Nerd Life Satisfaction

Nerd Life SatisfactionI’m a nerd. Been one all my life. When I was a kid, I was a guitar nerd. As a young man, I was a woodworking nerd. Then I became an electronics nerd. Then a software nerd. Then a writing nerd. I don’t create electronic doo-dads anymore, but I’m proud to still be active in the remainder of my nerd interests. My heroes are nerds like Roy Underhill, Leo Kottke, Paul Sellers, and Adam Savage. Like fine wines, as nerds age, they just get more nerdy. Porn stars – not hardly.

I pity the poor bastard who watches television. Except for the guy who only watches Roy, on PBS. He’s got his head on straight.

New PM Articles for the Week of April 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 18 – 24. And this week’s video: the E-Lesson Guru explains how to create a speedometer chart in Excel. Safe for work, just over 8 minutes.

Must read!

  • Colin Ellis describes the characteristics and behaviors of the Conscious Project Leader.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares her approach to managing several projects at once.
  • Harry Hall lists twelve common mistakes we make when responding to risks. If you read this one just for the parable about Chippy the Parakeet, Harry won’t object.

Established Methods

  • Richard and Elizabeth Larson argue that organizations benefit when their employees holding professional certifications, and should be willing to support them.
  • Jeff Collins identifies seven project management conferences to be conducted in the U.S. this year.
  • Bruce Harpham notes a number of lessons learned from the Hanford Nuclear Site’s River Corridor Closure Project.
  • David Hillson explains the role of the Risk Facilitator.
  • Shane Vaz shares some lessons learned: four signs your project is in trouble.
  • Ciara McDonnell explains how to use earned value management, with MS Project, Excel, and Sharepoint.
  • Steve Wake, curator of the #EVA conference, reflects on silence and to do lists.
  • Kerry Wills leverages his OCD to keep his anxiety disorder in check. It’s good that there’s a job out there for everyone ….

Agile Methods

  • Dovile Miseviciute shows the power of the Eylean Board. Normally, I avoid product pumps but this looks really interesting.
  • Mike Cohn makes some planning recommendations for highly interrupt-driven Scrum teams, including adjusting the length of sprints.
  • Dave Prior interviews Agile coach Lyssa Adkins on the Agile Institute, combatting burn-out, and self-care. Just 49 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors considers the question: should a company staff their Agile coaching positions with an employee or a consultant?
  • Pedro Gustavo Torres argues that the Product Owner is a pig (committed), rather than a chicken (involved) and should actively participate in all Scrum ceremonies.
  • Elise Stevens curated links to six articles on digital project management.

Applied Leadership

  • Liane Davey notes that leaders can inadvertently create a lot of work, just by tossing out ideas.
  • John Goodpasture summarizes General Michael Hayden on the safety of “No” and the potential risk and reward of saying “Yes.”
  • Suzanne Lucas explains how to gain the respect of your co-workers.
  • Peter Landau identifies the best leadership and management podcasts out there.

Pot Pouri

  • Elissa Gilbert reports on development of the Industrial Cloud, as the primary transformation mechanism for the Internet of Things, at General Electric.
  • Rich Maltzman reports on the growing number of projects to capture energy from the Moon. Well, OK: the tides. But it’s really, really cool!
  • Roy Sensenbach lists career insights he picked up while learning to snowboard.
  • Imagine digitally tagging footwear and apparel items at the point of manufacture, beginning inventory management at the assembly line. The Internet of Things just added ten billion new end points.


My Job


Pulling on the RopeMy job as the project manager is to get everyone pulling on the same end of the rope. That includes those who think the rope should be pushed, those who insist that the rope is inadequate, those with objections in principle to using rope, and the rope vendor. Over the years, I’ve come to accept that it’s OK if some folks just watch everyone else pull, as long as the watchers don’t try to coach the pullers.