The Data Conversion Cycle – Now Available on Amazon.com

My new book, “The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transactions and other records, for system implementation teams,” is now available on Amazon.com in both Kindle format for $4.49 and paperback for $6.99. If you buy the paperback version, you can also buy the Kindle version for 99 cents in what Amazon calls “matchbook” pricing.

When asked for the most common sources of problems for software system implementation projects, experienced system implementers and consultants always list data conversion among their top three. Converting from one production record-keeping system to another is a challenge because you not only have a moving target; you also have a moving origin, as records are created and updated each day while the project is in progress. This book expands on a series of blog posts on The Practicing IT Project Manager website. Originally written for my project manager following, I extensively revised the content for a general business audience.

This book was designed to be a resource for project teams comprised of not just project managers and IT specialists, but the people working in the business areas who own and maintain the data records and will use the new systems. The goal was to provide a clear model expressed in a common language for a cross-functional team.
The first six chapters explain data conversion as an iterative process, from defining the scope to mapping source system records to the target system, to extraction and loading, to validation. This methodology works well with Agile methods, especially those involving iterative prototyping. However, it can also be used with more traditional planning-intensive approaches.

I also include a chapter on incorporating data conversion into the project planning process and a chapter on risk management. The risk management chapter starts with the basics and goes into considerable detail in identifying risks applicable to data conversion. The book includes an Appendix with an example output of a risk identification meeting and the types of information to include in a risk register. There is also a chapter on measuring progress when using this iterative approach, and a Glossary.

As always, thanks for reading my stuff.

New Book: How to Be a Good Project Manager

The idea for this book came to Rogerio Manso after reading a post at TimeCamp.com that listed the TOP 123 influencers in project management industry in 2016. He knew some of us personally, but the majority only by following their personal website. As a project manager, he felt it would be very interesting to know what these professionals have to share about their experience in being a good project manager. So he decided to contact all of the 123 project managers to ask the following question:

In your opinion, what is your best advice to be a good project manager?

He didn’t expect to get many answers, but thirty of us responded with priceless advice and expertise. So he compiled the responses into an eBook and made it available to each of us, as well as his students at The Project Management Academy. As Rogerio says, “This eBook shows not only advice about how to be a good project manager but shows that the best way to learn is by sharing our knowledge. I hope that when you finish reading this eBook, you also decide to share your knowledge with someone. Teach someone….coach someone…. mentor someone…. add value to someone. Knowledge should not be propriety. Knowledge should be shared to create more knowledge.”

In that spirit, please feel free to download the book. If you have a feedback, please share with us. Leave a comment here or Email your comments to Rogerio at contact@pmagp.com. Or reach out to the project manager whose advice you want to respond to.

How to Be a Good Project Manager
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Calling All (New) Bloggers!

Aside

Dennis the NewsboyI get inquiries from time to time from people who would like to add a post on their blog or LinkedIn or corporate website to my weekly roundup. I try to encourage new bloggers, and give greater visibility to good content. To that end, let me explain how I curate the weekly reading list:

  • My publishing cycle is to post at 21:00 Sunday evening US Pacific Time (GMT-8), based on whatever appeared during the preceding seven days. Here in Nevada, we observe Daylight SavingsTime.
  • If something is dated a day or two before the start of the week, but I believe it should be seen by my readers, I’ll link to it. Anything older than that is sand through the hourglass.
  • I typically review 120 – 150 articles and blog posts, and link to the best of them, in my admittedly subjective opinion.
  • No one gets two links in the same week. Even if you wrote the two best articles of the week, I’m only going to send the audience toward one of them
  • I limit to 25 links each week, although in some weeks it’s fewer. There’s no point in flooding the market.
  • This year, I’ve started including a link to a video or audio recording, apropos of nothing. If you send me a link to something that appeals to my gypsy cowboy, hippie Newgrass musician, traditional woodworker sensibilities, I’ll credit you.

I maintain a Blogroll on the main page of this site, listing links to sites I think my readers should be aware of. I remove links from the list when they appear to be inactive and add new links when it seems appropriate. Most of the sites on my Blogroll don’t link to this site, but it’s not intended to be a quid pro quo. That said, I believe in the power of community, and those who want to be read should be actively working to grow the community.

I have posted a small number of high-quality guest articles by practitioners, and several of them still get read every month, thanks to the miracle of search engines. Check out this post by Joe Smith to see what I mean. If you have written something you want to share with the project management community but you don’t want to create a website just to publish it, contact me. Note that this invitation is for practitioner authors only – please don’t spam me with product or service placements, “professionally written content,” or stuff your boss / client / colleague wrote.

As always, thanks for reading my stuff, and the stuff I link to.