New Post at AITS: There’s More to a System Design Than Requirements

My latest article for AITS was published today: There’s More to a System Design Than Requirements.

Acme Tornado KitIn addition to meeting the current needs of the users, a good design (and a good implementation of a good design) has to be capable of being supportable once it makes the transition to production. We have to be cognizant of both the history of the legacy system we’re replacing and the potential for evolution of user requirements over time. Both technical debt and Lehman’s Law come into play here and good project managers help the designers keep past, current, and future needs in mind.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of January 22 – 28

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 22 – 28. And this week’s video: Harry Hall explains the concept of risk velocity—the relative amount of time you have until an identified risk manifests as an issue—and how to include it in your qualitative risk assessment. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Listen)!

  • Connor Forrest describes Amazon’s new retail artificial intelligence technology, called Just Walk Out. It’s the brains behind Amazon Go—a convenience store with no checkout line. 3 minutes to read.
  • Devin Coldewey reports on the surveillance technology behind Amazon Go. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dan Smiljanic reveals the results of Binfire’s analysis of the status of project managers and the profession, with global statistics and a survey of 1080 PM’s in the USA, UK, Europe, Israel, India, and Japan. 7 minutes to read and very enlightening.

Established Methods

  • Glen Alleman tutors us on physical percent complete—also called, “Are we done yet?” in the context of an integrated master plan and integrated master schedule. 8 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture answers a key criticism of Monte Carlo simulations: you don’t really know what distribution should apply. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiyoffers a practical guide to identifying project risks. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mari Rengarajam Deenadayalu tutors us on managing project scope in the presence of complexity and uncertainty. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton curates an excellent list of the best books about communication skills (and there are several types of skills represented) for project managers. 10 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the state of Agile engineering to SWARMing to why the velocity of experimentation is worth measuring. 3 minutes to scan, 7 outbound links.
  • Gojko Adzic says that tools like Kanban and Scum boards are only mirrors—they reflect where you are. To make them actionable requires context and experience. 8 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman shares some ideas for helping your team finish all of their work inside a sprint. 4 minutes to read.
  • Vrushali Umbarkar coaches us on why, when, and how to make the move from Scrum to Kanban.
  • Renee Troughton lists the seven habits of highly effective Agile sponsors. 9 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton describes the gamification of automated software testing. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kate Paulk lists ten bad reasons to not hire additional software testers. Some of these are funny because they’re both terrifying and common. 8 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Walter Frick describes three ways to improve your decision making. 4 minutes to read.
  • Scott Berkun says that there are several ways to say “no,” and as leaders and decision-makers, we should master all of them. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ryan Ogilvie correlates a shift in the weekday with the number of reported software incidents with a shift in the weekday that changes are moved to production. 4 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty points out the liberating power of accountability. 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • George Krasadakis describes the ways in which the economy—from transportation to insurance—will be impacted by autonomous cars and trucks. 6 minutes to read.
  • Fergus from TechRogers created an infographic that shows all of the sensors and other components that make up a self-driving car.
  • Seth Godin describes four postures to consider when working with a good designer, from “I know what I want” to “I’ll know It when I see it.” Just over a minute to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Leigh Espey takes us through the steps for dealing with a difficult team member. 4 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley helps you to decide whether you need a coach or a mentor. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elle Griffin shares a nifty flowchart to help you decide whether to have a meeting. Maybe 2 minutes to read, if you don’t stop to giggle.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 15 – 21

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 15 – 21. And this week’s video: Allison Osborn explains the “Quarter Life Crisis,” an interesting view of the stress felt by so many millennials as they search for personally meaningful work. 17 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Eric Newcomer and Brad Stone provide the sobering details behind the year-long ouster of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. 15 minutes to read.
  • Patrick Gillespie collates reports from around the U.S. indicating that American businesses can’t find workers. Note that 18 states will raise their minimum wage this year. 2 minutes to read.
  • Peter Fleming notes the science-based backlash against long hours of desk-based work. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Glen Alleman overviews Improving Project Performance: Eight Habits of Successful Project Teams by Jerry Wellman. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nick Pisano reviews the HBR OnPoint Magazine issue, The Data-Driven Manager: Make the Numbers Work for You. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton shares several stakeholder engagement strategies. 5 minutes to read.
  • Human Motamedi identifies the challenges to expect when integrating an off-shore team with a near-shore 5 minutes to read.
  • Geraldine O’Reilly describes the role of Project Champion and what to look for when recruiting one. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture gives a high-level explanation of four very different views of risk. 2 minutes to read.
  • Luca Collina walks us through the common points of recovering a project that has slipped into the Red. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly Food for Agile Thought, from the ‘too many Scrum meetings’ myth to knowing what not to build to the agility assessment framework. 3 minutes to scan, 7 outbound links.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Jessie Shternshus on helping teams un-learn the old so they can learn new Agile behaviors and habits. Podcast, 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rik Marselis recaps Brian Marick’s idea of Agile Testing Quadrants. It’s a shame that after more than 14 years, this isn’t more widely used. 4 minutes to read.
  • David Robins explains the difference between a project manager and a product manager. 2 minutes to read.
  • John Cutler shares a thought experiment on the relative merits of fixed length iteration and continuous flow in Sprint goal planning. 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Rob Lambert explains active listening—why it’s valuable and how to do it effectively. 7 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley begins a new series on coaching and mentoring—similar but different activities. 3 minutes to read.
  • Derek Huether tutors us on objectives and key results, a well-established process for setting, communicating and monitoring goals and results in organizations. 3 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • David Balaban presents his analysis of the critical security vulnerability introduced by Apple with the introduction of iOS 11. 7 minutes to read.
  • Bob Martin uses the aviation concept of going into a stall when behind the power curve as a metaphor for software quality. “Rotten code is induced drag.” 4 minutes to read, even if you’ve only ever been a passenger.
  • Martin Fowler asks us to reconsider what we mean by an integration test and whether we have a clear understanding of what we’re trying to confirm. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alexa Roman introduces product analytics as a means of measuring the effectiveness of a UX design. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Brendan Toner presents the ultimate tutorial on how to create and maintain your to-do list. 15 minutes to read.
  • Anett Grant offers some excellent advice for when your presentation is running longer than the time available. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ryan Born has some excellent advice: instead of apologizing, say “Thank you!” A minute to read.

Enjoy!