Process and Change Management Collaborators

Welcome to the PCMC!

Project and Change Management Collaborators (PCMC) is a vibrant and responsive peer network at the University of Minnesota. We strive to advance knowledge and foster exceptional results in project and change management.

The PCMC creates opportunities for UMN professionals to:
  • Share and learn with each other
  • Highlight existing resources
  • Encourage personal leadership
  • Identify ways to overcome inherent challenges of project and change management at the University
PCMC supports University staff taking a project and change management approach to their work as well as those in formal project and change management roles. PCMC recognizes that anyone can benefit from project and change management principles and tools even those without "project management" or "change management" in their job title or description.

Programs and Events

October 2015: Why do Project Kick Off Meetings Matter?

  • Date: October 30, 2015
  • Time: 1:00PM to 2:00PM
  • Location: EdSciB-325 CEHD(Admin)
  • Presenter: Diane Kleinman - University Services Project Management Office
Program Description:
Have you ever been involved in a project where the kick off meeting fell victim to the delete key? The project kick off meeting is often referred to as the most important meeting held during a project. Not only is it the first time the entire project team gathered, it is a great opportunity for a project manager to gain commitment from the project team and set the stage for project success. 

Event PowerPoint Slides **The notes of the slides contain additional information that was presented at the event.

Small Group Question Answers This document contains the answers to the four questions asked at the end of the presentation. 
  1. How have others on campus kicked off projects successfully? What kick off meetings have you been part of?
  2. What is the most important message that needs to be communicated in a project kick off meeting?
  3. What are the change management benefits of a project kick-off meeting?
  4. What elements would you include in a meeting that wasn’t included in this kick-off meeting presentation?

September 2015: Project Initiation

  • Date: September 30th
  • Time: 1:00 to 2:00 pm
  • Location: Walter Library 101
  • Panel presentation and discussion format:

The Project Initiation Phase is the 1st phase in the Project Management Life Cycle. Here you start a project by defining its objectives, scope, purpose and deliverables. You'll also secure project resources and gain approval to move on to the next phase.  The PCMC is building a repository of resources corresponding to the Project Management Life Cycle. You can access the tools and templates related to Project Initiation here

Lisa Zinnel - Senior Project Manager, OIT Capital Planning 
Mike Waltonen - IT Director, College of Biological Sciences
Michael Winters - IT Manager, Global Programs and Strategy Alliance

June 2015: Wellbeing and Engagement Showcase

  • Date: June 30th
  • Time: 9:30AM to 11:30AM
  • Location: Room 312 STSS Building (Bruininks Hall)
  • Table presentation and discussion format: See List Below

Drs. Mary Jo Kreitzer (of the Center for Spirituality and Healing – CSH) and Brandon Sullivan (Director of Leadership and Talent Development) will give a frame of reference to the events and to draw a connection among efforts as co-sponsors of this event. 

The event will consist of a series of facilitated small group discussions that will allow participants to become familiar with some efforts and to collectively notice common themes and opportunities for cooperative partnerships and personal action around the closely aligned topics of wellbeing and engagement.  Each small group discussion will consist of 10 minutes for the presenter to talk about their initiative, followed by 10 minutes of small group discussion to help participants make connections and discuss opportunities for implementation and innovation around the topic.  

Table Presenters, Notes and Additional Information:

  • Brandon Sullivan and Mary Jo Kreitzer
  • Gratitude - Katie Heisel Presenting the work of Dr. Amy Krentzman, School of Social Work
  • Office of Equity and Diversity - Certification Programs
  • WellbeingLisa Lemler, Rec Wellness
  • Professional DevelopmentMike Amidon, College of Continuing Education
  • Employee Engagement in a CollegeDr. Ken Bartlett and Mani Vang, CEHD
  • Employee Engagement in a UnitSarah Groskreutz, Global Programs Alliance
  • Innovative Techniques for Employee EngagementJohn Collosey, OIT  
  • Employee Engagement TeamJennifer Engler, Marisa de la Rose, Patty Bales, Leadership and Talent Development
  • Wellbeing offeringsCenter for Spirituality and Healing

