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Meet Joe Pusz of The PMO Squad in Gilbert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Pusz.

Joe, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I learned early in my career that Project Management is in my blood, it’s just how I’m wired. It’s great to be able to build a career doing what you enjoy, working with like-minded professionals and assisting clients who need help with Project Management. 5 years ago, after a long corporate career, the entrepreneurial bug got to me and I started THE PMO SQUAD.

By starting my own company, I was able to focus on what was most important to me; my family, advocating for project management, mentoring and helping veterans. When I started the business back in 2013, we lived in Atlanta, GA. Our family was up for a new adventure in 2017 and wanted to explore what the west coast has to offer. My wife selected Phoenix and here we are. Professionally, it is great because we now have a West Coast presence to go along with our operations in Atlanta and we now deliver THE PMO SQUAD services across the US.

I’ve been a long time member of PMI (Project Management Institute) and have spoken at numerous events and presented best practices to the local business community. I also host a project management focused radio show – Project Management Office Hours on the Phoenix Business RadioX platform. I love being able to bring in local project management leaders as guests so we can share our experiences and stories.

Mentoring has been a very big part of my life both personally and professionally. I’ve sought out mentors to receive guidance from others going way back to youth athletics and maintain that today in my career. I’ve learned so much but realize I have so much more to learn.

I’ve combined my desire to help our veterans with my passion for mentoring to build the Veterans Project Management Mentoring Program. In partnership with Vets2PM and Veterans2Work, THE PMO SQUAD pairs Veterans seeking to develop Civilian Project Management careers with Professional Project Managers. There isn’t any cost to the Veterans and the Mentors all volunteer their time. It has been very rewarding to be able to give back and “Lift as you climb.”

Has it been a smooth road?
As with most small business owners I don’t think smooth is a word used to often! Leaving the safety of the corporate world is a huge risk. I consider myself a bit of a project management expert, but running a business requires performing so many other tasks. Most of which, I didn’t have any prior experience.

Every day items like keeping the books, marketing, sales, recruiting, etc. All the things required to keep the business going and aren’t project management at all. I’ve relied on some great vendors and partners to assist with a bunch of this but I’ve learned quite a bit along the way as well.

Probably the most challenging item has been the move to Phoenix. I had established a great network in the Atlanta area but being new to Phoenix the network has to be established. I’ve enjoyed getting to meet so many new people and influencers throughout the greater Phoenix area. There are so many great organizations and events here to help market THE PMO SQUAD and getting involved hasn’t always been easy, but it certainly has opened many doors for me to connect with the local business community.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We set ourselves apart from other consulting firms in that, we only focus on Project Management. Just about every other firm out there is a broader Management Consulting company which offers a wide array of services. THE PMO SQUAD however, is very focused.

I like to think of it as comparing a buffet restaurant experience vs a specialty restaurant. If I’m looking for a great steak I’m not going to head to the buffet, I go to a steak house. Since that is what they specialize in, they have the best cuts of meat and the staff is focused on delivering the type of experience you would expect from that type of restaurant.

By focusing just on Project Management we can offer Services which others would struggle to deliver at the level of quality we provide. For instance, we are unique in offering PMO as a Service and Fractional Project Management. These 2 services are geared to smaller businesses who need expert project management assistance but can’t afford to pay the rates the bigger firms demand.

We also assist clients establishing or improving the Project Management Office which is responsible for project delivery within an organization. We provide Project Managers on a per project basis, provide project management training and we assist clients in selecting the right Project Management software solutions for their organization.

We deliver solutions which cover the full spectrum of Project Management – people, process and technology. I have yet to see another boutique firm such as THE PMO SQUAD which offers a comprehensive suite of solutions to clients across the US all while sponsoring a Veterans Project Management Mentoring Program and advocating for Project Management best practices through hosting a radio show!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Phoenix is a great city for project management consulting. It is obviously a different city than New York, Chicago, LA, Atlanta and other large cities which have so many large corporate headquarters. But, the growth around Phoenix is ideal for us.

All industries rely on project management so we benefit from the diverse business landscape here. There is so much construction on going, healthcare is strong and obviously call centers, data centers and education are such a big part of the business community here. We work within all of those sectors.

Phoenix is also a great city for a company starting up because of the great cost of living here. There is access to a great talent pool and attracting talent here is ideal with all the recreational activities and name brand universities.

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