Staff Members

Tom Mochal

Tom Mochal is an expert instructor and consultant on project management, project management offices, development lifecycle, portfolio management, application support, people management and other related areas.

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Tom Mochal has taught hundreds of classes to thousands of students in his work as a speaker, instructor, and consultant for organizations and companies around the world.

Open a printable list of presentations and speakers.

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Credentials / Accomplishments

Tom’s certifications include Project Management Professional (PMP®), Program Management Professional (PgMP®), Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP), and PMI-ACP (Agile) certifications from Project Management Institute (PMI), as well as the Safe Program Consultant (SPC4) certification from Scaled Agile, Inc.  He is a member of the American Management Association (AMA), American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (asapm®), Atlanta, Georgia (USA) chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI), Association of Strategic Planners (ASP), and the International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA).

As a writer who has been widely published, Mr. Mochal’s credits include the books Lessons in People Management, (BookSurge, 2005) and Lessons in Project Management, (Apress, Inc., 2003), as well as over 750 columns and articles on the subjects of project management, people management, organizational process management and the development life-cycle.

During his 35 years of project management and people management experience, Tom has worked for Eastman Kodak, Cap Gemini, The Coca-Cola Company, and most recently, TenStep, Inc. (since 2002).

Tom is a recipient of the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Project Management Institute (PMI)

 

Presentation Topics Offered:

Conference Presentation

“Applying Governance on Projects”: Governance is the term used to describe the creation and enforcement of your processes, policies and standards. There are two components – defining good processes and enforcing them. Governance is a top-down management process and requires each manager to be accountable for ensuring their direct reports follow the rules.

Implementing good project management practices requires some level of governance. The governance is typically applied by the manager of the project manager and the sponsor. These managers don’t need to be involved in every detail of the project. However, there are a number of areas where they need to be involved to make sure the project is progressing as it should.

The purpose of this presentation is to explain the role of governance on projects and explain the likely touchpoints where the governance is applied.

“A Worldwide Tour of Quality Management Practices”: Companies and organizations all over the world are trying to become more quality focused. This has lead to a multitude of different quality management practices. Some of the programs, such as Six Sigma, are well known although perhaps not well understood. Many of the programs are only known by the practitioners. The purpose of this presentation is to briefly introduce many of these quality management practices, from total quality management to Kaizen to Poka-Yoke and more. It is an interesting look at the diversity of quality practices.

“An Overview of Agile Development Practices”: For many years, there were two major approaches for structuring Information Technology (IT) development projects – traditional waterfall or iterative development. In the last few years, however, new approaches have surfaced that fall under the general category of “light” methodologies. Calling them methodologies is probably too broad a word. It might be better to refer to them as development approaches, or even philosophies. The purpose of this session is to provide an overview of the terminology and concepts of light methodologies, using Agile, Scrum and Extreme Programming as examples. By the end of the session you will see why these light processes are exciting and unique. You will also have enough information to think about whether they might work in your organization.

“Using Project Management as an Enabler”:  Projects are the way that your company moves toward its desired future state. Project management is an enabler to help you execute these projects successfully. This session looks at discreet project management processes and describes how each process enables a project manager to achieve project success.  We will quickly discuss the history of project management, why project management is important and applying project management as a value-added enabler to project success.

“Measuring the Value of a PMO – The PMO Scorecard”: We often state that a PMO must provide value to the organization or else it is likely to be cut or eliminated. Many PMOs struggle trying to show this value. This is generally for two reasons. First, many PMOs simply don’t provide much value. Therefore it is hard to justify the work that the PMO performs. The second reason, and probably more common, is that the PMO is providing value, but it has a hard time articulating and measuring the value provided. If you fit this second category (providing value but don’t know how to measure) this presentation will help. We will discuss the creation of a PMO Scorecard.

“Portfolio Management Demystified”: No company has the resources to meet all of its business needs. This is true in the best of times. It certainly is even truer when times are tough. Even if your company is a rare one that has all the money it needs, you definitely do not have the people to complete everything you would like. Portfolio management is a process to ensure that your company spends its scarce resources on the work that is of the most value to your company, and work that is most closely aligned to your business goals and strategies.  You will leave with tactics and strategies you can immediately apply to improving or building your own portfolio management process.

“Successfully Market Your PMO”: Many PMOs aren’t articulating the value of their PMO to their organization. The result is that the PMOs may be considered overhead. In this presentation we will discuss why PMOs need to do a better job in value-based communication, and share practical tips and techniques you can apply in your own organization. You will learn a framework for creating a Communication Plan for the PMO and how to focus on value-based vs. activity-based communication. You will leave with tactics and strategies you can immediately apply to improving or building your own PMO.

