New PM Articles for the Week of October 26 – November 1

Blue BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 26 – November 1. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. And don’t forget: Thursday, November 5, is International Project Management Day.

Must Read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the changes to the PMP exam, coming in January 2016. The changes reflect the findings of the most recent role delineation survey.
  • Peter Landau summarizes current trends in the online project management community, from International Project Management Day (November 5) to project leadership.
  • The October 2015 edition of Women Testers is now available, with articles on everything from mind mapping to stress and work, to the conclusion in their series about testing in the cloud. If you haven’t discovered this great online magazine, it’s time to catch up!

Established Methods

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Simona Fallavolita, who manages the PMP certification program, on the changes coming in January. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Pat Weaver tutors us on the differences between Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT).
  • Yasser Mahmud describes a methodology for assessing the maturity level of your PMO, and determining where to make improvements.
  • Mario Trentim has compiled a different sort of FAQ: Frequently Avoided Questions about PMO’s.
  • Harry Hall shows us how to complete a stakeholder register. Just four minutes, safe for work.
  • Ryan Ogilvie tells how to collect feedback, from deciding what you’ll do with it to closing the loop with the people who participated.
  • Linky van der Merwe takes the pulse of the Accidental Project Manager. Yup, still living…
  • Kenneth Darter examines the transition to production, or as he puts it,” The art of letting go.”

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski suggests a Kanban alternative to limiting work in progress: find the next task by working from right to left, backward from “done.”
  • Jared Smith shares a web site designer’s point of view on budgeting and estimating.
  • Mike Cohn on doing without a design phase: “Designers need to think holistically but work incrementally.”
  • Tom McFarlin contemplates the social nature of a software development team.
  • Thomas Carney shares a nice history of Scrum, plus links to other articles, resources and reference material. Highly recommended!

Applied Leadership

  • Liane Davey reflects on the delicate balance between “confident, capable, and solution-oriented” and being approachable.
  • Sarah Hood explains why saying “no” can be good for your career. And it’s not just about opportunity cost.
  • Art Petty continues his “Next Act” series for us older folks, with an interesting charge: focus on your superpower, meaning what you do best.
  • Melanie Pinola lists ten “soft skills” and provide links to resources that will help you develop them.
  • William Guinan tell us how to manage negative emotions.
  • Richard Lepsinger summarizes recent research into generational differences.
  • Coert Vissar: “Research suggests that performance goals in education are less effective than mastery goals.”


New PM Articles for the Week of March 23 – 29

Saturday Balloon RideNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ron Rosenhead shares some proven rules for project sponsors to use when briefing their project managers on the new project.
  • Harry Hall lists seven presentation principles that project managers can learn from the weatherman.
  • Toby Elwin distills some statistics on the Fortune 500 to make the point that the pace of change is increasing. And as project managers, we are agents of change!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman describes a rigorous approach to estimating, which doesn’t assume that the past is entirely representative of the future.
  • Bruce Benson reports that, by starting their project planning earlier and focusing on quality, his company avoided finishing late and buggy.
  • Luis Seabra Coelho explains the difference between a project and a program.
  • Richard Lepsinger has some suggestions for helping remote workers stay connected.
  • Michelle Stronach looks at the PMO as a repository and source of “knowable project management.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at knowledge management from the self-service perspective. It’s all about processing for consumption.
  • John Goodpasture considers the question of whether software actually fails, or just has faults. Burnt toast, anyone?
  • Nick Pisano looks into the sources of resistance to change, when enterprise software is the change agent.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Mike Hughes, a consultant specializing in operational excellence, on why and how the IT department should say no.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski notes the inherent fallacy in the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning new skills.
  • Johanna Rothman explains some of the reasons why managers need estimates.
  • Kaushik Saha defines the INVEST acronym for user stories.
  • Nada Aldahleh describes six characteristics of effective product owners.

 Professional Development

  • Mike Griffiths looks at the statistics of the various credential programs from PMI, and plots a few trends.
  • Paul Ritchie breaks down what the new PMI recertification requirements mean to training organizations.
  • Steven Levy renews his membership in PMI, using software with an appallingly bad UX.
  • Bruce Harpham notes several things you can do to help new team members get up to speed, while instilling a positive attitude.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the contents of her reading pile. More accurately, her books to-finish-reading pile.
  • Jamie Hill extracts a few lessons from his new book, “Make Good Habits Stick.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Wes Schaeffer on the art and practice of sales and negotiating for project managers. Plus career tips from Dev Ramcharan and the must-read PM articles list from your truly. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev on his new book, “Project Scope Management.” Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have crafted a commercial for their new book, “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel.” Just three minutes, safe for work, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.


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.