New PM Articles for the Week of March 23 – 29

Saturday Balloon RideNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ron Rosenhead shares some proven rules for project sponsors to use when briefing their project managers on the new project.
  • Harry Hall lists seven presentation principles that project managers can learn from the weatherman.
  • Toby Elwin distills some statistics on the Fortune 500 to make the point that the pace of change is increasing. And as project managers, we are agents of change!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman describes a rigorous approach to estimating, which doesn’t assume that the past is entirely representative of the future.
  • Bruce Benson reports that, by starting their project planning earlier and focusing on quality, his company avoided finishing late and buggy.
  • Luis Seabra Coelho explains the difference between a project and a program.
  • Richard Lepsinger has some suggestions for helping remote workers stay connected.
  • Michelle Stronach looks at the PMO as a repository and source of “knowable project management.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at knowledge management from the self-service perspective. It’s all about processing for consumption.
  • John Goodpasture considers the question of whether software actually fails, or just has faults. Burnt toast, anyone?
  • Nick Pisano looks into the sources of resistance to change, when enterprise software is the change agent.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Mike Hughes, a consultant specializing in operational excellence, on why and how the IT department should say no.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski notes the inherent fallacy in the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning new skills.
  • Johanna Rothman explains some of the reasons why managers need estimates.
  • Kaushik Saha defines the INVEST acronym for user stories.
  • Nada Aldahleh describes six characteristics of effective product owners.

 Professional Development

  • Mike Griffiths looks at the statistics of the various credential programs from PMI, and plots a few trends.
  • Paul Ritchie breaks down what the new PMI recertification requirements mean to training organizations.
  • Steven Levy renews his membership in PMI, using software with an appallingly bad UX.
  • Bruce Harpham notes several things you can do to help new team members get up to speed, while instilling a positive attitude.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the contents of her reading pile. More accurately, her books to-finish-reading pile.
  • Jamie Hill extracts a few lessons from his new book, “Make Good Habits Stick.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Wes Schaeffer on the art and practice of sales and negotiating for project managers. Plus career tips from Dev Ramcharan and the must-read PM articles list from your truly. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev on his new book, “Project Scope Management.” Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have crafted a commercial for their new book, “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel.” Just three minutes, safe for work, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.


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.


New PM Articles for the Week of March 9 – 15

Red BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 9 – 15. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Suzanne Lucas interprets recent research by a developmental psychologist, which identified seven critical skills that are necessary for you to become a successful boss.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the four primary styles used in giving feedback, as detailed in Anna Carroll’s book, “The Feedback Imperative.”
  • Elizabeth Booker gives us a tutorial on procurement administrative lead time. Ever had a project start delayed because a lawyer was reviewing terms and conditions? Yup, that stuff.

PM Best Practices

  • Stephen Brobst says the interesting thing about Big Data isn’t Bigness, but the way structure and demand continuously evolves.
  • Glen Alleman observes that using a Fibonacci series for estimating adds no more certainty to the process than you’d get from using a geometric series.
  • Paul Ritchie explains what is required for an R&D-centered organization to get the most value from their PMO.
  • Ronald Bisaccia reviews the evidence: why women tend to be better at assessing and managing risks than men. Ummm … testosterone rots the brain?
  • Nick Pisano reports on efforts to standardize representations of historical data from past projects, in support of management reporting and better estimates.
  • David Cotgreave points out that some of the project manage predictions for 2015 have already materialized.
  • Toby Elwin finds project management lessons in the work of Led Zeppelin. “There’s a sponsor who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s thinks she’s bought a stairway to Heaven.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie presents an example of how to apply problem management principles to IT service delivery.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jonathan Herbert, who inspired him to create his podcast, on lessons learned in preparing for the PMP exam. Just 51 minutes, safe for work.

 Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn notes that we need to account for three types of time when planning a Sprint.
  • John Goodpasture gives us a quick excerpt from the upcoming 2nd edition of his classic, “Project Management the Agile Way.”
  • William Nocolich says that indecision is responsible for much of the high failure rate of software development projects.
  • Andrew Lin pulls together some rules of thumb, rubrics, and generalized principles that pertain to Agile and Scrum.
  • Derek Huether takes a personality assessment, and his wife confirms the diagnosis. We’re not as unique as our fingerprints would lead us to believe …

 Soft Skills

  • Bruce Harpham gives us a history lesson on George Washington – who knew he was a life-hacker?
  • Kevin Coleman articulates the long-term effects of the loss of intellectual capital and experience, as the Boomers retire.
  • Hendrie Weisinger recommends creating attainable goals and celebrating small wins – call them micro-successes.
  • Mario Trentim looks at conducting a stakeholder analysis from the perspective of the stakeholder.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts a PM student’s tale of failing to identify a key stakeholder, and the $200 million fine that eventually resulted.