New PM Articles for the Week of November 20 – 26

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 20 – 26. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton answers the question: what is a RAG (or traffic light) report? 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Steve Lohr reports on the increasing attraction of the American Midwest to tech investors who have become fearful of the “craziness” in Silicon Valley. 5 minutes to read.
  • Klint Finley explains how the end of net neutrality will change the internet—for those of us in the US, at any rate. 5 minutes to read.
  • Eric Martin lists fourteen technology-enabled trends, including some social trends, that might deliver a better future for everyone. 12 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy has compiled 26 arguments illustrating the benefits of project management. 7 minutes to read.
  • Jigs Gaton applies lessons learned from the highly successful Virginia-class nuclear submarine design project to managing mundane civilian projects. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner and Simona Fallavolitta, product manager for the PMP credential, discuss the changes coming to the PMP exam on March 26, 2018. Podcast, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kiron Bondale extracts project management lessons from a few fables we heard as children.3 minutes to read.
  • Aimee Baxter provides practical advice on driving change adoption, based on stakeholder engagement, listening, and then communicating. 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Stephanie Ray tutors us on the project communications plan. 7 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from the group decision process to nimbly doing the wrong things to product management by committee (utterly doomed). 8 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • James Mensch describes the perfect daily stand-up (or Scrum, if you prefer). 2 minutes to read.
  • Holger Paffrath notes the relationship between Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team and the values espoused by the Scrum Guide. 2 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley has a few holiday shopping suggestions for the readers of Agile books on your list. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Mike Cohn shares five lessons he’s grateful to have learned during his career. 10 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp describes the necessary content required for the creation of two career paths—one for individual contributors and one for managers. 7 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland recommends some ways to apply modern leadership methods in the virtual world. Podcast, 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Pawel Brodzinski explains why he got involved in a trivial discussion—because it would change the organizational culture, ever so slightly, but irrevocably. 3 minutes to read.
  • Den Howlett reports that one of the primary reasons for Workday’s 98% customer satisfaction score is the absolute control they exercise over their implementation partners, thus keeping the playing field level. 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Susan Dynarski makes the case for banning electronics during a lecture or meeting. 5 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Mindjet MindManager 2018, a mind mapping and visual management tool. 6 minutes to read.
  • Chris Hoffman compares the new Firefox Quantum browser to Chrome. It’s apparently not merely faster, but better in other ways. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brendan Toner provides a detailed view of Scrivener, for iOS, a multi-platform author’s tool for serious long-form writing. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Coert Visser briefly explains Carol Dweck’s new theory on the foundations of personality, including her micro-theory contained in a taxonomy of needs. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez discuss mindfulness and various myths about how the brain works. Podcast, 51 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy tells us how gratitude, expressed consciously, can help us feel happy, healthy, and successful. 4 minutes to read.


New PM Articles for the Week of November 13 – 19

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 13 – 19. And this week’s video: David Dunning (of the Dunning-Kruger Effect) explains why incompetent people think they’re amazing. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Listen)!

  • Bethany Marz Crystal says that the way to battle sexism and harassment is by improving the social feedback loop—call out the behaviors when they happen. 4 minutes to read.
  • Todd Williams interprets recent statistics that paint a dismal picture of corporate failure to execute on strategy and goals. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ryan Ogilvie notes that simply asking for feedback at service completion doesn’t help if you haven’t got a strategy to manage and act on that feedback. 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin explains how to use graphics, pictures, graphs, and charts to communicate project information. 5 minutes to read, with a link to her white paper on the subject.
  • Erik van Hurk explains why we should set the Status Date and automatically update the project schedule when US MS Project. 5 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall tutors us on planning for project risk management. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale suggests that we listen for the Cassandras, those subject matter experts who warn of impending risks and issues, even if they seem unlikely. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nilanjan Kar makes the case for integrating information security management into the PMBOK Guide. 12 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman clarifies why independent cost estimating is valid, even when performed by someone who won’t be party to execution. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nick Pisano points out the difference between earned value management and cash flow analysis in project management. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Agile

    Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly Agile roundup, from a Jeff Patton lecture to the problem with Scrum to brilliant jerks and the immorality of addicting users. 8 outbound links, 2 minutes to browse.

