Q&A with Author Chris Hare: Transforming Project Management into Time-Saving, Stress-Relieving Solutions for Parents of K-12 Students

Guest Author QandA - JPG lower res

Author Chris Hare knows the meaning of “polymath”―but is too modest to use it about herself.

When you look at her resume, it’s an impressive array of roles: full-time project manager at such brand behemoths as Guitar Center, Adobe, Patagonia…and then there’s her role as Technical Editor on two Amazon best-sellers (
mine included), plus her many years as a playwright and contributing editor, and not to mention, role as wife and mother―and now, a newly self-published author of a book geared towards busy parents like herself. All that said, one has to wonder:

How does she do it all?

Well, when pressed about the polymath comparison, Chris joked: “If you define polymath as someone who can do many things well―including add and subtract―then you have the wrong girl!”

It’s this kind of relatable wit that is infused in her insightful new book: “
From Homework Hell to Help! A Parent’s Guide to 75 Solutions to Help Kids Save Time and Stress Less Using Project Management Techniques.” In its first two weeks on Amazon, it garnered an impressive “Amazon Hot New Releases” top ten ranking for both Parenting & Family Reference and Study Skills categories.

SMG: So, where did the idea for this book come from, Chris?

CH: Basically, it was born out of the underpinnings and underbelly of my project management career, overlaid with my role as wife and mom. I needed a way to introduce balance, time management, and organizational skills in an already hectic life, and there they were all the time―within the tenets of basic project management, something I was already implementing every business day from 9-6.

SMG: What are your thoughts surrounding project-based learning as a trend?

CH:
I am happy to see that “project-based learning” has gone from buzz term and hashtag to mainstream usage in the school environment. I have personally seen an uptick in the amount of project-based work my sons have undertaken during their early school years and it’s a very favorable trend. I cannot underscore enough how critical it is for young students to learn the basic life skills of cooperation, teamwork, task management, organization, time management, people management, budgeting, risk management―and these are all part and parcel of project management.

SMG: This book is clearly for parents, but I can see it benefitting other audience types as well.

CH: “From Homework Hell to Help!” primarily targets parents/caregivers, that’s true; however, there is a section devoted to students. I call the book a “Parent’s Guide,” as it’s geared towards the parent/caregiver working in collaboration with their student(s). And, even though it is education-related, it’s not geared toward educators, but I can see them getting sufficient usage out of this content as well.

SMG: As you just mentioned, and is also apparent in your book, you take great care to use the term “parents/caregivers,” rather than simply “parents.”

CH: This was done with purposeful, inclusive intent. I wanted to make sure I was not isolating any one group who holds this very important role. In the end, this book is for parents, whether they be: stay-at-home, working, single, military, special needs, adoptive, custodial—any singular or pair of individuals who are responsible for a child or children in grades K-12.

At the same time, the “child” or “student” I refer to in the book embraces all inclusive types and neurodiversity. So, whether you have a child on the spectrum, or one with ADHD, these same modalities can be applied, and there are also some strategies that may be more effective for those with certain propensities, such as being more visually oriented.

SMG: I think you have a unique opportunity here that inadvertently markets to some other unsung audience members: the wannabe personal or professional project manager!

CH: That’s right! It’s inferred with my second, unofficial subhead inside the book: “Plus: The quickest possible ramp-up for everyone else on using project management in your everyday life!” If you’re a wannabe professional project manager, this is a great 101 that won’t bore you to tears; it takes the project management-babble and explains concepts in real-world terms that everyone can understand.

And, if you’re just a person who’s looking for ways to better manage your time and be more organized, several of the problems and solutions can be flipped and used to apply to your situation. Many others can be used directly, such as how to manage successful meetings, Outlook and email shortcuts and tips to help you work more quickly, how to write effective notes, and helpful time-saving apps.


SMG: Another thing that struck me while reading this book is how it is structured, which is unique. Can you talk a bit about that?

CH: Sure. The book, while containing background information on what project management is to set the tone, is structured around project subject matter, with a problem/solution-based schema throughout. So, for example, if you’re looking at the section covering how to work with others (aka teamwork), you will see problems that a child might encounter on this topic, such as: “My child has taken on a leadership role and is not meshing well with others.” Then, I offer real-world, easy-to-consume solutions extrapolated from project management principles to be used to solve those problems.

SMG: You mentioned giving some background information on what project management is. Do you feel people still generally need an explanation of what it is, and why do you think that is?

