New PM Articles for the Week of March 13 – 19

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 13 – 19. And this week’s video: Julia Galef uses the metaphor of soldiers and scouts to help explain why we think we’re right—even what we’re wrong. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists five common failure modes for planning and executing our project schedules, and what we should be doing instead. Bookmark this page!
  • Harry Hall proposes having the team write their own Constitution, or list of shared values, to drive unity and make expected behaviors explicit. Includes another short video.
  • Tamás Török presents a software development practitioner’s guide to code quality, as processes and tools. Brief, comprehensive, actionable, and an apropos panel from XKCD.

Established Methods

  • Mike Clayton posts another video in his Project Management in Under 5 series: this one explains the RACI chart and compares it to the linear responsibility chart. Under 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • William Davis introduces his free Excel template, Statistical PERT. I’ll post a detailed review here in a few days.
  • Glen Alleman reminds us that the customer values process and governance, and thus their notion of value at risk includes those things, even if you think they’re overhead.
  • Nick Pisano makes the case that cost, schedule, and technical achievement are insufficient metrics—we should incorporate sociological and psychological factors.
  • Barry Hodge explains how his company takes a project from proposal to Go document, to execution.
  • Andrew Conrad lists the top five paying industries for those project managers holding the PMP.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of Agile topics, from the nature of coaching to user stories to the limits of product manager authority.
  • Johanna Rothman posts an extensive series on becoming an Agile Leader. Here are parts 2, 3, and 4.
  • Chris Matts continues his series reflecting on the difference between executive and practitioner visions of Agile methods, in terms of dragon slayers and farmers.
  • Ben Linders summarizes “The Great Scrum Master,” by Zuzana Šochová, in 15 tweets.
  • Romy Misra interviews former Microsoft product manager Erik Kennedy on techniques for effectively working with visual designers.
  • Alok Kumar and Suganthi Subramanian recount their experience in applying Scum to data warehousing environments.

Applied Leadership

  • Tim Clark, the author of “Leading with Character and Competence,” tells the story of the dog who only bites occasionally. Like the boss who is only a tyrant when he’s upset.
  • Leigh Espy reviews “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion,” by Robert Cialdini. The review was certainly influential—I added it to my Kindle.
  • Gina Abudi begins a series that presents a case study in getting buy-in for a large project.
  • Claire Karjalainen convenes a panel of women in technology to address the question: how can the leadership team empower the women in your company?

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Grace Windsor summarizes some of the common cognitive biases that impact our decision making.
  • Justin Talbot-Zorn and Leigh Marz report that the busier you are, the more you need quiet time.
  • Coert Visser considers the question: if the Dunning-Kruger effect makes the incompetent feel confident, is confidence indicative of incompetence?

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland extracts dialogs from prior interviews that address how to effectively provide feedback on virtual teams. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Naomi Caietti reviews the key strategies for leading virtual teams, based on the work of Penn Pullan and Evi Prokopi.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on the growing trend of “forced praise” in the workplace, from apps like HeyTaco and Growbot to simple excess niceness. It’s not all good.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 6 – 12

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 6 – 12. And this week’s video: in honor of St. Patrick, Cait O’Riordan leads the cast of “Straight to Hell” in a rendition of Danny Boy. Less than two minutes, but timeless. Side note: The US and Canada converted to Daylight SavingsTime on March 12, but the rest of the world doesn’t convert until March 26. Schedule your meetings accordingly!

Must read (or Hear)!

  • Christof Ebert presents a detailed view of the costs, benefits, risks, and opportunities available in managing globally distributed projects.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy provides a checklist for the ideal virtual meeting space. Distributed teams benefit from virtual meetings designed to facilitate collaboration and inclusion.
  • Andy Kaufman interviews Emily Luijbregts on helping your geographically distributed, virtual team collaborate and thrive. Right at an hour, safe for work—even from home.

Established Methods

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev, author of “Project Portfolio Management in Theory and Practice.” Just 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Barry Hodge explains how Knightstone Housing practices project portfolio management.
  • Harry Hall continues his short video series, 10 Things Successful Project Managers Never Tolerate. This one is just 3 minutes, safe for work—watch the whole series!
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the results of her stakeholder management survey, and she’s created a stakeholder management master class based on what she’s discovered we need most.
  • Leigh Espy lists the essential qualities of great project managers.
  • Andy Jordan explains how he manages remote workers he’s never met, from understanding how much workload they can reliably handle to establishing a management proxy.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of all things Agile, including ways to make frameworks suck less, distributed Agile teams, ruthless prioritization, and more.
  • Chris Matts notes the places where executive beliefs frequently diverge from Agile values and beliefs.
  • Craig Brown shares the slide deck he used at his Agile India presentation, “Improve Together.” If you use it, he only asks you to give him credit and share the results.
  • Dave Prior interviews two educators from Grandview Prep, where they have implemented Scrum for both students and school administration. Just 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • The Clever PM aims for a more rigorous definition of a Minimum Viable Product.

