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On November 3, the UNC Project and Change Management Community of Practice’s second annual conference engaged and educated attendees with sessions on such topics as team collaboration, time management, prioritizing operational work and projects, and working with student employees.

Held via Zoom, the conference drew presenters and attendees from a variety of University departments and schools. Most of the seven sessions drew 30-40 attendees.

Screenshot of a Zoom whiteboard session during the Community of Practice conference
Many sessions were interactive and used different technologies, including Zoom whiteboard

A great mix

“We had such a great mix of presenters, topics and types of sessions,” said Alison Campbell, an ITS project manager who co-organized the conference. She also facilitated and presented sessions.

Chief Information Security Officer Paul Rivers presented the keynote, “Lessons in Planning & Communication from AWS,” which was the biggest draw of the conference, with 47 attendees. In an after-conference survey, many respondents said the keynote was their favorite session.

One attendee who enjoyed the conference said in the survey, “How great that we have this COP to share and collaborate with each other about how we work on projects and the challenges we face on those projects.”

The Community of Practice conference featured presentations on and discussions about:

  • Team collaboration, Alison Campbell as facilitator and presenters Georgia McRae and Nick Sengstaken, who are both Operational Excellence Transformation Managers; and Michael Vavlitis and Sylvia Steere, who are both with School of Medicine Information Technology
  • Prioritizing operational work and projects, with facilitator Rick Wernoski of Operational Excellence and panelists Rachel St. Clair and Mechelle Clayton, who are both ITS senior leaders; Bryan Andregg, Systems and Security Associate Director at Gillings School of Global Public Health; and Phani Bolisetty, IT Project Manager at the Adams School of Dentistry
  • How to Be Your Own Change Agent, with Emily Hardin and Rachel Holderied, who are both change managers at ITS
  • Working with student employees, with Louise Flinn of ITS Communications
  • Time management, with Alison Campbell
  • Strategies for sustaining a community of practice, with Amy Cole, IT Project Manager at School of Medicine Information Technology

Engaged and contributing

“Several sessions included engagement with the attendees via whiteboards, polls, annotation and more,” Campbell said. “For virtual events like this, incorporating some interactive tools goes a long way to keep attendees engaged and contributing to the event.”

The UNC Project and Change Management Community of Practice held its inaugural conference in November 2022. The group launched in 2021. The community of practice brings together University professionals who work in or are interested in project management and change management.

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Community of Practice, request to join via Microsoft Teams.

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