New PM Articles for the Week of September 16 – 22

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 16 – 22. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton advises us on how to succeed in our next project management job interview. 16 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Walter Frick reports on efforts to quantify the cost of Brexit uncertainty: executives are spending a lot of time preparing, but no one knows what they are preparing for. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell notes that the Revolution is over and Digital won. Now, here’s what we need to do in order to be a part of the next revolution. 5 minutes to read.
  • Senior members of the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management discuss shareholder value and the role of the corporation, going forward. 10 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Carole Osterweil, author of Project Delivery, Uncertainty and Neuroscience: A Leader’s Guide to Walking in Fog. Video, 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Mironov shares tips for pulling data science into product development processes. Useful for both product managers and project managers. 7 minutes to read.
  • Alison Coleman highlights seven trends that continue to shape the way project management is evolving. 4 minutes to read.
  • Michael Wagner outlines the risks associated with modern technologies and proposes new ethical perspectives on the delivery of projects and outcomes. 9 minutes to read.
  • Pat Weaver posts a new paper and a presentation on technical debt, examining the London Crossrail project. 9 minutes or so to read both.
  • Ben Aston explains the alternatives available for Mac users who are also MS Project users. 9 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Balloon Over The RoofStefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of agile content, from customer journey teams to understanding user research to product-market fit. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman begins a series that expands on the idea of a minimum viable product with other minimum outcomes. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nicola Owen maps the ways in which psychological safety adds value in three Scrum ceremonies. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ignaco Piantanida tutors us on software architecture, with examples. 8 minutes to read.
  • Manjunath Poola makes the case for applying microservices to the front end of an application. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman links to an ISO standard and five methods for software development estimation using function points. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Leigh Espy explains Bikeshedding, an example of Parkinson’s Law of Triviality, and how to avoid letting the trivial-but-familiar take up all available meeting time. 5 minutes to read.
  • Michelle Cheng recaps the findings of 200 scientific studies on how to have effective meetings. 2 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas shares ten behaviors that establish you as a leader. 3 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Magda Ferretti on sharing leadership in virtual teams. Video, 38 minutes, safe for work.

Cybersecurity and Data Protection

  • Terry Sweeney advocates for privacy impact assessments (PIA) in order to help spot risks early in the product development cycle. 3 minutes to read.
  • Jesse Almeda warns that data breach costs will get worse before they get better. 4 minutes to read.
  • CV Madhukar looks at how privacy tech is re-defining the data economy. 4 minutes to read.

Pot Pourri

  • Michael Gorman suggests ten training exercises for your brain. I gave up Sudoku for Spider Solitaire a few years ago—try playing with four suits at once. 4 minutes to read.
  • Stav Ziv explains the combination resume—part reverse chronological, part functional—from who should use one to structure to an actual example. 10 minutes to read.
  • Martin Giles reports that Google has demonstrated a quantum computer with a calculation that took 3 minutes, 20 seconds. The most powerful supercomputer, Summit, would have taken 10,000 years to complete the same chore. 3 minutes to read, unless you’re a quantum computer.

Enjoy!

Lincoln Didn’t Need Four Hours to Sharpen an Ax

I’m getting really tired of seeing this quote attributed to President Abraham Lincoln:

If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the ax.

Young Abe Lincoln was hired out to other farms by his father. He became handy with an ax, splitting logs into rails for fences. I’m pretty sure that he never spent more than a few minutes sharpening his ax, because that’s all it takes for me to sharpen any of my axes. If the bit has a chip in it, you use a mill bastard file (when talking about files, bastard means medium-rough) to smooth the edge; otherwise, a simple whetstone is sufficient. I use a round stone called a puck that I can grip with one hand while I hold the ax head in the other hand. It took me less than five minutes to return an old, battered Estwing hatchet to service after my wife found it at a yard sale, and we still use it when camping at the beach.

So why am I ranting about axes? I’m not—I’m ranting about attribution.

A good idea stands on its own. If there is a well-known expert who has weighed in with a pithy quote that applies to the subject, then inserting it into an expository article is perfectly reasonable; I do it all the time. But first, I research the quote to confirm that it is accurate and was actually said by the person I’m going to attribute it to. To do less not only risks my credibility, it shows disrespect to the reader and calls the otherwise good idea into question.