Applied Leadership

  • Claire Karjalainen presents the case for mentorship as a key strategy for closing the tech gender gap.
  • Alison DeNisco describes the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) Certification, and how leading companies are pursuing sustainable diversity in the workforce.
  • Lynda Bourne lists eight ways the chair can make a meeting ineffective.
  • Beth Spriggs guides us in examining our own response to change so we might improve our ability to lead organizational change.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Yaniv Yehuda argues that integrating the database into the DevOps tool chain will enhance information security.
  • Ryan Ogilvie explains how we can leverage knowledge management to minimize the impact of service disruptions.
  • Kailash Awati reflects on the role of uncertainty and ambiguity in decision making.
  • Olivia Goldhill notes that humans evolved to deal with deep uncertainty, and thus our irrationality is beneficial when embraced selectively.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elise Stevens interviews Terri Cooper, who explains why project managers should attend all kinds of networking events, not just PM. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Stephanie Bryant recounts the final retrospective after the contract was canceled and her team was laid off. Teams need closure, especially when they involuntarily disband.
  • Stacy Lastoe shows us how to become better writers by editing a particularly error-filled Email.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 27 – March 5

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 27 – March 5. And this week’s video: Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris show us how selective attention works. Just over a minute, safe for work unless you keep playing it over and over.

Must read!

  • Mike Cohn reminds us that a cross-functional team is one where the members have different skills—not one where every member has all the needed skills.
  • Dave Nicolette points out that, while Scrum is an excellent solution for some problems, it doesn’t fit every situation. Lean Thinking might be what’s next.
  • Nir Eyal and Chelsea Robertson explain how the brain focuses and eliminates distraction (they are different functions), and give us some clinically proven ideas for enhancing each.

Established Methods

  • The Women Tester’s Magazine January 2017 edition is now available to download. Not just about testing, and not just for (or by) women—highly recommended.
  • Henny Portman alerts us to a new project management methodology, coming from Denmark: Project Half Double. As in half the time, double the impact.
  • Elizabeth Harrin lists the essential project management competencies we need to be successful in 2017 and beyond.
  • Harry Hall bullets 37(!) practical actions you can take to improve your project communications.
  • Glen Alleman explains what you need to know to make decisions under conditions of uncertainty, to achieve project success.
  • Michael Wood explores the critical success drivers for managing global projects.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of all things Agile, including Agile middle management, the role of QA in Agile teams, and more contrarian ideas.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Natalie Warnert and Amitai Schleier on the Women in Agile discussion, and why we should all support it. Just 47 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior and Marty Bradley consider the question: when embracing Agile methods, should the PMO go away? Just 28 minutes, safe for work.
  • Shipra Aggarwal explains how to create release plans for feature-driven projects and date-driven projects.
  • Nicholas Malahosky coaches us on how to introduce Agile methods to teams outside of IT.
  • Tamás Török explains why software developers are like pro football players.

Applied Leadership

  • Esther Derby provides two examples where changing the point of view led decision makers to realize they were trying to solve the wrong problems.
  • Art Petty says the Big Fix doesn’t work, but incremental behavior changes can work wonders.
  • Michael Lopp traces the “New Manager Death Spiral.” Read, ye experienced manager, and cringe. I certainly did.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Geoffrey Bock updates us on the acceptance and application of smart data for Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning in the enterprise.
  • Tom McFarlin announces his upcoming e-book, “Where Do I Start with WordPress?” Since roughly 19% of the internet is run on WordPress, I thought this might be of interest.
  • Nick Pisano briefly defines business intelligence, business analytics, and knowledge discovery in databases, and points out their growing convergence.
  • Belle Cooper confronts burnout: what it means, what it does to us, and how to overcome it.

Working and the Workplace

  • Brian Wagner and James Kittle get Steve Potter to talk about interview questions and styles. Just 34 minutes, safe for work.
  • Lisette Sutherland describes the Remote First company, and what you should expect when you run into one. Just over nine minutes, safe for work.
  • Alyse Kalish gives us the up-to-date standard for what to include in the header of your resume.

Enjoy!