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The Profit Booster—Project Management Office
With Val Higgins, Managing Director of AEC Advisory Solutions, Stambaugh Ness

Thursday, August 20, 1:30 p.m.  –  2:30 p.m. (ET)


Register today! https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4973912835255417358


Over the past several months there has been a renewed interest by project-based firms to enhance overall project management and accountability. Implementing a Project Management Office (PMO) role, whether in-house or outsourced can help your firm move the needle on project performance and profitability.


Join Val Higgins, Managing Director of AEC Advisory Solutions, for this discussion on defining PMO responsibilities, benefits, and if your firm is the perfect candidate for this critical role.


In this one-hour live podcast, you will learn:

  • Role of a PMO
  • Responsibilities of a PMO
  • How a PMO can improve profitability
  • Impact of project accountability on a firm


Register today! https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4973912835255417358


About the Presenter:

 Val Higgins has assisted with Project and Business Management in the A/E Design Industry for over 25 years.  As CFO and Contract Manager for A/E firms Val has led and supported Project Management efforts with specific focus on systems and tools and developing best practices for Project Management.  Experience with assisting 100’s of clients in implementing accounting and project management systems has given Val exposure to nuances found within the industry and many of the challenges faces Project Managers.  In addition to supporting clients Val has been a PM on 100’s of projects; directing team efforts and managing client expectations.


Val’s passion is training Project Management teams to find the most efficient and effective ways of managing their projects and teams with the tools available to them.

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
What Successful Project Management Looks Like--A Public Client's Perspective
Thursday, February 27, 2020, 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM EST

What does a public client expect from their Consultant’s Project Manager? Jeffrey Bronowski, P.E., offers his perspective on the work of project management and the City of Akron Water Supply Bureau. Jeff has worked his entire 25-year career with the City of Akron, OH. He started off in the Engineering Bureau working on large combined sewer system projects. In this role, he worked with, and oversaw, up to 10 consulting firms simultaneously.

Jeff is now the Water Supply Bureau Manager for Akron and is responsible for the City’s expansive water supply system which includes adjacent communities. As the Bureau Manager he works with A/E/C firms and Contractors daily. He’s knows what works and he is ready to share his thoughts on communication, methodology, and the importance of relationships.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • What are the attributes of an effective public PM?
  • When there is a problem, what is the best way a public PM should respond?
  • How do PMs make public client projects successful?
  • How should project management evolve to generate better public project outcomes?

About the presenter:
Jeff Bronowski has spent his entire 25-year career in public service for the City of Akron, OH.  As a public servant, he has worked with both large consulting firms and small local entities. His experience is concentrated primarily in Civil Engineering, which include extensive water treatment, water distribution, sewer, and roadway. Jeff is a licensed professional engineer and Class IV Water Supply Operator in the State of Ohio. 

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
Project Managers Have the Skills to Become CEOs, so Why Don't They?

Project managers have all the skills and competencies to make it into the CEO’s chair. However, it only happens on very seldom occasions. Why?

Antonio Nieto-Rodriquez talks about why PMs are the best candidates to be CEO. These are the professionals who bring together such disparate aspects of the business as finance, business development, legal, and more. As project managers work across all organizational functions to create successful outcomes, they see the organization as a whole.

Through real-life examples, Nieto-Rodriguez shares why those who manage large, critical projects are the best candidate for leadership positions. In this podcast, you will learn:

  • What level of experience is necessary to be CEO
  • What makes PMs the best leadership candidates?
  • What PMs need to do to make it to the top of an organization?
  • How should project management evolve to generate more CEO’s PMs?

About the presenter:
Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez is the world’s leading champion of Project Management and Strategy Implementation. He is the creator of concepts such as the Hierarchy of Purpose, featured by Harvard Business Review, or the Project Manifesto; which argues that projects are the lingua franca of the business and personal worlds from the C-suite to managing your career or relationships.

