New PM Articles for the Week of December 8 – 14

Ballon Over the TreesNew project management articles published on the web during the week of December 8 – 14. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews author Jeff Furman on what’s changed in the second edition of “The Project Management Answer Book.”
  • Allen Ruddock reminds us that project problems are nearly always people problems.
  • Kelsey van Haaster explains the hierarchy of laws, theories, and hypotheses, and thus why Conway’s Law is no such thing.
  • Bruce Harpham addresses a persistent form of workplace evil: reports. Well, the ones that no one ever reads are evil, if you have to prepare them.
  • Nick Pisano refines the thoughts on extracting and analyzing data across projects that he expressed in a recent post.
  • Michael Ipsaro identifies three key knowledge resources for those engaged in either procuring or delivering IT services to the U.S. federal government.
  • Ryan Ogilvie points out the need to begin a service level management initiative with the development of a service catalog.
  • Saar Bitner demonstrates the problems of using Excel for data analysis, and proposes BI software as the more sustainable alternative.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn notes that, although the team needs to select their own sprint duration, sometimes the Scrum Master has to step in and make the decision.
  • Johanna Rothman suggest that there are times when you need to move away from iterations, and toward flow. Insert Kanban and Scrumban advocacy remarks here.
  • Charles Settles summarizes three popular team collaboration products, for non-traditional projects.

Looking Ahead

  • Paul Baumgartner speculates on how project management, as a practice and a profession, will evolve over the coming years.
  • Jelani Harper identifies the business drivers for the Internet of Things in 2015.
  • Brad Egeland shares his “wish list” for project management in 2015.

Risk Management

  • Glen Alleman explores managing in the presence of uncertainty, as expressed in Tim Lister’s statement, “Risk Management is project management for adults.”
  • Kailash Awati defines internally generated risks, and explains why they make risk management more difficult.
  • John Goodpasture shares the mixed metaphor of Black Elephants.
  • Eric Anderson summarizes the diplomatic aspects of enterprise risk management, as outlined in an article by Lawrence Quinn.

Being Effective

  • Adriana Girdler lists her guiding beliefs, and argues that our beliefs drive our decisions and behavior.
  • Harry Hall notes the common reasons that people avoid goals, and tells us why we should set new ones and try once again to reach them.
  • Smita Mishra advises other women: forget about a mentor, and find yourself a sponsor.
  • Rich Maltzman shares a discovery: TuneIn.com, a site which allows you to discover and listen to radio content and podcasts from anywhere in the world.

Pot Pouri

  • Scott Berkun notes that what you say is more important than what you think.
  • Adam Shostack addresses a pernicious trend: “It’s easier to snark than to contribute.”
  • Adrian Fittolani recalls how he learned to work long hours. And how he learned not

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of November 17 – 23

Balloon BeyondNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 17 – 23. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Seth Godin considers how the project scope is a bit like a bushel of apples. I guess Forrest Gump already did the “box of chocolates” routine.
  • Adriana Beal explores the Peter Drucker notion that, if you keep doing what made you successful, you will eventually fail.
  • Don Kim explains the relationship between Kaizen, an operations management incremental improvement process, and Kaikaku, a project delivering radical change.
  • Bruce Benson notes that groups get better over time, only by learning from their experience – including the negative experiences.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts an anecdote that illustrates how stakeholder engagement can lead to real improvements.
  • Nick Pisano points out the pivotal role of the integrated master plan in complex programs and project portfolios.
  • Kenneth Darter shares his checklist for preparing to begin a really big project.
  • Pat Weaver summarizes an article he contributed to, on the topic of governance versus management.
  • Harry Hall recommends an approach to selecting and initiating projects.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the Synergy 2014 conference, summarizing three presentations and some audience participation music-making.
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at the details of implementing that IT department holiday tradition: the production change freeze.

Agile Methods

  • Pallavi Kelapure and Vikas Gupta detail their approach to applying rapid deployment principles in an ERP implementation.
  • Johanna Rothman offers some practical approaches to breaking your near-epics into smaller stories.
  • Deepak Joshi walks us through a simple example of user role modeling, to show why the technique is so useful.
  • Derek Huether proposes an innovation in backlog grooming: Progression Workshops, using a subset of the team, referred to as the Product Owner Team.

Measuring

  • Glen Alleman provides links to eight resources for methods to estimate non-trivial software projects, based on historical metrics.
  • Mike Cohn disputes the dissing of so-called “vanity metrics.”
  • John Goodpasture explains what a “figure of merit” is, and how it can be useful.
  • Rich Maltzman leverages an old post by Mounir Ajam to show that project success includes things you can’t measure until well after the project is complete.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jack Ferraro on the competencies required to drive strategic initiatives. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie contemplates how the way we name our projects influences the way our stakeholders and team feel about them. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Human Behavior in Groups

  • Lynda Bourne summarizes the Cohen-Bradford “Influence without Authority” model.
  • Pawel Brodzinski provides a leader’s view of the movement to reduce the role of management, and shares Lunar Logic’s two rules that govern their approach.
  • Peter Saddington notes the holes in the “personality testing” model of candidate selection.
  • Bruce Harpham lists some proactive methods to manage project conflict, and your reactions to it.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of November 10 – 16

Balloon Over the WallNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 10 – 16. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Kevin Kern traces the trajectory of re-planning from reactive to proactive to predictive.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes a presentation by Mark Englehardt at PMI Hungary’s Art of Projects Conference, “Project Risk Management Doesn’t Have to be Difficult.”
  • Steven Levy outlines the elements of the project charter.
  • Roxi Bahar Hewertson considers how four types of mastery contribute to leadership success.
  • Rich Maltzman demonstrates the impact of context in our communications, with a graphic that lets us deceive ourselves.
  • Bruce Harpham presents the PMBOK view of managing conflict, as a follow-up to last week’s post on sources of project management conflict.
  • Bruce Benson explores conscious uncoupling, as members of a struggling organization fight to preserve the size of their piece of the pie.
  • Michael Girdler links morale problems and lowered and productivity as result of organizational change to the project communications plan.
  • Lynda Bourne contrasts the functions of management with the functions of governance.
  • Allen Ruddock looks at the “overs and unders” that contribute to failed projects.
  • Kerry Wills argues for picking team members who may not be perfect in any one role, but can play multiple roles.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn illustrates the incremental and iterative nature of Agile development, with a sculpture metaphor.
  • Mike Griffiths says that the key to scaling Agile is not adding process, but facilitating the work of teams.
  • Terry Bunio points out the plain truth that “minimum viable product” is not always an appropriate approach.
  • Michiko Diby takes issue with the term “Scrum Master.”
  • Neil Killick: “We teams can make a huge difference to removing the typical dysfunctions around software estimates, simply by asking the right questions.”
  • Madhavi Ledalla champions automation and virtualization, as drivers of improved quality, reduced build time, and more predictability.
  • Milton Dillard explains what Agile acquisition support is, in the context of how the U.S. federal government lets contracts.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Dave Cornelius on the project manager role in Lean and Agile approaches. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mark Phillipy shares a presentation on improving task estimation using three-point estimates and critical chain. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie posts his very first Crossderry Blog podcast, explaining why the Apple Watch won’t compete with the Swiss watch industry. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Suzanne Lucas offers her list of ten simple things to do (and stop doing) in order to boost your career.
  • Coert Visser explains why you should interrupt.
  • Ron Friedman says you’re probably not getting enough sleep; explains how it’s impacting the quality of your work; and then tells you what to do about it.
  • Nick Pisano weighs in on Net Neutrality, the economics of controlling access to information, and the demands of the powerful interests who want that control.

Enjoy!