New PM Articles for the Week of February 1 – 7

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 1 – 7. And this week’s video is Survivorman Les Stroud and his buddy Bob with a deep woods harmonica duet.

Must read!

  • Suzanne Lucas summarizes recent research into what make us appear to be stupid. Three behaviors dominated – and you can change your behavior!
  • John Goodpasture gets us back to the numerical basics of counting, measuring, and positioning. Elegant + simple = profound.
  • Michael Wood provides a comprehensive introduction to ethics, as it applies to project management. With lots of links to excellent topical content!

Established Methods

  • Mark Langley, CEO of the Project Management Institute, advises CFO’s on how to optimize project portfolio management in their organization.
  • Glen Alleman notes that the first step in estimating work to be done is simple research: has this been done before?
  • Harry Hall describes the Nominal Group Technique for risk identification.
  • Steven Levy reminds us that optimizing our designs for use is more important than optimizing them to prevent abuse.
  • Bob Tarne presents another idea from Change by Design: experimenting.
  • Nick Pisoni attacks some lingering false assumptions related to use of hard data to assess project performance.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman contrasts the Burndown and Burnup charts, to make the point that what matter is what action the data drives you to take.
  • Richard DeFrancesco adds flow and Cycle Time charts from Lean to Burn Up charts, to help his team better visualize work completed and in progress.
  • Bernd Schiffer wants us to view retrospectives as an investment, that pays off over time.
  • Derek Huether promotes his three favorite Agile apps for the iPhone.
  • Nilesh Shah enumerates the Seven Sins of Scrum.

Applied Leadership

  • Cameron Conaway notes that silos have a function; eliminating them altogether might be counter-productive.
  • Susanne Madsen shares some advice for forming and managing geographically distributed teams.
  • Liane Davey offers some ideas for moving from argument and confrontation to collaboration.
  • Art Petty recommends we widen our field of view, especially when developing strategy.
  • The Clever PM opines that the true test of our values comes when face adversity.
  • Deb Schaffer recaps the steps to putting together a project team.

Pot Pouri

  • Danielle Kohler begins an interview series with IT recruiter extraordinaire, Gail Rolls on how to success in a job interview.
  • Elizabeth Harrin advises new folks – especially young women – what behaviors will help them be taken seriously at work.
  • Shikha Menwal observes the inverse relationship between “busy” and “productive.”
  • Mathieu Noiville points us toward five excellent project management blogs.
  • Bruce Harpham recommends 16(!) podcasts for career development, project management, and more.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 25 – 31

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 25 – 31. And this week’s video, in memory of Paul Kantner, who passed away on January 28: Wooden Ships, live in 1988.

Must read!

  • Corinne Purtill reports on a new study that indicates high-powered individuals working in a group can be less effective than a second-tier team. They spend as much energy on competition as on collaboration.
  • Esther Derby tells us how to collect and present both quantitative and qualitative data and present it for use in problem-solving meetings. This article is a keeper!
  • Ian Whittingham helps us apply attentiveness principles and an understanding of our cognitive biases in order to improve our information gathering.

Established Methods

  • Debasis Roy proposes adding task importance as a weight to measuring progress against our project plan.
  • Lynda Bourne notes that, since project risk management depends on historical data, we need to assess whether old data is still dependable.
  • Harry Hall gives us a tutorial on the process of identifying risks.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Gary McGugan on change management. Just 47 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews William Peg on the fine points of managing procurement through contracts. Just 28 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisano argues that it is time for technology decision makers to replace “tools” thinking with “data” thinking.

Agile Methods

  • Martin Abbott and Mike Fisher describe the pros and cons of an Agile Organization, using Spotify as an illustrative case.
  • Daniel Zacarias explains his strategy for dealing with stakeholders who want things done their way: focus on alignment with the organization’s strategy.
  • Mike Cohn reviews the Start Doing / Stop Doing / Continue Doing approach to a Sprint retrospective.
  • Vyom Bharadwaj provides a short description of a product backlog and what items it might contain.
  • Shane Vaz breaks down the steps to replace a traditional project delivery method with Scrum.

