New PM Articles for the Week of October 29 – November 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 29 – November 4. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains Edward De Bono’s wonderful analytical toolset, the Six Thinking Hats. 6 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Michael Spencer analyzes the business case for IBM’s acquisition of Red Hat. The big challenge will be retaining all of that software engineering talent. 4 minutes to read.
  • Jonathan Tirone reports on the growing number of private firms working to develop a commercially viable nuclear fusion reactor. 5 minutes to read.
  • Michael Coren recaps a Peter Thiel interview where he expresses doubt that Silicon Valley will continue to lead in innovation. They’ve jumped the shark? 2 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • PMI Talent TriangleMike Griffiths tells how to pursue the combination of technical skills, people skills, and industry-specific knowledge that makes up the Talent Triangle. 6 minutes to read.
  • The Clever PM leads us to discover our core competency. 4 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin explains how to use the project manager’s “pocket database,” also known as a RAID log. 5 minutes to read.
  • Sylvie Edwards recommends we think beyond Expected Monetary Value when calculating risk reserves. 3 minutes to read.
  • Lindsay Curtis tutors us on the critical path method, from basic concept to common practices. 5 minutes to read.
  • Deb Schaffer shares some good practices for effective project status meetings. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the agile industrial complex to identifying the problem to be solved to whether holacracy is a solution or a cult. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony contemplates Smoke Testing—why you need it and what tests to put in the script. 4 minutes to read.
  • Bas Dijkstrav recommends a simple criterion for determining whether to add a test to an automation suite. 4 minutes to read.
  • Justin Rohrman focuses on the “conversational” aspects of behavior-driven development (BDD). 6 minutes to read.
  • Ben Kelly notes that “test” is an overloaded verb, so we may need to be more precise when discussing research and experimentation. 4 minutes to read.
  • Lance Ng predicts that most mobile apps will fade away, based on his assessment of the economics. 6 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from measuring what matters to why soft skills matter to the general formula for success. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley recaps common attributes of a toxic work environment, as described in John Carreyrou’s book on failed Silicon Valley start-up Theranos. 3 minutes to read.
  • Rick Lynch lists four ways to pressure test strategic decisions, as inspired by the military. Think of it as mining for risks. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Maryam Kouchaki updates us on her research into when we are more likely to behave ethically. It turns out that gender differences are significant. 4 minutes to read.
  • Michael Grothaus reports on his experiments using a form of self-hypnosis to fall asleep, using a technique developed by the US Army in the 1980’s. 4 minutes to read.
  • Echo Huang recaps the results of surveys conducted, by nation, on whom a self-driving car should save in the event of an impending accident. Once again, culture matters.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland interviews agile coach Molood Nouri Alavijeh, on building trust and effectiveness in remote agile teams. Podcast, 34 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Morgan notes that we are all now “unwitting participants in a massive unregulated social experiment.” Namely, virtual communication and collaboration. 4 minutes to read.
  • Jade Emmons explains her company’s vision of how to create a good company culture with remote workers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas offers her HR-expert view of the demands expressed by the leaders of the Google sexual harassment walkout. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of October 22 – 28

