New PM Articles for the Week of May 11 – 17

Decision SignNew project management articles published on the web during the week of May 11 – 17. Our theme this week is decision-making. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Seth Godin lays out the precepts of decision hygiene – improving your ability to be decisive by clearing away the clutter that slows down decision-making.
  • Paul Ritchie frames the new requirements for PMP continuing education in terms of what happens when “technical, leadership, and strategic and business management expertise” are absent.
  • Kailash Awati and Simon Buckingham Shum look at the metaphors that drive our understanding of technology, especially Big Data.

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman points out key differences between two probability-based forecasting approaches: Bootstrapping and Monte Carlo Simulation.
  • Peter Tarhanidis promotes the basics of establishing a decision-making process.
  • Bruce Harpham provides his analysis of the new PMP continuing education requirements.
  • Henny Portman explores ways to apply the concept of organizational energy to project portfolio management.
  • Bart Gerardi begins a series on organizational agility – what it is, the forces driving it, and the defining characteristics of an agile organization.
  • Gina Abudi introduces a series of case studies that demonstrate how to convert change resistors into change champions.
  • Ryan Ogilvie disputes the old saying, “Good, fast, or cheap – pick any two.” We need to find the appropriate balance between the three.
  • Fintan Manning notes five exciting improvements coming in Microsoft Project 2016.
  • Kerry Wills gives us a preview of his latest book, “Assessing IT Projects,” due in June.

Agile Methods

  • John Goodpasture considers where verification and validation fit in to Agile practices.
  • Mike Cohn gives us a nice explanation of that time-boxed research activity known as a spike.
  • Gil Broza explains the Agile concept of deferring decisions, and some related decision-making principles.
  • Kelsey van Haaster looks at the way that the growing complexity of Agile practices has brought us away from Agile principles.

Management without the Pointy Hair

  • Mike Griffiths identifies the counter-productive attributes of open space offices, co-location, and “managing by walking around.”
  • Pawel Brodzinski explains why he wants more women on his development team. Entirely aside from the fact that they constitute more than 50% of the population …
  • Allen Ruddock details the process of hiring the right project manager, from strategy to tactics.
  • Harry Hall recalls a “project superhero” who might have done more long-term harm to the organization than short-term good.
  • Bruce Benson shares what he learned about setting goals from not finishing his first two marathons.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares her daily video diary from the PMI Global Congress EMEA in London. Three parts (links to the other days on the page), 16 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Mike Cohn following his keynote for the recent Scrum Gathering, on being open to admit you might be wrong. Just 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Profess Stephen Wearne on managing urgent projects. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Smith interviews Ian Jones and Korrine Jones at the LEADit service management conference in Melbourne. Just 34 minutes, safe for work.


New PM Articles for the Week of May 4 – 10

Sydney Opera HouseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of May 4 – 10. We give you a venue for discovery of new ideas, so you can find what interests you. I took this picture on my recent business trip to Sydney, during a short respite from the rain. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Lynda Bourne explains the difference between change and transformation. And yes, they are as different as waterfall and Agile.
  • Don Kim preaches a little heresy: the more an organization needs effective project management, right now, the less ardently they should pursue it.
  • Penelope Trunk presents some shortcuts to apply when reinventing yourself. The key is to change the context and presentation, rather than your essential identity.

PM Best Practices

  • Michel Dion challenges the traditional “triple constraint” perspective in defining project success, with a new trinity of considerations that look outside the project.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the slide deck from her PMXPO talk, “Ten Ways to Market Your Project.” Great stuff on connecting with your stakeholders.
  • Rich Maltzman presents the story of coffee roaster Equal Exchange as an example of the purpose-driven approach that project managers should emulate.
  • Paul Ritchie advocates for imbedding benefits realization in the project plan, and links to a great old Hoyt Axton song, “Where Did the Money Go?”
  • Nick Pisano lays the groundwork for a generalized theory of managing software development and acquisition, with a supporting rebar web of physics and economics.
  • John Goodpasture introduces a presentation by Matthew Squair, “Software Partitioning Integrity.” Even if you aren’t a software development manager, the vocabulary is worth developing, from a risk management perspective.
  • Harry Hall reviews the key knowledge elements of risk identification. Educate your project team and stakeholders, and they will embrace risk management.
  • Bill Nichols argues for documenting requirements, despite Agilista claims. Just because they’re emerging doesn’t mean we shouldn’t capture them.
  • Ray Frohnhoefer on Extreme Planning. “As we’ve learned from projects like gov, Agile isn’t always the best method to follow for software development.”
  • Paul Baumgartner describes the project manager’s role of “knowledge broker,” redirecting inquiries to the right expert, as essential to the success of complex projects.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn shares his thoughts on whether it is better for team members to commit to specific tasks, or the entire team to commit to the sprint plan.
  • Mike Griffiths points out the abundance of non-traditional knowledge sharing on Agile projects, with a focus on Extreme Programming practices.
  • Neil Killick examines some of the motivations for a decision maker to request an estimate, with an eye toward producing better answers.

Management Without the Pointy Hair

  • Venkat Krishnamurthy proposes a novel approach: instead of trying to replicate success, study and learn from companies who failed.
  • Susanne Madsen reviews Hertzberg’s theory of hygiene and motivators and a bit of self-determination theory to make an important point: you can’t buy retention.
  • Suzanne Lucas recommends five actions you can take to improve retention of your best employees.
  • Glen Alleman notes that in order to use data from past performance to project future results, you need to be able to make some quantified adjustments.
  • Bruce Harpham applies David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” personal productivity principles with a weekly review.


I’m Presenting at the CAMPIT Portfolio and Program Management Conference


I’ve been invited to present at the CAMP IT Portfolio / Program Management Conference to be conducted in Las Vegas, June 18 – 19, 2015. I’ll be presenting on our portfolio management approach and lessons learned from my time at MGM Resorts International. When I joined, we had 23 various properties, each with it’s own HR,Payroll, and timekeeping solution. My assignment was to merge them, so we could eventually implement a new ERP.

If you plan to attend, let me know. I’ll load up my Starbucks card and treat whoever shows up and mentions that you read about the event on my blog.