by Candice Banghart, president of PMI Central Iowa Chapter


See Yourself with Us!

A month into 2018 and we are ecstatic about the new ideas and goals our board of directors are working on! We have the desire! We have the ideas! The only thing missing is YOU! We want to tap into the multitude of strengths that you, our members, bring to the proverbial table!

As you know, PMI-CIC is made up of an ALL volunteer board. Every meeting, workshop and event is planned and organized by our remarkable board and event committees. And as our goals get larger, we simply need more volunteers to make them happen. We need YOU!

Whether you have a few hours each month or once a year, we are looking for additional volunteer support in the form of adding on to our committees. And there are perks! OK, maybe not perks as much as PDUs for volunteering, and the chance to get to know some really great people! Franky, if you’ve ever considered a board role, volunteering in any capacity is a great way to get a feel for what that would be like.

Below I’ve listed some specific needs, but there are others as well. If you’re not certain what you’d like to do or where you’d like to volunteer, email our director of volunteerism at Tell us just a little about yourself, where you’d like to help out and provide your PMI member number.

If one of the below opportunities interests you, let her know that, too:

PMI CIC Study Group

PMP Study Group Topic Leaders: Something new in 2018 – the opportunity to attend a PMP study group. The group will have oversight from our PMI professional development team and director of certifications, but we also need volunteers who have passed the test and are willing to volunteer for an hour or two, even just one time, to share your experience and insights with this group. We need any “tips” or “tricks” for memorization, where to focus your time, glossary terms, and even specific subject matter information such as calculating earned value, or different processes and techniques. Get in touch with our Director of Certifications, Karen, at and let her know you’re available.

PMI CIC Ambassador Volunteers

PMI Company/School Ambassadors: We need ambassadors who are willing to provide information, encourage, and remind co-workers to attend and engage in the multiple PMI chapter meetings, networking and professional events each year. It’s an easy role that involves getting to know more of the people you work with. If this is you, then email our director of volunteers – at

PMI CIC Professional Development Day (PDD) Event

     PMI PDD Committee Volunteers: We’re looking for PDD committee volunteers for multiple roles. Commitment includes a monthly meeting for planning and the day of the event itself.

     PMI Day of Volunteers: We’re looking for PDD “day of” volunteers for to an hour or two the night before and the day of the event to help manage and support the rooms the speakers use for the sessions.

I remember the days of working while managing family activities and appointments. I realize for some of you this may not be the right time, and that’s ok. But for those who can, we’d love to meet you and help you to SEE YOURSELF as a part of the PMI Central Iowa team of volunteers!

by Candice Banghart, president of PMI Central Iowa Chapter


2017 was a tremendous year for PMI Central Iowa Chapter. Under the leadership of Past President John Durman, we celebrated our 25th anniversary as a chapter! We increased membership, provided two PMI Educational Foundation scholarships, implemented an entirely new program, our military initiative, brought in some amazing speakers for chapter meetings, and delivered a remarkable Professional Development Day with dedicated sponsors and new speakers who brought down the house! In other words, they did such a great job in 2017 that we have some pretty big shoes to fill!

Now onto 2018 – the year of total transformation! There are opportunities in front of us, and it’s absolutely exciting to know you can have an impact on an organization and you can truly affect change. Then I thought about the word, “transformation” and what that implies … change, yes, but typically it’s a pinpointed focus – a transformative goal that has a beginning and an end. Sound familiar? Then I did some thinking about the 25 years of presidents and board members that came before us.

Every new president brings a change in focus and passion. It’s the nuances, complexities, and excitement in and for those changes that continue to push us forward and ensure that we, as a chapter, are continually and consistently evolving. After 25 years, this chapter has definitely come a long way, but we will always strive to advance, grow and evolve as we continue to move forward. 

 With 2018, will come new ideas, new concepts, and new opportunities. We will continue to evolve as a chapter, and we will focus on how we can better engage with you, our members. We will work to provide the latest information, trends, and opportunities to help energize you and drive our profession forward. Most of all, we will ensure that the steps we take continue to strengthen the foundation for the next board and the next board, and the next … so that each year, PMI Central Iowa Chapter will continue to advance and evolve. We are excited about the year ahead, and we remain committed and steadfast in our goal of serving our members and advancing the profession of project management. Come along for the ride because in 2018, PMI Central Iowa Chapter is the place to be!

 Our goals are ambitious and we are eager to share our primary strategic initiatives for 2018:

  1. Two years ago, under the leadership of Jan Vanderwerf, we researched and piloted virtual chapter meetings. In 2018, we plan to prioritize this effort so that those professionals within the Central Iowa Chapter region, yet outside of the Des Moines surrounding areas, can attend and receive PDUs. Watch for more details.
  2. In our effort to keep up with the demand and the opportunities, our second strategic initiative is a full facelift to the current PMI Central Iowa Chapter website, with the goal of improving your experience. We want to provide the access, trends, and insights that will help you to advance in your profession.

As a side note, save the date! Our Professional Development Day is set for Oct. 12, 2018, and we will return to the Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona. More information will be available for all of our programs including C2S, the military initiative, mentoring, and our volunteer committees at the monthly Chapter meetings and on our website.

So, 2018, here we go! From our PMI executive board and board of directors, we are humbled and honored for this opportunity and thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve you.

By John Durman, PMP, past-president of PMI Central Iowa Chapter

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PMI-CIC has a corporate responsibility to report back to our members on the operation of our chapter on an annual basis. This potentially could make for a long night of presentations, but back by popular demand, we accomplished this with the poster board/networking format that was started last year.

