PM Point of View
Oh Boy, AI projects…they're the worst!! Exploding scope…the endless project. The scale of risk when something goes wrong can literally be exponential. While we PMs always had to watch quality, and we always focused on scope and schedule…the project management problems to launch an AI solution can be insidious, allowing us to make these scope, schedule and quality errors in unobserved and massive ways. AI solutions may be great, but the project management of AI has potential for tremendously bad projects; and we may not even be considering the ways an AI project can go bad wrong. As co-host Mike Hannan says, "as AI projects are making the management challenge exponentially harder, it stands to reason that we're probably getting worse at it." Join me and Mike as we hear from two experts in the field of AI implementation training, Ron Schmelzer and Kathleen Walch of Cognilytica discuss pitfalls old and new of this unique type of software development and implementation.
Direct download: Managing_an_AI_Project.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

Recognizing the importance of identifying "what is the work in front of us" co-hosts Kendall Lott and Mike Hannan discuss improved ways cracking scope to improve project delivery and project value with guests Steven Devaux and Sergiy Potapov. Get past the traditional WBS to Product Flow Diagramming…which gives you progressive elaboration of the sequencing of work as you define it. Then step up to Value Breakdown Structures to identify total costs of work, including the drag (opportunity) costs of not executing some work. The goal of planning is to create understanding but also decision-making…what is worth spending more or less on to drive value? Look for the "-ity" words to identify value, (quality, usability, productivity, etc.) to help assess value. Beyond the value of the work, we move to ways of systematically defining the Risk to Value…where are the steps that are most sensitive to dropping or enhancing value? Listen, learn, and then investigate the approaches…we do!
Direct download: Value_Integration_in_Project_Management.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08pm EDT

Compound Security Threats. Sends a chill through us, yes? Our military expends huge effort in thinking about that future, long-term for planning, short-term planning for execution all to address increasingly complex security concerns. And as our listeners know, where there is planning ("anticipatory decision-making"), there is the collision with cognitive behavior and neuroscience. Yes, Dr. Josh is back and bringing his colleague (and student of NeuralPlan) Jay Macias of the Joint Special Operations University. Listen in as Co-Host Mike Hannan joins me in drilling in and learning about the role of neuropsychology in the military style command and control and mission orientation to planning and execution from a Project Mangement Point of View. Hint:  its about designing how we act with behavioral science data in mind

Direct download: PMPOV103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:36pm EDT

Analytical Hierarchy Process--check this as it is a method (and you can get tools) that absolutely help you with project prioritization.  Co-Host Mike Hannan and I talk with Stuart Easton, CEO of Transparent Choice, about this accessible approach tying decision science to project prioritization, selection and sequencing. Lending focus to executive teams, it helps us focus on what to do and more importantly, what not to do. Value is not an objective thing, and humans aren't great estimator. The AHP process let's anchor the value understanding, then break down value into meaningful application as criteria, creating transparency and standardization of the decision process, and more and better information as input.  The result, higher flow of project throughput completion, and better quality of project value.  What's not to like?

Direct download: The_Beauty_of_AHP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT

Guest Sergiy Potapov and co-host Mike Hannan are at it again discussing precepts of TOC and Cynefin that connects with effective PM practices to produce results, even in shocking and shattering circumstances, such as found in Ukraine during the war. As Sergiy concludes, “Project management works, absolutely, in non-standard situations." But let’s not get hung up on outputs, the classic PM premium benchmark. As Sergiy wryly notes, "The project with a good output and no outcome is a nightmare." What improves our lot, a focus on deliverables and objectives, not tasks…there will be more on this in a future episode. For now, listen in, and learn how Project Management is valuable even in the most difficult environments.
Direct download: PM_Techniques_In_Ukraine.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30pm EDT

Episode 100, where a theory based in manufacturing collides with the world of Knowledge Work (yeah, I'm talking about you, PMs) and we find a way to think about Critical Change Project Management.   We consider how to get to a pattern of "Unity of Purpose" a key pattern for success, and incidentally, a way of clearing barriers for leaders to have the bandwidth to stay focused. Mirrors and signals, autonomy and spooky action (decisions) at a distance, in the end we need teams to understand what matters around here and have the independence to organize their own work for success. Check out our guest, Steve Tendon's community of information sharing and learning at

Steve Tendon. MD, TameFlow Consulting Limited; author, consultant, and adviser on organizational performance and emerging technologies. Steve is the creator of the TameFlow Approach, a management approach that helps businesses focus on the fewest things that make the greatest impact on people, performance and profit in collaborative knowledge-work, without compromising sustainability, quality or humanity. Steve holds a MSc in Lean & Agile Software Project Management with the University of Aberdeen.

