Project Management, Leadership

50 Proven Project Management Techniques from 50 Leading PM Experts Today

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With almost 12% growth expected in the project management field, 6.2 million jobs are expected be created by 2020 in the United States. Keeping pace with this, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of project intensive industries is expected to rise by 37%, elevating the PM profession to $5.8 trillion industry.[1] Trying to find top project managers and thought leaders with stellar PM advice to assist project teams with project planning and execution is critical...and it can be daunting.

Mavenlink has made it easy by compiling an impressive list of project gurus and experts who offer leadership and transformation expertise within their fields. Whether you’re looking for advice, tips or best practices, this list is likely to showcase an expert that covers what you need.

Here’s our list of top PM thought leaders and business gurus (in no particular order) and access to their words of wisdom:

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1. Lawrence Lerner

 

Lawrence Lerner, Digitalization and Transformation Coach, and President of Lerner Consulting excels as a product launch leader. Periodically his company blog Lawrence Lerner covers various business topics including “Think You Know Your Organization's Strengths? Launch a New Product,” which highlights multiple factors to consider when weighing the launching of products or services. His thoughts on constructive disruption in which “needed transformation, is brought about through a well-laid out journey” is insightful. 

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2. Andrew Wicklander

Andrew Wicklander is the Founder of Tula Software and Ideal Project GroupAndrew’s business, Ideal Project Group, offers monthly blog posts and podcasts covering various developer topics. He has a great post called “If you’re a small team with no sysops guy, PaaS will save your SaaS.” It makes sense for smaller businesses or teams and is worth a read.

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Anne Samoilov is the CEO of Anne Samoilov, where she offers articles as well as podcasts centered around “entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to bring their most important ideas to the world.” Her podcast “How to Make Changes To Your Business Even When Everything’s Working” offers information to businesses about avoiding complacency.

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4. Scott Berkun

Scott Berkun is CEO at Berkun Media, specializing in creativity, management, leadership and innovation. He posts monthly on the site blog on various topics. One of his posts “Staying Sane In An Insane World” is packed with things to think about, the kind of day-to-day things that impact many people. Scott also has an “Ask Berkun” page on his site where each week he selects a top-voted question and writes a blog post about it.

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Bill Mabry is the PMO of Digital Technology & Innovation at Salesforce where his strength is in transformation and change within startups to Fortune 500 companies. He’s known for leading large complex business critical initiatives.

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6. Brett Harned
Brett Harned is a Digital Project Management (DPM) Consultant at Digital PM Consulting LLC where his expertise is in processes and communication tactics. Brett writes monthly on his blog on DPM/PM, and has some good solid advice in his post “Motivation First” where he says when it comes to people, “..there is no single solution for anything.

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7. Craig Brown
Craig Brown is VP, Collaboration at Aconex where he excels in training and coaching other PMs. Craig offers monthly blog posts on training and PM tips. He has an article “Am I doing a good job? Some tips on getting feedback” on his site Better Projects that talks about the significance of getting direct feedback from a client, co-worker or other local relevant source...good advice.

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8. Cornelius Fichtner
Cornelius Fichtner, President of OSP International LLC, is experienced in educating project managers, from beginners to experts. Cornelius also offers podcasts on PM Podcast, with the option to subscribe to the feed. The podcast covers interviews from leading PM experts on various topics ranging from leadership to strategy and industry specific PM topics. It’s a very well laid out site with easy to access high-value content.

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9. Paul Ritchie 
Paul Ritchie, CEO at PM College offers project coaching & training. Paul focuses on strategy execution using agile. On the PM College blog where Paul writes occasionally, his post  “Bridging Your Competency Gap: Take ownership of your professional development” encourages individuals in the PM profession to take inventory of their soft and hard skills and “create a plan for developing your identified competency gap.

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10. Dustin Maherg
Dustin Maherg, PMP is a Project Leader at Brown & Root Industrial Services, LLC. On Dustin Maherg he’s “obsessed with millennial leadership.” One of the points in his LinkedIn article “From Rookie to Really Smart Manager: Tips for Growing Your Abilities” highlights the need for leaders to “create a culture of learning and development.”  Check out his other articles on LinkedIn.

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11. Brett Hoffstadt 
Brett Hoffstadt, President of Brett Hoffstadt Consulting, focuses on engineering within the aerospace industry; he’s also the author of “How to be a Rocket Scientist,” and offers monthly PM posts on his blog on project management success. His post on LinkedIn “Project Manager, Manage Thyself,” makes for a great read, with the title being the best quote in of itself.

