New PM Articles for the Week of September 17 – 23

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 17 – 23. And this week’s video: an animation featuring the late Studs Terkel, as he ruminates on the comforting sound of the human voice, in a story about the machine-generated voice of the tram at the Atlanta airport. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Dave Gershgorn reports that some US Senators are asking whether AI algorithms could violate civil rights laws by perpetuating biases. 2 minutes to read.
  • Stephen Blyth notes that big data and machine learning won’t prevent the next financial crisis. The principal driver is irreducible uncertainty. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kasia Wezowski notes that while body language varies significantly across cultures, microexpressions are remarkably consistent. Just a minute to read but study the photos.

Managing Projects

  • Glen Alleman does a deep dive into Monte Carlo simulation and includes a truly massive list of references. 11 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture contrasts Monte Carlo simulations with PERT. 6 minutes to read.
  • Jory MacKay tutors us on stakeholders and how to identify and engage them. 11 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin speaks out on allocating resources to tasks: “Availability is not a skill set!” 4 minutes to read.
  • Nenad Trajkovski addresses the question: do we need to assign a resource to a milestone task? If so, under what conditions? 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman philosophizes on the differences between project work and product work. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from whiteboarding skills to Monte Carlo forecasting to a new survey. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton presents a complete guide to the bewildering list of credentials available to Agile practitioners. 12 minutes to read.
  • Chee-Hong Hsia explains why architecture will emerge and evolve, even though you should take the time to start with a good design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andy Makar describes three real-world Agile team challenges and recommends ways to deal with them. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Bernstein shares some pointers on pair and mob programming. Great minds don’t always think alike; sometimes they fill in each other’s gaps. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony describes the critical elements to consider in localization testing. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his list of leadership articles, from failing at your goals to protecting from human errors to choosing which advice to follow. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty describes a presentation to senior managers that could have gone badly but benefitted from a calm response to strong objections. 6 minutes to read.
  • Pawel Brodzinski extols the virtues of flat organizations and distributed decision-making in the context of autonomy. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills notes that there is a formula for transparency. Just a minute to read.

Research and Insights

  • Thomas Hornigold reports on MIT research: robotic arms that taught themselves to pick up objects the way people do. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mark Wilson cites research into career peaks—it seems that you can do your best work at any time in your professional career, and “hot streaks” are a real thing. 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Van De Ven and Steven Van Dalen explain the impact of dedicated chips like the Bionic A12 in the new iPhone which are only engaged for specific tasks. Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.

Working and the Workplace

  • Dominic Price shares some vital signs that can help you determine whether your office culture is healthy. 3 minutes to read.
  • Maura Thomas examines the impact of Email on company culture. Some ground rules are needed! 5 minutes to read.
  • Geoffrey Morrison shares some advice on simple things to pack along on any business trip. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 9 – 15

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 9 – 15. And this week’s video: Cy Swan, still working as a blacksmith and knifemaker at 81, celebrates Independence Day by blasting an anvil into the air, at a pair of hovering drones as they film the whole thing. Yeah … 3 minutes, safe for work, and no anvils were harmed in the making of this video.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Dave Gershgorn reports on the push by Microsoft for Congress to regulate how facial recognition technology is used, based on potential human rights risks. 2 minutes to read.
  • Richard Fall reports on the evidence of bias in the proprietary algorithms in COMPAS, a program used by judges that recommends criminal sentences. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dipayan Ghosh gives us the executive summary of California’s new data privacy law. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • John Goodpasture shares a response from one of his students to the change management question, how would you prepare an organization to take on Agile methods? 2 minutes to read.
  • Robert Wysocki describes a comprehensive model of project management called the Scope Triangle. 4 minutes to read, part 1 of 2.
  • Glen Jones explores the selection of KPIs for executive oversight. Here is part 2. 6 minutes to read both parts.
  • Kiron Bondale notes the perils of expressing resource availability as a percentage. 2 minutes to read.
  • Nat Schatz recommends additional due diligence for efficient consolidation of project resources and processes after a merger or acquisition. 12 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains the meaning of education contact hours and PDUs, as used in the PMI credentialing process. 8 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from changing corporate culture to product prioritization to whether Scrum is iterative or incremental. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to read.
  • Chitra Manoj presents a case study that demonstrates the value of a gap analysis in a project to implement an off-the-shelf replacement for an existing financial system. 3 minutes to read.
  • Svetozar Krunic explains lead scoring, a user behavior metric valued by marketers. 4 minutes to read.
  • Justin Rohrman describes a definition of “done” for development completed by a small team with no real hand-offs. 6 minutes to read.
  • Claire Reckless gives her detailed answer to a simple question: What is software testing? You can’t manage what you don’t understand. 10 minutes to read.
  • Steven Sinofsky points out the bear traps in implementing API connections to other systems from your enterprise system. 12 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from making sure your goals have impact to not believing your own BS to the need for better governance. 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman posts two parts on objectives and key results (OKR) and how that translates to accountability, versus fostering responsibility and autonomy. 7 minutes to read both, here’s part 2.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jason Evanish on the importance of using 1 on 1 meetings in growing your team members. Podcast, 36 minutes, safe for work.

