Jan Schiller Celebrating Women in Project Management

Jan Schiller Celebrating Women in Project Management

Jan Schiller


Location: Milwaukee, USA

Connect on LinkedIn


Jan Schiller has a wildly important goal: leave the world better than she found it. Managing projects of all shapes and sizes for most of her career has left a long and wonderful trail of doing just that. Jan puts structure on ambiguity, reveals the path that transforms ideas and strategies into results, and delights clients by helping their organizations get from where they are where they want to be.

See Jan’s 2019 Celebrating Women in Project Management profile.

What is your project management super power?

Being comfortable being uncomfortable. Having a sense of humor in the face of adversity (you know, when those bombs land in your project path).

How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?

By eliminating the need for diversity programs. By using a person’s name instead of diversity labels, especially in corporate announcements recognizing a person for success and achievement. By recognizing that we all make assessments in the first seconds of meeting each other, yet the real power comes when we acknowledge that assessment and then erase it. We are all human. End of sentence.

As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?

When I consider the wonderfully varied trail of results I’ve worked with teams to produce during the course of my career, I realize that project management skills, experience and expertise are highly transferable. The ability to adapt and apply the art and science of project management to ensure your stakeholders are delighted is a key to future success. The art and the science come in many forms. Those skills, experience and expertise show up in many combinations. Revealing the path from where your stakeholder is to where they want to be unlocks the door to future success. I believe project managers of the future must excel at bringing the best of several methodologies, paradigms and best practices together to create a hybrid, customized path to deliver the result the stakeholder seeks.

How do you recover from difficult situations?

I repeat the single word a mentor shared with me: resiliency. I picture the place that calms me the most. Then I remind myself that I am the same person now as I was before the difficult situation, and move on.

What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?

I seek shared understanding and common ground while acknowledging another’s point of view and perspective. And I understand when this technique will not be successful (for example, in conflicts with another who is dedicated to winning, or at least, to making sure I lose). Adapting is key.

Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?

I get to leave the world better than I found it, and have fun doing that. Just three words? Learning, delighting, transforming.




Hello amazing women of the project management world! My Celebrating Women in Project Management Series highlights your stories to inspire others, raise the profile of women in the project management profession, and to further strengthen our global network.

  1. If you’re a woman working in project management, I want to hear from you! Submit your profile today to make sure to be included in this years event which has already begun.
  2. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn to be inspired by daily posts as we celebrate all of these wonderful women in project management! Feel motivated by their stories, achievements and perspectives.
  3. Tell us how you feel and support other women by including #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement in your social media posts.
  4. Join our FREE exclusive Celebrating Women in Project Management Facebook group – a new space for women in project management to come together and discuss ideas, give advice, provide support, and network with women from all over the globe.



Join the Conversation