Project Management Conference - Winter 2017

Project Management Conference - Winter 2017 

January 14, 2017
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration and Reception
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Keynote Address
Nebeyu Abebe, MA, PMP
Challenges of Managing Complex Projects and Programs

Mr. Nebeyou Abebe, PMP, M.A  is a senior director, Health and Well-being, Sodexo, Gaithersburg, MD

As health and well-being executive for Sodexo North America (largest operating division of Sodexo Group/Global Fortune 500 firm) -- $9.2B annual revenue, 135,000 employees, 9,000 operating sites, 15M consumers served daily Mr. Abebe directs internal health and well-being program design, implementation and evaluation for 135,000 employees and oversees third-party / vendor relationships. He also leads global nutrition, health and well-being working group with counterparts from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, directs health and well-being pilots in key markets with clients and external NGO and governmental partners designed to improve individual, organizational and community level performance. Mr. Abebe presented at several international conferences and workshops sharing his experience in  managing complex and global projects. 

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
An Exploratory Examination of Relationships between Project Managers’ Emotional Intelligence and Personality Styles
Amir Sahar-Khiz, PhD, PMP


From 1994 to 2009, over two-thirds of information technology projects failed to meet the three constraints of schedule, budget, and scope due to lack of project managers’ soft skills. The research problem addressed was the lack of project managers’ people skills which contributed to high project failure rate. Although the importance of personality and emotional intelligence in management is well documented, a gap exists in exploring soft skills among project managers. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was to investigate the relationship between project mangers’ workplace emotional intelligence and their personality styles. The research questions were designed to answer whether a significant difference existed in total workplace emotional intelligence between participants with dominance and influence personality styles. The theoretical framework for this study was based on the emotional intelligence and human behavior theories. A purposive sample of 132 experienced project managers responded to a paper-and-pencil survey. A t-test analysis indicated no significant difference between total emotional intelligence among those project managers with high dominance personality and high influence personality styles. However, additional findings revealed strong relationships between workplace emotional intelligence subscales and personality styles. The study contributes toward positive social change in the project management profession by introducing a new way of recognizing necessary emotional intelligence competencies that best fit with project managers’ personality styles for developing effective soft skills which contribute to the project failure rate reduction.

Keywords : Emotional Intelligence, project Management, Leadership, Personality 

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Agile Project Management - the Challenges and Opportunities
Dereje Tessema, PhD, PMP, PMI-ACP, CEA


According to the 7th Annual State of Agile Development Survey conducted by VersionOne,   81% of participants  reported higher quality,  defect rates dropped between 60% to 80%,  and \increased productivity,  and substantial cost savings by using Agile Project Management methodologies. As the US federal agencies depend on information technology support for their critical systems by spending $76 billion per year coupled with  high percentage of IT project failure made organizations to rethink and adopt the use of agile project management methodologies . The office of Management and Budge (OMB) recommends the use of agile methodology to reduce the length of project time and control cost and schedule.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified 32 practices and approaches as effective for applying Agile software development methods to IT projects. GAO also listed 14 challenges with adapting and applying in the federal environment.  This presentation focus on why many project managers are resistant to embrace the Agile project management tools and mindsets despite the benefit listed by many researches.

 Keywords : Agile Project Management , Productivity, Software development,  

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Knowledge Management in the Public Sector
Getaneh Bitew Fenta, PhD


As public organizations grow and mature, so does the knowledge demand to keep them competitive, develop, and preserve skills and capabilities to withstand the increasing levels of complexity, globalization and dynamism. The problem is although the technique of creating knowledge and assessing organizational culture is well documented, there has been little empirical research regarding how culture affects knowledge creation and retention in the public sector. The research questions consist of an analysis of the relationship between organizational culture and knowledge management in the public sector using data from the Federal Government Knowledge Workgroup and the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA)’s sections and local chapters in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. The theoretical framework includes the use of organizational culture theories and knowledge management models to address the research problem. The method of inquiry will be descriptive quantitative research to determinethe correlation between variablesusing an electronic survey as the tool, consisting of a general surveyto gather demographic data, and the Organizational Culture Assessment Insturment (OCAI) and the Knoweldge Management Assessment Insturment (KMAI) to gather cultural and knowledge management related data. Pearson product-moment correlation procedure will be used to determine the  relationship between organizational culture and knowledge management and correlation analysis will be used to determine the influence of different culture types on knowledge management.  The The social change impact will be to increase  the efficiency of public sector organizations by providing an understanding of  the influence of organizational culture on knowledge management programs.        

