Aug

22-24

Project Management (Aug 22-24)

WEI’s Project Management Industry Forum provides a conference where Project Management leadership and staff from multiple utilities gather to share project management methodologies, techniques, tools, key learnings, change management methodologies, and risk management, along with real examples of representative projects – those which were successful and those which did not achieve their goals.

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General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management, Portland General Electric

    • Program Location
    • World Trade Center - Portland, Oregon
    • 25 SW Salmon Street
      Portland, Oregon 97204
    • Who Should Attend
      • Corporate Project Office/Enterprise Project Office Leadership
      • Senior Program Managers
      • Service Company Project Management Leaders
      • Senior Project Managers Leading Large Projects
      • Principal Engineers
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $399 USD
    Regular: $799 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after July 25, 2017. Registration includes all meeting materials, opening reception, breakfast and lunch Tuesday and Wednesday; and networking dinner Tuesday night. Guest tickets are available for $100 and allow a registered attendee to being a guest to the reception Tuesday night and dinner Wednesday.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Eric Christenson, Senior Program Manager at (971) 303-2118.

Agenda

  • Select a track:

General Agenda

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
WEI Hosted Reception
Rock Bottom Brewery
206 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97204

Join participants in a hosted networking reception at the Rock Bottom Brewery in the heart of downtown Portland.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Catered Breakfast
Building Two Conference Center (2WTC)
25 SW Salmon St.
Portland, OR 97204

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Conference Welcome
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Sal Faruqui welcomes the group to Portland General Electric and sets expectations for the forum.

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Opening Keynote
Speaker: Cam Henderson, VP Bus & Info Tech and Chief Information Officer, Portland General Electric
Description: TBD

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
Break

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Breakout Sessions

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Catered Lunch

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Breakout Sessions

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM
Day 1 Close
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
WEI Hosted Networking Dinner
Morton’s Steakhouse
213 SW Clay St.
Portland, OR 97201

Please RSVP to Eric Christenson.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Day Three Intro
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Sal Faruqui welcomes the group to Portland General Electric and sets expectations for the remainder of the forum.

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Day 2 Keynote Speaker – Leadership Soft Skills for Project Managers
To be a successful project manager, one must do more than follow processes and check boxes. The best project managers are leaders of the project who understand the added component of change management that exists in every project. They achieve at the highest levels of organizations because they embrace and display the soft skills that leaders require. Our keynote speaker describes these soft skills and how project managers will improve their own capabilities.

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
Break

9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Session 7 – Role of the Project Management Function in a Utility
Moderator: Andy Leija, IT PMO Manager, Avista Utilities
Panelists: Tom Pankratz, NorthWestern Energy; Suzanne Tamayo, Puget Sound Energy
We ask our panelists some questions to get the conversation started, and then open it up to the audience:

1. What is the project management function? How do we educate our co-workers and leaders on what it means to be a project manager
2. How do you integrate project managers into the organization and the industry?
3. What career paths and certifications do you recommend for utility project managers?
4. What opportunities exist for project managers to expand into other functional areas?

9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Breakout Sessions #3

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Planning Lunch and Post-Mortem (RSVP Required)
We reserve time after the event for the PDT to do a quick post-mortem on the event. Those interested in joining the planning team for future events are invited to attend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
WEI Hosted Reception
Rock Bottom Brewery
206 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97204

Join participants in a hosted networking reception at the Rock Bottom Brewery in the heart of downtown Portland.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Catered Breakfast
Building Two Conference Center (2WTC)
25 SW Salmon St.
Portland, OR 97204

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Conference Welcome
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Sal Faruqui welcomes the group to Portland General Electric and sets expectations for the forum.

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Opening Keynote
Speaker: Cam Henderson, VP Bus & Info Tech and Chief Information Officer, Portland General Electric

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
Break

9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Session 1 – Project Prioritization Strategies
Speakers: Shante Wilson, PMO Director, Northwest Natural
Two keys to a successful project management organization is that project selection links to strategic goals and that projects across business lines are categorized, scored and ranked with reasonable comparisons. Northwest Natural provides an overview of their robust project prioritization model and NorthWestern Energy explain their “strategic yield” approach to Project Prioritization

9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Session 2 – The Resource Planning and Scheduling Puzzle Roundtable
Be prepared to share! The best formulated project plans struggle when the person or teams assigned project tasks are overcommitted. Even great scheduling and strategic portfolio management does not preclude “must-do” and the day-to-day work from your project team members. As utility projects now require more internal resources and cross functional areas, organizations are struggling to allocate limited resources and their availability when project tasks come do. Participants will be asked to discuss their challenges and successes with their peers in this facilitated roundtable. What is your strategy and what tactics do you use to attempt to solve this issue?