His work focuses on advising senior leaders on how to lead transformational change; prioritize and implement strategic initiatives; build high-performing teams; work across silos and become a learning organization; all essential elements to create a culture that strives for execution, excellence and collaboration.

He is author of “The Project Revolution” (LID, 2019). "Lead Successful Projects" (Penguin, 2019) and “The Focused Organization” (Taylor & Francis, 2014). His research and global impact in modern management been recognized by Thinkers50 with the prestigious award "Ideas into Practice". Antonio was the Chairman of the Project Management Institute in 2016, were he co-founded the Brightline Initiative.

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
Tricks and Treats of Effective PM Communication

Project managers are collaborative and readily take on decision-making responsibility. They lead and enjoy teaching and mentoring. The spirit that runs through these--and other important PM traits--is being good at informing, including, impacting, and disclosing.

Join Vicki Hoard this Halloween as she digs in and uncovers everything regarding PM communication. Ineffective communication is scary, but learning effective ways to better communicate can be child’s play.

Through real-life examples, Vicki shares tricks and treats of PM communication and offers insights that will stay with you throughout your career. In this podcast, you will learn:

  • PM Communication—It doesn’t have to frighten you
  • Chilling example of ineffective communication—and how to avoid them
  • Tricks to avoid communication mistakes that will haunt you
  • Strategies to make better communication habitual

About the Presenter:
Vicki Hoard’s subject matter expertise exemplifies integrating people and processes. Combining Lean Six Sigma, quality management and organization maturity model disciplines, she helps clients achieve an agile and optimal efficiency and effectiveness to support layered implementations for a flexible client solution sustainable high performance. Vicki has served as Quality Manager and Lead for attaining ISO9001 appraisals. She has attained her certification as SCRUM Master, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Project Management Professional.

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
How to Lead Your Team to Project Success

Communication skills are valuable to every engineer, but especially for a project team leader. Without working on these skills, project leaders can find themselves in a misunderstanding or miscommunication that could result in frustration or, even failure. A team leader needs to know how best to foster group communication.

In this one-hour, live podcast, Engineering Management Institute’s Anthony Fasano will guide you through the approaches to develop your communication skills as an engineer. In a Q&A approach, Anthony will answer questions about his own experience and give you strategies to pick up immediately for your next project.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • How to establish effective communication with your team right from the start
  • How to maintain communication and avoid miscommunication throughout the project
  • How to provide support for a project team member
  • How to balance different communication styles within a team

About the Presenters:
Anthony Fasano, P.E. is a globally recognized best-selling author, speaker, host of three engineering podcasts that have been downloaded over 3 million times, and author of the bestselling book for engineers entitled Engineer Your Own Success: 7 Key Elements to Creating an Extraordinary Engineering Career (by IEEE-Wiley Press). He is the founder of The Engineering Management Institute previously known as the Engineering Career Coach, which has helped thousands of engineering professionals develop their management and leadership skills.

Fasano has also co-authored a series of children’s books with his 11-year-old daughter titled Purpee the Purple Dragon. They have delivered hundreds of the books to pediatric cancer centers around the world.

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
Look for 10 Traits to Find Your Next A/E Project Manager

Bad project managers avoid communication, or worse, do not know how to be diplomatic. Good project managers know how to be respectfully tactful with clients, yet can deliver bad news when necessary. But truly great project leaders make executing project on schedule and within budget look easy. They are accountable, strategic thinkers who are hard to find.

