The E-book that is real and good

I don't like flooding my inbox with junk mails and subscriptions.

Wait till this one, I signed up at Geoff Crane's subscription so I can get the free e-book. I like what he writes and how he writes it- so I figured out this one has to be really good.

I had the e-book few minutes later called "Nine Destructive Behaviors".

It talks about different types of project managers and yeah- it is good!Very good.

It's injected with Geoff humor and is a good read not only for the sake of some good weekend reading but simply for the seriousness of the matter. You can really learn from this and to the extent you wont mind paying for the book if you had to do so.

Simple, powerful and full of observation- it tracks down traits, their behavioral characteristic and the remedies. Good way to know your project manager or even find the kind you are and how you can improve.

By the way- the email's that you get from him in your inbox are actually similarly interesting- I'm not a big fan of inbox emails from websites, but from Geoff I differ.

So, to get the book you have to sign up here and to get in touch with the master himself, click this.


Want to have fun and learn more from real life Project Managers, check out http://beta.steppingintopm.com/

Does rigid timelines help creativity?

Timeline rules us.

Deadlines, projects schedules, invoices and regular business days all revolve around timeline. We remind ourselves through calendar, blackberry applications, and sticky notes.

But does chasing time help us? Help our work, help creativity? Let’s walk through some scenarios:

Regular Office- The pressure of timeline doesn't enhance creativity in most cases and leads us to “The Intrinsic Motivation Principle of Creativity. People will be most creative when they feel motivated primarily by the interest, enjoyment, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself, and not by external pressures or inducements.” So, for those who like creativity and challenge in their work should sought out similar assignments. Look for more encouragement from your boss and find a mentor who knows how to match creativity with the end of the month salary scenario.

Bloggers/Entrepreneurs – It is said that time management skills contribute to creativity . It seems very true since most of the successful bloggers are multi tasking all the time. Look carefully at the project management bloggers- they know thing or two about maintaining schedules and some of them use it to their best. They blog, they run their own thing, work 9-5 job, write books, papers, participate in numerous profession related websites, network, are active participants of their community and perhaps even doting parents. They run their lives as they run their project. They plan, they schedule, they prioritize and get the work done. And to top it all they are creative – it takes some to manage time so effectively if nothing else.

Also, the most frequently mentioned contextual factor characterizing high-creativity events was freedom. Think about entrepreneurs, individuals who are self employed, people whose writings you bookmark and read everyday- think Seth Godin, think Chris Brogan, think Pamela Slim, think Tim Ferris, think Scott Berkun…..when the pressures off performance and delivery; people might come up with real creativity.

But can everyone be creative? Do you want to be creative? Anyone with the inclination to be one perhaps can find a way to be creative to an certain extent and how life changing it is
But then, there are people like J K Rowling who were creative under tremendous pressure initially and some more here.

Here’s an interesting aspect of creativity- giving time to think might just be the answer you are looking for.

Edison spent a good deal of time just thinking. He fished off the end of his dock for an hour almost everyday of his life. He always fished by himself but he never caught any fish. Observers always thought it was strange that Edison would spend so much time fishing when he really wasn't that good at it.

Late in life, he was asked about his obsession with fishing even though he was probably the worst angler anyone had ever seen. His answer was, “I really never caught any fish because I have never used any bait.” Most people were shocked and thought he was crazy so they asked, “Why in the world would you fish without bait?”

His answer? “Because when you fish without bait, people don’t bother you and neither do the fish. It provides me my best time to think.” (Source)

Science of Creativity- Tim Ferris has written about his own creativity and I find it quite interesting.

I think creativity is as complicated as it seems. Here’s another of my favorites from Elizabeth Gilbert who practices creativity.

I like being creative and for most part want to be considered as one, so if wrote poetry when I was 21; now I try to bring creativity in my work I do- in my blog, my website, food or simply my everyday life.


