New PM Articles for the Week of March 9 – 15

Red BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 9 – 15. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Suzanne Lucas interprets recent research by a developmental psychologist, which identified seven critical skills that are necessary for you to become a successful boss.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the four primary styles used in giving feedback, as detailed in Anna Carroll’s book, “The Feedback Imperative.”
  • Elizabeth Booker gives us a tutorial on procurement administrative lead time. Ever had a project start delayed because a lawyer was reviewing terms and conditions? Yup, that stuff.

PM Best Practices

  • Stephen Brobst says the interesting thing about Big Data isn’t Bigness, but the way structure and demand continuously evolves.
  • Glen Alleman observes that using a Fibonacci series for estimating adds no more certainty to the process than you’d get from using a geometric series.
  • Paul Ritchie explains what is required for an R&D-centered organization to get the most value from their PMO.
  • Ronald Bisaccia reviews the evidence: why women tend to be better at assessing and managing risks than men. Ummm … testosterone rots the brain?
  • Nick Pisano reports on efforts to standardize representations of historical data from past projects, in support of management reporting and better estimates.
  • David Cotgreave points out that some of the project manage predictions for 2015 have already materialized.
  • Toby Elwin finds project management lessons in the work of Led Zeppelin. “There’s a sponsor who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s thinks she’s bought a stairway to Heaven.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie presents an example of how to apply problem management principles to IT service delivery.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jonathan Herbert, who inspired him to create his podcast, on lessons learned in preparing for the PMP exam. Just 51 minutes, safe for work.

 Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn notes that we need to account for three types of time when planning a Sprint.
  • John Goodpasture gives us a quick excerpt from the upcoming 2nd edition of his classic, “Project Management the Agile Way.”
  • William Nocolich says that indecision is responsible for much of the high failure rate of software development projects.
  • Andrew Lin pulls together some rules of thumb, rubrics, and generalized principles that pertain to Agile and Scrum.
  • Derek Huether takes a personality assessment, and his wife confirms the diagnosis. We’re not as unique as our fingerprints would lead us to believe …

 Soft Skills

  • Bruce Harpham gives us a history lesson on George Washington – who knew he was a life-hacker?
  • Kevin Coleman articulates the long-term effects of the loss of intellectual capital and experience, as the Boomers retire.
  • Hendrie Weisinger recommends creating attainable goals and celebrating small wins – call them micro-successes.
  • Mario Trentim looks at conducting a stakeholder analysis from the perspective of the stakeholder.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts a PM student’s tale of failing to identify a key stakeholder, and the $200 million fine that eventually resulted.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 2 – 8

Chapel in the SkyNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 2 – 8. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. This week’s flyover balloon has a sign proclaiming it to be “The Little White Chapel in the Sky.” Schedule an Elvis impersonator to officiate your hot air balloon wedding – only in Las Vegas!

Must read!

  • Hendrie Weisinger begins a new series based on his book, “Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most.”
  • Coert Visser reports on some recent research into mind-wandering. You know: like what happens during a tedious meeting? It might actually be a good thing, at times.
  • Rachel Bertsche introduces us to four folks in their late twenties who share their stories of how they worked their way into project management opportunities. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably in a position to help someone, like you were helped. Pay it forward!

PM Best Practices

  • Pawel Brodzinski looks at alternative ways to approach multiple projects in a portfolio.
  • Glen Alleman defines governance, at the business, IT department, and program level, and tells us why it’s necessary.
  • Michael Ipsaro gives us a tutorial on milestone decisions.
  • John Goodpasture gets us to the most applicable stuff in probability and Statistics, for project managers.
  • Gina Abudi presents a case study in resolving conflict with four long-term vendors. This is the first in what appears to be a series of three.
  • Ron Rosenhead shares the Rosenhead Manifesto, on preventing scope creep.
  • Allen Ruddock explains why lessons learned often don’t get implemented.
  • Nick Pisano notes four trends in project management that keep coming up in conferences, as well as in practice.

