New PM Articles for the Week of October 1 – 7

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 1 – 7. And this week’s video: Chris Forsberg makes the business case for a serverless architecture: namely, reducing the need for an Operations staff to nearly zero. 2 minutes, safe for work.

Also: Hussain Bandukwala has organized a PMO Virtual Summit, to be conducted October 16 – 18. The Summit will allow aspiring and first-time PMO leaders to hear from thought leaders like Bill Dow, Laura Barnard, and Andy Jordan. And it’s free—all you have to do is register. There’s also a free eBook with contributions from many of the speakers and Cornelius Fichtner did a quick interview podcast with Hussain. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Michelle Gelfand describes the problems arising from a merger of organizations with incompatible cultures. Case in point: Amazon and Whole Foods markets. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Murphy reports on the struggles (and closures) of several US-based robotics firms. Competition is building, although the market isn’t expanding very quickly. 2 minutes to read.
  • Uzma Barlaskar tells us how to develop a data-informed culture, rather than falling into a data-driven culture. The difference is more than semantics. 7 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin tutors us on programs (or programmes, in the UK), from the basics through three common types. 5 minutes to read.
  • Glenn Alleman gives us a clear explanation of the cone of uncertainty for projects and shares an extensive reading list. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy shows us how to apply the Delphi Technique in a real project management example. 4 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall persuades us to investigate the PMI-RMP risk management professional credential. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Naomi Caietti on her new book, Transform Your Leadership: Getting unstuck and jumpstarting your career. Podcast, 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tim Runcie explains master projects in MS Project: what they are and when and how to use them. 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kris Hughes has rounded up 25 quotes that illustrate important aspects of project management. And none of those quoted are project managers! 8 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from prescriptive practices (bad) to becoming more strategic (good) to why commitment cultures always win. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman begins a series on designing a product-oriented organization. Here are parts two, three, with part four coming soon. About 12 minutes to read these three.
  • Roman Pichler tells us how to establish an effective product strategy process, from vision to the product backlog. 5 minutes to read.
  • Erik Dietrich walks us through seven types of testing so we might spot the holes in our testing strategy. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alex Punnen presents a diagram of software quality in the shape of an iceberg because bug testing is only the most visible element. 13 minutes to read.
  • Tim Bunter summarizes three core principles from James Wickett’s webinar on DevSecOps, but a link is included if you want to hear for yourself. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from implementing OKR to being too productive to running your business barefoot. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • George Jucan examines the ethical aspects of influencing (as opposed to manipulating) stakeholders. 6 minutes to read.
  • Payson Hall presents five principles for effective mentoring (and coaching). 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • MIT Technology Review reports on research that has created the first network of brain-to-brain thought exchange. Three people playing Tetris is just the beginning. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brian Krebs alerts us to a new trend in voice phishing: calls that credibly imitate contacts from your financial institution. 10 minutes to read.
  • Alison DeNisco Rayome on CareerBuilder’s new study: the US will add 8 million jobs over the next five years. Software developers and support specialists will be among the fastest-growing categories. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rebecca Knight explains how to cope with second-hand stress. 8 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on a new law in Massachusetts that mandates employers who require a non-compete agreement to continue to pay you after you leave. 2 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Sáez recaps advice from Chip and Dan Heath on how we can change our own behavior. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 2 – 8

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 2 – 8. And this week’s video: Bones and a full reconstruction of the largest pterosaur (flying dinosaur) ever found are now on display at the Altmuehltal Dinosaur Museum, in a suburb of Stuttgart, Germany. Hey, even if you are tired of Jurassic Park sequels, this is cool!

Must read!