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 22 – 28. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains a common term encountered in implementation projects: the business blueprint. Less than 4 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell contrasts innovation practices at IBM, Google, and Amazon—three very different firms with very different cultures. There is more than one way to sustained success. 5 minutes to read.
  • Hannah Fry notes the ethical questions of developing applications for cutting-edge technology that might be used for evil purposes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dave Gershgorn reminds us that companies are responsible for the algorithms that they use. Especially if they display bias. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin notes that the Iron Triangle—Time, Cost, and Quality—are no longer the most significant drivers of whether a project will be perceived as successful. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dale Howard helps us diagnose a common problem with MS Project: “I can’t see all of the tasks in my project.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy tells us when and how to use an Ishikawa or fishbone diagram for root-cause analysis. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mark Bails reviews an example of risk mitigation strategy, as practiced at Symcor. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale notes some lessons about project management that we can pick up while shooting pool. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman ilustrates a few of the problems encountered when trying to apply agile software development principles to program management practices. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Agile collaboration to useful metrics to escaping the feature factory mindset. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Craig Smith interview Michael Feathers on working effectively with legacy code. Podcast, 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Erik Dietrich explains how to determine the level of effort required for “enough” testing for quality assurance, based on your backlog of user stories. 6 minutes to read.
  • Emily Esposito recaps five trends in UX design, from voice-first to emotional design. I can’t keep up! 5 minutes to read.
  • Greg Paciga defends his claim that you can demo things that aren’t done, aren’t working, or even not yet started. 6 minutes to read.
  • James Gallagher gives us some pointers for preparing a code review checklist. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from ignoring your customers to startup hires to structuring your OKR’s. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas explains how to empower your employees to make better business decisions. 4 minutes to read.
  • Khalil Smith and colleagues explain how to gracefully exclude colleagues from meetings, Emails, and other marginal uses of their time. 5 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Neema Singh Guliani and Jay Stanley preview the coming battles over US legislation governing data privacy in the wake of California’s groundbreaking new law. 5 minutes to read.
  • Josephine Wolff explains why it’s so hard to punish companies following a data breach, and thus why it will be difficult to craft legislation to regulate it. 5 minutes to read.
  • Andrew Burt notes the potential downside of privacy legislation, arising from another law—the law of unintended consequences. 4 minutes to read.
  • YK Sugi gives us a tutorial on quantum computers. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland explains how to interview candidates who will be working remotely. Podcast, 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Simone Stoloff notes that, in the future, companies won’t just hire remote employees—they’ll hire remote teams. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture reminds us that a seemingly silly question might just be a poorly phrased request for important information. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of October 15 – 21

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 15 – 21. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler shares five tips on how to survive office politics. 5 minutes, safe for work (even in highly political environments).

We lost the brilliant Paul Allen this week. Bill Gates eulogized him online, which is probably only possible because these two men grew up together. Peace be with you.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Akshat Rathi observes that the EU is ramping up spending on R&D and manufacturing of batteries to compete with China on electric automobiles. 3 minutes to read.
  • Christian Crisostomo relates the current buzz on 5G communications technology, from business case to limitations to how millimeter wave might affect our bodies. 4 minutes to read.
  • Priya Panwar addresses nine misconceptions related to implementing cyber-security at the organizational level.

Managing Projects

  • Kiron Bondale captures the essential points from Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less. 2 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland makes the business case for remote project management and virtual teams. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton lists the project management thought leaders to follow on Twitter. 9 minutes to read.
  • Susanne Madsen considers some of the ways we can actually learn from the post-implementation project review. 3 minutes to read.
  • Bola Adesope explains when and how to close a project, per both PMI and AXELOS. 6 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman lists some favorite quotes from Norm Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Martin Marietta and one-time Secretary of the Army. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from mental habits of servant leaders to barriers to organizational change to agile scaling. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Oleksii Dzhulai recaps what has changed in the ten years since DevOps became a thing. 3 minutes to read.
  • The Clever PM appropriates an old Henry Ford comment, asking, “Are you just building faster horses?” Not that that’s always a bad thing … 4 minutes to read.
  • Marc Guévin provides an overview of Scrumban—a combination of Kanban and Scrum—and explains the best cases for using it. 4 minutes to read.
  • Rob Giddings explains why story points are a measure of complexity, rather than effort. 6 minutes to read.
  • Liz Pratusevich presents insights on scaling design teams from leaders at AT&T and Home Depot. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from an OKR case study to scaling empowerment to management by walking around. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy tells us how to make friends when working in a project management role. 6 minutes to read.
  • Nick Nuss coaches us on the fine art of managing up—keeping your manager effective, supportive, and focused on what matters to your team. 6 minutes to read.
  • Bill Taylor addresses the rhetorical question: If humility is so important, why are so many famous leaders so arrogant? 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Rachel Metz explores the history of the ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard and the eternal (and sometimes Quixotic) search for a viable alternative. 9 minutes to read.
  • Cade Metz recaps Jeff Hawkins’ progress in understanding how the brain works. His thesis is that the best artificial intelligence will “emulate the important parts.” 7 minutes to read.
  • Edd Gent reports on Deep Mind’s approach to ensuring their AI research results in applications that are “safe,” in the context of avoiding unintended consequences. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Maxine Builder surveyed productivity experts to get a list of the ten best books on the subject. 8 minutes to read.
  • Michael Doherty gives us a few insights into sources of stress and how to manage our (usually self-induced) stress load. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kabir Chibber lists the ten countries where expatriates make the most money. Just a minute to read.

Enjoy!