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Better Project Planning Means Less Project Failure, by Kevin Archbold

I'm incredibly pleased to bring you this interview with Kevin Archbold, a 25-year veteran in project management and a 13-year consultant and teacher of the specialty. This opens the door to people who have excellent skills to better managing their projects and getting better communication going. This one is dense, but work through it carefully because it's a life-changing skill and Archbold is a master at this topic.

You might also be interested in his GiveGetWin deal, "Real-Time Live-Fire Project Management Training With Kevin Archbold" where you'll bring two sentences describing a project you want to the 5-person class, and leave with a project charter filled out.

Better Project Planning Means Less Project Failure by Kevin Archbold, as told to Sebastian Marshall

My background is project management. Most people have a career in a technical field first and then move into project management, but I went directly into PM after University in England. I found it was a good fit for me and stuck with it ever since.

I've got a CompSci degree, but no one's ever paid me to program anything. I started in the telecommunications industry, and then moved through many other industries: 10 years around Detroit, working on a lot of automotive and time at a nuclear power plant. I've worked on internet startups and biotech in Seattle, spent time with the City Government in Seattle, and have been in Tucson for seven years now -- doing mining-related projects and astronomy related projects… a whole gamut of things. I do not provide technical expertise; I bring fundamental project management.

Picking from your Past.

On Music Lessons w/Marc Plotkin

I recently took a voice lesson. I've been working on composition so much in my music work lately that I've let a couple of performance skills atrophy a bit. Noticing this, I signed up for voice lessons to make sure my (already limited) range and technique didn't completely wither.

I've studied music quite a bit in the past, but never with someone like this. Like myself (but not for voice), this teacher studied formally in college, learning classical and operatic technique, but has come to living the Brooklyn indie-rock musical life instead. (To anyone rolling their eyes at that, it's quite a powerful combo, the stereotypical shaggy guy in a plaid shirt who can sing a perfect Aria or identify any concerto) I've always liked this idea of learning as much as you can, then picking what's relevant to apply to your situation later. I did this in the past by spending years studying jazz saxophone with some of the best players around New York City, and later applying most of the knowledge in harmonic choices as a singer-songwriter and guitarist in an indie-rock band…not an obvious use of such skills, but it really worked well!

This voice teacher, went about things a little differently. He studied formally like I did, then after school he threw out everything he learned and tried writing/performing/recording being purposely absent-minded of what he learned. He did the opposite of every technique and every rule the conservatory world preached to him.

He then had polarizing approaches to compare to make a choice for his third act. The music he's making now is his most excellent and he supposes it's due to the fact that he's now making choices based on the best of each of the prior two situations. Pulling back some of the conservatory technique, as well as using tricks he only would've learned by purposely not following the rules.

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