CH:
Absolutely. As you and I both know well, being practicing project managers for the many years we have being doing so, there pervades a sense of mystery, misconception, and stigma surrounding the practice of project management. And, I hoped I have helped to crush those mysteries, misconceptions, and stigmas! I included an opening section on how I explained what the concept of project management was to my sons, who were the first to pose this basic question to me. I also go a bit into how project management evolved, for a significant historical perspective, as well as the benefits of project management, to give parents and students as sense of WIIFM.

SMG: Excellent. So, what’s next for you?

CH:
Other than marketing this book, I am thinking of jumping into a new one, this time focused on helping future project managers to break into the field. I eventually would like to publish some of my fiction works, but that will have to be backlogged until there’s a bigger aperture of time.

SMG: Speaking of time, thanks for sharing yours with me, Chris! Where can readers find your book?

CH: You’re welcome, Scott! Thanks for having me; this was fun. My book can be found here: bit.ly/helltohelp

SMG: Would you like to also share where readers can get in touch with you?

CH:
Sure. Here is how to reach me via various online and social media means:

Also, I can be reached via email at: authorchrishare@gmail.com. I love to hear what my readers think, so drop me a line and let me know your thoughts!


custom - back to main page of blog

"Agile Scrum" Now Available to Wider Audience Through More Retailers, Bookstores, Libraries, Academic Institutions, and Distributors

EXPANDED DISTRIBUTION lowerres

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions
(Scott M. Graffius, author; Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, technical editors) helps teams deliver products and services in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. Reactions to the book have been incredibly positive. It has won 17 first place awards.

I've been proud to have Amazon as the exclusive channel for Agile Scrum. Last month I received an email from a bookstore who wanted to carry the publication and asked about ordering it for resale. And on Monday of this week, a different bookstore called and had the same question. However, under the exclusive arrangement, distribution was limited to Amazon, and the bookstores were not able to get Agile Scrum for resale. To make the book available to those sellers—and others—I transitioned it to Expanded Distribution.

Both the print and ebook formats of Agile Scrum will still be available at Amazon, just not exclusively. Expanded Distribution provides access to a larger audience through more online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors. With the change, Agile Scrum is now available for order through the following channels (in addition to Amazon):

  • Bookstores and Online Retailers - available to online and offline retailers such as Barnes & Noble and to distributors such as Ingram and the National Association of College Stores, Inc. (NACSCORP).
  • Libraries and Academic Institutions - offered through Baker & Taylor to libraries and academic institutions.
  • CreateSpace Direct - available to certified resellers through the CreateSpace Direct wholesale website.

The move to Expanded Distribution was initiated on July 5. It can take up to six weeks for changes to take effect across the different channels and appear in related product information and reporting. Accordingly, Expanded Distribution should be in place by August 16.

Agile Scrum will still be offered in print and digital formats at Amazon. The paperback is available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The ebook is for sale in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Review copies of Agile Scrum are available to members of broadcast, print or online media. Visit http://bit.ly/REVIEW-COPY.

For more information on the book and to connect on social:

- Digital press kit https://AgileScrumGuide.com
- Trailer http://bit.ly/ASG-TRAILER
- Video channel https://bit.ly/ASG-CHANNEL
- Amazon https://amzn.to/2fVA3lW
- Twitter http://bit.ly/ASG-TWITTER
- Facebook https://bit.ly/ASG-ON-FB
- Instagram https://bit.ly/ASG-INSTA
- Pinterest http://bit.ly/ASG-PIN
- Blog https://bit.ly/AGILE-BLOG

#agile #scrum #projectmgmt #projectmanagement #business #tech #technology #innovation #leadership #book #ebook @AgileScrumGuide

★★★★★

You're invited to connect with Scott M. Graffius on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Scott presents thought leadership on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. He delivers talks at private and public events in the United States and internationally. For information on availability, fees, pro bono work and more, visit
SpeakerHub.

For more information, you can visit Scott's personal
website, review his bio, and read additional stories in the blog. The websites for his business and award-winning book are http://Exceptional-PMO.com and https://AgileScrumGuide.com.





custom - back to main page of blog

Talk by Scott M. Graffius at PMI California Central Coast Chapter Event on June 28, 2018

1 - THANK YOU lowerres

Thank you, Project Management Institute California Central Coast Chapter (PMI-4C), for inviting me to speak at your June 28 meeting on “Agile Scrum: An Overview (Originally) for The Board of Directors of an Entertainment Company.” The turnout was fantastic, and it was a pleasure and honor to speak with such an engaging audience.

Special thanks to Chris Hare and Colin Giffen — the technical editors on the award-winning book,
Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions — for their involvement and participation.

