Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label publishing. Show all posts

This is How I work- Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott is a Director at Arras People, the programme and project management recruitment specialist in the UK. She’s also founder of the PMO Flashmob and PMO Conference. She is PMI’s PM Network career columnist and writes for TwentyEighty Strategy Execution and Project Challenge. Lindsay is also Co-Editor of the Handbook of People in Project Management

When do you wake up every day? What’s your alarm set to? 
Unfortunately my alarm goes off about 7.15am each morning, which is not necessarily the time I get up! I’m a real night owl so don’t like early mornings at all. I’ve often wondered if I would be better suited to the night shift but my work relies on being around when most other people are.

Tea or Coffee? 
Definitely tea – Yorkshire Tea, decaff with milk. Almost impossible to get in any other part of the world and always appreciated when I return from travels abroad. Us English certainly have a thing about tea 

Any rituals to set the tone for the day in the morning? 
Oh yes, bad habits too – tea, a cigarette and a look at the Times cryptic crossword. If its summer, sat outside overlooking the garden – or if it’s typical Manchester weather, rain, then its quickly out the door to work.

When do you feel most productive? 
I actually feel most productive mid morning and then later on in the evening so I tend to do different types of work at those times. In the morning I do a lot of writing about project management careers for various outlets, the first being the Camel blog. Later in the evening its more about research and reading.

Where do you work? 
I work in different places. We have an office in North Manchester, that’s the main office for Arras People. It’s in a small town, nothing fancy but I have a large desk and lots of in-trays. It looks like chaos but there is a system honestly! I work in London a lot too so there’s time spent working on the train, which I love, two hours of no interruptions because the phone network is so bad. In London I work in an apartment I rent, or grab a desk at the Institute of Directors in London’s Pall Mall (the pink one in Monopoly!). I tend to like working in different places because I’m a firm believer in a change is as good as a rest, especially when you’re trying to be creative in writing articles and suchlike.

Three must have items in your desk.
A cup of tea, lots of pencils and my day workbook.

What do you listen to while working? 
Nothing other than the general chatter of those around me at work or on the train. I’ve never been one for music or the radio playing in the background but can work well if there is. I just tune out.

What are you reading currently? 
I’ve got about three books on the go at the moment. For fiction it’s The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, set in London, an intriguing read so far. For non-fiction but not work related its The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons – I did a Psychology degree many years ago and still pick out books related to that. I’m also dipping in and out of The small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence. A good interpersonal book for any project manager. I’m a big reader so tend to have books on the go on Kindle and the real thing!

How do you organize? 
I tend to use the calendar a lot – Outlook Exchange so it works on every device I have. I’m also a sucker for a good old-fashioned list. I use a workbook – just a jotter from the stationery store and a “5 days a week” list. It’s standard stuff but I tend to list what needs to happen in the week on certain days then add in the activities I need to complete day by day. I often spend 5 minutes at the end of each work day updating the list, moving things around and doing that really satisfactory thing of striking a line through the things I’ve completed.

Any hacks you prefer for work? 
Because I’m working in different places all the time I totally rely on Dropbox to keep everything filed and easily accessible. I can’t bear not being able to lay my hands on things when I need to, plus Dropbox is also great for managing my photos taken by phone which I use for blog articles.

I use social media a lot for work too and I love reading and sharing great blogs. Dlvr is great for managing multiple social media accounts plus I love its Curator tool which allows me to save my favorite feeds, read blog articles and quickly share them across different platforms.

Finally another great tool if you use a lot of imagery in your work is PicMonkey  Although I use Adobe products a lot (Photoshop and Illustrator) you can’t beat Picmonkey for quick and easy image creation.

