New PM Articles for the Week of April 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 18 – 24. And this week’s video: the E-Lesson Guru explains how to create a speedometer chart in Excel. Safe for work, just over 8 minutes.

Must read!

  • Colin Ellis describes the characteristics and behaviors of the Conscious Project Leader.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares her approach to managing several projects at once.
  • Harry Hall lists twelve common mistakes we make when responding to risks. If you read this one just for the parable about Chippy the Parakeet, Harry won’t object.

Established Methods

  • Richard and Elizabeth Larson argue that organizations benefit when their employees holding professional certifications, and should be willing to support them.
  • Jeff Collins identifies seven project management conferences to be conducted in the U.S. this year.
  • Bruce Harpham notes a number of lessons learned from the Hanford Nuclear Site’s River Corridor Closure Project.
  • David Hillson explains the role of the Risk Facilitator.
  • Shane Vaz shares some lessons learned: four signs your project is in trouble.
  • Ciara McDonnell explains how to use earned value management, with MS Project, Excel, and Sharepoint.
  • Steve Wake, curator of the #EVA conference, reflects on silence and to do lists.
  • Kerry Wills leverages his OCD to keep his anxiety disorder in check. It’s good that there’s a job out there for everyone ….

Agile Methods

  • Dovile Miseviciute shows the power of the Eylean Board. Normally, I avoid product pumps but this looks really interesting.
  • Mike Cohn makes some planning recommendations for highly interrupt-driven Scrum teams, including adjusting the length of sprints.
  • Dave Prior interviews Agile coach Lyssa Adkins on the Agile Institute, combatting burn-out, and self-care. Just 49 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors considers the question: should a company staff their Agile coaching positions with an employee or a consultant?
  • Pedro Gustavo Torres argues that the Product Owner is a pig (committed), rather than a chicken (involved) and should actively participate in all Scrum ceremonies.
  • Elise Stevens curated links to six articles on digital project management.

Applied Leadership

  • Liane Davey notes that leaders can inadvertently create a lot of work, just by tossing out ideas.
  • John Goodpasture summarizes General Michael Hayden on the safety of “No” and the potential risk and reward of saying “Yes.”
  • Suzanne Lucas explains how to gain the respect of your co-workers.
  • Peter Landau identifies the best leadership and management podcasts out there.

Pot Pouri

  • Elissa Gilbert reports on development of the Industrial Cloud, as the primary transformation mechanism for the Internet of Things, at General Electric.
  • Rich Maltzman reports on the growing number of projects to capture energy from the Moon. Well, OK: the tides. But it’s really, really cool!
  • Roy Sensenbach lists career insights he picked up while learning to snowboard.
  • Imagine digitally tagging footwear and apparel items at the point of manufacture, beginning inventory management at the assembly line. The Internet of Things just added ten billion new end points.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Crazy Russian Hacker explains that we’ve been splitting firewood wrong all these years. “Safety is number one priority.” Spasibo, moy drug …

Must read!

  • Donald Charles Wynes suggests an interesting way to identify risks: pretend the project is over, and you’re trying to analyze why it failed.
  • Mike Clayton recommends eight techniques for identifying risks. I especially like Brainwriting and Pre-Mortem.
  • Andy Jordan points out another source of risk: a change in leadership.

Established Methods

  • Harry Hall shares a checklist that should help you understand your project, which is the first step in managing it.
  • Glen Alleman presents the Project Breathalyzer: should your project even be on the road?
  • Women Testers has released the April edition of their quarterly online magazine.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates managing schedule slack, based on a TED talk by Tim Urban on procrastination. Just 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Simon Moore’s book, “Strategic Portfolio Management.”
  • Elise Stevens interviews Emma Arnaz-Pemberton on how PMO’s can become trusted partners to the business. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Alistair Cockburn gives an excellent talk, “The Heart of Agile.” Just 50 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joshua Taylor makes a good point: designers shouldn’t focus on code – they should focus on the business.
  • Henny Portman returns from class with a nice summary of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.0.
  • Emanuele Passera begins a series on Kanban, with a brief introduction to the terminology.
  • Angela Wick explains the difference between use cases and user stories, and why you should use one or the other but not both.
  • Sandeep Paudel posts a brief user story FAQ. Part one of two.

