New PM Articles for the Week of February 26 – March 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 26 – March 4. And this week’s video: And this week’s video: The Band of Heathens perform “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” on Austin City Limits, from 2011. Six minutes to watch; turn it up!

Must read!

  • Tim Fernholz reports that a start-up is designing a satellite to deliver internet access from geosynchronous orbit. The technology tradeoffs and decisions here are fascinating. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Wehner briefs us on a new AI-powered assistant for the astronauts on the International Space Station, in the form of a floating, basketball-sized device with an animated face. 2 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson uses the occasion of a failed Russian satellite launch to remind us that managers who make technical decisions without input from the technical experts own the results. Just a minute to read.

Established Methods

  • Donna Fitzgerald previews the role of the project manager in the corporate Strategy Realization Office. You’ll need business acumen and you’ll need to be the right kind of agile. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gives us a ten-minute course on how to be a confident project manager.
  • John Goodpasture explores Pareto, Exponential, and Poisson distributions, and explains why we seem to use Normal distributions even when not applicable. 3 minutes to read.
  • Roger Swannell addresses the question of compiling documentation over the project life cycle. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale shares the questions he asks in project manager interviews. 2 minutes to read.
  • Maya Bernstein and Rae Ringel explain how to plan a better meeting using Design Thinking. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from Launching an Agile transformation to distributed Agile leadership to product management trends. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • John Yorke examines successful Agile software development and finds three underlying pillars. 6 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams, by Daniel Vacaniti and Scrum.org. less than 2 minutes to read.
  • Jeff Langr notes that Behavior Driven Development (BDD), like TDD, can generate more tests than benefits. Aside: false positives consume scarce resources! 5 minutes to read.
  • Ron Jeffries suggests that we can’t wait until the deadline to be done. 6 minutes to read.
  • Justin Rohrman shares some observations from working with a group that practices pair programming about 95% of the time. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • David Rock shares the leadership lesson that Microsoft learned: tell employees what you want them to strive for, in as few words as possible. 5 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk describes the Netflix culture in terms of qualities and behaviors it values. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jim Taggert points out the importance of our mental models and their underlying assumptions. 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Avery Phillips gets us up to speed on how to deal with national and medical security breaches. The more sensitive the data, the more valuable the target. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ham Vocke concludes his lengthy reference on the practical test pyramid. An excellent resource, nearly an hour to read but worth your time.
  • Khe Hy describes his approach to making better use of everything he reads. 6 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rosie Spinks reports that Estonia will soon be offering a visa for “digital nomads” who want to park there for up to a year while working online. About half of the population speaks English. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy points out some of the behaviors that sabotage our careers. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dorie Clark explains how women can develop and promote their personal brand. Excellent advice for men in here, too. 6 minutes to read.
  • LaRae Quy articulates what it means to be positive in terms of what positive people never do. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 5 – February 11

