Nader K. Rad

Project Management Author, Speaker, and Adviser

Nader K. Rad

I started working with projects about 27 years ago: first, as a project planner in construction projects, and then I moved to large process-plant projects. In parallel, I was also involved in IT projects and startups.

I gradually moved from project planning into the wider project management domain by helping project managers and companies improve their project, program, and portfolio management systems.

Nowadays, I'm spending most of my time contributing to standards (, NUPP, PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile®, and the PMBOK® Guide), and developing eLearning courses in our company, Management Plaza.

My biggest passion in project management is methods and systems; i.e., things that can help most projects rather than ad hoc solutions for individual ones. I spend a lot of time learning them, contributing to the field, and helping others learn them. The following are my most significant contributions besides the smaller ones such as working as an official reviewer for PRINCE2® 2017, PRINCE2 Agile®, and MSP®.


Nearly Universal Principles of Projects

Methods help people run their projects more efficiently. However, sometimes it seems that there are more basic issues, and for example, their use of methods becomes limited to empty rituals. I believe it helps to start with the basic principles, and then move on to the methods. NUPP is a response to this need: A set of principles that can be helpful in every project, at a very fundamental level. NUPP is free/open-source and published under a Creative Commons license.

The minimalist project management framework

Despite all the effort that's put into fundamental standards such as PRINCE2 and the PMBOK Guide, most projects still don't use them. I think the reason is that those fundamental resources are too complicated for most project managers, and that they need something simpler. That's why I've developed, which is an easy-to-use method for small and medium projects that provides most of the potential advantages of structured project management with the least effort. is free/open-source and published under a Creative Commons license.

PMBOK® Guide 7

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge

I've been one of the 12 members of the core development team for the seventh edition of the PMBOK Guide. In contrast to the previous editions that built on top of each other and used a process-based approach, this version is written from scratch and uses a principle-based approach, which makes it more applicable to every type of project, and easier to extend it in the future.


I love writing! I've written about 50 books in my mother tongue, many of them related to project management. Many of the books I wanted to publish had a limited audience, though, and so I used to have special deals with publishers to write one book with a high selling potential (e.g., AutoCAD) in return for writing one about a topic I preferred (e.g., developing well-formed Work Breakdown Structures).

Since I started working in an international environment, I've only written a few books in English, such as PMBOK® Guide 7, Underneath the Surface, Agile Scrum Handbook, Project Scheduling Rules, Understanding the PMBOK® Guide, and Percent Complete Fields in Primavera P6, because I was mainly focused on creating eLearning courses and contributing to the standards. However, I'm really keen to free up more time and to write books again.

Presentations in Conferences

I do like traveling to various countries and delivering presentations. In addition to the primary goal, I also use it as an excuse to spend more time and visit new cities, check the cafés, take photos, etc. If you're a conference organizer, especially from a place I've not been to before, feel free to contact me; I'd be happy to deliver a presentation for you. It costs only €12k. I'm kidding, I don't charge for conferences ;)













eLearning Courses

Well, you can see here that I do a lot of things that are not-for-profit, such as contributing to the standards. The main reason I can do those things and still keep a roof above my head is the eLearning courses I've built :)

Our company, Management Plaza, is known as a boutique elearning course provider, and we really like to keep it that way. Instead of trying to publish as many courses as possible, we take our time and build something that can really help the audience. That makes it very expensive for us (e.g., it took me 6 months to build my PMP® course), but the audience seems to appreciate it. Quality always trumps quantity.

Here are the courses, sorted from new to old (which shows you how we've improved our development process, and how I lost weight as I traveled back in time):

We have a quite unique approach: The first 30% of each course is free because we are really that confident about the quality of our work :)

Awareness Courses

I've written a few email-based introductory courses about project topics because I thought it would be a great solution for busy people: You only need to spend a couple of minutes per day (e.g., your otherwise wasted time traveling to work or back home), and after a few weeks, you'll have an overall understanding of a topic. Based on the feedback I've received, the idea seems to be working :)

Over 30,000 users have finished these courses, and they have been recognized by many, including AXELOS.

These are the current courses:

Interactive Stories

I think interactive stories (interactive fiction, to be more precise) is a great way of learning. I've prepared two of them so far:

If you like this type of story, you can find a lot of them in the Interactive Fiction Archive; although, they're not about Scrum or project management.

By the way, in case you've been wondering, I wrote the first story before Bandersnatch, and if anything, it was Larry Laffer who was my inspiration ;)

Degrees & Certificates

I have a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and a master's in philosophy of science. The first one was more or less accidental (i.e., I can't say that I have any form of interest in it) which is why I started working in the project management field instead. The second one, philosophy, has always been one of my main personal interests.

I have a few certificates related to my work, including the following:

I stopped collecting certificates a few years ago after I started collaborating with the certificate owners themselves.

Besides Working...

I am passionate about a lot of things! The most important one is photography. In fact, the first book I wrote was about photography, and its success was the reason publishers became interested in working with me. I took this as an opportunity to write books related to my work. While photography has never been a profession for me, I've spent a lot of time on it, and besides personal satisfaction, I've also had a few achievements: I've had a few solo exhibitions, and my works have been selected in a couple of photography biennials. Curious? Here's my online photo gallery.

I used to build abstract sculptures many years ago. It's not easy to do so without having a workshop, and that's why I gradually replaced the interest with photography – although I still sometimes do it, and I sometimes even combine my familiarity with building things with other domains, such as my interest in mechanical keyboards. The result is a small collection of keyboards I've built for myself.

If you've read the content of this page (Do people still read?!), you can guess that I have a serious interest in philosophy and logic. This interest has shifted from pure/general forms of it into practical aspects that I can inject into my other works; e.g., critical thinking. Many people find it a bit annoying, which means that it's working!

In the early days of the Internet, just after the BBS era, I had an active blog featuring my short writings about society, people, etc. It was, like most other things in those days, pseudonymous. I stopped writing there when the paradigm shifted from that early form into the meaningless social media of the current day. To fill its void, I write short stories, and I've been working on my first novella for a while now. It's a science fiction story that imagines a time when some of our current natural behaviors and beliefs are no longer natural. I've also started writing my random thoughts and articles here.

I started using computers and simple programming when I was 7, and I still consider myself a computer enthusiast. I love Linux and the open-source concept. I'm concerned about privacy and human rights, and I try to create awareness whenever possible. I sometimes write programs too; for example, h-m-m (Hackers Mind Map).

Contact Information

I'm more or less active on LinkedIn: You can connect with me there to stay informed of my activities, and also contact me within the platform.

You can also contact me via my email address:

I usually shut out the world for a few days, or even a week, when I'm working on an interesting project, and don't respond to messages. Some people find this annoying, and I don't disagree, but I can't sacrifice my productivity :')