Category Archives: Business and General Management

This category cover various business topics, we will use sub-categories to narrow the topics into logical grouping.

What does it take to have a co-founder spirit?

What does it take to have a co-founder spirit? Let me start with a personal story first. In the story, which is personal, I will give you an implicit answer; i.e., read between the lines. Then I will be more explicit.

Early Childhood

The Civil War

I grew up in a small village in Lebanon. I was in my early teens when the civil war started (1975). At the end of the 9th grade, I wanted to give up school or go into a vocational training school. My dad, being an independent “entrepreneur,” was supporting the idea to quit school and come work with him. In those days, we had lost almost everything we owned, our house was burned, the villa we were building was demolished, my dad lost all of his business, and we became refugees. That is why I wanted to quit school.

A turning point

A family friend convinces my dad not to let me quit and continue to high school, which I did. That moment was a turning point in my studies since I transformed from a mediocre student to being among the top three of my class. After high school, I left Lebanon, still in a civil war, and came to the US to study, and later worked. I had never thought of myself as a risk-taker or an entrepreneur. Sometimes, I was mad at my dad for some of the risks he took and did not understand them. I did not know, or understand, or even accept that risk-taking is part of life. I thought my dad was making mistakes when he would do something risky. So I wanted to be different.

Ahmad Mounir Ajam, my dad! A man of honor, tolerance. So words can be enough to show my respect. Rest in Peace

Education & early career

I focused on my studies and worked my way through college when my parents could not send me money anymore because of the collapse of the economy in Lebanon. I did well in my education, got a job, went back to uni for a masters’ degree that was 1990. Graduating from the University of California Berkeley and with top grades, provided me the necessary education to join Exxon and later other companies. All along, I was choosing the safe route, good school, top university, excellent working environment, and global companies. However, something was missing.

Risk Averse

I guess the risk-taker blood was running in my veins. I never thought of myself as a risk-taker, on the contrary, I felt I had a neutral attitude to risks, and maybe even averse to risks. About 8 years into my career with Exxon, I was frustrated. Exxon offered me a great opportunity and excellent salary and benefits, but I was not satisfied. In the early summer of 1998, I decided to quit, without any alternative in mind. In those days, entrepreneurship and startup were not a hot topic. Fortunately for me, I started freelancing and got an opportunity to work on a megaproject (in Texas), and later officially registered a company. The company was a legal structure for my self-employment.

Passion for project management

I am sharing all of the above to share how life was framing my future. Many of the steps that I have taken up to that point were mostly reactionary and not by design or long term vision. The only constant was my passion for project management and its value in all aspects of life.

After three years of self-employment, I was offered a job in Saudi, with Saudi Aramco. I did not want to take the job, but expecting my first child, pushed me into giving up on my US company-dream and go back into the corporate world. Being an entrepreneur was moved down on my priority list. However, two to three years into my “employee status,” my father’s blood started to drive me again.

a side note, for those who do know what it means to work for Saudi Aramco, here is a hint, wealth, and prosperity for the rest of my life, if I retire as an Aramcon.

The second startup

I started to plan to startup a company again. Everyone thought that I was crazy to leave the “Aramco Dream.” In 2004, we started SUKAD FZ-LLC in Dubai, UAE. I left a $20k/month total package to go into the unknown. A new company, in a new country, and with no real salary. I ran SUKAD from 2005 to 2019; earned many leading customers and their respect for repeat business year after year. During those years, we worked on the SUKAD Way, developed CAMMP, started our blog site and YouTube channel, and published a few books.

The third and current startup

That UAE SUKAD and the work we did during the period, allowed us to transform into SUKAD Corp, a USA Startup, working on developing an innovative project management solution, the Uruk PPM Platform.

The Moral of the story

Once again, I am sharing all of the above, a personal story, to reach the point of answering the question, the question that I posted as the title of this message. “What does it take to have a co-founder spirit?” What I shared is one example and the story of a “late-entrepreneur” if there is such a term. Other entrepreneurs started earlier in life, maybe even when they were still in school or university. So, what is the point?

So far, I gave you an indirect or implicit answer to the question of co-founder spirit. I used the term co-founder instead of an entrepreneur because most startups are teams, although triggered or driven by one vision. If you prefer, you can think of the “Entrepreneur Spirit.” What is the moral of this story? What is the explicit answer to this question?