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 5 – 11. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains organizational change management, as a complement to project management—we need to be able to work in both areas. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Scott Galloway makes the case for busting up Big Tech—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—the way earlier generations busted up Big Oil, Big Railroads, and AT&T. A long read, upwards of a half hour, but worth your time.
  • Gabriel Weinberg alerts us to the impact that Google and Facebook have on our privacy—76% of websites contain hidden Google trackers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ben Tarnoff presents the case for and (mostly) against de-regulation of data collection, as advocated by Google, Facebook, and other tech giants. 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture observes that we may soon be managing project budgets denominated in cryptocurrencies. It’s time to figure out what that means! 2 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiytutors us on creating a project communications plan. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale points out that the Kotter model for leading change benefits from continually injecting a sense of urgency.
  • Richard Paterson does a deep dive on writing a useful test plan, including one unusual observation—you might not need one. 9 minutes to read.
  • Michael Bolton tells us how to report progress on testing, as a story woven of three strands. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland reminds of us the variables to account for when planning projects—even if it’s a similar project for the same customer as the last project. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from habits of organizations vulnerable to disruption to Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum@Scale Guide to creating a product wall. 3 minutes to scan, 7 outbound links.
  • Pavel Kukhnavets gets deep into the differences between a Scrum daily stand-up and a Kanban daily stand-up. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ramakanth Vallur explains how personas—a generalization of a customer segment— add value to user stories. 3 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews How to Lead Self-Managing Teams, by Rini van Solingen. 2 minutes to read.
  • Doug Arcuri finds more wisdom in his third read of The Mythical Man-Month: it is important for the team to track decisions made, as close to the code as possible. 7 minutes to read.
  • Roman Pichler describes product leadership as a collaborative pursuit of a chain of shared goals. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Gustavo Razzetti describes the shift from right decisions to safe to try “Perfectionism is the enemy of change.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy follows up on her recent book, listing three critical reasons to run effective meetings. 3 minutes to read.
  • Derek Huether explains key performance indicators, lagging indicators, and leading indicators for product and services teams. 4 minutes to read.
  • Julie Giulioni notes that leaders who are too helpful can leave their staff helpless—or at least stunt their professional growth. 3 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Bob Tarne has started applying Crew Resource Management techniques, which originated in the airline industry, to help Scrum teams become more effective. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dan Birch and Neal Murray identify some project planning, risk and issue identification, and status reporting analytical opportunities that might benefit from AI. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Felahi expounds on the risks inherent in data management, from ingest through usage. Data integrity should be a big part of our thinking. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Traci Duez interviews Cesar Abeid, team lead at Automattic, the globally distributed company behind WorPress.com, on leading remote teams. Podcast, 52 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Brown updates on the Allen Curve—a finding from the 1970s that the further away someone is, the less likely they will initiate communication. 1 minute to read.
  • Stephanie Vozza lists some don’t-dos that could be making your to-do list less effective. 5 minutes to read. Yes, that was a cheap witticism, but admit it—you liked it.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 29 – February 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 29 – February 4. And this week’s video: Personal Kanban author Jim Benson introduces a new series of videos—The Agile Heretic. “We’ve gone from Death Marches to Death Sprints.” Sounds interesting! 7 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Tsedal Neeley expounds on swift trust, passable trust, direct knowledge, reflected knowledge, and how we build trust with colleagues we rarely see. 5 minutes to read.
  • Jesse Lynn Stoner explains how to make an effective apology and increase trust. 3 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a classic work on getting to collaboration by beginning with creating trust. 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Balloon LandingHarry Hall explains the what, why, and when of evaluating project risks. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture unpacks the concept of coupling to explain why, even in an Agile approach, dependencies can be reduced with a proper temporary architecture. 2 minutes to read.
  • Laura Barnard notes that Agile and PMO are not mutually exclusive concepts. In fact, they can complement each other. 7 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin curates her list of recommended project management certification training courses, for PMI and PRINCE2 certifications. 5 minutes to read, 6 outbound links.
  • Bonnie Biafore and John Riopel have some suggestions for building your organization’s methodology. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Marisa Silva on positioning the PMO to deliver impactful value. Podcast, 18 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly Agile roundup, from useless Agile metrics to big room planning, to the case for fewer product managers. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Dan North coins a new term: SWARMing, Scaling Without a Religious Methodology. 17 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale looks at the leadership problem of Agile adoption—organizational adoption of an agile mindset. 2 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley has collected a few metrics that can determine if our objectives in adopting agile methods are being met. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains Kanban, from its roots in Toyota’s JIT manufacturing system to adoption by the Agile movement. Video, 6 minutes to watch; safe for work.
  • Paul Merrill explains why you won’t be able to convert your entire testing team to use automated test tools. 6 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Balloon Over The RoofArt Petty recaps an anecdote that illustrates how to handle an attack on your credibility during a meeting. 5 minutes to read.
  • Bob Tarne notes that psychological safety—the perceived ability to push back on a management request—is created by managers, not team members. 2 minutes to read.
  • Doug Thorpe receives an Email from a former colleague that was “less than flattering,” and notes that leaders can’t win over everyone. 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Jeff Furman tips his hat to Mary Ann Jensen, the neglected co-author of the update to Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development Dr. Jensen is now a psychologist in private practice. 2 minutes to read.
  • Amy Hamilton recommends some small behavior changes that might help you to avoid a cybersecurity breach—at home, at work, and en route. 3 minutes to read.
  • Julian Strachan says that it’s OK to be techno-skeptical—after all, a technology does not control how it is used. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Eamonn McGuinness describes a model for handling those little interruptions and distractions that pop up throughout the day. A minute to read, or a video at 3 minutes; safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy shares her tips for getting things done in a timeframe a little closer to your original estimate. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke notes numerous studies that say there is an inverse relationship between hours worked and productivity. 8 minutes to read.
  • Nils Salzgeber argues that the key to higher productivity is to manage your energy, rather than your time. 19 minutes to read.

Enjoy!