I Just Invested In Someone Else’s Dream

Cesar AbeidIf you regularly browse the links in my weekly round-up, you’ve seen the name Cesar Abeid. Cesar is a project manager and blogger at Project Management for the Masses, who specializes in interview podcasts. Cesar is widely considered the best interviewer in the project management community, and he’s gotten some pretty impressive interviews.From the managers of mega-projects, like the widening of the Panama Canal and the construction of the Oresund Bridge, to presentation goddess Nancy Duarte, to David Allen of “Getting Things Done” fame, Cesar gets people to talk to him, and he asks the right questions.

Most recently, he decided to write a book, to be called “Project Management for You.” His goal was to present the basics of project management for people who don’t want to be career PM’s, but do want to apply a little structure and discipline in getting things done. Important things, at least to them. So, in support of that book, he decided to do what he does best: interview people. He reached out to nearly two dozen project management bloggers, authors, and thought leaders, and asked each of us a few questions:

  • How would you define project management to the lay person?
  • What is the least people need to know about PM to start on the path of getting things done?
  • What are the stage of bringing an idea to reality?
  • If you could recommend one technique from the PM world to the masses, what would it be and where can we learn it?
  • Managing projects often means working with other people. What’s the best way to know when and what to delegate, and to compel people to collaborate on a project?

Now, Cesar is publishing those interviews, one each weekday for the next four weeks. And he’s working on his book, which should be ready in early 2015. But in order to help cover the costs of self-publishing, he’s initiated a Kick-starter campaign. I like what Cesar is doing, and I respect the way he’s doing it. So I invested in his dream. If you think this might be something you want to support, too, check out the page on his blog. And if you want to buy an advance, signed copy of the hardcover edition of his book, check out his Kick-starter page.

New PM Articles for the Week of September 22 – 28

SightseersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 22 – 28. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Tad VanderVorste lays out a detailed approach to managing the development of integrations between systems that consume each other’s data.
  • Cindy Wilkins articulates the content and value proposition of a contract management plan, for you government folks.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes a presentation on how Glaxo Smith-Kline adopted and then refined their portfolio and project management tool.
  • Barry Otterholt extols the virtues of milestones, from the perspective of the project sponsor.
  • Allen Ruddock tells of how he got from pencil and paper to EverNote, and how he’s using it to manage the information his project generates.
  • Glen Alleman notes that making complex choices in the absence of all desired information requires some estimates to fill in the gaps.
  • Aaron Smith interviews Leslie Pratch on her use of personality assessments to identify what she has found to be a crucial leadership quality – active coping.
  • Coert Visser identifies the two factors that enable growth: a growth mindset, powered by autonomous motivation.
  • Peter Saddington explains the power of affinity, which consists of three core elements: leadership, environment, and culture.
  • Laura Burford tells how to bond with your project sponsor.
  • Kerry Wills lists his techniques for dealing with difficult people.
  • Andy Jordan considers the costs associated with the “new normal” of excessive workload and long hours.

Agile Methods

  • Don Kim introduces us to the notion of Anti-FrAgile, as “introducing targeted disruptive shocks, which are enough to induce and promote growth and innovation.” Without killing the patient!
  • Johanna Rothman describes an experiment for organizations that have people segregated into component teams to collaborate on one backlog.
  • Mike Cohn shares a lesson learned from a user story that he wrote, which didn’t get the desired result.
  • Peter Saddington shares an Email describing an appallingly bad start to a software project.

Following the Trends

  • Kevin Coleman identifies five emerging technologies (OK, a couple of them are trends) that will soon appear in our project charters.
  • Duncan Haughey lists five project management trends already changing the way we do business.
  • Conner Forrest introduces the terminology, characteristics, and value model of Big Data.
  • Jelani Harper breaks down the science of data management, expressed by CMMI in their Data Management Maturity model.

Professional Development

  • Cesar Abeid introduces a new series of interview podcasts in support of his new book, “Project Management for You.” Just ten minutes, safe for work.
  • John Goodpasture shares some excellent advice on public speaking.
  • Cheri Baker recounts an anecdote on the importance of eye contact, as a way to communicate respect.
  • Liz Staplefoote shares some statistics on the IT hiring situation. Key statistic: the unemployment for people with IT experience is around 3%.
  • Suzanne Lucas gives us some pointers on refreshing our resumes (even if we’re not looking for a job right now).


Agile Scout Kindle Giveaway!

Peter Saddington is celebrating the fifth anniversary of his blog, Agile Scout. And he has decided to give away three Kindle readers over the next three months, to celebrate. Click here for the details.

Agile Scout has been one of the best sources of news on Agile techniques and how they are actually being implemented, by real organizations. Peter is a trainer and consultant, and he spends a lot of his time and energy helping teams get their Agile act together. He’s one of the folks working in this space who has a balanced view of software development, so I tend to give his opinion a bit more weight than certain other folks, who need not be publicly shamed.

Reading My KindleRegarding the Kindle: we’re on our second Kindle, and between my wife and I, it gets used literally every day. Not just for books: you can download videos from Amazon Prime and watch them on the plane. My wife also uses it to play Spider Solitaire. But of course, we have well over a hundred books on our Kindle. The Kindle app on my laptop gets used from time to time, but the ability to sit in a comfortable chair and read can’t be beat.

Even if you already have a Kindle, stop by and congratulate Peter on his milestone.