The explicit answer

I do not know if there is an answer for everyone to subscribe to. To me, here is an explicit response to “What does it take to have a co-founder spirit?” It takes:

  • The courage to go into the unknown and maybe unchartered path.
  • To accept the threat of potential failure and seek the opportunity to serve.
  • The realization that we need to find solutions to problems and practice gaps
  • To understand that entrepreneurship takes dedication, hard works, and sleepless nights.
  • To be willing to reach the verge of burnout but the wisdom to realize that the exhaustion is temporary and to be expected. Of course, that requires the rebellious spirit to snap out of it.

The Co-Founder Spirit

It sounds like a horror story, so why would anyone want to be a founder, co-founder, or an entrepreneur. Well, not everyone wants to and some of those who want it might not understand what it takes. So, why do we do it? We do it because we have the spirit.

I do realize that many do it for the glory, being a Unicorn or a Camel (a new term that I am still trying to understand). Maybe we do it to be rich and famous. Each of us has different triggers. Even if one is at the highest level of the Maslow hierarchy of needs, one would still like the recognition. However, the real answer is here. Many of us do not do for glory, recognition, or wealth. We do it because we see a need. Founders see problems that someone should address. They see gaps that must be filled. We do it because we believe in a cause. We do it because we have the “Co-Founder Spirit.”

Co-Founder Opportunity, the Uruk PPM

In closing, our startup, SUKAD Corp, and the Uruk PPM Platform can benefit in growing our startup team and we are looking for someone with the spirit to join our working, co-founders’ team.

So, if you have the passion to excel and serve, you appreciate the value of project management, you have the business development skills to help us go to market, we would love to hear from you. You would be working with me and our CIO, Neville Goedhals.

The Uruk PPM Platform

How can you help advance project management?

In this special message, I am reaching out to our network and all of you who have been following the blog site. As you know, we have been sharing project management knowledge through this site for about seven years and many of you are familiar with our work. However, you might not know that many of the concepts and approaches that we have discussed here, will be part of the Uruk PPM Platform. Consequently, the Uruk PPM Platform is how we plan to disrupt the project management state of practice, starting with a digital transformation.

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How to deal with the blockers of project management knowledge?

In this post, I am taking a small section from Chapter 1 of my upcoming book, Leading Megaprojects, A Tailored Approach to deal with what I call blockers of project management knowledge. The type of people who think that everything we need to know has been invented and no room for new knowledge or another perspective. I guess we need to ask universities to shut down; cancel their project management programs; or refer to some of these blockers to adopt their version of project management that they treat as the only “truth” or what I call narrow thinking or arrogance at the highest level. Is there a term for this level of arrogance? Back to the Blockers from Chapter 1.

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نداء الى خبراء ادارة المشاريع والمترجمين

The Cover, Table of Content, and Table of Figures

Project Background

In SUKAD, we have been working on a substantial document with the title Project Management English-Arabic Glossary of Terms. Since 2010, we have published this reference to the community; versions 1 to 3. It has been shared free under the Creative Commons Guidelines.

Recently, we have been involved in two projects to verify the translations of the PMP® and PMI-ACP® exam questions from English to Arabic. This work was for a private company (not PMI), but we had to comply with the PMI resources, like the PMBOK Guide and the Agile Practice Guide. Those projects triggered us to get back to the glossary to update to version 4.0.

خلفية  المشروع


في سوكاد، نحن نعمل على وثيقة مميزة تحمل عنوان مصطلحات إدارة المشاريع إنجليزي-عربي، او قاموس إدارة المشاريع.

منذ عام 2010 ، نشرنا الاصدرات السابقة من هذه القامو إلى مجتمع ادارة المشاريع؛ الإصدارات من 1 إلى 3. تمت مشاركت هذه الاصدارات مجانًا بموجب إرشادات مرجع: Creative Commons.

لقد شاركنا مؤخرًا في مشروعين للتحقق من ترجمة أسئلة (PMP) و (PMI-ACP) من الإنجليزية إلى العربية. كان هذا العمل لصالح شركة خاصة (وليس PMI)، ولكن كان علينا أن نلتزم بموارد PMI ، مثل دليل PMBOK ودليل الممارسات الاسلوب  المرن. وقد دفعنا هذا العمل إلى الرجوع إلى القاموس لتحديثه إلى الإصدار 4.0.