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12. Erika Flora 
Erika Flora is the CEO at Beyond 20 specializing in agile project management. On her site, there’s a blog where she posts monthly on many topics. An article to check out is “Getting teams unstuck: Using games to promote creativity and solve problems,” which recommends turning idea generation into a game. Erika states: “What better way to generate and discuss lots of diverse ideas than with a game?” — a very enjoyable read.

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13. Gayle L. McDowell 
Gayle L. McDowell is Founder & CEO at Careercup. The site showcases some of her “Cracking…” series of books and videos. It also features interviews as well as mock interviews. Her website has a monthly blog on careers in coding. In one post “Developer Interviews are Broken, and You Can't Fix It,” she has an interesting point about hiring: “You aren't hiring on what they've done. You're hiring on how they discuss what they've done.”

bzOryuFu.jpg 14. David Allen 
David Allen is the CEO of GTD (Get Things Done), offering access to his weekly blog and podcasts and RSS feed. One post that is a great read is his “LET’S HEAR IT FOR LAZY!” where he says “lazy just means making something happen with as little effort as possible.” This just makes plain sense — built on the work smarter not harder concept. David also has a site called David Co where he specializes in personal and organizational productivity

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15. Rick Freedman

Rick Freedman CEO of IT Consultant Skills has a blog on his site focusing on Agile PM. In his post “The U.S. Army’s Agile Narrative” he shares a quote from a member of the U.S. Army who says, “We train, adapt, and get smarter, not to keep up with change, but to drive it.” Powerful and on point statement — worth reading.

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16. Jeff Sutherland 
Jeff Sutherland is CEO of Scrum Inc, a consulting and coaching firm that focuses on...yes, you guessed it, Scrum. Jeff’s blog has a good post on “How Complexity Changes Leadership” where he writes about Retired General Stanley McChrystal’s outstanding book: Team of Teams. In the post, Jeff says “Scrum isn’t simply a new process or framework; it’s a cultural change that needs to be led.

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17. Jim Highsmith 

Jim Highsmith, Executive Consultant at ThoughtWorks and Founder of jimhighsmith.com is an expert on agile project management. On his site he has a monthly blog that covers numerous topics. In his article “Comfortable Being Uncomfortable,” Jim’s offers advice to a team member who complained about rapidly changing requirements, Jim said “Deal with it. You have to be more comfortable being uncomfortable.” Smart PM advice, considering change is the only true certainty in projects!

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18. Johanna Rothman 
Johanna Rothman is the CEO of Rothman Consulting Group Inc., a management consulting company where she focuses on high-technology product development. Her site features her monthly articles. One article, in particular, discusses the “value of taking work breaks.” Johanna says “breaks might help you achieve more throughput because you are — at least, I am — more likely to reflect in the moment.”  

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19. Kurt Schmidt 
Kurt Schmidt is the Digital Strategy Director at The Nerdery. The Nerdery specializes in custom software design and development and has a blog that features almost daily posts by various contributors and Nerdcasts (podcasts), check out “NerdCast #59: Who Manages The Project Managers?

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20. Dux Raymond Sy 
Dux Raymond Sy, PMP is Chief Technology Officer at AvePoint, Microsoft cloud experts, and Founder of Meet Dux where he is a thought leader focused on business transformation. AvePoint offers daily blog posts by several contributors on multiple topics, and Meet Dux offers videos on various topics and RSS feed.  Take a look at this video where Dux offers up “5 time-saving techniques that can elevate your social media engagement.”

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21. Michael Kaplan 
Michael Kaplan, PMP, CSM a Program Manager (Consultant) at PNC Bank focuses on the intersection between process and technology. In one of his LinkedIn articles, “Don’t Let Geography Alienate Your Team,” Michael says “because the distributed project team doesn't work together, they don't go through the typical team development process. The result is often a disconnected and separate unit. Closely manage this difference!”

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22. Michael Krigsman 
Michael Krigsman is the Founder of CXO Talk and specializes in leadership, innovation, and disruption. Michael hosts frequent online interviews with various high-profile business leaders and experts. He also has a blog on ZNET called “Beyond IT Failure” where he features frequently written interviews about leadership, transformation and numerous other key issues impacting businesses.

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23. Susan de Sousa 
Susan de Sousa is the founder of My PM Expert with an extensive and diverse background in PM and focuses on various aspects of PM delivery. Her site offers an endless list on everything project management. It’s packed with information, and in her article, “Do Too Many Project Managers use Project Status Reports to Bury Bad News,” she brings up good points about implications of hiding bad news. Check out her site to learn more about projects.

