Interview with Terri Knudson


Interview with Teresa (Terri) Knudson

2019 Board of Directors
Project Management Institute

Interviewed by Ipek Sahra Ozguler
International Correspondent
Istanbul, Turkey


Journalist’s Introduction

Teresa (Terri) Knudson, MBA, PMP, PgMP, PfMP, is senior director of Strategy Management Services (SMS) for a major for-profit area at the Mayo Clinic, the largest integrated nonprofit medical center in the world.  In this role she is responsible for the full spectrum of strategy services including planning, execution, and benefit measurement and delivery for the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP).  Prior to this role she was director for the Enterprise Portfolio Management Office (EPMO) for Mayo which she established in 2008.  The EPMO provides methodologies and standards, education, resources, consulting, systems and reporting to advance project, program and portfolio management (PPM).  Terri has served Mayo Clinic for more than 30 years in various business areas, including strategic planning, finance, information technology, audit, business management, and operations administration. During these assignments, she led some of the largest initiatives at Mayo Clinic, many earning Excellence in Teamwork Awards. Prior to joining Mayo Clinic, Ms. Knudson held positions at Deloitte and Cenex.

Ms. Knudson holds an MBA and Bachelor’s Degrees in accounting and computer science. She has obtained her Project Management Professional (PMP)©, Program Management Professional (PgMP)©, Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)©, and is a certified board director. She is also a certified public accountant, is certified in change management, and has bronze and silver quality awards.



Ipek Sahra Ozguler (Ozguler):   Teresa Knudson, thank you for accepting the interview invitation of the PMWJ. Please introduce yourself to the PMWJ readers.

Terri Knudson (Knudson):  Thank you for this opportunity to participate in this PMWJ interview!

After securing degrees in both finance and information technology, I began my career in accounting, becoming a CPA. After a few years, I decided to change focus and pursue my interests in IT.  Interestingly, the combination of these two seemingly disparate skills sets ultimately led me to the Mayo Clinic and a career in which project management has played a defining role.

I have been at Mayo Clinic for almost 35 years. I’ve had a dozen different careers within Mayo Clinic as it has grown and changed over the years. It’s been a fascinating journey, and I enjoy helping serve patients around the world.

Ozguler:    Tell us about your relationship with PMI. How did it start? Where are you today?

Knudson:   My relationship with PMI is an exciting story. Over the course of my career here at Mayo Clinic, I’ve been involved in many different projects. About 14 years ago, I started hearing about the Project Management Institute and I met a PMP who shared some information about PMI.

What sparked my interest was when I was leading a major ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) implementation that was having some struggles. I was working with a consultant and they introduced me to project management. The framework and standards were immediately relevant to the work I was doing and served as a roadmap for navigating the complex strategic initiatives in which I was engaged.

Given the instant value this introduction to project management provided, I was anxious to learn more. As my knowledge expanded through my engagement with PMI, so did my perspective on how well-established project management practices could be applied across our organization to advance strategic objectives. As a direct result of my association with PMI, I recommended Mayo Clinic form our first EPMO, or enterprise portfolio management office.

Mayo Clinic leadership recognized that PMI is the international standard for project management and delivers tools, processes and approaches to complete projects. As a result, people throughout the organization were trained to secure a PMP certificate and it is now a requirement for all senior level project managers.

After establishing the EPMO, I become more involved in the local PMI chapter. Through this growing relationship with the organization, I was invited to join the PMI Global Executive Council. This opportunity further broadened my perspective, as I saw other organizations around the world dealing with the same issues as our teams. It was increasingly apparent how much value PMI provided in support of our professional objectives. I was able to interact with people who were contending with the same challenges that I was and that could provide innovative solutions based on their considerable expertise.

I was encouraged to become part of the PMI Board of Directors and was honored to be elected to the Board by our members. My first term concludes this year, and I was recently reelected for a second term, which will start in 2020.

Ozguler:    How did you become part of the Mayo Clinic, which is the first and largest integrated, non-profit medical practice group in the world?


To read entire interview, click here


How to cite this interview: Ozguler, I.S. (2019); Interview with Terri Knudson; PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue XI, December.   Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/pmwj88-Dec2019-Ozguler-Interview-with-Terri-Knudson.pdf



About the Interviewer

Ipek Sahra Ozguler

Istanbul, Turkey




Ipek Sahra Ozguler graduated from the Istanbul University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and from Middle East Technical University with an MSc degree in Software Management. As a project manager, she has more than 10 years’ experience in various areas such as portfolio management, program management, project management, software management, business analysis. She became a certified PMP in January, 2012 and a certified SCRUM Master in 2014.

She has managed a variety of projects across manufacturing, defence, FMCG (Cola Cola), insurance (Euler Hermes), audit (Deloitte), telecommunication, ICT and aviation sectors and gained broader insights. In addition, she has worked as international correspondent for the PM World Journal since 2014.

Ipek is based in Isanbul and can be contacted at ipeksahra@gmail.com.  Her portfolio is published at the http://ipeksahra.strikingly.com/.

To view other works by Ms. Ozguler, visit her author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ipek-sahra-ozguler/