Are you a Project Manager? | Project Manager


Are you a project manager?

As I stated in my last post, my priority #1 goal for 2017 is getting my Project Management Professional certification (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI). This will help me with future employment and provide some additional verification that I am an experienced project manager.

Many people consider themselves, are labeled as or actually hold the title of Project Manager.  Are you a project manager?  Like me, are you considering getting the PMP certification, but are not sure if what you do qualifies as a project manager?

Project Management

Project management comes in a variety of forms, functions, and industries, but there has to be a basic definition of what a project and a project manager is.  My personal vision of a project manager is someone who coordinates, executes and oversees a team or a series of processes on a regular basis by applying previous knowledge and experience in order to achieve a specific positive outcome.

Since I work in the construction design industry and have for 30 years, project management for me involves overseeing design projects for commercial buildings be constructed.  This has involved, architectural, mechanical and electrical design.

For the sake of simplicity and consistency and since this series is talking about PMI’s PMP certification, I am going to use PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), 5th Edition (affiliate link) for definitions throughout these posts.

Rather than provide a “Project Manager” definition, the PMBOK Guide gives a definition on “Project Management”;

Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. Project management is accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of the 47 logically group project management processes which are categorized into five process groups.

A simple summary of the process groups follows. There is a much more detailed definition and explanation in the PMBOK Guide mentioned above.


Initiating is the process group that is used to define a new project or a subsequent phase(s) of an ongoing project. This is where the scope is defined and finances are committed to the project, stakeholders are identified and the project manager is often assigned.


In this series of processes where the scope is better defined and refined, objectives are set and a course of action is developed.


This is where the work gets done on the plan – where the tasks are performed in order to meet the project objectives.

Monitoring and Controlling:

This is the process group that covers monitoring and tracking in order to review the progress of the project and its overall health. This monitoring is what identifies possible issues that may require changes or updates to the project plan.


This is the end of the project cycle. This is where a project is finalized reviewed to make sure that contractual obligations have been met.

These five process groups are important to understand if you are going to get your PMP certification.  You will not only need to understand what each process means but how it related to your past projects when filling out the PMP certification testing application – which I will cover in the next post.

Do most or all of these processes sound like what you deal with in your daily job?  If so, you may be a Project Manager!

If you are, are you certified?  If not, are you considering it?  If so, follow this journey over the next couple months and I will share the process from the point of view of someone that is going through it.

In the next post, I will dive into the actual steps required in order to get the certification.






2017 – The Year Ahead

0 is off and running and like many others, I’m working on my plans to make it a successful one. I did not make any New Year’s resolutions, rather I vowed to keep moving ahead from where I left off in 2016.  I’ll be working on the typical desires of getting more sleep, drinking less, cutting back on the number of cigars and getting in the gym three days a week.

WOW – Looking back at my posts, I see I have only done one post since the start of my 2016 goals post – SAD!  I should be planning on how I can get more posts in, but the reality of it is that I write enough on my other blog and a tech magazine (AUGI World) to keep me busy outside of work.  Since writing more was not a 2016 goal, I reckon that is ok. : )

I did make progress with some of the 2016 goals though, and the plan is to keep it up and build on the progress already made.  I have read a ton of books (20 actually) and listened to dozens and dozens of podcasts, I’m sleeping more by getting to bed earlier, and up until some surgery in December I was working out regularly at the gym with a trainer. I should be healed enough to get back in the gym in February, but for now it’s morning walks.

I have three major goals for this year:

– Get my PMP certification
– Reduce my current debt by 50%
– Complete a project Database project

The database project is something I started last year but has been on my todo list as a vision for years. This year I want to complete a solid foundation for it and get it running at work to test it. I’m teaching myself PHP through online classes in order to do it. This will likely kick in this summer as my PMP certification is my highest goal.

Debt reduction us a good goal for anyone. I have built and reduced debt multiple times over my lifetime and because of it have established an awesome credit rating, but not a lot of money in the bank. Time to change that pattern.

My biggest and my priority goal for 2017 is getting my PMP (Project Management Professional) certification. I have worked in the construction industry on the design side for 30 years now and have served as a project manager in multiple disciplines but never sought out getting a formal certification.

I love my current job, but the company will be closing in the next 3-4 years and I’ll be back in the job search world. With 15 years or more left in my career, I want to make sure I maintain my employability moving ahead as my age will become a hiring factor.

There are multiple steps required to get the PMP certification, and I will be covering them in a series of posts over the next six months or so. I am doing this in order to self-record the progress, share with others that may be considering it, and create an online accountability document of sorts.

One thing I did some of this past year was journaling and I want to continue that into 2017, albeit with more consistency.  Last year it was all about electronic tools, but this year I am going back to paper – more therapeutic.  I ordered my day planner/journal for the year this weekend.  After looking at a few, I opted for the Basic black Passion Planner from  This planner has a lot of cool features for planning, scheduling, and even doodling.  I can’t wait to get it this week and get started.

Time to get moving ahead. Happy New Year to everyone and hope you successfully tackle your personal and career goals in 2017!



Build Your Own Cloud Server


Build your own Cloud Server

Build your own Cloud Server for all types of media

So yesterday a friend asked me about the possibility of having his own NAS (Network Attached Storage) that he could access from work or out and about. And the answer is yes.  I have setup multiple NAS devices for clients and even have one myself and they are all based on Synology products –  – NAS is what they do and they are very good at it.

Most of use a cloud in some form offered by others like Dropbox, Sharefile, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc…  Having our own would be pretty sweet and a way to do this is with a NAS like my friend wants.  After some email discussion and a phone call, my friend finally made some choices for hardware he wanted to get.

