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Life Is a Project: How Are You Managing? (PMI)

Maine Chapter, Project Management Institute

Thursday, February 21, 2013

5:30 p.m.

Portland Country Club

Information at pmimaine.org

     The individual human life has all the characteristics of a project: Goals and expectations, uncertainty, dependency on others, risk, various combinations of the routine and the unknown, deadlines, multiple stakeholders not under the control of the project manager. Beginning and end.

     Jim Milliken, who has made a career of studying both project management and human behavior, will examine some of his findings with participants in PMI Maine’s monthly program Feb. 21. Based on his premise that life is one long project, he suggests that most of us could use some tune-up of our management practices.

     Why? Because we often conduct this project in ways no respectable project manager should. We tend to walk backwards into the future. We enter each day confident it will be pretty much like yesterday, and we expect the same tomorrow. Then some traumatic interruption horrifies us, or maybe the accumulation of some annoyance arrives at critical mass. And everything changes. We can be intimidated, if not paralyzed. Maybe driven by impulse into some behavior that makes it all worse.

     Not good. Messed up. Never did goal-setting. Never did risk management. Never really did preparation or outcome planning.

     More routinely, along our way we gather perceptions of the need or desirability of changing direction, seeking and building new relationships, exploring new possibilities . . . but the needs and bright shiny distractions of the moment occupy our days. We never get to that hilltop we once glimpsed through the busyness of our lives. Motivation sags under the weight of a thousand quick little decisions. Opportunity knocks it off.

     Where were the requirements specification and the performance tracking? The consultation with knowledgeable people? The midcourse correction? The discipline according to plan? Where were the goals, for gosh sakes?


This program will provide the opportunity for project managers to discuss their take on the basic questions, and their ideas for applying project management practices to daily life, their careers and related issues. Jim Milliken will offer some tools for organizing, implementing and improving constructive practices.


Organizations need frequent tune-ups to maintain effective workflow amid change. Jim has long experience – plus creative tools -- to help executives analyze their organizations, then design and implement better ways.
Project Management is the 21st-century model for managing complex, risky innovations to on-time outcomes within budget. Jim Milliken offers workplace-tested designs in customized formats for onsite implementation and classroom training.
Communication is the lifeblood of human organization, in small partnerships and large corporations – and the pipeline to their markets. Jim provides practical approaches to all the oral and written forms.
Personal Productivity is fundamental, and it consists of skills that can be examined, practiced and perfected. Likewise Leadership and Supervision. Jim has common-sense training designs for dozens of these essentials.



There is no obligation, financial or otherwise, arising from a preliminary discussion of consultation or training solutions.

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