Thanks to PMI-4C's Michael Peter and Robert Tucker for organizing and managing the event.

★★★★★

You're invited to connect with Scott M. Graffius on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Scott presents thought leadership on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. He delivers talks at private and public events in the United States and internationally. For information on availability, fees, pro bono work and more, visit
SpeakerHub.

For more information, you can visit Scott's personal
website, review his bio, and read additional stories in the blog. The websites for his business and award-winning book are http://Exceptional-PMO.com and https://AgileScrumGuide.com.





custom - back to main page of blog

“Agile Scrum" Business and Technology Guide Recognized by Shelf Unbound Competition

Shelf Unbound - v180505 LOWERRES

Today,
Shelf Unbound named Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions a Top 100 Indie Book. A press release from Scott M. Graffius, the author of the book, is located here. Additionally, the text from the release is provided below.

★★★★★

Los Angeles, CA — Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions (Scott M. Graffius, author; Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, technical editors) was named one of the Notable 100 independently published books. The awards program is sponsored by Shelf Unbound, an international review magazine which connects readers with the best books from independent publishers. The contest was open to English-language works in digital and print formats from small press, academic press, and self-published authors. Editors of Shelf Unbound judged the entries, and the top hundred books are included in the Notable 100. The news is featured on page 90 of the April/May issue of Shelf Unbound magazine.

There are a variety of frameworks supporting the development of products, and most approaches fall into one of two broad categories: traditional or agile. Traditional practices engage sequential development, while agile models involve iterative and incremental deliverables. Organizations are increasingly embracing agile to best meet their business needs—and successfully manage projects, innovate, and prosper at astounding speed.

Scott released
Agile Scrum to provide those interested or involved in innovation, product development, project management, software development or technology management with a roadmap to implement Scrum, the most popular agile framework. It helps teams develop and deliver products in short cycles with rapid adaptation to change, fast time-to-market, and continuous improvement—which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage.

Reactions to
Agile Scrum have been incredibly positive. Earlier honors include 16 first place wins from national and international competitions: the 5th Annual Beverly Hills International Book Awards (for Business-General, and also for Technology), 2016 London Book Festival (for Business), Fall 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards (for Business), 2017 Feathered Quill Book Awards (for Informational), 2016 New Apple Book Awards (for Technology), 2017 Independent Press Award (for Technology), 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards (for Technology), 2017 Pacific Rim Book Festival (for Business), 2017 Bookvana Awards (for Green/Conscious Business), 2017 Book Excellence Awards (for Technology), 2017 Best Book Awards (for Business Reference), 2017 New York City Big Book Awards (for Technology), 2017 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards (for Science & Technology), 2017 Human Relations Indie Book Awards (for Workplace), and the 2018 Florida Book Festival (for Business).

About the Author

Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP, CSM, CSPO, ITIL, LSSGB is a project management expert, consultant, international speaker, and author. He founded and is CEO of
Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions, an Inc. Verified Business, which helps organizations better solve their problems and capitalize on opportunities via world-class project management related services. Results include more consistent realization of business outcomes, faster delivery speed, improved on-budget performance, higher satisfaction, and more. A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with a client in the entertainment industry was the inspiration for Scott's book, Agile Scrum. He is a former vice president of a provider of diverse consumer products and services over the Internet including social networking and internet access. Before that, Scott worked in organizations with businesses ranging from advanced technology products and services to business services, retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, and entertainment. He has experience with consumer, business, reseller, government, and international markets, as well as experience spanning 20 countries.

About the Book

Agile Scrum is offered in paperback (ISBN-13: 978-1533370242, $19.95 USD) and ebook (ASIN: B01FZ0JIIY, $4.95 USD) formats at Amazon. The paperback is available in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The ebook is for sale in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Review copies of
Agile Scrum are available to members of broadcast, print or online media. Visit http://bit.ly/REVIEW-COPY.

Visit
AgileScrumGuide.com to learn more about the publication. For more information on Shelf Unbound and their awards program, visit shelfmediagroup.com.

★★★★★

You're invited to connect with Scott M. Graffius on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Scott presents thought leadership on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. He delivers talks at private and public events in the United States and internationally. For information on availability, fees, pro bono work and more, visit
SpeakerHub.

For more information, you can visit Scott's personal
website, review his bio, and read additional stories in the blog. The websites for his business and award-winning book are http://Exceptional-PMO.com and https://AgileScrumGuide.com.






custom - back to main page of blog

“Agile Scrum" Guide Nabs Silver Medal from Readers' Favorite International Book Awards

vGGG RF Business lowerres

Scott M. Graffius of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ had consulting engagements with a division of a global entertainment business. A fantastic agile transformation experience and result with that client was the inspiration for Scott's book, Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions. This is an update on the book.

