Posted by: ThePMOView | June 13, 2015

Interesting discoveries in writing articles

It is hard to believe that I have been writing Project Management articles for almost three years now. Even after all this time I am still constantly surprised at the reach my articles have. Here is an example of that.

My wife got the mail a few days ago and asked me what was this magazine that we just got. The protective mailing cover was pretty torn up and I did not recognize the name ‘Contact Center Pipeline‘. So I just assumed it was sent to the wrong address and was going to toss it into recycle. But before I did my wife asked “Could one of your articles be in the magazine?” I then vaguely remembered my publicist saying 4-5 months ago that a magazine was going to print one of my articles. I wondered could this have been one of the magazines?

Upon checking the contents, sure enough, there was one of my articles in the magazine that I had written some time ago, ‘How to be a Great Project Sponsor’ on pages 18-19. How about that? Good thing my wife was more in tune than I was lol.

That is what is so interesting about this whole process. Once an article goes out for publication, you never really know all the places it may end up. Or if people take your work and modify it in some way but still give you credit. Or even embed it into a larger piece. While Google can help determine where some of the places an article landed, it will not pick up physical prints of the article. Nor can you tell if a magazine that has a web site that used your article actually printed it as well as posting it their site. Unless they send it to you like Contact Center did.

When things like a magazine just seemingly shows up with your article inside it just makes you wonder where are all the other places it could be that you don’t know. But in the end it really does not matter as long as these articles are helping people with the Project Management field. The articles will have done what I have always intended them to, assist others to do better.

Thanks again for your readership and support. It is an amazing experience.

Posted by: ThePMOView | April 25, 2015

A quick update

Feeling under the weather but still getting my thoughts together about my next article in May. Which will challenged to get out. Just because my wife is out of town for a week and then my daughter (who I have not seen in over a year) and boyfriend come to visit for a week. Then of course the US holiday on the 25th. So I am trying to figure out when the best time would be, not just to write the article, but to start its distribution. Fun times huh lol.

Also, if any of my visitors would like to see a particular topic covered by me, I would be glad to see what I can do. You can either email me or leave a comment. Always willing to listen to my readership :)

As always thanks to everyone that visits my blog and reads my articles. I definitely would not have kept up with this if it was not for your support.

Posted by: ThePMOView | March 24, 2015

The Parenting of Corporate America Part 2

I’ve received an interesting request concerning my The Parenting of Corporate America article which I submitted last week to my publicist. It was a request to follow up the article with additional thoughts on that topic. But for those that have not yet read my original article (which you can do here), here is a brief synopsis.

Basically, executives tend to not hear No a lot. This has the possibility of making everything seem like a Yes. So when a Project Manager comes along and starts raising questions, brining up risks, identifying issues, etc. things can get difficult for us. So the objective is to try and find executives that still understand the real world and can work together with project managers in a realistic way. One item the original article did not cover was the concept of ‘not my money’. To illustrate this point, here is a real world example of it in action.

I started and led a successful business in the early 1990’s. What we did was efficiency studies for companies, large and small, in order to improve their profitability. Seems like a slam dunk doesn’t it? Unlike many of us ‘regular’ people, businesses do not really see a reason just to save money. Because our ‘pitch’ was to save a business money, we did not do very well at the start. Why? Simply because the executives did not care ‘just’ about saving money. Even though, on average, we could save a business anywhere from 10% – 25% on its overhead costs. Usually with them doing very little or having a ROI of 12 months or less. Sad but true.

Once we tied saving money with solving problems or pain points for a business, then we really took off. This is because we solved an issue that had been a problem for a business AND they could pay for it out of the savings they achieved. We ended up with over 100 clients in six states by the time the business was sold following this model.

In this discovery process of why companies did not care just about saving monies, we got this response: “Why should I care about just saving the company money? I get paid regardless and a good bonus already. If I leave, I get a nice severance too. Saving money is not going to have much impact on any of this. However, solving my problem AND saving money is something I would always be interested in.”

