New PM Articles for the Week of April 4 – 10

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 4 – 10. And this week’s video: the first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully lands on a recovery ship.

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin walks us through her checklist for taking over a project already in flight.
  • Rich Maltzman reports on a project in Colorado that is taking food waste out of the land fill and converting it to energy, compost, and liquid fertilizer, by emulating digestion.
  • Harry Hall recaps each of the risk response strategies for positive and negative risks.

Established Methods

  • Anna Krachey, Nicole Nagel, and Jonathan Lewis extol the virtues of designing in a “War room,” a la Dr. Strangelove.
  • John Goodpasture sticks tongue in cheek to examine our evolving attitude toward failure.
  • Angela Wick looks at two sources of project pressure: tight timelines and a pre-determined solution.
  • Tejasvi Addagada explores ways to integrate risk management principles with data governance.
  • Colin Ellis debunks the notion of “best practices” in project management.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Naomi Caietti on managing stakeholder expectations. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bruce Benson on automation: “Every key piece of management and decision-making software I ever developed and used was first a manual process that I personally did.”
  • Glen Alleman copies us on his systems engineering reference book list.

Agile Methods

  • Dave Prior interviews the coolest man in the Agile community – Woody Zuill – on mob programming. Almost an hour, safe for work.
  • Johanna Rothman explores some Agile solutions for geographically distributed teams.
  • Mike Cohn has some recommendations for the Sprint summary document, from content to audience.
  • Nick Schaden answers the question, “How do you structure your design team?”
  • Shalu Tyagi recounts how selected Agile methods were implemented for business functions with a regular operating rhythm: HR, administration, and so on.
  • Craig Smith and Tony Ponton conduct random vox pop interviews at Agile Australia. Just 31 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Suzanne Lucas makes the case for emotional intelligence being more useful than a high IQ.
  • Alfred Stallion outlines the steps to take in improving your public speaking skills.
  • Michael Girdler reviews some basic approaches for overcoming resistance to change.
  • Eduardo Binda Zane, author of “Effective Decision Making,” looks at applying creativity in business and tells us that brainstorming is overrated.
  • Seth Godin reminds us that we are more powerful than we realize.
  • Adam Shostack explains why the information security slogan, “Think like an attacker,” isn’t actionable.
  • David Barrett interviews Roy Osing, author of “Be Different or Be Dead,” on strategic planning. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jeff Collins recommends his five favorite project management podcasts.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 28 – April 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 28 – April 3. And this week’s video: Coert Vissar diagrams the difference in motivation between our autonomous choices and those choices made for us. Complete with a slide guitar soundtrack; two minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman’s new book, “Agile and Lean Program Management,” is now available.
  • Harry Hall shares three brief videos on making and executing better decisions.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy explains how to get a conversation going by asking the right questions. If you spend much of your working day on conference calls, be sure to read this!

Established Methods

  • Laura Barnard applies some lessons on stakeholder management learned from Fred Rogers.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Julie Goff on managing a team of project managers. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares her recent reading list. What does work-life balance look like? Well, start here.
  • Klaus Nielsen applies lessons from Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking: Fast and Slow” to project management.
  • Dave Wakeman articulates the five steps in putting a new process in place.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joe Drammissi on Enlightened Project Management. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisoni explains the difference between measuring progress against plan (earned value) and progress during development (technical performance).
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy gets us back to basics in describing what to include in a project plan.
  • Glen Alleman adapts Jon Stewart’s final rant on “The Daily Show” to direct it toward his favorite target, the #NoEstimates movement.

Agile Methods

  • Mishkin Berteig lays out the four principles of refactoring. Sometimes, good software engineering can be a metaphor for life.
  • John Goodpasture introduces the notion of coupling to a discussion of architecture in an Agile approach.
  • The Clever PM (possibly) concludes his series, “Why Agile isn’t working for me.” This time, the focus is on individual actions.
  • Jake Bartlett points out some of the reasons Agile is hard to adopt.

