About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including premises-based ERP solutions, like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise, and SaaS solutions, like Workday. He has an MS in IT with a concentration in project management, and a BS in Business. He also holds the project management professional (PMP) designation, as well as professional designations in human resources (GPHR and SPHR) and in benefits administration (CEBS). In addition to his articles and blog posts, he curates a weekly roundup of articles on project management, and he has authored or contributed to several books on project management.

New PM Articles for the Week of July 27 – August 2

Over the StripNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 27 – August 2. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the ten “nots” – things you should never do, at the expense of your career.
  • Kristin Wong summarizes recent research that found it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to task after a significant interruption.
  • Harry Hall recounts his recommendations for sponsors. One of the top reasons for project failure is a lack of leadership and sustained engagement by the project sponsor.

PM Best Practices

  • Pat Weaver outlines the changes coming to the PMP exam, effective November 1, 2015. Based on the recent role delineation study, it reflects the way we manage projects today.
  • John Goodpasture analyzes a list of paradoxes prevalent in Digital Age leadership, as compiled by Nielsen and Meehan.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Bill Dow on integrating social media into your project communication plan. Just 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Lynda Bourne reviews our alternatives for dealing with stakeholders: crisis management, stakeholder management, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Ryan Ogilvie argues that the tool is not as important as how we plan to use it. “Don’t paint a rusty car.”
  • Ben Ferris introduces us to one of his colleagues: the office coffee machine.
  • Michael Greer has published his new project management resources book online, and it’s free!
  • Glen Alleman explains why estimating is not guessing, and vice-versa. Note: the term dead reckoning is a corruption of ded (deduced) reckoning.
  • Nick Pisano addresses a conundrum: software is getting slower at a faster rate than computer hardware is getting faster.
  • Gil Press profiles Michael Stonebraker on his recent Big Data work: getting past the extract – transform – load model of curating multiple data sources via machine learning.
  • Tushar Patel expounds on how the PMO can add value.
  • Bertrand Duperrin maintains that the only client of an intranet project is the employee end user.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn helps us check our math on product backlog grooming: estimates tend to get better as we better understand what we’re estimating.
  • Randy Rayess notes that the skill set for “great coder” has no significant overlap with the skill set for “team leader.” We need to have alternative career paths.
  • Jennifer Quraishi and Huimin Li interview Johanna Rothman on the concepts in her new book, “Agile and Lean Program Management.”
  • Santosh Shaastry examines technical debt and the technical definition of done.

Managing Your Career

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jen Gresham, author and coach, on how overachievers can find the clarity and courage they need to design the life they love. Just 58 minutes, safe for work, but don’t listen while multi-tasking – that would defeat the purpose!
  • Bruce Harpham reports from the World Domination Summit, equal parts enlightenment and entertainment.
  • Michael Adams reminds us that workplace diversity requires hard work and personal commitment.
  • Allen Ruddock makes the business case for project managers to use LinkedIn.


Non-Utilitarian Metrics

My new post at AITS was published this morning. After my usual wise-ass opening, I provide three examples of poor project management metrics and how they were presented, and conclude with a few summary principles for collecting actionable data and presenting it clearly. I’m pretty sure I can squeeze out a few more articles like this, but it would be great to have some input from other project managers and portfolio managers. Leave a comment here or at AITS, and share a story I can repeat. With attribution, of course.


Special Mention: Nick Pisano’s Post at AITS

Nick PisanoI normally include references to articles and blog posts in my weekly round-up, but in this case, I wanted to go into more depth than my usual one or two sentences. Nick Pisano’s article at AITS this week looks like the capstone of his argument that IT project failure is less about unknown and unknowable risks than about poor management processes. His analysis runs from Black Swans to Babe Ruth, and from studies by Rand and McKinsey to his previous posts on the physics and economics of software development.

Nick concludes with nine very specific principles that should be the basis of every software development project selection and execution process. His underlying theme: improving the success rate of software projects lies not in the cryptozoology of unforeseeable events, but in the application of modern management techniques and evidence-based decision making. Projects should not be begun without clear objectives and success metrics, and they should be terminated when evidence of impending failure is identified.

It’s a long read, but well worth your time. Great job, Nick.