Wizard of Oz Dorothy

PMP’s, RACI’s and SIPOC’s, oh my!  I understand how Dorothy Gale felt in “The Wizard of Oz” movie  when she told her little dog, Toto, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”  Having been a paralegal for the majority of my career, I’m now being immersed in the language of project management.   As with many fields, the world of project management comes with its own set of acronyms.

PMP refers to the Project Management Professional certification which is a globally recognized certification awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a not-for-profit organization and one of the world’s largest project management professional associations.   To be certified as a PMP, PMI requires an individual  to have a four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) and at least three years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education or a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent) with at least five years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.   As if that isn’t enough training, there is also a continuous certification requirement to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs – another acronym!) per three-year cycle.   At netlogx we are fortunate to benefit from the knowledge of  team members who are PMP certified.

I now understand when someone says RACI, they aren’t referring to risqué behavior, but rather Responsible, Accountable, Consulting and Informed.    RACI is tool used in describing and clarifying the various roles of responsibility for completing tasks or deliverables for a project or business process.

SIPOC is a Lean/Six Sigma tool that summarizes the inputs and outputs of one or more processes in table form.  It helps to identify the Suppliers, Inputs, Processes and Outputs.  At netlogx, we use the SIPOC to then develop metrics to measure outcomes for quality, cycle time and cost.  Or to put it in terms embraced at netlogx: how to do something better, faster and cheaper.

Speaking of Lean/Six Sigma, which is a set of tools and strategies for process improvement, netlogx is fortunate to have two master Black Belts and one Black Belt.   I learned that the Six Sigma training uses the color belt system similar to karate to denote the different certified skill levels.  These guys are the Wizards of Project Management and really know how to kick a project into shape.    Because the concepts of Lean/Six Sigma are such an important tool used for our clients at netlogx, all team members at netlogx are required to be trained at least at the Green Belt level.  I plan to attend the next training series and then I, too, will be able to use those project management acronyms like a pro.

Quote:  It’s always better to speak the language of the team. Not only for the direct contact with everyone – sometimes it also helps you to understand the mentality of the people in the team a bit better. – Alain Prost.