Program Management Blog

June 13, 2012

Influences on my Geodesics of Leadership Mindset

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 8:05 PM

I am putting together an outline for a book proposal on Leadership. Instead of spending time in the book discussing people that influenced by mindset on leadership, I have decided to create a set of infographics and post them on the web. I expect the website name to change long before the book is done, but for now I am using my sev site:


June 11, 2012

PMI Knowledge Center References

Filed under: Program Management References — Milt @ 8:36 AM

I am frequently asked for book references or other material to help prepare for the Program Management Certification (PgMP) Exam. There are not many titles available directly related to the topic, but I know there are several effective ones. The good news is they are available as part of the PMI membership. If you are a member of PMI, I strongly recommend going to the eReads & Reference section under the Knowledge Fly-away tab and take advantage of online access to about 250 complete and unabridged books. There is also a search feature to find books about a specific topic.


I have selected the following books as the best in relation to Program Management.


Implementing Program Management: Templates and Forms Aligned with the Standard for Program Management , Second Edition (2008) by Ginger Levin and Allen R. Green Auerbach Publications © 2010

Program Management by Michel Thiry Gower Publishing Limited © 2010



The Program Management Office Advantage: A Powerful and Centralized Way for Organizations to Manage Projects by Lia Tjahjana, Paul Dwyer and Mohsin Habib AMACOM © 2009

Fundamentals of Effective Program Management: A Process Approach Based on the Global Standard by Paul Sanghera J. Ross Publishing © 2008

Program Management for Improved Business Results by Dragan Z. Milosevic, Russ J. Martinelli and James M. Waddell John Wiley & Sons © 2007

The Wiley Guide to Project, Program and Portfolio Management by Peter W. G. Morris and Jeffrey K. Pinto (eds) John Wiley & Sons © 2007

Middle Managers in Program and Project Portfolio Management: Practices, Roles and Responsibilities by Tomas Blomquist and Ralf Müller Project Management Institute © 2006


Project Portfolio Management Tools and Techniques by Parviz F. Rad and Ginger Levin IIL Publishing © 2006


The Program Management Office: Establishing, Managing and Growing the Value of a PMO by Craig J. Letavec J. Ross Publishing © 2006

A Concise Guide to Program Management: Fundamental Concepts and Issues by Mitchell L. Springer Purdue University Press © 2005

Enterprise Programme Management: Delivering Value by David Williams and Tim Parr Palgrave Macmillan © 2004


Program Management: A Comprehensive Overview of the Discipline by Mitchell L. Springer Purdue University Press © 2001

Project and Program Risk Management: A Guide to Managing Project Risks and Opportunities by R. Max Wideman (ed) Project Management Institute © 1992


Quality Management for Projects and Programs by Lewis R. Ireland Project Management Institute © 1991




We’re All In This Together !!!

David L. Davis, PMP, PgMP

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May 21, 2012

Business Rules and Program Management

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 6:34 AM

I believe Business Rules are an important aspect of defining the scope of the Program. I have a presentation on that topic.

As more and more tools are driven by rule engine configuration, businesses are being forced to establish well defined business rules that govern all stages of customer support lifecycles.  A significant argument for the formalization of a Program is to help the business achieve consistency across multiple projects and work efforts and to reduce redundant work. Business rules are a component that should be developed at the program level and cascaded to all work packages in the Program.

In the absence of a standard definition for the term business rule, this presentation will use the definition put forth by the Business Rules Group in 2000. “A business rule is a statement that defines or constrains some aspect of the business. It is intended to assert business structure or to control or influence the behavior of the business.”

Using a model that has a Program supported by Projects, Process Engineering, and Requirements Definition; this presentation explores Business Rules for all work activities.  Topics would include:

  • What are Business Rules
  • Business rules cascade to all projects within a program
  • Difference between business rules and requirements
  • Examples of Business rules
  • Ownership of Business Rules
  • How to define and control Business Rules.


You will leave with a definition of business rules, a strategy for implementing Business Rules in a Program, a template for capturing business rules, and a methodology model that defines the benefits of using Business Rules in managing an integrated program.


  1. The attendee will leave with a definition of what business rules are and why they should cascade to all work activities in a program. Business rules span Project Management and Business Analysis work as should be organized to the appropriate work level. Program rules span all projects, project business rules are specific to the project work, and certain functions may have business rules at a specific process level of detail.
  2. The attendee will leave with a methodology that has Business rules cascade to all work packages in a program and how redundant work will be avoided by using Business rules at a Program level. Additionally, a template will be presented that captures Business Rules for easy communication across the program.
  3. The attendee will understand a change control aspect for business rules and how that differs from Project Change control and business requirements change control.


We’re All In This Together !!!

David L. Davis, PMP, PgMP

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September 7, 2011

Project Management in the Funnies – No. 6

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 1:05 PM

This comic is so true that it is sad. I’ve know many project managers, and other business professionals, that just don’t know what to do when things start going wrong. They aren’t sure how to communicate the status, they aren’t sure what action to take to correct the problems, they don’t know what to ask their management to do to help them, and they start to panic. This can lead to one of two approaches:
1) Bury your head in the sand. This behavior is characterized by just hoping things will get better.
2) Escalate for help and hope somebody else can fix what’s going wrong and show improvement.

