New PM Articles for the Week of May 18 – 24

StakeholdersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of May 11 – 24. Our theme this week is connecting with our stakeholders. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Joel Bancroft Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, explain the value of conducting structured meetings with stakeholders.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the key points from a presentation by Emad Aziz at the PMI Global Congress EMEA, what stakeholders want. Basically, they want to understand the value and benefits of the project, and they want to gain an assurance that the PM is up to the job.
  • Bruce Harpham explores the ways we can build trust at work, based on recent research.

Project Management Methods

  • Glen Alleman shares his reading list for those who want to learn about applying statistics, finance and economics to estimating and business decision making.
  • John Goodpasture casts a critical eye on a dubious claim: statistics does not require randomness.
  • Nick Pisano considers the potential for development of a general theory of project management.
  • Dave Wakeman looks at how we can achieve strategic alignment for our projects.
  • Rich Maltzman recounts an interesting story from a bank in Israel that applies corporate social responsibility to reduce risk and improve sustainability.
  • Michel Dion reviews Peter Taylor’s new book, Real Project Management.
  • Andy Jordan details how to ensure your project realizes the benefits it was approved to deliver.
  • Marco Behler announces his new e-book on customer requirements, for custom software development.
  • Tom McFarlin has an interesting approach to ever-changing technology: assume you know nothing.

Agile Methods

  • Geoff Watts explains imposter syndrome, and how to deal with professional insecurity, effectively.
  • Pawel Brodzinski summarizes what he and his colleagues at Lunar Logic have learned about Minimum Viable Product.
  • Ebin Poovathany gives us the history behind user stories, and what Kent Beck had in mind when he started using them.

Management without the Pointy Hair

  • Venkat Rao explores the relationship between social interaction, strain, and stress.
  • Margaret Meloni says we need to fine-tune the stress levels our team operates under, in order to optimize our productivity.
  • Coert Vissar samples a list of 20 psychological principles for teaching and learning, published by the APA.
  • Paul Ritchie summarizes recent research from PM College, showing the gap between what skills project managers think they need to work on, and what their bosses think.
  • Karina Keith rounds up a list of scary statistics on time management.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Colin Ellis, who shares his thoughts on hot to get started in a project management career. Just 55 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews PMI’s John Kleine on the upcoming changes to the PDU mix required to maintain your PMP credential. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Vivek Anigras and Aakash Srinivasan turn the tables on Dave Prior, interviewing him for their new Agile Archers series of videos. Just 8 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall explains how he developed a series of on-line project management courses. His overview video is here. Just two minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 4 – 10

Sydney Opera HouseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of May 4 – 10. We give you a venue for discovery of new ideas, so you can find what interests you. I took this picture on my recent business trip to Sydney, during a short respite from the rain. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Lynda Bourne explains the difference between change and transformation. And yes, they are as different as waterfall and Agile.
  • Don Kim preaches a little heresy: the more an organization needs effective project management, right now, the less ardently they should pursue it.
  • Penelope Trunk presents some shortcuts to apply when reinventing yourself. The key is to change the context and presentation, rather than your essential identity.

PM Best Practices

  • Michel Dion challenges the traditional “triple constraint” perspective in defining project success, with a new trinity of considerations that look outside the project.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the slide deck from her PMXPO talk, “Ten Ways to Market Your Project.” Great stuff on connecting with your stakeholders.
  • Rich Maltzman presents the story of coffee roaster Equal Exchange as an example of the purpose-driven approach that project managers should emulate.
  • Paul Ritchie advocates for imbedding benefits realization in the project plan, and links to a great old Hoyt Axton song, “Where Did the Money Go?”
  • Nick Pisano lays the groundwork for a generalized theory of managing software development and acquisition, with a supporting rebar web of physics and economics.
  • John Goodpasture introduces a presentation by Matthew Squair, “Software Partitioning Integrity.” Even if you aren’t a software development manager, the vocabulary is worth developing, from a risk management perspective.
  • Harry Hall reviews the key knowledge elements of risk identification. Educate your project team and stakeholders, and they will embrace risk management.
  • Bill Nichols argues for documenting requirements, despite Agilista claims. Just because they’re emerging doesn’t mean we shouldn’t capture them.
  • Ray Frohnhoefer on Extreme Planning. “As we’ve learned from projects like gov, Agile isn’t always the best method to follow for software development.”
  • Paul Baumgartner describes the project manager’s role of “knowledge broker,” redirecting inquiries to the right expert, as essential to the success of complex projects.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn shares his thoughts on whether it is better for team members to commit to specific tasks, or the entire team to commit to the sprint plan.
  • Mike Griffiths points out the abundance of non-traditional knowledge sharing on Agile projects, with a focus on Extreme Programming practices.
  • Neil Killick examines some of the motivations for a decision maker to request an estimate, with an eye toward producing better answers.

Management Without the Pointy Hair

  • Venkat Krishnamurthy proposes a novel approach: instead of trying to replicate success, study and learn from companies who failed.
  • Susanne Madsen reviews Hertzberg’s theory of hygiene and motivators and a bit of self-determination theory to make an important point: you can’t buy retention.
  • Suzanne Lucas recommends five actions you can take to improve retention of your best employees.
  • Glen Alleman notes that in order to use data from past performance to project future results, you need to be able to make some quantified adjustments.
  • Bruce Harpham applies David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” personal productivity principles with a weekly review.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 30 – April 5

SightseersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 30 – April 5. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Seth Godin takes a systems-level view of the cost of panic. “Systems under severe stress degrade.” I don’t care what else you do today, read this.
  • Lynda Bourne gives an overview of the Salience Model of stakeholder assessment, which balances power, urgency, and legitimacy.
  • Coert Visser confirms what parents of teenagers have long suspected: demanding compliance is counter-productive.

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a graphic prepared by the KeyedIn Projects blog team, after a recent chat. If the Boss’s hair were more pointy, it would be a Dilbert cartoon.
  • Glen Alleman ties together some of the thoughts in his recent posts on making decisions in the presence of uncertainty.
  • John Goodpasture conducts a cost / benefit analysis of a new insurance product, and when it makes sense to transfer risk.
  • Harry Hall lists some of the ways we fail to ensure our projects meet quality requirements.
  • Wanda Curlee considers ways in which the CEO can use portfolio management to drive the organization in a desired direction.
  • Johanna Rothman presents an example of how to present your personal workload as a response to add to your queue.
  • Ryan Ogilvie conducts an analysis of comments posted to a problem management product website, and uncovers some trends.
  • Dan Furlong concludes his series on preparing for and facilitating meetings.
  • Charmaine Richman lists some guidelines for preparing and conducting conference calls.

Agile Methods

  • Projects At Work shares the results of the ninth annual State of Agile survey from VersionOne.
  • Emanuele Passera gets us ready for swimming season, with a demonstration of how to use story points for estimation.
  • Mike Cohn notes that transparency is the ideal when sharing details from a retrospective, but there are legitimate exceptions.
  • Jesse Fewell shares his retrospective from his first full year as an independent Agile coach and trainer.
  • Deepak Joshi identifies roadblocks to building cross-functional teams.

Leading

  • Michael Lopp identifies two leadership strengths that are more common in introverts.
  • Bruce Harpham reviews the most basic, most effective, and most frequently overlooked behavioral motivator – showing appreciation.
  • Michel Dion reviews Susanne Madsen’s book, “The Power of Project Leadership.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews engineering-and-hard-science project management master Glen Alleman. Just over an hour, worth every minutes, and safe for work.
  • Sven Johann and Eberhard Wolff define technical debt and discuss alternative approaches to managing it. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!