New PM Articles for the Week of May 6 – 12

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 6 – 12. And this week’s video: Angela Lee Duckworth explains her research into grit—the power of passion and perseverance, and working toward long-term goals. While her research began with students, she also studied adults in the work environment. 6 minutes, safe for work. Tip of the hat to Johanna Rothman for the link!

Business Acumen and Strategy

Managing Projects

  • Mike Clayton goes into detail on a code of conduct for project managers, generally and as espoused by PMI, APM, the Institute of Business Ethics, and the MBA Oath. 14 minutes to read.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews his colleague at Automattic, Karen Arnold, on building a geographically distributed team. Podcast, 37 minutes, safe for work.
  • John Goodpasture comments on “hub and spoke” project networks, as described by Andrew Shipilov. Two interesting points of view. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths examines the way the new PMI Standard for Risk Management in Portfolios, Programs, and Projects applies to Agile methods and finds a lot to like. 8 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman has compiled a list of around 470 risk management resources, from papers to books to these, available from public sites. I suggest searching the page for keywords.
  • Greg Satell opines on why change management initiatives so often fail and how we can improve the odds. 6 minutes to read.
  • Luca Collina is conducting a survey to solicit your thoughts on failing (or failed) change initiatives and how they might be recovered. 3 minutes or less to take the survey.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from liberating structures for Scrum Masters to dot voting to the Collabnet state of Agile report. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale considers the optimal length of a sprint. OK, you guessed it: it depends. 2 minutes to read.
  • Guarav Dhooper gives his opinion on sprint durations and story sizing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman closes out her series on product roles with Part 7 and Part 8, each about 3 minutes to read. If you missed an earlier part, she includes links to all 8.
  • Valerie Senyk announces the results of her poll of REALagility Newsletter readers, identifying the skills every Scrum Master should strive to develop. 3 minutes to read.
  • Scott Fitzpatrick identifies several practices for reducing the time, infrastructure, and effort spent on testing. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Marcella Bremer points to the mid-point between the heroic leader and the servant leader: the host. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus reminds us that all leaders are also followers. 2 minutes to read. Boomers: if you suddenly feel the need to listen to Jerry Garcia sing Ripple, click here.
  • Sarah Hoban tells us how to network effectively as a project manager. 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Joan Palmiter Bajorek digs into the consequences of gender and race biases still inherent in voice recognition technology. 4 minutes to read.
  • Amanda Woo analyzes our interactions with smart speakers and wonders whether our behavior will be affected by devices with no human capacity for taking offense. 4 minutes to read.
  • Katharine Ellen Foley reports on neurological research that indicates the ideal time to tackle leadership roles is in your mid-50’s. I’m so over-the-hill … 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Stav Ziv lists seven actions to take that will clear out the waste in your calendar (or diary, if you’re in the UK). 8 minutes to read.
  • Andy Oziemblo observes that an increasingly mobile and health-conscious workforce is leading to a revolution in office design. 4 minutes to read.
  • Soomi Lee reports that even a small loss of sleep can impact productivity the following day. 4 minutes to read.


New PM Articles for the Week of April 10 – 16

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Kerry Goyette tells us that our employees are already motivated—the key to success is unleashing the power of their motivation. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Julie Bort reports on how Jeff Bezos and the Amazon leadership team make risky business decisions. In short: decide quickly, based on the question, “So, what if you’re wrong?”
  • Scott Berkun debunks several common clichés about creativity. Telling people to think outside the box doesn’t change their behavior any more than telling them to jump higher.
  • Tamás Török shares a comprehensive guide to creating user stories, as a vehicle for communicating the value users will find in your app.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists twenty things that might go into a project plan and provides three templates and a PDF file you can download with the entire list.
  • Geraldine O’Reilly picks up where Elizabeth left off with a list of nine essential project documents, from business case to lessons learned.
  • And Tony Adams anthropomorphizes a group of project management documents to demonstrate why the work breakdown structure is the coolest guy at the bar.
  • PMI announces the formation of a committee to update the Practice Standard for Scheduling. If that’s a special area of expertise, you should consider volunteering.
  • Harry Hall tells us how to “catch” those big project risks by using three straightforward techniques.
  • Elise Steven interviews Naomi Caietti on stakeholder engagement and driving change by becoming a trusted partner.
  • Gina Abudi shares three critical actions needed to engage employees in cross-functional projects.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly roundup of all things Agile, from lipstick Agile, Tragile, and Wagile to distributed Agile and how Jeff Bezos plans to keep Amazon relevant.
  • Jerry Doucett and Valerie Senyk argue for the practice of subversive Scrum in workplaces that haven’t decided to embrace such things.
  • Johanna Rothman does the math to show why team size matters.
  • Mike Cohn points out specific value elements of getting to “done” at the end of a sprint, as opposed to just making progress.
  • Shazir Mucklai makes an excellent case for applying project management processes at startups.
  • John Goodpasture answers a student question about IT project stage gates and Agile methods.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty contemplates the critical question: what’s it like to be you? As he says, cognitive diversity is a thing.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on an April Fool’s joke at Reddit that morphed into a demonstration of the power of those who step up to lead.
  • Angela Chen interviews neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett on the science of emotions, and why we don’t all “feel” the same things.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Ilan Hertz explains why chatbots will be the next evolutionary step in business analytics. “Why don’t people buy our products, HAL?”
  • Mary Shacklett summarizes five recommendations from Big Data project leaders that might help you avoid the 60% failure rate reported by the Gartner Group.
  • Conner Forrest reports on recent research that found your smartphone fingerprint scanner may be a lot easier to spoof than you might think.

Working and the Workplace

  • Leigh Espy explains why we should look past project management conferences for excellent opportunities to learn, meet interesting people, and develop face-to-face relationships.
  • Jason Dana reports on research which demonstrated that free-flowing job applicant interviews do not predict success and can actually overshadow more valuable information. Watch Kerry’s video above before you read this one!
  • Kara Swisher interviews Code2040 CEO Laura Weidman Powers on moving from diversity to inclusion. Just 48 minutes, safe for work.


Exposure Draft for the PMBOK Guide – Sixth Edition

PMBOK Guide 5th EditionPMI is updating the PMBOK Guide, once again. As they have done with prior updates, an exposure draft is available from now through April 6, 2016 for comment by PMI members in good standing.

Key changes to this edition are:

  • The inclusion of more detailed information on agile and other iterative practices including:
    • Information about agile and other practices often used in an adaptive environment in each Knowledge Area section (Sections 4–13)
    • An appendix to The Standard for Project Management on agile and other iterative practices
  • A new chapter on the role of the project manager which discusses the PMI Talent Triangle, including greater emphasis on the strategic and business knowledge aspect of project management

It seems that each release of the PMBOK Guide includes a bit more input from advocates for Agile methods. It’s good to see the Standard keeping pace with current notions of best practices.