It is indisputable that preparation is key to efficiency. No one will argue otherwise. Yet, someone—several someones, in fact—introduced their article on that indisputable maxim with that faux quote which Lincoln never said. I can say definitively that he never said it, because The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln is available on line, and nothing like that line comes up in various searches. Moreover, I suspect that Lincoln would find the assertion ludicrous if he heard it.

So when another article popped up in my Feedly list today and I saw that silly quote about sharpening Lincoln’s ax, I closed my browser and I composed this rant. Maybe I should thank him.

New PM Articles for the Week of September 9 – 15

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 9 – 15. And this week’s video: Jon Acampora tutors us on using the VLOOKUP function in Excel. Jon provides a sample file that you can download and use to follow along. One of the best Excel tutorials I’ve ever seen, for one of the most useful (and widely used) spreadsheet functions. 22 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell explains why change management so often fails. Don’t prepare for battle by crafting a sales pitch! 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton reviews Positive Psychology in Business, by Sarah Lewis. 3 minutes to read. He even includes a video with more details—6 minutes, safe for work.
  • The nice folks at Clarizen point out that Brexit will also upend UK employment law, from precedent to current cases to legislation needed to replace EU law. 3 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on California legislation that may reclassify gig workers as employees. Not just Uber—software companies need to pay attention! 3 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Kiron Bondale points out some of the underlying causes of ineffective project risk management. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin tells us how to hold a brilliant project kick-off meeting. My project’s so bright, I gotta wear shades. 10 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews PMI Head of Certification Products Sierra Hampton-Simmons on the coming changes to the PMP exam, as of July 1, 2020. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Marina Pilipenko briefly summarizes six common techniques for making project estimates. 4 minutes to read.
  • Emmie Anderson shares her infographic on Zombie PMOs, showing symptoms and effective treatments. Good information, overused metaphor. 3 minutes to read.
  • Peter Taylor celebrates the 10th anniversary of publishing The Lazy Project Manager by making the Kindle version available for free. 178 pages. And: Laura Barnard interviews Peter on business agility and the PMO. Podcast, 40 minutes, safe for work.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of agile content, from internalizing design thinking to the meaning of ‘bugs’ in an agile context to idea validation. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Cohn explains why the Fibonacci sequence works so well with Planning Poker. 4 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman responds to a reader comment on last week’s post: measuring both cycle time and velocity lets a team try to beat a goal. Can opener, meet worms! 4 minutes to read.
  • Nilanjan Bhattacharya points out some of the problems we should anticipate when integrating infrastructure as code (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) into DevOps. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alister Scott describes the evolution of his team’s Agile story wall, from a Kanban board to a timeline to something even more detailed. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Cutler shares an agenda that will guide your team toward an actionable definition of a Minimum Viable Product. No, really. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Sharlyn Lauby identifies five different roles you want on your team, and why you want each of them—even the Naysayer. 3 minutes to read.
  • Frank Sonnenberg contemplates the value of credibility and explains how to earn 3 minutes to read.
  • François Ortalo-Magné, Dean of the London Business School, recommends three self-development actions for leaders to be more effective. 3 minutes to read.

Cybersecurity and Data Protection

  • Daniel Dobrygowski reports on the growth of corporate cybersecurity alliances. 6 minutes to read.
  • Emam explains the details of the Deep Fake Detection Challenge, intended to create a realistic dataset that can be used to train AI models. 2 minutes to read.
  • Joan Goodchild updates us on the latest phishing and spear-phishing attack vectors. Email is an open window, even if you lock all the doors. 5 minutes to read.

Pot Pourri

  • Nancy Settle-Murphy examines ghosting—”the practice of ignoring or severing a business relationship by suddenly withdrawing from all communication.” 6 minutes to read.
  • Martha Jeong summarizes research into how leaders are perceived when they change their minds. 4 minutes to read.
  • Charlotte Jee reports that Amazon is now soliciting answers for questions that Alexa can’t handle from the general public. This could get ugly. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!