New PM Articles for the Week of July 20 – 26

Ballon PassingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Our theme this week is Agile software development. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman shares a few tips for product owners faced with ranking features in a backlog. This needs to be a checklist!
  • Neil Killick shares a twelve-point decision tree (which only looks like a questionnaire) that will help you determine whether your team is actually developing software using Agile methods. And no, it’s not a twelve-step program – just a coincidence.
  • Aaron Smith interviews Thomas Wise, co-author of the new book, “Agile Readiness: Four Spheres of Lean and Agile Transformation.”

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin: “The biggest challenge facing project management today is that project-related work and jobs are growing too quickly for our approaches to professionalism to keep up.”
  • Adam Shostak points us toward a good, long read at CIO on real lessons learned from the dubious rollout of Healthcare.gov.
  • John Goodpasture quotes John LeCarre (for the second time in a week) on the need for facts to have a credible source.
  • Kailash Awati continues his series introducing us to R, the open source statistical analysis package.
  • Kerry Wills walks us through his analytical process for Issues.
  • Bruce Benson leverages a story in Bloomberg Businessweek to introduce the radical idea of skepticism, as a tool for issue prevention.
  • Kenneth Darter observes that some issues only crop up after the project is (nearly) completed. That doesn’t make them non-issues!
  • Matthew Squair reports on a demonstration of how to take control of a car via the internet. “My new car has Wi-fi!” Far out, Dude …
  • Lynda Bourne covers the elements of stakeholder engagement, including a bit of history.
  • Paul Ritchie addresses a tough recruiting question: how do I interview for soft skills?
  • Nick Pisano looks at the economics of data through the lenses of public sector economic and Moore’s Law.
  • Rex Homlin explains that successful projects are successful on three levels.
  • Ryan Ogilvie covers the basics of software asset management.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths posts an infographic and some statistics and analysis on a topic we sometimes avoid: the down side of open space office plans.
  • Mike Cohn provides an alternative to user stories, for when your users aren’t really part of the story.
  • Glen Alleman explains why deadlines still matter, even in an Agile world.
  • Bob Tarne explains Lean, from a mountain climber’s perspective.
  • Alhad Akole share best Scrum practices for getting to zero defects.

 

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews the all-around wonderful Dorie Clark, on how to be better and how to be noticed for it. Just 55 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall shares a short video, where Shane Hastie explains the discipline of business analysis. Three minutes, safe for work.
  • Ruairi O’Donnellan shares a micro-video on issue management using Sharepoint. Less than two minutes, safe for work.

 

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 13 – 19

Over DinnerNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 13 – 19. Pull up a chair and let’s talk. Our theme this week is applied leadership. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jeff Furman on the second edition of “The Project Management Answer Book.” Just 35 minutes, safe for work, and well worth your time.
  • Paul Ritchie presents evidence that hiring managers are putting more emphasis on leadership, strategy, and business skills when hiring PM’s.
  • Steven Levy recounts the story of a tour boat operator who had to intervene when one of his guests decided to swim with the alligators. Are you this cool when the unexpected happens?

PM Best Practices

  • Carol Dekker outlines the key steps to a better software development performance measurement program.
  • Michel Dion expounds on monitoring, measuring, and reporting as the core of project governance.
  • Glen Alleman adds more diagrams to his ongoing explanation of the role of estimating in economic analysis.
  • Marco Behler takes a practical approach to improving the accuracy software development estimates.
  • Harry Hall assembled thirty(!) risk evaluation principles while preparing to teach a course on PMI’s Practice Standard for Project Risk Management.
  • John Goodpasture summarizes Tim van Gelder’s description of the elements of critical thinking.
  • Dave Wakeman covers three keys to achieving organizational alignment for your project.
  • Braden Kelly continues his series on applying the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to drive innovation.
  • Ryan Ogilvie reports from the Calgary Stampede, where not everyone was stampeding toward ITIL. Yes, the conversation was over beer …
  • Kerry Wills follow up on his eight fundamental guiding principles for managing programs with an analysis of what happens when one is missing.
  • Allen Ruddock argues that communications is a key PMO responsibility.
  • Gina Abudi notes that key roles should be defined and people assigned to them, throughout the project.
  • Bruce Harpham continues his series on finding a summer project at work.
  • Joe Caprara thinks it’s a good thing to earn the PMP credential. Just don’t make it the basis for any of your claims.

Agile Methods

  • Michael Dubakov proposes the Minimum Action Energy Principle in user interface design. Yes, physics matters even to software engineers.
  • Johanna Rothman describes the responsibilities commonly assigned to three common roles: product manager, product owner, and business analyst.
  • Kyle Viele experiments with the Candle Problem, as described by Dan Pink, to demonstrate that diverse teams get better results than homogeneous teams.
  • Henny Portman reviews “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries. Did you know that this book influenced the development of the PRINCE2 Agile Framework?

 Pot Pouri

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists 15 ways to celebrate success with your team.
  • Mike Cohn encourages us to take a moment to celebrate with our team, even if it’s just by exchanging paper plates.
  • Adam Shostok takes umbrage with the “word nerds.”
  • Seth Godin: “An amateur memorizes. A professional looks for metaphors.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 6 – 12

Balloon SunriseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 6 – 12. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Our theme this week is taking a skeptical look at extraordinary claims. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Kailash Awati takes a critical look at knowledge work and the flimsy basis for claims of expertise.
  • John Goodpasture summarizes a few revolutionary ideas for the 21st century technocrat organization, despite his misgivings.
  • Bruce Benson compares the fault in his GPS that said he ran a four-minute mile with the claims made by methodology advocates.

PM Best Practices

  • Harry Hall reviews some strategies for dealing with the process by which sub-par resources get assigned to our projects.
  • Jim Anderson gives us some pointers on how to take control of a negotiation.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Mark Woeppel on his new book, Visual Project Management.
  • Glen Alleman outlines the three major strategic themes underlying most IT projects.
  • Allen Ruddock suggests that the PMO can have an important role in maintaining stakeholder engagement.
  • Dan Patterson advocates for risk analysis as part of the process of green lighting a new project.
  • Bruce Harpham bullet points the characteristics of a good summer project. The kind you choose for yourself, of course!
  • Margaret Meloni composes an open letter to project team members.
  • Toby Elwin drives home the need to understand the action objective before communicating.
  • Ryan Ogilvie lists a few specious claims to avoid when pitching change. My favorite: “No testing is really needed.” Yup, that’s why we have production …
  • Braden Kelly starts a series on using Six Sigma / DMAIC to drive innovation.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman has gathered some insights for program-level product owners, and shares three of them with us.
  • Henrico Dolfing shares his lessons learned from using Scrum on an actuarial modeling project.
  • Nada Aldahleh has some suggestions for improving Scrum.

 Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews author, podcaster, and strategic business coach Gene Hammett on leaving the corporate world and learning from failure. Just 55 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews project management coach and mentor Jeff Furman on his approach. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • William McKnight presents his TED talk on information as the next natural resource. Well, maybe not natural, but definitely a resource. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.

Outside the Lines

  • Peter Saddington shares a two minute video, ”Did I Get the Job?” Funny, not safe for work, but there’s nothing good on TV, so why not?
  • Seth Godin relates an interesting technique for getting an audience involved.
  • Vivek Prakash describes what he claims is, “The only technique that resolves conflicts.”

Enjoy!