New PM Articles for the Week of April 7 – 13

NewsboyNew project management articles published on the web during the week of April 7 – 13. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Recommended:

If It Heartbleeds, It Leads

  • Rusty Foster explains the HeartBleed clearly enough for just about anyone to understand.
  • Brian Leach adds his thoughts to the stream of news on Heartbleed.
  • Mashable has compiled the Heartbleed Hit List: those major sites affected and not impacted. My recommendation: change your passwords, anyway. Just wait until those sites who admit to a problem have announced a solution, before you change that password. Meantime, don’t log in!

PM Best Practices

  • Chad Baker recounts a recent lessons learned session where the team explored what went well, and found a useful recommendation for future projects.
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on “watermelon projects” with an ounce of prevention.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “Trust in Virtual Teams,” by Thomas P. Wise.
  • Scott Berkun enumerates the ways in which remote work improves diversity.
  • Lynda Bourne reveals the potential impact of differing cultural perceptions of the relative importance of past, present, and future.
  • Roberto Toledo explains how to reduce the time required to plan a project, with a Project Planning Acceleration Project.
  • Ireti Oke-Pollard reminds us to give the operations folks “a seat at the table” during our project, so we don’t deliver something that they can economically support.
  • Zach Watson gives the elevator pitch for five Open Source project management alternatives.
  • Mike Clayton sings the praises of spreadsheets, and recommends a great resource for creative solutions using Excel.
  • Bruce McGraw gets back to the basics with project communication.
  • Joe Crumpler has found a gap in his skill set – call it business storytelling.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman continues her series on designing your Agile project, with a look at how the team will interact with management.
  • Pawel Brodzinski makes the case for unscaling Agile. That’s right: think smaller!
  • Nick Pisano refutes Neil Killick’s assertion that “traditional software development contracts” are the problem.

Strategy and Governance

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews John Donahoe, SPMO Director at the Star Alliance, on the nature and value provided by the Strategic PMO. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kevin Kern on PMO success: “The ultimate [PMO] is a model of defined and aligned processes, with results tracking and transparency to match.”
  • Allen Ruddock observes that a PMO has to be close to the action in order to be effective. Not off-shored, or shared services, but an actual participant!
  • Glen Alleman applies an IT governance and decision rights mindset to the #NoEstimates movement, referencing a book by Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross.
  • John Goodpasture notes the difference between a cost and an investment, and between maturity and decline.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley trot out statistics that demonstrate strategic alignment has a significant impact on the probability of a successful project.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Patrick Snow on growing a passion into business, while keeping your day job. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Michel Dion adds his comments to that new slice-of-death video, “The Expert.” Less than seven minutes, safe for work, and more depressing than a week’s worth of Dilbert.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 24 – 30

Cartoon News ReadersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 24 – 30. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman takes aim once again at poor estimating practices.
  • Anna Erdmanska asked her network for ideas on how to create positive energy on a project. She distills it all down to twelve points.
  • Michael Shaye warns of the “secret stakeholder,” perhaps the boss of the person you thought would be the approver.
  • Michel Dion notes that getting support for your project requires leadership.
  • Neil Pragnell tells why he carries a message from a fortune cookie in his wallet. “You are far more influential than you think.”
  • Daniel Burrus explains what it means to lead by anticipating.
  • John Goodpasture notes the impact of “prospect theory” on self-esteem and drives different performance in different groups.
  • Gina Abudi advocates the importance of effective communications in keeping control of our projects. Part two looks at reporting status.
  • Bart Gerardi shoots down the value of the “stoplight” status with the Watermelon Project: green on the outside, oh-so-red on the inside.
  • Allen Ruddock looks at cost overruns in small to medium-sized projects, and finds a few simple preventive steps we can take.
  • Shim Marom concludes his series on the business case with a summary of a research paper, “Building Better Business Cases for IT Investments.”

