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!

New Post at AITS: Decision-Making Under the Influence

My latest article for AITS was published today: Decision-Making Under the Influence: SME, HiPPO, and BOGSAT.

Good decisions require accurate, timely, actionable information and good decision-makers try to gather a variety of viewpoints. The influence of the subject matter expert is usually all three, while the highest-paid person’s opinion may be an undue influence, and peer opinions may be counter-productive. That’s not to say that you should dismiss them out of hand – far from it. You simply need to have a realistic expectation of what value they add. If you have comments on this topic, please leave a comment at AITS. If you have suggestions for future topics, please leave a comment here.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of February 20 – 26

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 20 – 26. And this week’s video: Jason Fried lays out his theory of why the office isn’t a good place to get work done, and some suggestions that address the cause of that conundrum.

Must read!

  • Bryan Menegus reports on the latest massive leak of passwords and personally identifiable information. Change all of your passwords and then read the details.
  • Mark Rice and Timothy Korson explain how to apply Malcolm Gladwell’s “thin slice” expert opinion approach and Planning Poker to estimate timeline and budget.
  • Michael Lopp tells how to win the “Successfully deliver hard news” merit badge.

Established Methods

  • Johanna Rothman suggests several scenarios that let you report defects based on the risks that arise from them.
  • Matthew Heminger illustrates the consulting power of Why with a story about a hole in the ground.
  • Rob England explains that #NoProjects doesn’t mean there won’t be any projects, just that it won’t be the primary mode of operation in IT.
  • Harry Hall links quality of requirements to quality of the outcome with a simple anecdote.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy provides a short textbook and video on creating a robust work breakdown structure. Even the full online course is free.
  • Mike Clayton tutors us on the project business case. Even if you’re not using Prince2, this is a great explanation of an important business practice.
  • Eamonn McGuinness just published the second edition of The Collaborative Project Management Handbook.
  • Karthik Subburaman lists eight excellent books on project management and related skills.
  • The nice folks at Smartsheet posted The Complete Glossary of Project Management Terminology.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly links to Agile content, including the brilliant jerks who make Agility impossible, slicing user stories, prototyping, and more.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Tom Cagley on the role and impact that certifications have had on the Agile movement.
  • Paul Culmsee reports from Creative Melbourne, where he was one of the inaugural speakers. Sounds like an interesting group of smart people being fascinating.
  • Max Ogle interviews Irene Au, design partner at Khosla Ventures and former head of design at Google and Yahoo, on the need to base designs on what people actually do.

Applied Leadership

  • Magi Graziano defines three tenets of leadership IQ: self-awareness, executive brain function, and response agility.
  • Seth Godin explains why we do what’s urgent, rather than what’s important.
  • The Clever PM contemplates the human factors that make people resist behavioral change.
  • Leigh Espy interviews Kane Hadley, who says that his foundational experience in project management came from playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Technology and Techniques

  • Kailash Awati tutors us on the basics of machine learning. Yes, there’s more to it than regression analysis.
  • Conner Forrest summarizes a recent report on the technical hurdles facing artificial intelligence based on machine learning.
  • Paramita Ghosh reports on one of Hitachi’s machine learning initiatives: the Robot Boss. Hitachi claims an 8% productivity increase in enterprise IT functions. No word on how much of that was attributable to fewer meetings.
  • Hussain Bandukwala begins a short series for the first-time PMO leader on setting up the PMO.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews a new on-line training course created by Philip R. Diab, a former Chair of PMI, called RapidStart PMO.

Enjoy!