May 2015: Process Improvement Tool Overview

  • Date: May 18th
  • Time: 1:30PM to 3:00PM
  • Location: Room 312 STSS Building (Bruininks Hall)
  • Table Presentation format: See List Below
Program Description:
Have you been tasked with doing more with less? Sounds like you may have just have been assigned a process improvement project. Now what? Please join your PCMC colleagues to get a sampling of process improvement tools and engage in  discussions about how others at the University have used and work through a process improvement project.

Table Presenters: Additional information will be available the day of the event.

March 2015: Leading Change: Navigating the Human & Cultural Dynamics

  • Date: March 11, 2015
  • Time: 10:00AM to 11:30AM
  • Location: EdSciB-325 CEHD(Admin)
  • Presenter: Kirk Froggatt from the Technology Learning Institute
Program Description:
When leading or implementing change initiatives, we tend to rely on project management tools and methods to help us optimize the process and systems aspects of the initiative.  While good project management is absolutely necessary, it is not sufficient to ensure successful implementation AND adoption of the change. We also need to become effective change leaders who attend to and manage the people and culture aspects of the project.  In this workshop we’ll explore the normal, natural human dynamics of change and discuss the leadership mindset, tool set and skill set needed to overcome resistance, generate commitment versus compliance, and optimize project momentum.

Program Materials and Follow Up:
There have been numerous requests for the slides from this presentation. Kirk has graciously provided the slides for our community. Leading Change Slides.

In addition to Kirk's resources another University resource Scalable Change Model which was developed for the President's Excellence in Leadership program. The model aligns well with Kirk's messaging around people, the emotional aspect of change and the need to regularly listen to feedback to realign change efforts. The model contains a phased process and linked resources for those wanting a tangible resource to help manage change.

January 2015: Bridging the Age Gap: Creating a High-Performing, Multigenerational Team

  • Date: January 27, 2015
  • Time: 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
  • Location: 120 Elmer L. Andersen Library
  • Presenter: Carrie Mitchell from Hollstadt & Associates, Inc.
Program Description:
Now, more than ever, generational differences are very distinct. How we get along with one another and work together can be hindered or helped by how well we understand and respond to those differences in perspective, values, and motivation. The current workforce includes Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials. The distinctions between the generations their cultures, their expectations, and their styles have never been so sharp or diverse. So how do you create a high-performing, multigenerational team? Attend this workshop to find out!

Presenter Bio:
Carrie Mitchell has more than a decade of experience leading transformational, high-risk and challenged projects in the public, private and non-profit sectors. She has been called the “Nanny McPhee of Project Management” due to her ability to turn struggling, frustrated groups of people into high-performing teams. As a result, she has spent most of the last eight years reforming good projects with bad reputations.

Carrie has managed a wide variety of IT and business efforts, including a multi-year human resources enhancement program, two business intelligence implementations, platform replacements and several emergency management and business continuity projects, including the launch of Minnesota’s first virtual emergency operations center.

Programs and Event Follow Up

December 2014: Leveraging Employee Engagement to Improve Project Success

  • Date: December 2, 2014
  • Time: 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Location: 325 Education Sciences Building
  • Presenters: Brandon Sullivan, Director of Leadership and Talent Development and Lea Bittner-Eddy, LTD Consultant

Program Description:
We were all recently invited to participate in the University’s annual employee engagement survey. What happens next and how can the data be useful to increasing engagement?  How can we use engagement strategies in our project work? Come learn about tools and and resources to help improve your project and work teams. Small group discussions will focus on how to plan and implement engagement principles into your day-to-day work to facilitate team effectiveness.    

Presenter Bios:
Dr. Brandon Sullivan is the Director of Leadership and Talent Development (formerly Organizational Effectiveness) and leads the University’s employee engagement strategy. Before joining the University, Dr. Sullivan led employee engagement at Target Corporation and worked extensively within the corporation on leadership development and talent management. 