Applied Leadership

  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Ray Zinn, who founded and led semiconductor manufacturer Micrel for 37 years, on key lessons from his new book, “Tough Things First.”
  • Liane Davey shares a simple exercise that exposes each participant’s default reaction to change.
  • Peter Saddington shares a great infographic: 18 Things Mentally Strong People Do.
  • Scott Berkun uses the history of the Eiffel Tower to illustrate what it takes to drive real innovation and see it produce real change.
  • Eileen Burton says that great leaders are those who step up in a crisis.

Pot Pouri

  • Suzanne Lucas says that recruiters are good at spotting lies. Here are a few things that you really don’t need to lie about.
  • Jamie Hale gives us science-based recommendations on how to study. Key point: we best remember that which we best understand.
  • Steve Johnson identifies four “areas of expertise” that should drive what is (and isn’t) required in a job candidate.
  • Paul Sawyers opines on the market viability of an internet of consumer product things. Who needs a smart oven in the microwave society?

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 21 – 27

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 21 – 27. And this week’s video: making an axe from rocks and sticks. As recently as 4,000 years ago, this was a common work activity in most human societies. Still think your software tools suck?

Must read!

  • Cameron Conaway examines the New Discrimination: cultural fit, and notes that a better case can be made for cultural contribution in hiring decisions.
  • Hope Reese reports on the rapidly expanding trend for companies to contract with knowledge workers in remote locations.
  • Stuart Easton notes that collaboration has a potentially powerful down side: it can actually slow down decision making.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin goes beyond the stakeholder power-and-impact grid to explore real engagement, based on communication and collaboration.
  • Ginger Levin interviews PMI Fellow Russ Archibald, who managed his first project 67 years ago and released a new book just last year.
  • John Goodpasture reflects on an old blog article at Random Rule of Thumb, adapting the Five Stages of Grief to a model for accepting change.
  • Paul Ritchie considers the dancing-angels question: how many simultaneous projects can one project manager handle?
  • Glen Alleman explores the Venn Diagram of forecasting and estimating.
  • Moira Alexander captures twelve questions you should prepare for, prior to your next project management interview.
  • Deb Schaffer focuses on the problem set commonly encountered by the project manager in a small company.
  • Ryan Ogilvie says that the key to a successful post-mortem is fearlessness. The worst has already happened …

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths expresses his reservations about Bi-Modal IT, as championed by the Gartner Group and others. It’s a continuum, not a choice of mutually exclusive extremes.
  • Mike Cohn explains why Sprint planning doesn’t require all that much detail. Identify the big things and leave enough time to handle the little things.
  • Rumesh Wijetunge shares some of the lessons his organization learned in their efforts to scale Agile.
  • Patrick Sinke explains the benefits of microservices – strong decoupling in an SOA.

Applied Leadership

  • Mike Sisco identifies three main culprits for IT failure: a disconnect with the business, poor communication, and project failures.
  • Art Petty notes that leadership begins with personal development. “Self-confidence, self-esteem and clarity of purpose are fundamental to succeeding at leading.”
  • Seth Godin: “In any competitive market, be prepared to invest your heart and soul and focus on the [attribute] you compete on. Might as well choose something you can live with.”
  • Aaron Smith encapsulates a few insights from Patrick Stroh, author of “Advancing Innovation.”
  • Norah Martin invokes some famous success stories to illustrate the idea that business growth and personal growth are closely intertwined.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Heath Suddleson on finding a mentor and making the relationship work for both of you. Just 23 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Tiago Forte argues that, as we learn more about behavior change, we are realizing that there’s more to it than simply deciding to change our behavior.
  • Coert Visser cites two recent studies of self-concordant (self-selected) goals, exploring the relationship between goal motivation and goal progress.
  • Bertrand Duperrin makes the case for the intranet as a digital workplace for all employees – not just white collar workers.
  • Peter Thornycroft points out the administrative challenge of providing secure, reliable wireless connectivity to devices that need to exchange data with the Cloud – the Internet of Things.

Enjoy!