This attitude is reflected today as well. Failure is not really punished as a CEO that is forced to leave like at JC Penny’s still gets a severance, etc. Plus many news articles about executives that do things in excess using company funds versus personal ones. Unfortunately there are plenty of executives that really do want to do the right things, behave responsibility, etc. Those are the ones that need to have more news article written about.

Otherwise, we get the feedback that a) all executives behave badly and b) if my peers are doing this and nothing bad is happening to them (or only very rarely), then I should do this too. Both of these statements are untrue as there are also stories about executives going to jail, paying large fines, etc. But it seems like the negative stories about excessive behavior stick in our minds more than the ones that get punished. Probably because we too would like the ability to behave in excessive ways at times and not worry about the day after. Unfortunately for the majority of us, behaving excessively even for a day, means tomorrow comes way too soon.

So how do best mitigate these items? One method is using a similar system to the Master/Journeyman system. Basically identify people, either in or out of a company, that can serve as mentors and/or elders to provide the benefits of their experiences. These experiences would not just be focused on running the business but on how negative behavior by their executives impacts the bottom line of their business. This way positive feedback is provided in a peer-to-peer relationship versus boss to employee or visa versa. Maybe then the positive actions of executives will far outweigh the negative ones of the minority.

Posted by: ThePMOView | March 22, 2015

A new article is in the works for March 2015

I finally got things together and have sent a new article to my publicist this week. So it is in review and will get sent out pretty soon.

The interesting thing about writing these articles and sending them out to various publications, is that you never know who will pick them up to use them. Every time I am pleased and amazed at the number of people that want to use my articles for their sites or in their magazine publications. So while this whole process of writing article and publishing them is an interesting journey, each article is its own unique ‘side trip’ :)

In a few weeks I’ll have feedback on where this article ‘landed’ and post some of the results here.Then we can all see where the journey took us this time lol.

Posted by: ThePMOView | February 22, 2015

A change in schedule

I am still learning a lot about marketing and the branding of myself. As it turns out even though I seem to have an endless supply of topics about the Project Management field, there is a point where having too many can become an issue. Overexposure is what this is called.

Since I just finished a contract working with Adobe’s Marketing department and leading their PM efforts, my understanding of Marketing in general has taken huge leaps forward lol. Not that I am now an expert by any means. But I do have a better understanding of how all these pieces interact than I did before. Which has led me to change how I will be moving forward with my future efforts.

Several things have helped with this. First I have a body of work that has been well received (and it still amazes me how well received it has been). So when people look at my LinkedIn profile or do a Google search on my name, there is quite a bit of content that now shows up. Including this blog which is really cool. This means that my personal brand, if you will, has enough ‘weight’ behind it to matter.

The second is that now that this amount of work product exists, it seems it may be better to now maintain a slower pace so that the existing body of work does not get lost or minimized. Yet you still want newer work to keep feeding the ‘pipeline’ to keep things being ‘refreshed’. But at the same time you do not want a constant stream of ‘look what I just did’ notices. If they get too many of these then they just tune them out as so much ‘noise’. Which is definitely not something you want to have happen.

I already try and post on my blog twice a month which I think is a good pace. At least no one has complained yet, lol. And it seems to generate a steady stream of visitors which is pretty nice all by itself. So that posting pace will continue for the foreseeable future.

The larger article publications will slow down a bit. The last one has gone through its paces at the end of January/beginning of February. And is still being picked up but obviously at a much slower pace. So to give these articles more time to ‘run’ and to mitigate the reduction of ‘value’ in the articles already published, I will be going to a two month cycle of publishing for the rest of this year and see how that works out. So the next article is planned to be pushed out late March/early April timeframe.

Again thanks so much to all the people that have helped me on this amazing journey. Especially my lovely wife who stands in as my Editor in Chief (I feel like I am back in grade school when she is reviewing my articles lol). I definitely could not have done it without everyone’s help and support.

Posted by: ThePMOView | February 7, 2015

Time for a new post – finally

Obviously I am a little behind schedule. This has been due to both the timing of my latest article’s release and just general life stuff. Hopefully, with fingers crossed, the road going forward will be a lot smoother.

