New PM Articles for the Week of April 1 – 7

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 1 – 7. And this week’s video: Harry Hall is back with an approach for categorizing and analyzing project risks in order to create a project risk profile—an excellent tool for explaining exposure to the project sponsor and other decision makers. Just four and a half minutes, safe for work.

Brexit update: Prime Minister May acknowledged in a video that the alternative to leaving the EU with a deal is not leaving, so compromise will be required. According to S&P Global Ratings, the 2016 Brexit referendum has cost the British economy about 3% of its potential value; currency market conditions seem to be operating under the impression that crashing out of the EU won’t happen; the British pound remains 12% and 11% weaker against the US dollar and the euro, respectively but a hard Brexit will almost certainly result in a sell-off. Manufacturers are stockpiling raw materials at historically unprecedented rates and a survey reveals that Brexit uncertainty is impacting mental health.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Martin Reeves, Kevin Whitaker, and Christian Ketels tell us that companies need to prepare for the next economic downturn. There will be both challenges and opportunities! 6 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell looks at regional advantages. New York City doesn’t really need to offer a sweetheart deal to attract business. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alison DeNisco Rayome reports how China tried and failed to dominate the AI field. 10 minutes to read. Side note: China is leading the world in wind power
  • Ben Brody collates the criticisms of Mark Zuckerberg’s proposed framework for regulating the handling of personal data by corporations. His, for example. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin explains all ten knowledge areas of project management, as described in PMBOK v6, and throws in three videos, a slide deck, and access to her resource library. 9 minutes to read; the videos add another 18 minutes or so.
  • The nice folks at Clarizen tutor us on the statement of work. 3 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman shares a link to seven PMO “practical advice guides” prepared by Pat Barker. Bookmark the page, since two more are planned.
  • Erik van Hurck shows us how to customize the ribbon menu on Microsoft Project. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton defines risk tolerance, as an input to project approval and risk management. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jennifer Bridges shows how negativity bias impacts the actions we take when managing our projects. 5 minutes to read, plus a 5-minute video, safe for work.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Monte Carlo simulations for Agile estimation to Scrum at Scale to scaling for product people. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman begins a new series on product roles with an examination of product managers, product owners, and business analysts. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ron Jeffries opines on YAGNI (you aren’t gonna need it), technical debt, and skimping. 11 minutes to read.
  • Piyush Rahate contemplates the Sprint Goal: not an essential or mandatory Scrum artifact, but nonetheless incredibly useful. 3 minutes to read.
  • Sarah Brockett admits that not all software design work is groundbreaking, visually stunning, or even challenging. But that can be overcome. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Sharlyn Luby tells us how to get and keep buy-in from senior management. 3 minutes to read.
  • Todd Williams says that “eliminating blame is the first step in being accountable.” We need to leave room for people to make mistakes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas alerts us to a pregnancy discrimination case that might one of the best examples of how not to manage that we’ll see this year. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy gives detailed instructions on transitioning a remote worker to a different remote manager. 7 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Edd Gent gets us up to date on Microsoft’s research and development of a DNA data storage device. Seriously. 4 minutes to read.
  • Gillian Armstrong explores the impact and ethics of conversational artificial intelligence. 13 minutes to read. Don’t anthropomorphize computers—it only encourages them.
  • Kristen Houser reports on the development of “metallic wood”—essentially, nickel with a cellular structure. Producing it at scale might lead to super-light devices, from cell phones to cars. 2 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Leigh Espy suggests seven criteria you should use to assess whether your career is meeting your expectations. 5 minutes to read.
  • Claudia Vergueiro Masseio puts Imposter Syndrome, the Glass Ceiling, and the Glass Cliff into the context of her own career. 4 minutes to read.
  • Andrew Arnold lists five essential practices needed to maintain cybersecurity when working remotely. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 18 – 24. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains business acumen: what it is, why it’s valuable, and how a project manager can work to develop business acumen. This is what is needed in order to become a trusted adviser to your sponsor, key stakeholders, and executive decision makers. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • If there were a Winter Olympics of global politics, Brexit would be the Luge. Here is the status, as of Friday; as of Sunday, a petition to scrap Brexit has over 5 million signatures. 4 minutes to read both. The wrong business strategy for where this finally lands might prove catastrophic.
  • Patrick Walsh provides his analysis of the California Consumer Privacy Act. 6 minutes to read. And Spencer Feingold notes that few companies subject to the law are ready to comply; another 5 minutes.
  • Asha Saxena notes that GAAP accounting standards do not permit data to be capitalized on the balance sheet; however, data is nonetheless a corporate asset. 7 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Glen Alleman listed over 250 links to the presentations, briefings, journal papers, and articles on increasing the Probability of Project Success (PoPS) he’s authored over the years. Quite a stack!
  • Elizabeth Harrin tells us how to address current issues from the lessons learned log. You have one of those, right? 4 minutes to read.
  • Jennifer Bridges explores a critical decision: if a project is failing, do we end it or push on through? Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Andy Jordan looks at what a PMO should do, and what it shouldn’t 7 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Andy Burns on making the PMO leaner and more agile. Podcast, 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dale Howard shows how to use ad hoc grouping of tasks in MS Project. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from winning agile management trends to what data-driven means to contrasting Dow Jones Industrial Average members Microsoft and General Electric. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • John Gillespie reminds us that metrics which are easy to collect are not necessarily the metrics that matter. 3 minutes to read.
  • Paul Grizzaffi points out the technical challenges you’ll have to overcome in order to run your automated tests in parallel. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dave Kearney builds a case for prototyping as a means for achieving alignment between the designers, developers, and customers. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony justifies extensive testing of the validation applied to user inputs. Boring but necessary! 4 minutes to read.
  • John Demian explains metric-based alerting, for those using Amazon Web Services. Somewhat technical, but the vocabulary lesson is valuable. 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • The Forbes Insight Team and PMI explain how the C-suite can best support the transformation of the project management office. 3 minutes to read.
  • Peter Diamandis observes that traditional higher education, including the MBA, is losing its relevance and then calls our attention to what is replacing it. 9 minutes to read.
  • Chris Cook helps us look at delegation as actively assisting in someone else’s professional development. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely continues his series on “guardrails” as a tool to maintain alignment with organization goals and objectives. Here is part 4; about 4 minutes to read both.

