New PM Articles for the Week of August 6 – 12

New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 6 – 12. And this week’s video: James Hamilton explains how to bore a proper pilot hole for a wood screw. I just finished prying out nearly 2,000 wood screws and nails from the old 600 square foot deck on the back of my house, and I can say for certain that the guy who built it did not use this technique. 4 minutes, safe for work or home workshop.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Ali Montag recaps a three-question “litmus test” for new employees, created by Jeff Bezos in 1998 and still a part of their recruitment process today. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ashish Sharma describes the next big target for exploitation: hacking motor vehicles, and through your car, your phone and the data on it. 7 minutes to read.
  • Peter Diamandis reports on the rapid growth of venture capital investment sourced from China, including the technologies they are funding. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Niraj Kuma on leading a project in the midst of chaos—in this case, a flood. Podcast, 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares some guidance on prioritizing and focusing for a project manager who also wears several other hats. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mohamed Amer analyzes the selection of a project status “data date.” 3 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale waxes poetic on the need for an effective product owner, and then pivots to review Eric Uyttewaal’s new book, “Forecasting Programs.” 3 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall points out the three most common failure mores for IT-led software projects to fail. 3 minutes to read.
  • Christopher Cook interprets the old military expression, “Two is one and one is none.” 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the Business Agility report to the new Professional Scrum Master II class to cognitive biases. 8 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley tells us that it isn’t OK to demo work that isn’t “done” yet. With some exceptions when you really should. 5 minutes to read both articles.
  • Oleksii Fedorov addresses the critical software technical decision maker question: When is the time to pay off technical debt? And where to start? 5 minutes to read.
  • Emma Lilliestam uses the “user experience” of a watermelon to explain secure design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Sebastian Boyer gives an overview of eight tools and techniques for conducting a Scrum retrospective. 6 minutes to read.
  • Rich Rogers and James Bach each remember Jerry Weinberg, called by some “The grandfather of Agile,” who passed away on August 7 at the age of 84. 3 minutes to read, each.

Applied Leadership

  • Kim Peters and Alex Haslam review the research: to be a good leader, start by being a good follower. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy argues that small doses of micromanagement can be beneficial. 6 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson notes that data is only actionable if it helps you tell a compelling story to an audience that finds it interesting. 3 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy advocates for applying emotional intelligence in the workplace. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Steve Ragan explains phishing kits—the exploit code delivered in a successful phishing Email attack. Video, 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Daniel Oberhaus reports on new research that links sleep deprivation to high-speed internet access. Yes, I’m writing this after 10:00 PM. 3 minutes to read.
  • Noa Kageyama recaps recent research into the effect that stress has on our ability to recall. The twist: the way you learn something matters. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Nancy Settle-Murphy explains how you can “win friends and influence people” when you work remotely. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leah Fessler notes the value that “cultural brokers” bring to their culturally diverse teams. 3 minutes to read.
  • Anna Quito shares statistics, history, and fun facts to know and shout about our closest companion: the office chair. Charles Darwin—seriously? 6 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 30 – August 5

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 30 – August 5. And this week’s video: engineer and ethicist Braden Allenby and biomedical engineer Conor Walsh consider how a coming wave of automation, robotics, and biomedical enhancements could fundamentally alter the trajectory of our species. Cool animations and lots of ethical issues in only 3 minutes. 

