November PM Tools - "Implementing a Corporate PM Community of Practice"

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Event Date

“Implementing a Corporate Project Management Community of Practice
Lessons Learned and Best Practices”


Aaron Hall, PMP
Carolyn Hennings, PMP
Melissa Frescholtz

View the presentation slides (PDF)

Location and Cost


PM Tools is always free of charge, and registration is not required.


Every third Tuesday of each month, at 5:30,
Immediately before the monthly chapter dinner.


Sheraton Premiere at
Tysons Corner
8661 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA

About the Program

Implementing a Corporate Project Management Community of Practice Lessons Learned and Best Practices

This presentation is intended to share AOL's experiences throughout its 3-year journey of implementing and operationalizing a Project Management (PM) Community of Practice (CoP).  Three speakers from rather different corporate functions will share their unique perspectives as AOL's PM CoP leaders - a Senior Project Manager in AOL's technology organization, a Senior Program Manager in AOL's Human Resources organization, and a Director from AOL's enterprise project support organization.  Questions to consider when establishing a community of practice, as well as examples of best practices learned from the AOL PM CoP effort, will be actively shared and discussed.  An actionable guide with highlights will be distributed to all attendees.

About the Speaker

Melissa Frescholtz is a true old-timer at AOL, starting with the company in 1994 after graduating from Virginia Tech with a BS in Human Resources. Over her career at AOL, Melissa primarily worked within the Human Resources department, serving in a number of roles including HR Generalist, HR Manager, AOL University Program Manager and most recently as an Instructional Designer within the AOL Learning Design Center. As the Program Manager of AOL University she administered a company-wide project management training and needs assessment. The findings from this assessment drove the need to establish the Project Management Community of Practice (PM CoP).  With the help of a core group of very dedicated Project Managers from across the organization, she pursued and maintained the establishment of this community, serving as co-leader of the CoP Steering Committee and as leader of the Learning and Development sub-committee. While not a true Project Manager by title, Melissa has built some invaluable core project management skills from her involvement with the PM Community of Practice.  Melissa also holds an MS degree in Human Resources from Marymount University and perhaps a PMP certification could be in her future.

Aaron Hall, PMP is currently Vice President of Program Management at K12, a technology-based curriculum and instructional tools development organization that is committed to excellence in education.  In this role, he is responsible for leading and overseeing all programs within K12’s Product Development group, to include accountability for all Program Management staff, identification and implementation of best practices, and delivery of results that contribute to a world class educational product development capability.  Prior to K12, Aaron was a Director at AOL LLC where he had various project, functional, and technical management roles, to include having global responsibility for the portfolio/program management of AOL’s mobile product and service offerings, leading AOL's Enterprise Project Office, and building/managing several technology program/project management teams; he also co-founded/co-led AOL's Project Management Community of Practice.  Prior to AOL, Aaron led the .biz internet domain registry implementation and Project Support Office at NeuStar, served as an implementation lead on several global technology projects with Convergys Corporation, and was an engineer in the government services realm with BDM.  He is also a decorated US Army Reserve officer who has served for over 17 years in multiple information technology, aviation, engineering, and logistics assignments throughout the world.  Aaron is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), has a Master of Engineering Management degree and Master’s Certificate in Project Management from The George Washington University, and has a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech.  He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Project Management Institute, Washington, DC Chapter, the largest non-profit professional society of its kind in the world.

Carolyn Hennings, PMP has over 15 years experience helping IT organizations understand and advance their operational and project management processes. Carolyn’s current role focuses on IT Service Management processes at AOL LLC. She also founded and co-led AOL's Project Management Community of Practice.
Carolyn Hennings maintains the following certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP®), ITIL® Service Manager, Certified Business Analyst. Previous paper presentations include “Proposing a Project Office for a Service Organization” at the 1999 Project Management Institute Symposium.


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