James Lewis

James P. Lewis, Ph.D., CIC, is an experienced project manager, who teaches seminars on the subject throughout the world. His solid, no-nonsense approach is largely the result of the 15 years he spent in industry, working as an Electrical Engineer who was engaged in the design and development of communication equipment. He held various positions, including Project Manager, Product Engineering Manager and Chief Engineer for Aerotron, Inc. and ITT Telecommunications, both of Raleigh, NC. Lewis was also a Quality Manager for ITT Telecom, managing a department of 63 quality engineers, line inspectors and test technicians.

Since 1980, Lewis has trained over 35,000 project managers. He is the author of 12 books on project management. He has a B.S. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in psychology, both from NC State University in Raleigh. Lewis is a member of the Project Management Institute, and he is also a certified Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument practitioner and a Certified Integral Coach®.

Lewis is president of The Lewis Institute, Inc., a training and consulting company specializing in project management, which he founded in 1981. His company provides a project management certificate program to NC State University’s Office of Professional Development.

In the past several years, we have seen so many corporations implode, explode or whatever, that it is easy to accept what Peter Drucker is credited with saying: The first myth of management is that it exists. (It is not clear whether Drucker actually said this, but he did make similar statements that are on record.) It is not just the Enron...Full Article »
There is no doubt that if you are managing a Six Sigma project, you will conduct a lot of meetings as part of the process. There are two major issues with meetings. First, they tend to waste a lot of time because of meeting management (or maybe I should say mismanagement) problems. They have no clear agenda; and when they do, they often lose...Full Article »
One of the missing elements of most process improvement project planning is attention to the strategy you will employ to do the job. We all know about implementation planning. That is determining exactly how the work will be done. However, we often fall back on doing our work the same way we have always done it, without asking a fundamental...Full Article »
In previous columns I discussed a number of aspects of project management, including project initiation, how project management is defined and how to plan. Now I will discuss how to form a Six Sigma project team. And, since I am not an expert in Six Sigma itself, I have asked a colleague of mine to help with this. Let me begin by introducing Tom...Full Article »
The Need for Project Planning In my previous column, I pointed out that projects often do not succeed because of a failure to define the problem. Another major reason for project failure is inadequate project planning. To demonstrate the importance of this, recent surveys repeatedly find that only about 15 percent of all projects meet their...Full Article »
The Project Management Body of Knowledge There are five major processes defined by the Project Management Institute’s document, the Project Management Body of Knowledge, or PMBOK®. These are Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closeout. It is at the Initiation stage of project management that the seeds...Full Article »
One common definition of mananagement is that a manager gets work done by other people. This is certainly not very helpful when you consider that guards over prisoners doing road work also get work done by other people, but we would hardly call them managers. In 1973, Peter Drucker, considered by many to be the "father" of management, wrote a...Full Article »
It is common knowledge that most organizations run at a three-sigma quality level and that they lose between 20 and 40 cents of every operating dollar to poor quality. The same statistics apply to projects. The Standish Group has been surveying IT projects for over a decade and continues to find high failure rates—as much as 30 percent...Full Article »