IT Project Management: Encore Presentations – Sept 2011

September 16, 2011

This program featured encore presentations by three past CMIT speakers on topics related to IT project management: Steve McConnell, Mark Kozak-Holland, and Mark Keil.

Each speaker presented via videoconference and then participated in Q&A with attendees located on the UVA Grounds at the McIntire School of Commerce.  Participants also engaged in a face-to-face roundtable discussion on key lessons learned.


9:00 am – 10:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Videoconference Presentation by Steve McConnell, CEO & Chief Software Engineer, Construx Software

“Keys to Successful IT Projects: An Executive Guide”  The causes of a successful IT project are not a mystery. Leading organizations have been delivering IT solutions on time and within budget for years, but many other companies still fail on even simple projects. In this talk, award-winning author Steve McConnell describes 10 time-tested practices you can use to control your IT projects.


11:00 am – 11:15 am


11:15 am– 12:15 pm

Videoconference Presentation by Mark Kozak-Holland, Senior Business Architect/Consultant, HP Services & Author

“The History of Project Management” The Pyramid of Giza, the Parthenon, and the Coliseum are all great historical projects from the past 4 millennia. When we look back we tend to focus on these as great architectural or engineering works. Project management tends to be overlooked, and yet the core principles were used extensively in these projects.  This presentation takes a hard look at the history of project management, how it evolved, and presents some quite remarkable results. Namely, that project management did not just appear in the last 100 years but has been a steady evolution for at least 4,500 years that began with the Pyramid of Giza.  New insights emerge when dissecting historical projects through a project management lens, and Mark Kozak-Holland brings this to life in his analysis.

Kozak-Holland_Sept 2011

12:15 pm – 1:15 pm


1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Videoconference Presentation by Mark Keil, Professor of Computer Information Systems (CIS), J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University

“Is Your Project Turning into a Black Hole?” Any seasoned executive knows that IT projects have a high failure rate. Large IT projects can become the business equivalent of what astrophysicists know as black holes, absorbing large quantities of matter and energy. Resources get sucked in, but little or nothing ever emerges. Of course, projects do not become black holes overnight. They get there one day at a time through a process known as escalating commitment to a failing course of action. Without executive intervention, these projects almost inevitably turn into black holes.  This presentation sheds light on the insidious process through which projects that devour resources, yet fail to produce business value, are created and gradually evolve into black holes. It presents a framework that explains the creation of black hole projects as a sequence of three phases: drifting, treating symptoms, and rationalizing continuation. The framework is illustrated through several case studies.  Dr. Keil presents recommendations to prevent escalating projects from becoming black holes and provides a means for detecting problems at an early stage.


2:15 pm – 2:30 pm


2:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion – Participants will reflect on key lessons learned from the three presentations while integrating personal perspectives and experiences.

Handouts – Mark Keil – Black Hole