10:50 AM – 11:00 AM
Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 3 – Building Enterprise Project Management Organizations (1 of 2)
Speakers: Dawn Reyes, Manager, Project Management Practices, Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy has just gone through the Enterprise Project Management effort. In doing this, they created an enterprise projects and performance team, developed a baseline methodology and governance for strategic projects across the organization, and incorporated Organizational Change Management into their EPMO. PSE shares what they learned in the rollout of their first effort at bringing synergy across the organization.

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Catered Lunch

1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
Session 4 – Building Enterprise Project Management Organizations – (2 of 2)
Sacramento Municipal Utility District is rolling enterprise project management standards and processes, including approvals of projects, phase gate reporting, and controls. While this is a brand new effort, the impact is large because these standards also now apply at the portfolio. SMUD will share their experiences managing staff as they roll out these new processes.

2:20 PM – 2:30 PM
Break

2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
Session 5 – Strategies for Successful Contracted Project Management Resources
Speakers: Suzanne Tamayo, Director of Shared Services, Puget Sound Energy
Utilities are unique work environments. When bringing aboard contracted project management resources, there is a need to help them understand and prepare for the utility culture. This is in addition to the standard requirement to select, train, and get contractors productive in a very short time. Puget Sound Energy is almost all contracted project management resources and has developed strategic vendor relationships who are responsible for all their project management contracts. Through these relationships they have transitioned this training to their vendors, and maintain an active workbook on how to onboard people to their utility. In the end, this saves PSE time and money whenever contracted project management resources are needed.

3:20 PM – 3:30 PM
Break

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Session 6 – Sustainable Program and Portfolio Management Lightning Roundtable
We close the day with three speakers who share their issues with the group for its feedback, as they seek to improve organizational culture and effective delivery of project goals.

• Sacramento Municipal Utility District shares their challenges with Change Management for Corporate Project Management program initiatives that change the way people do work.
• Puget Sound Energy asks how others identify risks across portfolios and how do others measure benefits realization. They also offer up the question of how to train project sponsors for adequate project governance and what org structures are used for large programs.

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM
Day 1 Close
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Bringing the group back together, we set the stage for the format for the forum’s second day.

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
WEI Hosted Networking Dinner
Morton’s Steakhouse
213 SW Clay St.
Portland, OR 97201

Please RSVP to Eric Christenson.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Day Three Intro
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Sal Faruqui welcomes the group to Portland General Electric and sets expectations for the remainder of the forum.

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Day 2 Keynote Speaker – Leadership Soft Skills for Project Managers
To be a successful project manager, one must do more than follow processes and check boxes. The best project managers are leaders of the project who understand the added component of change management that exists in every project. They achieve at the highest levels of organizations because they embrace and display the soft skills that leaders require. Our keynote speaker describes these soft skills and how project managers will improve their own capabilities.

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
Break

9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Session 7 – Role of the Project Management Function in a Utility
Moderator: Andy Leija, IT PMO Manager, Avista Utilities
Panelists: Tom Pankratz, NorthWestern Energy; Suzanne Tamayo, Puget Sound Energy
We ask our panelists some questions to get the conversation started, and then open it up to the audience:

1. What is the project management function? How do we educate our co-workers and leaders on what it means to be a project manager
2. How do you integrate project managers into the organization and the industry?
3. What career paths and certifications do you recommend for utility project managers?
4. What opportunities exist for project managers to expand into other functional areas?

9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Session 8 – Applying the ERM Framework to Project Portfolio Management
Speaker: Eric Christenson, Western Energy Institute
The COSO Enterprise Risk Management is a standard framework that is used by organizations to levelize unlike risks across strategic corporate risks. For project managers, applying a standard risk framework to their projects provides fair comparisons across projects with varying risk profiles and a collaborative environment for project sponsor discussions

10:50 AM – 11:00 AM
Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 9 – Open Roundtable – Any Last Parking Lot Items?

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Planning Lunch and Post-Mortem (RSVP Required)
We reserve time after the event for the PDT to do a quick post-mortem on the event. Those interested in joining the planning team for future events are invited to attend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

5:00 PM – 6:30 PM
WEI Hosted Reception
Rock Bottom Brewery
206 SW Morrison St.
Portland, OR 97204

Join participants in a hosted networking reception at the Rock Bottom Brewery in the heart of downtown Portland.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

7:00 AM – 8:00 AM
Catered Breakfast
Building Two Conference Center (2WTC)
25 SW Salmon St.
Portland, OR 97204

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Conference Welcome
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Description: Sal Faruqui welcomes the group to Portland General Electric and sets expectations for the forum.

