Small Town Training Center Embarks in Haiti's Reconstruction Project with Very Ambitious Mission

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A group of 15 project management experts composed of instructors from Mattapan Tech and other collaborators from different commercial and educational institutions will travel to Haiti this fall in a hopeful mission to offer a series of workshops in project management and to establish a PMI branch in Haiti.

The Mattapan/ Greater Boston Technology Learning Center, Inc. is a small, private non-profit, specializing in computer technology and project management training. A group of 15 project management experts composed of instructors from Mattapan Tech and other collaborators from different commercial and educational institutions will travel to Haiti this fall in a hopeful mission to offer a series of workshops in project management and to establish a PMI branch in Haiti.

A very effective team was pulled together to help make this project happen. The Mattapan Tech Haiti mission has the support of: Mattapan Tech vice president, Harry Newcomb, an experienced entrepreneur; Laurie Smith, the chief advisor; and Karrie Ann Jean, the executive director. In addition, many friends of Haiti and Boston based organizations are willing to invest their funds and expertise to this endeavor. They are still seeking support from other individuals and organizations.

The primary objectives of the program is to train project managers to initiate, plan, execute and control successful projects and manage time, budget and quality effectively in the Haiti reconstruction project and establish a new Haitian Project Management Institute branch in Haiti to oversee the project management industry.

To accomplish these goals, Mattapan Tech has organized many workshops in Haiti and will give the opportunity to qualified project managers to attend workshops at Mattapan Tech in Boston, Massachusetts as well as in colleges and universities in US and Canada, aimed at updating their skills in using the latest cutting edge PM technology.

Why this initiative? Last year, long before the January 12th earthquake that reduced the capital of Haiti to rubble, the Mattapan Tech Project Management program started investigating a few failed projects to understand what makes projects fail in Haiti. After analyzing a few projects, it was clear that the primary cause of project failure is lack of funds, the second is lack of planning and the third is the lack of a competent team. That Haiti study revealed that, the project managers are not corrupt; they are stuck with ill-planned and under-financed project because of lack or no professional training.

The role of the project sponsor is to provide project managers with all the support needed to succeed, meaning funds, expertise, etc. Unfortunately, in Haiti, the project sponsor is not really involved in monitoring progress and ensuring that the PM has every resource necessary to accomplish his goals. The purpose of several public agencies and NGO's that sponsor projects in Haiti is obscure, they select projects to set the stage for low cost or free public relations campaigns but not in fact to solve a problem. Even worse are those that use small projects to justify a waste or mismanagement of funds.

With a competent team and a clear vision, the initiators of the program have no doubt by the end of November this year; the group will set in motion the process to solve this Haiti failed project problem. A PMI branch will be established in Haiti and project managers who participate in the workshops will begin the implementation of new skills and new management techniques that Mattapan Tech will begin to promote in Haiti.

Every great idea begins from the mind of one man, and then takes the form of a project for other men of good will to implement. Whether it is the Jesus Christ movement, Galileo's experiment on falling objects in the 1500's, someone had the idea to do something stunning that many others believed was impossible. There will be resistance from the conservative wing who just like to resist change and from others who used to exploit the status quo to satisfy their selfish interest. We need to keep moving with consistency in implementing our plan.

Last Saturday, while lecturing a group of management students on personal mastery; Karrie Ann said: "When you want to accomplish something, the first obstacle is yourself. Sometimes you may become reluctant to make a decision that will overload yourself with more responsibilities, Am I capable of accomplish this? The second obstacle is family members or friends who sometimes refuse to fully support your initiatives and often give you negative feedback. Finally, you will have enemies that will try to undermine your effort and to attack your project at every opportunity." She concluded, "You have to remain committed to your vision and your goal and you will succeed."

According to President Jacques Dady Jean, a Wentworth graduate and project manager, "Our vision is to solve the problem of project failure in Haiti and our goals are to provide training to the project managers and establish a PMI branch in Haiti to oversee the project management industry."

For more information about participation in the seminar or to contribute expertise or funds to our pilot project in Haiti, visit http://www.mattapantech.com.

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