Meet Lee R. Lambert, PMP!
Lee has been a longtime member of the PMI Central Ohio Chapter, has served as an officer of the chapter, and now travels the world on behalf of PMI. Lee has been recognized for his service to the field of Project Management and PMI, including being named as a PMI Fellow in 2009, the highest award given to individuals by PMI. He has also been recognized as the PMI Professional Development Provider of the Year (2007) and received the PMI Distinguished Contribution Award in 1995. Lee is the CEO of Lambert Consulting Group, a firm that provides project management consulting and training services.
Bruce Halley, our Board Member overseeing Membership & Volunteer Services had the pleasure of interviewing Lee recently;
Lee, you were involved in the early days when PMI was founded and the PMP certification was created. Tell us a little bit about how that happened, and why.
I became a PMI member in 1978 while I was the head of a PMO for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory which was operated by Battelle. I was transferred to Columbus in August of 1981. I checked out the Columbus PMI Chapter and learned that the Chapter was on probation. I was the third member at that time. I joined the Chapter and undertook revitalize it. I volunteered to be President and with Battelle's help we had over 100 members in two months. I was President for 2 years. Regarding the PMP, PMI recognized that they needed to create a certification program to lend credibility to the organization, and to allow members to differentiate themselves. In 1982 I started working with a small team crafting the initial certification process and the initial exam, which rolled out in 1984. Around this time, many large corporations were recognizing that project management was an important discipline and they recognized the PMP as the “standard”. At that time, there was no published reference guide or study materials. The first PM Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) was published in 1996.
Looking back, how has your membership in PMI benefited you in your career?
My career has been based on PMI. I have volunteered extensively and took every opportunity to capitalize on what I learned and put into practice in the working environment. I have been independent since 1984 but continued to be very active in PMI.
What are you doing these days?
For the past two years, I have been an unofficial “ambassador” for Project Management and the Project Management Institute. My job is to travel the world spreading the message of Project Management. Last year, I visited 31 countries and this year I hope to connect with another 60. Chapters invite me to come visit them, and I will make every attempt to reach them all. My time is free, but the Chapters must pay my expenses for my visit. I am 77 and will continue to do this job as long as I can.
With all of the changes that are occurring in our world, where do you think PMI will be in 10 years?
I believe that PMI will continue to grow and thrive in the future.There is a global need for strong project management skills – PMI forecasts that over 20 million new PM jobs will be created by 2027. The PMP will continue to be a very strong differentiator for PMs. In my travels around the world, I have had the opportunity to meet the leaders of many PMI chapters and I am very enthusiastic about the future of this organization. They are committed to growing our profession and making the world a better place.
You have had a long and successful career. What advice would you give a young person just embarking on a career as a project manager?
Decide as early as possible if project management is a fit for you. The beauty of project management is that all the different variations of management have a foundation in project management. Look for opportunities in advance and be ready for your next big move.