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Rocio De La Cuadra Vigil: Not Everything in Projects Is Happiness

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2019年06月21日   作者:Rocio De La Cuadra Vigil   

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 Rocio De La Cuadra Vigil, Economist, MBA, PMP is from Lima Peru, South America.




Doing What I Love

  Years ago, I was sharing a great night with my peers and one of them told me that I was fulfilling my wishes: working on Fragrances projects. He remembered all things I wished while I was at the University. My wish was to manage projects and I love perfumes.

  After a while, I worked in Yanbal as a director in new product development. Yanbal has such world-class products as jewelry, makeup and fragrances. Today, our experiences within the direct sales industry takes us to 10 countries throughout America and Europe, where we continue to empower over 400,000 women every day with our business opportunity.


Pilot Application of PM Standards

  Later I had the great opportunity to lead a multifuntional team and be the link between the marketing wishes and the operation. I decided to know more about how to manage tools in projects and I heard about Project Management Institute(PMI) for the first time. In the following months, I got the PMP® certification and I discovered a great world behind projects.

  I learned more and more about PMI standard and I applied good things to projects. For instance, I ran many pilot tests to implement some tips from the standard; some ideas worked well while others didn’t work. Sometimes my team talked to me and they begged me no more pilots, but they were loyal good workers and they followed all pilot tests we did.

  I introduced lessons learned, change control and risk management. It wasn´t easy. I remember in one risk session, one of the team members told me that it wouldn’t work because all things were risky and he left the room. Likewise, I was in a developing meeting and I introduced the concept of “Change Control”. The face of one member of the designing team was terrified, when I asked for a change requirement.

  Little by little, the project team began to use change control, risk management and lesson learned, and the results were positive for the performance of the projects and products.

  Although we worked in change control management, there were many other changes in the pipeline of the product; some projects are “on strategy” while others should leave the pipeline and we should change the prioritization. In order to deal with this problem, I made some research on portfolio management. I discovered portfolio management in new product development is a critical management process that executives should use to successfully drive product innovation. And the organization was working on this to obtain more value through the projects; it means running some new projects instead of the current projects. For this, we set down a month meeting review with senior managers and got their compromises in the projects. Also, we added a financial analysis of the projects so that we could build our own portfolio management in new product development.


Volunteering in PM

  All good things happen because I am surrounded by extraordinary women who believe in me and support all new ideas that I bring to the process and to the organization.

  They offer me diferent viewpoints and I learn all the time from them. Besides, we are very good friends and we support each other in the difficult time of our lives and follow the mission of changing a woman´s life. I also talk to other women not in the project management profession, and they encourage me all the time and share the same mission of life.

  In December 2014, three young women students arrived to my life for my advice, because they planned to develop a Young Student Congress on Project Management. Within 2015, we worked hard to make the congress come true. They taught me a lot of things about PMI and other things. But not everything in the project is happiness. It had been about eight months since we started the project, and the young students didn´t a close milestone to define if they could pay the flight ticket to the main speaker and I was very tough with them in order to activate the plan b. I know they hated me but plan b was the best decision they ever had for the project. As a result, they had the best keynote speaker who captivated the audience. That´s the best lesson learned of this Project.

  It was the first time that I worked as a volunteer and it was a fantastic experience. The three young women students helped entended my network. They introduced key people to me; for example, the Mentor of the PMI South Region. She was an extraordinary woman who believed in me as soon as we exchanged a few words. She invited me to my first Leadership Meeting (LIMPMI), which was the most unforgettable experience in my profession.

  I realized that I was not alone in the world of volunteering and there were many people who did things for nothing and many people were in the same tune with mine. They just give passion, knowledge, and time.

  I didn´t stop at this and I started to teach project management as a volunteer in many universities or to be a speaker in congresses. The young students called me, even to this day, mentor, teacher or coach and I will be eternally grateful for this.

  Furthermore, in 2016 I met a professor who invited to teach in one of the best universities in Lima Perú. I taught two courses: Project Management and New Product Development Process. It is the most amazing experience as I had the opportunity to influence the new leaders generations of my country with knowledge and enthusiasm. They challenged me to be more technological, to invent cases studies for them, in order to learn to do things correctly.

  Two years later, I was enrolled in the Board of Directors for the PMI Lima Perú Chapter. As a member of the board, I decided to lead projects with many volunteers. I learned Transformation 2.0, the strategic plan from PMI.The new strategic direction is built on three pillars: strategic focus, customer centricity and organizational agility. The three pillars from Transformation 2.0 of PMI is the same focus of the organization where I work. So I decided to work hard at my job and in my volunteering.


Communicating with Stakeholders

  As a female PM Professional, I know the key to success is to map our stakeholders and have a great communication with them. Even though we introduced many good things years ago, the organization where I work, should improve to be more agile and listening to customers. Follow this, I started to talk with the managers in order to obtain approval and feedback for my next steps, using policy.

  During the last three years, I have been involved in making a better work environment in the organization. As a director of new product development, I worked with multifuntional team and my challenge was to harmonize the team in order to work with the same objective with collaboration and to support each other as family members. It was huge work. We did many team building activities, brainstorming in order to relearn the process, Lego serious play to get valuable information inside the team members and design thinking to obtain the customer experience. Afterwards, the team understood that each of us had the power to redirect our own behaviors and align expectations and if we really make “the change”, we should make it by ourselves. We had several sessions when we could talk about our expectation inside the team.While some of them felt that they did all things in the projects, others felt that they weren´t informed. We discovered we had the opportunity to improve the communication channels. We also learned that focusing on the customer experience is the key and that if the customer didn´t like it, it wouldn´t be enough.

  It is not easy to change the culture or mindset and workstyle, but not impossible. In many cases it takes time, in the first phase of introducing new concepts into the process, it took approximately 3 years and the second one about 2 years and now a day. My lesson learned is not to give up, even in the worst situation.

  I have to say that in order to make all things, I had the support of one man,from México, who believed in me. He challenged me and made me stronger to direct these changes in the process. Now he is a great friend and I know that we are just only one call away.

  Similar things happened in PMI Lima Perú Chapter. The challenge of our chapter was to increase the retention rate and I talked with all members of the board to obtain their feedback. As a VP Membership, I decided to make the focus group in order to learn more about the real necessity of the member. At the end of 2017, advised by another man from Argentina, who believed in me, we launched a Mentoring Program just for new members, which was a new volunteer opportunities for mentors and great women and men arrived again to the Chapter, who changed our lives forever.

  They just give a lot of knowledge, time, experiences, patience without anything in return, just give a care. It was the first time in the lifetime of the PMI Lima Perú chapter that launch a Mentoring Program for new members. This launch was a success for the chapter, we got a milestone, not only for the content, but also for the volunteers who give their passion, time, experience and knowledge. Men and women all together, in the same mood,in the same tune, we are a great team.

  According to my own experience, both men and women go in the same direction when they are involved in the same passion. There are men and women, perfect people who encourage me not to give up, and not to claudique my mission or life purpose.

  Finally, I want to say the best treasure that human being has is family; without them, all things that I can achieve until now, wouldn´t be possible.



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