Using a buzzer-beater format, PSMJ’s Chris Martersteck and Talent Matter’s Reid Tolley unpack the traits, preferences, and tendencies they see in bad, good, and great PMS. Through real-life experience and PSMJ collected data they lay out what propensities the best PMs elicit and which habits the truly bad PMs share.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • What examining great PMs’ work preferences can reveal
  • What traits struggling PMs have in common
  • Why personality paradoxes are important with PMs
  • Learning how to spot PM talent in your talent pipeline
  • Developing new and incumbent PMs

About the Presenters:
Christopher P. Martersteck, AIA, LEED AP, DBIA, AECPM has managed projects in the A/E Design and Construction Industry for 38+ years as part of a professional career that spans 42 years. As Vice President and Director of Project Management for several international architecture, engineering, planning, and construction firms, he has led and supported A/E/C teams in Project, Program and Construction Management as well as dozens of Design-Led Design-Build / Integrated Project Delivery engagements. Chris has also trained thousands of project managers in A/E/C industry best practices as a PSMJ Resources consultant, helping project leaders not only achieve individual success, but also helping them to better lead teams and maximize success for their firms and clients.

Reid Tolley, SPHR, Certified Master Coach is is president of Talent Matters and is an accomplished global Organization Development and Talent Director with significant HR Generalist experiences. Reid has a track record of working effectively throughout China, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and North America. Areas of expertise include: effective and ethical use of assessment tools for critical talent decisions and high impact development, providing thought leadership in aligning strategy and organization, and more.

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
The Future Has Arrived—Use Speculative Design to Embrace It

When we try and guess the future, we are often right and wrong at the same time. Imagining potential futures is fun, but it’s not frivolous. Every imagined scenario can offer inspiration for what you want to work towards, and what you want to work against. DLR Group’s Bonnie Sanborn’s background is in anthropology, psychology, and sociology. She uses techniques from these fields to better understand and articulate someone’s reaction to a design, or to help them explain a design need.

In this podcast—through real-life stories and practical tips—Sanborn outlines a process for guided daydreaming and talks about how to leverage what neuroscientists know about the way the human brain works to “trick” us into better clarity about future states. “By forming a clear and specific picture of the future, we can plan for what we want – or don’t want – to happen due to our designs,” Sanborn explains.

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • How to use Speculative Design (SD) to force thinking to be proactive
  • How SD empowers designers and gives them more control over their processes
  • Ways to look at a future that is a spectrum of probable and preferable, versus only possible
  • Learn about four SD techniques that incorporate planning and visioning: regeneration, retrocasting, ripple effects, and reframing.

About the Presenter:
Based in DLR Group’s Chicago studio, Bonnie Sanborn is a design researcher and space planner. She supports integrated design teams by providing evidence-based design guidelines and translational research to assist clients in developing their own guiding principles and standards. Bonnie’s expertise benefits DLR Group’s global K-12 Education practice by shedding light on the connections between the study of human nature and its impact on educational success. Her background in social science research and psychology helps her see clients through a different lens, working collaboratively with them to uncover facility needs and motivations for teaching and learning spaces.

Accountability for PMs – Setting Boundaries to Help Your PMs and Your Firm Achieve Success

When firms are hesitant to hold their PM’s accountable, it can stir up a number of significant challenges. When everyone is allowed to do things their own way instead of the firm way it often leads to client satisfaction issues and profit reduction. Learning how to put appropriate boundaries in place can provide excellence in reporting, accountability, and a way to share ownership of successful project delivery with all team members.

By watching this webinar, you will learn:

  • How Accountability can be communicated in a positive way
  • A/E best practices for project budgeting, resourcing, and communication
  • How to set appropriate guidelines for Project Management in your firm
  • How to use tools available to have transparency into project status

About the Presenter:
Val Higgins has assisted with Project and Business Management in the A/E Design Industry for over 25 years. As CFO and Contract Manager for A/E firms Val has led and supported Project Management efforts with specific focus on systems and tools and developing best practices for Project Management. Experience with assisting 100’s of clients in implementing accounting and project management systems has given Val exposure to nuances found within the industry and many of the challenges faces Project Managers. In addition to supporting clients Val has been a PM on 100’s of projects; directing team efforts and managing client expectations.

Val’s passion is training Project Management teams to find the most efficient and effective ways of managing their projects and teams with the tools available to them.

