PDUs: Ways of Working

Episode 366: Project Management Benchmark Report 2016 (Free)

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Lindsay Scott
Lindsay Scott

For over a decade now, Arras people has been publishing their yearly project management benchmark report and so I’ve invited Lindsay Scott (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/projectsmanagementrecruitment) to introduce it to us to this latest version.

Lindsay says about the report, that even after all this time of doing the research and seeing the changes over the years, it is hard not to be drawn to the fact that project management is still an exciting and growing field. The fact that projects are still failing suggests that even with all the effort and time expended we are still searching for that magic bullet which will ensure we deliver.

Of course, the report doesn’t give us this magic bullet, but it provides an interesting insight into what you and I are doing day after day.

There are two options for you to get a copy of this report:

Episode 359: How to Manage a Shipyard Project (Premium)

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Fernando Remolina
Fernando Remolina, PMP

Shipyards and dockyards are the places where ships are repaired and built. Here we are talking about yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other types of cargo or passenger ships. And of course, in order to stay on time, on budget and on scope, a shipyard project manager oversees the project.

Fernando Remolina González (https://www.linkedin.com/in/remolinaf) has been working in ship repair and shipbuilding project management for about a decade. He is one of the few voices that write and speak about their experience in managing projects on ships.

It's a fascinating and centuries old industry that requires the project manager to have lots of technical experience. Beyond that shipyard project management follows a pretty standard approach. You initiate, plan, execute, monitor & control, and then you close the project. But as in any other industry, it’s what you do that makes all the difference.

This interview is based on Fernando's article titled "Shipyards: Fast and Complex Projects" [Update: the website is no longer available, so we removed the link].


This interview is 24 minutes long. This means that you can "legally" only claim 0.25 PDUs for listening to it. However... if you first listen to the interview and then also read the article on which it is based, then you can go ahead and claim 0.50 PDUs!

Episode 358: Work Breakdown Structure for a Shipyard Project (Free)

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Fernando Remolina
Fernando Remolina, PMP

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a powerful project management planning and controlling tool. It is the backbone to planning and managing scope on any project and - as you will hear in our interview - every ship repair project must have it.

Fernando Remolina González (https://www.linkedin.com/in/remolinaf) is a project management professional and works for the Curacao Drydock Company in ship repair, engineering and ship conversion. In his many years of working in shipyard project management he realized that managing the scope is both central and vital and that the WBS is the tool to use. And his successful projects are the proof.

So he set out to help others in his industry and wrote the article WBS for Ship Repair Projects. But here is the good news. First of all his article offers a fascinating look at shipbuilding project management and second, his review of how to apply and use a WBS can easily be applied to many other types of projects.

Episode 357: Managing Murphy (Free)

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Jim Young
Dr Jim Young, PMP, FNZIM

Today, I don’t have a full interview for you. I have something better. I have a free book on risk management for you:

The free risk management eBook you are going to get is “Managing Murphy -- Essentials of project risk management”. It’s written by Dr Jim Young, PMP, FNZIM (http://www.skillpower.co.nz/) and it is intended to be applicable regardless of your preferred methodology and framework – so you can use the concepts presented no matter if you follow PMBOK®, PRINCE2 or Agile approaches. The book includes exercises to do with your team so it's truly interactive. The exercise on risk responses in project managementis particularly helpful, in my view.

Click to view and download the PDF eBook now...

If you use a podcast app to download and listen to our interviews, then the book has very likely already been downloaded by the app for you. It is a PDF document and you should see it as a separate episode of your subscription of The PM Podcast. If not, then please click on the download button above.


You can claim 1 PDU in the "Technical Project Management" category for each hour that you spend reading this book. Please study the PMI CCRS Handbook and search for "reading" in the document to see how to claim your PDUs in detail.

Episode 357: Managing Murphy (Free PDF eBook)

Click to view and download the PDF eBook now.

This free eBook "Managing Murphy - essentials of project risk management" was written by Dr Jim Young, PMP, FNZIM.

What I like about this ebook is that it includes risk management strategies for agile projects as well as techniques suitable for predictive methodologies. It references the PMI Practice Standard for Project Risk Management and goes into detail in more than 400 pages into the language and principles, processes and planning, identification and analysis and of course risk response management and monitoring and control. That's a lot of content! The section on reviewing and revising your risk approaches will help you identify risk management critical success factors specific to your organization so you can use those again in the future.

Risk management in project management is such an important area for practitioners and executives, so I'm pleased to be able to share this ebook with you. Why not send the link on to your colleagues as well?

Episode 352: Enlightened Project Management (Free)

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Joe Drammissi, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Joe Drammissi, MSPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM

We spend most of our waking hours at work, yet for many among us the time spent there is unrewarding, unfulfilling, and often just unpleasant. If that sounds familiar, then we can help.

