As globalization becomes the norm, distributed, cross-cultural project teams are also becoming more common. This brings additional complications in already complex projects. The project management profession has developed standards, methodologies, practices, tools and a regularly visited body of knowledge that have helped managers plan, organize, implement, monitor and control projects in all its stages. In other words, the hard skills have helped people produce and maintain a degree of predictability and order. What they sometimes forget or neglect is that people are still at the heart of projects. According to Ruffin Veal III, leadership is in charge of producing change, and without it, projects fail to bring about the desired change it was supposed to make in the first place.
Introducing Ruffin Veal III
Ruffin Veal III completed his B.S. in Computer Science at Baton Rouge, LA, and received his M.S. in Project Management at Saint Mary’s University at Winona, MN. He is a Project Management Professional actively belonging to the PMI-MN Chapter. He has performed various management roles in his over three-decade career, including IT Manager, Business Analyst, Project Manager and Senior Project Manager, most of them with the State of Minnesota. He has provided PM services for the department of human services as well as for the office of enterprise technology where he managed the development, enhancement or retirement of technology solutions on different large and complex IT projects.
Principal Consultant and Business Owner
In 2008, Ruffin Veal III founded Ruffin Veal and Associates, Inc. in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. He is the Principal of the company offering PM services and skills with specialization on short-term information technology projects both for private and public sectors. The company also offers PM training services that can be held on conferences, seminars or client-site locations. Their presentations are based on up-to-date research and analysis, and emphasize participation and interaction among attendees. They promote the importance of soft skills and have developed with PsychTests AIM Inc. a series of psychological assessment tests to evaluate soft skill levels of project managers and PMOs.
PMI Speaker and Presenter
Ruffin Veal III has been active with the State of Minnesota as well as the local PMI chapter for many years. He is a regular speaker and presenter on IT symposiums and PMI meetings and events. He has given keynote speeches and presentations about various topics including project versus program management, project relationship management and leadership. He has served as a planning committee member, has provided pro bono consulting and is passionate about science, technology and education.
Author and Thought Leader
Mr. Veal is credited for several publications found in the PMI virtual library, CIO Magazine, Computerworld, and the American Society for the Advancement of Project Management (ASAPM). Some of his works include Project Relationship Management (PRM), which he defines as the active development and cultivation of project-associated relationships. Ruffin Veal discussed how the application of PRM skills set together with soft skills help ensure the successful completion of projects. He has also written about IS-End User relationships, privatization of public sector IT organizations and leadership.
Promoting the Equal Importance of Leadership and Project Management
Ruffin Veal III has written and promoted passionately about the equal importance of leadership with project management in ensuring project success. Management alone is not enough as the world becomes smaller, projects become larger, and the list of required skills becomes longer. There are several responsibilities for a project manager/leader, which include creating an agenda, developing a team, execution, and evaluation of the outcome. Each process requires both management as well as leadership responsibilities. Knowing how to establish direction is just as important as knowing how to plan and budget. For Mr. Veal, practicing effective leadership, that is making it a conscious part of the professional’s everyday activities, is key to achieving project success as demanded by clients. You can connect with Mr. Veal via his LinkedIn page.