In this month's newsletter:
One question I’m frequently asked is:  how do I become a project manager? I always answer:  you already are! 

Project management means managing projects, breaking down a process into concrete steps of scope, time, and budget.  Brushing your teeth is a project.  Making dinner is a project.  Building that Star Wars Lego is a project.  Rather, many like the idea of leading teams.  But, a project manager does not infer being a director.  It is ensuring that there is a defined process and that the tools (including human capital) are sufficient to meet the end goals.  You’re more of a coordinator, traffic cop, and/or timekeeper.  This month’s AMG newsletter details many aspects of project management, including resources available on campus, at UNEX, and beyond.  Take a look into this and make dental hygiene your next project!

Mark Lucas
Chair, Administrative Management Group


Are you interested in becoming more active in AMG?

Board membership offers opportunities for networking and professional development, and board members frequently communicate with senior leadership on campus. You will have the opportunity to focus on your own career trajectory and get more involved with UCLA at the same time!
2022-23 Open Positions
Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Special Projects Coordinator
Events Coordinator
Communications Liaison
Member-at-Large (2)
Members selected for the positions above will take office in July, serve two-year terms, and represent voting members of the Board. The minimum time commitment required is one 90-minute board meeting per month. Committee work and event involvement may require additional time but are flexible.

For more details on these positions, please click here.
Nomination Process & Timeline
Self‐nominations should be sent to by Friday, May 27 at 5 p.m. with the following:
  • Name, position at UCLA, department, and Board position(s) of interest. If applying for more than one position, please indicate order of preference.
  • 250‐500-word statement regarding why you are a good fit for the position(s) for which you are running
  • A current resume (must be included)
The voting timeline is as follows:
  • May 11 – Call for self-nominations
  • May 20 – AMG Board Learn-at-Lunch
  • May 11-27 – Self-nomination period
  • May 27 at 5 pm – Nominations close
  • May 31-June 6 – Elections Open
  • May 31-June 6 – Election Results
Self-nomination Deadline: Friday, May 27 at 5 p.m. 

2022 AMG Leadership Conference

UCLA’s Administrative Management Group (AMG), sponsored by Campus Human Resources (CHR), is excited to open registration for the 2022 AMG Leadership Conference. The two-day virtual event will focus on career development strategies and is scheduled for the afternoons of Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18.

This year’s theme is Learn, Engage, Apply and Demonstrate (LEAD). The conference will feature keynote addresses and focus sessions led by a variety of speakers from Campus Human Resources (CHR), David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM), UCLA Extension (UNEX), Enrollment Management, Finance, IT Services, UCLA Recreation, and more.

This conference is for anyone who leads professional staff, student staff, or is looking to take the next step in leadership.

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Martin Jarmond, The Alice and Nahum Lainer Family Director of Athletics at UCLA
  • Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, Vice Provost, Enrollment Management
  • Dr. David McIntosh Ph.D., Vice Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Please note that webinar capacity limitations apply, so register today to claim your seat for this free conference. Visit the UCLA AMG website for the full conference agenda, as well as more information on the event.

The 2022 UCLA AMG Leadership Conference:

  • Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18, 2022
  • 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. both days 
  • One Zoom link grants free access to both days
Register Here

 BruinTech Connect Spring Conference

Join us for one or more sessions over three days of presentations and networking from May 24–26, 2022!

  • Learn how to protect your privacy in the online space.
  • Apply design thinking to your work.
  • See the results of our BruinTech listening sessions and surveys.
  • Meet your IT Strategic Partners and BruinTech colleagues.

May 24: 10am-1pm (virtual)
Privacy 101 Workshop 
Learn about the surprising ways that your data is collected, how you can protect your rights and how to apply this knowledge to your work

May 25: 10am-1pm (virtual)
Building a Design Culture
BruinTech Listening Session and Survey Results
TBA Community Event - vote on what it will be in our upcoming Slack survey

May 26: 2:30pm-6pm (hybrid/in-person)
IT Strategic Partners Meet-and-Greet
TBA Keynote Speaker
Snacks and Refreshments

Register Here

Employee Spotlight:
Karen Smith, Project Manager at UCLA Payroll Partners (CRU)/Business and Finance Solutions

By Maureen Forman

Karen, thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and path as a Project Manager with our UCLA AMG readers. 

1. What does Project Management look like in your day to day at Business and Finance Solutions and the CRU/UCLA Payroll Partners? 

I normally start my day by making my “To Do List” for the day and reviewing any open items from the previous day. Then I review my projects to make sure I am on track with my milestones. After that I spend my days in meetings and or working on my various projects.  (Karen uses Trello as an effective organizational tool)

2. How did you acquire the skills to be an effective project manager?

When I was getting my MBA, I did a concentration in Project Management, this allowed me to take the extra classes necessary to also obtain a Graduate Certificate in Project Management. Additionally, I continue to take various online classes. 

