The Rhode Island chapter of the Project Management Institute, a global professional association, in theory covers Southeastern Massachusetts.
However, in practice, the group has few members on this side of the state line. Rob Massoud, a New Bedford resident and president of Ocean State PMI, is trying to change that.
Massoud, who works as an operations manager at Fidelity Investments in Smithfield, R.I., is offering his group’s management skills for free for community projects to help raise awareness.
“We’re looking to outreach to anyone who is interested in learning what we do and seeing how we can benefit them,” Massoud said.
If an elementary school wants to build a playground, for example, a project manager could help them organize the effort at no charge. The group wants both to recruit members in this area and connect more with the community, he said.
Ocean State PMI is a volunteer organization and has not focused on increasing awareness in Southeastern Massachusetts until now. Just educating project managers and businesses in general about the organization could make a difference, Massoud said.
And he hopes greater awareness could overcome any parochial inhibitions Bay State business people might have about joining a group called “Ocean State.”
“Most good business people operate under a simple philosophy, ‘If it’s good for my business, then I’ll do it,'” Massoud said. “So I would think that if an organization can offer something of value to a business, it wouldn’t matter where that organization is located.”
The chapter will hold its monthly meeting Feb. 9 at the Providence Marriott at 6 p.m. Meetings are open to the public through registration on the organization’s website, OceanStatePMI.org.
The first question one might ask is: What is project management? It’s a discipline of organizing and overseeing a specific project, an effort that has a definitive starting point and ending point. It’s a discipline that has grown in recent years and is recognized as a distinct skill, Massoud said.
If a company has a project manager or an entire office of project managers, it can assign someone to help organize different projects as they arise. This way, the company doesn’t have to take someone else away from what they do best in order to handle organizational matters.
A company can be more efficient with project management staff. Managers can see a short-term project to its conclusion without becoming emotionally attached to any aspect, such as the way a video game designer becomes engrossed in the details of a game, Massoud said.
“Their focus is strictly to take that idea from inception to completion and then move on,” he said.
The same project manager who oversees the development of a video game could also guide the expansion of an office building. Project managers do not need the technical skills required for each initiative. Instead, they are bringing to the table scheduling, communication, risk management and other organizational skills, Massoud said.
The worldwide PMI started in 1969 and offers certifications in the field.
While Ocean State PMI has had a “handful” of members from Southeastern Massachusetts, the majority of the more than 500 members are from Rhode Island, Massoud said.
The chapter offers many benefits to members, from the sharing of information about job opportunities to training for a professional exam required to get project management certification, he said.
“We have probably found jobs for at least a couple of dozen, if not more, of our members over last few years,” he said.
For more information about the chapter, contact Robert Massoud by email at
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