Today we are going to be talking about Enlightened Project Management with Joe Drammissi, PMP (http://enlightenedpm.com/about). At first, this sounds like a method that comes straight out of a new age textbook, but it is in fact a worthwhile concept that helps us project managers not only make a positive difference, but also puts us at the leading edge of change. So keep on listening!

In our interview, Joe and I talk about what enlightened project management is but then quickly talk about the traits that an enlightened project managers has. We review what such a PM strives to do, believes in and how she or he works with stakeholders.

We close out the interview by learning how EPM is applied on a project manager's day-to-day work, and Joe gives us a technique that is easy to apply to get us started -- all based on his book 101 Tips for the Enlightened Project Manager.

Episode 346: Weight Loss For Risky Projects (Free)

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David Hillson
Cornelius Fichtner and Dr. David Hillson
(We're pointing at Disneyworld on the map)

This interview with Dr. David Hillson was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Weight Loss For Risky Projects". Here is the paper's definition of Risk Obesity:

“Risk obesity” occurs when there is too much risk in the system, resulting from uncontrolled risk appetite (Hillson, 2014). This can affect the business as a whole if strategic risk-taking decisions by the senior management team lead to risk exposure that is greater than the organization can manage. But risk obesity can also occur at the project level, when a particular project is carrying levels of risk that are too high, posing a significant threat to the project’s success.

Each of the characteristics of physical obesity has parallels in risk obesity, where we accumulate excessive risk exposure that threatens the ongoing health of our project, and that may ultimately be terminal. Risk obesity also makes other risk ailments more likely, as high levels of risk exposure challenge the ability of our risk management processes to cope.

The main cause of risk obesity is an uncontrolled or inappropriate risk appetite (Hillson and Murray-Webster, 2012), leading us to take on too much risk without the ability to digest it and deal with it effectively. It is also possible in some cases that there is a built-in tendency to risk obesity arising from the “organizational DNA,” with a corporate ethos and culture that lead to excessive risk-taking.

The good news for projects suffering from risk obesity is that it is both treatable and preventable. This paper provides clear diagnostic symptoms to determine whether a project is risk obese, as well as proven treatment options.

Episode 344: Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance (Free)

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Neal Whitten
Cornelius Fichtner and Neal Whitten

This interview with Neal Whitten was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance". Here is the paper's abstract:

If you have difficulty in juggling the demands of your job and your non-work life, you’re not alone. Many people feel like their lives are overcommitted and see no relief in sight. Nowadays, work-life balance can seem like an unrealistic objective and can seem more elusive than ever.

I have personally wrestled with my own work-life balance issues for most of my adult life, but—as a senior-aged person—I have learned a massive amount of knowledge and, dare I say, wisdom, about the highly important subject of finding a satisfactory harmony across all aspects of life. I have also read the research and musings from many valuable contributors that have opened my eyes even wider on maintaining a healthy work-life balance. My mission here is to sift through the data and present to you meaningful information that can help you to not only better understand your work-life balance, but can also give you ideas that can help you to achieve the integration that is most important to you.

Episode 343: Managing Virtual Teams (Free)

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Jesse Fewell
Cornelius Fichtner and Jesse Fewell

This interview with Jesse Fewell was recorded at the 2015 PMI® Global Congress in Orlando, Florida. We discuss his paper and presentation "Can You Hear Me Now? Working with Global, Distributed, Virtual Teams". Here is the paper's abstract:

Today's work world has changed radically. Whether video chatting with China or taking a call at from home, more and more professional work is no longer in person. It can be frustrating, but a deeper look reveals some surprises: Everyone is doing it, and not just for costs; many organizations are thriving with it. Most pain points have simple work-arounds. This paper will walk you through tips and benefits for working with people outside your office.

With the rise of the Internet, emerging economies, and the trend of working from home, today’s professionals are dealing with a workplace that is very different from anything the world has ever seen. Never before in the history of mankind have we been able to conduct so much work, so quickly, with so many people outside our own location.

Of course, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. We struggle with time zone issues, language barriers, limited visibility, poor infrastructure, and so on and so on. Sometimes we choose remote teams intentionally for their benefits. But often, this kind of organizational structure is handed to managers and team members without choice.

This paper is about how to deal with all those issues and strengthen your teams.

Episode 328: Agile Communications (Premium)

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Bill Dow
Bill Dow, PMP, ITIL, CSM - Author

According to Harold Kerzner, we project managers spend 90% of our time communicating.

And according to the title, Bill Dow’s new book Project Management Communication Tools is 100% about communication tools. And since agile project management is the hot topic of the day, a large portion of the book is devoted to Agile Communications and Agile Communication Tools.

So in this interview, Bill and I review:

  • Agile dashboards
  • Agile meetings
  • And even agile estimation.

Good communication is essential for risk management in agile projects so you are sure to pick up some great ideas from this episode -- whether or not you are working in an Agile environment.

