By Brent Humphries, PMP

Ever had that PMP exam nightmare?  You know the one: It's exam day, and you're pulling up to the testing center. Every recommendation has been followed, every study guide reviewed, every notecard noted. Brimming with confidence, you stride across the parking lot and through the door. A smile for the front desk, a nod to the proctor. Sitting tall at the desk, you start up your exam on the computer, only to feel the blood drain out of your face as you read the words “Project Management Professional Exam” followed by “SIXTH EDITION.”

Wait. There's a SIXTH EDITION?!?

When did this happen?!?!?

Just then, you look down at your watch and see the date: April 1, 2018.

Don't be an April Fool!  Know when the exams update for the new, Sixth Edition of the PMBOK. The PMP and PMI-ACP exams switch to the Sixth Edition on March 26, the CAPM switches to the Sixth Edition on May 21, and the PgMP and PMI-PBA exams switch to the Sixth Edition on June 25. Good luck on your upcoming exam, whether you've chosen the Fifth Edition or the Sixth.

By Sarah Otte, director of Professional Development Day

What: PMI CIC Professional Development Day 2018

Where:  Prairie Meadows Conference Center, Altoona, Iowa

When: Friday, Oct. 12, 2018

Mark your calendars!  We’re back at Prairie Meadows this year. Planning has kicked off for this year's Professional Development Day. Keynote and session speakers are in the works. Stay tuned for more details.

Courtney Althoff works at Wellmark and tells us about how she got into project management.


1. Tell us your personal project management story.

I have been in an 'official project management' role for two years in May. Prior to that, I was a Senior Audience Acquisition Manger (fancy name for managing, executing, monitoring and reporting on sweepstakes) for a large corporation and had a team which reported directly to me. I am currently in the process of studying for my PMP as I just finished my last class for my MBA and Management & Leadership certificate at the University of Iowa in January. I am hoping to utilize my new found ‘free-time’ to study and cross the exam off my list this spring/summer.

2. Tell us about project management in your current role.

Project management excites me; I love leading others and watching launched projects meet company our company goals or vision. We apply PMI principles as well as an authoritarian governance process to ensure projects owners are held accountable and projects remain within scope, time and budget. My organization has project managers centralized and our PMO team is located closely next to us. Collaboration is key between all departments.

3. How have you been involved with the PMI Central Iowa Chapter?

I have been privileged my company has allowed and encouraged me to attend PDD the last two years. I hope within the next year, now that I am finished with my Masters, to jump into more PMI Central Iowa Chapter opportunities.

4. If you could tell our readers one thing you’re excited about – in the field of project management, or in how project management applies to your work – what would it be?

My project team(s) excite me. I am very much a people person and love when we succeed as a team (and also witnessing when individuals crush their own goals ). All projects have hardships, ups and downs, but those difficult times are what make the team stronger and closing a project/phase that much sweeter. I am a firm believer of the five stages of group development (forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning (although adjourning is my least favorite stage)) and really take time to make sure my team members know me and each other and all have the same vision or goal in mind.

5. What do you like to do with your free time?

I just finished my MBA & Leadership and Management Certificate at the University of Iowa, so I am new to ‘free time’. I am big into yoga (taught in Des Moines for 3 and a half years) and have recently started an obsession with CrossFit. I live for March Madness basketball and in the summer, you can find me by a pool or on a patio having a few drinks.

6. Anything else I should include?

I love connecting with others in the project management field. Please feel free to connect on Facebook or LinkedIn.

By Brent Humphries, PMP

February brought us a well-attended, enthusiastically-presented chapter dinner meeting about leading and developing talent that was led by a talented speaker, Alana Hill. Alana shared her energies and her insights about leading and developing talented team members using a skillful combination of personality and behavior models, helpful anecdotes, participation examples, and an interesting and unique personal history.

Alana stayed afterwards for at least an hour, talking with members and sharing thoughts and stories. Given how well-received she was both during and after the event itself, it might be a good idea to get this year's Professional Development Day tickets early. ;)

The Art & the Science

By Candice Banghart, PMI Central Iowa Chapter President


One of the first sentences I read in the field of project management told me very clearly that project management is both an art and a science. As a stickler for details, something I didn’t find was a ratio of science to art. After many years in the business, with the last several as a consultant working in multiple company cultures, I have found that like so many other answers in project management, “it depends.”

Science, of course, is the accepted practices, principles and standards used to manage a project. Professionals around the globe consider the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as a primary source of truth and more recently, agile practices have become widely accepted and, in some cases, preferred. Those resources, separate or combined have become the standard tangible tools of project management.

The art, however, is not really something we will find spelled out for us between the hard covers of a book. As for how much art is necessary, it really does “depend” on the project, the environment, the goal, the timeline, and much more. It seems the art is a project manager’s personal style, an individual instinctive way to lead, to discern, to communicate. Think about it like this: communication can be taught, but the ability to be relational in your communication is your personal approach to people and communication in general. The same can be said for leadership. There are thousands of leadership books and courses and those courses can help you identify your leadership style. They can even help you to understand why what you’re doing may not be working for you. What they can’t do is to change your internal compass of right and wrong methods or what leadership looks like to you. As a collaborative leader, I can be direct and authoritative, but it’s difficult and against my nature because I strongly believe in collaborative leadership.

It seems clear that we, the project, program and portfolio managers of the world, are the “art” of project management. I know the art of project management is made up of many things that each project manager brings to a project, such as experience, expertise, communication and leadership style. Every project will require us to use our art in a different way and to a different degree. So, the next time you’re planning a project, don’t forget to consider the “art.” Be purposeful, consider the environment and the culture, consider the project and the team, and plan an approach that will effectively support the goals, the project and the team.

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Chapter Membership

Total Members 834
New members this year 193
PMP® Members 525
CAPM® Members 19
PgMP® Members 2
PMI-SP® Members 1
PMI-RMP® Members 4
PMI-ACP® Members 37
PfMP® Members 0
PMI-PBA® Members 4
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