My Presentation at the CAMP IT Portfolio Management Conference

CAMP IT PresentationOn Friday, I presented my case study, “Getting From 23 to One: Merging Systems after the Mergers” at the CAMP IT Portfolio Management conference here in Las Vegas. The two day conference drew attendees from 15 states and Canada, with titles ranging from Executive Director of Execution and Governance to EPMO and PMO Directors. Many of the folks I met were with public sector organizations and higher education, although there were a lot of corporate types, too.

The case study analyzes the transformation of the HR and Payroll systems portfolio during my tenure at MGM Resorts International, following several intense years of mergers and acquisitions, while constructing three new resorts. I described how we applied a portfolio management approach to aligning with the business strategy, selecting and sequencing projects, managing enterprise risk, and reacting to major events. In addition, I talked about getting and maintaining stakeholder alignment, partnering with the procurement team, and lessons learned. I’ve made the slide deck available for download here.

Dave and Randy at the Coffee TableIf you’re sorry you missed it, organizer Randy Wimmer tells me they expect to repeat next year, here in Las Vegas. CAMP IT conducts conferences throughout the year, on a variety of IT subjects. Note: that enormous pastry on the left is actually a frosted hub cap. I backed away slowly, so it wouldn’t attack.

New PM Articles for the Week of May 18 – 24

StakeholdersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of May 11 – 24. Our theme this week is connecting with our stakeholders. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Joel Bancroft Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, explain the value of conducting structured meetings with stakeholders.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the key points from a presentation by Emad Aziz at the PMI Global Congress EMEA, what stakeholders want. Basically, they want to understand the value and benefits of the project, and they want to gain an assurance that the PM is up to the job.
  • Bruce Harpham explores the ways we can build trust at work, based on recent research.

Project Management Methods

  • Glen Alleman shares his reading list for those who want to learn about applying statistics, finance and economics to estimating and business decision making.
  • John Goodpasture casts a critical eye on a dubious claim: statistics does not require randomness.
  • Nick Pisano considers the potential for development of a general theory of project management.
  • Dave Wakeman looks at how we can achieve strategic alignment for our projects.
  • Rich Maltzman recounts an interesting story from a bank in Israel that applies corporate social responsibility to reduce risk and improve sustainability.
  • Michel Dion reviews Peter Taylor’s new book, Real Project Management.
  • Andy Jordan details how to ensure your project realizes the benefits it was approved to deliver.
  • Marco Behler announces his new e-book on customer requirements, for custom software development.
  • Tom McFarlin has an interesting approach to ever-changing technology: assume you know nothing.

Agile Methods

  • Geoff Watts explains imposter syndrome, and how to deal with professional insecurity, effectively.
  • Pawel Brodzinski summarizes what he and his colleagues at Lunar Logic have learned about Minimum Viable Product.
  • Ebin Poovathany gives us the history behind user stories, and what Kent Beck had in mind when he started using them.

Management without the Pointy Hair

  • Venkat Rao explores the relationship between social interaction, strain, and stress.
  • Margaret Meloni says we need to fine-tune the stress levels our team operates under, in order to optimize our productivity.
  • Coert Vissar samples a list of 20 psychological principles for teaching and learning, published by the APA.
  • Paul Ritchie summarizes recent research from PM College, showing the gap between what skills project managers think they need to work on, and what their bosses think.
  • Karina Keith rounds up a list of scary statistics on time management.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Colin Ellis, who shares his thoughts on hot to get started in a project management career. Just 55 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews PMI’s John Kleine on the upcoming changes to the PDU mix required to maintain your PMP credential. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Vivek Anigras and Aakash Srinivasan turn the tables on Dave Prior, interviewing him for their new Agile Archers series of videos. Just 8 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall explains how he developed a series of on-line project management courses. His overview video is here. Just two minutes, safe for work.


New PM Articles for the Week of March 30 – April 5

SightseersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 30 – April 5. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Seth Godin takes a systems-level view of the cost of panic. “Systems under severe stress degrade.” I don’t care what else you do today, read this.
  • Lynda Bourne gives an overview of the Salience Model of stakeholder assessment, which balances power, urgency, and legitimacy.
  • Coert Visser confirms what parents of teenagers have long suspected: demanding compliance is counter-productive.

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a graphic prepared by the KeyedIn Projects blog team, after a recent chat. If the Boss’s hair were more pointy, it would be a Dilbert cartoon.
  • Glen Alleman ties together some of the thoughts in his recent posts on making decisions in the presence of uncertainty.
  • John Goodpasture conducts a cost / benefit analysis of a new insurance product, and when it makes sense to transfer risk.
  • Harry Hall lists some of the ways we fail to ensure our projects meet quality requirements.
  • Wanda Curlee considers ways in which the CEO can use portfolio management to drive the organization in a desired direction.
  • Johanna Rothman presents an example of how to present your personal workload as a response to add to your queue.
  • Ryan Ogilvie conducts an analysis of comments posted to a problem management product website, and uncovers some trends.
  • Dan Furlong concludes his series on preparing for and facilitating meetings.
  • Charmaine Richman lists some guidelines for preparing and conducting conference calls.

Agile Methods

  • Projects At Work shares the results of the ninth annual State of Agile survey from VersionOne.
  • Emanuele Passera gets us ready for swimming season, with a demonstration of how to use story points for estimation.
  • Mike Cohn notes that transparency is the ideal when sharing details from a retrospective, but there are legitimate exceptions.
  • Jesse Fewell shares his retrospective from his first full year as an independent Agile coach and trainer.
  • Deepak Joshi identifies roadblocks to building cross-functional teams.


  • Michael Lopp identifies two leadership strengths that are more common in introverts.
  • Bruce Harpham reviews the most basic, most effective, and most frequently overlooked behavioral motivator – showing appreciation.
  • Michel Dion reviews Susanne Madsen’s book, “The Power of Project Leadership.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews engineering-and-hard-science project management master Glen Alleman. Just over an hour, worth every minutes, and safe for work.
  • Sven Johann and Eberhard Wolff define technical debt and discuss alternative approaches to managing it. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.