New PM Articles for the Week of March 25 – 31

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 25 – 31. And this week’s video: Harry Hall follows up on his video explaining qualitative risk assessment with one on using quantitative methods to determine risk exposure as a financial amount, so you can set your project reserve. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Brexit update: an online petition to revoke Article 50, the provision for the UK to exit the EU, now has over 6 million signatures; Goldman Sachs thinks there is a 40% chance of that happening. Meanwhile, Prime Minister May is considering yet another vote on a softer version of her negotiated agreement, after three rejections, as an alternative to holding a general election before the April 12 deadline. If you want to be a senior decision maker, learn to follow current events like a senior decision maker.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Eshe Nelson interviews MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson on the development of a new economic metric, GDP-B, which tries to capture the value of things we don’t pay for, like Google Maps, Wikipedia, and YouTube videos. 8 minutes to read.
  • Paul Hockenos reports on the growing number of German homeowners installing storage batteries as a component of their solar energy systems. 8 minutes to read.
  • Chris Gilliard tells how an academic assignment to surveil unsuspecting strangers in public places raised questions on privacy, consent, and privilege. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin details 15 actions to take charge of your own professional development. 9 minutes to read.
  • Satya Narayan Dash describes a highly detailed project risk management framework. 9 minutes to read, plus a 5-minute video.
  • John Goodpasture makes the case for developing and following checklists, from the general to the specific. 2 minutes to read.
  • Gerri Poling reflects on what “continuous improvement” actually means: not just achieving quality goals, but moving beyond them. 3 minutes to read.
  • Any Jordan reminds us of the need to document and validate (or at least monitor for continued reasonability) the assumptions we use in planning. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Sripriya Narayanasamy and Karthik Ramamurthy, authors of Say Yes to Project Success, a collection of short stories with comments by 108 project experts. Podcast, 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Johanna Rothman describes milestone criteria, as used in agile methods for managing projects and programs. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agile values to splitting stories to why ‘done’ tends to clash with ‘validated.’ 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Angela Riggs tutors us on converting to automated software testing. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton does a deep dive into PMI’s Agile Practice Guide, released with PMBOK version 6 a year and a half ago, from contents to controversy. 12 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk suggests that the predecessor to those other certifications should be an Agile Manifesto certification. 3 minutes to read.
  • David Karlin indulges in a rant against unreliable and non-resilient software and support line hold messages that suggest maybe you should clear browser cookies. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackovny follows up on her post on testing input validation with some thoughts on validating outputs. The examples include a sly reference to an old song. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Anne Sugar describes three ways to handle planned meetings that will have too many attendees. 3 minutes to read.
  • Natalie Warnert leads us through a team vulnerability activity: name your trigger. An interesting way to help a small group become a functioning team. 4 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas provides short recaps for each of the five employment laws every manager of employees in the USA must know. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Susanne Madsen coaches us on Deep Work—the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. 5 minutes to read.
  • Curtis Preston argues that the Cloud is perfect for disaster recovery. 6 minutes to read.
  • Asaf Fybish explores three examples of implementing a Zero Trust network architecture—micro-segmenting and access verification—in large organizations. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • The nice folks at Clarizen make the case against Email. It’s like oil: a little lubricates; too much collects dirt and clogs everything up. 2 minutes to read.
  • Libby Sander says that office clutter has been proven to trigger negative behaviors like snacking on junk food, sleep loss, anxiety, and depression. Clean your desk! 4 minutes to read.
  • Sharlyn Lauby shares survey results: “If you were to start looking for a new job today, what would be the number one reason?” 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Harry Hall walks us through two very simple methods for conducting a qualitative risk analysis. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Nicolas Bloom and colleagues report on their survey of 7,500 business executives on the UK on Brexit as an uncertainty event. The impact is already evident. 6 minutes to read. Side note: Ireland is experiencing a boom in passport requests as more people living in the UK realize how difficult it will be to travel for business.
  • Hines Vaughn contrasts the California Consumer Privacy Act with the GDPR and notes a difference in consent—opt-in versus opt-out. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mihnea Moldoveanu finds a root cause for why AI underperforms business expectations: we don’t translate business problems into computational business problems. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Mike Griffiths teaches us how to create the truly great charter your project deserves. 10 minutes to read.
  • Becca Bruggman tells us all about what technical program managers do all day. Yup—been there, done that. 8 minutes to read.
  • Audrius Zujus prepares us to manage a project that includes virtual reality technology development. 14 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains another term of art: value engineering. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin describes the PMI-SP scheduling credential and shares her opinion of a prep course for it. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from practices adoption to leadership health checks to being done with customer discovery. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman contemplates alternative ways of getting close enough to the customer to create value. 3 minutes to read.
  • Karlo Smid presents a concise, value-oriented definition of a software bug. “Remember that design and architectural errors are bugs, too.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Roger Swannell suggests thinking of velocity as a product measurement, rather than a team 2 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery, by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines. 3 minutes to read.
  • Camilo Gomez shares some actions we should take to improve intercultural communications when outsourcing software development. 7 minutes to read.
  • Tony Ho Tran covers the pros and cons of the hamburger menu. You know: that little icon on phone apps that resembles the Chinese character for numeral 3. 12 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Kiron Bondale says that transparency is necessary but not sufficient: we must be responsibly 2 minutes to read.
  • Syed Moize explains emotional intelligence in the context of project management. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley began a series on the value of behavioral constraints, using the metaphor of guardrails. 4 minutes to read; 3 minutes for part two.

