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Note from the CEO

I hope everyone is enjoying the cooler weather as we enter the Fall season. For the past two years I have served as chair of the Tickle College of Engineering Board of Advisors at the University of Tennessee. It is with great satisfaction that I share with you what an honor and privilege it has been to have served as the college’s first female chair. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with so many exceptional people across the entire college. As a Board of Advisors, we are especially focused on closing the gap that exists for women and other underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. During my tenure, I witnessed an increase in all of these populations and am so proud of all the hard work the Board has specifically put into the biennial WomEngineers Day and the success of that initiative.

Women make up only 28 percent of the workforce employed in STEM-specific roles. Only 12 percent of female college students will graduate with a degree in science and just three percent will hold a STEM-related job 10 years after graduation; so we still have long way to go.

At Management Solutions we believe this matters for two significant reasons. For women, STEM careers are significantly more lucrative than non-STEM jobs, with women in STEM earning 33 percent more than women in other careers. Closing the gender gap in science can help to close gender gaps in income. Second, for organizations, women with STEM degrees can help to solve significant talent shortages being experienced by a variety of industries. A good example is the projected shortage of over 15 million project management and project controls professionals.

As a woman who founded a STEM business in Southern Appalachia, I have always wondered why there weren’t more people at the table who looked like me. That is why I am so passionate about supporting the next generation of project management and project controls professionals, especially women and those from historically underrepresented backgrounds.

After years of championing secondary and post-secondary education for women, as well as providing scholarships and internships, Management Solutions took a bold step in launching Talent Solutions earlier this year. This new company is dedicated to delivering customized project controls training programs and career placement opportunities. A major objective of Talent Solutions will be to create expanded career opportunities for women and other underrepresented populations in STEM. 

Misty Mayes, CEO
Profile of a Certified Organizational Change Management Specialist

We asked one of our division managers, Scott Major, PMP, CLSS, CCMP to provide some insights on his experience and journey to becoming a certified, organizational change management specialist. 

Can you describe your role at Management Solutions?
I am a Division Manager, who is responsible for the amazing people and clients for the Management Services division of Management Solutions. Our division uses competencies in project management, process improvement, and organizational change management amongst others to provide solutions to our clients' complex needs. Much of the work that I do day to day involves being a practitioner of those competencies to best serve my clients.

How did you get started in organizational change management?
The short answer is that if you are involved in any type of organizational change, you are involved in change management, you just might not be optimizing that capability. Organizational change management, a lot like project management, is something many of us are already doing whether we are formally trained or call ourselves change managers. I was certified as a Change Manager by Prosci® in 2019. According to PMI, projects were only delivered on time 53 percent of the time and within budget 59% of the time. Having been involved in project management for over 15 years, it was easy to see that most of the challenges associated with delivering projects on time and on budget centered around people-related issues. This led me to the realization that I must do something different to expect a better result. Organizational change management was a logical choice since it is focused on the people side of change.

Secrets of Sustainable Organizational Change Management Implementation

According to the Harvard Business Review, nearly 58 percent of the businesses that participated in their change survey in 2020 reported that they will need to reinvent their businesses to survive. From restructuring to changes in leadership, fundamental overhauls can make huge waves in the workforce, creating unrest and potential resistance or push back from employees. This can be detrimental for any company needing to implement change. 

Any leader who has led a major change program knows that even the most carefully planned programs can fail because of poor implementation. Organizations and their leaders should never assume that all employees understand the reason behind the change. Ensuring your people fully grasp and adopt the changes will make for more successful outcomes and sustainable acceptance of those shifts. 

Leading successful change in other people and across whole organizations requires new thinking and new tools. The secret to true change requires a cultural and organizational shift and it starts by knowing how to facilitate change with one person. Change happens at the individual level.
Successfully Collaborate and Complete Projects in the Remote Working Era

Brookings Institute estimates that up to half of U.S. workers are now telecommuting and that this trend will likely continue even after the pandemic subsides. This will present unique challenges for project managers. While working virtually can help attract and retain top talent from anywhere in the world, managing remote teams often adds significant complexity to projects. It also requires project managers to employ new techniques and tools to overcome the challenges. Also, just because people are working in separate offices doesn’t mean projects don’t have to be delivered on schedule. Here are some recommendations as to how managers can help their dispersed teams overcome challenges and create successful outcomes. 

Upcoming Speaking Engagements for Management Solutions

CEO Misty Mayes will be serving on a panel discussion for the ETEBA Business Opportunities and Technical Conference planned for October 13-15, 2020. The panel, "Bridge to the Future Workforce" takes place at 11 a.m. on October 14. She and other business leaders will share insights on how they interview for hiring success, adaptations they've had to make during COVID, and how they integrate new employees into their companies for long-term employment.

Misty will also be speaking at the Project Controls Expo Virtual in November where she will be introducing Management Solutions and Talent Solutions to the European marketplace. Project Controls Expo is the world’s largest Project Controls event dedicated to its advancement and to provide significant awareness on its processes, tools, and techniques to its stakeholders. The event will have global representation with many industry leaders and other delegates speaking at and attending from around the world. 

On October 25, 2020, Scott Major and Rob Delamain are speaking with UT’s Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program on Dashboards and Data Analytics in the project management world.