201005280018Summary: The Footprints – My Decade Testimonies (Chap 4~5)

Chapter Four- Crisis and Opportunity


When I decided to bring project management to Taiwan , it was principally due to my passion for the subject matter coupled with my desire to make organizations throughout the country more effective and efficient as a result of the art and practice of new discipline. I was also motivated by the belief that others who shared a similar set of interests would share my passion and behave unselfishly and enthusiastically to work together in a collaborative environment to help each other. Upon reflection, perhaps I was a bit idealistic and naïve. Regrettably there were sad stories of misconduct and actual criminal behavior that created various crises, but also some interesting and unique opportunities.


Despite the early successes of our training programs, I was not totally confident that we would succeed. Roy ’s WANTS was restructured by additional investors, and was eventually taken over by his partner. He left the company because he had a better and stable offer, but he still helped the NPO just as a volunteer. However, the new team had some internal administrative problems, such as the lack of specific control and monitoring of new employees’ performance. Regrettably these lacks of controls led to some unintended consequences that slowed our progress including the lack of ethical conduct that I’ll discuss momentarily.


I made the conscious choice between being only a “Symbolic Leader,” or a “Dedicated Worker” without any pay. I have always chosen my role as the latter, working as a “full-time volunteer” and working part-time. To do this well, I had to delegate my staff to take care of the day-by-day operations.


In the spring of 2002, my appointed Secretary General hired a person named Kevin who was recognized as a marketing expert, and who worked for our Chapter at a salary level below what he was could have been paid in the open market. He said he wished to accept this job at a lower compensation level because he loved to learn about project management. In fact, this turned out to be quite a deception. Kevin intentionally stole/copied our training materials, administrative processes, evaluation forms, marketing documents, plans, and customer information, etc. He did the same for almost every intellectual property right we had, including the electronic files of our Chinese PMBOK Guide. Several months later he left our organization to establish his own company with his own partners, and, in turn, not only copied our business model, but also used the similar documents and materials we had created. He also hired those instructors, whom we had previously trained using our CPMP program with the PMP certificate, and then competed with us with a relatively cheaper price. Kevin’s company also published a Traditional Chinese PMBOK Guide, which was an outright infringement of our own copyright. What a disaster! We were obviously (and sadly) forced to take legal actions that were determined to halt his illegal actions, but also to serve as a warning to other potential copycats.


At the same time I was at a significant cross road in my life. I could either remain as a senior Air Force Colonel waiting for the high possibility of promotion to a one-star General, or I could retire from military and fully dedicate myself to my beloved PMITW/NPMA. In July 2002, to the surprise of many, I decided to leave my 26-year military career, and from that day forth settled into my new life running the offices of PMITW/NPMA.


Now it was time for some serious decision-making on my part. My very first act as leader was to fire all the unproductive and incompetent members of the staff. I then promoted the deputy, Pamela Ma, to be the Secretary General. I also chose to earn my own living by teaching project management in local Universities and PMITW/NPMA’s public classes.  And finally, I made a concerted effort to create and develop my new team – one of the biggest tasks of all.


In October 2002, a California-based company, Project Solutions International Group (PSIG), took over and reorganized the previous company that used to partner with PMITW/NPMA. As one of the original investors of PSIG, I was appointed as Chairman of the Board, and I invited Benny Cheng to join us. Then was born a new team composed of Benny, Pamela, Fay, and Amy – with me as the leader.


In late 2001, PMI requested that all its components outside the USA to be legally registered/incorporated in their local countries. The name of NPMA was not accepted as an allied party by PMI and it couldn’t be changed as a foreign NPO representative in Taiwan . So, NPMA’s secretariat office spent two years to register PMITW (it took this long due to some difficulties in establishing an entity as a subsidiary of a foreign NPO according to local governmental regulations).


