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G'Day,

I am Peter Westley (like you couldn't tell that from my cryptic handle :-) and I live in Croydon Hills, a leafy suburb about 30km east of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia.

Right now I'm an unemployed bum, looking for a fun place to be an engineering / project manager. But let me take a few steps back...

I graduated with a bachelor of engineering degree in electronics and telecommunications from the RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) and immediately began working for HP (and later Agilent) for the next 15 years. I held roles from technical presales support in the test equipment sales group through to customer support in unix and networking in a call centre (one of the early ones...). Later I moved into software development and engineering services (internal support for the R&D group).

In my later years as an IT/engineering manager I began to be drawn inexorably towards the 'people' side of the equation and spent a lot of time learning - and coaching others in - the finer points of effective teamwork. While far from perfect, I think the grounding in a company like HP (and the associated values as instilled by the founders Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard) helped me really understand the intrinsic importance of the human relationship in achieving [b][i]anything[/i][/b] in this world.

My final 2.5 years was with Agilent in Santa Rosa, CA (hello Jim P!) where I was retrenched with the dotcom downturn. I returned to Australia - after taking 6 months off and travelling around the USA in a 27' RV towing a Honda CRV.

On arriving back in Australia I started a business consulting to 'technology folk' (OK, IT geeks and engineers) to help them achieve more effective teamwork and leadership. That's a difficult business to start from scratch and so I've decided to give it away (at least for the time being) and return to a day job. Having tasted the joys and flexibility of self employment however, I don't think it will be forever!

Much of what I've earned about helping groups of people become truly effective teams revolves around the DISC behavioural model and so I've listened with excitement and interest to the members-only 'casts about that topic. I think it's wonderful, Mark and Mike, that you use it and believe me when I say I know why you value it so much as a tool. My profile is S over I with a mid-level C and so-tiny-as-to-be-unmeasurable D. (2-5-6-4 in the personal profile intensity measurements) High D's exhaust me :-) This profile is as measured by how others see me - so it is [b]reality[/b] as opposed to [b]my perception[/b] of my profile. I hope to talk about that some more on the forum at some stage - watch for a post!

I have taken this opportunity to also update my profile with an avatar. That's me with my Nikon D100 on my Gitzo model G2220 tripod on top of Mount Stirling (for those reading at home in Victoria!) In my free time I also play with amateur radio (especially APRS), woodworking, cycling and have two great kids (11 and 13).

Hope I haven't bored you too much. Thanks to M&M and I look forward to remaining a part of this fantastic community...

Mark's picture

Peter-

Well done! Thanks for the bio, and for being a contributing member.

Regarding Disc, Mike and I would exhaust you. I'm a 7-7-1-1 (how's that for balance?) and he's a 7-3-1-3. His profile is VERY normal for an IT leader... High D/C's abound in your space.

:lol:

We're glad to have you, and look forward to a long association.

Mark

Peter.westley's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Peter-
Well done! Thanks for the bio, and for being a contributing member.
[/quote]No probs. I've had it planned for a while but it been a matter of finding the time :-)
[quote]Regarding Disc, Mike and I would exhaust you. I'm a 7-7-1-1 (how's that for balance?) and he's a 7-3-1-3. His profile is VERY normal for an IT leader... High D/C's abound in your space.
[/quote]Phew! You certainly would.
Yes I have to steele myself when I know I'm going to be working with a high-D but it's something I can do and never would have been able to do effectively without the understanding of DISC that I have. The guy I learnt DISC from has a very similar D/I profile to yours so I've been able to get used to it. The ride should be fun!
[quote]We're glad to have you, and look forward to a long association.
Mark[/quote]
Likewise.

Peter.westley's picture

Just a quick update to my Bio....

I'm now a program manager at a large multinational telecommunications equipment manufacturer. I have 15 project managers and coordinators reporting to me. A somewhat interesting situation because the "team" per se is really about 30 project managers and I, together with another program manager run the group but we have "people" responsibility for half the group each. This splitting the group is mostly because of the company's attention to proper support for their employees. I like that.

Only been there a week but will almost certainly have questions on people's thoughts about the structure (perhaps after I've figured it out a bit more!)

Mark's picture

I don't know enough to say so... but bad idea, two managers for one person. It will be a challenge!

Look forward to hearing more.

Mark

tmonczko's picture

Hi Peter

It's great to have experienced people like yourself in the community.

My question regarding DISC, How do you get the "7-3-1-3" or "2-5-6-4", etc. Is there a certain test for this?

Thanks,
Travis

Justin's picture

Hey Peter,

Thanks for posting your bio. It was fun to read... and good for those of us that are looking to get into Project Management. Its not always easy to figure out how to get there as it isn't a job that you normally walk into out of college (I suppose).

Anyways, it was fun to hear how you did it!

Peter.westley's picture

[quote="tmonczko"]It's great to have experienced people like yourself in the community.
[/quote]
Well thanks for your vote of confidence - it's funny though - experience is a little like age, just like you never really [i]feel[/i] old, you never really [i]feel[/i] experienced. I'm just happy to be of help.
[quote="tmonczko"]My question regarding DISC, How do you get the "7-3-1-3" or "2-5-6-4", etc. Is there a certain test for this?[/quote]
The numbers are called intensity ratings. The four numbers represent the four dimensions of behaviour in that order i.e. D-I-S-C. They run on a scale of 1-7. So in your first example 7-3-1-3 , D is top of scale and S is lowest. It gives you more of an idea of the continuum of behaviours someone exhibits. We are never just one behaviour, we show all behaviours to a greater or lesser extent.

These numbers come from the personal profile assessment you can do as part of a DiSC based training program. You can probably buy the booklet and do it yourself but it's usually much more worthwhile and valuable to do it as part of a formal training program run by a certified facilitator.

Having said that, I think Mike and Mark are planning on making an e-version available on the web site some time but I don't know whether that will provide you with the intensity measurement.

Hope that helps.

Peter.westley's picture

Justin,

Thanks for your note - there are lots of different ways you could get into project management. It's an interesting combination of art and science - there's plenty of theory on project management and well understood processes (see the likes of Project Management Institute at www.pmi.org) and institutions that will take your money to teach you the theory, but there's also a very large component of the people aspect to it too and much of that comes from experience. You can learn a lot of that from right here at M-T though!

It sounds like you're recently out of college - sure, don't expect to walk into a project management role but look carefully at the company you're at and what they do - try to get close to the PM action and learn as much as you can, perhaps while working inside projects.

Good luck!