Hello Planners! Recently we interviewed one of PlannerTuts’ premiere authors, Nader Khorrami Rad. Nader has been great contributor to PlannerTuts and PlannerTuts Premium and has been helping people in the project controls community for quite some time. Now you can get to know him a bit better. Here’s our interview…
Q: Nice and easy start, tell us a bit about yourself?
A: My name is Nader Khorrami Rad. I was born in Iran in 1979; which makes me 34 years old so far… wow, time passes so fast!
I started my career in a project planning team, as soon as I entered university in 1997. I was a part-time employee responsible for helping planners in their IT problems. Soon I realized that I like planning and learned the basics. My manager gave me some planning jobs, and that’s how I gradually became a project scheduler.
I always wanted to be a writer; which became a reality when I was 23 years old. My first book was very successful and republished many times. That great start helped me continue my writing career. I’ve written 45 books so far. Writing is one of the biggest pleasures in my life.
It was about nine years ago when I first heard about the PMBOK Guide. Soon I started learning it, and other standards and methods such as PRINCE2 and Scrum. I’m now mainly a project management consultant, author, and trainer, rather than a project scheduler; however, I still love scheduling.
Q: Lead us through a typical day in your shoes?
A: Well, except for the days that I have to visit companies for consultancy, I stay home writing. I normally wake up 8:30 in the morning. The first phase is to wake up and warm up my brain, which takes about two and a half hours, through drinking four to five espressos, having breakfast, taking a shower, reading RSS feeds, checking email, etc. I usually work between 11am and 6pm, with espresso breaks every 45 minutes, and a 90min launch break. I spend the rest of the day having fun with my wife and friends.
What do you try to focus on most while writing a tutorial?
A: I just imagine a duplicate of myself who doesn’t know the subject, and try my best to teach myself.
Where do you work from?
A: I have to visit some companies some days to give consultancy; I spend the rest of the days home, writing; I can’t focus on writing elsewhere.
How long have you been working with Primavera P6?
A: It started about 7 years ago, when one of our clients asked me to use Primavera P3 instead of Microsoft Project, which was our normal planning software. I hated the user interface of P3, and therefore asked them to use Primavera Project Management 5.0 instead, and they accepted. I used both MSP and P6 afterwards, based on the project environment.
I just imagine a duplicate of myself who doesn’t know the subject, and try my best to teach myself.
What was your biggest challenge when learning Primavera P6?
A: My biggest challenge was that I didn’t have helpful resources to learn from. I think this is the case for most P6 users.
Where did you attend school?
A: I’ve studied in Iran; KNTU for civil engineering BS, and Sharif University for philosophy of science MS.
If you’re wondering “why philosophy?”, the answer is that I just like analytical philosophy. I didn’t attend it for my career; however, I later realized that what I’ve learned in that major has increased my analytical capabilities and its really helping me in my career too.
The client gave us a two-month ultimatum to either catch-up or leave the project and pay penalties. This made us all unite and aligned with the single goal of the project; we were working amazingly, and I realized the power of real team work.
What was the most beneficial experience to your career?
A: Once I was working for a contractor, and we were behind schedule [a lot!]. The client gave us a two-month ultimatum to either catch-up or leave the project and pay penalties. This made us all unite and aligned with the single goal of the project; we were working amazingly, and I realized the power of real team work. We all try to create the same environment since then.
What would you recommend new learners to Primavera P6 avoid doing?
A: We should not forget that very planning action and decision should have a purpose, aligned with the controlling needs of the project, and its environment.
It’s necessary to learn from experience and continuously improve our outputs; as long as we remember that learning from experience is not the same as duplicating and repeating the old things.
Can you give us a sneak peek of what tutorials we can expect?
A: Well, I prefer to choose a topic and cover it in detail in as many articles as needed. There are one or two more articles left to be written for the percent complete topic, and then I will have to choose another master topic. There are some ideas in my mind, but I’m not sure yet.
We should not forget that very planning action and decision should have a purpose, aligned with the controlling needs of the project, and its environment.
Is there a quote or motto you live by?
A: I’m afraid the answer is no; however, there are lots of quotes that I like very much. One that is related to our conversation is from Mark Twain: “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
Speaking of living by something, I can mention a Zen story that I actually believe in. Here it is:
Young man: I would like to be your student.
Karate master: OK, you can start right away.
Young man: Thanks. How long does it take me to become a Karate master?
Karate master: 10 years.
Young man: what if I practice twice as much as anyone else?
Karate master: 20 years.
Young man, a little shocked: and what if I practice three times as much as others?
Karate master: 30 years.
Young man: why?!
Karate master: when you have one eye fixed on a goal, you will have only one eye left to look at the route.