New PM Articles for the Week of December 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Jingle Bells, for all of you who never learned to play an actual musical instrument. 2 minutes, safe for work, but you’ll have to replay it for everyone within earshot.

Must read!

  • Kio Stark explains how to exit a conversation without being a jerk. 4 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp describes his inner monologue as an introvert preparing and delivering the next sentence. Insightful enough to be discomforting. 3 minutes to read.
  • Julie Beck interviews N.J. Enfield on how the tiny pauses and filler words enable us to keep the conversation flowing. So “Umm” has a purpose? Good to know. 8 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists the project management trends that she believes will dominate the profession in 2018 and beyond. 5 minutes to read.
  • Darragh Broderick points to five collaboration trends we’ll see in project management in 2018. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy tutors us on creating an agenda for a project status meeting.
  • Ryan Ogilvie notes that problem management is like watering plants—you can’t overcome neglect quickly. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills observes a possible trend, toward “lightweight” PMO’s. Just a minute or so to read.
  • Renee Adair recounts an anecdote that illustrates the consequences of a “failure to communicate” when lots of channels are involved. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brendan Toner concludes his short series on how to deliver projects on time. 6 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his Agile content list, from Vasco Duarte’s 20 top Agile blogs to hiring wisdom from a young Steve Jobs to how Sales adds value to a product roadmap. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • Tom Cagley interviews Michael Harris on the business value of software—how to recognize it and how to create it. Podcast, 43 minutes.
  • John Goodpasture recaps Steve McConnell’s video presentation on managing technical debt in financial terms, which make more sense to the business. 2 minutes for the recap, just over an hour for the video.
  • Glen Alleman addresses a weak spot in Agile development processes at many organizations: separation of concerns. 7 minutes to read.
  • Abhijeet Verma tutors us on Spikes, as a tool for addressing uncertainties in stories or epics.

Applied Leadership

  • Johanna Rothman continues her series on building respect in organizations, rather than families. Here are parts four and five. 3 to 4 minutes each.
  • Suzanne Lucas uses Queen Elizabeth as an example of how a true leader responds to criticism. 3 minutes to read.
  • Seth Godin suggests we invest in making our gut smarter. 1 minute to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Stuart Firestein interviews professional poker layer Annie Duke on the Resulting Fallacy—judging the decision on the result—and how it negatively impacts our ability to refine our decision-making process. 8 minutes to read.
  • Keith Foote recaps the history of Big Data, beginning in the 17th century(!). 7 minutes to read.
  • Will Fanguy tutors us on prototyping. 4 minutes to read.
  • Bertrand Duperrin looks at the implementation concerns that organizations reasonably should have about HR Chatbots. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Travis Bradberry provides some ideas on how to structure your working day between “work” and “breaks” to maximize your actual productivity. 4 minutes to read.
  • Scott Berkun identifies the top five reasons why remote workers don’t succeed. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kat Boogaard lists seven questions to ask in an informational interview when thinking about a career change. 4 minutes to read.


New PM Articles for the Week of November 27 – December 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 27 – December 3. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains project change control—why it’s needed and how to manage it. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must Read Predictions for 2018!

  • George Krasadakis identifies the technologies and trends we should expect to spend our time on in 2018. 9 minutes to read.
  • Keith Foote lists the Big Data trends for 2018, from BI to analytics to Cloud trends to the IoT to machine learning and AI. 7 minutes to read.
  • Eric Bloom also weighs in with 14 business technology trends for 2018. 6 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin gives us seven scenarios where we should apply our best ethical judgment and behavior. 7 minutes to read.
  • Richard Bayney takes us through a model for maximizing strategic value in our project portfolio. 6 minutes to read.
  • Sam Huffman shares five quick tips for Microsoft Project users. How quick? Just a minute to read.
  • Harry Hall explains how to define risk categories that are meaningful to your project’s problem domain. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman has collected some resources for the Cone of Uncertainty, a key principle for managing programs. 4 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from macro trends to domains of business agility to innovation at scale. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Johanna Rothman notes that a successful adoption of Agile methods requires a parallel change to management culture.
  • Dave Prior and Jurgen Appelo discuss the notion of measuring Scrum Master performance. Video, 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joel Bancroft Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, address the question: does an Agile coach need coding skills to be effective? 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley explains the difference between cycle time and throughput. And yes, the difference is more than just rhetorical. 4 minutes to read.
  • Deepak Agnihotri explains why the Sprint Goal is important and notes some scenarios when the team may not be able to identify a goal. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • John Goodpasture shares a diagram on metacognition—the ability of skilled decision makers to supplement recognized familiar patterns with processes to verify results and correct problems.
  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez discuss the willingness to make a choice, based on our growth mindset (or, not). Podcast, 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews new PMI Master Class graduate Jeff Kissinger on leading projects without authority. Podcast, 34 minutes, safe for work.
  • Art Petty describes leadership at the intersection of logic and emotion. 5 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Frameworks

  • Tamás Török goes into deep detail on best practices for developing a microservices architecture. Long read, about 15 minutes or so.
  • Will Fanguy provides a comprehensive introduction to design systems. 10 minutes to read.
  • Drew Davison describes the PACE framework—Process, Assets, Change, and Environment—for incorporating change management into project decisions.
  • Luca Collina tutors us on embedding change management activities into our routine project execution activities. 6 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rich Bellis reports on research by sleep expert Michael Breus that can help design your ideal workday, based on your chronotype. Apparently, I’m a Lion. 6 minutes to read.
  • Michelle Guerrere gives us a tutorial on how to read body language, from face to posture to hands and feet. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nick Bilton notes that we might really be near the end of the social media era. 5 minutes to read.


New Post at AITS: Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

My latest article for AITS was published today: Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams.

I’ve been managing projects with globally distributed teams for a lot of years. Between the scheduling problems, the communication issues, and simply keeping everyone aligned on priorities in order to stay on schedule, it can be a handful. I’ve included several links to useful resources, as well as my usual suggestions for solving some of the common problems. But entirely aside from what’s in this article: become knowledgeable about different cultures. Call it a part of business acumen, call it being a citizen of a larger world. Just realize that the jobs at the upper end of the pay scale require a global mindset today and that requirement will spread downward in the years to come.

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