Current situation

This glossary has grown from about 20+ pages to 70+ pages. We have organized it in two parts:

  1. Part 1 is mostly related to SUKAD Project Management Innovation Program and the terms we use for The SUKAD Way™, CAMMP™, and other products. Although these are SUKAD related terms, they are ALL project management terms.
  2. Part 2, the biggest, is for all other terms. Most of these terms (words or phrases) come from our work but also related to PMI, ISO, and others.

الوضع الحالي

لقد توسع هذا القاموس من حوالي 20 صفحة إلى أكثر من 70 صفحة.

قمنا بتنظيمها في جزأين:

الجزء الأول يتعلق في الغالب ببرنامج سوكاد لإدارة المشاريع والابتكار والمصطلحات التي نستخدمها في (The SUKAD Way™ and CAMMP™)  ومنتجات أخرى. على الرغم من أن هذه هي مصطلحات سوكاد، ولكنها مصطلحات إدارة المشاريع.

الجزء الثاني ، الأكبر ، هو لجميع المصطلحات الأخرى. تأتي معظم هذه المصطلحات (كلمات أو عبارات) من عملنا ولكنها أيضًا مرتبطة ب (PMI, ISO) وغيرهم.

The vision

The vision is to continue to update this glossary to include terms from other professional associations like IPMA, GPM Global, and other areas of project management.

To make that vision happen, we need help. The help we need is per the following:

Add terms to the glossary that would be of value to the project management community.

Translate the new words and phrases.

Technical verification to ensure the translated terms (new or existing) are not word-for-word translations but the translation that cover the intent. For the current terms, we have done most of this already.Linguistic verifications, but to be clear, this is a business/scientific document, so we are not looking for a highly complex translation, we need terms that are common and understood in the Arab world but linguistically correct.

الرؤية

وتتمثل الرؤية في مواصلة تحديث هذا المرجع ليشمل مصطلحات من الجمعيات المهنية الأخرى مثل IPMA و GPM Global وغيرها من مجالات إدارة المشاريع.

لتحقيق هذه الرؤية ، نحن بحاجة إلى المساعدة. المساعدة التي نحتاجها هي لكل مما يلي:

أضف مصطلحات إلى المرجع الذي سيكون ذا قيمة لمجتمع إدارة المشروع.

ترجمة الكلمات والعبارات الجديدة.

التحقق الفني للتأكد من أن المصطلحات المترجمة (جديدة أو موجودة) ليست ترجمات حرفية للكلمات بل الترجمة التي تغطي المعنى الصحيح. بالنسبة المصطلحات الحالية ، قمنا بمعظم هذا بالفعل. التحققات اللغوية ، ولكن لكي تكون واضحة ، هذه هي وثيقة ادارية/علمية ، لذلك نحن لا نبحث عن ترجمة معقدة للغاية ، نحتاج إلى مصطلحات شائعة ومفهومة في العالم العربي ولكنها صحيحة لغويا.

Call to Action

To accomplish this vision, we need volunteers. However, those who volunteer must keep in mind the following:

SUKAD started this document, and we currently have close to 1000 terms that we have already translated. Therefore, SUKAD will continue to own this glossary.

All who will help and contribute as volunteers will be credited in the front matters of the document.

Although SUKAD will continue to own this glossary, it will be open to sharing with the community for free; under the Creative Common Guidelines. SUKAD will NOT sell or profit from this work.

The primary author of this document will be Mounir A. Ajam and will be credited accordingly.If you are OK with the above, the next section will outline the plan for the work.

النداء للعمل

لإنجاز هذه الرؤية ، نحن بحاجة إلى متطوعين. ومع ذلك ، يجب على المتطوعين مراعاة ما يلي:

سوكاد أسست هذا القاموس، ولدينا الآن ما ياقرب 1000 مصطلح قمنا بترجمته بالفعل. لذلك ، سوف تستمر سوكاد في امتلاك هذا القاموس.

كل الأشخاص الذين سيساعدون ويساهمون كمتطوعين سيتم ذكرهم وشكرهم في مقدمة الوثيقة.

على الرغم من أن سوكاد سوف تستمر في امتلاك هذا القاموس، إلا أنه سيتم مشاركةه مع المجتمع مجانًا. بموجب المبادئ التوجيهية من منظمة (Creative Commons). لن تبيع سوكاد أو تستفيد من هذا العمل ماديا.