What are your favorite gadgets?
The usual I think – iPhone, iPad and laptop. I’m Apple on the mobile gadgets and good old fashioned Microsoft on the laptop and PC. I think that’s a Gen X thing! And I love the Kindle for being a good old workhorse of a gadget that withstands some serious knocking about. I’m also doing a lot of filming of sessions for the PMO Flashmob too so now camcorders have become a thing for me. Sennheiser wireless microphones are the best thing I’ve ever bought

What apps can you not love without? 
Oh wow, where do I start. Dropbox, Echofon (for Twitter), Facebook, Times newspaper, Daily Mail newspaper (guilty pleasure!), Weather app from the Met Office (we’re obsessed with the weather!), BBC iPlayer (TV on the go, great for the train), Anagram solver and the Thesaurus app (can’t do the crossword without it). I also like sketching when I’m at a conference – doing basic mindmaps, so I like basic drawing apps for those but no particular favorite (using Paper and Brushes at the moment)

Any new addition to your routines? 
Yes I’ve starting organizing an annual PMO Conference in London –  which has meant I have a whole new type of work to do. I love it. Especially the part where I get to choose what topic areas we’re going to cover and talk to potential speakers about their passions. It’s also meant I get out and about more listening to others speaking at conferences, like the PMO Symposium in the States. I suppose it’s like a big project for me – doing the project rather than writing about project management or recruiting for project managers like in the day job at Arras People. I like to have new things to do – to set new challenges – to blend with the work I’ve been doing for a while (it’s coming up to 15 years at Arras People!)

How do you recharge? 
I’m the queen of chilling out when I need to – or want to – I enjoy watching TV and movies – anything period drama wise and you’ve got me! Love reading of course and at a weekend I love visiting places. In England we have so much history on our doorsteps and under our noses that you just have to get out and explore. Recent weekends away have included the castle where Harry Potter was filmed and the Plague Village. If there is a magnificent garden to visit I’m also right there, and a chance to combine them with a city visit even better. The Real Jardín Botanico de Madrid was a recent visit.

(Pic courtesy: Lindsay Scott)

To read the last interview of this series, please click here.

Interview with PMOT author 4- Lindsay Scott

Wow, its been days since I published- this month turned out to be pretty eventful than I had expected.
This is the last interview of the series with the #PMOT author/s and today meet Lindsay Scott, Director of Arras People as she talks about her new venture of co-authoring a book.

It’s a big milestone to be an author- why did you decide to be one?
My experience has been quite unique. I was approached by a publisher at the beginning of 2011 and asked if I wanted to co-edit a handbook related to the people aspects of project management. The book is called – The Handbook of People in Project Management – and it’s going to be published in2013. Initially when I was approached I was surprised as I’ve never written a book and certainly never edited one before. When I found out that my co-editor was Dennis Lock (the eminent project management author) I felt a little more comfortable and decided to go for it. I was looking forward to the challenge of doing something completely different yet in a field that I felt totally comfortable within.

Both Dennis and I had complete authority to decide the structure of the book and we knew that it was going to be a huge book (63 chapters, 800 pages, featuring over 58 different authors!). The book focuses on the people aspects of project management so we have parts which focus on areas like leadership, team management, conflict and behavioural skills. With my experience working and blogging about project management careers and recruitment I’m contributing to three chapters – on recruitment, pay and redundancy.

What was your schedule like while working full time and writing it?
One of the most interesting things about being part of a commission for a new (and large) book is the schedule and time involved. From the initial commission through to the book being on the shelf will be over two years. During that time I’ve been responsible for setting the topics for the book, approaching authors to write the chapters, reviewing the content and working with Dennis whilst he edits the chapters. Later on in the schedule we will look at the overall layout making sure the chapters are aligned, the index comes together and the overall design.

Fitting in this project alongside a full time job has its ups and downs. I’m lucky in one respect that I do own and manage my own business which is in the project management field. I’m working with people that I already know and reading about subjects that fit into my day to day job anyway. I tend to work via email and social networking sites so can be in touch with authors around the world very easily. The downsides are trying to write the chapters that I’m commissioned to do; there are never enough times in the day. Other authors also suffer from this as most are current practicing project managers too. We’re lucky in one respect that we have a long timeline to work to but I’ve found that project managers work best when they have tight deadlines so often the writing happens in the evening and weekends. The bottom line is, if you want to become an author – whether it is a book or just a chapter – you need to show commitment, manage your time effectively, and create a space in your schedule when you can be creative.

