By Maggie Harney
MPS is proud to celebrate four graduates of our Execution Management Services (EMS) program—Katerina Triantos, Melissa Farzin, Shani Nyandemoh and Rizwan Oskoui—with the upcoming addition of Ben Eden and Felicity Keeley.
Since the program’s inception in August 2020, the EMS program has sought to enhance the professional development of the MPS team by cultivating leadership skills and industry expertise to equip consultants in the federal space. Admission to the program occurs on a rolling basis and is available to all MPS employees.
Human Capital and Operations Manager Julianna Driskel explains, “This is a program that kind of came together through the mind of Kendall [Lott], our CEO.” Julianna notes that EMS is a “level-up” from entry-level internship programs in that it allows MPS “to provide a more holistic training and education program for some of our go-getter consultants.” While MPS has always offered entry-level professional development programs—such as PACE, AMP and now DTX—EMS is the first opportunity intended for current consultants who are interested in growing their professional skill-sets beyond what is available at a contract level.
In order to graduate from the EMS program, students must complete the full course curriculum, along with the CliftonStrengths assessment and two coaching sessions with Kendall. Additionally, they are required to work towards a new professional certification (or maintain a current certification) and either publish a condensed white paper or present on an approved topic. Lastly, EMS candidates must participate in at last one RGS role, such as Solutions Architect, Red Team, Proposal Captain or Capture Management.
Current EMS courses include Business Process Improvement; Systems Engineering Fundamentals; Proposal Process, Business Development and Capture Management; Recruiting for Culture, Interviewing Fundamentals; PMO Effectiveness IMPACT Model; Project Portfolio Performance Improvement Techniques; Managing Effectively; and Change Management Fundamentals.
Classes are taught both by leaders within the company—such as Human Resources Director Andrew MacDonald and Director of Business Development and Capture Brian Wenzler—as well as a network of professionals assembled throughout Kendall’s career. Fortezza Consulting CEO Mike Hannan is an instructor in the EMS program and the co-host of Kendall’s monthly podcast series, PM Point of View®. Other stand-out contributors include project management leaders Marcus Parker and Laura Barnard.
EMS curriculum offers students the opportunity to engage with material that interests them and discover areas in which they would like to specialize. Consultant Katerina Triantos, for example, is now a Prosci-certified Change Management Practitioner.
Katerina says, “Change Management has been proven to increase employee productivity and satisfaction, while also improving a project’s chances at succeeding and meeting their goals on time. Through the EMS program, I learned in depth information about how change management fits into a broader project and how to pitch change management initiatives to clients in the broader project context.”
Beyond acquiring technical knowledge and rigorous skill-building, the EMS program fosters a spirit of community. Consultant Melissa Farzin found the camaraderie among MPS colleagues to be one of the most rewarding aspects. Melissa shares, “I think this helped identify synergies in our work and also create relationships that would have otherwise never existed. It teaches you the importan[ce] of that type of connection as you journey through the curriculum together.”