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Featured Member - Sinikka Waugh

Featured Member

by Jeff Tuttle and Craig Hinson


Sinikka Waugh, Jeff Tuttle, and Craig Hinson recently met over a cup of coffee, and not only was the conversation very enlightening, but there were a few surprises. 

{Jeff & Craig} Tell us about your project management pilgrimage.

{Sinikka}"Initially, I actually thought I was going to be a teacher and did not see project management in my career.But early on after grad school, I was working as an administrative assistant for an individual who kept giving me bigger and bigger assignments.After about a year, he said, 'Have you noticed that I have been giving you harder and harder projects?' Eventually, he said that he noticed how my brain works and that he was convinced I had significant project management potential.So, he made arrangements for me to receive extensive project management training through EDS, where I worked, and I have never looked back.After being a Project Manager as an employee, and then as a consultant, I eventually realized I love to teach project management and related skills as well."

{Jeff & Craig} Since you went through the EDS training, how did you find out about PMI?

{Sinikka}"It wasn't until my second project management exposure at Nationwide that a fellow Project Manager put their arm around me and said that I needed to go to a PMI Central Iowa Chapter lunch and PDD.So, I joined the chapter, because that just makes sense, and then I got my PMP, and I have been involved ever since." 

{Jeff & Craig} What is one thing you are excited about in the field of project management?

{Sinikka}"The world is at crisis.We have food shortages.We have environmental and energy crises. We have people who don't get along, etc.We have things that just need to get fixed.I believe the abilities of Project Managers to bring people together, to talk with each other, and move things forward through our project management skills and capabilities can make dreams come true.Quoting Rick Morris, 'What if we could really make dreams come true?' - to solve these types of large-scale issues, that is my hope for us and what excites me about project management.

{Jeff & Craig} What does this chapter do that provides you the most value?

{Sinikka}"I have grown as a human being because of the relationships I have made in this chapter.The connections and discussions and opportunities to volunteer have been a wonderful chance to serve, and to lead, and to be part of something significant.The relationships have been an absolute blessing."

{Jeff & Craig} Provide us with 5 words that come to mind when you think of project management.

{Sinikka} "relief, get-it-done, preparedness, partnership/collaboration, and prove-it"

{Jeff & Craig} From past conversations, I understand that you "love project management."Why do you love project management?

{Sinikka}"Project management is the way in which we work together to make things better.What I love about it is the constant reminder that no one of us can do this alone; we need each other, and we are collectively working together to make it better… whatever it is that is put in front of us."

{Jeff & Craig} Tell us 3 random facts about you.

{Sinikka} "I have climbed inside pyramids in Egypt. My oldest daughter once described me as 'chill' (most people who know me don't think of me as 'chill', so I count that as a win!).And downhill skiing in Colorado is my idea of a great vacation."

{Jeff & Craig} What is your elevator speech for what you do as a Project Manager?

{Sinikka}"If a project is any body of work organized to accomplish a goal, bound by the constraints of time and cost, accomplished by a team of people who are managing risks and issues, then the project manager is the one who understands what that body of work is and helps the team stay within the boundaries, while moving forward to accomplish that goal."


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