Research and Insights

  • Greg Satell reports on recent progress in the war against synthetic identities used to defraud financial institutions. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Merritt suggest five alternatives for making your web browsing more secure. Read or video, both 2 minutes.
  • Polina Aronson and Judith Duportail examine the starkly different empathic responses of two different AI conversational agents: one programmed in the US and one in Russia. 12 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Emily Esposito recaps the key points from Daniel Pink’s new book, When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing. 3 minutes to read.
  • Benjamin Spall distills lessons learned from talking to over 300 successful people about their morning routines. 4 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp shares his practices for managing his browser, phone, Email, and life. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alyse Kalish explains why everyone should have a professional headshot handy. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 12 – 18

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 12 – 18. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton provides an excellent explanation of Lean Project Management, as it arose in the context of the Toyota production system. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Maura Thomas quotes an early (1890) psychology textbook to show how long we’ve been struggling to control the distractions in our life, and what we’ve learned. 6 minutes to read.
  • Chris Clearfield examines a few cases studies that illustrate good and bad handling of a crisis that couldn’t be predicted. 6 minutes to read.
  • Carlos Bueno asks the rhetorical question: Can an artificial intelligence break the law? There are significant legal hazards ahead for machine learning algorithms that can’t “explain” their reasoning. 10 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture explores a way to make the familiar qualitative risk matrix more rigorous with iso-risk contours and relative scales. 3 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall explains the new risk strategy cited in the Sixth Edition of the PMBOK, Escalate. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin lists eight free or low-cost resources for PM training, templates, and other valuable content. 3 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews John Kleine, Global Manager, Product Strategy & Delivery, at Project Management Institute about the current rules for CCRs and PDUs. Podcast, 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jeanne Achille promotes the value of a pilot program when validating the business case for a new solution. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews project portfolio management specialist Helen Hull on leading a team of project managers. Podcast, 16 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from continuous product discovery in practice to the futility of introducing Agile via command and control to avoiding customer resistance to product changes. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to scan.
  • Chris Matts starts a series describing the Cotswold Way—an Agile approach to business analysis. 2 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman concludes her six-part series on Agile transformation, with links to all posts at the bottom. 3 minutes to read each, on average.
  • Andy Jordan analyzes a new role: a hybrid of product manager and project manager. 7 minutes to read.
  • Roman Pichler describes two product manager styles to avoid: feature broker and product dictator. 5 minutes to read.
  • Maarten Dalmjin shares seven common mistakes when starting your first Scrum sprint. 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Neil Younger tells about pairing with his recruitment manager—what each of them learned made them more productive and efficient. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ken Blanchard captures the practical essence of servant leadership—lead with your ears. 2 minutes to read.
  • Cody McLain describes President and Five-star General Dwight Eisenhower’s proactive approach to task management. 5 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Parth Shrivastava gives us a quick overview of GDPR. PwC reports that 92% of U.S. companies consider GDPR a top data protection priority. 6 minutes to read.
  • Alex Schladebeck explains why unscripted, exploratory testing is usually a valuable prelude to scripted testing. 6 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton makes the case for not always creating a test when a problem is encountered, even in production. 2 minutes to read.
  • Scott Helmers shows a couple of neat tricks that let you associate tabular data and icons with the shapes in a Visio diagram. “This is the software development life cycle …” 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Larry Rosen suggests a few ways to reduce the impact of your smartphone (or tablet) on your mental and physical health. 3 minutes to read.
  • Ari Farrow explores three ways to manage work by keeping a sustainable pace. 3 minutes to read.
  • Corrinne Purtill explains the difference between a snafu, a shitshow, and a clusterfuck. No, I’m not making this up and apparently, neither is she. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!