Volume IX - Issue VIII - August 2007

Publishing News


Project Lessons from The Great Escape -
New Book by Mark Kozak-Holland Offers Lessons for Iraq


Following in the footsteps of earlier titles in the Lessons from History (www.lessons-from-history.com) series of books, Project Lessons from The Great Escape (Stalag Luft III) is a new book exploring the historical events surrounding the escape project using modern business analysis methods, extracting lessons learned that can be applied to modern business projects.

The strategy of putting more Allied troops on the streets and in small combat outposts in Iraq has led to a spate of kidnappings. Kidnapped soldiers are in danger of being executed if they fall into the wrong hands, and videos of soldiers being beheaded have popped up on the Internet and have been featured on nightly newscasts.

Mark Kozak-Holland, author of the popular Lesson-From-History series of books, says that there are important lessons to be learned from the lives of Allied prisoners of war (POWs) from the Second World War; especially, their state of mind, spirit, and resilience. The most notable example is from Stalag Luft III where, against all odds, Allied POWs mounted one of the most incredible and audacious escape attempts of the Second World War involving 600 POWs in the project, and 200 in the escape.

One of the significant POW weaknesses was the lack of strategic information; for example, knowing where they were located, and what went on locally in the towns and villages outside of the confines of the fences. However, leveraging their strengths through the relationships with "bought" guards, they were able to build up intelligence and develop an understanding of what was out beyond the camp. Within a short timeframe, they had built up a mental map that ranged from train timetables, to potential contacts in the underground resistance.

With this information at hand, they could now carefully assess all the risks, determine how to mitigate their impacts, and begin to prepare an escape plan. For example, what kind of escape would give them the greatest return on investment, what equipment would be required, what resources would be needed, how would the schedule look? All of these are elements that one would expect from a modern sophisticated project.

Another required element was tenacity. At each step in the project, there was typically a hurdle, some of these seemingly insurmountable. True determination was a driving force as individual objectives were reached literally one step at a time. POWs took on every problem and doggedly wrestled it till a solution was found. The POWs pulled off one of the most remarkable escapes of the Second World War. For today's world the most important lesson is that even facing the adversity of being held captive, it is still possible to survive, and disrupt the captors.

Many of the POWs taking part in the escape went into the business world after the war and had very successful careers. They leveraged the skills that they had mastered as part of the great escape project to overcome seemingly insurmountable business challenges.

"Project Lessons from the Great Escape (Stalag Luft III)" by Mark Kozak-Holland is published by Multi-Media Publications Inc. $29.95 US/$34.95 CDN, 276 pages, paperback. A sample chapter of the book can be read online at www.mmpubs.com/escape - Available starting July 1st from your local bookseller, Amazon.com, or directly from the publisher.

A frequent contributor to PMForum and the online eJournal PM World Today (pmworldtoday.net), Mark Kozak-Holland is a Senior Business Architect with HP Services. He regularly writes and speaks on the subject of emerging technologies and lessons that can be learned from historical projects. He can be contacted via his Web site at www.lessons-from-history.com or via email at .

Founded in 1988, Multi-Media Publications Inc. is an independent publisher of business books, ebooks, and audiobooks. It's products are available around the world through book retailers or online at www.mmpubs.com. Visit the website for more information.

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New Project Management Book by Thomas Shubnell
Attempts to Break the Trend of Failed IT projects


An important new project management book has been published by author Thomas F. Shubnell, PhD. The Art of Installation and The Science of Implementation is a flexible and useful project management guide for both veteran and new project managers. The methodology provides specific steps with explanations and Quality Assurance questions for each phase.

Shubnell begins by providing numerous reasons why projects fail, then sets out to explain in detail how to overcome each of those obstacles. He provides tables, tips, lists, and techniques for project managers to successfully implement software from planning and preparation through remediation and assimilation.

Dr. Shubnell presents a new approach for project leaders to accept change, embrace change, advocate change, instigate change, react to change, and even incite change in the project team and the organization.

According to the book’s promotion, the practice of implementation project management needs to change from the old art form to a new science that is success driven and replicable. This book provides a bridge over the chasm of failure to the realm of success. It describes a practical and useful methodology that is flexible to use and a great reference guide for both veteran project managers and newcomers. It is specific to software implementations but the project management techniques can be applied to a variety of projects. Included are tools, techniques, lists, questions, and examples that can be used every day. The methodology presented has been honed from experience, academics, and common sense. It celebrates the people and process elements of project management and relegates technology to its rightful place as a tool.

The Art of Installation and The Science of Implementation is available for purchase at www.lulu.com/tshubnell and in England at Tesco.com. It is also available in Canada at www.bookprice24.ca and in Germany at . It will soon be available at Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, etc. ISBN number


Thomas F. Shubnell Ph.D. is an author of fourteen books and numerous articles. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has over thirty years of experience on information technology projects. His work experience spans roles from Programmer to Chief Information Officer and Chief Executive Officer. He has managed projects for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP and Ernst & Young LLP. Tom is currently a Principal with The CCI Group, a leading information services firm that delivers senior level and strategic consulting solutions to healthcare providers. His work enables clients to use technology as a strategic enabler of their businesses.