Want to have fun and learn more from real life Project Managers, check out http://beta.steppingintopm.com/

SIPM updates and press release

As you know we are working everyday to make the SIPM better, here are few updates:
  • Post login (if you are a registered user), the "network updates" will now display updates from your own network, which is either a newbie or an expert. This allow you to get to know your peers and network among yourselves.
  • System emails- All emails including welcome emails after registration or forgot password emails, sometimes go to your "spam" folder, please make sure you check it if you are expecting any emails from SIPM. We are working on it.
Thank you everyone who has signed up and all the encouragement through emails and twitter. To know more click here.

Here's our first published press release.


Want to have fun and learn more from real life Project Managers, check out http://beta.steppingintopm.com/

Interview with Susan de Sousa (My PM Expert)

Susan is dynamic and fun- see her portfolio here and you know she is way more than some boring project manager who does one project after another.

She has delivered complex high profile cutting edge projects and managed numerous large infrastructure and software development programs and projects successfully to budget and deadlines. She has also consulted in the UK, Europe, US and Dubai.

I interview Susan as she talks about how she got into project management and the willingness to achieve can be the driving force to pick up the phone and cold call to get the dream job. Wow!

How did you get into project management?

Well having been a derivatives trader, freelance journalist, freelance TV producer and entrepreneur (before 26) I landed up doing an HTML course. Not my idea of fun but by doing it I would be guaranteed a place on the Photoshop course. I was really clueless, but then the tutor mentioned how much you could earn for being able to code an HTML table in notepad, and I suddenly got very interested.

Of course it didn't take me long to realize that I was undoubtedly the world’s worst programmer, (I wasn't even sure how to turn the PC on!) And that if I wanted to succeed I would need to move into project management fast. So when I saw a PM contract advertised I went for it bagged the interview and landed the role at MTV. I've always been really delivery focused and up for a challenge so took to project management like a duck to water. And the rest as they would say is history!

In your span of being a project manager, has there been an incident where you wanted to give up project management?

On every single engagement usually in the first week when I discover just what a huge horror story I've walked into, and just how much work it will take to put it right and get it delivered. Sadly I'm really competitive and hate to lose so I don't do the smart thing and walk away. Instead I get stuck in and get it delivered on time and to the right quality. It's a bit like childbirth. After the event you only remember the great result, which is why you keep going back for more!

Tell us more about your site and why you started it?

As an Interim I move around a lot as my specialty is turning around high profile troubled programs and delivering the undeliverable. At each engagement I always need to quickly bring the project teams up to speed as well as ensure they begin delivering the way I want. As you can imagine it quickly gets boring having to say the same thing over and over again. So it occurred to me that setting up a project management website would deal with this, as well as allowing me to pass my "wisdom" onto others.

Plus I had a spare 30 minutes a day on the train each day commuting to work and instead of daydreaming this seemed a rather more productive use of time!

I’d like to know more about the programs have you managed?

Well I've done a lot, which makes me sound really old (and I'm only 21, really!). But I've delivered everything from Interactive TV for BBC, the IT Platform for the global launch of 3, the Hallmark HiYa cards globally, live TV to a mobile / cell phone for BSkyB (the first time done outside South Korea) and of course most recently the re launch of Euro Millions in the UK and creation of the Millionaire Raffle, amongst others. The latter is now taking an additional 9 figures in sales a year, but sadly no, I don’t get a percentage as my commission otherwise I'd be retired on a beach in Barbados.

Nor do I know the winning numbers in case you were wondering!

What do you think is the best way to get into project management?

I get asked this a lot. The reality is that project management has become a very sexy profession. It's also extremely lucrative and there is a huge demand for the top people who have the right experience.

As someone who likes going places fast, thinking about how I would get into the profession if I were starting out now, well it would be simple. I wouldn't bother with getting PM qualifications, I would simply approach people direct using LinkedIn. Yes it takes guts, but I’ve never been one to put my future in someone else's hands. I like to make things happen myself.

So when I wanted to become an investment banker I knew no-one in the profession and didn't have the right qualifications or experience. I sent out about 4,000 resumes in 6 months and cold called loads of people. I even offered to work for free and you know what? After 6 months I was in at a top investment bank as an equity derivatives trader. People were just so stunned at my chutzpah and passion for the role they were willing to overlook the fact I didn't fit their entry criteria.

