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ITS has launched its UNC-Chapel Hill Project and Change Management Community of Practice.

The community of practice brings together University professionals who work in or are interested in project management and change management. The group will share knowledge through presentations and a team within the Microsoft Teams hub. The community of practice also will provide opportunities for networking with other project and change management professionals across the University.

Bimonthly meetings

In addition, the community of practice will hold bimonthly presentations on project and change management topics that will enable participants and presenters to earn credit hours towards their professional certifications.

Brenda Carpen
Brenda Carpen

Brenda Carpen, Director of the Project Portfolio & Change Management group within ITS, created and oversees the community of practice. Her group plans, manages and ensures the successful outcome of projects, especially those with a divisional or institutional scope.

“I am excited to meet all the people across campus who are interested or involved in project and change management,” Carpen said. “We had great response to our first meeting, and I am really looking forward to learning how my colleagues manage complex projects and initiatives in their organizations.”

Strong initial interest

The community of practice kicked off — via Zoom — on August 6 with about 40 attendees. Attendees from outside of the ITS organization included IT professionals from such departments and schools as the School of Medicine, Gillings School of Public Health, the Office of University Development, Finance and Operations, The Graduate School, and the School of Social Work.

The speaker at this first gathering of the group was J. Michael Barker, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. He discussed why he established Carpen’s position and the ITS Project Portfolio & Change Management group, the group’s function, and what he hopes it will accomplish. Carpen has been in this job since February.

Sharing tips and tricks

At each meeting, participants also will share tips and tricks useful for project management or change management. At the inaugural meeting, for example, Carpen demonstrated the white board feature on Zoom and how to use Tasks in Microsoft Planner and Teams.

In the community of practice site in Teams, “you can pop in a question, ask for advice, share some cool tools, and share a job posting,” Carpen said.

Gina Fogelsonger, Senior Project and Program Manager with ITS Enterprise Applications, appreciates that this new community of practice and its corresponding team within Microsoft Teams were formed. “I am very interested to hear about other projects happening across the University,” she said.

At the next community of practice meeting, on October 15, Aiya Williams from the School of Public Health will talk about Google Jamboard and the approach she is using to manage a cross-divisional accessibility project, focusing on stakeholder engagement.

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