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24. Elizabeth Harrin 
Elizabeth Harrin is a project management expert working at Spire Healthcare Group, and Founder of GirlsGuideToPM.com, where the focus is on communication and women in PM. On her site, she includes frequent posts including “4 key drivers for team engagement” where she says “....understanding what drives your team to do their best work is a huge.”

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25. Neil A. Walker 
Neil A. Walker is the interim Program Lead/Manager at Royal Mail and Founder of PPMpractitioner.com which focuses on business transformation and leadership. In his most recent post on LinkedIn “Having fun at work? No, then it’s time for Tiddlywinks,” he says “negativity in a single team member can start a cascade of pessimism in the team. Once it takes hold it can begin to erode the very foundations that you’ve built your rock-solid team on.” This is so true.

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26. Bernardo Tirado 
Bernardo Tirado, Executive Director, Global Head of Fiduciary PMO at J.P. Morgan is an expert in industrial psychology and Founder of The Project Box where he offers advice through his monthly podcast. One worth tuning into is “Understanding Group Dynamics” where Bernardo focuses on three areas to pay attention to when forming new project teams.

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27. Lindsay Scott 
Lindsay Scott is a Director at Arras People, focusing on project management careers.  Her site offers the Camel Blog featuring weekly posts including “Understanding Project Management Job Specifications” where she outlines the need for candidates to methodically analyze and break down job postings more carefully.

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28. Storm Cunningham 
Storm Cunningham is the Publisher of Revitalization News and Author of The Restoration Economy and Rewealth. As a community revitalization and natural resource restoration leader, Storm works with agencies (national, state, & local), universities, non-profits, foundations, chambers of commerce, and Fortune 500 companies. In his LinkedIn article “Mixed-Agenda Development: Renewing urban, rural, and natural together,” he says “confidence in the future creates revitalization, and revitalization creates confidence in the future. Lack of confidence in the future creates devitalization, and devitalization creates lack of confidence.” Learn more about his work at StormCunningham.com.

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29. Robert Kelly 
Robert Kelly is the Technology Services PMO/Execution Leader at Lenovo and Founder of Kelly Project Solutions, where he has expertise in implementation of project management best practices. In one of his articles “Top 5 Reasons for Project Failure | An Aggregate View” he says “with project success/failure rates hanging around 50%, project initiatives expected to grow by double-digit percentages, and millions of dollars at risk; companies have got figure out how to get this right.”

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30. Ron Rosenhead 
Ron Rosenhead is the CEO at Project Agency and an expert on project management coaching and training. His site offers a blog with a lot of advice on all areas of PM. In the monthly content, there’s a post “People deliver projects; not processes” that affirms “companies can have the ‘best’ project management framework, but it is people who deliver projects.”

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31. Ricardo Viana Vargas 
Ricardo Viana Vargas, PMP, PMI-RMP, PMI-SP, CSM is the Director, Infrastructure and Project Management Group (IPMG) at the United Nations Office for Project Services. He is a project, portfolio, and risk management specialist and has an article on his LinkedIn page “How to Identify Leaders” that says, “Look for three traits to determine who has the potential to take charge — commitment, personal drive, and trust.”

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32. Scott Sehlhorst 
Scott Sehlhorst is a Product Management and Strategy Consultant at Tyner Blain where he is an agile product management and strategy expert. Scott has a monthly blog where one of his articles “Customer Churn and SaaS” discusses a need to … “emphasize the importance of investing to retain customers before…..losing them.

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33. Sean Hull 
Sean Hull is a Consultant at Mundae LLC and an expert in driving the delivery of transformation projects. Check out his LinkedIn Slideshare post, “Think big picture: Effective project delivery.”

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34. Susanne Madsen 
Susanne Madsen, CEO of Susanne Madsen International Ltd, is a pro when it comes to developing project leaders. Her site has a blog that features this post for any project leader, “Ten Timeless Techniques to Combat Negative Stress” where Susanne says “We all have innate ways of thinking and reacting that get in our way…”

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35. Cliff Gilley 
Cliff Gilley is a Product Planner and Manager at K2 Computer Software and specializes in product management. K2 has a blog with many good frequent posts for thought; one of them called “Mobility Isn’t About Access, It’s About Context-on-the-Go” which says “In order to really become agile, we need not only access to information but context.”

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36. Peter Taylor 
Peter Taylor, is the Head of Global PMO at Kronos, and Founder of The Lazy Project Manager where he advocates for working smarter, not harder, as well as work life balance. His blog on The Lazy Project Manager showcases semi-monthly posts like “Warning Signs Your Sponsor Doesn’t Care About the Project—and How to Change That,” an important factor in project success or failure.