My new article, Leadership Crisis: Fact or Fiction is now released. It has been well received both through online sites and in the print media. Although the printed ones will not be out for a while. The first one will be later in February. Which is pretty quick for a printed magazine.

The best pickup was over at HR.com which has 3.6 million unique hits a month. This is the second article they have published from me so I appreciate the support from them. Here is the direct link to my article on their site if anyone is interesting in reading it

Thanks for everyone’s support, comments, and encouragement. You can always use the ‘About me’ section to contact me through LinkedIn or by direct email if anyone has any questions. Or you can leave comments here as well.

Posted by: ThePMOView | January 6, 2015

The New Year Begins

The holidays are over for another year and life goes back to some sense of normality. So my job searching is starting back up and I am working on a new article to be published later this month. Hopefully everyone one will enjoy it as well as the others I’ve done.

I also wanted to thank everyone that follows/visits my blog. For something that just started out as a way to show prospective employers that I could write well, this has turned into something much larger. I have no idea where this journey will go, but it definitely has been an amazing ride so far. The best part is the discussions I have had with people who have read my articles and visited my blog. There are some really amazing people out there and it has been a joy to talk with them.

I hope everyone has an amazing start to the year. I look forward to hearing all about it.

Posted by: ThePMOView | November 22, 2014

The best laid plans and all of that

Sometimes no matter how well you lay things out, deadlines and plans just have to change. I have a writing schedule that I have established and due to, well basically life, that schedule had to change. At least the impact of this only impacts me, but the knowledge that things had to slip still bothers me. Been a PM too long I guess lol.

So what has life done now? First, my daughter was able to visit from New Zealand for a week. This was pretty awesome as we have not been together for over two years. So needless to say, everything got put on hold during her time here. And yes we did have a wonderful time.

The other thing was that my current contract with Adobe did not get renewed due to a restructuring at Adobe. Totally unexpected. Since I had taken time off to be with my daughter, this compressed, not just my normal workload, but now I had to add transition duties on top of that as well. Needless to say this has been a huge time sink.

Between these two events, along with just the normal effort of life, has really put a dent into my available time for writing. Which is why there is no new news about this. Of course after the end of November when my contract ends, I will have lots of time to write along with other things, like job hunting.

But to end on a high note, the last article, ‘How to be a Great Sponsor’ did much better than I originally thought. It got picked up by 37 different web sites and publications. Three of these were in physical magazines. Not too bad.

Plus when you do a Google search on my name, this very blog shows up on the first page of results. All and all very nice results for my efforts. Now I just need to find a new job and all will be good. So if anyone wants a highend PM, you know who to call right :)

I have now been writing these independent articles for a year. I am still amazed at how well they have been received. Over at the Compensation Cafe website I was quoted from this article and complemented on how helpful my articles have been. The author went on and suggests that everyone read them. So very nice indeed.

The downside is that tracking all these articles and all the sites/print media they end up in are getting much harder to track. As an example the article “How Efficient Communications are Damaging Projects” I wrote back in June 2014, was just published in both Bellwether Magazine’s Fall edition and was featured in Uptime Magazine’s Oct/Nov 2014 issue. Uptime gave the article a nice two-page column on pages 58-59 of the current PDF issue located here (warning this takes a bit as it is a large PDF file). The Sponsor article just written will also see its life extended in the print media, but not until late December this year.

The point of all of this is that I am no longer going to track everywhere my articles appear like I have done in the past. Because writing these have been really fun for me (who knew lol) while tracking down where they go, not so much. I will continue to post specific links like the one for the Compensation Café above, but not the long list of locations like in my earlier posts. Besides if anyone really wants to find my stuff, Google will be your friend :)

Posted by: ThePMOView | September 22, 2014

Summer is over

I, obviously, took the summer off. Plus I am done with business travel for a while. But I am back now and will start up writing articles again.

My plan is still one a month with a new one going out near the end of September. This has definitely been an interesting journey as I have said before. And all of this because I wanted to highlight my communication skills when I went on interviews. It has definitely done that lol.

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