Lea Bittner-Eddy, MSc, is an organizational development consultant specializing in employee engagement in Leadership and Talent Development (formerly Organizational Effectiveness). In this role she provides consulting on capacity building, change management, leadership development, and improving workplace cultures as part of employee engagement action.  Lea also works with HR partners throughout the University to facilitate engagement knowledge and action through sharing of resources and engagement-focused communities of practice. 

November 2014: Integrating a Vendor Into Your Projects

  • Date: November 21, 2014
  • Time: 9:00AM to 10:30AM
  • Location: Walter Library Room 402
  • Q&A Panel: UpNet, YFI Technologies, and Xylo Technologies

Program Description:   
There just comes a time when you need to ask for external help on your project.  This session will allow you to seek an independent point of view from subject matter experts about technology solutions (software, security, and staffing).

Panel Participants are: 

Heather Noble, U of M Senior OIT Project Initiation Consultant, 

Jennifer Amys, CEO & Fredrick Blocton, President of UpNet, 

Reynaldo Lyles, President of YFI Technologies, and 

Dharani Ramamoorthy, CEO of Xylo Technologies.

Light refreshments provided.

October 2014: Working with Minnesota Nice in your Projects

If you attended the program you noticed the presenters taking notes regarding strategies for working with Minnesota Nice. Those notes have been complied and are listed below: 

Conflict Avoidance
  • Provide information in advance of meeting or discussion.
  • Ask for very specific input.
  • Make it about someone else - “What would X Person say about it?”
  • Mitigate confrontation.
  • Make it impersonal - “How were aspects of the project handled?” instead of “How do you think I handled aspects of the project?”
  • Create a framework for the conversation that starts with niceties - “How are you doing today?”
  • Identify the criteria you would use to evaluate if your project has been successful or not. 
  • Define expectations up front.
  • Establish a personal relationship.
  • Be clear in your documents and plans what you intend to do.
  • Ask for “suggestions” and “opinions” not “feedback.”
Passive-Aggressive Behavior
  • Try to create a safe environment for the passive-aggressive person to share their feelings or thoughts.  
  • Point out person’s behavior directly, when it is present.  Anger/frustration with thorny issues should be recognized in a factual, non-judgmental way.
  • Ask open-ended/safe questions. Try to get person to open up.  Good thing to ask is, “Help me understand what is going on" and “What’s in the way of you doing X?”
  • Try to build relationships with people so they feel safe being direct with you.
  • Being in academia adds an additional layer.  Don’t escalate issues to the boss. Save that if the problem gets really bad.
  • Ask what you can do to help the person.
Resistance to Change
  • In a change situation often the person feels that their work is not being valued.  It’s a personal thing. Make sure it’s clear that you understand that their work has been very valuable.  
  • Sometimes the person is concerned about job security.  Make sure you’ve addressed that.
  • Shift the blame for the changes to someone else. (!)
  • If your relationship with the person who needs to change isn’t a good one, have another person work with them.
  • Understand what they see as good work.  Understand where they are coming from. Often the person just needs to feel heard.
  • Be aware of your own style.  For example, talk about how you may be seen as confrontational or abrasive so it’s clear that you know this about yourself.
  • Think about ways to pull rather than push the changes through.  
  • Understand not from a sympathetic position, but from an empathetic one.
  • Don’t let them off the hook.
  • Say, “Try to help me understand [why they are resisting the change].”

Thanks again to Corey Bonnema and Jerilyn Veldof for taking the extra time to document this for the group. 

More Information

For more information, visit our Moodle site, view our 2009-2010 Annual Report (PDF), or contact us at

What members are saying

"A great source of new ideas"

"PCMC has 'de-mystified' much of the project/change management world"

"Extremely helpful in building my skills"

"A great way to connect with experienced project managers"

"At every meeting... I've made a contact that has benefited my work"

Events Calendar

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