New PM Articles for the Week of November 21 – 27

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 21 – 27. And this week’s video: “Weightless,” by Manchester, UK “ambient” band Marconi Union. A study by Mindlab International determined that this song produces a greater state of relaxation than any other music tested to date: a 65% reduction in overall anxiety and a 35% reduction in usual physiological resting rates. In case of holiday-induced stress …

Must read!

  • Darragh Broderick points out five leadership lessons we can learn from the National Football League.
  • Johanna Rothman provides elegant definitions of iterative and incremental, and how each manages a different type of risk.
  • Seth Godin notes that automation is reducing the difference in cost between custom, on-demand orders and mass-produced products. We’ll need a few adjustments in our management approach to stay in business.

Established Methods

  • Barry Hodge helps us radically transform our status reports by making progress visible.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy posted two more risk management videos, on selecting risk response strategies. Total time just over 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • John Goodpasture points out the application of project statistics in “Cost Risk and Uncertainty,” Chapter 14 of the GAO Cost Estimating Manual. Free download!
  • Pat Weaver reports to us on the application of virtual reality and 4D Building Information Modelling to optimize scheduling of activities and resources in construction projects.
  • Harry Hall tutors us on scope risks – how to recognize them, how to manage them.
  • Mike Donoghue puts the focus on gathering and managing requirements.
  • Naomi Caietti explains the details of managing organizational change in projects.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Suketu Nagrecha, Chairman of the Board of the PMI Educational Foundation. Just 19 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers posts his weekly round-up of Agile articles, blog posts, and other content.
  • Dave Prior discusses “being” Agile, as opposed to “doing” Agile with Jessie Shternshus and Paul Hammond. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Henny Portman bullets the learning objectives of the SAFe 4.0 Scrum Master course.
  • Margaret Kelsey rounds up links to the top five #DesignTalk webinars of 2016, with links to the recordings.

Applied Leadership

  • Elizabeth Harrin identifies the potential sources of conflict in each phase of the project life cycle.
  • Leigh Espy shares a variety of ways to express appreciation to your team and co-workers.
  • Deanne Earle reviews “Leading in a Changing World,” by Keith Coats and Graeme Codrington.
  • Elise Stevens interviews author and organization change management consultant Michelle Gibbings on becoming a more effective influencer. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.

Technology and Techniques

  • Mike Griffiths tutors us on the fine points of creating multiple choice questions (and how to spot the correct answer in poorly written examples).
  • Leyla Acaroglu reviews the two physiological states of being for insights into what motivates change. As it turns out, a little discomfort is a good thing.
  • Jory McKay explains how our brain processes what we’ve read for retention. Yes, how you read makes a difference.

Working and the Workplace

  • Nir Eyal updates us on the current state of the ongoing debunking of ego-depletion, and suggests that there is meaning in our feelings about our work.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on a study from Germany: switching from a seniority-based system to a merit-based system breeds inter-generational resentment.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Clare McNamara on giving virtual teams the time and space to get to know each other. Just 38 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 26 – October 2

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 26 – October 2. And this week’s video: a critical analysis of Elon Musk’s SpaceX proposed Mars colonization project. And you thought your project was high-risk, with an overly ambitious schedule! Just seven minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Maria Konnikova looks into more recent research and finds that “10,000 hours of practice” is necessary, but probably not sufficient for mastery.
  • Maria Popova reviews “The Power Paradox: How we gain and lose influence,” by Dacher Keltner. Added to the top of my reading list.
  • Art Petty lists ten bullets of do’s and don’ts for the successful executive sponsor.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture addresses the nature of time in risk management: most risks are not static or stationary.
  • Johnny Beirne interviews Mike Clayton on the basics of risk management. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jenny Brown outlines recommended project performance metrics for use by the project manager or PMO in determining how to report RAG status.
  • Moira Alexander provides considerations and internal and external criteria for selecting the right project management methodology.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a slimmed-down version of a white paper on selection and implementation of project and portfolio management software.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of content on Agile methods, from Fake Agile to Cargo Cults and Agile Idiots, to 50 product management blogs you should be reading.
  • Johanna Rothman starts a series on what Agile project managers do (and do not).
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Justin Browder and Bryan Schoeff on how project managers can fit into an Agile team. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on managers of Agile teams, with a close look at their responsibilities to the people and the company.
  • Mike Cohn argues against using the Sprint review as a sign-off meeting.
  • Kevin Aguanno reports on the growing use of Agile methods outside of the IT world.

