New PM Articles for the Week of April 9 – 15

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 9 – 15. And this week’s video: Daniel Engber examines the history of the progress bar—a visual narrative that keeps us engaged and sane, even when it’s not a precise measure of progress. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Angela Chen interviews Edward Tenner, author of The Efficiency Paradox: What big data can’t do, on the trade-offs inherent in machine intelligence. 8 minutes to read.
  • Christopher Durr brings up the CLOUD (Clarifying Overseas Use of Data) Act signed by President Trump in March, which may have a significant impact on our privacy. 5 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell recaps IBM’s list of five technologies in development that it expects to impact the world in the next five years. As you might expect, 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy shares a starter list of technical terms for new software development project managers. 7 minutes to read.
  • Michel Dion expounds on the importance and key elements of project governance. 3 minutes to read.
  • Jerry Mulenburg describes the concept and practice of distributed authority—pushing decision making to the level closest to the work being performed. 9 minutes to read.
  • Alexandra Cote curated the opinions of 13 project management practitioners and bloggers (including me) on what makes project management software useful. 10 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates the combination of technical debt and social debt as the wasteful friction that bogs down our projects.
  • Andy Silber dons his Star Trek uniform to point out that we learn more from failure than we do from success. Or at least, we can learn more. 3 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the manager role in a Scrum team to Agnostic Agile to time spent in product discovery. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Lev Barbalat tells the story of how his organization adopted a stripped-down version of Scrum to quickly deliver a high-priority project. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ron Jeffries clarifies who is responsible for resolving issues and problems in Scrum. Yeah, it’s who you think it is. 2 minutes to read.
  • Tamás Török summarizes key insights from the Coding Sans State of Software Development 2018 report. 5 minutes to read, but lots of graphs to study.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Age of Agile, by Stephen Denning. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale considers the art and science of backlog prioritization. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from self-delusion to the power of no to whether it’s really “OK to fail.” 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Leah Fessler shares the three interview questions that General Motors CEO Mary Barra asks to test for integrity. 2 minutes to read.
  • Schaun Wheeler describes the Fence Paradox and how it applies to regulating ethical behavior. 8 minutes to read.
  • Susan Mazza distinguishes between collaborating for greatness and colluding for mediocrity. 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Maria Korolov summarizes Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, as massive, in-depth analysis of 53,000 security incidents from around the world. 6 minutes to read.
  • Nishi Grover Garg describes a simplified (but comprehensive) Agile test strategy for cross-environment testing. 6 minutes to read.
  • Laura Lopez offs a few tips on writing, for all you folks who mistakenly think you aren’t writers. 6 minutes to read, then as much time as you need to go write something.

Working and the Workplace

  • Safford Blake makes the case for bringing a portfolio of your past projects to your next project manager job interview. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dorie Clark shares what she learned from rigorously (30-minute increments) tracking how she spent her time for a month. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton presents his approach to personal time management, called OATS, which is useful to a manager of other people’s time. 8 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

Paymo Recommends 53 Project Management Blogs

The folks at Paymo have compiled a list of 53 project management blogs that they recommend. The list is broken into three groups:

  • Individual authors (including this blog)
  • Project management software developers (including Paymo’s blog), and
  • PM training and consulting companies

Cartoon News ReadersI’ve seen a number of PM blog lists over the years, but this is the first one I’ve seen that took such a rigorous approach. The published list was developed by Alexandra Cote from an initial group of 300 blogs, reduced by those that no longer post new content. They also looked at how the posts were written, who wrote them, and if the information featured was accurate. Finally, they considered Moz’s Domain Authority (DA) to predict how a website can rank on Google’s SERP and the Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) that shows the strength of the blog’s backlink profile. They also looked at Twitter followers.

Naturally, I’m pleased and flattered to be included in this list of project management thought leaders. But I encourage you to check out the other 52 blogs on the list. And as always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of March 26 – April 1

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 26 – April 1. And this week’s video: Seth Godin suggests that we can benefit from thinking backwards—flipping the point of view on which our assumptions are based. 19 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Christian Stewart notes some significant data privacy concerns for this of us who use Google’s services and products. 5 minutes to read. Nervous yet?
  • Todd Haselton tells how to download a copy of everything Google knows about you. 3 minutes to read, much longer to download. And if this doesn’t creep you out:
  • A 2016 memo by Facebook VP Andrew Bosworth acknowledges that the company’s relentless pursuit of growth via data collection could get people killed. Ethics matter, even when you’re popular. 8 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Kailash Awati provides a very detailed tutorial on using a Monte Carlo simulation to calculate a distribution of probable completion times, using a simple project with four tasks and three-point estimates. 20 minutes to read, but well worth it.
  • John Goodpasture extracts some key principles from Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise: why so many predictions fail – and some don’t. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews SaaS project resource management TeamDeck. 5 minutes to read.
  • Katrine Kavli gives us a crib sheet on test plans, useful for everyone from project managers to end users recruited for UAT. With templates! 2 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy explains how (and why) to create your own project management templates, rather than download one from some PM site. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brian Anthony O’Malley recommends a few ways to make your status reports more effective in a way that promotes your personal brand. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agile ecology to scaling with Lean and DevOps to problematic management principles. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Brendan Connolly expands on Test Driven Development to provide an entry point for testers to perform their QA—start with objectives. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joe Colantonio interviews Michael Bolton on rapid software testing. Podcast, 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Gojko Adzic notes that as more SaaS applications run in complex combinations, we will need to do more testing in the production environment. 7 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton explains how he found a bug—not by testing conformance to specifications, but by testing conformance to expectations. 2 minutes to read.
  • Martin Fowler announces the second edition of “Refactoring.” 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from the importance of self-improvement to improving your KPI’s to the difference between marketing, advertising, and branding. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton points out the top priorities for project leaders, using the acronym LEAD. 10 minutes to read.
  • Marcia Reynolds explains the difference between convincing and influencing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale notes that psychological safety must be cultivated one person at a time.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Daniel Bourke notes that we may have already invented artificial general intelligence. Maybe we just haven’t noticed. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Nield shares eleven tell-tale signs your accounts and devices have been hacked. 8 minutes to read.
  • Dan Kopf charts the history of the scatter plot (OK, that was nerd humor—so sue me). 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • John Yorke philosophizes on feedback—one can be the beneficiary of feedback or the victim. 5 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Saez explains why you need a daily action plan to let you focus on what’s important. 3 minutes to read.
  • Laura Guillen reports on recent research that casts serious doubt on the existence of a “confidence gap” between men and women. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!