CELEBRATING WOMEN IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2020 SERIES
Location: Washington DC, USA
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Monica Byrd serves as Project Manager for Blackford USA, a subcontractor that resides within and is solely dedicated to advancing the $1.6 billion-dollar MGM National Harbor casino resort. She oversees a collaborative of $1.0 million-dollar project portfolio that includes the resorts Executive Offices, Osteria Costa Italian Restaurant, The Theater at MGM National Harbor, Lobby Bar and a host of retail, hotel and entertainment related projects and is responsible for project success from initiation and planning through execution and closure.
Monica brings 15 years of experience as senior executive administration working with senior executives across multiple companies and industries. Prior to the resorts opening, she served as Executive Assistant to General Manager and then Property President Bill Boasberg, a role she was promoted into after 7 months. In this position, she served as liaison to the resorts Board of Directors, led property tours and managed multiple projects across the C-Suite allowing Boasberg to focus on launching and opening the newly created resort. Most recently, she served as the Senior Executive Assistant to Property President Melonie Johnson. Her attention to detail and project management experience is an
added value to her role as Project Manager.
Monica is currently pursuing her PMP certification and expects to receive it by March 2020. Monica also studied at Georgetown University and completed Project Management Certification in July 2018 and is currently an active member of the Women of Project Management organization. It’s the only global network for Women & Women of Color in Project Management.
Monica is the owner of CHARCOAL BLUE Project Management and Consulting (Construction, Sports, Entertainment, Retail, Commercial, Hotel and Residential).
What is your project management super power?
My organizational skills, my attention to detail and my overall project management experience is an added value to my role as Project Manager.
How can gender diversity be improved in the project management profession?
The key to increasing inclusion and enhancing diverse talent within project management requires
acknowledgement of the skills shortage which will escalate without targeted action and the need for all, particularly leadership to reflect on their capabilities and how these can be channeled to effect change and an agreed vision. Technical processes alone do not deliver project. People with the intellect they bring, along with their myriad of soft skills, diverse experiences and behaviors contribute to overcoming challenges and achieving project success.
As the profession evolves, what skills do you think will be key for future success?
Based on my experience within the field, I think the skills that will be key are elements of leadership, understanding cultural awareness, innovative talents and nurturing characteristics.
How do you recover from difficult situations?
Taking a step back with prayer and meditation.
What are your tips and techniques for conflict resolution?
Once you’ve identified both your and the other person’s roles in this conflict, ask them to set aside some time for resolving your conflict.
Pick a place you can talk openly and without interruption. Ideally, this will be within 24 hours of the incident. In some cases, it’s best to “sleep on the problem” and address it the next morning.
But, don’t let unresolved conflict at work simmer for too long.
If you’re a team leader, you know you need to nip conflicts in the bud.
However, don’t just call people onto the carpet for a “top-down” lecture. Wait until everyone’s emotions have cooled off – including yours.
Which 3 words best describe why you enjoy being a project manager?
The Things I Love About Managing Projects:
- The Variety – Every project is different. If you want to move between projects and disciplines within your business it’s relatively easy. The job has so much variety, both in terms of people, scope of projects and the kind of tasks project managers do.
- Leading a Team – Teamwork makes the day more interesting. Plus, leadership is a fantastic privilege. You get to inspire and motivate people. You can encourage people to do their best work, remove roadblocks and really make a difference to the lives of your colleagues.
- Introducing New Things – Delivering change is fun! Introducing new things into the business is a privilege
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.
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