide a closer look at SAFe's multi-tier requirements model of epics capabilities, features, and user stories; provide a detailed roles and responsibilities (RACI) matrix; explain and illustrate key SAFe metrics and related concepts, describe SAFe case studies and cloud computing applications, identify SAFe change management techniques and roadmaps; and close with SAFe adoption statistics, a summary, parting principles, lessons learned, further resources, and a host of related roadmaps, comparative analyses to competing frameworks, metrics, models, and quantitative performance outcomes.

This briefing has been warmly received by multiple U.S. government agencies, contractors, and PMI audiences throughout Baltimore-Washington, DC.


Presentation Title – Lean & Agile Organizational Leadership: Establishing Vision, Guidance, & Trust to Unleash Enterprise Competitiveness

Dr. David F. Rico will give a presentation on "Lean & Agile Organizational Leadership: Establishing Vision, Guidance, & Trust to Unleash Enterprise Competitiveness," which are emerging models for managing high-risk, time-sensitive R&D-oriented new product development (NPD) projects with demanding customers and fast-changing market conditions (at the enterprise, portfolio, and program levels).

It establishes the context, provide a definition, and describe the value-system for lean and agile methods, principles, and core ideas. It provides a brief history and comparative analysis of lean and agile methods, project management, and portfolio frameworks. Then it provides multiple histories of the fields of organizational leadership, administration, and management over the last 100 years. It then introduces, delves into, describes, and provides a brief survey and comparative analysis of emerging theories, models, and methods of lean and agile leadership (i.e., Agile, Employee, Radical, Lean, and Leadership 3.0). It also touches upon lean and agile contracting principles, organizational change leadership models, the top 360-degree leadership assessment models, and other key leadership considerations and ideas.

Finally, it closes with a unique summary of the major tenets, principles, and practices of lean & agile organizational leadership. This briefing has been warmly received by multiple U.S. government agencies, contractors, and university audiences throughout Baltimore-Washington, DC.


Claudia Skinner


Presentation Title - Project Estimation: Tools and Techniques for Success

According to Futrell, Shafer and Shafer “Unrealistic expectations based on inaccurate estimates are the single largest cause of software failure”.    Accurate project estimation is one of the most important and challenging aspects of project management.   Setting realistic expectations start with having accurate estimations. 

In this presentation,  Ms. Skinner will provide examples and real life case studies of the challenges with project estimation as well as project estimations tools, techniques and best practices that can help project managers set the right expectations when defining a schedule, resources and cost.

Presentation Title – Business Transformation 

Project Managers are an integral part of business transformation in organizations.  Whether is a small project, implementing a new technology, launching a new product or a startup, changes taking place on a large scale; are all business transformations.  

In this presentation, Ms. Skinner will provide an overview of what Business Transformation is, why it is important to us Project Managers as well as provide some insight into how to manage business transformation initiatives.    You will learn about the challenges and best practices to understand and align projects and programs to business transformation initiatives.


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