والمؤلف الرئيس لهذه الوثيقة هو منير عجم وسوف تتم إضافته وفقًا لذلك.إذا كنت موافقًا على ما ورد أعلاه ، فسيوضح القسم التالي خطة العمل.

Work Plan

This is a considerable glossary, and we realize not everyone can help in the whole document in one sitting. Therefore, we will do it in stages:

Step 1: We will share about seven pages per week to those who agree to volunteer.

Step 2: We will allow about one week for the feedback (adding new terms, verifying existing conditions, etc.) This is equivalent to one page per day (~ 10 min of work?)

Step 3: All comments will be collected in a Markup Mode.

Step 4: We will consolidate for the final version.

Step 5: If there is more than one proper term, we will include all valid terms.

Step 6: We will repeat the cycle of seven-pages per week (Step 1 to Step 5) until done. This could be about ten weeks.

خطة العمل

هذا مرجع كبير، ونحن ندرك أنه لا يمكن للجميع المساعدة في الوثيقة بأكملها في جلسة واحدة. لذلك ، سنفعل ذلك على مراحل:

الخطوة 1: سنشارك حوالي سبع صفحات أسبوعية لأولئك الذين يوافقون على التطوع.

الخطوة 2: سنسمح بحوالي أسبوع واحد للتعليقات (إضافة مصطلحات جديدة، والتحقق من المصطلحات الحالية ، وما إلى ذلك). هذا يعادل صفحة واحدة في اليوم (~ 10 دقائق من العمل؟)

الخطوة 3: سيتم جمع جميع التعليقات.

الخطوة 4: سنجمع كل المداخلات للنسخة النهائية.

الخطوة 5: إذا كان هناك أكثر من مصطلح مناسب، فسندرج جميع المصطلحات الصالحة. الخطوة 6: سنقوم بتكرار دورة السبع صفحات في الأسبوع (الخطوة 1 إلى الخطوة 5) حتى تنتهي. هذا يمكن أن يكون حوالي عشرة أسابيع.

الخطوة 6: سنقوم بتكرار دورة السبع صفحات في الأسبوع (الخطوة 1 إلى الخطوة 5) حتى تنتهي. هذا يمكن أن يكون حوالي عشرة أسابيع.

Final Results

As we said earlier, everyone who contributes will be credited.

If you help with one or two cycles, we will mention you.

If you help with the whole document, you will have a special mention J.

Then SUKAD will publish this for free and tag you all on social media.Of course, you are also free to share since it is open.

النتائج النهائية

كما ذكرنا في وقت سابق، فإن كل من يساهم سيُنسب إليه الفضل  و الشكر.

إذا كنت تساعد في دورة واحدة أو دورتين ، فسوف نذكرك.

إذا قمت بالمساعدة في الوثيقة بأكملها ، سيكون لديك إشارة خاصة.

بعد ذلك سوف تقوم سوكاد بنشر هذا مجانًا ووضع علامة (tag) لجميع المشاركين على الشبكات الاجتماعية.بالطبع ، أنت حر بالمشاركة لأنها مفتوحة.

Are you ready?

If you are ready and accept these terms, we will start on 10 January.

Thank you

Mounir A. Ajam

هل أنت جاهز؟

إذا كنت مستعدًا وتقبل هذه الشروط ، فسنبدأ في 10 يناير.

شكرا لكم

منير عجم

How to take a sneak peek into a project management online programs?

This post is an indirect promotion of our project management online learning programs. Earlier in 2018 SUKAD launched the Quest to Mastering Project Management, PM Quest, which is a project management online program. The idea behind this program is to offer various online courses, learning adventures, from different school of thoughts. The adventures follow three vital concepts, which are (a) project-based learning (for some adventures), (b) applied project management, and (c) bite-size learning. In this post, we will share sneak peaks with a couple of those adventures.

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What does the term project mean, and how to manage the different types of “projects”?

The term project could be used for anything, from going out to dinner to building a nuclear power plant. So what does the term project mean? We will address this question from different perspectives. We will discuss the term from a service provider viewpoint and a project owner perspective. Further, we will split the project owner perspectives and consider the question from an existing organization viewpoint and from the perspective of a new investment. In this article and video, we will also have a peek into asset management. Finally, we address the question, do all “projects” require project management?

