Commonly Observed National and Religious Holidays 2015

2015If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to update your project schedules with non-working days for 2015. Below is a list of commonly observed national and religious holidays, and the dates they are commonly observed.Naturally, you’ll need to confirm which holidays apply to your project team.

And here is a post with instructions for updating the working calendar in MS Project.

Holiday Weekday Celebrated
New Year’s Day Thursday January 1
Martin Luther King’s Birthday (US) Monday January 19
Republic Day (India) Monday January 26
Chinese / Vietnamese New Year Thursday February 19
President’s Day (US) Monday February 16
Ash Wednesday Wednesday February 18
Beginning of Passover Saturday April 4
Good Friday Friday April 3
Easter Monday (UK) Monday April 6
May Day (China) Friday May 1
Early May Bank Holiday (UK) Monday May 4
Victoria Day (Canada) Monday May 18
Memorial Day (US) Monday May 25
Spring Bank Holiday (UK) Monday May 25
Shauvot Monday May 25
First day of Ramadan Thursday June 18
Canada Day Wednesday July 1
Independence Day (US) Saturday July 4
Independence Day (India) Saturday August 15
Summer Bank Holiday (UK) Monday August 31
Labor Day (US and Canada) Monday September 7
Rosh Hashanah Monday September 14
National Day (China) Thursday October 1
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (India) Friday October 2
Yom Kippur Wednesday September 23
Eid al-Adha / Festival of Sacrifice Thursday September 24
Sukkot Monday September 28
Columbus Day (US) Monday October 12
Thanksgiving (Canada) Monday October 12
Diwali (India) Wednesday November 11
Veteran’s Day (US) / Remembrance Day (Canada) Wednesday November 11
Thanksgiving Day (US) Thursday November 26
Day after Thanksgiving (US) Friday November 27
First day of Chanukah Monday December 7
Christmas Eve Thursday December 24
Christmas Day Friday December 25
Boxing Day (UK, Canada) Saturday December 26

New PM Articles for the Week of November 17 – 23

Balloon BeyondNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 17 – 23. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Seth Godin considers how the project scope is a bit like a bushel of apples. I guess Forrest Gump already did the “box of chocolates” routine.
  • Adriana Beal explores the Peter Drucker notion that, if you keep doing what made you successful, you will eventually fail.
  • Don Kim explains the relationship between Kaizen, an operations management incremental improvement process, and Kaikaku, a project delivering radical change.
  • Bruce Benson notes that groups get better over time, only by learning from their experience – including the negative experiences.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts an anecdote that illustrates how stakeholder engagement can lead to real improvements.
  • Nick Pisano points out the pivotal role of the integrated master plan in complex programs and project portfolios.
  • Kenneth Darter shares his checklist for preparing to begin a really big project.
  • Pat Weaver summarizes an article he contributed to, on the topic of governance versus management.
  • Harry Hall recommends an approach to selecting and initiating projects.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the Synergy 2014 conference, summarizing three presentations and some audience participation music-making.
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at the details of implementing that IT department holiday tradition: the production change freeze.

Agile Methods

  • Pallavi Kelapure and Vikas Gupta detail their approach to applying rapid deployment principles in an ERP implementation.
  • Johanna Rothman offers some practical approaches to breaking your near-epics into smaller stories.
  • Deepak Joshi walks us through a simple example of user role modeling, to show why the technique is so useful.
  • Derek Huether proposes an innovation in backlog grooming: Progression Workshops, using a subset of the team, referred to as the Product Owner Team.


  • Glen Alleman provides links to eight resources for methods to estimate non-trivial software projects, based on historical metrics.
  • Mike Cohn disputes the dissing of so-called “vanity metrics.”
  • John Goodpasture explains what a “figure of merit” is, and how it can be useful.
  • Rich Maltzman leverages an old post by Mounir Ajam to show that project success includes things you can’t measure until well after the project is complete.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jack Ferraro on the competencies required to drive strategic initiatives. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie contemplates how the way we name our projects influences the way our stakeholders and team feel about them. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Human Behavior in Groups

  • Lynda Bourne summarizes the Cohen-Bradford “Influence without Authority” model.
  • Pawel Brodzinski provides a leader’s view of the movement to reduce the role of management, and shares Lunar Logic’s two rules that govern their approach.
  • Peter Saddington notes the holes in the “personality testing” model of candidate selection.
  • Bruce Harpham lists some proactive methods to manage project conflict, and your reactions to it.


New Article at AITS on Why Perfection Sucks

AITSBloggingAllianceI’ve joined forces with the Accelerating IT Success (AITS) Blogging Alliance. I’m really happy to join them – they have a great site and a growing number of great authors. I expect to contribute one article per month; the first one just went live.

There’s Nothing Good About Perfection in Software Quality

Naturally, I’ll still publish my weekly round-ups and other content here at The Practicing IT Project Manager. I’ll post a note here and in all the usual places when each article comes out. Thanks for giving it a read, and I hope you also take a look at the articles by Bruce, Harry, Michel, Nick, and Ryan.