New Post at AITS: Toward a Better Source of Project Management Data

AITSBloggingAllianceAITS recently published my new post, where I call for a movement to take more modern approaches to sharing and analyzing project data among projects. In it, I trace the evolution of end user management data processing from the late 1950’s through the present day. I contend that our end user technology has evolved past a need for normalized, standardized data structures, and that we need to think in terms of data exchange, rather than data repositories.

You can read the article here. Most of the folks who visit this site spend a lot of time creating, analyzing and sharing project data with governance boards, portfolio managers, and executives, so I’m sure the subject has come up at some time. Please leave a comment at the article, if you want to share your thoughts.

New PM Articles for the Week of October 27 – November 2

Just OverheadNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 27 – November 2. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • The second edition of Women Testers Magazine is now available. Not just for women or testers – this is some truly excellent content. Highly recommended!
  • John Goodpasture considers two views of “architecture.”
  • A Business Cloud News survey found that IT isn’t really driving SaaS adoption, and cloud-based applications are still providing data security challenges.
  • Andy Jordan concludes his long series on organizational risk management.
  • Johanna Rothman lays out an approach for tactical management.
  • Bruce Benson makes the case for getting into the weeds – researching the history, understanding past performance, and scheduling based on demonstrated capabilities.
  • Rebecca Mayville uses the butterfly as a metaphor for driving positive change.
  • Michelle Stronach recounts a sad story of how she took over a project in progress, from a well-liked, competent project manager who passed away.

Agile Methods

  • Kailash Awati describes how to apply the principles of emergent design to enterprise IT.
  • Glen Alleman shares his article, “Agile Program Management,” published in Cutter Journal. A long but excellent read.
  • Mike Cohn continues his series on sprint planning with the commitment-driven approach.
  • David Anderson notes that, as soon as organizations get used to time-boxing, they shrink the size of the boxes. Kanban (naturally) avoids this trap!
  • Don Kim believes that the Scrum team will only succeed if the Product Owner truly understands what is needed and can communicate it effectively.
  • Ravi Nihesh Srivastava proposes using Scrum to produce a high-quality technical proposal.


  • Bob Tarne summarizes keys points from a recent presentation by Tom Peters.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Oana Krogh-Nielsen, Head of the PMO for the National Electrification Program for the Danish rail system, Banedanmark.
  • Bruce Harpham interviews Terry Schmidt, whose resume begins with his internship at NASA during the Apollo Moon landing program, on strategic project management.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joseph Flahiff at the PMI Global Congress, on his new book, “Being Agile in a Waterfall World.” Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior rounds up with fellow Agilistocrats Richard Cheng and Dhaval Panchal to discuss Agile misconceptions they see in training classes. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni shares an article by Roxi Hewertson, “Lead Like it Matters.” Just 3 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig, Tony, and Renee interview Em Campbell-Pretty on the Scaled Agile Framework. Just 35 minutes, SAFe for work. Oh, stop rolling your eyes …

Pot Pouri

  • Linky van der Merwe tells us about the African Storybook Project, which aims to translate children’s stories into African languages and publish them on the internet.
  • Pat Weaver celebrates the 30th anniversary of the PMP examination with a brief history of PMI, the PMBOK, and the PMP credential.
  • Ralf Finchett shows the Project De-Motivational posters he’s been working on, and asks if we have any ideas. Wait until I take my medication, Ralf …
  • Kerry Wills finds the humor in Reply to All when “All” is the entire company.


New PM Articles for the Week of July 21 – 27

SaladNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 21 – 27. We gather all of this stuff so you don’t have to search for it! Recommended:

The Project Management Office

  • James Terry begins a new series, outlining a blueprint for creating a technology PMO.
  • Aaron Smith summarizes a research report from PM Solutions on the State of the PMO, 2014.
  • Kiron Bondale asks whether we should centralize measurement and tracking of project benefits realized.
  • Gina Abudi (bullet) points out criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the enterprise PMO.
  • Elizabeth Harrin recounts her experience as a one-woman PMO for a team of four project managers.

PM Best Practices

  • Alan Garvey describes parametric estimating, bottom-up estimating, and analogous estimating.
  • Troy Blake explains the Cone of Uncertainty, which describes the improving accuracy of estimates as the project progresses.
  • Otto Scharmer reports on results from MIT’s IDEAS China program, principally on the difference between Big Data and Deep Data.
  • Steven Levy reminds us that the cool results of our internal projects probably don’t matter all that much to our external clients.
  • Glen Alleman explains project management as a closed-loop control system.
  • John Goodpasture shares a diagram from Jurgen Appelo that intersects reactions to success and failure from mistakes, experiments, and practices. Thinking required!
  • Kerry Wills comes up with yet another sports metaphor. This time: spectators yelling at the team on the field don’t actually change the outcome.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman is assembling the Minimum Agile Reading List, and seeking recommendations.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan have apparently published the first university textbook for a course in Agile methods. Not sure if that is a good sign or a bad sign.
  • Chris Moody critiques the criticism, “That’s not Agile.”
  • Mike Cohn criticizes the now-common two-week sprint, as too short to try anything truly innovative.
  • David Anderson explains how to tell if you are really doing Kanban, or just going through the motions.

Lean Agile Melbourne 2014

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy reports from the Lean Agile Systems Thinking 2014 conference in Melbourne, and shares the slide deck from his Agile Coaching presentation.
  • Craig Brown shares the results of a workshop from the same conference, where the participants used the Six Thinking Hats to examine product backlogs.
  • Shim Marom reflects on the theme of the conference, “embracing disruption,” and wonders if Agile is now too mainstream to be disruptive.

Professional Development

  • Scott Berkun summarizes what we know about changing our habits.
  • Ian Whittingham asks a pointed question: how much experience in project management is required for mastery?
  • Coert Visser shares an interesting presentation on saying “no” effectively, without damaging either the relationship or our own interests.
  • Kevin Kelly tells us that this is just the beginning of the beginning, and that boundless opportunities await us. Just like thirty years ago.