The goal of PMI New Hampshire Chapter Annual Awards Program is to recognize the outstanding efforts in Project Management of our members, those whom support them, and who they support and to increase the visibility of our chapter in the state, in our local businesses and academic communities, and with the project management profession worldwide.
The PMI New Hampshire Chapter Annual Awards Program includes categories are "Project Manager of the Year", "Company of the Year", and "Project of the Year"
How It Works
Nomination forms are available and each category has a simple form that is easy to fill out. Forms are accepted until the end of March. The Awards Committee will review and select the winners in each category and awards are presented at the June Chapter Meeting.
2017 Project Management Excellence Award Winners
At the June Chapter Meeting, awards were presented for Project Management excellence in the State of New Hampshire. A nine-member committee reviewed all submissions, then voted on the candidates who most supported, promoted, and represented Project Management and the PMI. Their decision was:
- Project Manager of the Year: Ryan Talavera
- Project of the Year: Common Laser Range Finder Integrated Capability (CLRF IC)
- Company of the Year: Elbit Systems of America
Accepting all three awards was Leanne Collazzo, Vice President of Project Management at Elbit Systems of America.
Project Manager of the Year: Ryan Talavera
Ryan Talavera is a Project Manager at Elbit Systems (ESA). He is enthusiastic about the New Hampshire Chapter and motivates other Project Mangers to join and to attend events. Ryan’s enthusiasm and support has led to high member renewal rates and high event attendance by ESA Project Managers.
Ryan talks to Project Managers throughout the company about the best practices as embodied by PMI and uses these discussions as a sounding board to improve processes at ESA. Ryan is an early adopter of tools and best practices, testing them on his programs and then helping other ESA Project Managers by sharing his experiences of what worked and didn’t work.
Promoting PMI and PMI New Hampshire Chapter Membership and Visibility
Ryan actively participates in the ESA Project Manager Council of Peers, Team of Teams, and Project Manager Experiences forum. He encourages adoption of Project Manager tools and best practices by showing their value and relating them to the PMBoK and PMI methodologies. He shares his experiences and solicits feedback from other Project Managers and from within the ESA organization.
Ryan’s active promotion of PMI and the New Hampshire Chapter has led to a high renewal rate of ESA Project Managers and strong showing for Chapter events. His influence also extends to New Project managers, who are more likely to join the Chapter because of Ryan’s positive lead.
Project of the Year: Common Laser Range Finder Integrated Capability (CLRF IC)
Team Members: Tom Hardy, Andy Chaingo, Bill Seelig, Adam Nussdorf, Sean Carr, Michael Buschmann, Bill Schmidt, David Anctil, Sharon Aresenault, Thomas Atwood, Sharon Barrette, Andrea Boucher, Boyd Milton, Sharon Bushwell, Beverly Carlson, Marc Couture, Nga Dang, Carl Friborg, Steve Gilliland, Michael Goodwin, Grog Hayden, David Kenney, Timothy Lee, Pamela MacDonald, Frederick Malcom, Patrick McKillop, Devin Mullen, John Nguyen, Chris Porter, James Sarette, Gregg Savard, Michelle Scotti, Richard Tenney, John Velosky, Christina Wild.
The Common Laser Range Finder Integrated Capability (SLRF IC) was designed by Elbit Systems of America (ESA) to replace the US Marine Corp’s (USMC’s) field equipment. It is a state-of-the-art, handheld, light-weight, laser targeting system. It is modular, highly reliable, it supports manufacturability, and it was developed on an accelerated schedule from previous competitive development programs.
CLRF IC integrates an eye safe laser rangefinder, high resolution color day camera and display, short wave infrared night camera, Selective Availability Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) GPS, and a gyroscope-assisted digital magnetic compass. All this in a lightweight, hand-held device and with no moving mechanical parts. CLRF IC can confirm a laser “spot on target” with an accurate target location and range in a variety of conditions to include magnetically disturbed environments, areas with overhead clutter (jungle, trees, or canopy), or in a GPS-denied environment. These features are critical for reducing Circular Error of Probability (CEP) and delivering precise strikes on targets while minimizing collateral damage and preventing friendly fire incidents.
The CLRF IC Production IDIQ Program was awarded with a very aggressive delivery schedule to get its critical capability into the hands of Warfighters as quickly as possible. The CLRF IC Production Program executed most tasks and phases simultaneously because of its importance and compressed schedule. This posed challenges that required proactive, daily management.
