Week 23 – I Can’t Get No Permanent Satisfaction

I Can't Get No Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones

Haanel spoke in Part 23 – 22 about “Permanent Satisfaction” and it struck me as a culmination of many of the readings we’ve been asked to study over the many weeks in the Master Key System course. Let me quote the full sentence I am speaking of…

“Now concentrate on the fact that man is not a body with a spirit, but a spirit with a body, and that it is for this reason that his desires are incapable of any permanent satisfaction in anything not spiritual.” Wow, explains a lot doesn’t it about job satisfaction, relationship not based on ideals and money matters of all kinds. We chase after elusive concepts of money, reward and satisfaction but, how many of us continually miss the mark? If we do occasionally hit the bulls-eye, the positive energy often quickly dissipates and we go in search of new “greener pastures like a dandelion blown away in the wind. Our hearts tell us this is not as it should be.

That being said, the largest portion of the human race a buffeted like driftwood in the sea, never knowing what shore we will come to light on at sunrise. Our Scroll VI exercises are helping us become Masters of our Emotions, thus bringing some stability but, there just must be more than just defensive plays in our book.

Again, Haanel speaks to this in several paragraphs in Part 23. First, 23 – 4; “The forces of life are volatile; they are composed of our thoughts and ideals and these turn into form; our problem is to keep an open mind, to reach out constantly for the new, to recognize opportunity, to be interested in the race rather than the goal, for the pleasure is in the pursuit rather than the possession.”

So, let’s summarize a bit; a) we are spirit in body seeking the spiritual knowledge b) satisfaction for a spirit only comes from spiritual experiences c) the lasting joys in life are in the journeys not in the destination or possessions. In my mind, “Permanent Satisfaction” dissipates upon arrival in state where we stop learning and growing or experiencing our Bliss as Joe would say. I know I am still a bit convoluted in my thinking but, here me out on this one.

I spent much of the week parting these thoughts together with the last Haanel exercise wherein we were to “Speak to Him, thou, for He hears, and spirit with spirit can meet, Closer is He that breathing, and nearer than hands and feet.” ~ Lord Alfred Tennyson The last two weeks have brought a crescendo of thoughts and memories of a time when I used to walk and talk (almost in constant prayer) while preparing to be a missionary in my younger days. Thankful for all that happened (good or bad), blessing those I met silently, and experiencing amazing answers to the simplest and most mundane of request. Upon arrival to my appointed missionary assignment, much of that was lost. As Haanel said, I reach my goal and the satisfaction faded.

My point (I think) is that to regret the past or to plan the future is not where the value lies, it is the here and now, the present. If we are not present, in the race, thrilled with the pursuit, grateful for the fight to become what we long to become such that we can serve others in compliance with the law of compensation, it is all for naught! Spend just one hour focused completely on the present.

Being a project manager, it is my job to go through a thousand permutations and plan for many contingencies in direct opposition to Haanel. I am excited that this has opened an experiment of epic proportions for me. I will be adding another card to my 3X daily reads and one for my pocket to remind me always to apply thought and concentration to the race, the pursuit for it is there that I will find Satisfaction. Unlike the Rolling Stones and Mick Jagger, I’ll pursuing things of a more spiritual nature and therefore, Satisfaction will be my reward.

 

 

Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892

“The Higher Pantheism”
from The Holy Grail and Other Poems (London: Strahan, 1870).

 THE sun, the moons, the stars, the seas, the hills and
       the plains--
 Are not these, O Soul, the Vision of Him who reigns?

 Is not the Vision He? tho' He be not that which He
       seems?
 Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in
       dreams?

 Earth, these solid stars, this weight of body and limb,
 Are they not sign and symbol of thy division from
       Him?

 Dark is the world to thee: thyself art the reason
       why;
 For is He not all but thou, that hast power to feel
       'I am I?'

 Glory about thee, without thee; and thou fulfillest
       thy doom,
 Making Him broken gleams, and a stifled splendour
       and gloom.                                             10

 Speak to Him thou for He hears, and Spirit with
       Spirit can meet--
 Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands
       and feet.

 God is law, say the wise; O Soul, and let us rejoice,
 For if He thunder by law the thunder is yet His voice.

 Law is God, say some: no God at all, says the fool;
 For all we have power to see is a straight staff bent in
       a pool;

 And the ear of man cannot hear, and the eye of man
       cannot see;
 But if we could see and hear, this Vision--were it not
       He?
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Bucchere Development Group, LLC | Sr. Project Manager | Consultant

Bucchere Development Group was the brainchild of Chris Bucchere, a talented Plumtree Portal architect, project manager and developer who supported the original company and product releases. He assembled a team of highly skilled developers and early adopters to continue with custom development of CMS, wikis and blogs supporting the objectives and projects in various industries; high tech, government, energy and pharmaceuticals.

