Interview with Dennis Stevens Dennis Stevens Dennis Stevens. Dennis Stevens was a friend of mine at the 2008 PMI Global Congress in Denver. Hal Macomber and me had dinner together. They were old friends and I was the new guy. It was a very interesting conversation that ensued. I learned a lot about how brilliant (and sometimes ornery!) these two men are. Dennis was kind enough to share some of his vast experience with us at pmStudent. Dennis Stevens, an Organizational Project Management Consultant, has over 25 years experience in consulting with IBM and Perot Systems. He also owns his own company. He assists executives in developing technology strategies and implementing the necessary organizational and process solutions to improve their business performance. He employs a unique approach that combines traditional and agile Lean principles. This is what Harvard Business Review calls?The Next Revolution in Productivity?. He is a well-known expert in project management. His articles have been published in Harvard Business Review as well as a Cutter Consortium Executive Report. He was a Deputy Project Manager in the Project Management Institute’s Organizational Project Management Maturity Model. He is also a PMP and OPM3-certified consultant. He completed the Certified Scrum Master program this year. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Psychology & Development and was awarded a Naval Commendation Medal for service in the Marine Corps. Dennis can be reached at [email protected] Josh: Dennis, thank you so much for sharing your experience and background with the pmStudent community! How did you get started in Project Management? Dennis:? From 1985 to 1995, I was a successful lead and developer. I have delivered systems in RPG II, III, C++ and Perl. Later, I used Java with multiple life-cycle approaches. I was involved with a variety of projects that went sideways but were ultimately successful. Will, hard work, and determination. As I was delivering a press release just before the year ended 1996, I glanced at the business manager and asked him: “What are you doing?” I looked at the business manager and said, “There must be a better way.” I had just written my last line production code. I started to read everything I could find about Project Management and I earned my PMP in 1998. I am now an OPM3 Certified Consultant and have completed the Certified Scrum Master course. I’ve been involved in over 20 successful projects as a project leader. Josh: Who are you most inspired by and what have you learned from them in regards to Project Management? Dennis: I am looking back at my PM books and reminiscing about my past experiences.

  • Eliyahu M.Goldratt’s book Critical Chain was a great eye opener for me. Everyone who manages any process should read that book and The Goal.
  • Hal Macomber from Reforming Project Management introduced me the works of Fernando Flores and Humberto Maaturana. This gave me great insight into why people work so well on projects.
  • From a practical perspective, Dick Billows’ Managing Complex Projects was very useful.
  • Harold Kerzner adds detail to the traditional approach of Project Management.
  • Everything Stephen McConnell writes can be used.
  • Johanna Rothman and Jim Highsmith are great resources for software managers. Kent Beck, Jeff Sutherland and Alistair Cockburn are also good sources.

Josh: How do your team manage conflicts within their ranks? Dennis: At the end, we all get paid by the company to complete a project. I expect the team members to remember that and to act accordingly. I will listen to everyone’s stories. But I will listen to everyone’s story and work to keep everyone focused on the project goals. Don’t let conflict fester; address it immediately. Manage your emotions and intentions, and be responsible for your actions.

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