Keywords: Organizational Culture, Knowledge Management, Federal Government 

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Project Management – Integrating Modern Management Methodologies with Traditional Management Systems
Seble Mengesha, PhD,





A holistic view of the interrelationship, dependency, and complementary nature of action theories that are developed to improve the management of human wellness and performance in organizational work settings will help to understand the evolution of the current management system and its effort to adjust as the complexity of the system increases; and how organizations transform themselves to cope with the wave of changes to become leading learning entities. The Breadth component of this paper examines the general system, chaos, complexity, and organizational learning theories presented by the research of Von Bertalanffy (1952, 1968, and 1972), Briggs and Peat (1989), Capra (2002), Gleick (1987), Kiel and Elliott (1996), Senge (2006), and Senge et al (2002). Analysis of these theories will help to: (a) explore the dynamics of organizational behavior within complex systems and how to intervene in order to more effectively manage and develop human wellness and performance, (b) identify a common ground or principle on how to develop current management systems, and (c) synthesize the various theoretical foundations for organizational dynamics with an emphasis on how organizations accommodate change reaction arising from the introduction of modern management systems. An in-depth review of how organizations handle the introduction of new management systems, especially new project management methodologies, will be discussed and contrasted with the traditional style. Current research regarding project complexity, organizational learning, the change concerning project management, and the evolution of the project management will be decomposed and related to the theoretical foundation of modern project management methodologies.  This section reinforces Senge’s five disciplines (Senge, 1990) for making organizations ready to accept and deal with the change in the complexity of projects and their effect on the overall performance of an organization. 

Keywords : Organizational Learning, project Management, System, Chaos, Complexity theories

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Emotional Intelligence and how it Affects the Leadership Style of Project Managers
Dereje Tessema, Phd, PMP, PMI-ACP, CEA


This presentation contains the results of a research on the relationship between emotional intelligence (EQ) skills and leadership behaviors using input from 578 project management professionals. The quantitative study used an electronic survey consisting of a general questionnaire, the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ 5X).Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that eight of the 15 emotional intelligence skills (Interpersonal relationship, optimism, self-actualization, general mood, happiness, reality testing, adaptability, impulse control) were found to explain a significant proportion of variance in transformational leadership behaviors. The findings indicate that developing these eight EQ components in managers provides a basis for cumulative, long-term benefits to organizations in managing their projects.

Keywords : Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Project Managers, Interpersonal relationship, optimism, self-actualization, general mood, happiness, reality testing, adaptability

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Why do projects fail? A case study of failed IT Projects in both private and public sectors
L Bolorchimeg


The information technology world is rapidly growing every day in the US, as well as, worldwide. Every day, new information projects are being initiated. However, two out of three information technology projects fail. Some of the factors causing these failures are: lack of user involvement, scope creep, and poor definition of risks. The purpose of this research paper was to examine the factors that have a significant impact on the information technology project’s success or failure, lessons learned from failed information technology projects, and how to make improvements in future information technology projects in order to avoid failure. This research paper provided an overview of the history of project management, the current challenges that information technology projects are facing today, and a literature review which discusses key topics relevant to both project management and IT project management. website of Obamacare was then used as a case study. By applying the qualitative research method and secondary data resources (journal articles, other case studies, videos, books, newspaper, websites etc.) to the case study, an analysis provided the project management of the website.

Keywords: Project management, 

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Panel Discussion - Leadership and Project Management
Moderated by Eyerusalem Zemedkun, M.A, PMP

Panel Discussion:   Leadership and Project Management


Many projects fail due to various reasons including lack of leadership and management buy - in. Providing excellent leadership for the project team is a recipe for success.  In this panel discussion three experts who have been managing complex global programs both in private and public sectors as well as professor who is teaching project management  courses at the graduate level  will be invited to share their experience and lessons learned, and challenges they face managing these project. The panel will also learn how the academic world is reacting to the ever-changing requirements of managing projects.  The panel discussion is moderated by Jerusalem, Zemedkun, PMP