Why I Choose to Be a Part of the DIA PM Community

By Leigh Shultz posted 03-16-2016 05:44 PM


Like every other Project Manager I know, I have a thousand demands on my time. Why do I choose to be a part of the DIA Project Management Community?


I got involved in DIA back in 2008, as a session chair at the Annual Meeting. I was looking for opportunities to present on PM topics, and DIA seemed like the ideal meeting to meet other professionals who worked in the pharmaceutical industry. The meeting exceeded my expectations - so much to see and learn, and so many experienced people to meet and network with - and I was bitten by the Annual Meeting 'bug'. I really enjoyed presenting, talking with other PMs who faced similar challenges in their jobs, and seeing what was going on across the ecosystem that works to bring innovative products to patients in need. With DIA, as opposed to other PM societies and venues I could engage in, I found a community of PMs who were 'my people' - they worked with similar stakeholders, managed similar uncertainty and complexity, and they 'got' all of my attempts at public speaking PM humor. Over the years, my engagement inDIA has led to continued speaking and session chair opportunities and to being a member of the Annual Meeting Program Committee and this year's Steering Committee in addition to being a part of the PM Community.


When I was asked to consider chairing the PM Community, I considered what DIA had given me and why I find value in continuing to volunteer with this organization and network with other DIA members. DIA strives to create community within the healthcare ecosystem - to bring a very diverse set of stakeholders together to discuss mutual purpose in a non-competitive way. In the PM Community, I saw, and I still see today, the opportunity to energize project managers who, like me, are passionate about making lives better. We have the opportunity to create a vibrant network of PMs across the globe who can leverage each other to solve problems, teach, learn, and grow. My very talented core team members, Karla Childers and Mark Kryah, and I are committed to creating a space where this is possible, and we need you, your experience, and your ideas to make our vision reality. Will you lean in and join us in ongoing dialogue about what PM is and should be in the pharma and healthcare sector?


I know you are busy - and I know that you could choose many ways to spend your time and your professional development hours. I hope you will choose to spend some of that time with us, in conversation, developing new professional relationships that will benefit all of us.


To learn more, join us for our first PM Community of Practice call on March 17 - details are on the Community homepage. If you can't, take a minute to listen to the recording of the session, check out the new Community webpage, and engage other Community members in online discussion. Let's create a living, breathing Community together.