Agile Methods

  • Peter Saddington recommends that, in order to use Jira successfully, don’t try to use it for everything.
  • Michael Prom explains how Agile methods can be used to develop medical devices, and other products with extensive compliance requirements.
  • Henny Portman reviews Jeff Sutherland’s new book, “Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.” As Henny notes, it’s more about “why” than “how.” Doesn’t the title do that?
  • Johanna Rothman contemplates people management, performance management, and compensation management, using servant leadership concepts.

Soft Skills

  • Scott Berkun interviews Phil Simon on his new book, “Message Not Received: Why Business Communication is Broken and How to Fix it.”
  • Susanne Madsen notes that effective leaders are into conversations – especially the tough conversations.
  • Lynda Bourne refers to a recent survey that indicates the soft skills are valued above academic achievement. And they’re perceived to be in short supply.
  • Bruce Harpham lists seven behaviors for making meetings effective.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Dev Ramcharan on taking control of your career. Just over an hour, safe for work, and well worth your time.
  • Ruffin Veal recalls his transition from programmer to business analyst to project manager, as a teachable moment.
  • Pam Stanton reminds us that everything we need to know about working on projects, we learned in Kindergarten.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Susanne Madsen’s new book, The Power of Project Leadership.”
  • Harry Hall identifies the mistakes we make in managing our assumptions.
  • Soma Bhattacharya shares her approach to balancing work, blogging, and motherhood. It’s all about staying organized.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 23 – March 1

Panning for GoldNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 23 – March 1. We pan for the gold, every week! Recommended:

Must read!

  • ProjectsAtWork summarizes the findings of a new research report on Agile project management software. Key finding: nearly half of the PMs are managing projects not related to software development.
  • Skip Weisman thinks we might be having the “wrong” conversation with the “right” person.
  • Dorie Clark says that Email may be ruining your life, primarily because we’re using it for things it was never intended to do.

PM Best Practices

  • Kailash Awati reviews the shortcomings of traditional decision theory when managing in the absence of reliable information.
  • Patti Gilchrist explains why Six Sigma complements innovation, rather than stifling it.
  • John Goodpasture makes the case for project managers to develop business skills, especially literacy in financial accounting.
  • Irfan Shariff describes the Quality Function Deployment Matrix.
  • Harry Hall details the process of cranking out a compressed project schedule.
  • Nick Pisano outlines his approach for the professional development of new project managers.
  • Mike Gruia details an approach for building a strategic PMO that will establish “a sustainable competitive advantage.”
  • Mark Phillipy interviews Cornelius Fichtner and Kevin Reilly on the wide range of PMI related certifications – it’s not just the PMP! Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni explains how to get remote workers set up for success. Just over three minutes, safe for work.

 Agile Methods

  • Larry O’Brien summarizes five essential rules of software project management. Yes, there are excellent concepts that pre-date the Agile Manifesto.
  • Mike Griffiths explains the ideas behind his proposed presentation at Agile 2015: Eat risks for breakfast, poop awesomeness all day! Risks = fiber? Who knew?
  • Mike Cohn tries to explain the difference between a user story and a task, and triggers a comment storm!
  • Renee, Craig, and Tony let us listen in on their banter and reviews of some of their tools. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.

 Soft Skills

  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, explain why the fives “whats” are more effective than the five “whys.”
  • Pawel Brodzinski delivers a bunch of sketches that illustrate Virginia Satir’s Change Model and Stuart Kauffman’s Fitness Landscape. Long post, but worth reading.
  • Bruce Harpham looks at two basic models of motivation: Frederick Herzberg’s classic hygiene factors and motivators, and Dan Pink’s Drive model.
  • Nada Aldahleh summarizes recent research on the effects of sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep.
  • Liam Barrett champions the value of emotional intelligence to leaders.
  • Michael Lopp describes the emotional J-curve of starting a new gig. He doesn’t call it that, but that’s what he’s describing. I do it 2 – 3 times a year, and he’s spot on.

Meeting Mastery

  • Robert Kelly gets us back to the basics of organizing a meeting.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a video that shows what a conference call would look like if everyone was in the room. Painful, but true to life.
  • Kerry Wills offers a few reasons why meeting in person isn’t all that much of an improvement over the conference call.
  • Éamonn McGuinness lists some best practices for making meetings effective, including the “energy test.”

Enjoy!