Webinar and Q & A

Earn 1 PDU on Webinar and Q & A

Here is a webinar I presented to 1,500 participants on the “why” I use mind mapping so heavily as a project management tool. You may view it on demand at any time.

Below is an excerpt of the Q & A Interview with Rebecca Braglio, PMI (for full book review and interview)

Q: How did you get involved in project management?

A: I reported to a gifted and talented manager who was brilliant at keeping her employees engaged with work that interested them. I was working as an IT business analyst and she recognized the potential and opportunity for me to work in a project management role. Why? Because she saw me doing it naturally and without effort. She asked me to begin leading efforts as both an IT business analyst as well as a project manager. Ever since then I have brought an analyst mind to project management and in the right organization it can be a very powerful toolset. Thanks to her, I was able to write about the importance of this specific skill in my book.

Q: What inspired you to write the book? Why did you write it?

A: At its core, I wrote The Effective Project Manager to bring awareness to the business world that project management professionals are critical to project success. An effective project manager can not only move the work that needs to be moved but also fill a role of deliverable creator and executive advisor.

Secondarily, I wrote the book after I truly felt sustained inner peace of being both productive and effective both at home and in my professional endeavors. I was finally able to wade through all the extraneous organizational and process “stuff” and come out clean with a strong vision of what project management means to me. After 15 years of following other people’s project processes, I found the perfect little process that works for me and my project teams every time. I am a visual person – and arguably not a typical Gantt head. I find that I can be twice as productive and truly effective through my daily use of mind maps, Evernote and online visualization tools such as Lucidchart. These are not typical project management tools and I want to share these tools to other project management professionals so that the profession as a whole can realize the same benefits I have realized.

Q: What is one thing you wished you’d known when you first started out in project management?

A: I wish I had read Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson way before I actually read it. I regularly refer to this book. Project management is bursting with give and take and you need to be able to understand both sides of the negotiating table and recognize your next move at all times. Negotiation is about people and understanding motivations. Project Management is also about people and understanding motivations. These two art forms are a perfect match!

Q: It’s Friday at 4 pm and your boss just told you that you’ve been assigned to work on a project – on a different continent! You leave 9 am tomorrow. What are the next five (5) things that you do?


  1. Negotiate a week of vacation or a one-time stipend in return for the utterly late notice on this assignment (thank you Roger!).
  2. Request a full project debrief that includes travel itinerary, success criteria of the project, personality profiles of the team I will be working with, research running routes and sushi restaurants in the city where I will be working. Save all of this information in Evernote.
  3. Call my mom (it’s the right thing to do).
  4. Beg my barber for an emergency haircut.
  5. Review the music and books on my iPad to ensure I have plenty of reading material for the trip. Must include: Sonny & The Sunsets, The Dirty Heads, Beirut, Port O’Brien, Blind Pilot, Iron & Wine, Talking Heads, Wilco, Grouplove, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, Cypress Hill, Cake, Beastie Boys, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Parliament, Bootsy Collins, Ohio Players, The Bar-Kays, and Rage Against The Machine. For reading: My Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan, Platform, Michael Hyatt, The E-Myth Revisited, Michael E. Gerber, The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss