Van Mell Associates Education

Books. Speaking. Articles. Videos.


Question-Based Planning BookQuestion-Based Planning Book - A repentant MBA leads a jargon-free revolution against the inefficient, ineffective, and frustrating tyranny of "strategic planning".

The pace of change is now so frantic that planning itself must evolve from supporting mult-year projections to supporting quick decisions in any direction. A key benefit of Question-Based Planning™ is that it gets people thinking as a unit, able to adapt quickly to change. Derrick Van Mell's short book exposes the problems with "strategic" planning as it's done today and provides a plain-English solution. Buy a copy at

Buildings Matter BookBuildings Matter: A Leader's Guide to the Risks and Opportunities of Architecture - A comprehensive discussion of project planning and project management. It includes detailed chapters on developing the business case, location and site analysis, space use planning and architecture, and financial analysis. It also includes a summary of the design and construction process, including ideas about how to hire the right team. Buy a copy at

"As a facility management practitioner, I have used Mr. Van Mell's ideas to further the goals of my corporation. I will continue to champion Buildings Matter as a critical executive reference for decision-makers around the world. - Gary Broersma CFM, Director of Global Strategic Facility Planning and past Chair of the International Facility Management Association.

A New Systems Perspective on Leadership, Strategy and Execution.

Plans and projects will fail without strong executive leadership. What's more, investments in leadership development, strategic planning and project management will be lost if they’re not integrated.


First Business Bank Seminar Series (1:50)

Derrick is a Principal of Van Mell Associates. He's worked with large and small firms in healthcare, service, health sciences, manufacturing and distribution, finance and the non-profit sector. Derrick has a BA in Economics, an MBA and an MA.

Speaking worldwide and at distinguished events:

  • TEC
  • Asia Pacific Institute for Management Studies
  • First Business Bank Seminar Series
  • Healthcare and Education Facilities Authority
  • CEO Roundtables
  • Society Human Resource Professionals
  • -- more -->

Speaking Testimonials

"I've seen Derrick present twice nationally, and he's got new and more exciting things to talk about. I will continue to recommend him to speak to future organizations."

- Vickie Wenzel, VPO, Target Commericial Interiors

"Derrick did his usual splendid job in speaking to a room full of architects at our AIA Wisconsin annual convention. He is always capable of connecting well with the audience and they listened carefully to his every word. He just has a way of making people comfortable yet challenged and ready for the ever-changing world. Derrick's message is simple, straight-forward and easily understood...a testament to his ability to connect one-on-one regardless ofthe size of the group. Thanks for a job very well done!"

- James Gersich, Principal, Dimension IV

Short articles on planning

Question-Based Business Planning makes planning easier - but it's still not easy. As a leader, you not only have to create the plan, but then win and maintain enthusiastic acceptance. If you have a board of directors, you might need an objective facilitator to keep them focused on the right issues: Click here for a briefing packet on the board's responsibilities in planning. Our book describes the entire process. We hope you find these articles helpful.

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