New Post at AITS: 3 Popular PMO Design Models

My latest article for AITS was published today: 3 Popular PMO Design Models You Should Know About.

I frequently stop by the project management subreddit to see what is being discussed and join in sometimes. One frequent question is, “I have been tasked with setting up a PMO. What should I do now?” I give my thoughts on the potential utility of three common models: Center of Excellence, Center of Governance, and Center of Administration.

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

New PM Articles for the Week of April 23 – 29

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 23 – 29. And this week’s video: Genevieve von Petzinger reviews drawings of a common set of symbols found in caves all over Europe. Writing has been with us for tens of thousands of years. 11 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Listen)!

  • Kif Leswing reports on the US$35M fine imposed on the dying remains of Yahoo because it didn’t tell investors about Russian hacking (in 2014). Disclosure matters! 4 minutes to read.
  • Dave West argues that professionalism and a code of ethics is more important than regulation in preventing abuse of human rights via technology. 4 minutes to read.
  • “Ms. Smith” recounts the story of a family member nearly conned by a fake tech support scam. Microsoft warns that this crap was up by 24% in 2017. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Grand CanyonMike Clayton tutors us on the basics of project risk analysis—one of the critical components of risk management. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale recommends a little “preventive maintenance” on our projects. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Todd Williams on implementing organizational strategy via projects, including managing the politics and risks. Video, 28 minutes, with transcript.
  • Laura Barnard tells how to build a strong sponsor relationship. 4 minutes to read.
  • Lynette Reed describes project budget planning using the work breakdown structure. 4 minutes to read.
  • Max Benz asked the Facebook Project Management Café denizens for the #1 project management skills. This article summarizes the answers. 9 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy goes deep in describing the software development lifecycle and why you need to manage it in phases. 10 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from self-organization to the metrics fetish to whether the Agile Manifesto needs an overhaul. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Jeff Sutherland on his new joint venture with the Scrum Alliance to train, coach, and promote Scrum@Scale. Podcast, 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn describes four proven techniques for giving the team a means to gain or assess consensus. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jay Bazuzi briefly describes three techniques for refactoring and links to two others. 3 minutes to read.
  • Simon Tomes gives us a large collection of simple practices to make your exploratory testing more productive. 8 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Greg Satell reminds us that leading requires us to shift our mindset, as different jobs require different mindsets. 5 minutes to read.
  • Oliver Staley notes research that shows why even inoffensive jokes by the boss can have a corrosive effect on the workplace. 2 minutes to read.
  • Dan Cable tells us how humble leadership really works. 6 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Richard Macaskill explains why data mapping—finding personal data in all your records— is key to GDPR compliance. 6 minutes to read.
  • Roland Bullivant notes the difficulty of discovering all the personal data in ERP and CRM systems for GDPR compliance. SAP has around 90K tables—not something you want to investigate by inspection. 8 minutes to read.
  • Jeff Nyman posts a paper on testability as a “primary quality attribute” of software under development. Highly recommended for those managing development projects. 12 minutes to read.
  • Jason Arbon observes that the focus on automation and continuous integration has led to a lot of verification that the software still works, and little testing to see if it’s broken. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Ananya Bhattacharya trots out the statistics: “The Trump administration’s hard stance on immigration is beginning to take a toll on the US economy.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Rebecca Knight reviews case studies that demonstrate ways to develop empathy for colleagues who annoy you. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus explains how taking up a hobby can help you develop the skills you need for your career. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 16 – 22

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 16 – 22. And this week’s video: Zaman gives us a tutorial on adding cascading animations to PowerPoint. Imagine using this to brief your steering committee on the results of testing, or some other data-heavy topic. 9 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Jenny Anderson reports on one of Amazon’s uncommon practices: teams prepare narrative memos rather than Powerpoints. Those of us who write are smiling. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains how to develop gravitas as a project manager. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jan Schulz-Hofen shares an action plan for GDPR compliance. Yes, you need to care, even if you aren’t in Europe. 20 minutes to read—call it an investment.

Established Methods

  • Andy Makar shares a checklist to support transitioning responsibility to a new project manager. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy shares a list of basic project management steps for those who have unexpectedly become project managers. In case you were asking “for a friend.” 6 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture explains the notion of the project balance sheet. Not Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equity but the relationship between the investment and how it’s being spent. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews CornerThought, a new tool for capturing lessons learned throughout the project and reviewing them at the right point in time in future projects. 6 minutes to read.
  • John McIntyre notes that the value of producing a weekly project status report lies in the “mini-project audit” required to prepare it. 6 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell captures the key points from a survey by Deloitte on big data and cognitive technology projects. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from large-scale Agile to BDD treaties to protecting the product creation process. Seven outbound links, 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale wishes the Agile Manifesto had one more value: “We value Agility over Agendas.” Not meeting agendas—the other kind. 2 minutes to read.
  • Alex Novkov returns to the manufacturing roots of Agile to consider the wisdom of “stopping the line” in the name of improving the process. 5 minutes to read.
  • Doron Bar describes endgame testing—end to end from the user’s perspective. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley notes that Kaizen is more of a mindset than a process or workflow. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths notes that software projects are evolving, to the point that the project manager role may disappear. Or at least, be less visible to the development team. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his list of leadership articles, from the dangers of unicorn worship to being wary of the next big thing. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jeffrey Kotler describes how resilient leaders respond to failure. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ron Carucci dismantles the three common reasons leaders give to avoid making hard decisions in a timely manner. 5 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Anne-Marie Charrett examines the practice of and inherent risks to quality assurance in a continuous delivery environment. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andrew Conrad shares five Powerpoint techniques that beat the crap out of whatever you’re doing now. Or maybe I’m just projecting. 5 minutes to read, set aside an hour to experiment.
  • David Geer notes six barriers to test automation, all of which cry out for project manager attention! 5 minutes to read.
  • Nir Eyal describes the Peak-End Rule, which explains why your last impression is the most lasting impression. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman note that reliably productive people have a certain set of traits and skills. 4 minutes to read.
  • Paul Sellers tells of the sudden outburst of anger by one of his students, and how it all turned out. 2 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Sáez shares ten tips that will help us stay focused. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!