PMA People

Q&A with our People

Ken VanderJagt

, Orlando

What current project(s) are you working on?
Automated People Mover Project at Orlando International Airport, schedule oversight. Schedule development and updating for pipeline projects for Layne Northern Corporation. Schedule oversight of various water and water reclamation projects for Orange County Utilities. Starting a contract time assessment project for Florida Department of Transportation. Cost estimating for various projects at Orlando International Airport.

What is your career highlight so far?
The relationship I gained with Marriott Vacation Club International in Orlando for Primavera Scheduling services that resulted in PMA staffing a half dozen scheduling positions at MVCI and extended scheduling roles with Marriott contractors Hunt Construction Group, Catafulmo Construction and others. I caught the client’s attention at a local Primavera P3 information seminar by asking questions indicating I knew how to run the software. Marriott’s timeshare division was in a major expansion mode at that time and brought PMA in to schedule projects for them throughout the United Stated, Caribbean and Europe.

What is something new or innovative happening in your industry?
One of the most innovative scheduling applications I became involved in recently was the application of real-time planning to the implementation of SAP SE (Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing) a German business enterprise software solution at Marathon Corporation. SAP was implemented as a replacement for legacy mainframe accounting, management and human resource programs. Major IT firms SAP, Deloite, HCL Axon, and Wipro combined with Marathon IT Staff to develop, plan, test, rehearse and cutover to SAP. I was brought in a as “Cutover Manager” to participate in the planning and scheduling of the effort. We had a 6-person scheduling team that ran real-time schedules 24 hrs a day. Cutover planning involves several phases and rehearsals. Phases include “Preparation”, “Downtime”, “Uptime”, “Go-Live” and “Post-Go-Live”. In general, these phases provide for system backups and security, data downloads, data conversions, loading new programs and converted data, system testing, security closures, and account balancing. The Cutover Managers constantly monitored the schedule and updated it with actual activity starts and finishes based on the emails. Cutover Managers also carefully tracked the Critical Path at all times and inquired with Team Leads for progress reports when completions were due. The objective was to send out the next activity email within minutes of its predecessor’s emailed completion notice. Hence “Real-Time” scheduling. Performance improved with each rehearsal and a successful implementation was completed as planned in January 2014.

What university or college did you graduate from?
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, BSCE. Dr. Gui was my professor for CPM Scheduling. I started with PMA immediately after graduation in December 1978, reporting for work on December 26, 1978.

What is your favorite local establishment?
My favorite resort is Marriott’s Ocean Pointe resort in the West Palm Beach area. I stayed there with my wife and daughters several times while I was the scheduler on the successor unit buildings. My family fully enjoyed the beautiful beach, pools and resort amenities. More locally to my residence my favorite feature is the bike trails and bike ways of Orange and Lake Counties. Orange County’s West Orange Bike Trail is just a couple of blocks from my house and provides 30 miles of bike trail as it interconnects with the Lake County trail. Unlike most of Florida, Lake County has hilly terrain, the top hill being referred to as Sugarloaf Mountain. This is a favorite road bike training spot for Fernando Villanueva and I.

Fun Fact!
Is Ken related to politician Guy VanderJagt or NFL kicker Mike VanderJagt? No, but I do like to golf, run, and bicycle and I did complete a sprint triathlon after I turned 50.

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