New PM Articles for the Week of March 3 – 9

NewsboyNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 3 – 9. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Recommended:


  • Cheri Baker explains why most of her consulting customers are social enterprises (and why that’s really cool).
  • Linky van der Merwe examines PMI’s recent survey on the global growth of project management to understand what it means to us practitioners.
  • Peter Taylor expands on a statement by J. LeRoy Ward regarding the ever-evolving practice of project management.
  • Susanne Madsen exhorts us to become project champions.

Risk Management

  • Steven Levy follows up on his series on risk management, with recommendations on how to apply the principles he described to a legal practice.
  • Andy Jordan continues his series on managing risks across the organization, through collaboration and common processes.

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman takes the point of view of the people who pay for a software development project to explain why estimates are needed.
  • Henny Portman summarizes the Management of Value approach.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Ann Pilkington’s new book, “Communicating Projects.”
  • Dave Wakeman tells why integrity, adaptability, and judgment are absolutely required by all project managers.
  • Martin Webster tells us how to create a shared vision across the project team.
  • Allen Ruddock explores a tough scenario on managing up.
  • Michael Nir exposes the basics of stakeholder management, as told in a children’s book.
  • Brett Beaubouef shares a technique for conducting an organizations fit/gap.
  • Jennifer Lonoff Schiff collects twelve suggestions from data management and disaster recovery experts on how to design for data survival.


  • Shim Marom describes the Cynefin model for problem domains, and finds a domain where #NoEstimates actually seems appropriate.
  • John Goodpasture considers alternatives to complexity.
  • Kailash Awati tells the fable of an architect and the conscience he argues with, to tell why you can’t just gather your requirements at headquarters.
  • Matthew Squair explores the evolution of initial designs, from obvious to plainly unworkable.

Agile Methods

  • Kelsey van Haaster unpacks her thoughts about whether making an exception to the team’s Scrum timeline is Agile.
  • Soma Bhattacharya asks whether managers are a benefit or a hindrance to Agile, and explains why a Scrum Master should not be a decision maker.
  • Francesco Attanasio describes what he calls “Scrum Master 2.0.”
  • Adam Zuzanski explores different ways to present information as a burn-down chart.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Mark Phillipy hosts a Google Hangout to follow up on the second PM FlashBlog, Project Management Around the World. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.
  • Peter Saddington shares a recent TED talk by Rosalinde Torres on the three questions that great leaders contemplate in the 21st century. Just nine minutes, safe for work.


PMI Publishes Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide

Navigating ComplexityLast week, PMI announced availability of a new publication on managing complexity in projects, programs, and project portfolios. Called “Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide,” it is now available for download in PDF format at no cost, for a limited time. The print version will be available in mid-March.

The Guide organizes the causes of complexity into three categories, including human behavior, system behavior, and ambiguity. The need to align people, programs, and projects to manage complexity is addressed through organizational support structures, and useful practices in four areas: scope, communications, stakeholders, and risk. Principles are demonstrated via several scenarios, each with suggested actions. Key considerations in developing, implementing, and managing an action plan are included. An extensive literature review is included as an appendix, along with a glossary.

The PDF file is 113 pages, and includes an assessment questionnaire. The questionnaire is available as a separate download, along with a companion resource gap analysis and skills assessment. Additional resources, including white papers and case studies, are available on the same complexity program page as the downloadable files.

New PM Articles for the Week of February 10 – 16

Lederhosen Newsboy CartoonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 10 – 16. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Thanks to Michel Dion at Project Aria for publishing my guest post on planning project human resources management. Recommended:


  • Zavain Dar invokes Immanuel Kant, to argue that Big Data is helping us move from logical analysis to a search for synthetic truths.
  • Lyndsey Gilpin summarizes ten key things to understand about 3D printing.

PM Best Practices

  • Kevin Korterud wants us to manage the procurement department as both a team member and as a project stakeholder.
  • Tony Adams revisits risk management, not as a list of things to avoid, but as a means to find opportunities we can exploit.
  • David Hillson answers three key questions about risk management in complex projects, and how the strategies of flexibility and resilience can make the difference.
  • John Goodpasture considers an innovative presentation by Glen Alleman as a three-body problem, and asks if there should be four, or even five?
  • Martin Webster notes five early warning signs of ineffective leadership.
  • Anya Faingersh identifies four drivers for schedule delays.

Project Governance

  • Tim Cushing summarizes the appalling state of the TECS upgrade project run by the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies.
  • Chi-Pong Wong identifies the six critical success factors for PMO success.
  • Todd Williams reviews “Strategies for Project Sponsorship,” by Vicki James, Ron Rosenhead, and Peter Taylor.
  • Michel Dion notes that different types of projects have different definitions of success.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths notes, “Agile processes are an enabler for intelligent action, but not a guarantee of it.”
  • Johanna Rothman continues her series on the cost of delay, with the cost of indecision and the cost of technical debt.
  • Wayne Grant shares three more techniques for keeping retrospectives from getting stale.
  • Vijaya Kumar Bandaru explains Scrum through the metaphor of prescribing and adjusting your medication when sick.


  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and Hogarth return from an eight-month absence with a post on [wait for it] … procrastination!
  • Lisa Evans makes the point that the office just might be the worst place to get things done.
  • Alina Vrabie reminds us of the origin of the eight-hour workday, and offers a few alternatives that might let us be more productive.
  • Michael Stanleigh lists twenty stress reducers for project managers.
  • Travis Bradberry explains how successful people stay calm.
  • Anita Bruzzese is on the warpath against bad Email practices.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Elizabeth Harrin tells how to employ a customer satisfaction-centric project management improvement process. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews David Sparks on how to tame the Email beast. Just 53 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mark Phillipy interviews Samad Aidane on how to apply neuroscience to understand cultural differences. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.