Applied Leadership

  • Lisa McLeod retrieves key points on how some leaders exude “presence” from Suzanne Bates’ forthcoming book, “All the Leader You Can Be.”
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “The Confidence Effect,” by Grace Killelea. If you read Elizabeth’s book, “Overcoming Imposter Syndrome,” this is an excellent follow-up.
  • Art Petty enumerates the steps to take in leading your peers.
  • Lindsey Patterson explores good practice in setting expectations early, so employees can be confident that they are delivering what you want.
  • John Goodpasture wants us to get past the stupid question, in order to provide information that the questioner actually needs.

Pot Pouri

  • Nick Heath updates us on how Amazon is using ever larger numbers of robots in pursuit of their goal to reduce order fulfillment time to 30 minutes.
  • Brendan Toner reviews My Life Organized, a hierarchical task manager with an interesting “do this next” algorithm and a Getting Things Done interface.
  • Jonathan Buckley describes some of the biases found in Big Data analytics.
  • Erika Anderson describes a process to decide what skill to work on next.
  • Ted Devine advises contingent workers: the contract is key to your success!
  • Johanna Rothman shares a few questions that help assess the culture of a company – valuable in our job search.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 11 – 17. This week’s favorite video: what happens when you reply to Spam – thanks, Garry, for the link! Recommended:

Must read!

  • Jeff Hawkins and Donna Lubinsky (remember the Palm Pilot and Treo?) explain the nuances of different approaches to machine intelligence and learning.
  • Bernard Marr introduces us to the future of short-range, wireless networking technology. Called LiFi, it’s essentially an LED that can transmit 224 GB per second. The mind boggles …
  • Coert Visser summarizes three phenomena which have ramifications for self-assessment: the Dunning-Kruger effect, the curse of knowledge, and the raised bar.

Established Methods

  • Brad Rach explains the bus rule: “Being a good project manager means I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and no one would notice.”
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Risk Doctor David Hillson on his presentation, “Weight Loss for Risky Projects.” Just 17 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall lists the topics to include in a risk management plan.
  • Emily Sue Tomac shows us two lists: then ten most frequently researched project management tools on TrustRadius, and the ten top rated. Note the lack of correlation.
  • John Goodpasture draws our attention to John Higbee’s “Program Success Probability Summary,” a colorful dashboard with trend indicators. Mental wheels are turning …
  • Elizabeth Harrin starts her new series, Inspiring Women in Project Management, by interviewing Caroline Crewe-Read. Stonehenge – seriously?!?
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Adam Nesrallah, a former spy, on applying intelligence gathering skills to communication. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Andrew Pearce on establishing and maintaining engagement with your stakeholders. Just 21 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisano continues his ruminations on materiality and prescriptiveness, as they apply to contractual relationships.

Agile Methods

  • Bob Tarne summarizes the concepts of divergence and convergence (as they apply to generating and selecting ideas) from Tim Brown’s “Change by Design.”
  • Neil Killick explains why MYOB plans to hire full-time Agile coaches in Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland, and how they plan to leverage them.
  • Henny Portman shares his Prince2 Agilometer, an interesting tool for assessing the balance between structure and agility.
  • Craig Smith interviews Tom and Mary Poppendieck on Agile, Lean, rapid feedback, culture, and leadership. Just 43 minutes, safe for work.
  • The Clever PM tells how to get organizational alignment with the product road map.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty has begun a new series, called the manager’s guide to understanding strategy. This looks very good, even by Art’s standards.
  • Johanna Rothman concludes her series on how to leverage certifications in the hiring process without drowning out the more important stuff.
  • Suzanne Lucas gets us up to speed on a new trend in recruiting: No Resumes. Candidates are assessed on the quality of what they produce when given an assignment.
  • Colin Ellis explores the balancing act between leadership, organizational cultural, and project management methods.
  • James Clear explains how to cure Akrasia (what the ancient Greeks called procrastination).

Enjoy!