CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERIES
Location: Washington, DC, USA
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Laura Barnard, PMP
Keynote Speaker, Trainer & Consultant
Founder and CEO, PMO Strategies
Founder and President, Project Management for Change, 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Laura has been helping business leaders get the results they crave using the power of project management for the last 24 years. She spent 15 of those years as a PMO leader on the inside and the last 6 helping businesses accelerate their growth through her consulting practice. She runs several training and membership programs to help you grow your PM and PMO competency with a deliberate focus on driving high-IMPACT outcomes on every project. Laura shares her insights and stories in her blog titled, “I wish I had me when I was you… ” where she is shaking up the way the industry thinks about our role in driving strategy realization. Laura welcomes you to join her community of IMPACT Drivers. You can learn more at PMOStrategies.com.
What I enjoy most about being a project manager is:
Helping people create meaningful and IMPACTful change. Seeing the power we can create when we work together to change the world.
The three most important skills I use to successfully deliver projects are:
Persistence, perseverance, and practicality…oh, and I’m still trying to find patience. 🙂
Persistence – Everyone is busy, but not everyone is productive. To get the job done, you will need to keep your eye on the prize, your foot on the gas, and your hand on the pulse of what’s going on. People with good intentions will forget, fall short, and get distracted. You have to keep them all focused with you on the goals, outcomes, and doing what they say they are going to do.
Perseverance – You will get hit from the left, from the right, from above, from below, and even from places you were SURE you could trust. You must overcome all of it. Never let them get you down. Take a time out and get back up and be a fearless leader. You’ve got this.
Practicality – So many times, I see PMs with great intentions getting bogged down in the less important work. When we focus too much on the outputs, we can fall short of the outcomes. Always remember that no one cares if the project is on time and on budget if the product you created isn’t usable. Be a change maker, be an IMPACT Driver. That means optimizing how you and your team spend your time, what templates you use, what process steps you follow. The simpler, the better.
I build and nurture my professional network by:
Providing tons of free resources, educational programs, and real-world coaching guidance for those looking to advance their PM and PMO careers. I’ve spent more than 23 years in this business, 20 years of that time focused on PMOs. I’ve seen it all, survived the toughest challenges, and collected tons of lessons learned that are helping PMs and PMO leaders remove the headaches and overwhelm that can come from these roles.
At the start of my career, the one thing I wish I had known is:
Oh, if only I could list just one! I have an entire blog titled, “I wish I had me when I was you…” because there are so many different things I wish I would have known.
One key belief that has truly shaped my career is that no one cares about how beautiful your outputs are if you don’t get to the outcomes. Let go of the belief that you are defined by how busy you are, the number of templates you create, the steps in your process, or the prettiness of your plan. All of that pales in comparison to the IMPACT you can make if you keep your eye on the prize – delivering the highest possible return on investment for your project.
Women who have inspired me so far in my career journey are:
I mention a valuable mentor below and in addition to her, definitely my mother. I have always been blown away by her ability to make the incredible happen. She taught me that there was nothing I couldn’t do, nothing I couldn’t be, and nothing that could stop me if I wanted something (hint this is where I got those 3 most important skills above and also the lack of the fourth one – it must be genetic). She taught me that “can’t” was not an option and that is something that I still practice today. We have a rule in our house about seeing the possible and making dreams happen, regardless of the seemingly insurmountable odds.
The most valuable advice I have ever been given is:
Reach back behind you and bring her along.
A wonderful mentor that was the highest ranking female in a global organization took the time to guide me and help me grow and thrive in a very male-dominated organization where women weren’t always respected or treated as equals. She talked about how we, as successful women, had a duty to reach behind us and bring along other women with us on our professional journey. She also taught me that the corporate world isn’t fair and there will be biases and inequities and that we should not let any of that nonsense stop us from our goals.
My advice for women on finding success as a project manager is:
Be you. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Be heard. Your opinions are valuable and just as important as everyone else at the table.
Don’t try to be him. Leverage your powerful and special skills you bring to the table as a woman. You are amazing. Let it shine.
Hello amazing women of the project management world!
My observation after two decades of working in the project management industry is that our voices as women are simply not heard enough online in articles, podcasts, and across social media channels. Let’s change that!
- 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.
- 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.
- Tell us how you feel and support other women by including #CelebratingWomenInProjectManagement in your social media posts.
- 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.