I frequently stop by the project management subreddit to see what is being discussed and join in sometimes. One frequent question is, “I have been tasked with setting up a PMO. What should I do now?” I give my thoughts on the potential utility of three common models: Center of Excellence, Center of Governance, and Center of Administration.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 12 – 18. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains project governance, beginning with the word’s origins in ancient Greece. 5 minutes, safe for work.
PMI has released their 2018 Pulse of the Profession. This is the preeminent practitioner survey in the project management field, and you owe it to yourself to download and at least scan it. 35 pages.
April Glaser recaps the recently settled court case between Uber and Google over autonomous car technology. There’s more here than cars or tech secrets. 6 minutes to read.
Derek Huether notes that everyone in the organization needs to understand the metrics that drive the business and what behaviors they encourage. 3 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin and Colin Ellis share a live Q&A on the Facebook Project Management Café. Subject: how to create a project team culture. The video is 20 minutes, or you can read the transcript in a bit less.
Luca Collina reflects on what he’s learned from managing projects teams spread across multiple countries. 6 minutes to read.
Glen Alleman gets profound on the purpose of plans and planning. 1 minute to read.
Kiron Bondale lists the patterns and anti-patterns distilled from a decade of reviewing project lessons learned. 2 minutes to read.
James Bach shares some contrarian opinions on testing, control, and agency. 4 minutes to read.
Elise Stevens interviews Lindsay Scott on improving the effectiveness of the PMO as a business partner. Podcast, 24 minutes, safe for work.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from mental models to organizational resilience to why you should love your customers’ problems. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to scan.
Tamás Török looks at the causes and cures for reduced development team performance. 7 minutes to read.
Pete Houghton defines a new term—Manumation—to describe automation tools that require a lot of manual intervention. 2 minutes to read.
Ham Vocke explains the Test Pyramid as a metaphor for grouping software tests into buckets of different granularity. 16 minutes, first of a series being appended as he writes them.
Ryan Ripley interviews Steve Porter from the PST team at Scrum.org on a wide variety of Scrum topics and approaches. Podcast, 44 minutes, safe for work.
David Miller expounds on five key ethical practices that project managers must follow. 5 minutes to read.
David Robins makes the case for Agile Management—adopting Agile methods and principles organization-wide. 7 minutes to read.
Jim Taggert has begun a six-part series based on Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. Parts 1 and 2, each around 4 minutes to read.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Darren Guccione introduces us to the Tor browser and the Dark Web, where everyone is anonymous, performance sucks, and wonders abound. 6 minutes to read.
Joe Daniels alerts us to a scary new technology—an app that inserts Nicolas Cage’s face in any movie might also be used to replace video surveillance images with … your face. 4 minutes to read.
Nick Pisano gives us a primer on the difference between Third and Fourth generation software. 4 minutes to read.
Kerry Wills shares his approach to organizing, using Microsoft Office: “I think in PowerPoint and organize in Excel.” Just a minute to read but leave him a comment on your approach.
Working and the Workplace
Suzanne Lucas explains how to play Change Resistance Bingo—all you need is a proposed change and as people offer their cliched reasons for delay … 2 minutes to read.
Joan Davis describes her communication-centric approach to remote consulting. 5 minutes to read.
Francisco Sáezshares key insights from Cal Newport’s Deep Work. 3 minutes to read.
Melissa McEwen observes that there is no longer an entry point for junior developers, and that’s a problem for the entire industry. 5 minutes to read.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 29 – February 4. And this week’s video: Personal Kanban author Jim Benson introduces a new series of videos—The Agile Heretic. “We’ve gone from Death Marches to Death Sprints.” Sounds interesting! 7 minutes, safe for work.
Tsedal Neeley expounds on swift trust, passable trust, direct knowledge, reflected knowledge, and how we build trust with colleagues we rarely see. 5 minutes to read.
Jesse Lynn Stoner explains how to make an effective apology and increase trust. 3 minutes to read.
Henny Portman reviews Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, a classic work on getting to collaboration by beginning with creating trust. 3 minutes to read.
Harry Hall explains the what, why, and when of evaluating project risks. 3 minutes to read.
John Goodpasture unpacks the concept of coupling to explain why, even in an Agile approach, dependencies can be reduced with a proper temporary architecture. 2 minutes to read.
Laura Barnard notes that Agile and PMO are not mutually exclusive concepts. In fact, they can complement each other. 7 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin curates her list of recommended project management certification training courses, for PMI and PRINCE2 certifications. 5 minutes to read, 6 outbound links.
Elise Stevens interviews Marisa Silva on positioning the PMO to deliver impactful value. Podcast, 18 minutes, safe for work.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly Agile roundup, from useless Agile metrics to big room planning, to the case for fewer product managers. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
Dan North coins a new term: SWARMing, Scaling Without a Religious Methodology. 17 minutes to read.
Kiron Bondale looks at the leadership problem of Agile adoption—organizational adoption of an agile mindset. 2 minutes to read.
Tom Cagley has collected a few metrics that can determine if our objectives in adopting agile methods are being met. 4 minutes to read.
Mike Clayton explains Kanban, from its roots in Toyota’s JIT manufacturing system to adoption by the Agile movement. Video, 6 minutes to watch; safe for work.
Paul Merrill explains why you won’t be able to convert your entire testing team to use automated test tools. 6 minutes to read.
Art Petty recaps an anecdote that illustrates how to handle an attack on your credibility during a meeting. 5 minutes to read.
Bob Tarne notes that psychological safety—the perceived ability to push back on a management request—is created by managers, not team members. 2 minutes to read.
Doug Thorpe receives an Email from a former colleague that was “less than flattering,” and notes that leaders can’t win over everyone. 4 minutes to read.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Jeff Furman tips his hat to Mary Ann Jensen, the neglected co-author of the update to Dr. Bruce Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development Dr. Jensen is now a psychologist in private practice. 2 minutes to read.
Amy Hamilton recommends some small behavior changes that might help you to avoid a cybersecurity breach—at home, at work, and en route. 3 minutes to read.
Julian Strachan says that it’s OK to be techno-skeptical—after all, a technology does not control how it is used. 4 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Eamonn McGuinness describes a model for handling those little interruptions and distractions that pop up throughout the day. A minute to read, or a video at 3 minutes; safe for work.
Leigh Espy shares her tips for getting things done in a timeframe a little closer to your original estimate. 3 minutes to read.
John Yorke notes numerous studies that say there is an inverse relationship between hours worked and productivity. 8 minutes to read.
Nils Salzgeber argues that the key to higher productivity is to manage your energy, rather than your time. 19 minutes to read.