3. What do you like about managing projects? 

I love that every project is different and you learn something new. 

4. What do you dislike about managing projects?

I do not like that a big part of my jobs depends on other people doing their jobs. When you are dealing with a 3rd party you have a lot less control than when dealing with internal stakeholders.  

5. What is the biggest accomplishment you have had with your position at UCLA?

To date, I am most proud of the Privacy Enhancement Project. It was put in place to control outgoing Central Resource Unit’s case e-mails by ensuring that any cases concerning UCLA Topics were being sent to UCLA business e-mail addresses (not personal preferred e-mail addresses) and that the person receiving the e-mail was currently an active employee.   

6. Lessons learned… if you were to give a colleague one piece of advice about Project Management, what would that be?

Learn from the mistakes and the wins of each project. At the end of all my projects I make a list of what went well and what could have been done differently. There is ALWAYS a lesson to be learned. To quote Nelson Mandela “I never lose. I either win or I learn.”  

UCLA Resource Spotlight:
Campus Human Resources - Timeless Skills Series

Project Management Courses

This series of virtual workshops was compiled to address competencies and skills relevant to success at any time and in any role, team, or organization. Each live session is designed to be informative, interactive, and engaging. You will be encouraged to reflect on your personal development need, plan to apply the content to work, and explore additional resources that build on key learnings. Your efforts will be supported by the workshop facilitators, as well as your supervisor or manager. Please visit  to register for these Zoom-based offerings. An edited version will be made available via the LMS following the live course offering.

  • Innovative Project Development: Introduction to Design Thinking 
    • Design thinking is a framework for idea-creation and implementation, characterized by empathy with ‘users,’ an appreciation for failure, and a “prototyping culture.” Design thinking’s value is in its applicability to complex problems without an easy-to-see solution and in its “human centered” focus. This course will introduce participants to the phases of design thinking: Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test, and Iterate. Participants will have an opportunity to practice each phase, discuss the applicability and challenges of the design thinking framework, and apply those concepts to developing a project idea.
  • Effective Project Execution: Project Planning; & Management 
    • Projects run from small, one person operations with no budget to large scale, multi-team endeavors, but what they all have in common is a need for comprehensive planning and management. This course will introduce participants to the life cycle of a project, key project management concepts, and common project challenges. Participants will apply those concepts to planning a project idea relevant to their own work.
  • Responsive Project Facilitation: Change Through Influence 
    • UCLA staff have unique insight into opportunities for impactful change within their roles, in their departments, or even institutional policy, but it’s not always easy to get their ideas approved and implemented. Influence is the answer. Participants will learn the fundamentals of influence, and apply those concepts to planning and developing their influence around a project idea or opportunity related to their work.

Campus Job Opening: Campus Human Resources, Chief Administrative and Financial Officer (CAFO) 

View job posting here.


Project Management Isn't Just for Project Managers: 4 Skills You Need to Know
Project Management books are filled with concepts and skills that could benefit most professionals including scheduling techniques, Gantt charts, work breakdown structures, team leadership concepts, etc. While these skills (and many others) are certainly valuable ones for non project managers to understand, this article highlights four specific skills that may be lesser known but can provide tremendous benefit for virtually everyone in the workplace.
The Four Phases of Project Management
Whether you’re in charge of developing a website, designing a car, moving a department to a new facility, updating an information system, or just about any other project (large or small), you’ll go through the same four phases of project management: planning, build-up, implementation, and closeout. 


The Happy Secret to Work Better | TedTalk
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.


Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager: A FranklinConvey Title
In today’s workplace, employees are routinely expected to coordinate and manage projects. Yet, chances are, you aren’t formally trained in managing projects—you’re an unofficial project manager. FranklinCovey experts Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood understand the importance of leadership in project completion and explain that people are crucial in the formula for success. Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager offers practical, real-world insights for effective project management and guides you through the essentials of the people and project management process.


Manager Tools
Management training through Manager Tools addresses project management topics such as communication style and how to recognize communication preferences in others so you can modulate your own to optimize and make the most out of all interactions


Comics of the Month:

What do you want to see in future issues of the AMG Newsletter?
Please e-mail us and let us know!

Vanessa Codilla, AMG Communications Liaison 

The UCLA Administrative Management Group (AMG) is devoted to the professional development of managers on campus, and those who aspire to become managers.

AMG is a campus organization whose mission is to:

  • Provide opportunities for professional growth and development
  • Create a forum for effective communication between academic, administrative and service managers and professionals at UCLA
  • Become a sounding board for implementing new processes
  • Provide the University with a pool of talented professionals
  • Establish a vehicle for discussion of common concerns, challenges,
    and solutions; and to share knowledge and expertise
Copyright © 2021 UCLA Administrative Management Group, All rights reserved.
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