You have no idea how great it felt to write that. As I am sure you've heard, writing a book is no easy feat. But it was one that I wanted to take on, and I was lucky enough to find a publisher who would support me in that endeavor. In all, it was about a year in the works: writing, rewriting, rethinking, brainstorming, sketching, discussing, and so on. It was a lot of work, but I'm happy with the outcome. And I hope you will be too.
Why write a book?
I've said it before: I stumbled into project management. In fact, my background is in writing and editorial. I've always loved writing. Before starting this blog, I was writing personal stories on another platform. It was an outlet to tell stories, be myself, and express my creativity. But when I started this blog, I really dedicated my professional life to sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences to advance digital project management. And I enjoyed it.
In many ways, creating this website helped to build my confidence to write a book. With over six years of content built up and published in various places, it felt like writing a book was a good next step.
Another PM book?
Trust me, I know that there are a lot of project management books on the market. I actually know a number of authors and have read their books. And they are great! The reason I decided to tackle the subject is because I thought I could add a new perspective to the topic. My book focuses in on how we are all project managers. While I'm obviously an advocate of project managers, I'm also an advocate of project management skills. I believe that the skills that PMs dedicate their careers to honing should actually be learned by most professionals. By having a basic understanding of scoping, estimating, process, and communications, we can be better, more productive team members--and project managers.
The only way to draw non-project managers into a book like this is by showing how the practice of project management isn't rigid, and it's certainly not just a tool. It's human-based, and we all can do it. My way of relating PM to everyone is through my own personal experiences. At the beginning of each chapter, I dive in with a personal, mostly non-work stories to illustrate how basic project management concepts come up in everyday life. I wrote stories that I think are relatable not only to readers, but to the content of each chapter. Plus, Deb Aoki was able to illustrate the ideas and bring them to life.
I also reached out to a group of friends and colleagues to share their own stories in the book. These are more project-related, focused on issues they've faced. I found these stories helpful in that they are relatable and helpful, because we've all faced issues on projects. And hearing an expert's approach to solving them can be invaluable.
These stories, combined with instructional content, templates, and resources, make this book a little different from the rest. And I'm excited about that.
First, we celebrate. I'm hosting a book launch party with DPM Philly on Thursday, July 27. If you're in the area and would like to celebrate with me, please come out. We're expecting mix of DPM Philly members, industry friends, and of course, family. We'll be giving out a limited number of books, and we'll have some food on hand. It should be a good time!
Because I have been so focused on writing a book for the past year, I've written less here and for other publications. But I'm not done. In fact, I feel like I am just getting started. I'm working on a couple of writing projects and have been contributing to the new Bureau of Digital blog regularly. I've also got a few article ideas on my to do list, and a new podcast to produce. Oh, and I'm gearing up for the 5th annual Digital PM Summit. I'll be hosting the event and a brand new workshop in Las Vegas this October.
I'm also working hard to grow my consulting business, and am always looking for clients to partner with to improve project management practices. If you know someone in need of some outside help, send them my way.