New PM Articles for the Week of September 8 – 14

Balloon Over the WallNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 8 – 14. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman summarizes the Government Accounting Office’s findings on the root cause of the HealthCare.gov website problems. “Ineffective planning and oversight …”
  • Bruce Benson also reviews the problems identified by the GAO and comes to a different conclusion: they need brutal honesty in order to establish realistic expectations.
  • Russell Whitworth says the key to successful projects is to identify success criteria, and then monitor and manage to them.
  • Michel Dion articulates three keys to project management: identify the intended results, be decisive, and take action.
  • Harry Hall helps us get past the terminology gap, between what we know about project management and what our sponsors and stakeholders don’t
  • Johanna Rothman explores the relationship between cost, value, and investment for portfolio management in a new series.
  • Henny Portman shares an article on building a project portfolio prioritization model, to be part of his upcoming book.
  • Mike Griffiths has a few suggestions for managing the Millenials, in the modern world of frequent job changes and unrealistic expectations.
  • Kerry Wills touts the virtues of planning a schedule from left to right; in other words, calculating the end date, rather than having one imposed as a constraint.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Glip, a project collaboration site with instant messaging and some interesting integrations with other commonly used tools.

Agile Methods

  • Shim Marom shares the slide deck from his Australia PMI conference presentation, “Transform Yourself From Traditional to Agile Project Manager.”
  • Dave Prior constructs a self-assessment tool for “recovering PM’s” who are embracing Agile, and want to measure their progress. “Recovering?” Egad …
  • Mike Cohn explains that the primary benefits of story points is a standardized measure of effort, independent of the skill level of the programmer.
  • Meghana Niranjan presents Poka-Yoke 101, or for us non-Japanese speakers, an introduction to mistake proofing. The examples are more than enough reason to read this.
  • Aby League clarifies how the Pomodoro Technique works, and how such a personal time management approach can fit in with Agile teams.
  • John Goodpasture assigns ownership of delivering the value described in the business case to the product manager.

Following the Trends

  • Janet Wagner provides a current-state view of cognitive computing and identifies several companies producing cognitive apps.
  • Zach Watson sees opportunity for project management in the Internet of Things.
  • Peter Saddington reports on research linking social collaboration and the evolution of brain size.
  • Bertrand Duperrin interviews Manuel Diaz on the intersection of the customer experience and digital models.
  • Kailash Awati interviews organization psychologist Dr. Neil Preston on exchanging the hero myth for an ethical approach to organizational change management.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy shares a video from Masaaki Imai, founder of the Kaizen Institute, on continuous improvement across the organization. Just 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Shawn Dickerson of AtTask on the future of project management, and re-connects with Farnoosh Brock. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joan Vincent on how the Wideman Education Foundation develops project management skills in young people. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni expands on her last post, on strategic reserve time, to show how to avoid starting off behind schedule. Just 7 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 1 – 7

Over My HouseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 1 – 7. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • John Goodpasture educates us on the art and science of preparing a request for proposal, or RFP. Must reading!
  • Paul Glen explains why one person can’t be a project manager and a programmer, at the same time.
  • Michel Dion walks us through the process of taking over a project from a departing project manager.
  • Glen Alleman recounts the development of multi-criteria decision analysis.
  • Bruce Benson shares a lesson learned from Little Caeser’s Pizza restaurants: small changes are sometimes enough to get big results.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes a presentation to the Ireland Chapter of PMI, delivered by Mike Hughes, Office Business Group Lead for Microsoft Ireland.
  • Gina Abudi reveals her secrets of evaluating the culture of a client organization.
  • Nick Pisano tells why measuring technical achievement matters and how fits in with other progress metrics.
  • Kenneth Darter lists the attributes of an effective project sponsor.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn defends the notion that story points are about time and level of effort, rather than just complexity.
  • Bart Gerardi looks at Agile anti-patterns, starting with translating story points to effort hours.
  • David Baker explores how the business analyst fits into the Scrum framework.
  • David Anderson explains how risk affects work in progress, using a real life example: the number of shirts he should keep in his closet.
  • Tobias Mayer gives a tongue-in-cheek explanation of how to scale Agile, the same way you would scale a fish. Excellent!

Following the Trends

  • Nick Heath reports that IT outsourcing firms in India are automating many of their technical jobs. Salaries are skyrocketing due to competition for engineers!
  • Mike Frandsen reflects on how the move to continuous development at Workday has benefitted their customers and increased the pace of innovation.
  • Jelani Harper gives us the background on data governance programs.
  • Suzanne Lucas gives us Boomers and Gen-X types a few cultural insights (OK, warnings) on how these recent graduates will change our workplace.

Professional Development

  • Lindsay Scott uses a cautionary anecdote to lead up to the question: What was the last conscious thing you did to benefit your PM career?
  • Andrea Brockmeier shares her thoughts on preparing for the PMI-ACP exam.
  • Michael Lopp describes your elusive but hyper-effective colleague, The Wolf.
  • Susanne Madsen offers three critical questions that you can use to solicit feedback.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Patrick Coffin and Dustin Kahia on their upcoming film, “Call of the Void,” and movie project management. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews author Mark Phillips on his new book, “Reinventing Communication.” Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni defines strategic reserve time, in the context of teams for whom the project is not their sole responsibility.

Enjoy!

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!