  • Greg Satell explains how General Electric got disrupted—by getting better and better at delivering things their customers needed less and less. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tim Fernholz notes the huge difference between getting good at mass production (Tesla) and getting reliable at reusability (SpaceX). Transitioning to production can be the biggest business risk of all. 5 minutes to read.
  • Graham Kenny clarifies the relationships between objectives, strategies, and actions. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin provides the questions you need to ask about GDPR implications before starting a new project. 8 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy points out the ways in which software development projects are managed differently from other types of projects. 4 minutes to read.
  • Karin Hurt shares the INSPIRE model for project management accountability conversations. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton tutors us on project procurement management, as described in the PMBOK and practiced in the public and private sector. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jigs Gaton begins a series on creating custom reports in Microsoft Project, beginning with changes to a delivered report. 7 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Redbooth explain how to conduct a project pre-mortem and post-mortem. And your project doesn’t even have to be dead! 6 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the Scrum master end game to the way Scrum and DevOps fit together to the cost of decision making. 2 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Johanna Rothman makes a distinction between being data-driven and data-informed. Good decision makers should note the difference. 2 minutes to read.
  • Cassandra Leung points out the problems with limiting work in progress (WIP) with creative work—in her example, writing. But it has other applications. 6 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton provides a decision tree on when to move to a different format for retrospectives. 2 minutes to read.
  • Luis Goncalves makes his recommendation for an Agile retrospective format, based on Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s book on the subject. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kent McDonald posts an overview of Liftoff: Start and sustain successful agile teams, by Ainsley Nies and Diana Larsen. Just over a minute to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of project leadership articles, from statistics to servant leadership to expressing your team’s feelings. 3 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Adam Grant interviews Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code: The secrets of highly successful groups. He says that trust is built in a way you wouldn’t expect. 4 minutes to read.
  • Sam begins a series on the way we define “purpose” to achieve alignment within the organization. Part 2 expands that to the customer. Each around 2 minutes.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Rich Rogers explores two testing cultures: testing as an adaptive investigation and testing as a factory process, or confirmation culture. 6 minutes to read.
  • Simon Schrijver does a deep dive into the details of pair testing. 7 minutes to read.
  • Paul Seaman talks about alternatives to the “given, when, then” acceptance criteria format, specifically conditions of satisfaction. 4 minutes to read.
  • Thomas Redman notes that machine learning tools are only as valuable as the quality of your data. Garbage in, algorithmic garbage out. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Eric Torrence examines the ways that Detail-oriented People and Big-picture People need to communicate with each other. 4 minutes to read.
  • Farah Mohammed tries to answer the rhetorical question: What makes a company worth working for? 3 minutes to read.
  • Karen Bridges reviews research linking sleep deprivation to reduced productivity and health problems and then suggests some positive sleep habits. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 26 – April 1

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 26 – April 1. And this week’s video: Seth Godin suggests that we can benefit from thinking backwards—flipping the point of view on which our assumptions are based. 19 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Christian Stewart notes some significant data privacy concerns for this of us who use Google’s services and products. 5 minutes to read. Nervous yet?
  • Todd Haselton tells how to download a copy of everything Google knows about you. 3 minutes to read, much longer to download. And if this doesn’t creep you out:
  • A 2016 memo by Facebook VP Andrew Bosworth acknowledges that the company’s relentless pursuit of growth via data collection could get people killed. Ethics matter, even when you’re popular. 8 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Kailash Awati provides a very detailed tutorial on using a Monte Carlo simulation to calculate a distribution of probable completion times, using a simple project with four tasks and three-point estimates. 20 minutes to read, but well worth it.
  • John Goodpasture extracts some key principles from Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise: why so many predictions fail – and some don’t. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews SaaS project resource management TeamDeck. 5 minutes to read.
  • Katrine Kavli gives us a crib sheet on test plans, useful for everyone from project managers to end users recruited for UAT. With templates! 2 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy explains how (and why) to create your own project management templates, rather than download one from some PM site. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brian Anthony O’Malley recommends a few ways to make your status reports more effective in a way that promotes your personal brand. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agile ecology to scaling with Lean and DevOps to problematic management principles. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Brendan Connolly expands on Test Driven Development to provide an entry point for testers to perform their QA—start with objectives. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joe Colantonio interviews Michael Bolton on rapid software testing. Podcast, 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Gojko Adzic notes that as more SaaS applications run in complex combinations, we will need to do more testing in the production environment. 7 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton explains how he found a bug—not by testing conformance to specifications, but by testing conformance to expectations. 2 minutes to read.
  • Martin Fowler announces the second edition of “Refactoring.” 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from the importance of self-improvement to improving your KPI’s to the difference between marketing, advertising, and branding. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton points out the top priorities for project leaders, using the acronym LEAD. 10 minutes to read.
  • Marcia Reynolds explains the difference between convincing and influencing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale notes that psychological safety must be cultivated one person at a time.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Daniel Bourke notes that we may have already invented artificial general intelligence. Maybe we just haven’t noticed. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Nield shares eleven tell-tale signs your accounts and devices have been hacked. 8 minutes to read.
  • Dan Kopf charts the history of the scatter plot (OK, that was nerd humor—so sue me). 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • John Yorke philosophizes on feedback—one can be the beneficiary of feedback or the victim. 5 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Saez explains why you need a daily action plan to let you focus on what’s important. 3 minutes to read.
  • Laura Guillen reports on recent research that casts serious doubt on the existence of a “confidence gap” between men and women. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!