Michigan Project Users Group Re-Convening

GRAND RAPIDS — Whether you’re a professional project manager of an accidental one, a trade group is re-convening for its first meeting since 2011 to help you get better at it.

The Michigan Project Users Group will hold its first meeting since 2011 on Tuesday, June 3 at the Microsoft Southfield office, 1000 Town Center, Suite 1930, from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

The Grand Rapids tech consulting firm C/D/H, which also has an office in Detroit, is leading the re-establishment of the group. One professional developemnt credit can be earned by attending the session. But the the meeting is also intended for accidental project managers — according to C/D/H, that represents half or so of project managers who have no formal training.

“People are hungry for support and knowledge that comes from sharing with other project managers,” said C/D/H consultant Doug MacNeil, one of four C/D/H staffers who have the certification Project Management Professional.

MacNeil presented “Excel to MS Project in Five Easy Steps” at this year’s Project Management Institute Great Lakes symposium, attended by about 550 area project managers.

Added MacNeil: “It’s time to get the band back together and re-launch the Michigan Project Users Group to support project managers at all stages in our state on a regular basis.”

C/D/H says the “accidental project manager” situation often occurs when someone exhibits organizational skills, knows a little Excel and assumes a project management role, in many cases by necessity. Couple that with the traditional characteristics of project management that make it a solo mission per business unit or group, and project managers are left to fly the plane alone without peer idea sharing and learning that could benefit them overall in efficiency and effectiveness.

C/D/H officials say project managers, especially the accidental ones, are beginning to expand beyond Excel into MS Project and Project Online as they become more accessible, but don’t know about the “wizards” that are available to make this transistion easier.

“The learning curve is a lot steeper without a little help from your friends,” MacNeil said. “This group offers needed support and comraderie among all project managers, no matter geography or industry.”

C/D/H has a silver competency in Microsoft Project & Portfolio Management, and is a top rated Microsoft partner with over 30 customer reviews and an overall perfect rating of 5 stars. C/D/H officials said it is hoping to pull from the entire state for this meeting where project managers in all stages will learn and share tips and tricks that can make the how-to and tools for managing projects easier.

Attendees can register online at http://detroit.mpug.com/chapter-events. The topic is “Time Impact Analysis with Microsoft Project,” presented by Tony Woodrich, with time allotted for “Ask the Project Manager.”

C/D/H has served clients across Michigan for more than 20 years. More at www.cdh.com.

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