New PM Articles for the Week of February 16 – 22

Ballon PassingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 16 – 22. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • The MIT Technology Review gets us caught up on recent advances in computer recognition of faces and other three-dimensional objects.
  • Mike Griffiths analyzes the growth of the various PMI professional credentials over the last ten years. The trends are interesting.
  • Kristin Yang uses animated gifs to show how she spends her day as a software development project manager. Because it’s not all Dilbert scenarios.

PM Best Practices

  • John Goodpasture reports on a recent exercise that demonstrated the value of letting small teams self-organize to solve a problem.
  • Harry Hall notes that a project’s greatest exposure to risk lies at the beginning, and suggests steps to reduce that exposure.
  • Nick Pisano explains why fast-tracking a project also involves taking on additional risks and accepting more waste.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Susanne Madsen on the subject of her new book: “The Power of Project Leadership.”
  • Glen Alleman hacks away the Agilista pop-culture crap to get to a more rigorous definition of self-organizing.
  • Kerry Wills analyzes the spectrum of yellow that falls between Green and Red in our status reports.

Agile Methods

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Michael Smith on the concepts and practice of conscious software development. Just 31 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie gives us his summary of PMI’s “Pule of the Profession” report, and their findings on how high-performing project management organizations are more agile.
  • Mike Cohn is a firm proponent of a “definition of done,” but points out that there are cases where teams benefit from defining different levels of done.
  • Neil Killick examines a Twittersphere Scrum controversy, and suggests that the case in point misses an opportunity to investigate the underlying problem.
  • Derek Huether notes that even a co-located team needs a process framework and a communication tool.
  • Bart Gerardi makes the case for including the entire team in preparing estimates.
  • Pawel Brodzinski rolls out an interesting estimation and planning tool: No Bullshit Estimation Cards. Yeah, I got yer Fibonacci, right here …
  • Sumit Sharma makes the point that the product backlog isn’t just prioritized, but ordered.

Soft Skills

  • Cesar Abeid interviews writer, speaker, and podcaster Mike Vardy on his minimalist approach to personal productivity. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bruce Harpham gets into the why and how of self-motivation.
  • Gina Abudi lists our bullets for practices that will help us improve our concentration by screening out distractions.
  • Michael Lopp shares his non-judgmental take on the behaviors you’ll likely see in a conversation.
  • Bruce Benson tells us how he responds when a colleague announces that he’s leaving for another opportunity.
  • Tracey Richardson and colleagues report on their research into how project managers got into the profession. Mostly, by accident.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 9 – 15

Elephant in the RoomNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 9 – 15. We give you what you need to talk about the elephant in the room. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Hamza Shaban looks at the potential for the Internet of Things to kill personal privacy over the next few years.
  • Doug Laney of Gartner Group shares three Big Data trends that predict for how we’ll apply business intelligence over the next few years.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, give us the run-down on how to prepare for your next unanticipated job search.

PM Best Practices

  • Wanda Curlee gives us a quick overview of project portfolio management, as a practice and as a career.
  • PMI has published the results of their annual Pulse of the Profession survey, “Capturing the Value of Project Management.”
  • Beth Ouellette looks back at her experience in helping to birth PMI’s latest credential: the PMI Professional in Business Analysis.
  • Joachim Ahlstrom shares some recommendations for those thinking of implementing a continuous improvement process in their organization.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Jack Riso’s new iBook, “Ace the PMP Exam.”
  • Andy Jordan reflects on his recent consulting experience, helping an organization focused on operations, rather than projects, build a PMO.
  • Glen Alleman shares some authoritative sources of reference class data for IT projects, for developing your next set of estimates.
  • Harry Hall presents a short video on evaluating risks with expected monetary value analysis. Just 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisano continues his look at using data from multiple sources to improve our ability to manage projects.

Agile Methods

  • Michael Dubakov shares his practical experience in implementing the concepts of Minimum Viable Feature and Minimum Marketable Feature.
  • John Goodpasture considers a conundrum – fidelity to user expectations, or fidelity to user specifications?
  • Neil Killick gives a detailed view of how he manages the inception of a project.
  • Venkat Krishnamurthy invokes the “Ikea Effect” to make the point that Scrum teams benefit from having dedicated testers.

Soft Skills

  • Johanna Rothman explains how to create an environment where everyone on the team can lead.
  • Pawel Brodzinski give his take on participatory leadership and decision-making.
  • Bruce Harpham makes the case for humility, as a vehicle to improve your effectiveness.
  • Randy Hall looks at the mechanics of how we break old habits. Especially old leadership habits.
  • Bertrand Duperrin believes that using the web as a way to access information is about to become passé.
  • Paul Ritchie makes a point about why practice is so important, using the last big play of Super Bowl 49 as an example. Guys, we need to move on …
  • Peter Saddington condenses a few key points about how really smart people think, from Michael Michalko’s book, “Creative Tinkering.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 26 – February 1

Grand CanyonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of January 26 – February 1. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin explains in detail how to determine project success criteria, how to communicate the criteria, measure, baseline, track, and report on progress.
  • Brian Jackson introduces us to Ross, a super-intelligent attorney powered by IBM’s Watson computing system. A cloud-based lawyer may review your next contract!
  • Jason Hiner sketches out three trends that are going to define the next decade, not just in technology but the way our societies work.

PM Best Practices

  • Bruce Harpham outlines the practice of risk management, for program managers.
  • Ron Rosenhead returns from delivering a course for project sponsors with some insight on the lack of unity in some organizations on who is a sponsor.
  • Harry Hall gives us a detailed view of what a risk management plan should contain.
  • Jennifer Lonoff Schiff identifies the biggest (or most common) problems that project managers can anticipate, avoid, or mitigate.
  • Glen Alleman dismantles one of the business cases for iterative development.
  • Kevin Coleman makes the case for telecommuting, and offers some guidelines for making it work.
  • Pawel Brodzinski explores the economic value of slack time. Maximizing utilization is not the way to maximize value – queuing theory applies!

Agile Methods

  • Neil Killick follows up last week’s analysis of the Scrum Master role’s responsibilities, behaviors, and goals with a similar look at the Product Owner role.
  • Mike Cohn strips Scrum down to three clear, elegant sentences, and warns us to add only those elements that actually work in our environment. Excellent advice!
  • Michael Barone subjects Agile to a little psychoanalysis.
  • Boon Nern Tan explains the case for and benefits of pair programming.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates Big Agile, and the limited benefits of additional process and structure.
  • Don Kim sees parallels between the Structured Agile Framework (SAFe) and the Bill Murray classic, “Groundhog Day.” You can say that again …
  • Johanna Rothman contemplates the roles of development manager and test manager in Agile organizations.
  • Seth Godin distinguishes between optimism and honesty, and our ability to commit and deliver.
  • Han van Loon proposes a replacement for the estimation Cone of Uncertainty. Check out his video on YouTube and try not to think of a snake swallowing its prey.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Maria Kozlova on building and maintaining high-performing teams. Just 19 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Mike Vizdos and Peter Green, on the values and techniques of Nonviolent Communication. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tony, Craig, and Renee interview a variety of attendees at the Scrum Australia conference in Sydney. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Jyothi Rangaiah has published the January edition of Women Testers magazine. If you haven’t discovered this wonderful resource yet, take this opportunity.
  • Ruairi O’Donnelan on wishes: “A software engineer, a hardware engineer, and a project manager find a magic lantern …”
  • Nick Heath reports on the growing call for IT to set aside some jobs for women. Not certain jobs, but a certain fraction of the positions.

Enjoy!