From NASA engineering intern to consulting with Disney, Apple and eBay, Terry Schmidt has wide ranging project management experience. In this interview, Terry shares his knowledge and experience in project management with a focus on project management. In addition to his impressive client list, Terry holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Washington and a MBA from Harvard Business School. Terry earned the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification AND also holds the Strategic Management Professional designation.
What You Will Learn From Today’s Interview:
- how to connect “housekeeping projects” with the strategy
- a simple four step process to create your own strategy
- four ways for project managers to rapidly improve their understanding of strategy
- Terry’s most challenging project – ‘winning the peace in the Middle East”
Introduction to Terry Schmidt
1. How did you get into project management?
My interest for project management began in high school when my student club volunteered to cook breakfast on opening day of fishing season. The 4 a.m. breakfast started out badly as our disorganized volunteers dished out burned hotcakes and runny eggs to a growing line of hungry fishermen. I stepped in and clarified the deliverables (plates of edible food), then managed the people and processes without knowing what PM was all about. Soon the fishermen were smiling and I was hooked on project management.
During college I was an aerospace engineering intern at NASA working on the Saturn-Apollo program moon-landing program. There I buried my nose in the project and program management books.
While studying MBA program at Harvard Business School, I focused on strategy execution, which requires effective project management. Then I became a project management consultant helping teams sharpen their strategy and launching critical projects off the ground quickly, which is what I do today.