Robin Bunch

Robin Bunch

Presentation: Project Management and the Rollercoaster Ride – My Story

Abstract: In 2018, I was asked to serve as project manager for the development of a new office within my federal government agency. Creating a new office is inherently challenging but in addition to being newly created, this office became part of an agency-wide reorganization effort. This new office transferred from one part of the agency to another multiple times to strategically align with the mission of the agency. Even though this newly created office maintained its core goals throughout these relocations, project management style, technique, and approaches continuously changed to fit the expectations, established processes, and culture ingrained wherever the office found itself.

After the new office was placed in its final organizational location, it began to grow as it obtained additional resources and sought and was assigned additional projects. In just two years (2018 to 2020), project management went from complex (establishing a new office) and politically driven to increased complexity (overseeing multiple projects) and restructured in order to adapt to new expectations.

The purpose of this talk is to examine this rollercoaster project management ride from 2018 to 2020. Topics that will be discussed are

  • How to smoothly transition to one project management approach to another in the midst of change
  • Office culture norms and project management
  • What to do when project management is not enough

PMI Talent Triangle: Leadership

Biography: Ms. Bunch began her federal career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Swaziland in 1992, and worked in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in project management before coming to National Institute of Standards and Technology as the Grants Management Division Chief in 2014. She worked in this capacity until in 2018 she was asked to start a new office by serving as the Principal Project Manager.

Ms. Bunch’s earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, N.C. Her first Master’s degree is in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, and her second graduate degree is a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Maryland in College Park. Ms. Bunch has been a Project Management Professional (PMP) for almost 10 years.