Episode 327: Social Media Project Management Tools (Free)

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Bill Dow
Bill Dow, PMP, ITIL, CSM - Author

You don’t necessarily have to manage a social media project in order to recognize the benefits of using the tools of social media project management. Furthermore, being a social media project manager is more than simply publishing a few project updates on Facebook.

In order to really reap the benefits, social media has to be a fully integrated and planned part of your project’s communications management strategy.

How to use and when to use social media on your project is at the center of my discussion with Bill Dow (https://www.linkedin.com/in/billdow) whose book Project Management Communication Tools includes a whole section on social media tools for our projects.

In our discussion, Bill and I will review the following:

  • Mapping social media tools to project communication tools
  • Determining which tools to use on your projects
  • Which tools can we use in which project phase or process group
  • When to bring on a social media expert to help

Episode 326: Got Project Management Questions? Here are the Answers! (Free)

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Jeff Furman
Jeff Furman, PMP - Author

Do you have a project management question? Then Jeff Furman (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jefffurmanlinkedin) very likely has the answer for you in the second edition of The Project Management Answer Book.

The book includes questions

  • Why do project managers need a formal project charter?
  • What is the role of a program manager?
  • What are the top 10 pitfalls to avoid when starting a project?
  • What is the single best way to prevent scope creep?

All answers are detailed, easy to understand and often come with tips and tricks tables and graphics and everything you need to fully understand and implement good practices on your own projects.

This book is also great for anyone preparing for their PMP® Exam. So if you are looking for a good PMP Book then check out the great reviews it has received on Amazon!

This second edition is not just a rehash of what Jeff originally published some years back. Far from it. Jeff revisited every single question and wrote an updated answer to include changes in our industry. So it’s not surprising that he now also includes sections on Agile, Scrum and Stakeholder Management.

Episode 324: How to Get Your PMP Certification with Bryan Bowers (Free)

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Bryan Bowers, PMP
Bryan Bowers, MBA, PMP

This is another episode in which I am proudly introducing you to one of my successful students who was able to pass the PMP. His name is Bryan Bowers (https://www.linkedin.com/in/bowersbryan) and he is a student of the PMP PrepCast.

There are two reasons that make me especially proud of helping him pass. First of all, Bryan has taken over a dozen certification exams, and second he says that “this was by and far the most brutal exam I have ever taken”. And so I feel very satisfied that it was my exam preparation course that showed Bryan how to prepare for PMP.

In this PMP lessons learned interview you are going to hear him talk about his journey to becoming PMP certified from start to finish.

Episode 323: Agile Burnout - How to Avoid Fatigue on Your Agile Team (Premium)

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Kim Wasson
Kim Wasson. Author, Speaker & PM Consultant.

Do you use an Agile project management approach? And have you maybe noticed a certain fatigue -- an Agile burnout, a Scrum burnout in your team?

Well, Agile is indeed an excellent methodology that is responsive to business changes with quick turnaround and highly visible results. But at the same time, the pace of a project using scrum project management -- or any Agile approch -- is relentless. It never seems to stop and this is potentially one of the biggest agile project management issues that the team may face. Unlike Waterfall there are very few built-in times for team members to catch their collective breath and celebrate milestones. Perhaps project managers in a Waterfall environment would disagree, but I think you can see what I mean.

This Scrum burnout was the basis of the article Agile Fatigue written by Kim Wasson https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwasson. It’s a relatively short article that contains some good tips on how to combat this effect. So in our interview just now we are going to talk about the following symptoms:

  • Burnout
  • Meandering
  • Stagnation
  • The daily stand-up turns into a grind
  • A secret move back to waterfall

But more importantly, we discuss what to do about them in order to battle the burnout, so agile project management with scrum doesn't mean risking your mental or physical wellbeing. Scrum agile project management training is one way of ensuring you are using good practices to manage the process, and in the interview Kim will share more ideas.

Episode 322: The Secret Behind Project Human Resources Management is People-Centered Project Management (Free)

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Kim Wasson
Kim Wasson. Author, Speaker & PM Consultant.

When I was a junior project manager, I thought that managing my projects meant for me to focus primarily on the schedule. But as I grew from junior to senior I learned that in order to improve my project manager skills, I needed to learn how to manage project management relationships.

Every project is made up of people, and people are diverse and unpredictable beings. The fascinating study of people, how they interact, and what makes them tick is the heart of project management. It is also at the heart of "People-Centered Project Management", which is a free eBook by Kim Wasson https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwasson.

The eBook is all about people project management and explores "The five elements that will make or break your project (unless you’re living in a cave)". The five elements are

  • Building Relationships
  • Common Goals
  • Learning Style
  • Motivation
  • Skills Matching

These elements are not only at the core of project human resources management, they are also at the center of our discussion. We review each element and and give you lots of tips and tricks so that you can improve your project manager people skills.

Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Going beyond Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®

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