Continue to read and look for the video. Although the article and video are related, they do complement each other; not duplicates. In another word, the article is not the transcript of the video.

What triggered this article and video is a discussion with a colleague, who is participating in a SUKAD PM Quest Course, Mr. Mohamed Al-Awadhi. Mohamed is using the course and the CAMMPTM Model to launch a new business, a venture.

A long article but we think it is worth your time.

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Is there any project management association that accredit training providers?

Recently, I was meeting with a client, and they were talking about “accredited PMI providers” and as far as I know, there are NO accredited providers from PMI or any other professional association. However, to be sure, I asked the question on LinkedIn.  I will conclude this post with two resources, the Ajam Acid Interview Questions, and How to Select a Project Management Training Provider. What did we ask and what were some of the answers? Read on. Continue reading

What are the Ajam Acid Interview Questions in Project Management?

I was going to post these interview questions one by one, and I did post two or three on LinkedIn before but let me post all of them today. So, what are the Ajam Acid Interview Questions in Project Management?  Continue reading

leading a personal project using the SUKAD Way's CAMMP Model

Does this image intimidate you?

Does this image intimidate you? If it does, good, it should be, but only at first look. If you have a project, a serious project, that requires a great deal of effort and money, STOP thinking about it, you WILL FAIL, so do not WASTE your time and hard-earned money. This last statement is applicable, ONLY if the image intimidates you. Consequently, we will start this post with a dose of reality before we can help you learn how to lead a personal project.

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What are the project management fundamentals for mastering project management?

Mastering project management is not an easy task. Sure we can learn some concepts in a course or two. We can demonstrate knowledge by passing a certification exam. We can learn the theory by reading a book. However, to master a domain, like project management, requires significant effort, and time. Did we say time? The first step in mastering project management is to understand the project management fundamentals. The Fundamentals is the first essential adventure in the SUKAD PM Quest.

Project Management Fundamentals

Here are some questions:

  • Project Management Fundamentals | PM QuestCan a risk event be good?
  • Is it possible that a 5-star hotel is a ‘bad’ quality hotel?
  • Do we still use the term ‘task’ in project management and what does it mean?
  • Is the project manager a clerk or an executive – strategic leader?
  • How to differentiate between output and outcome?
  • Why “pre-project” is not part of the project life cycle?
  • What is a phase or a stage?
  • Are Oranges – orange or blue?

Many of these questions are fundamentals concepts that we must learn them before we can build the organization project management function or methodology.

Click on the Orange Picture to access the course.

Mastering Project Management

Notice we are using the verb form mastering and not ‘master’ because we do not know if anyone can truly master (all of) project management. I have MSc from a top university in project management and more than three decades of experience and I dare say that I have mastered project management. So why Mastering? Because mastery is an ongoing effort. We can Master a subject, a skill, or even more. This is why we are developing The Quest to Mastering Project Management, PM Quest, and with many themes. The various themes cater toward different interest and focus.The PM Quest | Mastering Project Management

Notice, the Fundamentals on top, which is not a theme, it is a prerequisite to all of the themes.

The PM Quest

The PM Quest that SUKAD is developing is a massive, comprehensive, practical online learning program. The Overview of the PM Quest is available today. The Overview should be your starting point. Next, you should complete the Fundamentals; both are open and free.

The following image shows the structure of the PM Quest.Mastering Project Management | PM Quest Structure

Since we are just starting this strategic program, the above image represents the vision. Many of the courses (adventures) are available on PowerPoint for a physical classroom setting. The challenge is to convert as many of them to fit the online environment. We aim to have a new course every few weeks. We released the Overview last week (mid-April 2018). Our team will be releasing The Fundamentals today or tomorrow at the latest (24 April 2018). We will release our next adventure by mid-May.

The following image presents the possible routes a learner can consider to build a learning path. The yellow path is our recommendation for the first path.

PM Quest | Mastering Project Management Learning Path 1

Project Management Coach, A Click Away

We want to hear your feedback, comments, suggestions, or even critique. You can email us at PMCoach@sukad.com or join us on the various social media channels of SUKAD or even the dedicated groups that we set up for the PM Quest on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Remember, your project management coach, a click away.Your Project Management Coach a click away