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Opening Keynote
Speaker: Cam Henderson, VP Bus & Info Tech and Chief Information Officer, Portland General Electric
Description: TBD

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
Break

9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Session 1 – Opening Roundtable – Introductions and Your Issues
Description: We open with introductions and an opportunity to set the stage for the day two power tables.

9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Session 2 – Rolling out Agile Project Mindset in a Utility
The traditional waterfall method may not always be the best method for projects that change rapidly. We talk about the difference between technology and other projects, and how utilities are using the Agile project management methodology. Puget Sound Energy and Sacramento Utility District share their experiences with Agile at their organizations.

10:50 AM – 11:00 AM
Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 3 – Facets of Project Reporting
What makes for proper project reporting? Puget Sound Energy provides their perspectives on what works for Portfolio, Program, and Project reporting.

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Catered Lunch

1:30 PM – 2:20 PM
Session 4 – Taking Over an Active Project
Speaker: Rick Nye, Project Manager, Burns & McDonnell
As a utility service provider, Burns & McDonnell provides project management and construction for large utility projects – including generation sites, transmission and distribution work, and other upgrades. Unlike utilities, where most projects are led by the same project management from scoping to post-mortem, service providers uniquely are given in-flight or active projects for most of their work. Rick Nye explains his best practices for taking on others’ projects seamlessly.

2:20 PM – 2:30 PM
Break

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Session 6 – Bridging the Communication Gap: Communicating Technical Concepts to Non-Technical Audiences
Speaker: Brandi Christie, PacifiCorp
Description: TBD

4:30 PM – 4:45 PM
Day 1 Close
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
WEI Hosted Networking Dinner
Morton’s Steakhouse
213 SW Clay St.
Portland, OR 97201

Please RSVP to Eric Christenson.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

8:00 AM – 8:15 AM
Day Three Intro
Speaker: Sal Faruqui, Project Manager, Corporate Performance Management
Sal Faruqui welcomes the group to Portland General Electric and sets expectations for the remainder of the forum.

8:15 AM – 8:50 AM
Day 2 Keynote Speaker – Leadership Soft Skills for Project Managers
To be a successful project manager, one must do more than follow processes and check boxes. The best project managers are leaders of the project who understand the added component of change management that exists in every project. They achieve at the highest levels of organizations because they embrace and display the soft skills that leaders require. Our keynote speaker describes these soft skills and how project managers will improve their own capabilities.

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM
Break

9:00 AM – 9:50 AM
Session 7 – Role of the Project Management Function in a Utility
Moderator: Andy Leija, IT PMO Manager, Avista Utilities
Panelists: Tom Pankratz, NorthWestern Energy; Suzanne Tamayo, Puget Sound Energy
We ask our panelists some questions to get the conversation started, and then open it up to the audience:

1. What is the project management function? How do we educate our co-workers and leaders on what it means to be a project manager
2. How do you integrate project managers into the organization and the industry?
3. What career paths and certifications do you recommend for utility project managers?
4. What opportunities exist for project managers to expand into other functional areas?

9:50 AM – 10:00 AM
Break

10:00 AM – 10:50 AM
Session 8 – The Earned Value Method
NorthWestern and SMUD share how they use earned value for capturing baseline and reporting project success throughout the project.

10:50 AM – 11:00 AM
Break

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 9 – Open Roundtable – Any Last Parking Lot Items?

12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Planning Lunch and Post-Mortem (RSVP Required)
We reserve time after the event for the PDT to do a quick post-mortem on the event. Those interested in joining the planning team for future events are invited to attend.

Hotel + Travel

  • Located on the banks of the Willamette River, featuring spectacular views of Mount Hood, the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront is within walking distance of top downtown attractions. As a guest here, you are in the middle of it all from concerts and local culinary experiences to jogging, biking and kayaking at Waterfront Park. Portland State University is just down the street. When you're hungry, our Energy Star-certified hotel features tasty cuisine with an artisanal flair. Truss Lounge & Bistro is known throughout downtown Portland as an inviting neighborhood hotspot popular for a local brew, wine, or handcrafted cocktail. Active guests can stay fit in our 24-hour fitness center or step outside and enjoy a refreshing run along the Willamette River. Business and leisure travelers alike will enjoy our well-appointed guest rooms with flat-panel TVs and luxurious linens. And with over 44,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, our downtown Portland hotel gives business events a truly unmistakable flair.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (877) 901-6632 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute and use the discount code ‘WEI2017’ to receive a special rate of $229/night. This rate is guaranteed until July 25, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.


  • Click here to make your reservation now.