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 December 29 – January 4

Happy 2015New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 29 – January 4. Wait, it’s 2015? Happy New Year!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman elegantly explains why a project needs both a budget and on-going estimates of cost to complete, in order to be in control.
  • John Goodpasture breaks down the “big three” of portfolio management – sequence, value, and risk – as the essence of planning to maximize value.
  • Bruce Benson parallels personal financial planning assumptions with the assumptions we use in planning our projects.
  • Adriana Girdler has some thoughts on how to sustain that new change initiative.
  • Gina Abudi explains how a team-building exercise works, when your team is spread across the globe.
  • Harry Hall builds on his recent post about asking the right questions, with some examples of what, why, and how.
  • Russell Whitworth urges us to distinguish between the essential and the merely important.
  • Lynda Bourne provides a few techniques for fine-tuning your bullshit detector. Yup, she even has a no-bullshit road sign, which I envy to no end.
  • Kenneth Darter coaches us on how to communicate changes on our project.
  • Soma Bhattacharya interviews Elizabeth Harrin about her new e-coaching service.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski proposes an alternative to Minimum Viable Product: he calls it Minimum Indispensable Feature Set.
  • Don Kim predicts that 2015 will see us using the term “Agile” less frequently, as Agile methods become the norm.
  • Terry Bunio notes the resemblance between the Agile Movement, which is now in its teen years, and actual teenagers. Hilarious …
  • Johanna Rothman shares a recent coaching experience, as a lead-in to the new Influential Agile Leader training that she and Gil Broza will deliver this year.
  • Alex Lu-Pon points out the use of Agile methods in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.”
  • Sumit Sharma details the Definition of Ready for a user story.

Looking Ahead

  • Cheri Baker thinks the best part of January 1st is the attitude that we are empowered to make adjustments to our behavior.
  • Michel Dion asks us, what will you stop doing in 2015, in order to have the time to achieve your goals?
  • Elizabeth Harrin lists some specific actions to take at work, in order to get organized for 2015.
  • Andy Jordan looks ahead, with a few concerns about how the project management profession is evolving. But, just a few.
  • Robert Vamosi reports that the Internet of Things is now sneaking into our socks. No, he’s not kidding.
  • Scott Berkun relates how he learned to concentrate with advice in a book from Larry Bird.


New PM Articles for the Week of October 20 – 26

Balloon LandingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Samad Aidane notes that the project kickoff is not the place to “sell” the project to the stakeholders – that should have already been done.
  • Peter Saddington shares a video on how our assumptions and biases prevent us from being objective. Just four minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin has some advice for project managers asked to manage an internal project with little or no spending authority.
  • Jerry Manas investigates the resource management and capacity planning choices we make when responding to increasing demand.
  • Glen Alleman points out the logical fallacies in anecdotal evidence, and applies Carl Sagan’s bullshit detector.
  • Gary Nelson returns from a wilderness first aid course with the observation that medical emergencies have many of the same attributes as projects.
  • John Goodpasture reminds us that exposure to risk is cumulative: “The risk that at least one thing will fail is way more than the risk that any one thing will fail.”
  • Kevin Coleman lays out the potential impact of a security breach, and the aftermath.
  • Janani Dumbleton tells how to kick off a data governance initiative.
  • Sean Williams begins a series on improving federal acquisition decisions through comprehensive financial analysis.
  • Nick Pisano continues his criticism of how organizations misuse Excel as an analytical “filler” between specialized applications.
  • Allen Ruddock sings the praises of Sharepoint as a project management tool.
  • Kerry Wills zooms in on three “course corrections” that can keep a project on track.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn begins a series on two approaches to sprint planning: velocity-driven and commitment-driven.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan conclude their series extracted from their new testbook, “Introduction to Agile Methods.”
  • Sandeep Lad fleshes out the definition of “servant leader.”


  • Paul Ritchie shares some insights into how the best influencers convince the CEO.
  • Martin Webster shares an infographic that ties together employee engagement, stress, and leadership.
  • Shoaib Ahmed invokes Frederick Herzberg, who linked employee dissatisfaction to “hygiene factors” and employee satisfaction to achievement.
  • Johanna Rothman recounts an anecdote that illustrates the potential blowback from executive-dictated culture change.
  • Pam Stanton recalls an instance where a visionary leader ran into problems by not focusing on execution.
  • Coert Visser gives us the executive summary of “Rethinking Positive Thinking,” by Gabriele Oettingen.

Professional Development

  • Bruce Harpham explores networking, in three dimensions.
  • Don Kim eyes with skepticism a claim that PMI-ACP credentialed project managers are the highest paid – especially coming from a training provider.
  • Geoff Crane shares the slide deck from his keynote on emotional intelligence, “Why Smart People Fail,” presented at the PMI Durham Highlands monthly meeting.