Direct download: Unleash_Flow_by_Taming_It.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:05am EDT

[6/10 1:30 PM] Kendall Lott
"PM is BS!" says Ben Damman, our (highly successful) guest today. Well, maybe...the concern is we have become ceremonial or process-centric over effectiveness.  WE HAVE SO MUCH POTENTIAL, but WE ARE STUCK . And that of course, takes us back to a question of value.  Products or projects, where is value is driven? Is this about general practices or specific adaptations. Today we have the pessimist view, the optimist view, and surprisingly, we landed at some learning through a synthetic view.  Listen in, ponder...then grab a PDU
Direct download: PM_Pessimist_Optimist_Synthesis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:05am EDT

PMs as leaders you own understanding the design of the org, the ecosystem you sit in. But to what purpose? Join me and cohost Mike Hannan as we hear from Matt Barcomb who highlights understanding the organization as a system so that Product Management can actually be effective. From strategy to structure (value streams, teams, roles, constraints) to rewards, we have to get this right to get effective work, and it requires a design. But not design for design's sake, Mike reminds us "to what end?" The ecosystem gives us the underpinnings of motivation and production in the organization, and we can chose to make it valuable. As always, its the PMPOV elevating the conversation, with a touch of snarkiness!
Direct download: Ecosytem_Designer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:39am EDT

PMs how about we get to look at our discipline in action? From the western border of Ukraine, Sergiy Potapov tells us how he chose to have impact by being a PM to deliver humanitarian aid, and what lessons from Critical Chain theory and PM he has applied…really.  Touching on the Cynefin decision-model, Critical Chain, risk and stakeholders, the conversation highlights that we PMs can make a difference in the community around us. Listen in and hear current example that gives us insight into what we see on the news, and how project management works under duress. Sergiy Potapov Biography Sergiy Potapov develops his managerial skills for more than 20 years. Since 2015 Sergiy has been sharing knowledge and experience in project management with different auditoriums in UCU Business School, DTEK Academy (and others) as a lecturer, and in dozens of Ukrainian companies and NPOs as a consultant. 
Direct download: PMPOV097_PM_under_Duress.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:55pm EDT

Design mindset, before you even get to design thinking, let's figure out the problem and check assumptions.  Guest Charles Lambdin describes the need and method of creating a frame of thought that has us testing hypotheses of what we need, and making faster smarter bets on the direction we should follow. A key takeaway: the first thing you design shouldn't be over designed and should be wrong…our goal is learning what is needed. The evidence is it saves overall design cycle time. Ultimately, we are after a bi-directional value exchange with our customers…that's how we get use from the products we design and deliver.

Co-hosts Mike Hannan and Kendall Lott challenge the concepts, take notes and discover their own stories that match the lessons that Charles has to share. Charles is a Program Manager at Intel, co-author of the book Presumptive Design, and writer of the blog, "The Lateral Lens: Strategy, Quality and Coaching. He holds a PhD in Human Factors Engineering/Cognitive Science from Wichita State University.

Direct download: PMPOV096_Design_Thinking.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:55am EDT

"I will do what I can, with what I have, where I'm at." This is a different take on change management; we break down what people say about change but linking it to the underlying framework from the Theory of Constraints. We should recognize that our organizations are fragile systems, and may be running on consequences and not on relationships. The organization has a sort of physics, and what we see in a lot of change environments is directive, not engagement, and we overcomplicate it--and even when we get it, we don’t see it sustained.  TOC suggests that we starts with inherent simplicity, inherent potential, and helps us realize April's adage, "Don’t drive people, drive change." It has a business imperative.

Co-hosts Mike Hannan and Kendall Lott uncork the effervescence of April K Mills, an international consultant and author of Everyone is a Change Agent and Change Tactics. She was a civilian U.S. Navy nuclear engineer and founded Engine-for-Change LLC. She has consulted with technology, transportation, and energy companies and is a keynote speaker at Agile, Lean, Theory of Constraints, and program and change management events.

Direct download: PMPOV095_-_Change_Management_and_TOC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:13pm EDT

"Do all the humans on your team have brains?" Not a comment on ability but on cognition and hardwired biases; if they have brains, they make mistakes in regular patterns. PMs follow the same logical paths of cognition and shortcuts that all humans do, some of which lead us to wrong conclusions and unhelpful behaviors.  As planners and forecasters, our decisions have consequences for others, from executives wanting "the right answer" to colleagues whose performance reviews rely on work, schedules and quality metrics we define.  And, the bad news is, we get it wrong. Through the filters of how we perceive to how we process to how we chose to communicate, there are common and sadly reliable ways that we set ourselves and others up to have make the unknown future look precise, even as it we are less accurate.  The good news is, there is things we can do about it.  Join co-host Mike Hannan and Kendall Lott as they explore the new frontier of PM upskilling from guest, Dr. Josh Ramirez, and we learn some tricks and interventions that help us manage projects better. Dr. Josh Ramirez is founder and CEO of the Institute for Neuro & Behavioral Project Management. He is currently building an organization ( that is working on redesigning project management with behavioral, social, cognitive, and neuroscience, in an emerging field of Behavioral Project Management. In addition, he is currently researching application of science to project management to build a foundation of project science under existing practices. The future of project management is in redesigning around the beings that predict and deliver projects: humans.

Josh is co-author of NeuralPlan with Dr. Shari De Baets, and an adjunct professor of project management, with experience that includes business operations management, project management, and project controls, including work at several national laboratories and other projects throughout the U.S. Department of Energy complex, as well as private sector project work.

You can visit the website for the Institute for Neuro & Behavioral Project Management at, become a member of the institute at, or take a look at their NPPQ planning certification at

Direct download: PMPOV094_-_Cognitive_Behavior.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:10pm EDT