Tom has experienced many facets of project management from the bottom, middle, and top. During the past fifteen years, he has consulted in the areas of strategic planning, vendor selection and contract negotiations, and has managed many large projects. He has been part of and led teams through hundreds of small, medium, and large implementation projects. Dr. Shubnell holds a Ph.D. in Information Science, M.A. in Management, B.A. in Psychology, and A.A.S. in Information Systems. He has achieved Fellow status in the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and is the current President of the Dallas-Fort Worth HIMSS Chapter. His personal web site is www.Shubnell.com

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The Human Side of Project Leadership -
New Research Results Published by PMI

To a large extent, project success depends on human behavior-particularly the behavior of the team leader. Project management training most often focuses on mastering the tools and applications of project management, such as operational performance, planning and budget management.

The Human Side of Project Leadership, a new book published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), is a collection of academic studies related to the human side of project management. Taken as a group, these three studies illuminate the ways in which leadership, project spirit and conflict management skills impact project success.

Transformational leadership and Project Success

Transformational leadership, often seen in problem-solving situations, influences team member loyalty, commitment, satisfaction and attachment. This study looks at the behaviors of a project manager in interacting with team members and how these behaviors influence project results in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, business outcomes and customer satisfaction.

Project Spirit and its Impact on Project Success

“Project spirit” describes the collective attitudes, emotions and behaviors displayed by the members of a project team. Through a review of four project case studies, this analysis looks at the specific activities implemented by project managers to foster project spirit that positively affects project outcomes. From this analysis, the study concludes with recommended spirit-building activities for project leaders who wish to improve project spirit within their own teams.

An Alternative Approach to Understanding Conflict Management

Cognitive conflict describes the disagreements that occur when team members debate diverse perspectives about the tasks at hand. These task-related exchanges of ideas are necessary to improve decision-making by ensuring multiple viewpoints are considered before choosing a course of action. These discussions can lead to affective conflict among team members, manifesting as power struggles or personal incompatibilities. By examining the relationship between cognitive and affective conflict, the study aims to help team leaders identify ways to maximize task-related discussions, while minimizing personality-related conflicts among team members.

This important new book, The Human Side of Project Leadership, is authored by Allen C. Amason, Zvi Aronson, Peter Dominick, Patricia Holahan, Thomas Lechler, Ann Mooney, Richard E. Reilly, Aaron J. Shenhar. Publisher: Project Management Institute, Inc. ISBN. ISBN
102 pages. Available at http://www.pmibookstore.org/PMIBookStore/index.aspx.

With 240,000+ members in over 150 countries, the Project Management Institute (PMI®) is the world’s largest and best known project management professional society. PMI is actively engaged in advocacy for the PM profession, setting standards, conducting research and providing access to a wide variety of information and resources. PMI also promotes career and professional development and offers certification, networking and community involvement opportunities. PMI was founded in the USA in 1969, but is now a global organization with members, chapters and offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.pmi.org

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Wideman PM Website Updates Announced for August

Max Wideman has announced the latest updates to his popular project management website, as follows. This month in Papers, Max reviews Jerry Manas' book: Napoleon on Project Management. In it, Jerry examines the history of Napoleon's exploits, and the man as a project manager role model. From these, Jerry extracts a number of winning principles and warning signs.

In Guests, Stacy Goff explains Our Musings our

Max’s Guest this month is Stacy Goff, who explains the significance of Distinguishing Competence in Training and Development, Organizational Assessment and Certification. He concludes that too many interchange the terms knowledge, skills and competence without regard to their meaning.

In Musings, Max focuses on Managing Project Metrics and explores what is most important and why.

Max has added two new Issacons* this month as follows:

  • 1276g - Portfolio Benefits Coordinator; and
  • 1283e - Project Secretary.

Max has updated the following Issacons*:

  • 1003 - Project Management Office;
  • 1004a - Program Office - Part A;
  • 1004c1 - Project Portfolio Management;
  • 1004c6 - PPM Benefits Assessment;
  • 1276b - Project Portfolio Manager;
  • 1276f - Project Resources Manager;
  • 1313a - Speeding up delivery; and
  • 1440 - Stakeholder Management

*"Issacons" stands for "Issues and Considerations" that are presented in bullet form for quick and easy reference by project managers.

Max Wideman is one of the world’s best-known project management authorities. An engineer and professional project manager, his experience includes systems, social and environmental projects, as well as design and engineering projects. He is a Fellow of the Project Management Institute, of which he is past president and chairman and for which he led the development of the 1987 version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge. He is also a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), the Engineering Institute of Canada, and the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering. His personal web site at www.maxwideman.com is a source of superior project management knowledge and information. It is free to the public.  Max Wideman is also a global advisor to PMForum; additional information about Max can be found at http://www.pmforum.org/pm%20forum%20team/advisors.htm



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