“Green Project Management”: The world is going green. We are collectively realizing that we do not have an unlimited amount of air or water or space to continue to utilize resources as we have done in the past. How can we apply these “green” concepts to our project management discipline? One obvious way is that we can manage green projects more efficiently. The sooner that project ends, the sooner the green benefits will be achieved.

Most project managers however, do not manage these kinds of projects. Most of us manage projects such as installing a new software package or upgrading network infrastructure. How can these projects become more environmentally friendly?

The answer is Green Project Management (GreenPM). Green project management is a model where we think green throughout our project and make decisions that take into account the impact on the environment – if any. It is a way to ingrain “GreenThink” into every project management process.

“Now is the Time to Assess for Success”: Organizations all over the world are trying to get better at project management. For the vast majority of companies this means using their own employee backgrounds and experiences to map a course for improvement. This approach is fine but it also limiting. Different people have different views for what an optimized project management organization looks like.

The good news is that there are models that can be used to define an optimal future state. You can use these assessment models to assess your organization. If you are not yet at an optimized state (and few organizations are) the assessments can show you the best practices that you need to implement to get there.  In this session we will discuss assessments in general, and two models in particular – OPM3 from PMI and aPRO from asapm. You will learn the value associated with an organization assessment, plus an overview of these two project management standards.

Business Conference“Implementing Value-Add, Scalable Project Management Processes”: Project management processes must provide value to a project, and the way to make sure that they provide value is to make sure they are scalable. Large projects need more rigorous processes. Small projects need lighter, agile processes. This presentation will explore the concept of implementing value-added, scalable project management processes. It is a must-view presentation for PMOs and organizations trying to implement good project management without getting too bureaucratic.

“Keeping the Focus on a Value-Add PMO”: PMOs generally focus on building environments where projects can be successful. The nature of PMOs, however, is that they can quickly be viewed as an overheard organization that create processes and templates and is a barrier to the swift completion of projects. Of course, that is the opposite of what they should be doing. In fact, the focus of the PMO should be to help projects execute better, faster and cheaper.

The way to avoid this is by adopting the philosophy of a “value-add PMO”. Of course, your PMO may have one idea of value and others may have a different idea. The purpose of this presentation is to explain the context for understanding what “value” is so that the PMO is truly aligned toward value-add work.

“Management’s Role in a Project Driven Culture”: Most organizations implement project management in an ad-hoc manner. These organizations focus on the project managers and provide them with training and templates. This is a good start, but it is not going to result in a strong project-driven culture. In fact, the majority of problems encountered in culture change initiatives of this type originate in the management ranks. These managers typically think it is up to the project managers to deploy project management successfully, but in reality the success or failure of the initiative is within their control. All of the management hierarchy has a key role to play in ensuring their organizations successfully implement the project management discipline. This presentation describes the role of management in creating this project-driven culture.

“Managing Outsourced Projects”: Outsourcing project work is more common today than ever. In the past many managers felt that if they outsourced the work, they also outsourced the problems. Most managers today know that this is not the case. Even though you outsource work, you cannot outsource your obligation to make sure the project is progressing smoothly.

Unfortunately, in many instances, the vendor does not perform against expectations. Tune into this presentation to hear the key elements and techniques for managing your critical outsourced projects.

“Managing Small Projects”: Much of the work that you do can be organized as a project. When the projects are large, they need to be managed with formal project management discipline.

But many projects are not large. They are small work efforts that need to be organized and managed efficiently, but not with the full rigor and structure of formal project management discipline. These are the projects of accountants, teachers, administrators and many others. These projects represent the vast majority of all work executed in businesses all over the world.

This presentation describes fundamental work management techniques and skills for these non-project management professionals. Attendees will see how to understand the work that is requested, how to organize the work, how to manage the work and how to execute the work.

“New Insights into Project Scheduling”: The Project Charter and Scope Statement describe “what” your project will achieve. The schedule tells you “how” you are going to achieve it. This presentation will focus on the project schedule and how to make it more valuable to your project. We will start with some fundamentals that you know but have probably forgotten. Then we will proceed into approaches and techniques to provide new insight into scheduling. We think you will find some new ideas and new motivations for the traditional project schedule.

