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Storytelling for Project Managers – A Summary of “Made to Stick”

Made to Stick book cover

Picture this scene: It's evening in Hamburg. A man walks into a hotel bar during his business trip. He enters the bar which was next to the reception, walks beside other people enjoying their after-work drinks and sits down on an empty bar stool for one or two drinks before calling it a day. After a few minutes, a woman sits down next to him, smiles and askes if she could buy him the next drink. Feeling flattered, he agrees after insisting that the next round will be on him though. When the drinks come in, he takes a sip and … well that’s all he can remember after that. As he wakes up, he finds himself in a bath tub filled with ice. He can hardly move. His stomach hurts as if he had just gotten into a massive fight. Next to him, a post-it and a telephone. The hand-written note says: Don’t move, call the police. The man starts panicking. He calls the police to state his situation, still being completely unsure about what has happened. After stating what he did knew, the officer tells him: “Sir, please move your hand slowly to the back of your neck and tell me if there is a tube behind you.” Nervously the man reaches behind himself. The officer was right. “It is very important that you try to remain as calm as possible. We send an ambulance to the hotel. You seem to have fallen victim of a criminal organization focusing on organ theft. Don’t move, we will be there as fast as possible!”

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Posted by Marvin Blome on November 1st, 2019 under Project Management
Tags: book

Manifesto for Human Leadership by Marcus Raitner

Marcus Raitner

I've known Marcus Raitner for several years. Personally I met him at several PM-Camps or visited him in Munich for a delicious dinner. I liked his German blog series 'Projektplanung 101' not only because of the beautiful Merlin Project screenshots. I appreciate Marcus as project manager, agile coach and from his stories as enthusiastic father.

Last year he (not only) surprised me with the Manifesto for Human Leadership. Read more...

Posted by Frank Blome on September 13th, 2019 under Project Management
Tags: Project Management book

What Project Managers Can Learn from Pixar

A Book Review on

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Toys who were magically brought to life, a rat cooking in a French restaurant and monsters that scare children for a living. In their movies, Pixar has introduced the world to a plethora of creative characters. While keeping an extraordinary level of creativity, the company does not lack in terms of financial success either. Its most recent animation film, Incredibles 2, sold more tickets in the first week than any animation film has ever before. No other company in the film industry has even come close to the same level of constant success that Pixar, as a part of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, is having since the release of Toy Story in 1995.

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Posted by Marvin Blome on January 11th, 2019 under Project Management
Tags: book

A Last Friday for This Year!

Just before Christmas I have a last post for this year.

(no) book recommendation

But I have another subject: A few weeks ago, I came into contact with the book "Holacracy, The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World." A first reading was interesting, especially because I am always looking for new approaches for a modern management. So €12.99 were put into the iTunes BookStore and every free minute invested in Brian J. Robertson's work.

Little by little, however, I began to wonder whether this is not an attempt to make the famous "Silver Bullet" for the Americans. Nevertheless, I fought over half the book until I gave up. But what is the - or even my - problem with the "Silver Bullet"?

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm not a friend of these so-called hype management methods. This includes some management classics, as for example "Getting Things done" by David Allen. Here it is not the method in itself, but much more my envy that I have not had the idea to make a lot of money by "putting new wine in old bottles" ;-)

But Holacracy is dangerous. If I do something wrong with GTD, I burn some personal time. This hurts, but otherwise is not harmful. If I do a mistake in Holacracy, in the worst case, I could drive a company against the wall and destroy existences. Because at this point, Brian Robertson takes a great responsibility when he says, "If you introduce parts of the Holocracy, the power structure will not change." So he demands, that the whole company has to change. This was, when my alarm bells started ringing!

In the further course, the concept became more and more opaque and complex that I inevitably built up a training and certification empire in my head. But when the comparison between a company and an operating system came up, I closed the book amused and spent my time more meaningfully.

(no) Christmas story

Frosty the Project-Snowman

At this time, it is customary to celebrate a Christmas story. From all sides one can hear from "But it came to pass at the time ..." up to various versions over the old Ebenezer Scrooge, the hard-hearted nickel nurser. It is no wonder at all, that these stories are so successful. In addition to the fact that Mr. Dickens had a very pleasant "writing", storytelling is still the best methods to convey knowledge.

Taking this occasion: Due to multiple request, we have re-added the making of story for Merlin to our documentation. It had been buried more and more over the years in the blog Macpm.net. Now, we have reissued it as quick guide.

Short break

You probably already read the news, we need to take a rest. As every year, we use the time between Christmas and New Year for this. The support will be reduced to a minium, the sale and the development pauses completely. Also I personally will try to relax for a few days.

Therefore, for this year, I conclude with my best magical wishes. Spend the holidays with joy and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017. The next year will be very exciting for us as well as for you as a Merlin Project user. I am looking forward to it ...

Yours
Frank Blome

P.S.: Would you like to receive the nice snow man as project file? Follow us on Twitter and send us a short message.

Posted by Frank Blome on December 23rd, 2016 under Internal
Tags: friday book

The Merlin Project Magic now also on the iPad

Gantt Chart, Kanban and Mindmap on Mac and iPad. Try now for 30 days for free.