Research and Insights

  • Michael Grothaus recommends eight steps to reduce our exposure to digital data collection by Facebook, Google, and whoever else makes us nervous. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya reports on a survey of US HR professionals and hiring managers indicates that souring foreign talent is an important part of their strategy. 3 minutes to read.
  • Paula Boddington shares her thoughts on the need for and possible elements of a baseline code of ethics for artificial intelligence. 14 minutes—long, but a thoughtful read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Peter Yang convinces us that slides are a poor form of communication—written narratives are where the enlightenment’s at. 3 minutes to read.
  • Adriana Girdler coaches us on the do’s and don’ts of meetings. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Sarah Feldman reports on the results on a survey of what people find distracting at work. Just a minute to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 28 – February 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 28 – February 3. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler coaches us on facilitating a meeting. Focused on the first-timers but still worth a look even if you’ve been facilitating for years. 6 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Mark McNamee and Athanasia Kokkinogeni observe, “In the eyes of businesses, the UK has come to resemble an emerging market.” Brexit is driving volatility. 6 minutes to read.
  • Steve Blank explains why McKinsey’s Three Horizons model for managing and budgeting for innovation and research is no longer applicable. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joel Manner explores Eric Schmidt’s prediction that the internet is dividing into three politically-defined regions: US-led, China-led, and EU-led. 9 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Sylvia Moses describes the X-shaped skills of a highly capable project manager. 10 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths covers the what, how, and why of project charters. 11 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gives us a deep tutorial on project scheduling, from defining and sequencing activities through estimating durations and developing a schedule. 12 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture shares his slide presentation on preparing a request for proposal. 4 minutes to read, plus the slides.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Douglas Knutzen on leveraging scheduling, execution, and team techniques to increase speed on your projects. Podcast, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Jesse Fewell on the evolving role of the PMO in an agile organization. Podcast, 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jan Schiller recaps twelve habits that she has observed in successful project portfolio managers. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Scrum limits to exemplary agile to the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Cohn makes it clear why software development teams have learned to focus on being done rather than estimating progress. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave West points out the key nuggets in the 2019 Scrum mater Trends Report. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nandhini Saravanan explains the difference between horizontal and vertical scaling of databases and what each approach is useful for. 5 minutes to read.
  • Fio Dossetto extols the virtues of a heat map in analyzing the effectiveness of a user interface design. 6 minutes to read.
  • Joep Schuurkes tells us why we should have a test strategy and what it should cover. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Simone Stolzoff tells how engineer Satya Nadella turned Microsoft, “From a culture of know-it-alls to a culture of learn-it-alls.” 9 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier—a 100% remote company with over 200 people—on the future of work. Podcast, 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy sells us on problem-solving skills as a key part of career development. 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Greg Satell sees inflection points in energy, synthetic biology, and computation that are about to dramatically transform society. 5 minutes to read.
  • Karen Hao updates us on facial recognition software. Accuracy is improving for women and minorities, but the potential for abuse still exists. 4 minutes to read.
  • Roamy suggests a low-tech alternative to a creepy RFID implant under the skin or an easily-lost card. It’s obvious, once you read it. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Andy Silber advocates for Inbox Zero. 4 minutes to read.
  • Corrine Purtill reports on one of the key messages at the Davos conference: the four-day work week. 2 minutes to read.
  • Alex Reardon argues that when we’re sick, we should take an actual sick day—not just work from home. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!