Chris contacted me to support the development of a project management and Agile SDLC approach, response to the  RFP and participate in the subsequent interviews with the US House of Representatives. Chris and I were able to perform most of the planning and assembly of the response working remotely and submit it to the House of initial review. Once that review was complete, the House IT committee requested a face to face interview/challenge conference allow elaboration and further evaluation of the team’s capabilities and plan design and deliver the solution requested.

As the PM on the US Government ALUI Project RFP Response project, I had the following responsibilities:

  • Develop Project Management/Agile SDCL Approach Response to the US House of Representatives Request for Proposal [RFP]
  • Participate in RFP Oral Q&A Interviews hosted by House of Reps
  • Co-develop rigorous questionnaire to elaborate RFP/Project scope
  • Co-develop portions of second and third responses to RFP
  • Outline Risks related to project and make recommendations

I fully endorse Chris as he was a highly competent and transparent customer from a project manager point of view. He was open to suggestions and recommendations and often applied innovative solutions to the most mundane of situations resulting in an easy going and productive work environment. If you ever have the chance to work with or for Chris, jump on the chance as you will look back on the successes that seem to follow this thought leader.

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Project Management Professional | PMI Certified PMP

Project Management Institute

Image via Wikipedia

Last month I completed my studies and took my Project Management Professional [PMP] exam administered by the Project Management Institute [PMI]. I Passed! I had been studying since December of 2004 to take the test; lots of reading and stacks of flashcards to back it up and pound it in. It is not only a relief to have successfully finished this certification but, it is likely the most prestigious of my certs to date. Yes, my MCSE NT 4.0 certification was great accomplishment. But, that was mainly because I crammed all of the tests into the 4th of July week in 1998. The real difference is that it was a information Technology certification that had mainly vendor proprietary procedures and jargon at it’s core. The PMP certification is a management and applied knowledge certification. PMP and project management has foundational principles that can be applied in a wide array of circumstances and situations to increase productivity and reduce the risk of failure.

Because I had never completed my Bachelors degree, this certification gives me an almost equivalent edge in the market place. I personally used this certification to build a consulting business/reputation which eventually I will leverage to finish my degree and place myself squarely in the management “qualified” and “experienced” zone needed to advance my career.

In addition to my personal reasons stated above for working to  become PMP certified, there are more general benefits that include..

  • PMP is internationally recognized credential from the PMI.
  • Learning the PMBOK best practices makes one more valuable as an employee and shows initiative.
  • PMP requires experiential evidence of 4500 hrs of Bachelors Degree holders and 7500 hrs project work for those without the Bachelors Degree (my situation). This is valuable in confirming project management experience to potential employers.
  • PMP Salary Facts*:
    • Those who have held the PMP credential for two to four years earn median salaries of $64,400. That’s 15.6 percent higher than the $55,720 annual earnings of non-credentialed project managers with similar experience levels.
    • Those who have held the PMP credential for five to nine years earn median salaries of $94,340. That’s 17.2 percent higher than the $80,500 annual earnings of non-credentialed project managers with similar experience levels.
    • Those who have held the PMP credential for more than 10 years are rewarded with median annual salaries of $102,000. That’s a 13.3 percent increase over those of non-credential holders with similar experience levels.*Source: PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey, Fourth Edition.

My personal conclusion: PMP is a certification that can be obtained by those who do not have degrees but, have significant project experience and who may need a confidence builder and the income sufficient finance  getting back to school and completing a university degree thus rounding out their management experience and formal education.

– PMP Number: 226081 (issued to Robert D. Watkins) Apr 2005 – Apr 2012

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Unilever Contract #4 – Customer Engagement Manager

Customer Engagement ManagerImage via Wikipedia

Due to an extended medical absence of a key customer engagement manager who has ownership of several web/extranet and integration projects, RD Watkins has been engaged to temporarily take on these responsibilities. The projects that are the scope of this contract are LiveLink (OpenText), PlumTree Portal and My Unilever installation and integration of the subsequent legacy applications that will progress as modules into this new extranet environment. In addition to these projects, there is Project Phoenix with it’s objective to integrate the three Puerto Rico facilities into the standard “shared services” support model.

The PMO has also requested that Robert develop several “methods” for the upcoming deployment and utilization of UPlan (Niku – project and resource management software). He originally had a hand in creating the standard MS Project template that has been in use by the PMO over that last three quarters. The first method he creates will outline the production turnover process as it relates to the standard Unilever processes.

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Unilever Contract #3 – Integration Project Manager

Integration Project ManagerImage via Wikipedia

RD Watkins extends contract with Unilever in Integration Project Manager role to complete Best Foods NJ facility and Canadian business units Desktop Application roll-outs.

Unilever has committed to an extension of Robert D. Watkins contract so that the GIO Integration Lab may use his skills and years of experience with the Wise scripting tool and desktop roll-outs. Specifically, Unilever is completing the Canadian Aztec II Desktop/Laptop roll-out and the Unilever Best Foods and UNUS business unit deployments in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

This extension is slated to go until March to accomplish these final portions of these deployments.