How different is authoring a book from blogging?
As I mentioned I’m also authoring three of the chapters (about 7000 words each) and it has been a great experience switching the style of writing that I would normally use on the blog (How to Manage a Camel). In some ways it has been like being back at University creating a thesis. There has to be a lot of research beforehand, the chapters have to be correctly structured so they ‘flow’ and I’ve been really lucky to have such a good editor in Dennis has he is a great writer with an excellent command of the English language. One of the main differences between writing for the book and writing for the blog is the use of informal language. With blogging I tend to write as I speak so there are a lot of localisms, English sayings or slang. When writing the book these are removed so you really need to be conscious of what your author “voice” sounds like and make sure the grammar is correct. I’ve learned an awful lot so far and I’m still learning a lot!

Name a book/incident/person that inspired you to become an author.
I’d never really given it much serious thought about becoming an author before this opportunity landed in my lap but I’m a dedicated reader and love to read about project management. In the future I’d like to write a full book myself – something that focuses on the career aspects of project management. Some of the best books I’ve enjoyed over the years include; I have to include Dennis Lock’s Project Management book it’s a definite guide to project management with so much detail where its necessary (especially around scheduling and plans). I love the refreshing style of Peter Taylor’s Lazy PM and he’s done a great job of creating a breath of fresh air into project management books. Finally I loved Rework from JasonFried and David Hansson simple to read, great ideas and I wish I’d come up with the layout and concept!

Lindsay Scott is a Director of Arras People, the project management recruitment specialists ( founded in 2002. The company focuses on finding the right project management talent for organizations within the UK. Prior to Arras People, Lindsay was a Project Office Manager for Hewlett Packard. She regularly blogs on How to Manage a Camel which is a blog focused on project management recruitment and careers. She is also a committee member for the APM PMOSIG – a specific interest group for PMOs (

You can find the interviews from this series here.

PMOT Author 3- Peter Taylor

The PMOT author series continues and this time we have Peter Taylor.

Turns out, all you have to do is get the first one published and the rest follows. Peter has another coming out in 2012- watch this space. 

It’s a big milestone to be an author- why did you decide to be one?

Having my first book The Lazy Project Manager published by Infinite Ideas changed my professional life. I had long wanted to write but never seemed to get the right idea but then I started speaking at various conferences and after a while I had ambitions to widen my audience and to get on to the international speaking circuit. It was only once I had a book to support and promote me that I began to be noticed.

A book lends gravitas and authority to its author (assuming it's a good book and all the evidence suggests that ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ is indeed a good book!) It can set agendas. It receives reviews in trade media that raise the author's profile.
The book has helped me internationally, too. ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ has been a bestseller on the Amazon Kindle store in the USA and I've had a huge number of enquiries for speaking gigs and consultancy as a result (I have presented in New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Germany, Poland, France, Romania, Sweden, Hungary, Netherlands and many more).

Honestly a book written by you to sell (or give) to clients is the best piece of marketing collateral you can own.

What are your published works and where can we find them?
  • The Lazy Project Manager (Infinite Ideas)
  • The Lazy Winner (Infinite Ideas)
  • Leading Successful PMOs (Gower)
  • The Art of Laziness (Infinite Ideas)- eBook only

And in 2012 there will be Project Branding (Gower) and a new ‘Lazy’ book as well.
All books are available on Amazon and through my own website 

How long did it take you to write your last published book?

Well there is the writing then there is the editing cycle and all of my books have taken a varied time but, as an example, my current book ‘Project Branding’ has taken about 9 months to put together – mainly as this is case study based and this requires time to secure case studies, support and encourage contributors, and in editing the case studies before weaving them in to a coherent book. As a comparison ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ was written much faster with the writing and editing process concluding in less than 3 months.

What was your schedule like while working full time and writing it?

Again the two books were very different. For ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ I took time off work and wrote solidly for about 9 days to write the first draft. For ‘Project Branding’ is has been a low level effort in writing for a much longer period and this will be concluded with a few days ‘tidying up’ over the holiday season to complete this one.

How different is authoring a book from blogging?

Well I have to say that when I do write I often look again at my blogs and often there are some ideas or material that can be re-used, in an expanded form of course. But really for a book I like to ‘architect’ the major themes and chapters and then look at the way this flows and connects in a logical and concise way. Once I have that then I write and, often, things change as you progress through the writing period but generally the high level structure is fairly stable. Blogs can, in comparison, be short, sharp and specific and the next blog can be (in the words of Monty Python) ‘something completely different.

