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Episode 429: Say Yes to Project Success (Free)

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KR, SN and CF
Karthik Ramamurthy, Sripriya Narayanasamy and Cornelius Fichtner

In this interview we welcome Sripriya Narayanasamy (LinkedIn Profile) and Karthik Ramamurthy (LinkedIn Profile) who are the authors of the book Say Yes to Project Success. in 52 short and entertaining chapters the book gives actionable advice to project managers on the most common issues we are faced with on pretty much every project.

This interview was recorded ad the hectic and fantastic Project Management Institute (PMI)® Global Conference 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Here is the book's abstract

Are you under pressure to deliver? Is your life made tough by shortened schedules, tight budgets, skills gap, incomplete scope, and demanding stakeholders? Do you need help in the form of proven practical tips and techniques to help you confidently deliver project success? This book will certainly help you. What’s inside?

  • Superb set of 52 proven project success keys.
  • Unbeatable breadth of insights: 108 experts, 2000+ projects, 119 countries
  • Comprehensive solutions to the top 20 global project failure factors
  • Coverage of waterfall, hybrid and agile methodologies in 54 industries
  • Extensive discussions on soft skills, leadership and communication
  • Situation, impact, and resolution presentation technique
  • Storytelling approach for easy understanding

We have chosen 4 chapters from the book ("Great Catches", "Last Mile Connectivity", "Fun with Risks", and "Feed me a Sandwich") in order to review them together.

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Episode Transcript

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: In this episode of The Project Management Podcast™, we want you to say ‘yes’ to project success.

Hello and welcome to The Project Management Podcast™ at I am Cornelius Fichtner.

Podcast Interview

Cornelius Fichtner: We are coming to you live from the hectic and fantastic 2018 PMI Global Conference in Los Angeles. And with me right now here in the hallways are two guests. I have Karthik Ramamurthy and Priya Narayanasamy with me here today. And since you all know that I only have one microphone for one guest, we’re splitting them up. Karthik is here first with the headset on. Good morning, Karthik!

Karthik Ramamurthy: Good morning, Cornelius, and I like the freedom of first not talking over each other.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! How is the conference going for you so far? Because in the opening, I said we are at the hectic and fantastic global conference. You chose ‘hectic’, why?

Karthik Ramamurthy: Absolutely! So many great sessions. So many great speakers. First of all, it has been difficult to choose someone’s sessions. Also for Priya and me, we had two topics selected. One a workshop on decision making and another on eight practical risk management success secrets. And PMI selected us to do encores for both so four presentations in three days plus attending all those great sessions, hectic is the word.

Cornelius Fichtner: No wonder you are saying it is hectic, yes. The one thing we want to talk about, however, this morning is not any of your presentations but your book. The two of you wrote a book together called “Say Yes to Project Success – Winning the Project Management Game”. It includes proven insights from 108 experts of that led 2,000 projects in 119 countries. And let’s see, it is about 160 pages thick. So you have 108 experts and 160, how did you pull this off to start with? How did you get 108 to contribute to your book?

Karthik Ramamurthy: It was tough. It was made even more complex because we had to do it is a short period of four months and I should congratulate Priya has a back office PMO in addition to the PMI. In fact, there are several people right here at this conference who are experts and contributors who run away when they see Priya. Because she cheers them so much to get the expert insights on time coordinating with them. I’m talking of course, they were all happy to be contributors to a global book.

Cornelius Fichtner: Right, and the book is slightly different because you use story telling in the book.

Karthik Ramamurthy: Yes and we used true stories, Cornelius, because I greatly admire Goldratt’s Critical Chain. I learned a lot from that book. It was a novel and that approach helped. But I realized in today’s generation, people don’t have the time to read a full novel. So we actually wrote 52 short stories each which starts with the situation a project manager is having, how it is affecting his/her project negatively.

There’s a turning point or an epiphany moment where they find the solution. Maybe through a piece of music, watching a movie or a conference session and they implement it. And we said let it not just be about the 50 hours of experience Priya and I have, let’s include global experts which is where at the end of every chapter, there are two global experts who talk about how they resolved that particular problem.

So the 52 stories are set against the 20 biggest project management failure factors in the world. And at the end of the book, there is an [anecdote] that talks about the 20 failure factors and we’ve linked those to the chapters that provide solutions. So if you are reading the book, you are looking at what your biggest pain points are and solutions to those pain points from a variety of experts. So we don’t think that’s a solutions book because there are a lot of great books on the theory of project management. But I’ve not seen too many on how to fix those problems in a very practical manner and which is why we wrote that book.

Cornelius Fichtner: Good! We want to jump into four of these chapters. You have selected two. Priya has selected two, and talk about those a little but more in detail. But before we do that, I have learned today that everyone of your presentation starts with a gimmick. You are catch-the-attention of your listeners, right?

Karthik Ramamurthy: Yes.

Cornelius Fichtner: And what we are going to do is since we are talking about the book, we are going to give away two copies of this book in three copies.

Karthik Ramamurthy: Yes.

Cornelius Fichtner: We’re going to give away three copies of this book in electronic format so it’s going to be the Kindle version of the book: “Say Yes to Project Success”. And what we are going to do is we are going to be putting up a question on our Facebook page. And the question is this: Who is Fern Suite Chronicle? Fern Suite Chronicle, who is…?

Karthik Ramamurthy: That is an anagram.

Cornelius Fichtner: Yes.

Karthik Ramamurthy: That’s an anagram, which means like the word “arts” can be rearranged to form “rats” or “star” or even “tsar”. You want to rearrange these letters to get the name of a very famous Podcast host.

Cornelius Fichtner: Alright! With that out of the way and just as a reminder, this is 2018. So if you’re listening to this in 2019 obviously, the giveaway will already be over. So let’s jump straight into the book. We are going to Chapter #47: Great Catches. That’s what the title is. What is the chapter all about?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only.

PDUs: Ways of Working, PMI Global Conference, PMI Global Conference/PMI Global Conference 2018

  • Last updated on .
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP, CSM, is the host and the author at The Project Management Podcast. He has welcomed hundreds of guests and project management experts to the podcast and has helped over 60,0000 students prepare for their PMP® Exam. He has authored dozens of articles on and PM World 360. He speaks at conferences around the world about project management, agile methodology, PMOs, and Project Business. Follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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