New PM Articles for the Week of March 23 – 29

Saturday Balloon RideNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ron Rosenhead shares some proven rules for project sponsors to use when briefing their project managers on the new project.
  • Harry Hall lists seven presentation principles that project managers can learn from the weatherman.
  • Toby Elwin distills some statistics on the Fortune 500 to make the point that the pace of change is increasing. And as project managers, we are agents of change!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman describes a rigorous approach to estimating, which doesn’t assume that the past is entirely representative of the future.
  • Bruce Benson reports that, by starting their project planning earlier and focusing on quality, his company avoided finishing late and buggy.
  • Luis Seabra Coelho explains the difference between a project and a program.
  • Richard Lepsinger has some suggestions for helping remote workers stay connected.
  • Michelle Stronach looks at the PMO as a repository and source of “knowable project management.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at knowledge management from the self-service perspective. It’s all about processing for consumption.
  • John Goodpasture considers the question of whether software actually fails, or just has faults. Burnt toast, anyone?
  • Nick Pisano looks into the sources of resistance to change, when enterprise software is the change agent.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Mike Hughes, a consultant specializing in operational excellence, on why and how the IT department should say no.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski notes the inherent fallacy in the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning new skills.
  • Johanna Rothman explains some of the reasons why managers need estimates.
  • Kaushik Saha defines the INVEST acronym for user stories.
  • Nada Aldahleh describes six characteristics of effective product owners.

 Professional Development

  • Mike Griffiths looks at the statistics of the various credential programs from PMI, and plots a few trends.
  • Paul Ritchie breaks down what the new PMI recertification requirements mean to training organizations.
  • Steven Levy renews his membership in PMI, using software with an appallingly bad UX.
  • Bruce Harpham notes several things you can do to help new team members get up to speed, while instilling a positive attitude.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the contents of her reading pile. More accurately, her books to-finish-reading pile.
  • Jamie Hill extracts a few lessons from his new book, “Make Good Habits Stick.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Wes Schaeffer on the art and practice of sales and negotiating for project managers. Plus career tips from Dev Ramcharan and the must-read PM articles list from your truly. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev on his new book, “Project Scope Management.” Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have crafted a commercial for their new book, “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel.” Just three minutes, safe for work, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.


PMI Announces a New Professional Credential for Portfolio Managers

PMI has announced that they are developing a new professional credential: Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP).  As you might guess from the name, this certification is directed toward project portfolio managers. For more information on eligibility, check the PfMP Certification page on the PMI web site.

PMI says that the PfMP Exam Content Outline will be made available later this month, and they expect that the pilot test will be available late in 4Q13.  At a guess, the Standard for Portfolio Management, Third Edition will likely be a key resource.  However, I expect that PMI will list a number of other references.

Note that nearly four years after it was introduced, there are only 939 active holders of the Program Management Professional (PgMP) credential.  I don’t know how many portfolio managers PMI expects to attract with this credential, but I’ll bet the initial interest will come almost entirely from people who already hold two or more PMI certifications.  I’ll report on this again later in the year, as news becomes available.

New PM Articles for the Week of August 29 – September 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 29 – September 4, 2011.  We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to!  Recommended:

  • Abid Mustafa on the establishment of a PMO: “The structure of the PMO cannot be imposed or rushed, but must develop naturally.”
  • Bruce Benson says the key to managing innovation efforts is to not manage them.  At least, not as closely as projects pursuing more specific outcomes.
  • Elizabeth Harrin has two more book reviews: “Project Success: Critical Factors and Behaviors,” by Emanuel Camilleri, and “Managing Projects: A Team-based Approach,” a textbook by Karen Brown and Nancy Hyer.
  • Roger Kastner thinks organizations should measure the effectiveness of their project managers at managing and delivering on the commitments they make to stakeholders.
  • Todd Williams on indecision: “It takes a leader to make effective decisions. The person’s position or rank is irrelevant.”  Indeed.
  • Bas de Baar notes that a group’s culture is a product of the group’s conversations; consequently, “interventions should be focused on the conversations.”
  • Michelle Symonds suggests that women make the best project managers.  She even has survey results to support her claims, so it must be true!
  • Meredith Guetig shares some PowerPoint best practices for project managers.
  • Glenn Alleman is advocating for capabilities-based planning, as opposed to simply collecting use cases.
  • PMI and the International Council on Systems Engineering have joined forces to integrate their respective best practices.
  • PMI also announced availability of two new knowledge assessments, for Program Management and Portfolio Management, respectively.  Like the Project Management assessment, each is 100 multiple choice questions, based on their respective practice standards, and costs $35.
  • Josh Nankivel offers five reasons your project management career isn’t moving, and what to do about it.
  • Mike Griffiths is working with RMC, the company founded by the late Rita Mulcahy, to create a PMI-Agile Certified Practioner study Guide.
  • Derek Huether is offering a PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner preparation workshop, September 26 – 28, in Columbia, MD for $1495.  Enroll through Agile Scout for a 15% discount.
  • Peter Saddington has been talking with Mark J. Balbes, PhD, on his recent experiences as an Agile Architect.  “Architecture is a frame of mind …”
  • Craig Brown shares a link to a video from the Boston AgilePalooza, where Jeff Patton reviews a discussion on Kanban.  Best line: “Are we re-branding common knowledge?”
  • AgilePalooza is coming to Tysons Corner, VA on September 16.  For $89, it looks like a full day of PDU opportunities, with lunch included.
  • And the current issue of PMI Today has a brief article explaining how to earn PDU’s by actively participating in the PMI Communities of Practice.
  • Bill Krebs reflects on ten years of Agile practices in project management.
  • From the “we see what we want to see” department, Meta S. Brown has an epiphany: Thomas Alva Edison practiced Agile techniques!