Research and Insights

  • The U. of Washington promotes a new website by two professors challenging us to identify which of two photos was generated by artificial intelligence. Just what we needed—more fake people. 3 minutes to read.
  • Hemel Vasavada Gill and Chakib Labibi summarize their research with Alexa users and their adoption curve for the Alexa voice interface. 8 minutes to read.
  • Yana Yelina presents short descriptions of several machine learning trends being followed by MIT professors and researchers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Olivia Goldhill reports that neuroscientists were able to predict decisions by monitoring brain activity a full 11 seconds before the subjects announced them. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Siva Prasad rounds up the most in-demand IT skills and certifications, from project management to DevOps to Big Data. 9 minutes to read.
  • Jack Vale considers the pros and cons of Email as the primary means of workplace communications. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dan Rockwell describes the coolest exercise in giving feedback I’ve ever heard of. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 4 – 10

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 4 – 10. And this week’s video: Harry Hall explains the difference between qualitative risk analysis and quantitative risk analysis. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Eshe Nelson observes the damage the UK has already inflicted on itself, no matter what sort of Brexit scenario actually comes to pass. 2 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell traces the evolution of artificial intelligence from system to transformational ecosystem. 5 minutes to read.
  • Martin Zwilling tells us how to void some of the unintended consequences of using artificial intelligence for business purposes. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin tutors us on project resource management—the ultimate guide. Agilistas, remember: “resources” doesn’t just mean “people.” 9 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths tells about a project that involved a lot of uncertainty, change, and conflicting interests. One methodology does not fit all. 7 minutes to read.
  • Keith Baxter describes a ten-step approach to kicking off the risk management process for your project. 12 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture explains the project balance sheet—a depiction of the balance between what is the responsibility of the project manager and the business sponsor. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mohamed Hesham Youssef shares some advice on getting the most value-add from the procurement process. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joel Carboni reflects on the PRISM methodology (PRojects integrating Sustainable Methods), noting that it’s not just about being green; it’s about managing the impact of what we manage. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the agile-industrial complex to the state of cynefin to strategy maps. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman just finished her series on managing Agile transformations. This is her summary, with links to each article in the series. Total time for the series is about 9 minutes.
  • Li-Hsuan Lung suggests that product owners take an approach analogous to managing a personal investment portfolio. 4 minutes to read.
  • Thomas Sugar collects insights from designers at seven top companies on how to run a focused, productive design meeting. 12 minutes to read.
  • George Krasadakis counts out eight steps for defining a minimum viable product. 7 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Melissa Boggs, the Scrum Alliance’s new Chief Scrum Master. Podcast, 28 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Lila MacLellan summarizes key points from President Obama’s interview at the Experience Management Summit, talking about making tough decisions. 4 minutes to read.
  • Bob Frisch and Cary Freene suggest that the first decision a group should make is how they will make decisions. 3 minutes to read.
  • Pawel Brodzinski challenges the way we assess whether a candidate would be a good “cultural fit.” 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Ed O’Brien shares the findings of his research into how much information we use to make decisions. TLDR: Less than you think. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely notes that the wrong approach to measuring productivity can give rise to counter-productive behavior by both leaders and employees. 3 minutes to read.
  • Timothy Aeppel reports that US companies installed more robots last year than ever, except in the auto industry, which seems to have reached saturation. 2 minutes to read.
  • Nicholas Christakis contemplates the ways that artificial intelligence and human-like robots might change the way we humans relate to each other. 10 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Tae Yoo puts the need for perpetual learning into perspective: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and the pace of job skill disruption is increasing. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy lists her key a-ha takeaways from The Feedback Fallacy, by Buckingham and Goodall. It’s a behavior-changer! 5 minutes to read.
  • Sharlyn Lauby shares her rules for managing Email. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!