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell says it’s time to be skeptical about The Lean Startup. There are many paths to innovation; “No strategy fits every problem.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas has some suggestions for the strategic selection of an outsourcing partner. There’s more involved than just delegation. 3 minutes to read.
  • Ruturaj Kohok points out useful applications for augmented reality in five industries. I’ll bet you can think of at least two more after reading this. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Dale Howard explains why those question marks appear in the Duration column when you add a new task to Microsoft Project. 4 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall notes ten common failure modes for managing risk responses. 3 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman shares some content describing the NASA approach to risk management, together with some principles on uncertainty, risks, and estimates. 2 minutes to read.
  • Darren Chait coaches us on the bane of the project manager’s existence: meeting notes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely describes a life cycle for consensus decision making, from down-selecting alternatives to testing consensus—excellent techniques! 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agnostic agile to #NoCeremonies and #NoProjects to team building. 7 outbound links, 4 minutes to read.
  • Andre Helderman points out the need for unbiased algorithms and thus transparency in their design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman explores the relationship between how well we understand the customer’s problem and the roadmap to deliver it. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andrey Salomatin goes into the details of prototyping with code: why, how, and what to expect when iterating on a product idea. 11 minutes to read.
  • Emma Lilliestam tells us why penetration testing should include exploit development—in other words, getting into the system. 2 minutes to read.
  • Carol Brands recounts her introduction to SAML (security assertion markup language) and how she realized what it meant for code maintenance as user roles proliferate. 4 minutes to read.
  • Noah Weiss clarifies some potential misconceptions about the product manager role. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from pursuing OKR’s to the benefits of weekly reporting to the likelihood of failure. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Koehn describes Abraham Lincoln’s approach to leadership using key events in his presidency. 6 minutes to read.
  • Marcia Reynolds explains the power of helping people to re-frame who they think they are in moments of doubt or fear. 4 minutes to read.
  • Robert Noggle explains how to tell the difference between persuasion and manipulation. 6 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Shelly Fan recaps research into multi-tasking with a mind-controlled robotic limb. Yes, this really is a thing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ephrat Livni summarizes findings from research into how the brain manages learning: it seems that uncertainty enhances the process. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Fishbein explains how to master any skill. You just need to learn how to learn. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Brian de Haaf explains why remote workers are out-performing office workers. 2 minutes to read.
  • Eric Torrence describes the rare skill of disarming a tense situation. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus shares some ideas about changing the way you look at the people who annoy you. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!                   

New PM Articles for the Week of July 23 – 29

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 23 – 29. And this week’s video: Peter Dinklage delivers the commencement address at his alma mater, Bennington College, talking about how he empowered himself to quit cubicle life and become an actor at the age of 29. 8 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Gavin Martin sees the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) as the “potential baseline” for data privacy in the US and shares his checklist for corporate action. 4 minutes to read.
  • David Sanger reports that state-sponsored Russian hackers seem more interested in planting malware in the US electrical grid than in influencing the mid-term election. 6 minutes to read.
  • Michael Isikoff interviews former White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, who warns that no one is “minding the store” on cyber threat policies and strategies. 4 minutes to read plus a podcast; the first 36 minutes has the interview.

Managing Projects

  • Greg Satell offers some guidance on how to make your AI project successful. Despite what the name implies, it’s all about human 4 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture shares a recent observation by Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat, on what the universally accessible platform means to project managers. 2 minutes to read.
  • Robert Wysocki concludes his articles on the scope triangle with a description of the scope bank, a repository of all current requirements and change requests. 7 minutes to read.
  • Andrew Conrad tutors us on how to build a solid project communication plan. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale reminds of us the value of meeting face-to-face, even when we aren’t co-located. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills reflects on the additional considerations required when planning off-site meetings. A minute to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin does a comparison review of three meeting minutes transcription software alternatives. Probably invaluable for some projects. 13 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from (the right) estimates to a book on product design to product management for infrastructure teams. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to read.
  • Joshua Kerievsky proposes an alternative to the product owner role: Chartering, an iterative-team level way of setting priorities and agreeing on processes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Jeff Langr expounds on the way that test-driven development (TDD) quickly becomes a personal imperative; he even uses the term test-infected. 7 minutes to read.
  • Nishi Grover Garg makes the case for including exploratory testing to the mix of QA techniques. 4 minutes to read.
  • Adam Wignall answers a few rhetorical questions on how to maintain both speed and quality in continuous delivery, naming tools and processes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Brody note the four critical features that need to be a part of your next reporting dashboard. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from human intelligence to team-level OKR’s to the difference between being busy and being productive. 4 minutes to read.
  • Jim Taggert extracts a list of ten high-value skills and behaviors from Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time of Turbulence by Peter Schwartz. 4 minutes to read.
  • Sarah Kessler explains how to cope with a team member’s parental leave. As people tell the new parents, “It goes by fast.” 5 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Patricio O’Gorman analyzes the Fortnite “hook” that seems to have addicted over 125 million people. 5 minutes to read.
  • Yana Yelina reports on the growth of virtual reality solutions to health care challenges, from medical education to patient experience to clinical research. 4 minutes to read.
  • Keith Foote briefly recaps the history of assaults on digital data and the rise of data security. 6 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Suzanne Lucas shares her Evil HR Lady perspective on dealing with the cultural barriers challenging global expansion (with excellent examples). 3 minutes to read.
  • The folks at The Hive published a summary of everything you need to know about the PMP certification. 10 minutes to read.
  • Simone Stolzoff reveals the results of a survey of 6,000 tech workers: over 60% feel they’re not paid enough. 2 minutes to read if you study the bar charts.

Enjoy!