Lisa DiTullio is a leading force in project and business management. She is the principal of Lisa DiTullio & Associates, dedicated to introducing project management as a business competency, enabling organizations to improve decision-making, instill accountability, and enhance communications. Learn more about Lisa at lisaditullio.com.
Josh: Thank you so much for sharing your background and experience with the pmStudent community Lisa! How did you get your start in Project Management?
Lisa: Like many, I fell into it by accident. While managing a functional unit, I was asked to take on a major project ?in my free time?. I had no formal project management training and wasn?t quite sure what to do. I relied on my leadership and communication skills, which was a very wise choice. The project was a huge success; not only did we manage to deliver on time and within budget, we also set precedent by introducing the first ?paperless? system for the organization?it set the standard for other operational units. Oh, and did I mention?we delivered the project in absence of any ?real? project management tools!
Josh: I want to be a PM consultant eventually. Any advice?
Lisa: Project management consultants come in different shapes and sizes. Some will continue their role as project managers, working for clients on a contract basis to deliver priority projects. Others will offer advice and guidance to companies who are seeking to introduce or evolve project management practice in their organization; and there are others who will focus on training and development of project management professionals. Be sure you have a clear vision on what type of consultant you want to be. This will help you define your target client. Do you want to specialize in a specific industry? Target companies of a certain size? It is critical to answer these questions; this will help you write your business plan, which will help you stay focused on your aspirations.
Consultants can effectively promote themselves through speaking opportunities. Sharing your expertise, experience and ability to guide others by speaking at industry events is a terrific way to exhibit what you?ve got! Lastly, network, network and network!
Josh: What are the biggest challenges a new project manager faces?
Lisa: This is a difficult time for new project managers, as fewer entry-level project opportunities exist during a shaky economy. New project managers need to stay visible in organizations and promote their leadership and communications skills. These are two competencies that will sustain new project managers during lean times. It?s a terrific time to learn something new ?local PMI chapters continue to offer terrific educational programming at very affordable costs?I strongly suggest that all new project managers join their local chapters today and take advantage of the learning and networking opportunities made available. This is also a terrific time for junior-level project managers to seek mentor relationships with seasoned project managers?many project managers have some extra time on their hands right now, take advantage of today?s business lull to develop yourself for tomorrow. The economy will turn around, be ready when it does.