How did you become interested in project management? What drew you to the discipline?
Prior to coming to the Lab, I was a landscape architect and project manager working on public parks, streetscapes, and school campuses on teams that included architects, engineers, and contractors. I find working for Berkeley Lab very compelling because I wanted to find a place where I could support a greater mission. I have always enjoyed being part of a project team and going through the project management process. It is incredibly fascinating and rewarding to see a concept become a reality.
You now organize the Lab’s Project Management Office (PMO). How does the PMO support Berkeley Lab’s researchers and operations teams?
The PMO’s mission is to assist and ensure that Lab projects, whether they involve scientific research, facilities construction, or systems development, are managed to the highest standards of performance. The projects need to accomplish their defined scope on schedule and within budget while being conducted in a manner that ensures proper quality, personnel safety, site security, and environmental stewardship. For Lab projects over $50M, the PMO manages Director’s Reviews and provides other support to assist project teams preparing for Department of Energy (DOE) Critical Decision and Status reviews, provides project management guidance including a Project Management Framework for DOE O 413.3B projects, oversight, and assurance by organizing the Project Management Advisory Board for science and engineering projects (PMAB), and construction projects (PMAB-CP) monthly meetings. The PMO also coordinates vetting reviews for smaller projects and conducts training for Project Managers, Control Account Managers, and other project team members.
One of the PMO’s focus areas is project management training and education. What future training developments or topics are you most excited about?
We’re launching a Project Management Seminar series in March to focus on best practices, tools, and Lab project support systems. Speakers will include Lab colleagues and speakers from other labs and institutions. We recruited speakers who have had project management success and who we feel have great insight to share. The PMO recruits speakers from known subject matter experts in operations, project management, and other areas for the advisory boards and reviews I mentioned before. We get to know these experts and how much they add, and we wanted to showcase their expertise to a broader audience.
Seminar participants will be encouraged to ask questions and join in the discussion to gain insight on how best to execute project management processes and requirements at the Lab. For information on our first seminar on Friday, March 5, please visit the PM Best Practices Seminar website.