Three things every #PMOT author should know?

Well three pieces of advice I would say to any aspiring author is:
·         Don’t wait until you have written the book to try and find a publisher. Do your research on suitable publishers and check out their requirements for submissions, and start applying.

·         Use your network to get advice and make connections.

·         Blog – and blog some more. It is great practice and a wonderful source of ideas.

Is it difficult finding a publisher?

It can be. I have spoken to many people about this since I released my first book and a lot have not been as lucky as I was. Actually for this very reason I have collaborated with the publishers of ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ and ‘The Lazy Winner’ and I now have a website that offers some advice (text, videos and a free eBook on ‘Getting Published) to help would-be authors around the world.

No guarantees of a deal but my publishers have offered to at least have a chat with anyone who has a reasonable idea for a book.

And, of course, there are increasing ways to self-publish these days.

Name a book/incident/person that inspired you to become an author.

There are many books that I have enjoyed, and still enjoy, that I could say were inspirations to me but if I have to pick one author it would be Brian Tracy and if I have to pick one of his books it would have to be ‘Eat that Frog’.

I like Brian’s books because they are short, easy to read and to the point, and I like ‘Eat that Frog’ because it deals with a problem that we all face.

Peter is a dynamic and commercially astute professional who has achieved notable success in Project Management. He is also an accomplished communicator and is a professional speaker as well as the author of ‘The Lazy Project Manager’ (Infinite Ideas) and ‘Leading Successful PMOs’ (Gower) and ‘The Lazy Winner’ (Infinite Ideas).
More information can be found at  and and – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.

(Pic Courtesy: Google Images)

Interview 2: How to Become a #PMOT Author?

The second interview in this series of #PMOT authors is with Gina Abudi . 

It’s a big milestone to be an author- why did you decide to be one?
I have a significant amount to share with others based on 20+ years of experience. Most particularly, you see many individuals who have left - either voluntarily or not - their current job going out on their own. They need some guidance on how to begin their business adventure and how to sustain it. My current book does just that.

What are your published works and where can we find them?
I have been published on a number of websites and blogs, including Vistage, Business on Main, and a number of international websites/blogs and magazines. I have one published book to date and I have been a contributing author for another book. I’m hard at work on my next one! My current book is: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Best Practices for Small Business, Alpha Books, 2011. I co-authored the book with Brandon Toropov. It can be found here
The book to which I was a contributing author is Gantthead’s Project Pain Reliever, J. Ross Publishing, 2011. You can find that book here.

How long did it take you to write your last published book?
Once I officially began the book, it only took about 4 - 5 months to write The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Best Practices for Small Business.  I did all the writing on weekends and in the evenings.

What was your schedule like while working full time and writing it?
Not always easy!  I restricted my writing to weekends and in the evenings so as not to interfere with the job. It meant many late nights certainly and weekends where I did not much other than writing!

How different is authoring a book from blogging?
In my opinion blogging is easier because I have no restrictions other than what I put on myself, and, of course, based on what I know my audience wants from the blog. When writing books, especially when working with a publisher, you have guidelines to follow and sometimes you may want to include information in the book that is not able to be included due to space constraints, etc.

Three things every #PMOT author should know?
  • Commit some time every day to writing - even if it is just 30 minutes a day
  • Stick to the timeline you have from a publisher. If you don’t have a publisher - create your own timeline and stick to it!
  • Have someone read the book with a critical eye. It’s hard for you to be critical since you are too close to it.

Is it tough luck finding a publisher?
Yes, it is.

Frankly, I sort of “fell into” it. I was asked to do a technical expert review a year prior to taking on this book and ended up having a conversation with the acquiring editor at Alpha Books about writing. He introduced me to a co-author who introduced me to his agent, who is now my agent also. That being said, you should still try to submit your work and keep at it. Don’t give up!  There are also many small boutique publishing houses and many options for self-publishing.

Name a book/incident/person that inspired you to become an author.
There is no particular book, incident or person that inspired me to become an author. I do read lots of books - both fiction and non-fiction and business focused books.  I suppose I could say that all my reading has inspired me!  For as long as I can remember I wanted to write. My dream is to one day write a fiction book - a mystery!

