Interview with Deena Gordon Parla, PMP



Interviewed by Petek Kabakci, PMP, PCC

PMI Turkey Chapter

Istanbul, Turkey


Interview with Deena Gordon Parla, PMP

Chair of the Strategy Development and Oversight Committee, PMI Board of Directors


Ms. Deena Gordon Parla, PMP, has extensive leadership experience in strategy development, business transformation, and project/program/portfolio management, primarily in the ICT, pharmaceutical, R&D, energy and defense industries. This includes delivery of projects for global multi-national corporations, governmental and not-for-profit organizations in North America and EMEA who are seeking to close the gap between strategy and execution. She is currently engaged with CXO level clientele for delivery of program assurance services to organizations undertaking strategic mergers/acquisitions. She also teaches project management at the Middle Eastern Technical University in Turkey.

For the non-profit sector, she established an organizational relationship between PMI and the American Red Cross to more rapidly progress their project management maturity. Previously at Booze & Co, she worked with CXO level clientele to transform e-business strategies into e-solutions that delivered operational savings and increased market share. She has also served as Secretary, Board of Directors, for the bi-national Turkish American Association-Ankara.

Ms. Gordon Parla has served PMI as a volunteer leader since 2004. Since joining the PMI Board, she has been a member of and is currently the Chair of the Strategy Development and Oversight Committee (SDOC), responsible for guiding the PMI Board’s strategic dialogue and planning. She has also worked on strategic initiatives for chapters worldwide, including improved chapter governance processes, reporting, and rollout of the chapter conflict resolution framework. Ms. Gordon Parla is a keynote speaker at PM conferences and PMI® Leadership Institute Meetings globally. She graduated from the PMI® Leadership Institute Master Class in 2007.

This interview was conducted by Petek Kabakci, PMP, PCC on behalf of the PMI Turkey Chapter for their bi-monthly Newsletter. Republished here on request of PMI Turkey.


Petek Kabakci (Kabakci):           What makes Organizational Project Management (OPM) a core strategic competency in today’s business world?

Deena Gordon Parla (Parla):      Strategic initiatives are realized through projects and programs. Organizations that develop, improve and mature their project management processes increase their competitive advantage and reduce their risk. Without mature organizational PM practices and skilled project talent, organizations lose their ability to adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace. For example, the pharmaceutical industry has faced increasing competition from smaller start-up companies in emerging markets. When a big pharma company faces delays projects to launch a new product to market, they risk erosion of their market position.

Low performance in project management comes at a high cost, especially when stakes are high and resources limited. If you organization is a low performer, it risks 12 times more money than high performing counterparts. On average, 36 percent of projects finish on goal in low performing organizations. In contrast, high performing organizations will see, on average, 89 percent or more projects successfully delivered. (Source: PMI 2014 Pulse of the Profession®)

OPM advances organizational capability by developing and linking portfolio, program, and project management principles and practices with organizational enablers (e.g., structural, cultural, technological, and human resource practices) to support strategic goals. An organization measures its capabilities, then plans and implements improvements toward the systematic achievement of best practices.


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