About Dave Gordon

Dave Gordon is a project manager with over twenty five years of experience in implementing human capital management and payroll systems, including SaaS solutions like Workday and premises-based ERP solutions like PeopleSoft and ADP Enterprise. 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 October 30 – November 5

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 30 – November 5. Note that Daylight Savings Time ended in North and Central America. And this week’s video: Jesse Fewell shares an excited video selfie from the PMI Global Conference in Chicago, following the launch of the Agile Practice Guide. A new era is dawning – PMI and the Agile Alliance have created non-commercial, methodology-agnostic guidelines for tailoring Agile methods to the work to be done.  5 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Michael Simmons reveals the secret to Thomas Edison’s success: the 10,000-experiment rule. “Deliberate experimentation is more important than deliberate practice.” 10 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk shares some observations on what it takes to teach well. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nathan Kinch predicts that one of the outcomes of the GDPR will be closer collaboration between designers and attorneys. Privacy by design is a requirement. 6 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Kiron Bondale defends the use of the digraph as a risk communication tool. 2 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall describes the steps to take in right-sizing your risk management plan.
  • Glen Alleman reinforces the concepts in an old post: Process is King. Activity must be guided to efficiently achieve goals. 3 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Garrod points out the process changes in each knowledge area of the PMBOK 6th 3 minutes to read.
  • Sam Huffman explains the best practice for entering task durations in MS Project. Less than 2 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture quotes Yuval Harari in caveating the predictive value of the past project history and metrics kept by every PMO. Just about a minute to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin conducts a wide-ranging 22-minute video interview with Jon Clay, President of PMI UK. Or you can read the transcript in about 14 minutes.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly Agile round-up, from Agile experiments to Agile misconceptions, to starting stand-ups on time. 8 outbound links, 2 minutes to browse.
  • Adam Palmer puts story points and relative sizing into perspective using pumpkins. 2 minutes to read.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, introduce an enterprise Scrum simulation game using Legos. 7 minutes to read, bring your own Legos.
  • Muslim Rizvi explains the acronym TECHMEDICS, which collects the basic considerations and questions to ask before beginning an Agile implementation. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mike Cohn shines a light on several “scary” aspects of adopting Agile methods, in honor of Halloween. 6 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Grace Windsor extols the benefits of using a project team charter to facilitate alignment and put the focus on the goals of the project. 5 minutes to read.
  • Naomi Caietti tutors us on emotional intelligence and how to develop it in ourselves. 5 minutes to read.
  • Susanne Madsen recounts her recovery from the stress she imposed on herself while leading a large, business-critical program. Sometimes, we must lead ourselves. 7 minutes to read.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Lynda Bourne describes a complex model of stakeholder engagement, with the authentic characteristics of the organization at the core. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton tells us how to plan a stakeholder engagement campaign. 8 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Nicole Nader on why being authentic is important to building effective relationships with stakeholders. Podcast, 16 minutes, safe for work.

Working and the Workplace

  • Tamás Török shares the findings on hiring software developers at start-up companies, from the State of Software Development 2017 report. 4 minutes to read.
  • Gary Poster conducts a rigorous analysis of the pros and cons of distributed teams, from “remote friendly” to “remote reliant.” 6 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Dom Price, head of R&D at Atlassian, on best practices for including remote colleagues in teams, such as team rituals. Video interview, 41 minutes.
  • Mike Griffiths reminds of the importance of focus. Just over a minute to read.


New Post at AITS: Practical Advice for Project Managers

My latest article for AITS was published today: Practical Advice for Project Managers.

I’ve been managing projects for a lot of years, and along the way I’ve captured a lot of lessons learned, observations, and rules of thumb. I combed through my OneNote scrap vault looking for some short bits of advice that might be of value and came up with these four. If this little collection seems useful, let me know and I’ll go back and pick out some more.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of October 23 – 29

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 23 – 29. Note that Daylight Savings Time ended in the UK and much of Europe on October 28, but will drag on for another week in North and Central America. And this week’s video: Destiny Cross makes the theme music from “The Munsters” haunting in a way you never expected. 8 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Listen)!

  • David Clinton tutors us on the vocabulary and concepts of high-availability server networks. Absolutely the best explanation I’ve read in years—highly recommended! 9 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman takes a principled stand against harassment and abuse of power. “When the people suffer, the product suffers. It suffers in development and it suffers in release.” 3 minutes to read.
  • Adam Shostack considers the question: what do we need to do to create software that lasts as long as the new refrigerator that will connect to your network? The internet of things will change the timescale of software product life cycles. 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Michael Clayton curates a list of project management surveys and reports, from a variety of sources. 21 outbound links, 7 minutes to read.
  • Michel Dion observes that the most common failure mode for labor-intensive projects is insufficient resources, and that’s usually by design. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joe Wynne identifies several tactics to resolve resource constraints when managing a portfolio of projects (and BAU). 3 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman links us to ten “canvas” models for structuring, explaining, and summarizing complex collections of information. Just a minute to scan, 10 outbound links.
  • Harry Hall shares eight tips designed to help you answer difficult questions during presentations. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jason Westland has compiled a list of 15(!) free project management training videos, by Jennifer Bridges, Susan Madsen, and Devin Deen.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from matching Agile approach with context to lessons learned from electoral politics to the Third Scrum Wave. You thought Scrum was a particle? 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • Soma Bhattacharya describes five different kinds of Scrum Masters, based on what there were doing before they assumed the role. Insightful and thought-provoking! 2 minutes to read.
  • Peter Pito compares Kanban and the Theory of Constraints, beginning with their origins and intended purposes. 6 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke explains Little’s Law and how it applies to work in progress limits, but not velocity. 2 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Declan Whelan on how the definition of technical debt has evolved to something more akin to technical health. Podcast, 37 minutes.
  • Dan Mirabella points out three advantages of an Agile release plan. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Elizabeth Harrin tells us how to manage a team member with a negative attitude. 5 minutes to read.
  • Scott Berkun answers the question: why do so many managers have poor people skills? 4 minutes to read.
  • Vicki Wrona notes that organizations that recognize and reward fire-fighting need to be on the lookout for poor planners and procrastinators. You know: arsonists. 3 minutes to read.
  • Roopak Jain provides an Agile practitioner’s view of the Learning Organization, as described by Peter Senge.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Kim Brushaber explains how to get started on complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Webinar, just over an hour.
  • Cathy Nolan tutors us on Privacy Impact Assessments, an analysis of how personally identifiable information (PII) is collected, used, shared, and maintained. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elyse Bogacz notes key factors and decision points in the design process for reports. Data visualization is not just in the eye of the beholder! 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Leigh Espy lists 20 behaviors that we should develop as assertive communication skills to gain confidence and respect. Just over 10 minutes to read.
  • Geoff Crane presents scientific evidence that as stress accumulates, the body anticipates additional stress. Not a good cycle—we need to break it to help others deal with their stress. 4 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas triumphantly tells us why we need to tell rude people to knock it off—because it works! 4 minutes to read, a lifetime to confront all the jerks.