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
Build Relationships Stronger and Faster—Your Technical Side Will Thank You

Everyone knows The Golden Rule (Treat others the way YOU want to be treated!), but what about The Platinum Rule? “The Golden Rule makes perfect sense—until you think about it as a project manager in charge of team or a PM working closely with clients,” says President of Resilient Strategies Richard Steinhart, P.E.

“If you treat someone like you want to be treated then how can you go wrong?” he asks. As it turns out you can go very wrong. “Just because I like to be treated a certain way doesn’t mean that every team member and all clients want the same treatment, value the same standards, or look at the world the same way.”

In this podcast—through real-life stories and practical tips—Steinhart argues: “Is The Golden Rule really so golden?” He suggests we in the design industry can do better—The Platinum Rule: “Do unto others as they would like done unto them!” In this podcast you will learn:

  • Four basic behavioral styles and how they relate to personal interaction
  • How to determine what YOUR own behavioral style is
  • How to quickly figure out what behavioral style the people you are communicating with are
  • How to adjust YOUR style to match those you work with everyday

Steinhart will tell you how his strategy works. “It doesn’t matter if you are dealing with your boss, a co-worker, a client, or your spouse,” he says. “When you follow The Platinum Rule as one of your relationship strategies, you will be rewarded—with stronger associations with those you live and work with everyday.”

About the Presenter:
Richard L. Steinhart, P.E., is president of Resilient Strategies, LLC, a management consulting firm focused on helping small businesses succeed and grow. www.resilientstrategies.net

AECPMA Podcast Presents:
Align Professional Passions to Find and Keep the Best—Project Manager Harrison Assessment

When you align professional passions with job-specific responsibilities your firm become better at talent acquisition, professional development, and succession planning. “Imagine a tool specifically made to help you find the talent you need—or to develop the resources you already have—to create the workforce you need to stay competitive, that’s Harrison Assessment,” says PSMJ’s Vickie Oakley.

Oakley will walk us through what exactly Harrison Assessment is, and isn’t. She will then explain the specifics of a tool that correlates the performance ratings of A/E Project Managers—working engineers and architects managing significant projects—with proven work-related traits to produce reliable outcomes. With Oakley we will explore:

  • What Harrison Assessments measure and how the tool works
  • The relationship between doing what you love and job success
  • How Harrison Assessments differ from other personality tests

Last year, PSMJ introduced the Harrison Assessment tool for A/E Project Manager. Oakley now covers what firms can gain by adding it to their recruitment and retainment toolbox. In this live, one-hour podcast, you will learn:

  • Why intuition and going-with-your gut won’t cut it any more when it comes to finding great A/E Project Managers
  • How assessments can help you avoid costly development decisions—or at least move into situations with eyes wide open
  • How firms use the tool to help current project manager grow and train—specific results help the process
  • What leadership needs to know about the Harrison Assessment—It’s not just an HR tool

Harrison Assessments currently offer 6,500 preconfigured JSFs, but the A/E Project Manager assessment gives firm leaders the insightfulness of the Harrison Assessment Performance Benchmarking methodology combined with the specific performance ratings of PMs that excel in the A/E environment.

About the Presenter:
Vickie Oakley is a consultant with more than 30 years of experience in human resources. Her experience includes work in the areas of compensation, training and development, benefits, and recruiting. She has 11 eleven years as the Director of Human Resources for a 136-person, engineering/environmental consulting firm. Prior to her consulting experience, Vickie worked in the utility industry specializing in compensation and recruitment. Vickie received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology, her master’s degree in human resource management and development from Troy University, and her doctorate degree in spiritual development and counseling from Covington Theological Seminary, Chattanooga, TN. She completed Dale Carnegie Training Course and worked as a Class Coach with Dale Carnegie. Vickie is a Gallup Certified Strengths’ Coach, Certified Harrison Consultant, Certified Myers Briggs Practitioner, and a Certified Neuro Linguistics Practitioner.