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37. Thomas Kennedy 
Thomas Kennedy, PMP is the Program Manager at Sally Beauty Holdings and the Founder of ThePMCoach, where he has monthly posts on the blogspot.com. “Managing Global and Virtual Project Teams” is a post that discusses cultural difference, language barriers, time-zone changes among other things. Thomas says “through the effective use of technology to bring geographically dispersed virtual teams together, project managers are able to reach out and lead team members all over the world.”

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38. Bob Sutton 
Bob Sutton, is a Stanford University Professor and an Author focusing on organizational behavior. On his site Bob Sutton he offers advice through his articles and videos. He’s the author of “Good boss, bad boss” that discusses being in tune with other people.

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39. Gary Kuyper 
Gary Kuyper, MBA, PMP, CSM, CLP is an Adjunct Professor and Software Systems Product Manager at Innovative Medical Systems, Inc. Gary’s focused on self-development, servant leadership and staff development.

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40. Quante Ferguson 
Quante Ferguson, MBA, PMP works for EMC as their Global Program Manager with a focus on technology portfolio management within the IT Industry.

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41. Heidi Grant Halvorson 
Heidi Grant Halvorson, a Social Psychologist at Columbia University is an expert in the world of social psychology. Her advice can also be found on her site blog at heidigranthalvorson.com where she posted “How to override the assumptions your colleagues make about you.” Heidi states “..when it comes to perceiving you, your colleagues are (without realizing it) relying heavily on assumptions, the miserly brain’s favorite shortcut.”

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42. Ed Laccohee 

Ed Laccohee is a Director at Controlled Projects. He is an expert in business practices and capital projects. 

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43. Seth Godin 
Seth Godin is CEO of Seth Godin where he has his own blog. He posts semi-monthly on an array of topics. One post “The two risk mistakes” talks about the myths behind risks. Seth says “most of the things that we do have two possible outcomes: they might work or they might not. Being able to live with the possibility of either is essential if we're going to move forward.”

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44. Ilya Pozin 
Ilya Pozin is the Founder of Pluto TV. On his LinkedIn page he posts monthly articles; in one of them called “How To Be A Leader When You're Not The Boss,” Ilya says “Leaders define success differently than others. They think in terms of measurable results, changes that they can see and say that’s a result of our work.”

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45. Drake Baer 
Drake Baer a Senior Writer for New York Magazine and has posted articles on various topics for Fast Company and Business Insider.

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46. Beth Buelow 
Beth Buelow, CEO of The Introvert Entrepreneur, is an entrepreneur coach focused on careers and success for introverts. Within her site, she offers a monthly blog and podcasts to assist ”introverts to gain insight, support, and empowerment”. In her post “How to cure a case of shoulditis” she shares an interesting phrase “Someone once told me that saying ‘I should’ is a thinly disguised ‘I don’t want to’,” this saying can be applied to projects.

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47. Steven Baker 
Steven Baker, PMP works as a Senior Project Manager for CSE ICON, Inc where he specializes in Oil & Gas project management and owner representation and controlling the relationship between vendors and end users.

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48. Shawn Murphy 
Shawn Murphy is the Writer, Co-founder, and CEO of Switch and Shift focused on organizational change management. The site’s blog features posts from various writers. One of Shawn’s posts “4 Manager Types and Their Impact on the Workplace” includes this sentiment “We need more leaders who are capable of shifting the negative narrative of crappy work experiences.”

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49. Rich Maltzman 
Rich Maltzman, a Cleland Award-winning Co-author of Green Project Management, is focused on the sustainability/PM intersection. He founded EarthPM and also posts on Projects At Work. On that site, he has a post called “Ruby Slipper Realization” which includes a link to a video on sustainability and PM where he talks about what success really means.

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50. David Pickeral 

David Pickeral, Transportation + Technology + Data and x IoT = MOBILITY guru working with multiple start-ups is dedicated to “...enhancing transportation effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility, sustainability, intermodality, and safety.” On LinkedIn David posts articles like “H3B: Ten Years of Smart & Connected Thinking” where he discusses the role of entrepreneurs as essential drivers of change in relation to public transportation ecosystem


Regardless of who you choose to follow or consider as the top project manager or project management thought leader, the one thing all these experts have in common is a wealth of knowledge, experience and their love for the PM profession. Mavenlink’s “must keep” reference list of gurus provides easy access to top-notch PM advice on methodologies, leadership, people, processes, technology or general project management in one tidy collection. Leaders like these offer high-value advice that any business professional or PM can learn from and leverage.

Source: [1] PMI - Project management skills gap report

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