Project Practitioners > Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli is Founder and CEO of the ProjectConnections.com service providing practical online resources and support to over 250,000 project managers, functional managers, and team members around the world. She has over 20 years of experience in companies of different sizes and radically different project environments, with titles ranging from developer to vice president. She started her career as a hardware and firmware engineer, moved into technical group leader roles, and then became Director of Hardware Engineering at a start-up. Cinda found herself unwittingly falling into (untitled) project management as she managed large releases there, and after the company was acquired made the official leap and managed release programs in 3 different product divisions. Since then she has worn many hats - including contract project manager, interim department manager, project and development process consultant, functional executive, company founder, and executive project sponsor - experiencing the myriad light and dark corners of the business-driven project universe, and still relishing and enjoying all the rewards and challenges.

Over time Cinda has worked on different types of projects to develop products, services, and systems, for areas including communications, medical, IT, factory automation, computer games, construction, and biotech. From all these years of projects she has developed a big passion for making “management stuff” practical, effective, so that we can all enjoy our jobs day-to-day as we work hard to get it all done. Her particular areas of interest are helping get boring, static project methodologies into dynamic, situation-specific use; achieving business-savvy and amazingly synchronized cross-functional teams; and bringing together the critical skills, attitudes, and experience that result in truly great project managers.


Being World Class, Part 3: PM Skills, Maturity, Judgment, and True Know-How
By Cinda Voegtli
This is my final installment of reviewing the book The World Class Project Manager - A Professional Development Guide. If you missed the first two installments, see #1 here and #2 here. One goal of the series has been to convey why I've found this classic book to be so valuable. Another is to provide enough meat to get us thinking about our own skill and maturity profiles and where we each might want to pursue further development. And finally, I've wanted to let you know specifically the range of assessment checklists that are included so you can decide if... Read More»

Being a world-class project manager - Part 2 - the hidden traits that matter
By Cinda Voegtli
In my previous post on this subject, I started by giving an overview of the book The World Class Project Manager - a Professional Development Guide. I believe this book approaches the subject of our development in a valuable way. It acknowledges the multi-faceted landscape of being a PM - including possible variations of PM role and types of projects we may manage, along with the typical lists of skills and abilities you find in books about being a great project manager. But it also goes further than some in its treatment of many PM attributes and focus areas that... Read More»

How do you become a world-class manager of projects?
By Cinda Voegtli
In The World Class Project Manager – A Professional Development Guide, Robert Wysocki, James Lewis, and Doug DeCarlo provide a very useful background on the role and career of "project manager" - and what we need to know and be able to do in order to be truly world-class at it. I love this book because it covers career-critical subjects in a meaty and real-world way while staying easy-to-read and easy-to-reference later. It's not new - but it’s still one I keep handy on my bookshelf because much of the advice is timeless. I believe it has a lot of... Read More»

Sanity Check - How long has it been since you talked to your project's Sponsor?
By Cinda Voegtli
Conventional project management wisdom says that having an engaged executive-level project sponsor or champion is absolutely critical to success. But is your schedule of sponsor interactions putting that wisdom into action? I know, I know. They're busy. They're travelling. They sponsor other projects too. Maybe they even see the role as a figurehead thing and don't understand what you need from them. (Here's a resource to help you if that's the case.) But if it's been weeks since you talked to your Sponsor - well, that to me is a risk. Are the goals and priorities still the same in... Read More»

How Regular Exercise Helps You Balance Work and Family (article recommendation)
By Cinda Voegtli
Don't think of exercise "yet one more thing to fit in" to our busy days. Regular exercise actually can play a direct role in reducing our sense of conflict between work and home responsibilities. So says this nice article from HBR.org that aims to shift our thinking about exercise relates to the ability to achieve both quality work and home/family life. From the author: "New research by my colleagues and I...demonstrates a clear relationship between physical activity that is planned, structured, repetitive, and purposive – to use Caspersen and colleagues’ seminal definition of exercise – and one’s ability to manage... Read More»

Being the PM they want: What *executives* think our 2015 goals should be
By Cinda Voegtli
So here we are - the start of a brand new year - and, very possibly, already drowning in everything we need to get done. Let's hold on a sec! Before those task lists take over all our time, here is my New Year's wish for all of us: A little thinking time about what is MOST important for each of us to do and achieve -- to be maximally effective; to be maximally valued; and to ultimately have the best possible options for our careers. Those who have followed me for a while or attended any of my classes... Read More»

Sanity check: What is MOST important for your time in the next week?
By Cinda Voegtli
Step back from the trees and bushes and weeds of each project -- and contemplate the overall forest. See the big picture, not just the details. The goals, not just the tasks. The results needed, not just efforts at hand. The risks, not just the work plan. Specifically, ask yourself this: For us to accomplish what ultimately matters, what is truly MOST important for me as the PM to do this week? Questions such as the following will help feret out places for high-leverage attention: Is there a particular upcoming critical target date, a major milestone? (Then who do I... Read More»

Book: The Next Evolution - Enhancing and Unifying Project and Change Management
By Cinda Voegtli
I still hear way too many stories of "change management bolted onto the end" of projects whose outputs will impact lots of people. So I'm always interested in what approaches people use to INSTEAD make change management a natural part of each project. [I'm not talking here about managing/controlling changes to delivereables etc. during a project. This is the Change Management that is about anticipating how a project and what it's delivering will impact various people and groups, including how it will CHANGE THINGS THAT MATTER to them :-)... how they work; how they're reviewed; whatever.] I was therefore browsing... Read More»

Why are we even trying? - a Stat on EXPECTING projects to fail
By Cinda Voegtli
"75% of business and IT executives anticipate that their software projects will fail." Wowsa. Whoever responded to this survey might just have a lot of trouble getting out of bed in the morning. This statistic is from a survey done by Geneca, a software development firm, of 600 business and IT executives. Sources for the survey participants includeda CIO networking group, a project management professional association, Hoovers/D&B, and attendees to a 2010 CIO trade conference. A couple of other findings: Lack of confidence in project success: 75% of respondents admit that their projects are either always or usually “doomed right... Read More»

Sanity check: Who are you ASSUMING is committed?
By Cinda Voegtli
A sanity check to consider, on a Monday morning as you start the new week, or any time you are stepping back to take stock (which should be often enough to catch bad assumptions, or any bad mojo, before damage is done)... Think about your team. Stakeholders. Sponsor. Managers of the resources on your critical project. People who obviously SHOULD be committed... to the goals, to managing risks in their area, to making sure this thing will succeed. BUT: Just because they signed the Charter... Just because they participated in planning and got to have their say on deadlines... Just... Read More»




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