Many MPUG members and guests have only experienced Microsoft’s enterprise project management solution and the user group that brings its community together from one perspective.

During my career, I’ve been fortunate to experience it from five perspectives: as a Navy officer using it; as a Microsoft gold-certified partner implementing and supporting it; as a Microsoft vendor writing material around its use and sale (a V in Microsoft parlance…; as a member of five Microsoft global partner advisory councils helping guide its future; and now as a civil service team leader and senior IT project manager in a civilian agency PMO. In each of those roles this organization and its predecessor have provided different but highly valuable services to its membership.

The first and most obvious value flows from the direct relationship with members of the Microsoft product and sales teams: the horses’ mouth for the entire platform. What may be actually more important — given typically protracted implementation and adoption cycles — is the opportunity for interaction between MPUG members, the people using the platform to move their organizations forward and those who help us as OEMs and vendors: the entire Microsoft EPM ecosystem.

All of us can learn best practices by putting a few failures behind us — that’s easy. It’s also expensive, time consuming, career adverse, and (thanks to MPUG) unnecessary. Our collaboration is about as risk-free as it gets these days even with Tweets during and after our presentations.

Sharing our experiences, challenges, frustrations, commiserations, and desires to learn more about the premier platform supporting the PM profession. That’s my core-value take-away from the time I’ve spent in our collective company — irrespective of role.