New PM Articles for the Week of September 10 – 16

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 10 – 16. And this week’s video: Elizabeth Harrin recommends three books for project managers who are new to Agile methods. Two and a half minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Paul Mee describes some of the ways that a cyber attack could cause the next financial crisis. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell clarifies four key things we should know about the business use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alessandro Di Fiore opines that strategic planning doesn’t have to be the enemy of agility. There is a sweet spot in the Venn diagram to aim for. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • John Goodpasture notes that the more detail we add to an item on the risk register, the more specific the event, thus lowering the probability of it happening. 3 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy shows how to create a SIPOC (suppliers / inputs / processes / outputs / customers) model to facilitate process improvement. 5 minutes to read.
  • Gina Abudi tells us how to identify key stakeholders for business process improvement projects. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale addresses an interesting question: are projects requiring non-discretionary compliance with external requirements a good fit for adaptive methods? 2 minutes to read.
  • Donna Fitzgerald explains why you need project management discipline—not just Agile methods—in order to go fast. 4 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman recaps the principles of the Beyond Budgeting movement. Just a minute to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from the Agile Industrial Complex to continuous product discovery to agile sensemaking. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Alan Page helps us get to the right question for a Scrum stand-up: “What needs to be done to move this task to the right?“ 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Bas Vodde on Large-Scale Scrum at the 3rd annual LeSS conference. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explains why Agile teams should estimate both the product backlog and the sprint backlog but in different units. 6 minutes to read.
  • Erick Dietrich looks at the way we manage regression defects—the ones we introduce to a system already in production. 5 minutes to read.
  • Paige Watson shares his notes from David Scott Bernstein’s talk on unit tests as specifications, in the context of TDD. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from making yourself unnecessary to getting past fear to OKRs within the team. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gets into the differences between project manager and project leader. 12 minutes to read.
  • Andy Kaufman contemplates whether indecision is worse than no decision. Video, 3 minutes, safe for work.
  • Simone Stolzoff reports on Melinda Gates’ coalition to bring more women of color into STEM fields. 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Linus Chang shares several ransomware scenarios that demonstrate there’s more than just encryption to worry about. 6 minutes to read.
  • Alison DeNisco Rayome identifies the ten countries with the most patents per capita, an excellent metric for innovation. 2 minutes to read. Also, a 5-minute video on the impact of the tariff wars on technology firms.
  • C. Pan gives us the history of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as described in Merve Emre’s book, The Personality Brokers. 10 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Oliver Staley reports that Microsoft has replaced feedback with “perspectives,” a system of soliciting opinions from peers in a structured way. Terminology matters in this case. 2 minutes to read.
  • Seth Godin offers some tips that will help us be more effective on video conference calls with more than three people. Just 1 minute to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland tells how to set boundaries with the other people in the house when working from home. Podcast, 9 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

Thanks for the feedback!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to take my weekly round-up satisfaction survey. Over half of you read the round-up at least 3 times a month, and most of the rest at least monthly. Most of you are either EMail subscribers or have the site in your RSS reader.

Your responses confirmed some things that I suspected and produced a couple of small surprises. For example: while everyone found the Business Acumen and Strategy and Managing Projects section to be at least somewhat valuable, over a third skip Managing Software Development altogether. I knew that I had a lot of readers who don’t manage software projects, but this was more than I thought. Perhaps the content I’m linking to isn’t valuable to you—if so, please leave a comment below and let’s get a conversation started.

About two-thirds of the readers find Applied Leadership and Working and the Workplace very valuable and nearly everyone finds Research and Insights at least somewhat valuable. If someone wants to see more (or less) of a particular area of interest within those sections, please leave a comment.

As expected, the vast majority find the “minutes to read’ estimate useful. For those who don’t, consider adjusting my estimate to match your reading speed. It’s probably not going to be as precise as Celsius to Fahrenheit, but at least you won’t start reading a long article when you only have a couple of minutes to spare.

About 82% of you watch at least some of the videos I link to. Many of you like the diverse mix although about a quarter think I should stick to project management topics. Going forward, I think I’ll link to the business stuff a little more often than the goofy stuff like Independence Day videos with guys blowing up anvils and performances by obscure bands. But not entirely.

And for those of you who don’t get the visual pun in that photo on the right, click here.

 

New PM Articles for the Week of September 3 – 9

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 3 – 9. And this week’s video: the Martin Jetpack—not really a jet and not really something you wear on your back—might soon be a practical solution for personal flight, with a 30 minute flight time. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • The Verge staff notes the 20th anniversary of the founding of Google with an extensive timeline of significant events. This is how you grow from a research project into a trillion-dollar business! 15 minutes to read.
  • Blair Levin analyzes Google Fiber, the initiative which triggered massive investment in high-speed internet technologies by competing ISP’s. 7 minutes to read.
  • Russell Brandom summarizes the antitrust law case against de facto monopolies Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Uber. 9 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Mike Clayton tutors us on the essentials of project cost management. 10 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture gets into the math of 3-point estimates. “They are the broccoli of projects.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin lays out an excellent strategy for fitting professional development into your schedule. 7 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall encourages us to ask other project managers for advice on dealing with challenges and issues. 3 minutes to read.
  • Deb Schaffer takes us from the PMBOK description of the project scope statement to a fully fleshed out document, with a template. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dale Howard shows how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Project. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from self-management at Semco to preparing for the sprint planning meeting to the dangers of falling in love with a solution. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Aneel summarizes the 2018 State of DevOps report from Dora. The best firms are doing far better and so are those at the bottom, but the middle … 6 minutes to read.
  • Pavel N. describes how the IT teams at five major companies are using Kanban. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Bob Tarne on his experience as an Agile coach at Toyota. “Here I was at Toyota, teaching people how to use Kanban.” Video, 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bob Reselman points out some of the current limitations of performance testing edge computing devices. Maybe standards will help! 6 minutes to read.
  • Trish Koo recommends that you develop a technical debt payment plan. Good extension of an excellent metaphor. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from increasing transparency with OKR’s to productivity to the worker confidence index. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Leah Fessler describes Sheryl Sandberg’s approach to keeping one-on-one meetings with her direct reports efficient and personal. 3 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty coaches us on helping people make a positive emotional connection to a new business strategy.
  • Suzanne Lucas gives us the early read on Generation Z as they start to enter the workforce. 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Elijah Wolfson reports on the first AI application to diagnose disease—in this case, diabetic retinopathy. 6 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell recaps high points from the history of computer games and virtual reality to project ways in which the combination of the two will make skill development more effective. 5 minutes to read.
  • Manfred Kets de Vries and Katharina Balazs help us understand why we sometimes overreact at work. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Marcel Schwantes notes that Gallup found 51% of US employees are considering leaving their jobs due to a lack of meaning and purpose. But there are solutions! 3 minutes to read.
  • Sarah Goff-Dupont reports on paid time off for volunteer work in the community—known in HR circles as VTO. The payback is in engagement and retention. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mary Abbajay provides a multi-pronged strategy: what to do when you have a bad boss. 6 minutes to read.

Enjoy!