New PM Articles for the Week of December 4 – 10

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 4 – 10. And this week’s video: A funny little “slice of death” on business continuity planning, from the US Department of Homeland Security. Less than 3 minutes, safe for work. And this week’s pictures are from the Oregon Zoo’s winter event, Zoo Lights. That seascape is about 16 feet tall and made entirely of LED lights.

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman has started an excellent series on how to behave professionally at work, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Here’s part two. Each 3 – 4 minutes to read.
  • Jacek Materna explains shadow IT—from origins to challenges and opportunities—and why SaaS and the Cloud are driving cultural change in the IT department.
  • Coert Visser shared a diagram of the “motivation continuum,” based on the extent to which autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs are fulfilled. Click on the image to get a clearer view and then study it for a few minutes. Worth the time investment.

Established Methods

  • Phil Buckley points out 7 change management trends that project managers need to be aware of. 6 minutes to read.
  • Bob Tarne describes Nemawashi, a change management technique the starts with relationship building as the path to consensus building. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale extracts lessons on both risk management and ethics from a recent Dilbert strip. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman does a deep dive into the difference between open-loop and closed-loop controls. 8 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson notes that project schedules must account for a certain amount of “getting things wrong.” 2 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his Agile content list, from the origin of the Agile Manifesto to Scrum and Hypothesis-driven Development to using customer feedback. 7 outbound links, a couple of minutes to scan.
  • Mike Griffiths offers some thoughts on next steps in professional development for those of use with the Certified Scrum Master credential. 4 minutes to read.
  • Sriram Narayan posts an FAQ for Product-Mode, as an alternative to organizing work as projects. Before you object to #NoProjects, scan this for 10 minutes.
  • Mike Cohn answers the criticism that Scrum teams meet too often with a simple suggestion: measure before and after. 4 minutes to read.
  • Matteo Tontini reflects on what the rise and fall of Slack use revealed about his collocated team. 5 minutes to read.
  • Michael Dubakov gets controversial: Every new feature either adds debt or creates a placeholder for future debt. And not just technical debt. 4 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley tutors us on six important process flow metrics; part 2 is here. Each about 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Pawel Brodzinski reflects on autonomy, authority, and lessons learned from the transition to a holocratic model for his company. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy describes a few techniques that can help us (and our teams) increase our capacity for generating insights. 4 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty explains the power of asking, “Why do you think that?” Especially of yourself. 3 minutes to read.

Technology and Techniques

  • Bob Martin recaps the history of storing information in computers, from punch cards to SSD’s, and asks: what’s the next fundamental improvement? 6 minutes to read.
  • Lucy Kaith recaps Microsoft’s presentation on new features coming in Sharepoint 2019 (which seems like it should be more than 13 months from now). 5 minutes to read.
  • Cari Romm explains how to be just a little bit better at remembering things. 2 minutes to read.
  • Brendan Toner reviews MindGenius 6—a Windows mind mapping product that exports directly to MS Project. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Suzanne Lucas tells us how to create a team when managing remote workers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Theresa Sigillito Hollema on strengthening collaboration across cultures and borders. Podcast, 38 minutes.
  • Seth Godin lists 20 excellent books that might change the way you and your colleagues work—especially if you read them together. Just a minute to read the list, but bookmark it.


New PM Articles for the Week of November 27 – December 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 27 – December 3. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains project change control—why it’s needed and how to manage it. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must Read Predictions for 2018!

  • George Krasadakis identifies the technologies and trends we should expect to spend our time on in 2018. 9 minutes to read.
  • Keith Foote lists the Big Data trends for 2018, from BI to analytics to Cloud trends to the IoT to machine learning and AI. 7 minutes to read.
  • Eric Bloom also weighs in with 14 business technology trends for 2018. 6 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin gives us seven scenarios where we should apply our best ethical judgment and behavior. 7 minutes to read.
  • Richard Bayney takes us through a model for maximizing strategic value in our project portfolio. 6 minutes to read.
  • Sam Huffman shares five quick tips for Microsoft Project users. How quick? Just a minute to read.
  • Harry Hall explains how to define risk categories that are meaningful to your project’s problem domain. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman has collected some resources for the Cone of Uncertainty, a key principle for managing programs. 4 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from macro trends to domains of business agility to innovation at scale. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Johanna Rothman notes that a successful adoption of Agile methods requires a parallel change to management culture.
  • Dave Prior and Jurgen Appelo discuss the notion of measuring Scrum Master performance. Video, 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joel Bancroft Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, address the question: does an Agile coach need coding skills to be effective? 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley explains the difference between cycle time and throughput. And yes, the difference is more than just rhetorical. 4 minutes to read.
  • Deepak Agnihotri explains why the Sprint Goal is important and notes some scenarios when the team may not be able to identify a goal. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • John Goodpasture shares a diagram on metacognition—the ability of skilled decision makers to supplement recognized familiar patterns with processes to verify results and correct problems.
  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez discuss the willingness to make a choice, based on our growth mindset (or, not). Podcast, 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews new PMI Master Class graduate Jeff Kissinger on leading projects without authority. Podcast, 34 minutes, safe for work.
  • Art Petty describes leadership at the intersection of logic and emotion. 5 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Frameworks

  • Tamás Török goes into deep detail on best practices for developing a microservices architecture. Long read, about 15 minutes or so.
  • Will Fanguy provides a comprehensive introduction to design systems. 10 minutes to read.
  • Drew Davison describes the PACE framework—Process, Assets, Change, and Environment—for incorporating change management into project decisions.
  • Luca Collina tutors us on embedding change management activities into our routine project execution activities. 6 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rich Bellis reports on research by sleep expert Michael Breus that can help design your ideal workday, based on your chronotype. Apparently, I’m a Lion. 6 minutes to read.
  • Michelle Guerrere gives us a tutorial on how to read body language, from face to posture to hands and feet. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nick Bilton notes that we might really be near the end of the social media era. 5 minutes to read.


New Post at AITS: Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

My latest article for AITS was published today: Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams.

I’ve been managing projects with globally distributed teams for a lot of years. Between the scheduling problems, the communication issues, and simply keeping everyone aligned on priorities in order to stay on schedule, it can be a handful. I’ve included several links to useful resources, as well as my usual suggestions for solving some of the common problems. But entirely aside from what’s in this article: become knowledgeable about different cultures. Call it a part of business acumen, call it being a citizen of a larger world. Just realize that the jobs at the upper end of the pay scale require a global mindset today and that requirement will spread downward in the years to come.

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