Max Wideman's PM Wisdom
Max Wideman has over half a century of practicing a variety of Project Management (PM) disciplines. This site brings together a permanent record of the accumulated experience and learning that Max has gained in Project Management throughout this time.
It is for those with an interest in PM, have questions, or just want "how to" answers from our Issacons. This site has serious Papers by Max as well as by knowledgeable Guest authors. The Musings often raise issues, with a little English humor for lighter reading. Just click one of these links and start from the bottom of the page!
have to learn PM in a hurry go to our cartoon series PM 101;
want help with a lot of typical daily PM tasks go to Issacons;
like reading serious ideas on how to conduct PM go to Papers;
seek to know what other PM masters think go to Guests;
need a good place to start try the paper PM 1st Principles;
are interested in a book on PM take a look at PM Framework;
require the meaning of different PM terms go to the PM Glossary;
wish to see the whole scope of this site go to the Site Map;
are looking for something specific then use our search page.
New This Month October 2022
Previously published in April 2009, this paper first principles revisited provides basic concepts underlying the practice of project management. It should be carefully studied and the concepts committed to memory. Doing so, will considerably enhance your capability and confidence in performing your responsibilities in the project environment. It goes without saying that for satisfactory outcomes you must also understand the basics of the technology you are dealing with.
Project management tip of the month
The no-planning principle:
The really nice thing about not planning
is that failure comes as a complete surprise
and is not preceded by long periods of worry and depression!
Guest: Author Angela Civitella offers Nine Lessons for Leadership No One Mentions because they are all things that you would likely learn as you go along by rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. As Angela desribes them, the nine lessons cover: Opportunities, Micro-worrying, and Satisfaction; Connections, Overnight Success and Neglect; and Failure, Spread and Teamwork.
Paper: Moving to a Different Industry - How to go about it? Kiron Bondale and Max have touched on this topic before in a Musings: Crossing to a Different Industry (November 2021), where we warned that it is not that simple. In this paper we dig deeper.
Basic project management is formed from the application of a whole variety of "Tools and Techniques" depending on the requirements and the project environment. If the projects in the new environemt depend on different technologies, expect that the managemen ofsuch projects will also be different.
Guest: Authors Nerija Banaitiene and Audrius Banaitis from the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Vilnius, Lithuania, present their findings and recommendations as a result of their research into Risk Management in Construction Projects in their country. Their deep-dive into this project management field, although in Lithuania, nevertheless exposes findings that are typical and of considerable value to construction projects in any part of the world. Their paper is a valuable addition to the project management knowledge area of project risk management generally.
Guest: Richard Hawkes, a transformation expert and author of Navigate the Swirl (Wiley, April 19, 2022),
explains that the key to building high performing teams
is getting leadership and culture right before diving into roles, strategies, and execution. Read this article: Five secrets for creating High-Performance Teams.
Guest: Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger who enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services. Here she offers ways to improve your writing skills in order to get your messages across effectively, see: Five Ways to Develop Business Writing Skills as a Project Manager.
Guest: Shannah Henderson reminds us of Five Blunders to Avoid when starting a New Service-Based Business in project management. Example: is there a market for your intended project management activities? If so, to start with, you will probably be expected to do the work yourself. In which case, soliciting your next client while doing so will likely be frowned upon. Also, resist the temptation to offer to do the work at a discount. Don't — because that will be the standard for any future work.
Musings: Angela Civitella
is a certified business leadership coach who has written on this web site many times before. She says that if you want to stand out and get a particular job, then there are seven things you should focus on in your next interview. Read her article
Smaller Details Go a Long Way to a Successful Job Interview.
Papers: Last January, I wrote a piece on the corporate staff recruiter's view of searching for project management talent. This time I want to look at it from the Job-Applicant's side namely seeking project management employment. First is how to establish what you should be looking for, then secondly, how and where to find it.
Classic: The original and only Project Management Body of Knowledge (dubbed "PMBOK") published by the Project Management Institute in 1987, is now available as a PDF document. Want a copy? See PMBOK-1987 Reborn under Other Areas and Interests. Contains valuable advice even today.
(Issues and Considerations) are sets of slides providing summary information
for specific questions associated with particular PM topics. Designed to save
hours of searching yet more detailed than a plain bulleted list.
Glossary version 5.5 is free on this site. The glossary shows how many project management terms
mean different things to different people. However, for the latest version 6.1 see PM Glossary v6.1 choices.
Papers & Books
are thought-provoking and valuable insights into project management and include
numerous book reviews. You will also find information about books that I have
written or co-authored from time to time.
Musings are brief thoughts on various project management topics.
Articles contain articles on particular PM topics contributed to this site by
a wide range of other authors.
Click on the links above to see the most recent additions.
Max is a brief biography outlining my professional
career, some personal history, and even a little
trivia about me.
FCSCE, FEIC, FICE, FPMI, FCMI*
*What do these letters mean? See Recognition on this page.
The contents of this site are protected by copyright and may not be used
by commercial or non‑commercial organizations without written permission.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and no responsibility
is accepted for the accuracy or reliability of the content or the results of its