New PM Articles for the Week of July 13 – 19

Over DinnerNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 13 – 19. Pull up a chair and let’s talk. Our theme this week is applied leadership. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jeff Furman on the second edition of “The Project Management Answer Book.” Just 35 minutes, safe for work, and well worth your time.
  • Paul Ritchie presents evidence that hiring managers are putting more emphasis on leadership, strategy, and business skills when hiring PM’s.
  • Steven Levy recounts the story of a tour boat operator who had to intervene when one of his guests decided to swim with the alligators. Are you this cool when the unexpected happens?

PM Best Practices

  • Carol Dekker outlines the key steps to a better software development performance measurement program.
  • Michel Dion expounds on monitoring, measuring, and reporting as the core of project governance.
  • Glen Alleman adds more diagrams to his ongoing explanation of the role of estimating in economic analysis.
  • Marco Behler takes a practical approach to improving the accuracy software development estimates.
  • Harry Hall assembled thirty(!) risk evaluation principles while preparing to teach a course on PMI’s Practice Standard for Project Risk Management.
  • John Goodpasture summarizes Tim van Gelder’s description of the elements of critical thinking.
  • Dave Wakeman covers three keys to achieving organizational alignment for your project.
  • Braden Kelly continues his series on applying the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to drive innovation.
  • Ryan Ogilvie reports from the Calgary Stampede, where not everyone was stampeding toward ITIL. Yes, the conversation was over beer …
  • Kerry Wills follow up on his eight fundamental guiding principles for managing programs with an analysis of what happens when one is missing.
  • Allen Ruddock argues that communications is a key PMO responsibility.
  • Gina Abudi notes that key roles should be defined and people assigned to them, throughout the project.
  • Bruce Harpham continues his series on finding a summer project at work.
  • Joe Caprara thinks it’s a good thing to earn the PMP credential. Just don’t make it the basis for any of your claims.

Agile Methods

  • Michael Dubakov proposes the Minimum Action Energy Principle in user interface design. Yes, physics matters even to software engineers.
  • Johanna Rothman describes the responsibilities commonly assigned to three common roles: product manager, product owner, and business analyst.
  • Kyle Viele experiments with the Candle Problem, as described by Dan Pink, to demonstrate that diverse teams get better results than homogeneous teams.
  • Henny Portman reviews “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries. Did you know that this book influenced the development of the PRINCE2 Agile Framework?

 Pot Pouri

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists 15 ways to celebrate success with your team.
  • Mike Cohn encourages us to take a moment to celebrate with our team, even if it’s just by exchanging paper plates.
  • Adam Shostok takes umbrage with the “word nerds.”
  • Seth Godin: “An amateur memorizes. A professional looks for metaphors.”

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!

PMI Publishes Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide

Navigating ComplexityLast week, PMI announced availability of a new publication on managing complexity in projects, programs, and project portfolios. Called “Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide,” it is now available for download in PDF format at no cost, for a limited time. The print version will be available in mid-March.

The Guide organizes the causes of complexity into three categories, including human behavior, system behavior, and ambiguity. The need to align people, programs, and projects to manage complexity is addressed through organizational support structures, and useful practices in four areas: scope, communications, stakeholders, and risk. Principles are demonstrated via several scenarios, each with suggested actions. Key considerations in developing, implementing, and managing an action plan are included. An extensive literature review is included as an appendix, along with a glossary.

The PDF file is 113 pages, and includes an assessment questionnaire. The questionnaire is available as a separate download, along with a companion resource gap analysis and skills assessment. Additional resources, including white papers and case studies, are available on the same complexity program page as the downloadable files.