Agile Scrum won the silver medal in the Business/Finance category at the 2018 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards. A press release from Scott is located here and the news is presented below as well.

★★★★★

Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions
by Scott M. Graffius helps technical and non-technical teams develop and deliver products at astounding speed with rapid adaptation to change and continuous improvement which supports innovation and drives competitive advantage. Reactions to the book have been incredibly positive. The latest accolade comes from the 2018 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards (https://readersfavorite.com/2018-award-contest-winners.htm), which awarded Agile Scrum with the silver medal in the Business/Finance category. With thousands of entries ranging from New York Times bestsellers to works from first-time self-published authors, the program is one of the largest book competitions. Graffius will be presented with the silver medal on stage at a gala in Miami, Florida on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

About the Author

Scott M. Graffius, PMP, CSP, CSM, CSPO, ITIL, LSSGB is a project management expert, consultant, author, and international speaker. He is the Founder and CEO of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions
, a management consulting firm. Scott is a former vice president of project management with a publicly traded provider of diverse consumer products and services over the Internet. Before that, he ran and supervised the delivery of projects and programs in public and private organizations with businesses ranging from e-commerce to advanced technology products and services, retail, manufacturing, entertainment, and more. For more information on Scott, visit http://Exceptional-PMO.com/who_we_are/bio.

About the Book

  • Title: Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Author: Scott M. Graffius
  • Technical Editors: Chris Hare and Colin Giffen
  • Formats: Paperback and ebook, both in full color
  • Pub Date: April 5, 2016 (paperback), May 20, 2016 (ebook)
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (paperback), Amazon Digital Services (ebook)
  • Price: Paperback $34.99 US, ebook $19.99 US
  • Pages: 156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1533370242 (paperback)
  • ASIN: B01FZ0JIIY (ebook)
  • Channels: The paperback is available from Amazon in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States; other online and offline bookstores and retailers; distributors including Ingram and NACSCORP; libraries and academic institutions through Baker & Taylor; and certified resellers through CreateSpace Direct wholesale. The ebook is for sale through Amazon in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States; and other channels.

A trailer, high-resolution images, reviews, a detailed list of awards and more are available at
https://AgileScrumGuide.com.

About Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions

Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions
(http://Exceptional-PMO.com) helps organizations achieve their strategic objectives and business initiatives via world-class project management. The firm provides expert advisory, training, and facilitative consulting services related to project, program, portfolio, and PMO management in agile, traditional, and hybrid development and delivery frameworks.

★★★★★

You're invited to connect with Scott M. Graffius on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Scott presents thought leadership on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. He delivers talks at private and public events in the United States and internationally. For information on availability, fees, pro bono work and more, visit
SpeakerHub.

For more information, you can visit Scott's personal
website, review his bio, and read additional stories in the blog. The websites for his business and award-winning book are http://Exceptional-PMO.com and https://AgileScrumGuide.com.





custom - back to main page of blog

Scott M. Graffius Featured in Success Story by BEA

1 - BEA success story custom design for Twitter etc LOWERRES

The Book Excellence Awards features Scott M. Graffius, author of Agile Scrum: Your Quick Start Guide with Step-by-Step Instructions, in a story. The article highlights factors contributing to the book's success — including credit to Chris Hare and Colin Giffen, the technical editors on the publication. You can check out the story at https://www.bookexcellenceawards.com/scott-graffius-success-story.

#agile #AmazonBestSeller #AwardWinningBook #book #BookExcellenceAwards #BookTrailer #CustomerCentric #ebook #entrepreneur #IT #OmniChannel #paperback #ProjectManagement #ProjectManagementInstitute #ProjectMgmt #Scrum #SDLC #software #startup #SuccessStory #tech #technology #Techstars #Top10 #VideoChannel #Yahoo #YahooFinance

★★★★★

You're invited to connect with Scott M. Graffius on social. Like his page on
Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Scott presents thought leadership on project, program, portfolio, and PMO management related topics of timely importance. He delivers talks at private and public events in the United States and internationally. For information on availability, fees, pro bono work and more, visit
SpeakerHub.

For more information, you can visit Scott's personal
website, review his bio, and read additional stories in the blog. The websites for his business and award-winning book are http://Exceptional-PMO.com and https://AgileScrumGuide.com.





custom - back to main page of blog