After the completion of the required processes, the name of PMITW was finally accepted and officially registered/incorporated in April 2003 in Ministry of Interior of the ROC government. The name translated in Chinese as “International Project Management Institute Taiwan subsidiary.” In September 2003, I submitted the official registration document to PMI-GOC, while I was attending the global congress in Baltimore , and I received the renew charter. Since then, PMITW has been independent from NPMA by establishing a different Board of directors, a separated part-time Secretary/staff, different website, different location, different logo, and serving the members only from the registration through PMI. Despite the clear-cut differentiation, there was still confusion by our clientele between the NPMA and PMITW names (change is hard for many people to accept!). Adding to the confusion was my election(s) as President for both these two NPOs which had always co-hosted/organized the monthly lectures and PM conferences/symposiums together.


When I made my presentation at the international conference ( 2003 in Hong Kong, 2005 in Beijing ) I used both PMITW and NPMA’s logos in my slides, and that caused PMI-GOC’s concern about the conflict of interest between the PMP and CPMP, as well as between these two NPOs. Therefore, I was requested to change the name of “CPMP,” due to its infringement of the PMP’s trade mark. I argued that PMI-Taiwan Chapter and NPMA were both building professionalism in project management, but with a different focus - globalization versus localization - and with different values to the applications, as well as satisfying different needs. I also emphasized that PMITW and NPMA were partners, not competitors. I clarified that PMITW did not endorse and help to promote CPMP or any activity solely for NPMA in the past. There was only NPMA help to promote PMP that linked with CPMP program.


Regrettably this explanation was not accepted by GOC, and as a consequence the authorization of the translation of PMBOK Guide (3rd edition) was suspended.  In order not to make any confusion and possible conflict between NPMA and PMITW, I proposed my resignation from NPMA in late 2005. However, since my term of position as the president of NPMA was to be ended in August 2006, NPMA’s BOD asked me to keep my position until the day of the legal termination. For the last couple of months before I left NPMA, I asked the secretariat office to change “CPMP” into “CPPM (Certified Professional Project Manager)” and this change was completed just before my leave. This was communicated was to PMI-GOC which agreed to what we were doing. After I handed over my position as president to my successor at NPMA in the summer of 2006, PMITW and NPMA became completely independent. This lead to the agreement of translation of PMBOK Guide (3rd edition) that was signed in early 2007. 

Chapter Five- Events, Media and Campus


When I pause to look back over ten-year history, I am amazed to think that our small NPO either co-hosted or independently sponsored more that 200 events including monthly lectures, seminars, workshops, symposiums, conferences, forums, field trips, etc.


These events were not only held in Taipei where PMITW/NPMA is located, but also in Hsinchou (the largest Science Park in Taiwan ), Taichung (central part of Taiwan ), and Kaohsiung (southern part) around the island. In addition, PMITW was contracted to develop, design, and facilitate a project management forum in Xiamen , China for Nokia Siemens Networking exclusively for its most important client, China Mobile (the largest telecommunications company in the world). PMITW also co-hosted the International Project Management Forum (IPMF) with PMI-Hong Kong Chapter, and Beijing Tsinghua University in three different locales - Hong Kong, Beijing , and Taipei .


We are very proud of our efforts, but we know that nothing would have been accomplished without the cooperation and support of our many friends throughout the world both inside and outside the PMI community.  I faithfully recorded the names of our 24 friends who are from the US , UK , Canada , Germany , Italy , France , Holland , Malaysia , Singapore , Japan , and Finland . Most of our friends who were invited to Taiwan have been my long-term or even life-long friends that I met at PMI’s annual global congresses since 2001.


Specifically, I would like to thank Dr. William Wells and Dr. Davidson Frame (my wonderful professors who taught me project management in GWU) for their endless support - in fact, Professor Frame has been in Taiwan no less than four times! I can also never forget the contributions from Dr. David Hillson (whom I met Baltimore in 2003), and Dr. Jerry Brightman (whom I met at Costa Mesa in 2002). Each contributed their support for our events on at least three separate occasions (as well-emphasized in the preface). The photos and the remarkable speeches of all our other friends who weren’t specifically referenced here are shown later in chapter eight.


