Project Management Articles > Mike Aucoin

Mike Aucoin

Dr. B. Michael Aucoin, PE, PMP is an internationally recognized consultant, writer and speaker - a thought leader in innovative approaches to the challenges of the high velocity workplace. He is the founder of Leading Edge Management, LLC, and provides training and consulting in project management and engineering management, drawing upon his extensive experience in diverse technology projects. He is the author of the books, Right-Brain Project Management, and, From Engineer to Manager: Mastering the Transition. He is also President of Electrical Expert, Inc., providing litigation support and expert witness testimony in electrical engineering. He teaches project management in the graduate program at the University of Maryland University College and also offers dynamic short courses based on his writings. He has been involved with ProjectConnections since its early days, creating content and directing the design and hosting of online learning events, all based on his passion for practical project management that works for new PMs and managers in the real world.

Dr. Aucoin holds five patents and has served on a Mishap Investigation Board for the NASA Johnson Space Center. He has been a member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Engineering Management Society and served as their Vice President of Education. He has been a regular contributor for the Successful Project Management Newsletter andToday's Engineer magazine. He is also a recipient of an R&D 100 Award, an Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award, and a Third Millennium Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

From Engineer to Manager: Mastering the Transition, B. Michael Aucoin, Artech House, 2002 ISBN 1580530044
Most engineers will spend the majority of their careers as managers; Dr. Aucoin's recent book provides the solid management grounding that their engineering degrees probably neglected. He also teaches a short course on the subject. For more information contact him at

Archived articles -- Accessible to All

How To Negotiate A Project Crisis
Use potential disasters to set the tone for project success.
Yogi Berra once said, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it!" Look beyond the humor of Yogi's statement and you'll see a truism. When you get to a fork in the road, it is important to take action! Read more ...

You Can't Always Get What You Want
When your project is hampered by insufficient resources, careful planning and exaggeration of the constraints can help you recover.
I wonder if Mick Jagger was ever a project manager. Probably not, considering how wealthy he is. But, he must have project managers in mind when he performs the Rolling Stones' song You Can't Always Get What You Want, because it captures perfectly the experience project managers face when trying to complete their projects with insufficient resources. Read more ...

Go for a Ride on the Critical Path
Too much time on the Critical Path wearing you down? Take a lesson from cycling.
My wife and I used to be avid cyclists (before the kids came along, that is). I learned an important project management lesson from my time in the saddle, particularly on those days when we had to fight a headwind. Those days occur all too often when cycling... and in project management too. Read more ...

This Is Where The Cowboy Rides Away
How can a project manager decide when to close a troubled project? Try flipping a coin!
One of the most difficult decisions an organization must make is the decision to close an unfinished project, especially one that is over budget and well past scheduled completion, with no end in sight. Read more ...

Are You Bulletproof?
Learn about leadership from this cowboy President and the speech that literally saved his life!
With this year's U. S. Presidential election and its extended finish line, there has been a lot of talk around the electronic campfire about which candidate acts more "presidential". What the talking heads are really talking about is who would make the better leader. Read more ...

Willing To Risk Death Daily. Orphans Preferred.
Would you answer this want ad? See how one group made their critical path a memorable and enduring image.
"Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over 18. Must be expert riders." So started the ad in a California newspaper, but the best was yet to come... "Willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." Read more ...

Project Manager vs. Tombstone
Managing a project is like riding a bull - learn how to ride without getting thrown, or gored.
They have names like ...Bad to the Bone, ... Tombstone, ... Mission Impossible. They're the names of rodeo bulls on the bull-riding circuit, but they could just as well be the names of projects. Read more ...

The Project Is Life!
Life is our most important Project. It's important to perform a Project Review from time to time.
What happens when your project is interrupted unexpectedly... when it is changed dramatically right in the middle, before you've had a fair chance of completing it? Read more ...

Fence It In!
Improve your productivity on projects by "fencing off" sections of time to focus on specific tasks.
If you want to improve the productivity in your projects, practice building fences! Read more ...

Keep Those Cowpies Coming!
Mistakes made by project teams can be valuable and they contribute to learning and future success.
Projects have more in common with cattle than you might think. But the most obvious area of commonality is the production of cowpies. Read more ...

The Perfect Project Review (There Ain't No Such Thing!)
Qualification vs. Quantification in Project Risk Management
Cowboys like country and western music, but it's a little known fact that a country song can teach you more about project management than you'll find in most textbooks. Read more ...

Motivating Shared Personnel: Can a Skunk Help?
A time-tested technique from the Lockheed skunk works.
As a project manager, you may find it challenging to get the full attention of people assigned to you, if they are shared among multiple projects. This can be especially true for company "experts", whose contributions are so valuable they wind up assigned to lots of projects - but are unable to contribute much beyond advice. Read more ...

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