New PM Articles for the Week of August 4 – 10

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 4 – 10. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews continue their series on a framework for the occasional project manager.
  • Nick Pisano considers the challenges of integrating cost and schedule on large projects, especially for the federal government.
  • John Goodpasture details why Monte Carlo simulations are better quality than the estimates that go into them.
  • Andy Jordan tells of a “traditional” project manager’s quick adoption of Kanban.
  • Lynda Bourne builds on a pair of earlier posts with her thoughts on designing key performance indicators that actually drive performance.
  • Kevin Korterud selects “estimate to complete” as the most useful metric.
  • Susanne Madsen bullet points the rules for a perfect status report.
  • Bruce Benson finds that the best way to learn from experience is to build systems that remember (and implement) what you’ve learned.
  • Gary Nelson recalls an old friend’s old car, and wishes every project ran like a Honda Civic. And yes, that’s also an acronym …
  • Joanna Carlson analyzes the roll-out of the Minnesota Affordable Care Act site, MNSure.
  • Kerry Wills has a great metaphor for setting context for the issues we document.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman explains how to avoid three of the most common estimation traps.
  • Glenn Alleman points out the potential for disparate views of Agile, based on the domain, scope, and budget.
  • Mike Cohn notes that Agile does not mean equal, at least for the members of the self-organizing team. Be sure to read the comments – they help Mike clarify some points.
  • David Anderson continues his series on using Kanban for project management.
  • Sanjay Zalavadia explores the need for agility in embracing Agile, especially your test management strategy.

Professional Development

  • Bryan Barrow shares his vision of our transition from project managers to project leaders.
  • Penelope Trunk explains the need to balance focus and breadth, in what she calls “cross-training.” Specialization isn’t just for insects!
  • Suzanne Lucas debunks some falsehoods about networking.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Carlos Flesh on managing projects in Latin America. It’s a cultural thing! Just 47 minutes, safe for work.
  • Carl Smith interviews Larissa Scordato on how she gave up her dream of being an archeologist to become a digital project manager. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner details his personal best practices for getting the most out of attending a conference.

New Books

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Bonnie Biafore’s new book, “Microsoft Project 2013: The Missing Manual.”
  • Ian Whittingham finds project management lessons in the follow-up to Freakonomics, “Think Like a Freak,” by Levitt and Dubner.
  • Bruce Harpham finds project management lessons in a biography of William Shakespeare, somewhere between tragedy and comedy …

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 28 – August 3

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 28 – August 3. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Contract Management

  • Todd Williams shares some insights gleaned from litigation over failed projects. Unless you only manage internal projects with in-house staff, you need to read this!
  • Glen Alleman articulates the key distinctions between fit for purpose and fit for use, and applies them to project management.
  • Pat Weaver outlines method for preventing, minimizing, or at least making visible, delays due to client inaction.
  • Andy Jordan presents an interesting case study of an outsourced portfolio management office. Or more accurately, outsourced PMO services.

PM Best Practices

  • Pollyanna Pixton notes that it’s easy to get metrics wrong, and explains how to design them to be effective.
  • Craig Brown vents at project management textbooks that get the work breakdown structure wrong.
  • Bryan Barrow points out that there are some things that Kanban software can’t do as well as Gant charting software.
  • Bruce Harpham offers a few stress management best practices.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides an executive summary of PMI’s “Navigating Complexity” practice guide. PMI members can download the guide at no charge.
  • Kailash Awati mines a paper from the British Medical Journal for an understanding of how organizations deal with human error: scapegoats and systems.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the stakeholder questions you want to answer in your project kickoff meeting.
  • Gina Abudi details a set of roles and responsibilities for team decision making.
  • Nick Pisano considers the early stages of project execution, as the team establishes its operating rhythm.
  • Dan Stober shares the Q&A from his recent webinar on the project manager as business analyst.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Burrows recounts his experience with implementing Kanban with a new team, and how they evolved from a generic process to just what they needed.
  • John Goodpasture expounds on the need for Agile methods to take compliance with external requirements (say, auditors and regulatory agencies) into account.
  • Shim Marom considers (and questions) the incremental value of “deeper” retrospectives.

Professional Development

  • Cheri Baker recounts her recent experience with a French client who wasn’t enchanted with her “American cheerfulness.” Time to recalibrate!
  • Scott Berkun provides a master course in refining and delivering your pitch, so that your ideas get the traction they deserve.
  • Lynda Bourne details the steps in building your personal brand, and leveraging your knowledge of your business contact’s brand.
  • Karina Keith shares some factoids about the profession of project management, to help you get a little perspective.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Ky Nichol on the challenges of managing event projects like the World Cup and the Olympics. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Magennis on how to apply the lessons from Money Ball to portfolio management. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Wheatley speaks with SAP America VP of Global Operations Tina Rosario on the growing importance of data governance. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley share a video of a presentation on innovation by former Obama administration CTO Aneesh Chopra. Over an hour, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 21 – 27

SaladNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 21 – 27. We gather all of this stuff so you don’t have to search for it! Recommended:

The Project Management Office

  • James Terry begins a new series, outlining a blueprint for creating a technology PMO.
  • Aaron Smith summarizes a research report from PM Solutions on the State of the PMO, 2014.
  • Kiron Bondale asks whether we should centralize measurement and tracking of project benefits realized.
  • Gina Abudi (bullet) points out criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the enterprise PMO.
  • Elizabeth Harrin recounts her experience as a one-woman PMO for a team of four project managers.

PM Best Practices

  • Alan Garvey describes parametric estimating, bottom-up estimating, and analogous estimating.
  • Troy Blake explains the Cone of Uncertainty, which describes the improving accuracy of estimates as the project progresses.
  • Otto Scharmer reports on results from MIT’s IDEAS China program, principally on the difference between Big Data and Deep Data.
  • Steven Levy reminds us that the cool results of our internal projects probably don’t matter all that much to our external clients.
  • Glen Alleman explains project management as a closed-loop control system.
  • John Goodpasture shares a diagram from Jurgen Appelo that intersects reactions to success and failure from mistakes, experiments, and practices. Thinking required!
  • Kerry Wills comes up with yet another sports metaphor. This time: spectators yelling at the team on the field don’t actually change the outcome.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman is assembling the Minimum Agile Reading List, and seeking recommendations.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan have apparently published the first university textbook for a course in Agile methods. Not sure if that is a good sign or a bad sign.
  • Chris Moody critiques the criticism, “That’s not Agile.”
  • Mike Cohn criticizes the now-common two-week sprint, as too short to try anything truly innovative.
  • David Anderson explains how to tell if you are really doing Kanban, or just going through the motions.

Lean Agile Melbourne 2014

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy reports from the Lean Agile Systems Thinking 2014 conference in Melbourne, and shares the slide deck from his Agile Coaching presentation.
  • Craig Brown shares the results of a workshop from the same conference, where the participants used the Six Thinking Hats to examine product backlogs.
  • Shim Marom reflects on the theme of the conference, “embracing disruption,” and wonders if Agile is now too mainstream to be disruptive.

Professional Development

  • Scott Berkun summarizes what we know about changing our habits.
  • Ian Whittingham asks a pointed question: how much experience in project management is required for mastery?
  • Coert Visser shares an interesting presentation on saying “no” effectively, without damaging either the relationship or our own interests.
  • Kevin Kelly tells us that this is just the beginning of the beginning, and that boundless opportunities await us. Just like thirty years ago.

Enjoy!