By: Katie Dietz

While I was interviewing Aaron, he reminded me of a very important lesson (and essentially the exact reason why I LOVE this spotlight article) that "you can't judge a book by its cover". He was detailing his technical experience in healthcare and it was very clear to me that his knowledge and expertise was far beyond that which my tiny brain could comprehend. Woofta! Ouch, it was quite difficult keeping up with him and he even asked if I had a recorder! Haha I truly wished I did! But I sh*t you not, maybe 5 minutes later he starts telling me he loves ballroom dancing! SAY WHAT! ME TOO! Mind. Blown.

I challenge you all to take the time to spend a few extra minutes on your water cooler conversations this week. Don't just end it at, "Hey, how are you?" "Good, you?" "Good." Don't let them get away! Take a deeper dive. This conversation could turn out to be the highlight of their day. Maybe even yours.

End rant! Now please enjoy getting to know Aaron 😊

{Katie} Tell us about project management in your current role.

{Aaron} "Just recently started a new role in October of 2017 as Senior Project Manager at Cerner Corporation which does Healthcare IT and is based in Kansas City, MO. I became PMP certified in March.I have spent my 16 year career in Healthcare IT working either for Cerner or one of their clients. My focus is on electronic medical records projects at a local hospital utilizing our virtual Cerner team and local hospital based teams.

{Katie} What kind of historical experience do you have in project management?

{Aaron} "The past 9 years I was with a hospital system in northern Michigan. I have always supported projects but since getting my PMP I feel that I finally understand the rigor and purpose behind how to get things done appropriately. My role on projects was always as an Analyst – specializing in healthcare IT software (like Emergency Departments & Radiology). I customized software to support systems and I also have experience as a Systems Engineer when I previously worked for Cerner. I found I like the client facing side of things as a Project Manager."

{Katie} How have you been involved with our chapter over the years?

{Aaron} Just joined PMI and chapter in November 2017. I wanted to get more involved locally. I have attended lunches and I like the speakers. I'm glad to have these types of opportunities to earn PDU's.

{Katie} What is one thing you're excited about in the field of project management?

{Aaron} "Agile – but specifically when it's applied to healthcare IT. Typically this area is laggard and slow to adoption. However, we are getting to a place where there is an agile framework that is beginning to be used within our Organization. I'm excited to apply a new framework to my projects and be able to deliver value in a more relevant way."

{Katie} Tell us 3 random facts about you!

{Aaron}

  1. "I have 4 children."
  2. "I love ballroom dancing! I did it in college and now I don't do it often enough."
  3. "I recently took up biking. I rode the Bacoon and that got me hooked."

{Katie} What is your greatest project accomplishment to-date?

{Aaron} I recently lead a project to implement a new rehab hospital. I started in October and got it thrown at me the day I walked in the door. It ended up being much larger than originally planned. It was one of those projects that was tough to get through but I was very proud of the team completing the work. It's a truly phenomenal facility that went live in June.

{Katie} Tell us the first thoughts that come to mind when I say the following words:

{Katie} Artificial Intelligence

{Aaron} "Radiology – I was just reading an article about how AI is absolutely transforming the efficiency with which Radiologists can read studies."

{Katie} Project Sponsor

{Aaron} "Crucial"

{Katie} Agility

{Aaron} "Future of project management"

{Katie} Scope creep

{Aaron} "Constant. Manage it well!"

{Katie} DevOps

{Aaron} "The people I don't interact with much but are crucial to my ability to deliver client value."

{Katie} When you tell someone you are a Project Manager, how do you explain your role or duties?

{Aaron} "I ensure everything is kept on track and that we accomplish our goals! And if we can't, then I help adjust what we can to get as close as possible." 

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