MiniBio Series: Jeremy Kenny, Speaker Director

    MiniBio Series
    Jeremy Kenny, Speaker Director

     

    Tell us a little about yourself!

    I’m originally from Destrehan, Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. I graduated from LSU as a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.  I moved to Texas in 2013 for an opportunity to work at Texas A&M.

    I have not had a traditional project management job up to this point in my career and hadn’t really considered what I was doing to be project management until joining PMI and getting a better understanding of what it means to be a project manager. But I love this kind of work. Getting to be very dynamic and work on multiple small projects at the same time as part of one large project, being the central hub of information for everyone involved, meeting and working with different people on a daily basis. It’s a constant learning and growing experience.

     

    How long have you been working in Project Management and what's your current professional position?

    A little over 8 years. I now work at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Texas A&M University as our Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator. Overall my job is to help foster an entrepreneurial culture at the school and innovative mindsets among our students and faculty. It's challenging because there aren’t many definitive measurables or milestones yet to determine how we are progressing, but that also makes it fun. And I get to meet brilliant people and work with them every day.

    Prior to this position, I was working in sports as a Director of Operations for the track and field programs at Texas A&M and LSU, two of the most prestigious programs in all of college athletics. In my eight years working with the two programs, I had the pleasure to work with teams that won two NCAA Championships and six SEC Championships, countless student-athletes that were champions at the SEC, NCAA, World, and Olympic levels, and some of the best coaches and support staff in the world.

     

    How long have you been involved with the Houston PMI® Chapter and in what capacities?

    I started attending PMI meetings in October 2017. I became the Speaker Director in April 2018. I also had the privilege of working with the Planning Team for the 2018 PMI Houston Conference and Expo.

     

    What are the biggest benefits you’ve realized from volunteering at PMIH?

    Getting the chance to meet people and see how project management can be applied uniformly across different industries. In the short time I’ve been involved I’ve met so many people that have been more than willing to help guide me, offer advice, answer questions, work through problems, etc. And they have come from almost every industry you can think of. Energy, construction, healthcare, IT, financial, education, and many more.

     

    Describe the most interesting/challenging/exciting project you've ever been involved with.

    I started working with the track and field team at LSU in a part-time role as an Operations Assistant immediately after I graduated. In the first few weeks, my coach told me he wanted to start having an annual banquet that would celebrate the accomplishments of both the current and previous team members, and he wanted me to plan and execute it. Several months later we hosted the inaugural LSU Track and Field Team Awards and Alumni Recognition Banquet. It was a great success with around 450 people attending, and I’m proud to say the banquet is still going strong today.

    Planning and hosting that first year, and the following years after that, really helped me develop as a professional. I got immediate and significant experience in event planning, event management, budgeting, contract negotiation, working with vendors, leading a team, and developing better organizational and communication skills. It definitely propelled me forward in my career in multiple ways.

     

    Last words!

    I got involved with PMI during a somewhat trying time in my life, and the opportunities to attend meetings, meet new people, and get involved with the organization really helped push me through that time and into a much better place today. I’m very grateful for all PMI has given me in this short time frame, and I hope to continue being able to give back to the organization moving forward.

     

    Technical Writing for Project Managers

    Thomas Goebel, Director of Communications, PMI Houston

    At first, I thought that the title of this blog might be misleading. I wanted to address the technique of writing for Project Managers as clients, and I thought that people might think that it was more of a tutorial to teach Project Managers about how to do technical writing.

    In reality, it’s both.

    The casual observer might ask, “What’s the difference? You can either write for a technical audience or you can’t.” Completely understandable. After all, technical writing consists of some basic precepts or pre-conditions: you must be able to write (okay, okay … you have to pay attention to grammar and spelling), you must be succinct with a to-the-point writing style, you must be able to interpret the message your client wishes to convey, you must be accurate, and so on.

    The Project Management community, though, is a separate breed, and it behooves the writer to have some weighty experience with the animal. There is language, for starters. No, I’m not talking about jargon, although some project management lingo has worked its way into buzz speak. This language typically means something. Stakeholder, free float, life cycle – these are just a few terms that have already weaseled their way into the business lexicon. They’re there. You need to know them.

    More important is knowledge of the processes and methodologies used by disciplined project managers. If the technical writer is fortunate enough to have earned a PMP® (Project Management Professional) certification, he or she is able to understand the workflows, project sections, sub-strata, and tools (critical path determination, estimating) of the trade. And here we circle back to the specific language that has grown up with the profession to describe these various practices and controls. A thorough grasp of all these is essential when writing processes, manuals, proposals, etc.

    You are not just writing for the project manager, you’re writing for the project.