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.


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.”


New PM Articles for the Week of July22 – 28

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 22 – 28.  We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to!  Recommended:

  • Angela Workman-Stark recounts how the Royal Canadian Mounted Police learned to manage and drive change, after initially failing.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reflects on a heat wave, re-purposed artifacts, and the laundry, all on her first day back to work from maternity leave.
  • Scott Berkun recaps chapter 8 of his book, “Making Things Happen,” on how to make good decisions as a project manager.
  • Bertrand Duperrin observes an interesting side effect: effective collaboration reduces the number of workers needed for success, thus killing jobs.
  • Cyndee Miller comments on a report from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, sponsored by PMI, called “Why Good Strategies Fail.”
  • Craig Brown suggests maybe we just need to simplify our strategy and focus on the main thing.
  • Will Kelly summarizes what has changed in PMBOK5, and what it means to those taking the PMP exam.
  • Glen Alleman offers some reading material on software cost estimating.  Actually, it’s a whole reference shelf.
  • Gary Nelson warns that zombies may be invading our projects.  But there’s a cure, and it doesn’t involve violence.
  • Ellen Gottesdiener explains how to manage scope as you discover requirements.
  • Martin Webster covers the basics of how to write a project plan.
  • Mike Griffiths considers the fine balance between planning away uncertainty, and executing away uncertainty.
  • Barbara Shannon tells us how to make people love our projects, by limiting the number of them.
  • Shim Marom raises the ethical question, “Are truthfulness and project management mutually exclusive?”
  • Neil Killick considers the ethics of letting his team fix bugs they didn’t create, at the expense of the work they’ve been asked to do.
  • Bruce Benson argues that your “best people” may not be the ones loudly finding fault with everyone else.
  • Andy Jordan addresses the question: how do you determine the value-add of your PMO?
  • J. LeRoy Ward notes some studies that indicate organizations with a lot of PMP holders tend to have more successful project outcomes.
  • John A. Byrne lists ten tough questions that interviewers at the Harvard Business School MBA program are asking applicants.
  • Jorge Valdés Garciatorres advocates the art of active listening.
  • Kerry Wills has some opinions on what makes for an effective EMail.  Mostly, it’s brevity.