Applied Leadership

  • Cameron Conaway gets a few ideas about vision from Patti Sanchez, Chief Strategy Officer at Duarte, Inc, a “visual storytelling company” in Silicon Valley.
  • Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, explains why hiring is so much more difficult than you might expect.
  • Liane Davey tells us how to deal with chronic complainers.
  • Art Petty explains how to succeed in high-pressure conversations.
  • Allen Ruddock contemplates the nature of motivation.

Pot Pouri

  • Bruce Harpham gives us a comprehensive approach to winning that next promotion.
  • Project Journal has rounded up 30 of the best interview questions to ask of applicants for a project management position.
  • Derek Huether explains how to triage meeting requests.
  • Thomas Carney summarizes six highly regarded productivity systems, and identifies roles that they might work best for (and not).
  • Seth Godin makes the (quality) case for not using free software.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 21 – 27

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 21 – 27. And this week’s video: making an axe from rocks and sticks. As recently as 4,000 years ago, this was a common work activity in most human societies. Still think your software tools suck?

Must read!

  • Cameron Conaway examines the New Discrimination: cultural fit, and notes that a better case can be made for cultural contribution in hiring decisions.
  • Hope Reese reports on the rapidly expanding trend for companies to contract with knowledge workers in remote locations.
  • Stuart Easton notes that collaboration has a potentially powerful down side: it can actually slow down decision making.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin goes beyond the stakeholder power-and-impact grid to explore real engagement, based on communication and collaboration.
  • Ginger Levin interviews PMI Fellow Russ Archibald, who managed his first project 67 years ago and released a new book just last year.
  • John Goodpasture reflects on an old blog article at Random Rule of Thumb, adapting the Five Stages of Grief to a model for accepting change.
  • Paul Ritchie considers the dancing-angels question: how many simultaneous projects can one project manager handle?
  • Glen Alleman explores the Venn Diagram of forecasting and estimating.
  • Moira Alexander captures twelve questions you should prepare for, prior to your next project management interview.
  • Deb Schaffer focuses on the problem set commonly encountered by the project manager in a small company.
  • Ryan Ogilvie says that the key to a successful post-mortem is fearlessness. The worst has already happened …

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths expresses his reservations about Bi-Modal IT, as championed by the Gartner Group and others. It’s a continuum, not a choice of mutually exclusive extremes.
  • Mike Cohn explains why Sprint planning doesn’t require all that much detail. Identify the big things and leave enough time to handle the little things.
  • Rumesh Wijetunge shares some of the lessons his organization learned in their efforts to scale Agile.
  • Patrick Sinke explains the benefits of microservices – strong decoupling in an SOA.

Applied Leadership

  • Mike Sisco identifies three main culprits for IT failure: a disconnect with the business, poor communication, and project failures.
  • Art Petty notes that leadership begins with personal development. “Self-confidence, self-esteem and clarity of purpose are fundamental to succeeding at leading.”
  • Seth Godin: “In any competitive market, be prepared to invest your heart and soul and focus on the [attribute] you compete on. Might as well choose something you can live with.”
  • Aaron Smith encapsulates a few insights from Patrick Stroh, author of “Advancing Innovation.”
  • Norah Martin invokes some famous success stories to illustrate the idea that business growth and personal growth are closely intertwined.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Heath Suddleson on finding a mentor and making the relationship work for both of you. Just 23 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Tiago Forte argues that, as we learn more about behavior change, we are realizing that there’s more to it than simply deciding to change our behavior.
  • Coert Visser cites two recent studies of self-concordant (self-selected) goals, exploring the relationship between goal motivation and goal progress.
  • Bertrand Duperrin makes the case for the intranet as a digital workplace for all employees – not just white collar workers.
  • Peter Thornycroft points out the administrative challenge of providing secure, reliable wireless connectivity to devices that need to exchange data with the Cloud – the Internet of Things.

Enjoy!