Gina Abudi, MBA has over 20 years of consulting experience in helping businesses of all sizes develop and implement strategy around projects, process and people. She is President of Abudi Consulting Group, LLC and an adjunct faculty at Hesser College (NH) teaching in the business administration department. Gina regularly presents at conferences, forums and corporate events on a variety of topics.  She has written a number of white papers, case studies, and articles on various management and project management topics, which can be found on her blog:  Gina serves as President of the PMI® Massachusetts Bay Chapter Board of Directors. She has been honored as one of the Power 50 from PMI®.   

Interview 1: How to become a #PMOT Author?

If you are still celebrating the first week of this year, doing more in 2012 will matter or how to have a great year without setting a goal!

The next few posts will be about #PMOT authors and how they have managed it. We start with Elizabeth Harrin.

It’s a big milestone to be an author- why did you decide to be one? 
I have always written; when I was younger I wrote stories and poems. For me, there was never an option of not writing, and getting a publisher seemed like a logical next step. My motivation for Project Management in the Real World was partly because I wanted to write a book before I was 30. We had the book launch event a month after my 30th birthday, so I nearly made it!

What are your published works and where can we find them? 
Project Management in the Real World came out in 2006. Social Media for Project Managers was published in 2010. They are available on Amazon and the other online stores or you can get them through bookshops. You can pre-order Customer-Centric Project Management from the Gower website now, I think. That isn't due out until the summer, provided my co-author, Phil Peplow, and I finish the manuscript in time.

I have also self-published two books: Get Started Using Social Media on Your Projects is a practical ebook that walks you through the steps to - you guessed it - start using social media on your projects. You can get that from my blog. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Ten Strategies to Stop Feeling Like a Fraud at Work came out just before Christmas. I wrote that because I gave a presentation on the subject and it seemed to impact so many people that I felt there was more to say on the topic. You can get that at or from the Amazon Kindle store.

How long did it take you to write your last published book? 
Social Media for Project Managers took about 6 months to write, if I remember rightly.

What was your schedule like while working full time and writing it? 
I do remember the last few weeks being horrendous. The deadline was fixed because it was due to be launched at the PMI Global Congress in Washington and I was working full time and then writing every evening and all weekend. The hardest part isn't the writing, although that is tough. It's the co-ordination of everything else: quote approvals and permissions, footnotes and references, preparing images and tables, checking formatting, proofing over and over, responding to the copy editor's queries (I had to take out the word senior because she felt US audiences would interpret that as meaning 'old' when over here it means 'executive'), reading the galleys, doing launch interviews ahead of time. There is a lot more that goes into producing a book than just the words.

How different is authoring a book from blogging? 
In blog posts you make a point in 700 words. In a book, the whole argument has to hang together over 70,000 words! Some of the worst books I've read are when a blogger takes a collection of blog posts and puts them in one document and calls it a book. The structure needs to be completely different.

Three things every #PMOT author should know? 
  • If you want to write, write.
  • Don't write a non-fiction book without selling it first. Just do a book proposal, as you will get feedback from the commissioning editor about how they want to make it fit into their list.
  • Don't underestimate the amount of work, and always add a month or two extra into your contract with the publisher so you give yourself some slack.
 Is it tough finding a publisher? 
No. Well, I didn't find it difficult the second or third time round. First time round I pitched to a big publisher who took a year to say no. I should have done better research because I realise now they would never have published a book by a nobody like me. I matched my next attempt at selling Project Management in the Real World to a smaller publisher, the British Computer Society, and they rang me the next day. I have had a great experience working with them and my other publishers.

Name a book/incident/person that inspired you to become an author. 
That's tough. My mother would let me sit on her lap while she read romance novels, but it was my grandparents who gave me a journal for Christmas one year and that started me out writing.

Elizabeth Harrin is Head if IT Programme Delivery at Spire Healthcare, and Director of The Otobos Group, a business writing consultancy. She was recently named IT Professional Blogger of the Year by the readers of Computer Weekly. Find her online at or on Twitter @pm4girls.