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Episode 006: Interview with Kristine Hayes Munson

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Tons of "Golden Nuggets of Wisdom" in today's show! Following some listener feedback at the start of the show, I am introducing three new show segments:

Kristine Hayes Munson is the Chair of the Project Management Institute, Orange County Chapter. Amongst other topics, we talk about her career as a project manager, what the benefits of being a PMI member are, how she became chair of the chapter, her involvement in the PMI Leadership Institute and about why you should become a PMP. And you definitely don't want to miss The Final 10, the ten questions I ask at the end of each interview.

Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of a computer-generated transcript with all its computer-generated quirks.

Cornelius Fichtner (00:11):

You are listening to the project management podcast. We bring project management topics to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at or send your emails to PM This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Hello, and welcome to show number six. I am Cornelius Fichtner. Now the show is recorded on the 8th of October, 2005. And today I have my first guest on the show. This guest is Kristine Hayes Munson, who is the president of the project management Institute, orange County chapter, the PMI-OC, I asked Christine to be on the show today because I have had several email conversations with listeners regarding the PMI. They ask questions, like, why should I join the PMI? What skills can I learn as a PMI volunteer? Or what will the PMP certification do for me? And I figured rather than me pontificating about this subject, I want to bring someone on the show who knows the PMI inside out and who can back up her views on the PMI with personal experience. It did not take me long to decide who I wanted to talk to because whenever I have a PMI related question, Christine is usually my one stop shop. She knows the PMI inside out. So one day at the office, I got up, I walked over to my boss and I said, Hey, Christine, how would you feel about doing an interview on my podcast? She said, yes. And here it is

Announcer (01:47):

The project management podcast feature interview today with Kristine Hayes-Munson chair of the project management Institute, orange County chapter in California.

Cornelius Fichtner (02:09):

Kristine Hayes Munson joined the PMI in 1999, but wasn't very active until she found the PMI-OC in 2001, Christine says choosing to become a PMI-OC volunteer was one of my best personal and professional decisions as a volunteer. She is privileged to work with and learn from countless other PMI-OC members. Christine has served as vice president of communications, vice president of professional development, and is the current chair slash president on the board of the PMI-OC. Professionally, Her project management experience includes a wide range of business process improvement and information technology projects in the finance printing and construction industries.

Cornelius Fichtner (03:04):

Currently, Christine oversees a team responsible for project portfolio tracking, project management, methodology development, standard operating procedure, documentation, audit, compliance, oversight, resource utilization, division intranet development, and senior management reporting for 145 member financial services technology department, Christine lives in Vista, California with her husband and their three children. Okay. Christine, even though we've been working together for a long time, we've known each other for about what two and a half years now, something like that. The one thing I never ever asked you is you've grown up in Idaho on the farm. How on earth did you ever end up in one of the oldest financial institutions of the United States as a project manager?

Kristine Hayes-Munson (04:02):

Well, first off, I didn't really grow up on a farm. My father taught school until I was 14 and my mother, um, chose not to relocate to live on the farm. So we stayed in the big city of American falls, which had 3,600 people. Huge, huge, huge city. There's actually stoplights there. Acacia curious. Um, I went to college and was an English major, gotta be any English and found that it was a very marketable skill I could work at McDonald's. I go work at burger King. I chose Kinko's because I would not smell like food after I was through actually I had gone to Kinko's to copy my resume and they had the big help wanted sign. And I'm like, well, you just cough you know.

Cornelius Fichtner (04:47):

So what kind of job did you take at Kinko?. Probably not as project manager to start you off.

Kristine Hayes-Munson (04:51):

No, I worked at the front counter at, Kinko's making $5 an hour

Cornelius Fichtner (04:56):

Here. I need 20 copies of that.

Kristine Hayes-Munson (04:58):


Cornelius Fichtner (04:59):


Kristine Hayes-Munson (05:00):

And then from there, I just kind of accidentally fell into working in the desktop publishing area, which is my first introduction to technology beyond just using my PC at home. And so I did desktop publishing for three or four years using a Macintosh. So I'm a huge Mac fan. I have two of those at home. And from there I just kept climbing the Kinko's corporate ladder and looking for new opportunities to improve what I was doing and to challenge myself and to explore new options. And one of the options that I was able to uncover was the opportunity to go work at Kinko's corporate office and manage the program around the operations manual. And I probably I'd always had always been using project management skills, but I didn't really know what I was doing as a project managers till I went to work at Kinko's corporate office, and I had.

Cornelius Fichtner (05:58):

Using project management skills. I didn't know what it was until I started getting into the profession and getting training. Yeah.

Kristine Hayes-Munson (06:04):

Yeah. I had a title. I didn't know what it meant basically. So big, this thing happened, I understood that part, but I didn't know what, what a program project manager was. And I was working for a woman who understood that and pointed me to UCSPB university of California at Santa Barbara. They had an extension program where they were teaching project management. So I basically took, there were a bunch of us who took it together and a night class on project management. One-on-one from everything on how to write a schedule and use Microsoft project to more in depth project management topics. And that lasted about 18 months. And that was the first time I really understood what a project manager was. And through that involvement, I ran into some people who were active in the PMI LA chapter, and they started talking very highly of the project management Institute and what it had done for them and were trying to get me involved in that chapter.

Above are the first few pages of a computer-generated transcript with all its computer-generated quirks. A human-generated transcript is available to Premium subscribers starting with episode 136.

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Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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