New PM Articles for the Week of April 30 – May 6

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 30 – May 6. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains the acronym ITTO, which refers to inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs, and why it takes up so much of the PMBOK. 4 minutes, safe for work. And two pictures from Bisbee Arizona, courtesy of Steve Miller—Thanks!

Must read!

  • Avery Phillips notes that ransomware is here to stay. And paying the ransom may not be as damaging as the loss of trust. 3 minutes to read.
  • Bhaskar Chakravorti observes that, while the GDPR might seem like a good template for data privacy, not all countries agree that regulation is the best solution. 7 minutes to read.
  • Youyou Zhou analyzes the data, finding that far fewer international students are coming to the United States for an education. 2 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Niansheng Chu tutors us on Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, a structured approach to finding the risks inherent in a design or process, with examples. 8 minutes to read.
  • Suzanna Haworth gives us a deep understanding of the RACI chart and various alternatives. Also, a template! 15 minutes to read.
  • Sylvia Gindi does a deep and thorough dive into project deliverables and explains why a milestone isn’t a deliverable. 10 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin examines five common roadblocks to success encountered by many (most?) projects and how to move them off the road. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland also identifies five common causes of project failure and how to avoid them. 6 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture goes back to Nate Silver’s new classic, “The Signal and the Noise,” to frame Bayes Theorem as an iterative process. 2 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from decisions under uncertainty to minimum-viable-whatever to “other” customer success metrics. 2 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Bisser Ivanov begins a series he’s calling Kanban 101. 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman explains the difference between minimum viable experiment (MVE) and minimum viable product (MVP). 5 minutes to read.
  • Ilia Pavlichenko describes The Speed Boat Game—an interesting product metaphor to get clients to talk about their pains and perceived value of a product. 3 minutes to read.
  • Marie-Eve Trempe provides a quick tutorial on velocity for Scrum teams and how to measure it and use it.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from why entrepreneurs fail to tackle big problems to your imagination as a superpower. 3 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Jory McKay presents 5 key goal-setting exercises for high-performing teams, as practiced at places like Google, LinkedIn, DropBox, and more. 15 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus says that leading means staying out of the weeds—if you love the work, maybe you shouldn’t be a manager. 2 minutes to read.
  • Wanda Thibodeaux lists 15 signs that someone is trustworthy. 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Emily Esposito preps us for Gutenberg, the new visual editor to be used in WordPress 5.0, due later this year.
  • Greg Satell recaps the history of data records, from Hollerith cards to relational databases, in explaining why distributed computing (the internet) needs secure, distributed data. 6 minutes to read.
  • Katrina Clokie lays out a decision process for selecting a test automation tool. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ephrat Livni recaps recent research that shows how your current opinions can influence how you interpret new facts. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Art Markman tells us how to conduct a meeting without dominating the conversation. 2 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland calls our attention to five interesting tools for remote work and collaboration. Podcast, 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy lists some of the reasons to choose a career in project management. If you are mentoring someone, send this to them! 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

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!