  • Unilever Strikes iAD Deal with Apple (eon.businesswire.com)
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Unilever Contract #2 – Project Management

Project ManagementImage via Wikipedia

RD Watkins inks new contract with Unilever for Project Management / Coordination

Unilever North America Global Infrastructure request Robert D. Watkins to assist with several ongoing projects. These projects include the Manufacturing for the Millennium SAP Project, Business Objects Upgrades, Gentran Migration from NT to Unix migration and Legacy Integration, Targeter for the Web enabled AMPs sales,  Video Conferencing Production Turnover, Manugistics Enterprise Forecasting as well as  the preparation for various Sales Office infrastructure build-out projects. These Projects will be managed for the Home an Personal Care Business Unit.

RD Watkins has been employed prior to this contract with Unilever in a Technical Project Manager role assisting in development of Wise Scripts for delivery of business applications via Microsoft SMS and for 8 locations / business unit deployments in 2001.

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IT Project+ Certification

Comptia IT Project + Certification

Key Benefits

  • An IT Project Manager will listen to your needs and technical requirements and negotiate agreement across departments culminating in a project plan including resource requirements, budget estimates, schedules and change management structures.
  • Once the plan is authorized by key stakeholders, the PM will execute the plan using the agreed to resources and budget. During execution of your project a good PM will keep stakeholders well informed with frequent communication utilizing web sites, e-mail and face to face meetings.
  • Our PM will complete the project is on time and within budget and provide a completed project report enabling improvement feedback to management regarding strategic planning for future projects.

Capabilities

PM’s provide consultation during feasibility and initialization phases and planning, execution/change control/monitoring to track and communicate progress until the project is completed.

Capability 1
Using technical skills attained via other certifications, our PM can help in assessment and feasibility pre-project documentation and requirements gathering within the business units.
Capability 2
Expertise in current Project Management Software and tools allows our PM to assemble a project plan document to present to key stakeholders for approval and funding.
Capability 3
We can execute the plan in a Functional, Matrix or Project organizational structure and use current “Earned Value Management” techniques/tools to provide appropriate and responsive feedback to management. Also integrated into the Execution phase will be a strict Change Management Plan which will provide controls to maintain budget throughout the plan or accommodate and adjust for approved increases.
Capability 4
Our PM will be easy to work with and be responsive to your needs and request. The ability to see your point of view and make suggestions and gain consensus will allow your project to go as smoothly as possible to it’s final result, Success!
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Unilever Contract #1 – Wise Scripting Engineer

Wise Scripting EngineerImage via Wikipedia

Unilever, via Group Technology, has contacted and negotiated a year long contract Bob Watkins as a Wise Scripting Engineer. Unilever is deploying the standardized Aztec II Desktop to various sites and Business Units across North America. As such the application requirements gathering and subsequent scripting of these applications to integrate with the Aztec environment will be critical.

April, 2001 – The Integration Lab Manager has asked that Bob Watkins assist in the creation of training materials and a plan to use offshore resources to provide by Digital India as scripting labor. As the Technical Project Manager, Bob will be training, mentoring and managing the output of these Indian Resources until they are in a stabilized status. Unilever is using this department as a starting point for the OffShore model to be implemented and tested.

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Marathon Oil Wise Scripting

Wise ScriptingImage via Wikipedia

RD Watkins inks Wise Scripting contract with Marathon Oil of Findlay, Ohio. USA.

Marathon Oil has contracted with Robert D. Watkins via Darwin Partners (recruiters), to assist in the scripting of approximately 1200 application to support their transformation of their current Windows NT 4.0 environment to a full Windows 2000 SMS enabled and automated application environment.

This will require the gathering of multiple divisional application requirements as well as the User Acceptance Testing and Quality Assurance to deliver the most accurate replication of current business functionality to the 10,000 desktops involved. As part of a team that varied from 5 – 18 scripters, and with input from Microsoft who will be on-site, this team will deliver the application aspects of the new Windows 2000 Desktop.

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NovaCare Y2K Remediation

NovaCare Y2K RemediationImage via Wikipedia

NovaCare Rehabilitation requests Robert D. Watkins to assist in Y2K remediation effort for Eastern region offices.

NovaCare Rehabilitation, a provider of medical therapy and injury rehabilitation, has contracted with RD Watkins to assist in the Y2K assessment and remediation of the Pittsburgh & Baltimore office and the implementation of RainTree Billing software in three new locations in Illinois.

Currently, the NovaCare Facilities need backup and Disaster recovery procedures designed and implemented. The Baltimore office is also to be consolidated into the Pittsburgh office. This move will require the design of an integrated DB to merge the accounts receivable and the movement of all data equipment to the Pittsburgh location.

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