Announcing My Amazon Author Page!

Amazon has just rolled out an a great new feature on behalf of its authors: the Author's Page!  Now you can find all of an author's books that are for sale on Amazon in a single location.The page includes:
  • Integrated listings that pull together multiple versions (Kindle, paperback, etc.) of each book under a single item name
  • Brief, author-produced videos that provide overviews of books, etc.
  • The most recent blog, twitter, etc. posts for the author
Check out my page here:

Vicki James’ Book Review: The Project Management Minimalist

"I recommend Project Management Minimalist... for all seasoned and up and coming project managers." -- Vicki James, PMP, CBAP, The Project Pro

Vicki James, co-author of the excellent new book, Strategies for Project Sponsorship has just published a review of my book The Project Management Minimalist: Just Enough PM to Rock Your Projects.  In a nutshell, Vicki says, "I recommend Project Management Minimalist: Just Enough PM to Rock Your Projects for all seasoned and up and coming project managers."

See her complete review at her website, The Project Pro. *

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Is Your Project Root Bound? (A 2-minute video on scope creep.)

Got clients or stakeholders who are driving you nuts and always causing scope creep? Share this simple video with them and maybe raise their consciousness. Enjoy!


Top 10 Most Downloaded Project Management Resources

Since I launched my first iteration of this PM (project management) Resources website in 1999 (over 14 years ago!),  I've been happily sharing free tools, articles, and more to help new project managers become more effective.  Recently I examined the statistics and compiled this list of those most frequently downloaded or read. Thanks to all of you who've used these and shared them with your colleagues!  And if you're new to this site or new to PM you might want to check these out for yourself.  Enjoy!

1.   Ten Steps to Project Success.*  This is Project Management Minimalism in a one-page PDF nutshell!

2. Project "Post Mortem" Review Questions.*  This tool includes 35 starter questions (customizable) and instructions for conducting your own Post Mortem.  It's useful for evaluating a single project or as the starting point for an organization-wide discussion of this question: "How can we manage our projects more effectively?"

3. Worksheet: Sample Project Sign-Off Form.*  Projects are, by definition, finite. And sign-offs provide tangible proof that some portion of your finite project is (finally!) completed, thus helping to mitigate rework. This sample can be used as a model for developing your own sign-off form for your project phases, deliverables, or project completion.


4. The PM Minimalist Quick Start Guide* is designed to help you plan and manage your first project using the PM Minimalist approach.   This 38 page e-book is available in Kindle, NOOK, and PDF formats. ________________________________

5. Free E-Book: One Simple Thing to Improve Projects or PM (An Anthology)* -- In this e-book anthology, many working project managers & PM experts share their “one simple thing…” that could improve projects and/or project management (PM).  Available in Kindle, NOOK, and PDF formats.

6. Do-It-Yourself PM Certification: How to Document Your Skills & Get the Credibility You’ve Earned without Jumping Through Someone Else’s Hoops* - This extended article (PDF) explores the distinction between competence and certification. It then provides a professionally valid, step-by-step process for documenting your own PM skills and self-certifying.  -

7.  Video Series: Become a Project Management Minimalist - This series of 8 free online videos is designed to help you apply “just enough” project management (PM) to manage your projects effectively.

8. What’s Project Portfolio Management (PPM) & Why Should Project Managers Care About It? *- The title says it all!

9. Too Many Projects? Prioritize Them! * -- A practical guide and sample worksheet to help you prioritize that overloaded list of projects.  (See also the related item 8, above.) ________________________________

10. (Video) The Project Management Change Agent: How to Lead Your PM Revolution * (55 minute video includes links to 25-page PDF.) - Are you ready to be the change agent who brings about a PM revolution in your organization. This video can show you how to conduct some “below the radar” guerrilla PM warfare.

* Update, March 1, 2018: This document has a couple of external links in it that may no longer be valid. Please contact me at if you can't find what you're looking for. 

