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Episode 246: The International PM Day is Good for Your Career (Free)

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This episode is sponsored by The Agile PrepCast for The PMI-ACP Exam:
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Episode 246: The International PM Day is Good for Your Career (Free)This interview with Frank Saladis, PMP was recorded at the PMI Global Congress 2013 North America in New Orleans.

The International Project Management Day (http://internationalpmday.org/) is happening every year on the 1st Thursday of November. This is "our" day. But what exactly does it do for us? Why should you care?

Frank Saladis (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/frank-saladis/0/226/4aa/) who is the founder of the IPM Day argues that since it was first introduced in 2004 "our" day has grown both in recognition and size. And this increased awareness of our profession has opened senior executives to the notion that we as project managers learn life skills, leadership skills, managerial skill and general business skills that are very portable from organization to organization. You as a project manager are near the pulse of every organization and as such you become more valuable and your career grows with every project that you manage.

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. 

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello everyone! I am here with Frank Saladis, the founder of the International Project Management Day at the PMI Global Congress 2013.

Podcast Interview

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello Frank!

Frank Saladis: Hi, How are you? Nice to be here.

Cornelius Fichtner: I'm very well thank you. You must be ecstatic! You have just been named a new PMI Fellow last night.

Frank Saladis: Yeah, that was kind of a surprise and I felt really good about it. It hasn’t really set in. This award is such a prestigious award and I feel very privileged to be in a company of such great people I'm involved in the evolution of PMI and in project management. So it's a great feeling.

Cornelius Fichtner: Well yeah, congratulations from all of us. In the words of Wayne's World: "I am not worthy. I am not worthy!"

Alright, but we are here today to talk about your involvement with the International Project Management Day. You're the founder of it, right?

Frank Saladis: Yes, I am! Yeah! I created it back in the end of 2004. It was kind of a challenge. I have graduated from the Project Management Institute Leadership Institute Masters Class and our professor, Jerry Brightman said to the graduates to go out and change the world. I thought that was kind of a tall order and I kept thinking about it and I came up with the idea. I said: You know, we have Mother's Day and Father's Day. We used to have Secretary's Day, I think it's call Administrative Assistant's Day and I looked at all these things and I said, you know it's time that we did something to recognize project managers so I came up with International Project Management Day.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right and 'change the world' is actually a good segway because we have talked about International Project Management Day previously here on the program. What we want to look at today is more how you have changed the world to see what effect the International Project Management Day has indeed had on the profession, on project managers out there and maybe also on how project managers today can use as part of their daily projects. But first, when is the next one? Which number is it this year?

Frank Saladis: Well, officially, this would be the 9th time we've actually done an actual set of events, okay. The first true official event after when I launched the International Project Management Day in 2004 first absolute worldwide event took place in November of 2005. What I did was I picked a day, I was trying to find a day that would work best for everyone and minimize the number of other holidays that are out there. Around the world, everyday is a holiday somewhere, but I picked the first Thursday of November. So it's the first Thursday of November every year. This year, it happens to be on the 7th of November. So it's always going to be on that first Thursday.

It's really kind of grown quite a bit every year. If we go back to the International Institute for Learning actually created the first true worldwide webinar back in 2005. We had about maybe 3,000 people who attended that, okay. Now, there are so many events around the world. Last year my very conservative estimate on people attending various events in different countries and also in different companies and PMI Chapters was a little over 100,000 and that we think that number will be greater this year in 2013. There are just so many places that are having events. It just has grown in popularity and it's really about that recognition of project managers. I think that's the important thing, the recognition.

Cornelius Fichtner: That's 100,000 people basically celebrating the International Project Management Day with various activities around the world, if I understood that right.

Frank Saladis: That's correct. There are multiple activities and events, anything from small dinner meetings and even cocktail hours to full-blown events like the New Jersey Chapter of PMI does an annual event that draws 350, 400 people. The UK has something called The Synergy and they've run that for the last 3 years and I know that they are sold out at over 500 people attending their event.

There are events going on in Australia and various Romania, Hungary and France. They are just everywhere where people are taking just a few minutes to recognize project managers and the idea that behind project management has been valuable to a business.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright. These are the events. What would say are some of the changes that have occurred in the worldwide project management community as a result of the International Project Management Day.

Frank Saladis: I guess the biggest change would be, the goal was really to heighten awareness about a value of a project manager. I focus on something a little bit different than PMI. The Project Management Institute focuses on making project management indispensable to business. My take on that is that well project management is really part of every business and so I thought that in order to have good solid project management, you have to have good solid project manager. So my focus was on making the project manager indispensable for business.

With that, I would profess through my classes and the programs that I do and talking to lots of other people that what we want to do here is that we want to get the project manager to be seen by their organizational leaders as go-to people, people that get things done through leadership, through good solid management, through motivating people, through solving problems.

So I think all of that has really helped what we call the perception of project manager. I joke about this every once in a while when I'm in a class and I say "have you ever heard someone say: Don't make a project out of this." Because what we have here is this perception that: "Oh no! Now, it's a project. Now it's going to be overhead. It's going to take forever. It's not going to get done. It's going to take too long." And that is exactly the opposite of what we teach in project management classes and training and so on.

So think that an IPM Day if it really had any one major impact was that it is something that we need that the project managers provide a very valuable contribution to their organizations and that they really should be appreciated for being those people that go in there and integrate multiple things together and sometimes, perform amazing fetes to get things done.

Cornelius Fichtner: What have you learned and observed about project managers since you first introduced the International Project Management Day?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete PDF transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

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