So it can be done. One simply needs to be persistent and determined. So spend the time on the phone pitching yourself and less time gaining qualifications or hoping someone will notice you. Do that consistently over a period and time, remembering to sound totally confident and You’ll get into project management.

So since you are working in the project management , what keeps you coming back to the profession?

Oh yes. Each time I think I'm leaving it for good I get offered something really interesting which entices me back in!

You see I'm an interim project management troubleshooter. I get brought in to either turnaround troubled high profile programs or projects, or else to manage deliveries which are hugely complex but which must be delivered on time. I've recently just started an engagement as the Interim Project Director managing the global delivery of a new server based gaming platform as part of a recent JV between Scientific Games and Playtech. So I now have a large team of PM's in the US, UK and Estonia to manage and a delivery date which must be met. So no pressure!

Why do you think social media has become so popular with the Project Managers?

I'm not sure Face book and Twitter are that popular but really where would we be without LinkedIn? As an Interim I find it invaluable for serious networking.

Three things you wished you knew when you started out in your career.

1. Knowing how to manage expectations successfully

2. Knowing how to manage expectations successfully

3. Knowing how to manage expectations successfully

Susan- thank you for your time and the invaluable tips. You brought in something amazing here today-the focus, the determination and the fact that anyone willing to walk the extra mile can do it. You can find Susan, also in twitter here.

Want to have fun and learn more from real life Project Managers, check out http://beta.steppingintopm.com/

Delivering Happiness - Book Review

"Wow" has never been so perfectly expressed as it has in the new book by the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

I love business books and they have a way to influence me even in my sleep. Its funny, witty and interlaced with moments of inspiration like how he wrote a sonnet in school with morse code.

The book is about his life, inspiration, struggle and the pressures of dealing with Asian parents. What I like the most is the fact that it is written so simply and yet is so powerful. It’s real- there are no theories, no rules, no charts and diagrams that you have to follow. It’s simply the passion and the belief that it will happen.
I think the book is amazing because the passion comes through.

I couldn’t stop reading it and as a way to spread the happiness ended up giving away one of my copies hoping that it will change them too, the way it did to me (Yeah, I have more than 1 copy because I applied as a blogger and got 2 copies and the wow factor came in yesterday, when I had the hard bound final book mailed again).Wow!

I have always been a fan of Zappos, I like how they do things and it got me into buying a shoe from them (see picture).

So, if you are bored with your job or need something inspiring to read or is witness to your organization falling apart- read the book it might change you forever.

If you are a project manager- you will pick up some amazing team building tips and learn the importance of building the team culture and how it can affect productivity. Dreams do come true; with a lot of passion, hard work and the right group of friends (or team)!

Happy reading everyone! To know more about the book, you can follow at @DHBOOK

Welcome to SIPM

Today is special, very special.

This is my day to let you in my life and share the opportunities, laughter and blessing. Today, I give back what I have always received from so many of you. Welcome to SIPM.

SIPM is a simple way to connect, share your expertise with others, your knowledge, your support and have some fun on the way.

You can be new to project management; you can be a graduating student or someone who wants to climb the ladder and see what project management is all about – you are welcome to the SIPM family!

So, you were once upon a time newbie and have struggled, had your share of your disappointment and life has brightened up for you- you a are Project Manager now! Have 5 minutes to spare? Share it with others, sign up here. Looking for an intern to help up lighten your schedule a little, let SIPM know. Or how about inviting a newbie to your office and let them Shadow you for a day- show them the real world far away from the texts and papers.

The SIPM beta version has a long way to go and we have just started. So stay around while we fix up the site and bring out new features in the coming weeks. The website is open for US and UK for now, however we will open it up to more countries in the coming weeks.

And yes, its all free- no registration fees. If you like it, tell your friends about it.

If you find bugs or have suggestions or want to say “hi”, find me here. To know more about the site click here.

Have fun everyone and share your SIPM stories with us on Facebook.

SIPM doesn’t take any responsibility for false information provided by registered users or lack of communication among members. This is a site that provides a platform for newbies to meet experts only.

(Pic Courtesy: SIPM)