I believe in giving back.

"Judith’s contributions stand out for their practicality and clarity. She transforms her deep project management expertise into easily understandable, engaging class highlights. "
Gayle Silverman

- Gayle Silverman, Volunteer Instructor, Black Diamond Charities

team at wrok

Black Diamond Charities

Black Diamond Charities is a Chicago based nonprofit that serves US veterans from every branch. We do this in partnerhip with the PMI Chicagoland Chapter. For the past five years, I've served as a volunteer instructor, project coach and board member.

I've helped around 200 veterans translate their military experience into project management methodologies. Veterans make fantastic project managers, and we help them understand how that's done in the corporate world.

We base the curriculum on PMI's standards and are a Registered Education Provider (REP). 

Some of the topics I've taught include:

  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Estimation
  • Sponsor Alignment and Communications
  • The Project Charter
  • The Role of Project Manager
  • Types of Organizations (Organization Matrices)
  • Acquiring & Building a Team
  • Stages of Team Development
  • Working with Teams
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Identifying Stakeholders
  • Stakeholders Needs
  • Stakeholders Analysis
  • Quality Management
  • Delivering Presentations
code platoon cohort

Code Platoon

Code Platoon is a 501(c)3 non-profit that helps veterans and military spouses transition into the civilian workforce by providing technical training and career placement. For 14 weeks the students are immersed in learning the full web development stack, including Python (or Ruby), Django (or Rails), JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. No previous programming skills are required. After completing the program the veteran or military spouse will be hireable as a junior full-stack web developer and eligible for an internship.

I've spoken to various cohorts about what it's like for project managers and developers to work together on a project. More often, I have also taught cohorts how to collaborate with other stakeholders (such as a product manager) on a project team, manage scope iteratively, and appreciate the art of failing fast! I've done this using the Agile Lego Workshop techniques, which simulates fundamental concepts:

  • Project Inceptions/Kickoffs
  • Iteration Planning Meetings
  • Estimation
  • Development
  • Client Showcases/Demos
  • Retrospectives
"Judith constantly impresses me with her calm, sensible way of explaining things. Her wisdom, intelligence and credibility come across in a charming, low-key way."
Bill Baxter

- Bill Baxter, Project Manager, Black Diamond Charities

Interested in learning more?

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Judith Sol Dyess
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PO Box 5003, Chicago, IL 60680
(773) 412-4931
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