Starting Projects Off on the Right Foot

Starting Projects Off on the Right Foot

Getting Through Initiation and Early Planning Phases Successfully


Mark Tolbert, PMP, PMI-ACP

Senior Instructor
Best Practices Training, LLC

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

This page is from a past PMIWDC event.

If this is not what you were looking for, visit the Fair Lakes Luncheons page to find out about upcoming events, or read more about why PMIWDC does not delete these pages.

Event Location

Avaya Government Solutions, Jesse Brown Conference Room
12730 Fair Lakes Circle
Fairfax, VA, 22203

Agenda and Cost:

11:30 am: Check in and Networking
12:00 pm: Presentation
12:45 pm: Q&A
1:00 pm: Meeting Concludes

Membership in PMI is not required and there is no charge for attending this event, but preregistration is required.

About the Program

We all imagine starting off a new project, and having the time to initiate and plan things properly. We all envision having time to: • See that a formal Project Charter is issued by the Sponsor, and that it addresses all the key points: the business case, initial constraints, assumptions, risks and an idea of how the project will be resourced. Also, initial estimates of time and cost, and thoughts on what product best meets the business need should be defined. • Identify Stakeholders carefully and build the Stakeholder Register • Carefully start progressively elaborating beyond the Charter, and create the Project Management Plan. Of course, this entails: ­ - Gathering requirements ­ - Creating the Scope Statement and the WBS ­ - Developing the Schedule ­ - Estimating costs and then determining the Budget ­ - Defining risks and risk response plans ­ - Creating other subsidiary plans such as the Quality plan, Communications plan, HR plan, and so forth! But of course, in reality, it seems we rarely have time to get this all done! – Or, at least, get it done the right way. It seems that in all too many cases, our projects start out “Red!” We have impossible constraints to deal with, and expectations from the customer and senior management that we don’t know we will be able to meet. Years ago, Dr. Steven Meier, a high-level DoD program manager, provided an excellent and sobering presentation on problems plaguing a number of large DoD weapons systems such as the F22. He started out his presentation by saying, “When projects fail, they fail at the very beginning.” To make matters even more difficult, our project worlds today are often more complex, demanding and difficult than they were just a couple of decades ago. Marketplaces are more competitive and volatile, and we’re also often dealing with global marketplaces and competition. The bar is constantly being raised to a higher level. In this presentation we will look at some of the things that classically go wrong in the early stages of projects, and some of the possible choices we have for avoiding these mistakes.

Special Instructions: 

If you have any questions, please contact

PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs

About the Speaker

Mark Tolbert, PMP, PMI-ACP

Best Practices Training, LLC
Senior Instructor

Mark Tolbert is a certified PMP, and also a PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner). Mark brings more than 25 years of practical project and program management expertise to the classroom and is methodical about transferring his knowledge and best practices for studying for the PMP Certification Exam each and every time he teaches a class. Mark is very passionate about project management and believes adopting the best project management practices and skills is crucial to the success of enterprises today.

Since November 2003, Mark has taught courses in PMP Certification Prep, project management, and Agile project management to clients around the globe including the Project Management Institute Washington, DC Chapter (PMIWDC), the U.S Bureau of the Census, BRMI, Henkel Corporation, Vista Technologies, Human Solutions Corporation, Providge Consulting and open enrollment programs across the United States. The majority of his PMP Prep students have a first-time success rate for PMP students in his classes has consistently exceeded 95%.

Prior to teaching, Mark spent 27 years at Hewlett-Packard where he successfully managed support programs and project teams including a large E-Selling program, a multi-vendor support program for a large telecommunications company, data center relocation projects, and Mobile Device Management programs.

Mark has been an active PMIWDC Chapter member and volunteer for the past 21 years serving on a number of board positions including most recently (from 2009 through 2012) serving on the board as the Trustee for the chapter. He has also taught PMP Prep classes for the chapter membership for the past fifteen years.

Mark is a long-time resident of Northern Virginia and currently lives in Annandale with his wife Linda. They have three boys who are all working in information technology careers today.

About the Fair Lakes Luncheons

PMIWDC's free monthly brown bag luncheons in Fair Lakes Virginia.

PMI Membership is not required, nor is preregistration. This forum provides local education, networking and the opportunity for certified program managers to earn continuing education credits (PDUs).

If you have any questions, please contact

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