6 Reasons Why the New Book “Strategies for Project Sponsorship” Will Be an Instant PM Classic

A Review of Strategies for Project Sponsorship, by Vicki James, Ron Rosenhead, and Peter Taylor (Management Concepts Press, 2013)

 Strategies for Project Sponsorship is a unique blend of practical, step-by-step tools; hard-won wisdom from the PM trenches; and solid, research-based recommendations. As a PM author reading this book, I found myself in awe of how nimbly the authors weaved together seemingly disparate elements: here citing research findings, there providing war stories or case study examples, and finally pivoting to morph these into powerful, ready-to-use tools. As someone who’s both managed projects and trained project managers for more than three decades, I know this for certain:

This book should be in every project manager’s tool kit and in every project sponsor’s briefcase. Here are six reasons I believe this book will become an instant PM classic:

 1. It shares powerful PM wisdom, based on real-world experience, regarding the subtle and nuanced process of sponsoring a project. A few sample topics:
  • What is Project Sponsorship?
  • The Sponsor’s Role
  • What Do the Professionals Say?
  • Who Does What and When?
  • Who Should Sponsor Your Project?
2. It provides insights that are typically unavailable to project managers without spending years gaining experience and acquiring scar tissue!  Some sample topics:
  • The types of power that are needed to manage a project and a framework for evaluating whether this power is available via the sponsor or project manager
  • A series of case study interviews in which "candidate sponsors" reveal their potential value to the project by the way they answer key questions
  • Pros and cons of various ways to influence your sponsor (e.g., through appeals to logic, friendship, deal-making, values, allegiance, etc.)
  • How to give your sponsor feedback (including a sample back & forth dialogue) and how to handle bad news)
  • How to deal with several types of “challenging” sponsors , including the symptoms, prognosis, and prescriptions for dealing with sponsors who are absent, busy, uninterested, inexperienced, untrained, and more.
  • How to deal with influential stakeholders (senior managers, others) who can be uniquely engaged via sponsor involvement with them.
3. It provides practical, easy-to-use tools for project managers.  Examples:
  • The Sponsor Responsibilities Evaluation Tool (Helps you evaluate your sponsor)
  • The Project Manager Evaluation Tool (Helps you evaluate your ability to work you’re your sponsor)
  • An agenda for the first meeting with the sponsor (along with tips on how to position and use this)
  • Stakeholder matrix (describing roles, risks, impact on project, how to manage the stakeholder
  • Step-by-step guide to creating  an influence map (showing organizational power related to your project and how it flows among key stakeholders and how your sponsor can work with this)
  • The Definitive Project Manager Checklist
4.  It does what every project manager has always wanted to do: It gently, but firmly, educates project sponsors about their crucial role. Sample topics relating to sponsor responsibilities and best practices include:
  • Providing Direction and Guidance
  • Helping Develop the Project Charter
  • Identifying and Quantifying Business Benefits to Be Achieved
  • Making Go/No-Go Decisions
  • Negotiating Funding for the Project
  • Chairing the Project Steering Committee
  • Assisting with the Resolution of Interproject Boundary Issues
  • Supporting the Project Manager in Conflict Resolution
  • Making the Project Visible Within the Organization
  • Advising the Project Manager About Protocols, Political Issues, and Potential Sensitivities
  • Evaluating the Project’s Success Upon Completion
5. It provides practical, easy-to-use tools for project sponsors.  For example:
  • Sponsor Responsibility Improvement Needs Assessment (a self-check)
  • The Definitive Project Sponsor Checklist
  • The 50 Secrets to Being A Good Executive Sponsor
6. It is firmly grounded in research.  Specifically, 
  • An extensive original survey: The Strategies for Project Sponsorship Survey
  • The Standish Group’s CHAOS Manifesto 2012: The Year of the Executive Sponsor


Reading this book, I had two voices in my head repeatedly proclaiming enthusiastically: 
  • "Yes!  That’s right! I know exactly what they’re saying. I learned that same lesson myself via the School of Hard Knocks on the [XYZ] project a few years ago."
  • "Wow! What a great resource! This is the tool I’ve always needed, but didn’t realize I was missing!"
My recommendation: If you manage projects, get a copy of Strategies for Project Sponsorship for yourself. And then get one for all your project sponsors.

(Prediction: Within one year of the publication of this book, PMI will form a committee to create a certification for project sponsors. Within two years that certification will be officially unleashed. Soon thereafter a hoard of consultants and trainers will create a cottage industry devoted to the training of sponsors so they may attain the certification.  [Sound far fetched? Remember the home-qrown Agile movement? Hmmm...]  I take some comfort in the knowledge that these consultants and trainers will likely be using this text as their primary source! :-) )

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