Applied Leadership

  • Dave Prior interviews Jann Thomas and Adam Asch on working with distributed teams. Just 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tanya Tarr presents a case study of a freelance project manager who solved the real problem by not simply doing what the client demanded.
  • Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, explains how to determine when it’s time to terminate an employee, and how to do it respectfully.
  • Nate Vickery explains why a working Mom is the perfect project manager.

Technology and Techniques

  • Ryan Ogilvie points out that service delivery frequently crosses organizational boundaries, and so do opportunities to improve change management.
  • Ariel Amster notes that Big Data algorithms can only get you so far – at some point, you need human insight into human behavior.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Thomas Mai about storytelling in promoting organizational change. Just 21minutes, safe for work.
  • Robin Goldsmith details the notion of a value proposition as used in sales, and how to apply it to collecting business requirements.

Working and the Workplace

  • Seth Godin: “The average knowledge worker reads fewer than one business book a year. On the other hand, the above-average knowledge worker probably reads ten.”
  • John Friscia argues that making your boss happy is not your job; there are times you need to push back, and not just blindly follow orders.
  • Derek Huether believes you need three things in order to increase productivity: a system, a ritual that exercises it, and enough repetitions to make it a habit.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 19 – 25. And this week’s video: psychologist Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires productivity. Just 12 minutes, safe for work, but people will crowd around to see why you’re laughing uncontrollably.

Must read!

  • Mike Clayton describes Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases model of organizational change, which is predicated on the notion of driving forces and restraining forces.
  • Esther Derby collates a list of questions that could lead to more effective organizational change, if they were only asked.
  • Ryan Avent scans past the disruptive trends of automation replacing humans to ask the question: what will a world without work be like and how can we make it livable?

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin celebrates ten years of blogging by following up on the best articles from each of those years (and the most popular so far from 2016).
  • Harry Hall tutors us on the management reserve for project budgets.
  • Shuba Kathikeyan summarizes the steps in project cost management, and recommends several good practices for project managers.
  • John Goodpasture makes the counter-case: measuring everything may be more detrimental than no measurements at all.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Dave Davis on achieving benefits realization management. Just 43 minutes, safe for work.
  • Brian Livingston describes good, bad, and ugly results of project closeout.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of new articles and posts on Agile topics, from people and teams to frameworks and products.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Lean Machine, which describes how Harley-Davidson adopted lean product development.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his gorilla, Hogarth, explain that Agile coaches are like vampires: they have to be invited in.
  • Christian van Stom describes the motivational retrospective, as way to not just refine a process but develop a desirable culture.
  • Dave Prior interviews Agile Manifesto signer Alistair Cockburn in a long (79 minutes), wide-ranging conversation on consulting, Agile, and lifestyle. Safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Kent Lefner makes a table of the top ten reasons projects fail from a study by PWC and includes key indicators and considerations for each.
  • The Clever PM makes the practical case for limiting the choices we present to both our teams and the executives.
  • Elizabeth McCormick describes the venerable concept of a Mastermind and explains what you can get from being a party to one.
  • Art Petty lays out five ways we can productive work with people we actively dislike.

Technology and Techniques

  • James Kobelius explains how to apply industrial-style discipline to the development of business analytics.
  • Kupe Kupersmith describes Lean Business Analysis, and a way to reduce waste in getting to decisions.
  • Nicholas Malahosky details twelve ways to improve cross-office collaboration.

Working and the Workplace

  • Bertrand Duperrin looks at a modern torture we inflict on ourselves: the notifications from our devices that interrupt us dozens of times a day.
  • Coert Visser examines deep work, (self-) interruptions and attention residue, and the positive impact of brief breaks.
  • Lisette Sutherland wonders whether it’s time for a digital vacation. Less than eight minutes, safe for work, even if you’ve already set up your out of office message.
  • Brendan Toner revisits his task management review for the new version: Droptask2.0.

Enjoy!