Max's Major PM Mentors
PMWT: Who were your mentors? Which individuals have had the most influence on you and your professional career over the years? Perhaps just mention a few.
Max: Ah, yes, mentioning names is a dangerous exercise, because there will be those that are offended because they are not mentioned as well as those who are offended because they are! Further, I have had more than one career, so I presume that we are talking here of my project management career. Thus I think I'll play it safe by confining my remarks to those whom I hope to meet in the next world.
First and foremost, I think of (the late) Dr. Linn Stuckenbruck because he was the editor of the first book to be published by the Project Management Institute by various well-known authors (including himself): "The Implementation of Project Management". Then there was (the late) Dr. Dean Martin who I thought had, from his experience as a contracting officer, a sound practical grasp of what it takes to run a project and get to where you had to get. Both contributed a lot of sound ideas that contributed to my understanding of project management.
(The late) Matt Parry was unique in that he laid the foundation for PMI's reason-to-be through his landmark ESA report. This report, titled "Ethics, Standards and Accreditation" included the first elements of project management knowledge that I was later given responsibility for developing further into the original PMBOK document.
Next up would be (the late) David Curling who established the original PMForum web site disseminating independent news and thoughts about project management around the world. For many years he twisted my arm to write essays for publication and we edited each other's work. (The late) Dick Balfour, another colleague, had very abstract and sometimes abstruse ideas, but nonetheless thought-provoking. He was passionate about seeing Canada represented on the world stage by its own project management organization, a vision that has not yet come to pass.
(The late) Doug Egan and (the late) Brian Fletcher were both close friends with very strong opinions, not only about project management, but also about how an organization like PMI should be run. We used to fight over the details, but it was all good-natured.