We have always known and respected the impact the media has on educating the public. As a result, we have always considered the use of the media (news paper, magazine/journal, radio station, and television, etc) in our work, and we regard them as our friends for helping broadcast our ideas, knowledge, experiences, and advocacy to the public. PMITW/NPMA has cooperated with the media to promote PMP and to cultivate its prospective market.


Personally, I have been interviewed by at least 10 famous newspapers and magazines since 2001, and these interviews contributed a great deal to the understanding of what project management is and what it could do to make organizations in many sectors more effective and efficient in their work. This information to the public also changed erroneous assumptions and mental models about what project management was in those early years and how it has changed in recent years.


One unforgettable experience I had was when a very famous radio program host and journalist in Taiwan interviewed me over 4 consecutive weeks - each interview lasting 30 minutes! I was very pleased and honored to be invited to do this program in early 2006, especially talking with such a knowledgeable host. Since we spoke during a four-week period, I was able to talk about a wide array of topics embedded in the project management system. The feedback from the radio audiences was quite favorable and widespread. I learned that it even influenced a kindergarten teacher who asked me how to teach project management to her students (you’re never too young to learn project management!). I actually re-connected with two friends with whom I had lost contact for a couple of years who called me for a reunion after listening to this radio program!


The only television interview and presentation I did was in Suzhou , China in 2004, while Jerry (Brightman) was visiting in China . I was in Shanghai hosting a training program while my partner Joseph Chou was helping me before going to Taipei . Ivy arranged this TV program when she was the COO working for my Shanghai subsidiary (PSIG-Shanghai). The Suzhou TV station was recording information about our work for its unique program called “The Elites of Eastern China.” Our threesome was interviewed by a very talented (and beautiful) young lady who was the program host. Joseph and I helped translate Jerry’s English into Chinese, vice versa. We all made our presentations that were recorded for three hours. We even took questions from the studio audience. I know that both Jerry and Joseph enjoyed this interview very much. When this TV program was broadcast two weeks later, we had already left China , and therefore were unable to gauge how influential it was, but each of us received a DVD afterward that each one of us has kept as a very unique and special souvenir. 


In the chapter, I also report how PMITW promoted the CAPM certificate on college campuses from 2008, as a model to the world.  Fortunately, the English reports written by Simon with specific regard to the process of conducting such a road show (for 14 universities) is shown in Chapter eleven.




熊培霖博士(Barry Hsiung, Ph.D., PMP)  現居美國加州的專案管理及旅遊資深顧問、Freelancer專業講師與演講者、專業管理書籍作者、部落客、全球旅行者、國際志工;為PSIG集團/博鴻國際專案管理顧問(股)公司/博鉅盛管理諮詢(上海)有限公司/博聖科技文化有限公司創辦人。曾任十銓科技公司獨立董事、國立中央大學及國立交通大學兼任助理教授、PMI國際專案管理學會台灣分會(PMI-Taiwan)創會及第一、二屆理事長、中華專案管理學會創會及第一、二屆理事長、PMI®全球〝REP註冊教育單位諮詢委員會〞委員、Microsoft 微軟特約講師;有三十年以上領導與參與專案工作的經驗,並曾擔任數億美元的大型系統獲得、商源評選與採購等專案之專案經理與若干研究專案計劃主持人。他擁有美喬治華盛頓大學(The George Washington University)「科技及研發管理」博士學位及系統分析及管理碩士學位、是台灣第一位PMP®專案管理師。近15年來,他已為兩岸三地及美國百餘家企業界、十餘種不同的產業與政府菁英中培養逾兩萬位專案管理的專業人才。因工作差旅及個人旅遊愛好,迄今已遊歷過世界五大洲42個國家近300座城市(其中半數是自助型深度旅遊),並非常樂意分享他豐富的旅遊經驗。


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