To mitigate risks and maintain the highest quality standards while developing a complete manufacturing capability, an Integrated Product Team (IPT) organization was formed. It was comprised of world-class internal engineering expertise, strong production capabilities, innovative test station designs, and focused development of critical industrial partnerships. The engineering and production teams were very closely tied during early design phases and during prototyping. They generated work instructions and provided inputs to engineering to ensure that the design goals were supportable in production. Additionally, quality processes were incorporated into the engineering and manufacturing work from the start to keep redesign risk low. This was critical because many long lead materials had to be ordered before the completion of qualification testing to maintain the aggressive schedule. The test program was also customized to make sure the high risk items were addressed up front. This required careful scheduling of assets and rewrite of standard test procedures.
The CLRF IC Production IDIQ Program successfully completed all milestones and moved into Full Rate Production. The program is forecasted to achieve full monthly production in 2018 and to complete delivery of 1500 units five months ahead of the original schedule. Delivering the best capability to Our Heroes as quickly as possible is critical to ESA and its U.S. Marine Corps customer.
Promoting PMI and the New Hampshire Chapter
ESA’s Program Management Organization (PMO) is closely aligned with Project Management Institute. It promotes and supports the PMI organization and local chapters. The CLRF IC and other critical projects are successfully managed and executed because of the tight integration with PMI methodologies. The PMO actively tracks program metrics and ensures that teams have all the tools and has the training to use these tools to aid in execution. The value of PMI and the New Hampshire Chapter is communicated to the project leadership team, showing the heritage of processes, policies, and procedures and how involvement with PMI has shaped them.
Company of the Year: Elbit Systems of America
Number of Program Managers: 80 company-wide, 17 in Merrimack
Number of Project Managers with PMP® Certification: 32 Company-wide, 12 in Merrimack
Promoting the Ideals of PMI and PMI New Hampshire
A corporate goal of Elbit Systems of America is for all Project Managers to be PMP certified. Currently they all hold certifications or are enrolled in certification training programs. ESA funds certification training and offers boot camp courses to Project Managers and members of other functional organizations that support Project Managers. In 2017, the PMO delivered over 1,800 man-hours of training on the Talent Triangle.
As a company, ESA will continue to invest in the value of the PMP certification. In addition to integrating PMI materials and the PMBoK processes in the organizational methodologies, ESA includes Project Management processes and procedures in career development plans for Project Managers. To help Project Managers understand the skills and behaviors necessary to advance at ESA, the PMO created a Performance Navigator. Its home page outlines required skills and behaviors and its subpages define specific behaviors and skills for each level of Project Management. The Performance Navigator ties Project Management performance to the talent triangle and maps skills directly to Project Manager job descriptions. ESA also supports Project Managers in maintaining their certifications. The PMO has purchased accounts with a PMI-approved education provider (PDUNow) so Project Managers can accrue PDUs for no personal cost.
These efforts are intended to foster integration at the IPT level with PMI fundamentals and foster a collaborative environment through an understanding of Project Management roles and responsibilities. Discussions at monthly Project Manager Experience forums and quarterly Project Manager Council of Peers often includes PMI membership and involvement in local PMI chapters. This discussion helps Project managers to practice and improve their Project Management skills.
Promoting PMI and PMI New Hampshire Membership and Visibility
As a result of ESA’s focus on all personnel achieving and maintaining PMP certification, four additional ESA Project Mangers joined the New Hampshire Chapter. With constant reminders of PMI and chapter involvement, the renewal rate for PMI membership at ESA is over 90%, well above the national, region, and chapter average.
ESA supports local chapters by encouraging employee involvement. Project Managers are allowed to attend meetings and professional development events using training time instead of personal or vacation time. ESA actively supports PMI chapters in Merrimack, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio by promoting and showcasing the programs and events that the PMI New Hampshire Chapter conducts (such as this awards program).
The PMO leads the “Project Manager Council of Peers”, which discusses the opportunities offered by various PMI chapters and encourages participation for professional education and earning PDUs. ESA employees also use “Team of Team” forums to promote PMI New Hampshire Chapter events and initiatives and to discuss the PMI and benefits of membership.
Left to right: Ryan Talavera, Project Manager the Year; Leanne Collazzo, Vice President of Programs for Company of the Year; Steve Lundquist; Dan Shovlin, Project Manager for Project of the Year.
2017 Award Nominees
Project Manager Nominees
Spencer’s contributions to promoting the ideals of PMI go back many years. After attaining his PMP certification, Spencer immediately noticed an opportunity for improving our company’s Project Plan document template. Following the suggested formats in the PMBOK, Spencer presented an initial draft to the Director of Programs. Together they worked to merge the PMI processes into a format suitable for our use as a medical device manufacturer. The revised format was quickly accepted by the Project Manager staff, and by the directors of the other departments. Since then, those changes have demonstrated significant improvement in the value of our Project Plans.
