The Project Management Mid-life Crisis

Today I presented my paper entitled “The Project Management Mid-life Crisis” (download it here) at the Association for Project Management (APM) conference. It was a fantastic experience and the organisation and venue proved to be superb. I was introduced by Adrian Dooley at just after 11:15 and spoke for just under 20 minutes.

After my talk Geoff Whittaker took to the stage and put forwards an interesting point of view on how objectives should be set to incentivise project managers.

After Geoff Whittaker and I had presented the audience was able to vote on a number of questions using rather snazzy interactive keypads. Read more »


Book Review: First, Break All the Rules

How can I get the best out of everyone working on my team? This is surely a question that managers at all levels, from team leaders to chief executives, must regularly ask themselves. In First, Break All the Rules Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman attempt to answer this question. The book is based on research that involved surveys of over a million employees and interviews with over eighty thousand managers. Surprisingly the conclusion from this extensive study was that most conventionally held wisdom about how to manage people effectively is wrong: from encouraging people to work on their weaknesses to the idea that you should reward the best performance with promotion. Read more »

APM Conference

The Association for Project Management (APM) conference will be taking place in London on the 29th and 30th October and I am very excited to be attending and speaking at this event. I will be presenting a paper on the first day entitled “The Project Management Mid-life Crisis” which is based primarily on the series of interviews with leading project management professionals, authors and gurus that I posted earlier this year.

There are a number of speakers that I am really looking forward to seeing including Elizabeth Harrin (who blogs at A Girl’s Guide to Project Management) and Penny Pullan (from Making Projects Work).

If you haven’t already booked your place then it’s not too late to do so via the APM website.  For those of you who aren’t able to make it I will be posting about my experiences afterwards and making my paper available for download.

Lessons in Software Development from a Sandwich

I’m really lucky with where I work because it just so happens to be very close to an amazing sandwich shop from where I fetch my lunch on most days. Every time I visit I am served by one of two people, both of whom now know my personal preferences (as far as sandwiches go at least). All the sandwiches are freshly made and most of the ingredients (like the fabulous chicken tika strips) are also prepared on the premises. Most important of all: everything always tastes delicious. Read more »

Risk: Why Ability Matters

Ok. Humour me for a moment. Bear with me. I will make a point eventually. Honest.

One of the things I do to relax is climb. To be fair it’s not always that relaxing so perhaps I should describe it as “one of the things I do”. Anyway, semantic arguments aside, here is a clip of me soloing a short climb in the Peak District: Read more »

Polite Persistence

In one of my recent posts I linked to an excellent and free eBook: Interviewing Made Easy!

When I read this eBook I thought it provided an excellent overview of how to prepare for an interview but with one exception: the section on “Closing the Interview”. In it Liz Handlin suggests that you need to close an interview in the same way you might close a sale: Read more »