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 and in benefits administration. 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 29 – August 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 29 – August 4. And this week’s video: Nicole Eagan, Darktrace Ltd. chief executive officer, discusses the Capital One data breach and the reality behind cyber hacks with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang. Excellent insights, real-world context. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Rosamond Hutt recaps the International Monetary Fund’s July update on the world economic outlook. They list five areas of concern. 3 minutes to read.
  • Alex Brammer reviews the impact of GDPR compliance on how business is done. Lawmakers have realized that the internet can be regulated. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kevin Coleman looks at the strategic implications of emerging technologies, including the projects that implement organizational strategy. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Harry Hall helps us prepare for those critical risks that metastasize into issues on those ambitious projects that always seemed like a stretch. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dale Howard coaches us on using the Task Entry view in MS Project—where the advanced users go first when things don’t look quite right. 4 minutes to read.
  • Francesco Marcatto takes us on a high-level walk through the process of creating a project plan. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ben Aston and Kelly Suter discuss tools and techniques for managing stakeholders, in the context of Kelly’s new job. Podcast, 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • John Goodpasture directs our attention to an old professional journal article on the unintended consequences of metrics, grouped into eight types. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin answers the question: what do I do when my sponsor is too busy to meet with me or even respond to my Emails? 5 minutes to read.
  • The nice folks at Clarizen list what they believe to be the six most common mistakes in project management, and how to avoid them. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the need for apex predators in agile transformations to Zombie Scrum to communicating product changes to customers. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Cohn tells us how to overcome four common objections to the daily Scum. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely begins a series on daily standup meetings, from failure modes to why daily meetings might not always be the right answer. 2 minutes each.
  • Andrew Burleson tells how his team gamified their bug-tracking process and got their backlog to zero. 5 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman rethinks her support for generalizing specialists, as teams become more effective at collaboration. 3 minutes to read.
  • Tamás Török interviews Katie Womersley, VP of Engineering at Buffer, on managing remote developer teams. 11 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Mike Clayton explains emotional intelligence, from its academic origins to the details of Daniel Goleman’s model of the associated skills. Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Ash Carter, former US Secretary of Defense, shares five lessons on managing high-stakes situations. 6 minutes to read.
  • Andy Kaufman explores the first rule of conflict: don’t make things worse. Video, 2 minutes, safe for work.

Research and Insights

  • Cassie Kozyrkov introduces us to a new academic discipline with powerful business implications—decision intelligence. 13 minutes to read.
  • Igor Piatnytskyi digs into data security from a business perspective. As in most things, we need to prioritize in order to maximize value. 7 minutes to read.
  • Aaron Gershwin provides a nerd-level explanation of the Stuxnet virus, possibly the most sophisticated cyber weapon ever discussed in public. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • David Dye tells us how to talk with the boss when we totally disagree on something. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy coaches us on applying the Osborne-Parnes creative problem-solving process. 7 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas got stuck in the middle of a zip line. She then realized that it was a metaphor for her career. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 22 – 28

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 22 – 28. And this week’s video: Suzy Welch rails against four business buzzwords that are no substitute for honest communication. 2 minutes, safe for work. And more on this from Teena Maddox, below.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Dirk Deichmann, Violetta Rodopoulou, and Inga Hoever report on their research into selecting crowd-sourced ideas for corporate investment. 6 minutes to read.
  • Teena Maddox rounds up the 50 most overused business clichés. I’ll keep using actionable, but the rest need to be retired from our presentation vocabulary. 5 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell explores the nature of negative reactions to innovation and why we should learn to embrace that opposition and learn from it. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin tutors us on how to create a project budget, including several types of costs that you will need to account for. 7 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton does a deep dive into constraints, interdependency, external dependency, and task dependency. 11 minutes to read, plus six videos totaling about 29 minutes, all safe for work.
  • Harry Hall reviews the available strategies for handling overall project risk. The considerations are different from selecting strategies for individual risks and opportunities. Video, 4 minutes, safe for work.
  • Seth Godin reminds us of the balance between resilience and reliability. Not all failures are created equally. 1 minute to read.
  • Andy Silber critiques the risk management skills exhibited by Captain James T. Kirk and finds him woefully lacking. 4 minutes to read.
  • Máté Wohlmuth, who runs a software development agency, compares fixed price versus time and labor contracts, along with other outsourcing success factors. 5 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture lists a few good practices for managing our little data in Excel. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from mental models and cognitive biases to a Scrum Fail case study to suitable metrics for an innovation program. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman explains how to manage projects and products portfolio in a shared services Here’s part two; each about 3 minutes to read.
  • Paul Grizzafi and Mas Kono describe a method of assigning “points” to test cases, to answer questions about, “Can we release yet?” 12 minutes to read.
  • Uncle Bob Martin recounts an anecdote from a barbecue joint that shows how software can frustrate a user who just wants to do his job. 3 minutes to read.
  • Bob Marshall offers his thoughtful analysis of the #NoSoftware hashtag, which is more about challenging assumptions than eliminating code. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alan Richardson continues Bob’s line of reasoning: maybe you don’t need a tool to solve your communication problems. 6 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Michael Lopp explains real-time wisdom, which he refers to as Spidey-sense. “Something is up, and I don’t know what.” Some might say to trust your gut. 5 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty lists six skills we should develop for career success. For project managers, gray-zone leadership is make-or-break. 3 minutes to read.
  • Christiaan Verwijs examines the elephants in the room—those invisible conflicts within the team—and identifies ways to make them visible. 6 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • David Balaban makes the case for not paying the pirates when attacked by ransomware. 5 minutes to read.
  • S. Deller and Robert Gaunt look at emerging developments in brain-machine interfaces. This will soon be a common thing, like eyeglasses and hearing aids. 5 minutes to read.
  • Oksana Sokolovsky and Rojit Mahajan examine the impact of GDPR after one year and tell us what to expect as more countries pass privacy legislation. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Stephanie Neal reviews the data and finds that Gen X is becoming a flight risk. Over-worked, under-rewarded, and fewer promotions are having an impact. 5 minutes to read.
  • Trace Cohen explains how he got into an Executive MBA program and why that has turned out to be right for his tech / startup career. 5 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Crystal Richards on how political skills can help a project manager succeed. Podcast, 19 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

How to Provide an Estimate [snark]

State an estimate as a probability distribution. For this meme: “I estimate an 80% probability of completing in less than 195 minutes and a 20% probability of completing in less than 175 minutes, but the absolute minimum is 170 minutes. I’ll provide an updated estimate in an hour or so. Do you want me to EMail you the assumptions and risk register?”

“Uhhhh … no.” [thinks: WTF did she just say?] “Uh, can you give me that as a single number?”

[stares for a four-count] “The mode was 182 minutes, at 6.3%. Which means there is a 93.7% probability that it won’t take 182 minutes.”

“OK. Yeah. Well, let me know when it’s finished.”

[/snark]