by Brent Humphries, PMP, VP of marketing

If you've been getting helpful articles forwarded to you from your network recently, it might just be that your network learned something at the PMI Central Iowa Chapter January lunch meeting on Making & Building & Maintaining Connections, or perhaps at the joint networking workshop on Breaking Into the Field of Project Management held in conjunction with Your Clear Next Step before the chapter meeting.

Sinikka Waugh from Your Clear Next Step and Lynn Reed from the PMI Central Iowa Chapter spent the morning preparing a room of future project managers to take the next step towards entering the profession. After successfully elevating the career trajectories of the workshop attendees, Sinikka and Lynn launched them immediately into a networking opportunity at the chapter meeting. Workshop attendees and chapter members enjoyed the opportunity to make connections while Sinikka shared a wheelbarrow of golden wisdom nuggets on the subject of Making & Building & Maintaining Connections.  It was a wonderful opportunity to start off the year with a strong emphasis on networking and career growth. One member even walked away with a free copy of the "Sixth Edition Project Management Body Of Knowledge" bundled with the Agile Practice Guide!

If you're interested in learning more about building strong connections for career growth, check out for your next training opportunity, and for the next event where you can use those newly-acquired networking skills.  


By Brent Humphries, PMP, vice president of marketing

Did you know that Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge? That you can't read music without a FACE? That some trumpets are played with only one finger? If so, then you learned to read sheet music the same way I did, where the five horizontal lines on the musical staff represent the notes E, G, B, D, and F, and the spaces in between represent F, A, C, and E. If not, then you've yet to face the Escape Chambers' escape room, The Composer.

As a team-building exercise, the Communications & Marketing team for the Central Iowa Chapter of the Project Management Institute accepted the challenge of solving The Composer escape room at Escape Chambers in Des Moines. The challenge was simple: solve the puzzles and recover the eighth sonata of a musical genius before time runs out.

Six team members undertook the challenge. None of them were musicians, but everyone gave their best effort, including crawling under and around furniture, writing clues on their hands and arms (since writing on the wall would cause disqualification), and reaching into their individual and collective memories for every scrap of musical knowledge they possessed. Unfortunately, the team ended up about six measures short of enough time to solve the last puzzle and rescue the eighth sonata, but a good time was had by all, and the team proved that they can pull together and face the challenges in front of them.

On the subject of incomplete puzzles, it would be remiss to leave out that there are two parts in the Marketeers' Chorus that are not yet filled: director of marketing and director of newsletter. If you can blend well into a chorus as well as carry the occasional solo part, consider warming up your vocal chords or grabbing an instrument. Your talents and energy would be a welcome addition to the complex harmonies of this particular jam band.

By Brent Humphries, PMP, vice president of marketing

Quick. How many project management processes are in the new Sixth Edition of the PMBOK (guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge)? What is the new name for the time management knowledge area? How about the Human Resource management knowledge area? If you're not sure, it might be time to get up to speed with the 6th Edition PMBOK and keep your PM knowledge current.

The 6th Edition PMBOK becomes the basis for PMI exams starting in March. If you're looking to take the exam using the fifth edition, you’re almost out of time!

The new 6th Edition PMBOK is offered by the Project Management Institute with the Agile Practice Guide, which reflects the tremendous growth in Agile practices within the field of Project Management.

A number of significant changes have been made, including:

- the addition of an entirely new section on the role of the Project Manager

- tailoring considerations

- a greater emphasis on Strategic and Business knowledge

More information about the PMBOK 6th Edition is available here.

There's also a rumor that your local PMI Chapter might be giving away a 6th Edition PMBOK plus Agile Practice Guide at each of the next couple of monthly Chapter meetings, but there's only one way to find out for sure. J

Learn from a new PMP designee, Rachel Anderson, about how she prepared for and learned from the exam, including checking your driver’s license before sitting for it.


  1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you work.

I am a master’s-prepared nurse passionate about healthcare policy and post-acute care. I work for Mercy Accountable Care Organization (ACO) developing the post-acute program across Iowa within Mercy Health Network.

  1. What made you decide to sit for the PMP?

The President of the ACO recommended I look into project management classes. The PMP is the gold standard. I used an online course through VelociTeach and the book/study aides like The PMP Exam: How to Pass on your First Try. Listening to the CDs were the most helpful.

  1. How did the exam itself go for you?

No problems, but I recommend double checking all of your expiration dates on identification, though! My license had expired and I had to run to a DMV kiosk to renew!

  1. How are you going to make the most of this PMP certification in your current role?

I will be able to implement a thoughtful, methodical process for program development. This is useful as I work with six market-areas who are at six different starting points.

  1. What’s next for you in your PM career?

I am not sure at this point. PM knowledge/methodology is a great need in healthcare as so many changes are being made. I plan to obtain a doctoral degree and PM knowledge will be a huge asset to my tool box.

  1. What advice would you offer to other PMs considering taking the PMP?

Have a plan. When I first began studying, I didn’t have a goal date to sit for the exam. This caused me to not be focused in my studying. As soon as I set a date, I developed a study plan with a timeline.

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!


  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  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?

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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