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Report about recent activities of International Relations Committee (IRC; 国際委員会)

2013年11月26日

 International Relations Committee (IRC ; 国際委員会)under umbrella of PMI Japan is a formal group of PMP qualified English speaking personnel, both expatriates as well as local residents, who share common interest in Project Management. The Mission of the International Relations Committee is to import new knowledge to the community of Japanese Project Managers and to export Japanese best practices to the Global Community of Project Managers.
For PMIJ, IRC has vital role to play as one of the gateway to the outside world.
In the past, IRC has undertaken various activities like visits and speeches to the other PMI components, participation in international events on behalf of PMIJ, volunteer work for PMIJ national & overseas events as well as training of participants in JICA program, etc. This report introduces recent activities of IRC to invite new members.

IRC sessions are held once a month, mostly at PMIJ Tokyo office. Lately, there has been increase in members who attend from remote place in virtual world, made possible by web-savvy IRC Chairman Mr Robert Higgins. Web based participation from Okinawa and other far off places is not unusual. Project Management related presentation from as far as Australia were conducted successfully in the past. Those who prefer to attend remotely are advised to adhere to published web etiquettes and guidelines. All discussion takes place in English and sometimes bilingual assistance is available. It is a unique committee under PMIJ where congenial, professional interest towards project management is nurtured by working professionals. For its long-standing members, IRC provides opportunities to take part in conferences, networking and PMIJ related volunteering.

A few recent sessions are illustrated below to give better understanding of the IRC.

September 2013 IRC session

 Mr Elhabib Abdelfattah, PMP gave an impressive presentation about "Challenges facing PM of Foreign Origin at Japanese Business Environment". His in-depth analysis was about an expatriate Project Manager armed with extraordinary academic qualifications, leading a team of native as well as expatriate members for a Japanese client. Attendants to this session learnt what could be really challenging, from self-analysis made by the speaker. Language and culture are considered basic barriers for foreign origin Project Manager. These can be overcome with systematic study, longer stay in Japan. But more than that is the trust that a PM has to earn by virtue of his qualities and assimilation in the team. Beginning from a remote village in Sudan with a journey spanning 3 continents made with grit and determination, Mr Elhabib Abdelfattah shared first-hand experience and his decade and half academic+ working experience in Japan. With increasing trend and number of global projects in Japan involving global plus local teams, across varied time zones, diverse work cultures and many languages, it was a presentation worth cherishing.   IPA1.jpgMr. Alhabib Abdelfattah- PMP:
Start of presentation

October 2013 IRC Session

 Mr Daniel Monahan, PgMP and Mr Mohammed Faiz, PMP presented the origins of Agile Program Management as well as the basics of Agile Scrum and how it differs from traditional project management. The concept of Agile projects originated in Japan almost 30 years ago. Its application to IT domain has opened a new window. Not disclosing the finer details at the workplace but giving an overall view of Agile and Scrum related to international web-shopping sites like Amazon and insurance companies, Dan and Faiz (as they are known in their close circle) gave insights into this thriving project management branch with framework diagrams. Participants learnt that Agile is an iterative model of development releases, with development cycle divided into small sessions called sprints, and each sprint produces a potentially workable product. A cross-functional team works with product owner, interacting on a daily basis to develop and release features after each sprint. Agile is considered lean and value driven framework. PMI has acknowledged demands of this changing environment agile projects and created a credential that offers PMI-ACP certification. (Ref. http://www.pmi.org/Certification/New-PMI-Agile-Certification.aspx). Dan is a trilingual and a one of the few practicing certified Program Manager (PgMP) in Japan. Faiz too is multi-lingual speaker and professional managing complex onshore and offshore diverse project teams.
The presentation was followed by Q & A from participants, some of whom were exposed to Agile Scrum for the first time.

 IPA2.jpg

Courtesy: Neon Rain Interactive

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November 2013 IRC Session

 Mr Robert Higgins PMP, who currently chairs IRC 2nd year in a row, gave an introduction about Information Technology Service Management (ITSM). Robert advised those in IT domain to learn about ITSM. Every Project Manager can utilize some of the processes described in ITSM in their projects. For example from an ITSM perspective a Project Manager is providing an information Service to stakeholders. They can use the ITSM Processes “Demand Management”, “Service Catalog Management” to answer the question “What information and how are we capable of delivering it to our Stakeholders?" ITIL is the Information Technology Information Library woven around 3 Ps, i.e. Process, People and Product. Robert illustrated with framework diagrams related to ITSM and ITIL showing that Services and projects have a lifecycle from start to finish. He gave a first-hand information about certification leading to ITIL qualification, having acquired one himself recently. More information can be found in URL http://www.itil-officialsite.com/

For those who know former IRC Chairman and later vice-chairman Dr. Jin Sasaki, he has assumed charge as PPP Specialist in Asian Development Bank (ADB) at its Manila headquarters. PMIJ and IRC held a small farewell session to convey their appreciation for his credible, long inning at IRC. Dr Sasaki has promised to keep close contact with IRC, whenever time permits him.

PMIJ members are welcome to join IRC.
URL: https://www.pmi-japan.org/session/committee/global.php
Email: irccomm_2012@pmi-japan.org

Reported by: Rajeev Supekar P. Eng., PMP (PMIJ- IRC Vice- chairman)