Managing Within Our Neuroses

  • Kerry Wills extols the virtues of the neurotic project manager.
  • Ian Whittingham explores the virtues of channeling our anxieties, when sorting out a complex project.
  • Martin Webster has a checklist of activities for avoiding stress at work.
  • Michael Lopp offers some practical advice for business travelers with OCD. Ah, it’s good to be a migrant computer worker …
  • Elizabeth Harrin pauses from her project manager and mother-of-two duties to note that we have to prioritize, accept our limitations, and adjust our expectations in order to prevail.
  • Kevin Korterud recounts the warning signs that the risk level has exceed our tolerance level.

Agile Methods

  • Steven Crago has some thoughts on integrating work products from a mix of Scrum and Waterfall teams.
  • Pawel Brodzinski: “Let me make a bold observation: neither Agile nor Lean seem to be making a difference… adopting practices and tools is simply a cargo cult.” Wow!
  • Dave Prior interviews Peter Saddington, who tells what he learned while pursuing the SAFe framework credential. Just 19 minutes, safe for work (if not SAFe).
  • Mukesh Rao recalls his experience spinning up a new Scrum team, estimating work using the “Ideal Days” method described by Mike Cohn in “Agile Estimating and Planning.”
  • Mike Cohn notes that three roles must be participating in planning poker, even if two of them aren’t asked to share their estimates.
  • Adrian Fittolani shares his list of favorite “non-Agile” books for those who want to practice Agility. If you haven’t read at least one of these, shame on you!

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 17 – 23

NewspapersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 17 – 23. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Recommended:

Innovation

  • John Bauer provides a history lesson and some predictions on the evolution of corporate IT, their relationship with the business, and everything-as-a-service.
  • Peter Bruzzese sees the end of on-premises IT, as we move everything to the Cloud.
  • Ammar Mango examines the intersection of innovation and project management.
  • John Goodpasture suggests that when the evidence doesn’t indicate a clear course of action, you should make an informed judgment.
  • Bruce Benson observes one key project management lesson from ObamaCare is “Try something new.” Just providing an alternative can sometimes drive innovation.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides her round up of project management news for this month.
  • Lyndsey Gilpin shares photos and stories of the women who created the technology industry: Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Hedy Lamarr, and more!

PM Best Practices

  •  Vicki Wrona shares best practices for effective brainstorming, including a technique called Reverse Brainstorming.
  • Brad Egeland presents his approach to planning and conducting meetings that are productive, organized, and effective.
  • Graham Oakes examines risk management from the perspective of the trigger point, e.g. when the probabilistic risk event actually occurs.
  • Martin Webster presents a slightly facetious case for avoiding blame by avoiding risk.
  • Coert Visser explains why it seems like other people succeed so easily, when we have to work so hard. Short answer: we’re mistaken about how much it takes.
  • Cheri Baker models three short examples of pushing back.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Dave Stachowiak on how to manage, lead, and influence without authority. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.
  • Srinath Ramakrishnan summarizes five change management models.
  • Glen Alleman extracts key points from James Dewar’s “Assumption-Based Planning.”
  • Andy Jordan recommends that we partner with the customer to select the right project execution approach (Agile vs. Waterfall).
  • Anne-Marie Charrett refutes the “waterfall is never the right approach mindset,” by debunking the most common memes.

Agile Methods

  • David Clarke explains why SaaS provider Workday has moved to a single codeline model for continuous development and release. Read this one twice!
  • Dave Prior interviews Dr. Sallyann Freudenberg on the psychological basis for the effectiveness of pair programming. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explores the subtle differences in two definitions of velocity.
  • Clinton Ages explains how his business analyst skill set best fits in with a Scrum team.

Governance

  • Shim Marom begins a series on IT investment, with the need for a business case.
  • Emanuele Passera begins a series on portfolio management, using rigorous financial analysis.
  • Henny Portman provides a bullet list of questions to ask about the actions of the project owner before replacing the manager of a troubled project.

Enjoy!