Leigh Espy and I had a great time, talking for over an hour last week. The original plan was to do an interview over Skype, but we had technical difficulties so we switched to a regular phone call. I was worn out from getting up at 4:30 AM for a conference call, and I was getting somewhat incoherent. But Leigh is a fabulous interviewer and one of the nicest people you could ever meet, so we talked about everything from Sociology to Agile adoption. Since she lives in Memphis, I explained Elvis Presley’s connection to the origin of the ZIP code. We even talked a bit about my book. And then she wrote an article that makes me feel very appreciated!
Leigh is a wonderful writer, with excellent story-telling skills that come through in her articles. I hope you take the time to visit her site, Project Bliss. She also has some great downloads available – I recently used her project scope statement template on a new project. Highly recommended!
New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Kerry Goyette tells us that our employees are already motivated—the key to success is unleashing the power of their motivation. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.
Julie Bort reports on how Jeff Bezos and the Amazon leadership team make risky business decisions. In short: decide quickly, based on the question, “So, what if you’re wrong?”
Scott Berkun debunks several common clichés about creativity. Telling people to think outside the box doesn’t change their behavior any more than telling them to jump higher.
Tamás Török shares a comprehensive guide to creating user stories, as a vehicle for communicating the value users will find in your app.
Elizabeth Harrin lists twenty things that might go into a project plan and provides three templates and a PDF file you can download with the entire list.
Geraldine O’Reilly picks up where Elizabeth left off with a list of nine essential project documents, from business case to lessons learned.
And Tony Adams anthropomorphizes a group of project management documents to demonstrate why the work breakdown structure is the coolest guy at the bar.
PMI announces the formation of a committee to update the Practice Standard for Scheduling. If that’s a special area of expertise, you should consider volunteering.
Harry Hall tells us how to “catch” those big project risks by using three straightforward techniques.
Elise Steven interviews Naomi Caietti on stakeholder engagement and driving change by becoming a trusted partner.
Gina Abudi shares three critical actions needed to engage employees in cross-functional projects.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly roundup of all things Agile, from lipstick Agile, Tragile, and Wagile to distributed Agile and how Jeff Bezos plans to keep Amazon relevant.
Mike Cohn points out specific value elements of getting to “done” at the end of a sprint, as opposed to just making progress.
Shazir Mucklai makes an excellent case for applying project management processes at startups.
John Goodpasture answers a student question about IT project stage gates and Agile methods.
Art Petty contemplates the critical question: what’s it like to be you? As he says, cognitive diversity is a thing.
Suzanne Lucas reports on an April Fool’s joke at Reddit that morphed into a demonstration of the power of those who step up to lead.
Angela Chen interviews neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett on the science of emotions, and why we don’t all “feel” the same things.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Ilan Hertz explains why chatbots will be the next evolutionary step in business analytics. “Why don’t people buy our products, HAL?”
Mary Shacklett summarizes five recommendations from Big Data project leaders that might help you avoid the 60% failure rate reported by the Gartner Group.
Conner Forrest reports on recent research that found your smartphone fingerprint scanner may be a lot easier to spoof than you might think.
Working and the Workplace
Leigh Espy explains why we should look past project management conferences for excellent opportunities to learn, meet interesting people, and develop face-to-face relationships.
Jason Dana reports on research which demonstrated that free-flowing job applicant interviews do not predict success and can actually overshadow more valuable information. Watch Kerry’s video above before you read this one!
Kara Swisher interviews Code2040 CEO Laura Weidman Powers on moving from diversity to inclusion. Just 48 minutes, safe for work.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 27 – April 2. And this week’s video: Ward Cunningham reflects on the history, motivation and common misunderstanding of the “debt metaphor” as motivation for refactoring.
Must read (or Hear)!
John Le Drew curated extracts of interviews with Agile thought leaders and statistics to tell a very NPR-sounding story about safety from abusive work environments, and why we need it. Just 37 minutes, safe for work.
Natalie Warnert contemplates how technical debt contributes to the cost of delay in future changes, and why we should talk about that future cost before incurring additional debt.
Johanna Rothman shares a few anecdotes that describe how servant leadership works in practice.
Laura Barnard describes the activities that should happen in the Discovery phase before the project is approved and the charter created.
Susanne Madsen bullets six things to do when starting up a new project.
Dave Prior interviews Don Kim on his new book, “I Think, Therefore I Plan.” Just 32 minutes, safe for work.
Nick Pisano defends the analysis of historical data to identify and act on trends as more than just “telling them history they already know.”
Glen Alleman lists five principles of project success and then ties them to the processes needed to implement them and practices that have been proven to be widely applicable.
Jeff Collins gives us a tutorial on earned value management.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly roundup of Agile content, including the Agile mindset, the neuroscience of trust, structured conversations, experimentation, and more.
Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy has a truthful conversation with a prospective client about Scrum: how it works, what it demands of the product owner, and why they’re called “sprints.”
Esther Derby describes experimentation as a method of driving incremental organizational change.
The Clever PM provides a recommended reading list for product managers – also applicable to project managers, Scrum masters, and anyone else leading people.
Bart Gerardi describes three kinds of dependencies that would make a Scrum team want to align their sprint calendar with that of other teams.
Margaret Kelsey interviews Misael Leon of Nearsoft, who shares his insights on how to understand your users’ motivations. Just 37 minutes, safe for work.
Harry Hall identifies four common reasons we get stuck and suggests corrective actions that can get our teams moving again. Plus a three-minute video, safe for work.
Michael Greer describes five critical conditions that have to be present in order to enable team success.
Mike Girdler lists four key actions needed to change a toxic corporate culture.
Gina Abudi concludes her series on getting buy-in for a large project.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Mike Clayton gives us a solid tutorial on persuasion and influence.
Gavin Martin links us to a table from the National Conference of State Legislatures, with links to the security breach notification laws in each state.
Teena Maddox reports on the successful recycling of a SpaceX booster rocket—just one more step on the way to 4,425 satellites delivering internet service to the entire globe.
Working and the Workplace
Bertrand Duperrin notes that the young are virtuoso users of technology that they don’t understand and don’t care to learn about. So how will we find enough geeks?
Leigh Espy explains what project managers really do in terms of roles and responsibilities. This is an excellent resource for coaching an “accidental project manager.”
Coert Visser collates a checklist of questions to support your professional development.