New PM Articles for the Week of August 25 – 31

Balloon Over The RoofNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 25 – 31. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman channels W. Edwards Deming, to make the point that management is about prediction, and thus estimation.
  • Rachel Matthews provides some insights on selecting contingent workers, also known as “temps,” for engineering roles.
  • Bruce Benson reports on the finger-pointing lawsuits counter-filed by Oracle and the State of Oregon, from their failed Cover Oregon healthcare website.
  • Ireti Oke-Pollard offers some thoughts on how to improve software testing, by thinking like users.
  • Dave Wakeman shares his insights on leading with integrity, following recent media reports on failures of leadership in politics and sports.
  • Brad Egeland continues his series on the seven areas for project managers to focus on.
  • Patti Gilchrist applies lessons from art (Pablo Picasso) to structuring project management presentations.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski tells why values and principles are more important than practices, techniques, tools, and methods.
  • Jesse Fewell crunches the numbers to see which organizations are winning the “Agile certification wars.” All we are saying is give PMI-ACP a chance …
  • Johanna Rothman fine-tunes a post by Glen Alleman that management is prediction.
  • John Goodpasture applies a little physics to understand the drop in productivity, once the team hits 70% throughput capacity.
  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy shares a “soup recipe” for building self-organizing teams.
  • Madhavi Ledalla rises to the challenge of conducting retrospectives with a distributed team.
  • Martin LaPointe tells how his family used Scrum to self-organize their recent relocation from Paris to Montreal.

Following the Trends

  • Jennifer Zaino notes that, as the digital universe doubles in size every two years, data centers are evolving rapidly for high-density, green operations.
  • Kailash Awati explores the ironies of standardization and outsourcing enterprise IT.
  • Suzanne Lucas tells the story of an inflexible management team that couldn’t manage their “flexible” star employee.

Professional Development

Podcasts and Videos

  • Michel Dion shares some feedback for you podcasters. Not the kind that blows out your speakers … the helpful kind.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Tim Stringer on his approach to “holistic productivity,” which he developed while being treated for cancer. Just 53 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Rachel Gertz on applying psychological tools to project management. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of August 4 – 10

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 4 – 10. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews continue their series on a framework for the occasional project manager.
  • Nick Pisano considers the challenges of integrating cost and schedule on large projects, especially for the federal government.
  • John Goodpasture details why Monte Carlo simulations are better quality than the estimates that go into them.
  • Andy Jordan tells of a “traditional” project manager’s quick adoption of Kanban.
  • Lynda Bourne builds on a pair of earlier posts with her thoughts on designing key performance indicators that actually drive performance.
  • Kevin Korterud selects “estimate to complete” as the most useful metric.
  • Susanne Madsen bullet points the rules for a perfect status report.
  • Bruce Benson finds that the best way to learn from experience is to build systems that remember (and implement) what you’ve learned.
  • Gary Nelson recalls an old friend’s old car, and wishes every project ran like a Honda Civic. And yes, that’s also an acronym …
  • Joanna Carlson analyzes the roll-out of the Minnesota Affordable Care Act site, MNSure.
  • Kerry Wills has a great metaphor for setting context for the issues we document.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman explains how to avoid three of the most common estimation traps.
  • Glenn Alleman points out the potential for disparate views of Agile, based on the domain, scope, and budget.
  • Mike Cohn notes that Agile does not mean equal, at least for the members of the self-organizing team. Be sure to read the comments – they help Mike clarify some points.
  • David Anderson continues his series on using Kanban for project management.
  • Sanjay Zalavadia explores the need for agility in embracing Agile, especially your test management strategy.

Professional Development

  • Bryan Barrow shares his vision of our transition from project managers to project leaders.
  • Penelope Trunk explains the need to balance focus and breadth, in what she calls “cross-training.” Specialization isn’t just for insects!
  • Suzanne Lucas debunks some falsehoods about networking.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Carlos Flesh on managing projects in Latin America. It’s a cultural thing! Just 47 minutes, safe for work.
  • Carl Smith interviews Larissa Scordato on how she gave up her dream of being an archeologist to become a digital project manager. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner details his personal best practices for getting the most out of attending a conference.

New Books

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Bonnie Biafore’s new book, “Microsoft Project 2013: The Missing Manual.”
  • Ian Whittingham finds project management lessons in the follow-up to Freakonomics, “Think Like a Freak,” by Levitt and Dubner.
  • Bruce Harpham finds project management lessons in a biography of William Shakespeare, somewhere between tragedy and comedy …

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 28 – August 3

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 28 – August 3. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Contract Management

  • Todd Williams shares some insights gleaned from litigation over failed projects. Unless you only manage internal projects with in-house staff, you need to read this!
  • Glen Alleman articulates the key distinctions between fit for purpose and fit for use, and applies them to project management.
  • Pat Weaver outlines method for preventing, minimizing, or at least making visible, delays due to client inaction.
  • Andy Jordan presents an interesting case study of an outsourced portfolio management office. Or more accurately, outsourced PMO services.

PM Best Practices

  • Pollyanna Pixton notes that it’s easy to get metrics wrong, and explains how to design them to be effective.
  • Craig Brown vents at project management textbooks that get the work breakdown structure wrong.
  • Bryan Barrow points out that there are some things that Kanban software can’t do as well as Gant charting software.
  • Bruce Harpham offers a few stress management best practices.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides an executive summary of PMI’s “Navigating Complexity” practice guide. PMI members can download the guide at no charge.
  • Kailash Awati mines a paper from the British Medical Journal for an understanding of how organizations deal with human error: scapegoats and systems.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the stakeholder questions you want to answer in your project kickoff meeting.
  • Gina Abudi details a set of roles and responsibilities for team decision making.
  • Nick Pisano considers the early stages of project execution, as the team establishes its operating rhythm.
  • Dan Stober shares the Q&A from his recent webinar on the project manager as business analyst.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Burrows recounts his experience with implementing Kanban with a new team, and how they evolved from a generic process to just what they needed.
  • John Goodpasture expounds on the need for Agile methods to take compliance with external requirements (say, auditors and regulatory agencies) into account.
  • Shim Marom considers (and questions) the incremental value of “deeper” retrospectives.

Professional Development

  • Cheri Baker recounts her recent experience with a French client who wasn’t enchanted with her “American cheerfulness.” Time to recalibrate!
  • Scott Berkun provides a master course in refining and delivering your pitch, so that your ideas get the traction they deserve.
  • Lynda Bourne details the steps in building your personal brand, and leveraging your knowledge of your business contact’s brand.
  • Karina Keith shares some factoids about the profession of project management, to help you get a little perspective.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Ky Nichol on the challenges of managing event projects like the World Cup and the Olympics. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Magennis on how to apply the lessons from Money Ball to portfolio management. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Wheatley speaks with SAP America VP of Global Operations Tina Rosario on the growing importance of data governance. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley share a video of a presentation on innovation by former Obama administration CTO Aneesh Chopra. Over an hour, safe for work.

Enjoy!