Each month, we’ll profile a member to get to know him or her better. And who knows? You might see Brian at the next event!
- Tell us your personal project management story.
In 2012, I was a consultant at The Iowa Medicaid Enterprise, serving as a quality assurance (QA) manager. Due to changing needs within my company and our project, I was asked to take the next step and become the project manager for our team. Up until then, my entire 15-year professional career was spent in the software testing and quality assurance areas. Many of the skills developed and experiences obtained as a QA lead and QA manager related closely to those needed in project management. As part of the transition into the PM role, my company also offered to send me to a PMP boot camp. In February 2013, I attended a four-day boot camp, then sat for and passed the PMP exam in March 2013.
- Tell us about project management in your current role.
I am currently a project manager serving many, varying roles at a small IT consulting company in Urbandale. Originally hired to lead a federal contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), I now work on many internal projects. Recently we moved our entire office from a leased space into a newly-purchased building. Even our computers and network were leased and didn't move with us! We were starting from scratch, and could not afford to negatively impact any of our projects or customers. Additionally, I have spent much time working with various teams in our company on process documentation and improvements.
- How have you been involved with the PMI Central Iowa Chapter over the years?
I have technically been a member of PMI Central Iowa Chapter since early 2013, when I joined the national organization. It wasn't until mid-2016, however, that I attended my first meeting. I have attended the past two Professional Development Days, and highly recommend them to any of my peers. One of the best parts of attending the monthly meetings is seeing some of the friends I have made in past lives, catching up, and meeting other PM professionals in the area. When you grow up in the software world, you need to be reminded that PMs do a lot more than just run IT projects.
- 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?
Without being assigned to a specific contract project for the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to really get involved in a variety of small and large out-of-the-norm projects within my company. It has been great showing my management and co-workers the positive outcomes someone with PM skills and experience can have, from taking ownership of challenges, getting people motivated to accomplish goals, to sharing knowledge and mentoring younger teammates.
- What do you like to do with your free time?
Last July we moved to an acreage south of Van Meter. My daughters and wife are involved in 4-H, and enjoy riding and showing our two horses. We have a lot of learning and work to do to get our new ranch the way we want it. In my free time, I enjoy woodworking and watching sports, especially NASCAR. It was a lot of fun cheering Van Meter on to their first ever 1A football championship this year. My oldest daughter joined the cheer team, so we traveled to many games to support her and the football team.
- Anything else I should include?
For many of the years I spent in QA, I never really saw myself as a project manager. I am thankful to my PM friends and co-workers who helped me discover that there really is quite a bit to project management, and I'm glad they pushed me along and encouraged me to give it a shot. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I really enjoy seeing the positive influence good PMs can have on a team and a project.