Kevin McGowan, PMP

Writer, Podcaster, Project Manager

The Ruckus in Ottawa (with Alan Neal) – #tbt

ruckus_newThe Ruckus was a lot fun, especially the series I did about the Ottawa music scene. I invited CBC personality Alan Neal to tell me about what he liked most about the scene, so we went to The Manx and talked about music. Good times. 

Listen to it here.

Song of the day: Anthems for a seventeen year-old girl

The Canadian band that made music that was poppy, hooky, art-intense, and fun. Always loved watching these guys play.

The Ruckus in Beirut – #tbt


Ever wondered about the pop music being made in Beirut, Lebanon? This was a great episode of The Ruckus, and I think it holds up well.

Click here to listen.


Zen and the PMP


This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Since I obtained my PMP designation in late 2015, many people have asked me for advice on how to prepare for the exam. I will admit that it was not necessarily the most graceful period for me, but I do have some ideas to share on the subject. After all, I did pass the exam while juggling many other work and family responsibilities. For me, the biggest challenge wasn’t the material itself. My challenges were finding the time to study, and stopping the “noise” of daily life from interfering with that time.

Let’s look at my regular daily life: I’m a husband and father, I work full time, I teach part time. When I can, I also like to write blogs and produce podcasts. My waking time is all spoken for (and sleeping time as well!).  So, jamming one more thing into my schedule meant that I was going to be really off balance and other aspects of my life were going to be put on hold.

Read the rest on LinkedIn.

Song of the day: I Know Your Face

I first heard about LAL when I was doing The Ruckus podcast. I’ve been a casual fan ever since, and try to keep up with what they’re doing. Based in Toronto, it’s high-art activist pop music (if that makes any sense). The sounds are beautiful, and her voice is fantastic.


Remembering “It Came From Canada”

Many years ago, I started my first collaborative blog with an old high school friend, Beau Levitt. The site was called and it was a lot of fun. We wrote about old Canadian albums we found in thrift stores, researched the artists when we could, and provided audio samples ripped right from the LPs.

I recently uncovered this article (from Sarnia This Week) that told the Sarnia-Lambton area about the site. It’s a nice piece, and has helped inspire my new little podcast series: I Love Records (available soon on

Sarnia natives delve into Canadian music history

by Steve Coleman

Two former Sarnia residents found their groove at garage sales about three years ago and, depending on your point of view, either haven’t looked back or spend their free time doing nothing but.

Northern Collegiate graduates Kevin McGowan and Beau Levitt may live in different parts of Ontario, but it hasn’t stopped them from compiling what they hope will become a comprehensive web site of long-lost and usually forgotten Canadian recordings.

McGowan lives in Ottawa, while Levitt calls Toronto home. Between them they’re carving a niche for audiophiles and letting them know “It Came From Canada”.

“I was out with my wife at a garage sale and ran across a promotional 45 for the City of Montreal,” Levitt said. “I’d been a record collector before then and I always noticed Canadian records from people I’d never heard of. I thought about collecting these and putting them on the web. No one else seemed to be doing it.”

They both had their own music blogs, but it wasn’t until McGowan found his former classmate on Facebook that things started to take off in a new direction.

The pair launched the new web site and started posting music with a vinyl feel, meaning there are, occasionally, a few snaps and crackles that make the leap to digital.

“It’s older music,” said McGowan. “It isn’t supposed to sound pristine. Some of it is pretty hard to clean up. I know we’ve looked at a few records and wondered who ate dinner off them.”

So far, about 400 albums uncovered at garage sales, thrift stores and other low-budget venues have found their way onto the Internet. Because of copyright laws, they’ve tried to stay away from major label recordings.

Most of the musicians and their families are thrilled to find out they’ve got a spot on the site, the duo said.

One family in particular comes to mind, Levitt said.

Originally he planned to send a CD copy of The Rhythm Pals to the family after they got in touch. When he found out it was a family member who’d recently died, he sent them the original.

While they may never make anyone’s desert island list of must-have recordings, there have been some real gems uncovered in the last couple of years – a lot of it on the bizarre side, McGowan said.

One example was a recording done by the Borden Family somewhere in Ontario.

It’s the only organ and wah-wah guitar version he said he’s ever heard of the Star Wars theme. Another is the growing collection of high school concert band renditions of the theme from Shaft.

At one point every high school had it on their repertoire, he said.

There aren’t any immediate plans to expand the site, but they do have a few ideas to take it in new directions, Levitt said.

They’re trying to talk the CBC into running radio spots and have another idea they’re working on that mixes old movies and some of the songs they’ve uncovered.

Creating a Project Charter for your eLearning project


This is the first in a series of LinkedIn articles I’m writing about managing eLearning projects. It all starts with a Project Charter. 

According to the tenets of the PMBOK, all projects need a Project Charter. In PMP-speak, the Charter is a document created by the Project Sponsor, and in that document he/she states that this project exists, gives the Project Manager responsibility to proceed with development, and provides background of the project and key success factors. Once the Charter is complete, the project commences. The Sponsor isn’t done with the project at this point, but hands over day-to-day responsibility to the Project Manager. Then, the Project Manager is the one who must see that the work gets done.

It is well and good to say “you must have a Project Charter”, but I have to admit that I’ve rarely seen a formal Project Charter document for my past eLearning or technical documentation projects. I’ve seen many project plans of varying format and length, but rarely a specific Charter document.

Read the rest on LinkedIn.

Song of the day: Little Green Men

Haven’t heard this in years. Steve Vai is one of the best guitar players that ever picked up a 6-string (or in his case, a 7-string). This is from his first self-produced solo album in 1984, right after he finished his tenure with Frank Zappa.

Song of the day: Talent by Pixies

I’m a sucker for Pixies. A new song came out today, and I love it.



You may have arrived here courtesy of Google, or courtesy of my LinkedIn series about managing eLearning projects. Either way, you have been promised some templates, and here they are.

Feel free to use them, adapt them, or ignore them. If you’d like to make suggestions, please leave a comment or email me at


Scope Statement

Traceability Matrix

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