Disclaimer: Throughout my posts you will find links, some of which are affiliate links. If you’re not familiar with this term, you can find more about it and why I use them in my About page here. If you select a link that is an affiliate link and then purchase a product or service from that link, at no additional cost to you, I will get a small commission.

He is going to get a 2-bay Synology NAS with (2) Western digital NAS hard drives at 4 Terabytes each so he can do a Mirror (real time duplication and full redundancy).

Synology NAS and Drives:

4 Terabytes is a bit much for most of us, considering many are probably using the 20gig Google Drive or the free 2gig Dropbox account with room to spare.  So what can you do with a NAS or your own cloud?

For your house a NAS can be used as a central media server for music, photos, videos etc.. or you can set it up as a cloud server to share these items.

For your business you can set it up as a:

  • Central file server
  • Backup server
  • FTP server
  • E-Mail Server
  • Web Server
  • Surveillance Server
  • And more…

Pretty versatile little box if you ask me.  I use mine as a personal backup server and cloud Sync server that backups up my Dropbox and Google Drive accounts locally and have plans to set it up as a family Photo Stream server  – someday when I have time…


2016 – The Year Ahead – Part II | Health


2016 Projection Target Showing Profit And Growth Planned

This is a follow up on my previous post about the new year and my goals. Two of my major focus goals are to lose weight and get in better shape. A tertiary goal to that is to get off of Prilosec, an over the counter acid reflux pill that I have been taking for about 12 years. I’m sure you have heard of Prilosec and it’s advantages in TV and radio commercials, but If you’re not familiar with it’s side affects, and your taking it – it is worth some reading up on.

Disclaimer: Throughout my posts you will find links, some of which are affiliate links. If you’re not familiar with this term, you can find more about it and why I use them in my About page here. If you select a link that is an affiliate link and then purchase a product or service from that link, at no additional cost to you, I will get a small commission.


As of this week, about a month since my last post this is what has been accomplished:


I have lost 7lbs overall (I had lost 10lbs total, but I am going up and down a little each week).  My energy has definitely improved a bit and my focus is improving.  Excercise so far has been limited to getting up at 4:45 and doing a 30 to 40 minute walk each weekday morning (except that week it was in the 30s. I just couldn’t do it – 40F seems to be my low point. : )


Among the 38 podcasts I downloaded were a few real good ones from the Shawn Stevenson Model Health Podcast on types of food to stay away from. Last Monday’s listen was about wheat and whole grains and the HUGE issue it is for our bodies. I’ll be discussing more about that in my next post.

I have not started the two audio books I downloaded (“The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Cardone, Grant (Unabridged Edition) [AudioCD(2011)]” and “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy) because I ended up picking up another one (“Wheat Belly“) after listing to the Model Health Podcast on Wheat.

Tech day

Not nearly as productive as I had hoped. My Smart Things Hub and door lock are still waiting to get installed and setup, but my PC is screaming fast! The new SSD drive made a hug impact over the existing SSD drive I had previously. I will update this with a performance summary screenshot this weekend.  If you want to boost startup and apps loading – get an SSD!  I have been running them at home and work for the last couple years and they make a huge difference.

What I installed in my Gaming System:

Till next time!


2016 – The Year Ahead


A new year has started and I, like many people have been thinking about what will be different and better this year than last. Although I did not write down any formal resolutions, I have a few that have been stewing in my mind for months.  Health is huge and number one on my list.  Losing weight, as is a goal for many, and one I definitely need to do, but overall physical, mental and spiritual health is my top priority. I have other self improvement, and income goals as well, and today, a nice cool, lazy Saturday morning I’m getting things geared up.

I actually started last night by downloading the “Couch to 5k” app on my phone and will kick that off Monday am.  I will be going for a walk today where I’ll start listening to my podcasts I spent the am downloading and organizing, and have already changed my eating habits to reduce carbs, alcohol (Crown) and generally eat more veggies and fiber.

I used to be an avid reader, and have shelves and shelves full of books that covered, DIY, ScIFI, mysteries and of course lots of ‘self improvement’ books.  Now days audio via podcasts and the Audible app are what keep me absorbing new information.

So today, as part of getting my audio library built, I downloaded, filtered and sorted 38 podcasts and 2 new Audible books. I have a decent selection of Audible books already, but my two new additions (affiliate links) are “The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure by Cardone, Grant (Unabridged Edition) [AudioCD(2011)]” and “The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy.  This should get me through January and into February – the podcasts and audio books make my 30 – 40 minute drive to and from work worthwhile.

Another big goal this year is to clear my plate of ‘too much stuff’ as my wife puts it.  I’ve starting I unsubscribing from my tons of email lists, and have taken off January from doing any home improvement projects.  Saying “no” is a must do this year as well.

Speaking of home improvement projects, we have spent the last year renovating the interior of our house, redoing the kitchen and bathroom entirely and replacing the floors in about 75% of the house.  I plan to follow up with some future posts on those projects.

Kitchen Before:


Kitchen After:
kitchen-after (Mobile)

We also had our back yard redone so we could start utilizing it all year.  The outdoor grilling seating area was our biggest feature.



Note that other than designing the sitting grilling area, all the work was done by someone else – Amazing Gardens and Landscape.  They don’t have a website yet, or I would provide a link, but one of my new projects this year is creating one for them. If you would like to contact them for a project of your own, let me know.

Time to make some breakfast and get my day started, today is ‘Tech day’ where I get to setup my new toys and do some system upgrades I got myself for Christmas! : ) The following is a list of links to the products on Amazon (affiliate links) if your interested in stepping up your own system.