We had a great turnout and with appetizers and beverages in hand. Members visited the poster board stations created by each chapter functional area and engaged in small group discussions. At each station, members were briefed on the major goals and accomplishments of each group, and then they could ask questions and provide input. The presenting teams included board members from our operations, finance, marketing, membership, professional development, and executive committees.

After 10 minutes, the bells would chime to move onto a new station and get a snack. Occasionally, a couple of the discussions would run over the time, but we took that as a positive as the members were very engaged in the team updates.

Even with the extra conversations, this format enabled us to provide updates in half the normal time –allowing us to finish the evening with a fun and slightly competitive trivia challenge. A professional trivia DJ conducted the event and the topics ranged from holiday-themed questions to movies, music, and, of course, project management. We had a blast. Winners received their choice of PMI logo prizes.

Be sure to add the December 2018 annual meeting to your must-attend events!

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Member of the Month – Karen Garza 

Each month, we’ll profile a member to get to know him or her better. And who knows? You might see this member at the next event!

 Karen G

  1. Tell us your personal project management story.

I became a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) in 2008 when I first started my career in business analysis and project management. When I began working on bigger projects and gaining more experience, I recognized that getting my PMP designation would enhance my marketability as it is a recognized credential. In 2013, I passed the Project Management Profession (PMP) exam. (The side benefit to the PMP is it ensured I would increase project management knowledge with ongoing PDUs and through a network of project management professionals to use as mentors.)

My decision to pursue project management came from the desire to provide the leadership and direction to strategic projects. I enjoy seeing a project through from inception to completion, knowing that my knowledge and skills are a part of the successful implementation.

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

My current role of Care Management Project Consultant at Wellmark BCBS provides me the opportunity to be the business resource for departmental and corporate projects. I work closely with the IT project managers to assess and understand business objectives while ensuring the project management principles are being effectively considered and implemented.

  1. How have you been involved with the PMI Central Iowa Chapter over the years?

I have attended several chapter events since joining PMI and have attended Professional Development Day (PDD) three times. The chapter events, along with PDD, are always a great place to learn about new topics, earn PDUs, meet new people, or connect with old friends. Our chapter does a great job finding relevant speakers and making the events non-intimidating and easy to attend.

I was recently a part of the program team who kicked off PMI-CIC’s Military Initiative Program, a program that is aimed to assist veterans and current military personnel transition to a career in project management. We presented the initiative at the 2017 PDD, and are looking forward to establishing the mentor-protégé relationships further in the next year.

  1. 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?

Understanding the value of project management can get overlooked in areas other than in the IT space, and it is exciting to see companies understand the value of having roles for experienced project managers within the business, teaming with the IT project managers. By using my project management skills with my current role I’m able to provide oversight and ensure the business-centric priorities are met.

  1. Personally, what do you like to do with your free time?

In my free time, I enjoy traveling with my family, going to the gym and creating Shutterfly books. I am currently serving as the leader of a family readiness group with the Iowa National Guard.

By Sinikka Waugh, PMP, vice president of professional development of PMI Central Iowa Chapter

As we continue our journey through some of the changes in the 6th edition of the PMBOK, let’s take a closer look at section 3.4.3, “Strategic and business management skills,” and what that means to us.

An entirely new section in the 6th edition spends some time exploring how project managers should be familiar with the context of the organization – not just the project, but the context of the project within the organization’s “strategy; mission; goals and objectives; products and services; operations; the market and the market condition; competition.” Not only should the project manager be familiar with and aware of these things, but they must be “knowledgeable enough to explain to others” these aspects of the organization.

In multiple circumstances over my years as project coach, I’ve been struck by the number of times I’ve encountered PMs who had domain knowledge about the software, application, tool, product, or the specific nuance within the given area. And these are good things. But in far too many cases, this knowledge and understanding has not extended beyond the project itself. And PMBOK 6th edition is calling us to put an end to this.

If a PM cannot describe about the organization’s mission, strategy, goals, objectives, products, services, the market, its operations and the competition, then the PM is missing the mark to make “the best decisions regarding the successful delivery of their projects.”

Now, is a PM expected to just “know” all of this from the outset? Certainly not. PMBOK says “project managers should seek out and consider the expertise of the operational managers who run the business in their organization.” PMs should seek opportunities to connect with and learn from members of the organization who have that business knowledge.

PMBOK 6th edition says that “the project manager should apply the following knowledge and information about the organization to the project to ensure alignment: strategy, mission, goals and objectives, priority, tactics, and products or services.”

Did you see it? “To ensure alignment.” Gone, hopefully forever, are the days of blindly working on projects because we’ve been assigned to them or because they’re on a list somewhere. PMBOK 6th edition gives us bold permission to ask questions, seek information, and ensure our projects are in absolute alignment with the organizational strategy and mission.

So, what do we do about it?

  1. Make sure you can describe to someone else the strategy, mission, and key priorities of your organization.
  2. If you can’t or if it’s unclear, seek out input from operational and business managers within the organization who can help you get your arms around it.
  3. Make a concerted effort to articulate it clearly at any given moment – to every member of the project team and any stakeholder you can communicate with. Use up-to-date information about the organization and the market, and how the project at hands aligns with the organizational strategies.

Perhaps you feel the busyness in your organization and the overallocation of resources. One way to alleviate this is to stop doing projects that don’t align with the strategy or the organizational objectives. Help yourself and your organization spend time and dollars wisely.

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Chapter Membership

Total Members 848
New members this year 13
PMP® Members 521
CAPM® Members 19
PgMP® Members 2
PMI-SP® Members 1
PMI-RMP® Members 4
PMI-ACP® Members 39
PfMP® Members 0
PMI-PBA® Members 4
PMP/CAPM/PgMP/PMI-SP/PMI-RMP/PMI-ACP/PfMP/PMI-PBA are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.