  • Dave Prior interviews Jurgen Appelo on his new crowd-funded app/platform project: Agility Scales. Video, 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jerry Doucett shares a litmus test for getting your organization on track to being Agile (as opposed to doing Agile). 7 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke describes the zone of acceptance—the collection of tasks that each team member believes is a part of their job—and how to extend it in a self-organizing team. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tamás Török notes the importance of knowledge transfer in a software development team and describes four complementary techniques for sharing the learnings. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley interviews Johanna Rothman on creating a successful Agile project. 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explains why it’s important to have a consistent sprint duration. 3 minutes to read.
  • Poornima Vijayashanker and Leslie Yang discuss product debt and why you should pay it down with every release. Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez talk about getting to self-leadership. Podcast, 28 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Clayton gets into the details of how to manage the transition when a team member leaves your project. 9 minutes to read.
  • Alyse Kalish gets advice from Katia Beauchamp, CEO of Birchbox, on how to make the best use of advice—as opposed to getting someone to make the decision for you. 3 minutes to read.
  • Chris Rainey interviews Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, who says,” We don’t have a talent shortage, we have a training shortage.” Video, 32 minutes, safe for work.

Working and the Workplace

  • Brad Feld asks the question: Do you reduce stress for others or increase it? 2 minutes to read.
  • Scott Berkun explains the pay to stress ratio: “You can always earn more money, but you cannot earn more time.” 3 minutes to read.
  • Shayna Hodkin posts her occasional advice column, answering “how do I ask for a raise” and “how do I handle hating my job?” 6 minutes to read.


Commonly Observed National and Religious Holidays 2018

As I remind everyone each year: if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to update your project schedules with non-working days for 2018. Below is a list of commonly observed national and religious holidays, and the dates they are commonly observed. Naturally, you’ll need to confirm which holidays apply to your project team.

And here are instructions for updating the working calendar in MS Project.

Holiday Weekday Celebrated
New Year’s Day Monday 1/1/2018
Martin Luther King’s Birthday (US) Monday 1/15/2018
Republic Day (India) Friday 1/26/2018
Ash Wednesday Wednesday 2/14/2018
Chinese / Vietnamese New Year Friday 2/16/2018
President’s Day (US) Monday 2/19/2018
Holi (India) Friday 3/2/2018
Good Friday Friday 3/30/2018
Beginning of Passover Saturday 3/31/2018
Easter Monday (UK) Monday 4/2/2018
May Day (China: Labor Day) Tuesday 5/1/2018
Early May Bank Holiday (UK) Monday 5/7/2018
First day of Ramadan Wednesday 5/16/2018
Shauvot Sunday 5/20/2018
Victoria Day (Canada) Monday 5/21/2018
Spring Bank Holiday (UK) Monday 5/28/2018
Memorial Day (US) Monday 5/28/2018
Eid al-Fitr Friday 6/15/2018
Canada Day Sunday 7/1/2018
Independence Day (US) Wednesday 7/4/2018
Pioneer Day (Utah, US) Tuesday 7/24/2018
Independence Day (India) Wednesday 8/15/2018
Eid al-Adha / Festival of Sacrifice Wednesday 8/22/2018
Summer Bank Holiday (UK) Monday 8/27/2018
Labor Day (US and Canada) Monday 9/3/2018
Rosh Hashanah Monday 9/10/2018
Yom Kippur Wednesday 9/19/2018
Sukkot Monday 9/24/2018
National Day (China) Monday 10/1/2018
Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (India) Tuesday 10/2/2018
Columbus Day / Indigenous People’s Day (US) Monday 10/8/2018
Thanksgiving (Canada) Monday 10/8/2018
Dussehra (India) Friday 10/19/2018
Veteran’s Day (US) / Remembrance Day (Canada) Sunday 11/11/2018
Diwali (India) Saturday 11/17/2018
Thanksgiving Day (US) Thursday 11/22/2018
Day after Thanksgiving (US) Friday 11/23/2018
First day of Chanukah Monday 12/3/2018
Christmas Eve Monday 12/24/2018
Christmas Day Tuesday 12/25/2018
Boxing Day (UK, Canada) Wednesday 12/26/2018
Kwanzaa Wednesday 12/26/2018
New Year’s Eve Monday 12/31/2018