What Can AC/DC Teach Us About Project Management?

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In this Project Management Paradise interview, Caitriona speaks to Joe Pusz, the founder and President of THE PMO SQUAD, a Phoenix, Arizona-based PMO and Project Management Consulting firm.

THE PMO SQUAD helps clients across the United States to improve the delivery of key strategic initiatives and improve the capabilities of their PMO. Joe hosts the Project Management Office Hours Radio Show and Podcast and he is also Co-Founder of VPMMA, the Veterans Project Manager Mentor Alliance, which is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization assisting Veterans seeking to transition into a civilian Project Management career.

Highlights from Episode 128:

  1. Establishing Purpose-Driven PMOs:
    Joe introduces “The Purpose Driven PMO,” a proprietary framework designed by THE PMO SQUAD to enhance project management capabilities within organizations. He emphasizes the importance of aligning the PMO’s purpose with organizational strategy, measuring outcomes, and optimizing processes continually.
  2. Navigating the AC/DC Playlist for Project Management Insights:
    Joe creatively connects four key categories – the profession, the career, the character required, and project delivery – to the legendary AC/DC playlist. Each category serves as a unique lens through which project managers can gain insights into their roles and challenges.
  • Profession: Joe suggests that project managers globally can share a common language, much like a universal AC/DC song that resonates with professionals across borders.
  • Career: Drawing parallels with AC/DC’s “Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire),” Joe elaborates on the gradual progression of project managers through different roles, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and gaining experience over time.
  • Character: Referencing AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It),” Joe highlights the resilience required by project managers in the face of challenges and setbacks. The character of a project manager is tested during difficult times, and the ability to stand strong is crucial.
  • Project Delivery: Joe relates the dynamic nature of project management to AC/DC’s high-energy performances, emphasizing the need for project managers to deliver with the same intensity and enthusiasm.

Other Insights

  1. Writing in Layman’s Terms:
    Joe explains the motivation behind his writings and publications, aiming to bridge the communication gap between project management and other organizational functions.
  2. Communication Nuances:
    Caitriona and Joe stress the importance of understanding communication nuances within organizations. Much like variations in English between the UK and the US, the language used in project management discussions may differ across departments. Joe recommends tailoring communication to ensure a shared understanding among diverse teams.
  3. Ticking the Right Boxes:
    Joe advises project managers to focus on the essential objectives of a project, understanding that each project is unique. By building a recipe that includes stakeholder satisfaction, scope delivery, and achieving organizational objectives, project managers can navigate the project lifecycle successfully.
  4. Keeping the Band in Tune:
    Discussing the challenge of maintaining team cohesion, Joe uses AC/DC’s “Jailbreak” as a metaphor for preventing team members from going their own way. He emphasizes the importance of establishing a consistent process while allowing room for adaptability, ultimately working toward project success.


As the interview concludes, Joe leaves project managers with the resonant message that “Project Management ain’t noise pollution.” Drawing inspiration from AC/DC’s iconic song, he reinforces the necessity of project management in organizations, urging professionals to listen to their favourite AC/DC tunes with a newfound project management perspective.

For Further Insights

Experience the entire spectrum of our Podcast Episodes on: Apple and Spotify where each episode features industry experts sharing their invaluable insights and experiences.

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