New PM Articles for the Week of April 16 – 22

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 16 – 22. And this week’s video: Zaman gives us a tutorial on adding cascading animations to PowerPoint. Imagine using this to brief your steering committee on the results of testing, or some other data-heavy topic. 9 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Jenny Anderson reports on one of Amazon’s uncommon practices: teams prepare narrative memos rather than Powerpoints. Those of us who write are smiling. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains how to develop gravitas as a project manager. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jan Schulz-Hofen shares an action plan for GDPR compliance. Yes, you need to care, even if you aren’t in Europe. 20 minutes to read—call it an investment.

Established Methods

  • Andy Makar shares a checklist to support transitioning responsibility to a new project manager. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy shares a list of basic project management steps for those who have unexpectedly become project managers. In case you were asking “for a friend.” 6 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture explains the notion of the project balance sheet. Not Assets = Liabilities + Shareholder Equity but the relationship between the investment and how it’s being spent. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews CornerThought, a new tool for capturing lessons learned throughout the project and reviewing them at the right point in time in future projects. 6 minutes to read.
  • John McIntyre notes that the value of producing a weekly project status report lies in the “mini-project audit” required to prepare it. 6 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell captures the key points from a survey by Deloitte on big data and cognitive technology projects. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from large-scale Agile to BDD treaties to protecting the product creation process. Seven outbound links, 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale wishes the Agile Manifesto had one more value: “We value Agility over Agendas.” Not meeting agendas—the other kind. 2 minutes to read.
  • Alex Novkov returns to the manufacturing roots of Agile to consider the wisdom of “stopping the line” in the name of improving the process. 5 minutes to read.
  • Doron Bar describes endgame testing—end to end from the user’s perspective. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley notes that Kaizen is more of a mindset than a process or workflow. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths notes that software projects are evolving, to the point that the project manager role may disappear. Or at least, be less visible to the development team. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his list of leadership articles, from the dangers of unicorn worship to being wary of the next big thing. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jeffrey Kotler describes how resilient leaders respond to failure. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ron Carucci dismantles the three common reasons leaders give to avoid making hard decisions in a timely manner. 5 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Anne-Marie Charrett examines the practice of and inherent risks to quality assurance in a continuous delivery environment. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andrew Conrad shares five Powerpoint techniques that beat the crap out of whatever you’re doing now. Or maybe I’m just projecting. 5 minutes to read, set aside an hour to experiment.
  • David Geer notes six barriers to test automation, all of which cry out for project manager attention! 5 minutes to read.
  • Nir Eyal describes the Peak-End Rule, which explains why your last impression is the most lasting impression. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman note that reliably productive people have a certain set of traits and skills. 4 minutes to read.
  • Paul Sellers tells of the sudden outburst of anger by one of his students, and how it all turned out. 2 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Sáez shares ten tips that will help us stay focused. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

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.