The ‘Aha’ Moment: PM Influencer Series

The ‘Aha’ Moment: PM Influencer Series

In our seriesThe Aha Moment, we chat with influencers in the PM & PPM space and get to know them better. We ask a bunch of questions, some biz related and some not so biz related, in order to understand what makes them tick and find their aha moment.

This month’s feature is Christina Sookram, an incredible project lead and educator in the IT industry. Keep reading to learn about her thrilling journey in the industry and her poker talents.

Q. What is your job title and in which industry are you working in?

A. Project Lead and Educator. I work in the IT industry

Q. What is something unique that most people do not know about you?

A. I play poker recreationally

Professional Stuff….

Q. What led you to this career?

A. I have always been good at planning and like to think I’m an organized person. Project management actually came very naturally to me.

Q. What is your biggest challenge in your profession? How do you overcome it?

A. Staying on top of all of the details. On projects there are lots of things you must be aware of. I take a lot of notes in a notebook to help keep track of everything I’m working on and of the team as well.

Q. In your experience, why do projects fail or fail to meet their deadlines?

A. Unclear expectations. These could be expectations in terms of what scope is realistic to achieve or unrealistic expectations for things like time, budget or resources available.

Q. If you had a magic wand, what’s the one thing you would change about Gantt?

A. I would make them go away! (Ha! Just kidding). But seriously, I would try and find a way to make Gantt relevant for agile projects.

Q. Why should every organization have a PMO?

A. It can be a great resource for those working on projects when looking for things such as templates and tools to use and also to set standards for projects across and organization.

Q. What’s the most annoying thing about project status meetings?

A. Lack of engagement from stakeholders. It’s all fun to report on the status of a project, but stakeholders should also come prepared with questions to engage with the project manager and team.

Q. What’s the most difficult thing about managing stakeholder expectations?

A. Being able to say ‘no’ if a stakeholder has unrealistic expectations. That can be hard to do as depending on the power and influence of the stakeholder, it may have an impact on the project.

Q. What advice would you give to up-and-coming professionals like yourself?

A. Ask lots of questions and don’t be afraid to take tasks on to help you learn. You may fail, but at least you have learned something in the process.

Q. If there was one activity you could remove from your daily routine what would it be and why?

A. Nothing really, I like my routine. But if others find that something is not working, don’t do it. You have the power to control your actions.

Fun Stuff

Q. If you were the host of a late night talk show, who would invite as your first guest?

A. Stevie Wonder. I would also want him to perform some of his music 🙂

Q. What fictional place would you most like to live in?

A. Sesame Street (seems like a great neighbourhood)

Q. If you had an unlimited supply of one thing what would it be?

A. Coffee! (Much needed for a project manager)

Q. What three items would you choose if stranded on a desert island?

A. Water, wifi and my phone

Q. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

A. Eva Longoria

Q. What’s one song or artist that you’re embarrassed to admit you like?

A. Abba

Q. Spring, summer, fall or winter?

A. Summer (Canadian winters can be harsh)

Q. What is your favorite breakfast food?

A. Yogurt

Q. What, if anything, have you ever re-gifted?

A. Not telling 🙂

Q. If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?

A. A florist

Q. What is your go-to Karaoke song?

A. “I just called to Say I Love You” – Stevie Wonder

Q. Do you love or hate rollercoasters?

A. Hate (not a fan)

Q. If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

A. Las Vegas (to play poker)

Q. If you could switch lives with any fictional character for a day, who would it be and why?

A. Dr. Who as time travel seems fun

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, and did you follow it?

A. Don’t be afraid to pick the phone up and call someone if you have a question. And yes, I did follow it (back in the day when people answered their phones)

If you want to connect with Christina and gain key insights from her expert ppm content, look her up on LinkedIn. Thank you Christina for hanging out with us and answering our questions!

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