Spencer also volunteered his personal time as an instructor for the PMI-NH sponsored PMP certification prep classes conducted in the fall of 2013 and again in 2014. The class was attended primarily by individuals new to the PMI-NH organization. Spencer’s enthusiastic attitude and the knowledge he bought on this subject matter helped to make these very productive classes and generated a positive experience to the PMP certification. It seemed that many individuals initially pursued a PMP credential simply because it was a recommended career check-mark. After taking the class with Spencer, students truly understood the real-world value of that knowledge (he even made calculating earned-value an exciting topic).
In the years since, Spencer continues to embrace the PMI methodologies in his work. More importantly though is Spencer’s dedication to his own personal learning, expansion of skills, and sharing of knowledge to his peers. Like the changes he helped institute for our Project Plans, Spencer routinely looks for opportunities to improve processes, or develop new tools. He has developed tools within MS Project for cost accounting and resource management, spreadsheets that augment our Oracle system with product cost estimation, the list goes on. Obtaining a PMP certification is not enough - a truly outstanding manager also lives those ideals on a daily basis.
Promoting PMI and PMI New Hampshire Chapter Membership and Visibility
As a contract engineering and manufacturing firm in the medical device arena, the quality of our documentation is constantly under review and audit by our customers. Improving the quality of our documentation improves the quality of our company in the view of our customers. As a company who proudly uses PMP certified Project Managers who follow PMI Project Plan formats, the PMI organization gains recognition as our company gains recognition.
In addition, since our company has spent a lot of time and money on PMI-NH sponsored PMP training, the improvement in our processes was immediately noticed as a positive return on investment. Our company continues to encourage and promote PMI and PMI-NH involvement.
As an instructor for the PMP certification prep class, Spencer acted as an ambassador for the PMI-NH chapter. Through his contributions we now have several new PMI-NH PMP members, and more importantly, PMP managers who will always remember the great classes presented by Spencer and sponsored by PMI-NH.
Robert B. Hess
Bob is a leader and is actively involved in all aspects of Project and Program Management at ESA. He actively promoted involvement in Project Manager mentoring, education, and continues to lead by example. He is regarded as a subject matter expert in leadership and conflict resolution. A communication from the customer highlights these skills:
“I was very impressed with the way that Bob Hess handled several disagreements between the various parties present in the room. He managed to establish the difference in opinions without poisoning the room. He navigated the wide spectrum of divergent objectives of the meeting participants with professional demeanor throughout.”
Bob is accepted as a broker of “truth”. This role is apparent in the joint meetings.”
As a broker of truth, Bob uses this position to further enhance the skills and abilities of the Project Managers he mentors and coaches. Bob is frequently consulted when ESA policies and procedures are in draft to ensure we are “speaking PMI” and that the instructions are helping the Project Managers do their jobs. Bob is also providing senior leadership interest and championing for ESA to embrace and teach agile methodologies. This should lead to more individuals within the organization to pursue more PMI certifications.
Promoting PMI and PMI New Hampshire Chapter Membership and Visibility
As a leader within his group, Bob encourages all members to be part of the chapter as well as have their certification. His mentoring in conflict resolution and PMI principles leads directly to conversations about joining the professional society, and as a place for younger Project Managers to flex their Project Manager skills in preparation for more responsibility at work. Bob makes sure his input to all ESA policies and procedures align with PMI principles.
Project of the Year Nominees
Team Members: There were 50-60 team members. Leads, product owners and scrum masters in the New England area: Linda Amico, Hari Namduri, Kristen Maguire, Abishek Wadhwa, Heidi Hale, Donna Scontsas, Michael Peters, Stefani Nolet.
In June 2016, Skillsoft embarked on a strategic project to deliver an innovative new cloud-based learning platform containing a wealth of learning content. Named Percipio, its mission was to allow users to decide when, where, and how to learn. Launch was set for May 2017.
Additional project goals included:
• Reducing future software and content development costs
• Increasing the rate with which new features and learning content are delivered to market
• Delivering the quality enterprise customers expect of a world-class, cloud-based product
Project: Command Media Project
The Command Media Project’s purpose was to reduce the complexity of our Command Media infrastructure within a segment of the Sector, resulting in improved efficiency in order to accomplish our strategic goal of Achieving Operational Excellence (AOE). Our solution included a well-defined architecture with one common framework, providing standardized usage of one single centralized document repository, and allowing for an automated and integrated review process.
The solution consisted of a cross-functional project team (~100 stakeholders) who worked diligently to ensure that we had a system that is usable, easily maintainable, and aligned with our business processes. Our improved Command Media infrastructure allows for seamless harmonization simplifying the use and maintenance of our documentation. Success measures included: milestone completion tracking, gate review (pass/fail) tracking, resource management, traffic light dashboard, command media “clean-up” metrics, transfer of repositories in accordance with migration plan, and customer satisfaction surveys.