About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including premises-based ERP solutions, like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise, and SaaS solutions, like Workday. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. He also holds the project management professional (PMP) designation, as well as professional designations in human resources (GPHR and SPHR) and in benefits administration (CEBS).

The Internet Never Forgets

I started this blog in 2010, with the intent of writing about project management. My original idea, which has somehow survived, was to post a weekly round-up of news items, blog posts, and other content, and then write about other stuff as it came up. My first weekly round-up had nine items; these days, I cap it at 25, and rarely have fewer than that. But back then, I was still discovering sources of content, and it was a struggle. While assembling content for that first curated post, I read that the news that Rita Mulcahy had passed away.

Rita MulcahyIf you’ve ever studied for the Project Management Professional exam, you’ve probably heard of Rita. Her PMP study guide, now updated by the staff of the training firm she founded, remains one of the most widely used. So I wrote a brief obituary, and posted it on July 10, 2010. It was the first post on my new blog, so I doubt it got very many views in that first month. But the internet never forgets.

All of those blog posts, and comments, and pictures, and links, and diagrams on my blog have been indexed by “spiders” from the major search engines. And so far this year, my little obituary has been read 150 times. More than four years after her death, Rita still gets Googled, and some of those searchers find my old article. I hope that what I wrote helped them understand the lady, because I think she was fascinating. Since then, I’ve written obituaries for a former colleague, Jay Dawson, as well as Steve Jobs and Dennis Ritchie. They get a few reads from time to time, as well.

Johannes Gutenberg invented a printing press based on movable type around 1439. No one know how many books, pamphlets, newspapers, magazine, and other writings have been printed since then, but most of them have been lost. Paper fades, crumbles, and burns. Some day, even the most intensely maintained of Leonardo DaVinci’s works will fade. But the digital images of those masterpieces will remain. EMC estimates that the content on the internet doubles in size every two years. By 2020, they project that the digital universe will comprise 44 trillion gigabytes. Thus, people will be able to read the text of authors, great and wretched, posted on line until the end of civilization. So be fastidious about what you write and how you say it: more so than in any time in human history, we write for the ages.

The internet never forgets. And so, we can remember. Peace be with you.

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).