“The TenStep Approach for Gathering Business Requirements”: One of the primary reasons that projects struggle is that the project team does not fully understand the customer requirements. This leads to rework, missed expectations, extensive changes and ultimately missed deadlines and budgets. The project team must meet the needs and expectations of the client to be successful. These client needs and expectations are set through the gathering and agreement on the requirements of the final solution. Gathering requirements involves more than just asking a few questions and then building the solution. Projects with any degree of complexity need a formal process to ensure that all of the requirements are accurately gathered, reviewed, documented and approved.

In this presentation, we will discuss the TenStep model for gathering requirements – elicitation, validation, specification and verification. You will see it is a logical model that you can implement on your projects.

“Tips to Turn Around a “Project-Challenged” Organization”: Let’s face it. Most of us don’t work in best-in-class project organizations. Most of us don’t work in worst-in-class organizations either – although many of you might say you are closer to this designation. The fact is that too many organizations have basic problems executing projects. Let’s just call them “challenged”. In other words, projects seem to get done in spite of the challenges that are presented from the organization. The projects rely on heroics from project managers and team members. They have to since your organization does not have good processes that you can repeat over and over again for project success.

In this presentation we will discuss some characteristics of challenged organizations. That is the easy part. The presentation will also provide insight into ways to solve the challenges and elevate your organization to a higher level. That is the hard part. We won’t set expectations that there is one technique or approach that will magically make everything perfect. But there are logical techniques and approaches that can help you improve. This presentation will help you decide which ones make sense for your organization.

“Understanding Program Management”: Some people think that a program is just a large project. That is not the case. The program is an umbrella organization designed to coordinate the work of many, many projects to ensure that the projects end up delivering a common, integrated solution. There are unique work processes that are used to manage a program. There are also changes to the project management processes for projects that run within a program.

In this presentation you will see the differences between projects and programs. You will also learn an overall model for establishing, planning and executing programs.

“Strategic Planning Using the LEAD™ Model”: Organizations set goals and strategies to define their desired future state. Everything else falls out from there – portfolios, programs, projects, operations, etc. TenStep Strategic Services has a strategic planning model called LEAD to help organizations set the correct goals and strategies and to ensure that the work aligns to support them.

  • Assess current organization
  • Establish goals and strategies to achieve the future state.
  • Create an action plan to close the gaps.
  • Convert your action plans into the tangible projects.

This presentation describes the LEAD model and how it helps you activate your strategic plan.

“Optimizing Your Portfolio”: No company has the resources to meet all of its business needs. This is true in the best of times. It certainly is even truer when times are tough. Portfolio management is a process to ensure that your company spends its scarce resources on the work that is of the most value to your company, and work that is most closely aligned to your business goals and strategies. Portfolio Management has three major components

  1. Portfolio planning which takes work from an idea to a project.
  2. Portfolio execution, which is staffing and managing the active portfolio of work.
  3. Portfolio harvesting which is gaining and tracking the benefits of the work

You will leave with ideas you can immediately apply to optimizing your own portfolio management process.

“Building, Marketing and Measuring a Value-Add PMO”: PMOs generally focus on building environments where projects can be successful. The nature of PMOs, however, is that they can quickly be viewed as an overheard organization that create processes and templates and is a barrier to the swift completion of projects. Of course, that is the opposite of what they should be doing. In fact, the focus of the PMO should be to help projects execute better, faster and cheaper.

The way to avoid this is by adopting the philosophy of a “Value-add PMO”. Of course, your PMO may have one idea of value and others may have a different idea. The purpose of this presentation is to explain the context for understanding what “value” is so that the PMO is truly aligned toward value-add work. Once we are convinced the PMO is delivering value, you also need to market and measure this value so others are aware as well.

You will learn about all three concepts in this presentation.

“Programs are Not Just Large Projects. Here Are The Differences.”: Some people think that a program is just a large project. That is not the case. The program is an umbrella organization designed to coordinate the work of many, many projects to ensure that the projects end up delivering a common, integrated solution. There are unique work processes that are used to manage a program. There are also changes to the project management processes for projects that run within a program.

In this presentation you will see the differences between projects and programs. You will also learn an overall model for establishing, planning and executing programs.

“Global Projects – Global Challenges: Today, business is more complex than ever before. Technology, resources, people and ideas can be acquired from all around the world. It makes both operations and projects increasingly complex and international. What does it mean for project managers? How should they deal with extremely risky global environment? What are the ways to establish successful cooperation among people representing different cultures? Of course, we also have to achieve our project objectives on-time and within budget.  TenStep is also a global company and we understand these challenges. Attend this session to learn tips and traps for managing global projects.

 

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