The Promise of The Waxworm

(This is from my Projects@Work blog post series.  Read the entire post HERE.)

There’s a recent story in the news about waxworms.  Several outlets covered it but I like this coverage from ABC (Australia).

I love how the story opens:

“Scientist and amateur beekeeper Federica Bertocchini picked parasitic wax worms from the honeycomb of her beehives and left them sitting in a plastic bag.

When she returned to the bag, it was riddled with holes and many of the worms had escaped.

It was that chance discovery that led her to collaborate with scientists at the University of Cambridge in England to unearth the possibility of using worms to munch through the world’s plastic problem.”

Why do I like this opening so much?

—It expresses the idea of a threat becoming an opportunity

—It shows the value of science

—It has a promise to solve a problem for the planet

Let’s take these one by one.

Threats and Opportunities

PMI defines risk as “an uncertain event, which, it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on project objectives”. In this case, we have a threat, which Bertocchini was treating (or responding to) by removing and bagging the worms. The risk response had a secondary risk, which in this case was an opportunity. Usually, a secondary risk is a threat…. continue reading…

Proud Frankensteins






In a way, we’ve felt a little like Dr. Frankenstein, trying to put together a living, breathing body (of knowledge) on sustainability thinking in project management. A small group of us who have labored in this area, writing books, presenting at conferences, starting LinkedIn groups, tweeting, working within our own organizations, even suggesting over 25 specific changes to the PMBOK® Guides over the past 5 years… we have been pushing for the fundamental idea that if project management – as a discipline – thinks PAST the end of the project, good things will happen. This focus on benefits realization is only one element of what we mean by sustainability thinking in project management, but it’s an important part – maybe even the monster’s heart.

Well, we are beginning to see the monster stir.


If you’d like to help the monster rise up, take a walk, maybe even get friendlier and healthier, check out the Sustainability Manifesto for Projects.

Run, Forest, Run!

Our latest blog post from Projects@Work is particularly interesting in that it goes over some recent (and fantastic!) discoveries from the world of life science.  The discoveries are around the way that forests run (thus the lame reference to Forrest Gump in the post title).

It’s about connections.  It involves beagles, mushrooms, a critter named a ‘springtail’, and of course, trees.

We think you’ll like the connections we make to project management and sustainability.  Have a look (and listen!).



8 Sustainability Trends for 2017




Here – courtesy of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership are your 8 Sustainability Trends Driving Business in 2017.  The title is interesting to us in that in is very similar to our latest book: “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success – The Sustainability Wheel“.

Seems like we’re all … driving.

In any case we recommend this brief report and highlight its 8 trends for 2017 right here for your convenience.  Further to this post, we may blog about these individually during the year.

  1. The impact of climate change goes global
  2. Rising social inequality and disengagement
  3. Increasing pressure on natural resources leads to price hikes
  4. The rise of the city-level state
  5. Tech-driven innovation disrupts societies and industries
  6. Governments look to the private sector to help deliver on Paris Climate Agreement
  7. Business increasingly perceives sustainability as an opportunity
  8. Collaboration is key

Read about it here. And have a great 2017.