New PM Articles for the Week of September 15 – 21

In the CloudsNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 15 – 21. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Anna Hartley contrasts value engineering and simple gold plating.
  • Nick Pisano dives into the definition and validation of framing assumptions, as a potential warning sign of impending project failure.
  • John Goodpasture uses physics to explain why traffic in the slow lane moves faster as volume builds, and then applies the same principal to prove Brooks’ Law!
  • Glen Alleman gives a quick summary of “The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software,” by Barry Boehm and Jo Ann Lane.
  • Gary Hamilton and Jon McGowan share their best practices for managing projects with regulatory compliance as a critical success factor.
  • Pat Weaver explains that good policy flows from the intersection of morals, ethics, values, and principals, and shows how they interrelate.
  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy criticizes financial incentives applied without an attempt to understand the problem.
  • Mark Mullaly prescribes some actions to engage absentee sponsors.
  • Bruce Harpham looks for negative cues – thing that should have happened, but didn’t – as a diagnostic for project health.
  • Kerry Wills believes that the principal difference between project success and failure lies in issue management.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews two project management software collaboration products: activeCollab and twProject.
  • Peter Taylor, author of “The Lazy Project Manager,” reminds us that you can work too hard to be effective in your job.
  • Peter Saddington shares an interesting story of how lazy out-performs smart, if you give it a chance.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman reminds us that Agile and Lean are beneficial tools, but we have to adapt our culture to get any benefit from them. Of course, that takes time.
  • Mike Cohn insists that while story points are about time, they shouldn’t be equated to some number of hours. It’s about relative time – so, Einstein was Agile?
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on Agile anti-patterns.
  • Liz Keogh explains the difference between goals and capabilities.
  • Manas Shirode coins a new phrase: Bonsai waterfall.
  • Tushar Patel thinks that portfolio-management approaches can help project managers cope with Agile practices.

Professional Development

  • Coert Visser addresses the “curse of knowledge,” and offers some ways to avoid talking past our stakeholders.
  • Erin Carson advocates the PMP as a career development tool for engineers and software developers.
  • Tom Taylor posts a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the “ups and downs” of managing projects and programs.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jorge de la Guardia, on the history and future of the Panama Canal. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior is starting a new series of podcasts with Richard Cheng and Dhaval Panchal, on current trends in Agile. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Shawn Dickerson on the demand for leadership from project managers. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 28 – August 3

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 28 – August 3. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Contract Management

  • Todd Williams shares some insights gleaned from litigation over failed projects. Unless you only manage internal projects with in-house staff, you need to read this!
  • Glen Alleman articulates the key distinctions between fit for purpose and fit for use, and applies them to project management.
  • Pat Weaver outlines method for preventing, minimizing, or at least making visible, delays due to client inaction.
  • Andy Jordan presents an interesting case study of an outsourced portfolio management office. Or more accurately, outsourced PMO services.

PM Best Practices

  • Pollyanna Pixton notes that it’s easy to get metrics wrong, and explains how to design them to be effective.
  • Craig Brown vents at project management textbooks that get the work breakdown structure wrong.
  • Bryan Barrow points out that there are some things that Kanban software can’t do as well as Gant charting software.
  • Bruce Harpham offers a few stress management best practices.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides an executive summary of PMI’s “Navigating Complexity” practice guide. PMI members can download the guide at no charge.
  • Kailash Awati mines a paper from the British Medical Journal for an understanding of how organizations deal with human error: scapegoats and systems.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the stakeholder questions you want to answer in your project kickoff meeting.
  • Gina Abudi details a set of roles and responsibilities for team decision making.
  • Nick Pisano considers the early stages of project execution, as the team establishes its operating rhythm.
  • Dan Stober shares the Q&A from his recent webinar on the project manager as business analyst.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Burrows recounts his experience with implementing Kanban with a new team, and how they evolved from a generic process to just what they needed.
  • John Goodpasture expounds on the need for Agile methods to take compliance with external requirements (say, auditors and regulatory agencies) into account.
  • Shim Marom considers (and questions) the incremental value of “deeper” retrospectives.

Professional Development

  • Cheri Baker recounts her recent experience with a French client who wasn’t enchanted with her “American cheerfulness.” Time to recalibrate!
  • Scott Berkun provides a master course in refining and delivering your pitch, so that your ideas get the traction they deserve.
  • Lynda Bourne details the steps in building your personal brand, and leveraging your knowledge of your business contact’s brand.
  • Karina Keith shares some factoids about the profession of project management, to help you get a little perspective.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Ky Nichol on the challenges of managing event projects like the World Cup and the Olympics. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Magennis on how to apply the lessons from Money Ball to portfolio management. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Wheatley speaks with SAP America VP of Global Operations Tina Rosario on the growing importance of data governance. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley share a video of a presentation on innovation by former Obama administration CTO Aneesh Chopra. Over an hour, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July29 – August 4

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

  • Esther Derby thinks the key to making teams of specialists work together is T-shaped people.
  • Glenn Alleman gives his best rebuttal yet to the #NoEstimates movement.
  • Jesse Fewell: “A key reason for estimating work is to discover throughput constraints, before the work begins.”
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews six women who returned to work after maternity leave, and finds that it isn’t always easy.
  • Cheri Baker recommends that you fall in love with your job again.  Or, take a week to not give a S*#t, if that works better.
  • Shawn Kent Hayashi has a radical idea: criticism is a form of collaboration.
  • Bertrand Duperrin observes that advanced analytics both support change and drive change.
  • Peter Tarhanidis shares ten design principles we should use in preparing change management plans.
  • Tristan Wember defines the RACI matrix, and how it should be used.
  • Ian Webster illustrates how risk management strategies apply to roulette.
  • Conrado Morlan addresses the needs of Generation Y in recording lessons learned.
  • Bruce Benson notes that the customer needs you to say “no” from time to time.
  • Martin Webster gets down to basics with the project communication plan.
  • Zyma Arsalan shares an anecdote on a key project risk: poor quality of communication and collaboration.
  • Shim Marom quotes “The Godfather,” to illustrate the idea that bad news needs to be communicated immediately.
  • John Reiling explains the difference between production management and project management, and how they are intertwined.
  • Scott Berkun lists some facts and myths about remote work.
  • Robert Bell asks if you could manage projects from an office in your home?  Sure, I’ve done it for years …
  • Mike Griffiths does a comparison of the PRINCE2 and PMBOK approaches to managing projects.
  • John Carroll reflects on how project managers need to master both the Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) aspects of leadership.
  • Delwyn Ooi makes the point that the key to controlling your project control lies in controlling stakeholders, expectations, and team.
  • Kerry Wills has a new book out, “Applying Guiding Principles of Effective Program Delivery.”  He advocates taking a “consultative approach.”

Enjoy!