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 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 18 – 24, and we’re just sittin’ on top of the world. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Aaron Smith identifies ten strategy execution trends that will impact the way we manage projects in 2016.
  • Bruce Harpham retrieves six principles for success from Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk. If you’re going to admire a billionaire, this might be the guy.
  • John Goodpasture analyzes the idea that we should make mistakes early and often. Not all mistakes are created equal!

Established Methods

  • Aaron Smith summarizes three critical questions posed by Patrick Stroh, author of “Advancing Innovation,” to assess which ideas are worth pursuing.
  • Henny Portman reviews “Executive Sponsor Research Report,” from The Standish Group.
  • Glen Alleman describes capabilities-based planning, for software-intensive systems to be built for government customers, using Agile methods.
  • Gene Gendel points out the limitations of Red-Amber-Green status reporting.
  • Harry Hall details the operational risk management plan and the various sources of operational risk.
  • Ryan Ogilvie examines the part of IT that faces the customer, the service request system, from both the customer perspective and the IT perspective.
  • Women Testers Magazine for January 2016 is available for download. Not just for women and not just for testers – highly recommended.

Agile Methods

  • Renee Troughton considers a critical question for hiring a Scrum Master: what is the minimum viable Agilist?
  • Mike Cohn addresses the rationale behind the frequent question, “Does a Scrum team need a retrospective every sprint?”
  • Vikram Singh describes the most common methods used to gauge the level of effort required for each story in sprint planning.
  • Bart Gerardi describes the role of the Agile executive in changing the organization’s culture.
  • Kaushik Saha analyzes Kanban as a queue, using Little’s Law.

Applied Leadership

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Sarah Coleman, co-author of “Project Leadership.”
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Don Smith, “The Speech Wiz,” on the life and career value of developing your public speaking and communication skills. Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Liane Davey explains how to create a sense of accountability in the people who report to you.
  • Kailash Awati shares his presentation on improving decision-making in situations with high ambiguity, using IBIS notation for issue mapping. About 48 minutes, safe for work.
  • Art Petty notes that leading drains the spirit, and offers some ideas on how to refuel.
  • Gina Abudi proposes creation of a team charter, articulating the purpose, mission, and goals of the team.

Other

  • Jamie Condliffe lists the 25 most popular passwords, gleaned from over two million stolen and leaked on the internet.
  • Thor Olavsrud reports on efforts to apply artificial intelligence to problems where not all of the information is visible. For example: Heads-up No-limit Texas Hold ’em poker.
  • Brad Rach extols the virtues of a paper notebook. His choice: Moleskine.
  • Johanna Rothman shares a few tips on the process of writing.

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!