Neither one of these behaviors is good and the results are bad. The best plan to ‘right the ship’ is to plan. Take a snapshot of where things are and where they should be. Then take time to analyze the situation and define what behaviors need to occur to get “back to green.” Document a plan for what steps will happen, by whom, and when. The improvement is not the plan itself, the improvement will come from you taking action to fix things and having ideas for a basis of discussion as opposed to ‘somebody oughta’. You will get some resistance saying “we don’t have time to replan’, to which I would counter: ‘we don’t have time to repeat the same thing day after day without the desired results”.

We’re All In This Together !!!
David L. Davis, PMP, PgMP
419 318-4879
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July 7, 2011

Project Management in the Funnies – No. 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 10:23 AM

Lateral Promotion

Lateral Promotion – another example of corporate double-speak.  I had several of those in my career, as well as temporary in-charge, team leader, and dotted line authority.  But in the end, they never seemed to pan out.  The humor in this is not the saving money, it’s the reward of giving you more responsibility with the same pay by doing a good job.  I remember when I was young and naieve, that I welcomed the opportunity for “exposure”, as I got older, I realized the less involvement from upper-management, the better.  As I preferred autonomy to attention.


We’re All In This Together !!!

David L. Davis, PMP, PgMP


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June 10, 2011

Project Management in the Funnies – No. 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 9:41 AM

How true – motivation is perhaps the single biggest obstacle to task completion. As a project manager, you cannot motivate a person, you can inspire, but you can’t motivate. Motivation comes from within and I believe the cornerstone is motivation is to give an individual a purpose, treat them with value, let them be the master of their craft, and then get out of the way.

June 8, 2011

Project Management in the Funnies – No. 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 9:28 AM


How often are people ready to ‘pull the trigger’ before things are ready. As a Project Manager, you must make sure that people understand the dependencies for their task and they respect them before they ‘go live’. I have seen many development projects where people say they are complete before another module is done and there ends up being a change somewhere that impacts them (it could be simple like a new table index, or more complicated like a library function needs a new argument). This causes skewed status and possible rework.

We need to remember that project management is not a competitive sport and that we the trigger isn’t pulled until everything is ready.

June 7, 2011

Project Management in the Funnies – No. 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 11:16 AM

This one hits home on so many levels, but I will just focus on the second panel. The misuse of numbers, projections, results, and anything else in work initiatives today (projects, programs, quality initiative, sales, promotions, etc.) is a disease killing true innovation. Information is power – and numbers are even more powerful. It’s so easy to detract things with what is the savings, what is the cost, etc. when the project manager has limited, if any power to influence them.

Many corporations have built this iron-clad wall of BS to prevent non-finance workers from knowing any true salary basis and cost structures. You may be given a unit cost for a level and are supposed to use that to calculate expected costs. No operations manager is going commit to specific downsizing based on a project estimate. And the career aspirations and ego of middle managers are victims of reality. Many an executive wanna-be has embellished numbers or made other assumptions that are implied, but not defined, in project plans and benefit projections.

So Project and Program Managers – be aware. Somebody is going to use your hard work to advance their agenda.

We’re All In This Together !!!

David L. Davis, PMP, PgMP

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Project Management in the Funnies – No. 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 10:54 AM

What I like about this comic is its simplicity and its tongue in cheek accuracy. The project is not well defined, but people are assigned, and there is no definition of timeframe, quality, cost, or scope. It just knows some things are done and others aren’t.

Implied PMI Concept

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is defining the tasks that need completed. In theory the “who needs to do them”, “when they need to be done”, and “task dependencies” are fleshed out later, after the tasks are defined. My experience is that the lists of tasks and the who, when, dependencies are all done concurrently. It is often the basis for the project schedule. Many software programs (i.e. MS Project) actually can hold the WBS and generate the schedule based on that information. Within these products, the tasks can be grouped under a Milestone (a task with no duration) for higher level reporting.

We’re All In This Together !!!

David L. Davis, PMP, PgMP

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June 14, 2010

A Leadership Thought #1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Milt @ 9:50 AM

A Leadership Thought #1

How well we communicate is determined not by how well we say things, but how well we are understood.
~ Andrew Grove


I like this quote a great deal, but the challenge to me is to be able to state the same item in multiple reception styles. Some people like detail, some like brevity. Some like a pill to swallow so they can understand without the effort.


There are basically 3 types of learning styles

Visual – what we see

Auditory – what we hear

Kinesthetic /Tactual – what we can touch, feel, interact with


And then there are multiple Motivation Value Systems

Human factor – how will people be affected

Bottom line factor – just get it done, to hell with the facts, I feel I’m right

Data Centric factor – what information supports my theory


So this forms a neat matrix, but an email status would form the top line (visual)


Human Factor

Bottom Line Factor

Data Centric


The process

The pill to swallow

What supports this conclusion






So as a leader, how do you communicate in all styles – very carefully J But I try to do the following in any presentations I do:


Put 3 bullet points in the correspondence

  • One that focuses on the bottom line result (put this at the top as “Bottom Line” folks don’t want to read the whole list
  • One that focuses on the impact to the people or the organization. Will provide more autonomy, better performance measurement, or more satisfaction.
  • One that focuses on supporting evidence.


More to come as I mature this from a blog post to something more consumable.



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