AECPMA Podcast Presents:
The Role of Blockchain and the Impact of the Digital Economy on Architecture and Engineering Firms

One element of the digital economy is blockchain technology (BT)a method of open record-keeping that eliminates intermediaries, steps, and entities. “Think of a huge excel spread sheet shared with lots of people with one major difference, you can’t modify any of the existing rows without altering all the rows preceding it,” explains Nick Martin, CEO of TechChange.

Martin will start with bitcoin and other cryptocurrency and move onto how a decentralized, distributed, digital ledger can and will disrupt the A/E/C space. “It is particularly useful in countries and contexts where the actors such as governments, banks, and other entities do not trust each other.” With blockchain you can:

  • Produce deliverables/artifacts faster
  • Allow for greater transparency
  • Lessen fraud and abuse
  • Produce fewer disputes

Earlier this year, Martin talked about the risk, reward of using blockchain and bitcoin at the ACEC Annual Convention and Legislative Summit. Now in this one-hour live podcast, you will learn:

  • How BT can drive efficiencies, collaboration, and effective design/build
  • What is #AECoin, “Smart Contracts,” and PODS
  • How can architects and engineers be rewarded over the lifecycle of an artifact or deliverable

Blockchain is disruptive and adoption is coming and coming quickly. Per the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Directorship magazine, “Companies today that do nothing about blockchain are at risk because you have consumers running hard on adopting new technologies. … If you are not in these conversations from a strategic point of view, there is a risk on the horizon of not understanding the changes that are coming.

About the Presenter:
Nick Martin is an educator, technologist, and social entrepreneur with over ten years of international development and peacebuilding experience. He is the founder and CEO of TechChange, a Washington DC-based social enterprise that provides tech training for social change. The TechChange model for technology training has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Economist, Fast Company, PBS NewsHour and more. Nick is a PopTech Social Innovation Fellow (2013), an Ariane de Rothschild Fellow (2014), and an International Youth Foundation Global Fellow (2009). He was also the runner-up for the Society for International Development’s prestigious Rice Award which honors an outstanding young innovator in the field international development under the age of 32 (2014). Nick is an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown and George Washington Universities where he teaches graduate courses on Technology for Social Change, Technology for Crisis Response, and Mobile Phones for International Development. Nick received his BA with honors from Swarthmore College and holds an MA in Peace Education from the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE).

AECPMA Podcasts Presents:
Metrics and Strategic Excellence—What A/E PMs Can Achieve When Schooled in Shingo and Lean Six Sigma

Business metrics and strategic planning are areas that most A/E Project Managers dread, possibly avoid, and may even ignore. Yet, the creation and use of effective metrics to influence business strategy is one of the most important ways PMs can help firms bring about crucial strategic success.

Joshua Plenert, author of Strategic Excellence in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industries - How AEC Firms Can Develop and Execute Strategy Using Lean Six Sigma, talks with PMs and offers insight on how they can apply the leadership of Shingo and the scientific thinking of Lean Six Sigma to create, execute, and communicate critical business metrics.

With Shingo and Lean Six Sigma as critical backdrops, Plenert addresses some of the mistakes and apprehensions, ineffective and detrimental metrics, and more:

  • The purpose of Business Metrics and why they are important
  • The top five KPIs that Project Managers should know
  • The how and why of selecting and executing good metrics

By attending this live podcast, you will learn...

  • How to drive performance and influence behavior, in a meaningful way—using metrics to execute the strategy of the firm
  • How to use metrics to motivate, inspire, and recognize team members
  • Helping PMs Think Bigger and make the connection from metrics to performance

About the Presenter:
Joshua Plenert, P.E., is a licensed professional engineer and is currently serving as a regional manager for the engineering and architectural firm where he plays a major role in the development of two branch offices. Josh holds a BS in civil engineering, an MS in structural engineering, and an MBA. He has worked in various aspects of the AE industry for more than 14 years. His project management experience includes working more than eight years in all phases of construction, construction management, facilities management and more than six years of structural engineering, engineering management, and business development. He has also served as an adjunct professor of engineering and a lecturer in business management.