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Project Practitioners > Lisa DiTullio

Lisa DiTullio

Lisa DiTullio

As past director of the project management office (PMO) at Boston-based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, she was a core member of the turnaround team for an organization that went from being placed in State-supervised receivership in 1999 to being the #1 Health Plan in America on the U.S. News & World Report/ NCQA America's Best Health Plans three years in a row and the Highest Rated Plan in the Northeast for member satisfaction according to the JD Power and Associates 2007 National Health Insurance Plan Satisfaction Study.

Today, Lisa's a leading force in project and business management. She is the principal of Lisa DiTullio & Associates, dedicated to the set-up and management of enterprise project management office models. She is the editor of ProjectBestPractices, a quarterly newsletter from ProjectWorld, and a contributor to PM Network Magazine. She's also the author of Simple Solutions: How "Enterprise Project Management" Supported Harvard Pilgrim Health Care's Journey from Near Collapse to #1.


It's a Small, Small World, Part II
By Lisa DiTullio
Last month, I identified five common project management challenges in business today. Last month, I talked about how PMO's continue to get a bad rap. Today, let's talk about our insatiable appetite for project management tools. Project managers love tools and templates. Like squirrels during the fall in Boston, I see many project managers busily stockpiling tools for the winter. I wonder, what can one PM do with so many tools? Remember, successful project management is not about the tools. It is not even about the content of the tools. It is about thinking, acting, and managing the factors that... Read More»

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It's a Small, Small World
By Lisa DiTullio
I have conducted a significant amount of international business this year. While spanning the globe, I realize it is a small, small world. Countries, cultures and landscapes may differ, but project management challenges in business today seem eerily similar. Here are some common trends I observe: PMO's continue to get a bad rap. Project managers like to collect tools and templates with little thought to their value in supporting project needs or improve project practices. Project teams are difficult to manage. Project managers don't receive the respect they deserve. Executives still don't get it. Beginning today and throughout future blog... Read More»

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Do I Have To?
By Lisa DiTullio
As I child, how many times were you told to clean your room, pick up your toys, or empty the trash? I typically responded to parental requests with a whiny, "Do I have to?" I rebelled frequently; quick to resist the request than obediently comply. Introducing standardized project management practices can sometimes illicit a similar reaction. For many project managers, being asked to follow a common project management approach can produce a level of opposition eerily similar to our younger years; project managers can morph into mavericks before our very eyes when asked to comply with new project management requirements.... Read More»

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Unanswered Questions
By Lisa DiTullio
It doesn't matter what form of communications is, when the recipient does't respond, it's frustrating. What do you do? When establishing the relationship with your project sponsor, be sure to spend time with him or her to establish communication preferences. Find out how frequently you should update your sponsor on project activities. What level of detail does your sponsor need to be satisfied? What is the preferred mode of communication -- in person, email or by phone? How do you define "emergent" situations, and how will you notifiy your sponsor of such events? Once you have establish your communications protocol,... Read More»

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A Winning Team
By Lisa DiTullio
Do you remember standing toe-to-the-line in gym class, waiting to be picked as teams were called? If you weren't born with natural athletic ability, your best chance for being selected early in the process was when your friend was Captain for the Day. Does member selection for your project teams often feel eerily similar to school days? Follow these easy steps to select a winning team: Identify what you need, not who you need. Clearly identify the skills, experience and qualifications for each required team member; you are more likely to find what you need when you recruit team members... Read More»

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The PMO Fish That Got Away (You Should Have Seen it!)
By Lisa DiTullio
The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope. ~John Buchan Probably the biggest challenge associated with launching and maintaining a successful PMO is having the fortitude and spirit to keep on fishing. PMO's must evolve to survive. PMO's must also have continuous executive support to thrive. Yet, for some PMO leaders, gaining executive support is like the fish that got away - they nibble on the bait, only to jump off the line while being reeled in. Some people who fish believe the Number One... Read More»

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What to Know, Do, and Think About
By Lisa DiTullio
I rarely make resolutions for the New Year. I broke the practice of listing too many ambitious goals with unrealistic deadlines and little moral support years ago. Now, I maintain a continuous checklist of What to Know, Do, and Think About in support of my personal and professional growth. You can do the same when launching a Project Management Office. Here's a list of things to consider when starting a PMO: Power: Understand the power/organizational structure/decision-making ways and means. Why? To understand who the PMO is serving and to develop an infrastructure that works. Problem Solving: Be clear about the... Read More»

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Do You Stand Out?
By Lisa DiTullio
The latest national unemployment report shows a slight decline, suggesting we are on the road to recovery. I suspect it will be a long recovery, given the fact we are still hovering around 10% nationally. With high unemployment and a growing prevalence of project managers, how do you stand out among the crowd while seeking your next job opportunity? A first-rate project manager sounds like a fantastical being - Proficient at planning and problem-solving, adept at budgeting; an accomplished negotiator and master influencer who is able to lead, motivate and communicate. Oh, and who is also able to remain calm... Read More»

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It's a New World
By Lisa DiTullio
I am thrilled to report my affiliation with a new professional association, and I am quite excited to finally share it with you. Yes, and I think you will find this one to be both compelling and a breath of fresh air. What began as the idea for an independent PMO association has grown into something that I believe is much more interesting and valuable. Imagine having the chance to create rather than just join a group; there is still plenty of opportunity for you to become actively involved in shaping what this organization will be and what it will... Read More»

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The Great Divide
By Lisa DiTullio
There is a growing divide between senior leaders and project managers. Senior executives view project management as administrative overhead; project managers view senior leaders as disinterested. Who's right? Depending upon your position, the view varies; senior leaders drive the business plan from a high level; project managers toil in the details to execute the plan. Neither party needs to know the intimate details of what goes on behind their respective closed doors-so long as the Plan is successfully delivered. The only way to bridge the gap between senior executives and project managers is to have both sides agree they are... Read More»

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