“I understood the incredible power of the mind and the ability we have to create our reality and future”
“Project Management was holding the secret to becoming more productive, more organized, and to help us put our lives in order”
My humble beginnings and later accomplishments
From a young age in my home country of Greece, I understood the incredible power of the mind and the ability we have to create our reality and future, the importance of having a clear picture of our purpose and destination. I also understood that is critical to have the proper mindset and possess the all-important life skills to influence others, chart their map of their journey and navigate their way to creating their own magic.
Since I took my first University course in Project Management (many years ago), I knew that this profession was my calling. I was always looking for answers, and I understood that Project Management was holding the secret to becoming more productive, more organized, and to help us put our lives in order. Over the last 40 years, I have been building and applying my skills in Project Management, and more importantly more importantly the personal and interpersonal life skills, to influence, negotiate, make the best decisions, chart my way out of life’s storms, and arrive safely at my ports of call. At the same time, I’ve developed my step-by-step approach to Project Management, that 30 years ago blended with coaching, so that I can help others become the masters of their destiny.
Using these skills and system, I was able to contribute to creating significant savings for many international clients, among which a US refinery that realized savings of $40 Million per year. Another notable contribution was helping improve Thailand’s education system as a volunteer since 2003, by coaching the Thai Ministry of Education and more specifically the School Principals and Teachers to improve their curriculum and processes, through the use of Project Management.
Other selected significant accomplishments
Below, are some accomplishments that I am especially proud of:
Coaching the PMI Project of the Year Runner Up
I had the honor to coach a project that was the highlight of my career as Project Coach, the Unocal Thailand North Pailin Gas Development Project. I had just contributed in developing the Project Management Office for the organization that I had joined as an internal project coach in Thailand, and this was the first project that we would use to apply the newly created project methodology in its entirety. This particular project was an offshore gas development project, involving engineering, building and installing offshore platforms and pipelines.
In being true to what we were advocating in our methodology, we used all the appropriate tools and processes, and gained everyone’s buy-in and support. Before we embarked in the design, we applied all the relevant lessons learned from past projects. We compiled the best team possible, starting with the Project Manager who was one of the most flexible and open minded individuals I have ever worked with, and who readily accepted that I’d work with him and advise him in all areas of Project Management. At the same time, I worked closely with the Project Sponsors to ensure they were continuously providing the support the project needed. The structure we put in place with the right tools and techniques, the true teamwork that was developed and the resulting continuous and open communication, contributed to a resounding success, completing under budget and ahead of schedule.
The ultimate result that few expected to happen, was that we were honored with the prestigious “PMI 2003 International Project of the Year Runner-Up” award, second only to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.
Recovering a Disaster Project and Team
I was called in to coach a project that was a disaster in more ways than one; the physical deliverables of the original project had failed, people that had nothing to do with the disaster were replaced, and people that were part of the reason for the failure were rewarded. The “team” was dejected and demotivated, and the functional teams were operating in silos, in an effort to protect their own turf. The original reason I was brought in to help, was to put in place the right “technical” project practices that were non-existent.
While the team I recruited focused on improving the methodology and create fit-for-purpose tools and techniques to plan and organize, I mainly focused on people’s attitudes. Influencing to change some of the project members’ attitudes in a short period of time was a monumental task, and some of the die-hard resistors had to be re-assigned, and the more flexible ones with project history and experience were coached to be project supporters. At the same time, I worked closely with the project owner and project executives, to manage organizational change.
The results were evident within a few short months; people started supporting each other to accomplish the common goals, decisions were made easier, trust was increased significantly and the project was completed within the new scope and budget.