Project Management

Peerspective

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Peers sharing perspectives — that's the purpose of this blog. Here, we get to know our community members — how they got started, what they’ve learned along the way, and why they love what they do. We all can benefit from learning about each other’s experiences, challenges, achievements and insights.

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Aaron Smith
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Let’s Meet Rasumon Manuel…

Let’s Meet Stéphane Parent…

Let’s Meet Ogaga Johnson…

Let’s Meet Stephen Robin…

Let’s Meet Syed Moize…

Let’s Meet Syed Moize…

Categories: career development

A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) since 2008, Toronto-based Syed Moize manages internal teams and external vendors for project and organizational success at Dream Unlimited.

Syed, how did you get into project management? Since 2006 I have been involved in delivering enterprise application projects. It was during the implementation of Primavera software that I was introduced to the world of project management for the first time. I heard about the Project Management Institute and PMBOK and got hands-on with PMIS software. Immediately after that project, I joined PMI and took the PMP Exam preparation course. I still remember this statement of my trainer: “PMI guidelines are all about helping you to do the things in a right way.”  

What do you love most about the work? My job is focused on dealing with people, process and technology. I love the aspect of problem-solving that keeps us focused on finding solutions that are adding value to current process and helping us achieve customer satisfaction.

What do you find most challenging or frustrating? Most challenging part is balancing the triple constraints on projects, managing the stakeholder expectations, and addressing the need of technological advancement in our application landscape.

Does your approach change depending on the country or organization you’re working in? Yes. I can say that it is more about fine-tuning rather than a drastic change. Based on the type of industry or organization and their project management environment sometimes I change my project management approach. I start with understanding the work cultures, teams, decision hierarchies, and past project successes to customize my project management approach.  

What's your proudest professional achievement? I led a couple of large ERP transformation projects to success—in terms of strategic importance, cost to the company and team size, they we critical for the organization’s success.

What's the best piece of advice you've received or can share? First, projects can be managed by everyone no matter on which level you are, but only when you manage projects by applying PMI guidelines will you understand what you were missing. I also strongly believe in this quote by Maya Angelou: “Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.” When you are successful, try and share your knowledge and help others to succeed. I actively volunteer as a mentor with my local PMI chapter in Toronto. When you pay it forward by volunteering you are helping to build the community, inspire others, and grow your network.

How has PM.com helped you in your work and career? PM.com has helped me immensely. It keeps me updated on latest trends and developments in the world of project management.

What interests or hobbies do you have outside work? I volunteer as career development mentor for new immigrants. I’m doing this with the PMI Toronto Chapter, and other not-for-profit organizations.

What's your favorite TV show, artist or movie? My favorite TV show is Lupin.

Best vacation? A visit to Istanbul.

Thank you, Syed, for sharing your perspective with the community.

To connect with Syed Moize, visit his ProjectManagement.com profile

Posted by Aaron Smith on: February 08, 2022 05:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Let’s Meet Yasmina Khelifi…

As a senior project manager for a global telecom giant, Paris-based Yasmina Khelifi has worked with international teams for 20 years, combining cultural awareness with communication agility. Parlez-vous francais? Sure. But also English, German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Arabic!

Yasmina, how did you get into project management? I always loved to organize things. I have a classic background for a project manager—I began as a telecom engineer. After a few years, thanks to the support of a manager, I applied to become a project manager. I wasn’t quite sure about it at the beginning because some technical colleagues told me it was boring and administrative. Fortunately, I didn’t listen to them, and I don’t regret it!

What do you love most about the work? I love the diversity of project teams and activities. I work with so many people around the globe—it is an invaluable source of growth and learning. I am also fortunate to be able to work virtually, which was a great advantage during the pandemic. 

What do you find most challenging or frustrating? What I find frustrating is that project management is sometimes seen as a “paperwork” role. Project management is a life skill and a mandatory skill. It’s everywhere. We work in teams, and every time we build a team there are project management skills involved at work or in private projects.

You’re based in Paris. Does your approach change depending on the country you’re working in? Yes, of course, and that's what I love most: cultural awareness and communication agility. I’ve been working in an international environment for 20 years; since 2014 in the Middle East and Africa. I adapt the tools used and the communication approach. My knowledge of languages, which is one of my passions, helps me to build bridges. I’m a French native, and I can speak German, English, Spanish, a bit of Italian, a bit of Japanese and I’m learning Arabic.

It’s sometimes challenging and makes me think on how I can improve my communication or way of being. And that helps me in my private life.

What's your proudest professional achievement? When I joined a technical project team a few years ago, I didn’t know the topic very well. I replaced a technical expert, so it was intimidating at the beginning. I noted there was no team cooperation, and the information didn’t circulate well, so I went back to basics: project management skills. I revamped all the project processes, communication flows, and set ground rules. By doing this, I infused a strong team collaboration spirit that benefited the project.

What's the best piece of advice you've received or can share? When I became a project manager, my manager pushed me to get training. I was not so convinced; I didn’t think I had the time. But he told me it was very important, and it proved true. Since then, I was lucky to continue training through my firm and I also paid for some. I’ve encouraged many colleagues to do the same, even if they think they don’t have time. It’s crucial to take time for yourself and to pave the way for the future; you’re the pilot in this plane.

Continuous learning is so rewarding and it’s even easier now with courses delivered online. Taking part in training is also a way to network and meet new people. And recently, I’ve discovered volunteering at Project Management Institute, and I love it! I’ve met incredible role models to guide me in my learning journey.

You are a monthly contributor to the Voice on Project Management blog, sharing your experiences and insights. How has PM.com helped you in your work and career? PM.com has helped me to gain new perspectives. It’s an open and supportive community for advice—for instance, when I was preparing for PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)®.

What interests or hobbies do you have outside work? I love learning languages, meeting international friends, and volunteering. I’ve just launched a podcast about global leadership. I didn’t know anything about podcasting, but I wanted to share my knowledge and the voices of leaders around the world. I love to try out new things, to learn and share.

Favorite TV show, artist, or movie? I love detective TV series.

Best vacation? It’s a question hard to answer—each place is rich in learning. Let’s mention my last travel before the pandemic: Dubai. I loved it.

Thank you Yasmina!

To connect with Yasmina Khelifi, visit her ProjectManagement.com profile.

Posted by Aaron Smith on: August 12, 2021 02:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (13)
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