New PM Articles for the Week of December 4 – 10

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 4 – 10. And this week’s video: A funny little “slice of death” on business continuity planning, from the US Department of Homeland Security. Less than 3 minutes, safe for work. And this week’s pictures are from the Oregon Zoo’s winter event, Zoo Lights. That seascape is about 16 feet tall and made entirely of LED lights.

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman has started an excellent series on how to behave professionally at work, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Here’s part two. Each 3 – 4 minutes to read.
  • Jacek Materna explains shadow IT—from origins to challenges and opportunities—and why SaaS and the Cloud are driving cultural change in the IT department.
  • Coert Visser shared a diagram of the “motivation continuum,” based on the extent to which autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs are fulfilled. Click on the image to get a clearer view and then study it for a few minutes. Worth the time investment.

Established Methods

  • Phil Buckley points out 7 change management trends that project managers need to be aware of. 6 minutes to read.
  • Bob Tarne describes Nemawashi, a change management technique the starts with relationship building as the path to consensus building. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale extracts lessons on both risk management and ethics from a recent Dilbert strip. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman does a deep dive into the difference between open-loop and closed-loop controls. 8 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson notes that project schedules must account for a certain amount of “getting things wrong.” 2 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his Agile content list, from the origin of the Agile Manifesto to Scrum and Hypothesis-driven Development to using customer feedback. 7 outbound links, a couple of minutes to scan.
  • Mike Griffiths offers some thoughts on next steps in professional development for those of use with the Certified Scrum Master credential. 4 minutes to read.
  • Sriram Narayan posts an FAQ for Product-Mode, as an alternative to organizing work as projects. Before you object to #NoProjects, scan this for 10 minutes.
  • Mike Cohn answers the criticism that Scrum teams meet too often with a simple suggestion: measure before and after. 4 minutes to read.
  • Matteo Tontini reflects on what the rise and fall of Slack use revealed about his collocated team. 5 minutes to read.
  • Michael Dubakov gets controversial: Every new feature either adds debt or creates a placeholder for future debt. And not just technical debt. 4 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley tutors us on six important process flow metrics; part 2 is here. Each about 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Pawel Brodzinski reflects on autonomy, authority, and lessons learned from the transition to a holocratic model for his company. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy describes a few techniques that can help us (and our teams) increase our capacity for generating insights. 4 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty explains the power of asking, “Why do you think that?” Especially of yourself. 3 minutes to read.

Technology and Techniques

  • Bob Martin recaps the history of storing information in computers, from punch cards to SSD’s, and asks: what’s the next fundamental improvement? 6 minutes to read.
  • Lucy Kaith recaps Microsoft’s presentation on new features coming in Sharepoint 2019 (which seems like it should be more than 13 months from now). 5 minutes to read.
  • Cari Romm explains how to be just a little bit better at remembering things. 2 minutes to read.
  • Brendan Toner reviews MindGenius 6—a Windows mind mapping product that exports directly to MS Project. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Suzanne Lucas tells us how to create a team when managing remote workers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Theresa Sigillito Hollema on strengthening collaboration across cultures and borders. Podcast, 38 minutes.
  • Seth Godin lists 20 excellent books that might change the way you and your colleagues work—especially if you read them together. Just a minute to read the list, but bookmark it.

Enjoy!

New Post at AITS: Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams

My latest article for AITS was published today: Managing Globally Distributed Project Teams.

I’ve been managing projects with globally distributed teams for a lot of years. Between the scheduling problems, the communication issues, and simply keeping everyone aligned on priorities in order to stay on schedule, it can be a handful. I’ve included several links to useful resources, as well as my usual suggestions for solving some of the common problems. But entirely aside from what’s in this article: become knowledgeable about different cultures. Call it a part of business acumen, call it being a citizen of a larger world. Just realize that the jobs at the upper end of the pay scale require a global mindset today and that requirement will spread downward in the years to come.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of November 20 – 26

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 20 – 26. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton answers the question: what is a RAG (or traffic light) report? 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Steve Lohr reports on the increasing attraction of the American Midwest to tech investors who have become fearful of the “craziness” in Silicon Valley. 5 minutes to read.
  • Klint Finley explains how the end of net neutrality will change the internet—for those of us in the US, at any rate. 5 minutes to read.
  • Eric Martin lists fourteen technology-enabled trends, including some social trends, that might deliver a better future for everyone. 12 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy has compiled 26 arguments illustrating the benefits of project management. 7 minutes to read.
  • Jigs Gaton applies lessons learned from the highly successful Virginia-class nuclear submarine design project to managing mundane civilian projects. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner and Simona Fallavolitta, product manager for the PMP credential, discuss the changes coming to the PMP exam on March 26, 2018. Podcast, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kiron Bondale extracts project management lessons from a few fables we heard as children.3 minutes to read.
  • Aimee Baxter provides practical advice on driving change adoption, based on stakeholder engagement, listening, and then communicating. 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Stephanie Ray tutors us on the project communications plan. 7 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from the group decision process to nimbly doing the wrong things to product management by committee (utterly doomed). 8 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • James Mensch describes the perfect daily stand-up (or Scrum, if you prefer). 2 minutes to read.
  • Holger Paffrath notes the relationship between Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team and the values espoused by the Scrum Guide. 2 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley has a few holiday shopping suggestions for the readers of Agile books on your list. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Mike Cohn shares five lessons he’s grateful to have learned during his career. 10 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp describes the necessary content required for the creation of two career paths—one for individual contributors and one for managers. 7 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland recommends some ways to apply modern leadership methods in the virtual world. Podcast, 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Pawel Brodzinski explains why he got involved in a trivial discussion—because it would change the organizational culture, ever so slightly, but irrevocably. 3 minutes to read.
  • Den Howlett reports that one of the primary reasons for Workday’s 98% customer satisfaction score is the absolute control they exercise over their implementation partners, thus keeping the playing field level. 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Susan Dynarski makes the case for banning electronics during a lecture or meeting. 5 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Mindjet MindManager 2018, a mind mapping and visual management tool. 6 minutes to read.
  • Chris Hoffman compares the new Firefox Quantum browser to Chrome. It’s apparently not merely faster, but better in other ways. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brendan Toner provides a detailed view of Scrivener, for iOS, a multi-platform author’s tool for serious long-form writing. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Coert Visser briefly explains Carol Dweck’s new theory on the foundations of personality, including her micro-theory contained in a taxonomy of needs. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez discuss mindfulness and various myths about how the brain works. Podcast, 51 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy tells us how gratitude, expressed consciously, can help us feel happy, healthy, and successful. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!