New PM Articles for the Week of January 9 – 15

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 9 – 15. And this week’s video: the Jon Spear Band celebrates risk management (sort of) with “The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese.” Just 3:16 of jump blues, safe for work. Turn it up …

Must read!

  • Michael Lopp contemplates the illusion of productivity, the mindset of busy, and (his proposed cure) the Builder’s Mindset. Think of this as an intervention.
  • Liane Davey advises on managing a team that has been tasked with unrealistic targets. Ethical failures at Wells Fargo, Volkswagen, and so on arose from pressure to deliver, at all costs.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy makes the case for proving that you are trustworthy and then tells you how.

Established Methods

  • Harry Hall gets us back to the basics of cost management. Great example, real life actions.
  • Elizabeth Harrin calendars the project management conferences planned for 2017, including some too far in the future to describe the content.
  • Mike Clayton lists fifty great project management blogs we should be following in 2017, including many new to me.
  • Frederic Lardinois reports that Atlassian Software (Jira and Confluence) is buying Trello in yet another round of consolidation in the project management software market.
  • David Robins points out the downside of online project management and collaboration software: empowering the uninitiated. Think “Jurassic Park.”
  • Glen Alleman goes into deep, technical detail on the Cone of Uncertainty, which is a metaphor for the process of reducing cost and schedule risk on projects.
  • Thomas Carney gives us a detailed course on quality assurance in software engineering.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers shares his weekly Agile roundup: Scrum turns 21, product ownership (not just the role), and whether “priority” can be plural.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews NK Shrivastava on his PMI Global Congress presentation, Warning Signs that Agile Isn’t Working. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Marty Bradley addresses the new Agilista question: should the PMO go away?
  • Matteo Tontini describes learning to work as a team using Scrum, without a full-time product owner. Failure in three, two, one …
  • Moira Alexander posts a beginners FAQ on Agile project management. You almost certainly have a stakeholder that would benefit from this, so pass it along.

Applied Leadership

  • Seth Godin translates a sign at LaGuardia Airport from pompous bureaucratic to conversational English. Yes, you have permission to communicate like an actual person.
  • Coert Visser explains the Mother of All Biases: naïve realism. Includes a “count your fingers” exercise demonstrating how our perception is sharp in only a very narrow field.
  • Elise Stevens curates a list of resources for developing effective leadership skills.
  • Andy Kaufman reflects on influencing through questions. Just over six minutes, safe for work. A bit loud, but if you clicked on the Jon Spear Band tune …

Technology and Techniques

  • Jenna Hogue directs us to a presentation on cognitive computing (51 minutes, safe for work) but mercifully gives us an overview of the content.
  • Carnegie Mellon University has lined up four of the world’s best professional poker players to compete against an AI program. Sounds like “Her” meets “Casino Royale.”
  • Nilanjan Kar tutors us on creating an impactful PMO dashboard using Powerpoint. More interesting for the examples than the techniques, but worth reading.

Working and the Workplace

  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Anna Schlegel, author of “Truly Global: The theory and practice of bringing your company to international markets.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie recounts a conversation with a colleague who was asked to ‘drop the hammer’ on people more often in her new role. Ryan’s counsel: choose your battles wisely.
  • Suzanne Lucas shares demotivating job descriptions penned by the people who do them. “I try to convince people in another time zone to talk to the person two cubicles away.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 19 – 25. And this week’s video: psychologist Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires productivity. Just 12 minutes, safe for work, but people will crowd around to see why you’re laughing uncontrollably.

Must read!

  • Mike Clayton describes Kurt Lewin’s Freeze Phases model of organizational change, which is predicated on the notion of driving forces and restraining forces.
  • Esther Derby collates a list of questions that could lead to more effective organizational change, if they were only asked.
  • Ryan Avent scans past the disruptive trends of automation replacing humans to ask the question: what will a world without work be like and how can we make it livable?

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin celebrates ten years of blogging by following up on the best articles from each of those years (and the most popular so far from 2016).
  • Harry Hall tutors us on the management reserve for project budgets.
  • Shuba Kathikeyan summarizes the steps in project cost management, and recommends several good practices for project managers.
  • John Goodpasture makes the counter-case: measuring everything may be more detrimental than no measurements at all.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Dave Davis on achieving benefits realization management. Just 43 minutes, safe for work.
  • Brian Livingston describes good, bad, and ugly results of project closeout.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of new articles and posts on Agile topics, from people and teams to frameworks and products.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Lean Machine, which describes how Harley-Davidson adopted lean product development.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his gorilla, Hogarth, explain that Agile coaches are like vampires: they have to be invited in.
  • Christian van Stom describes the motivational retrospective, as way to not just refine a process but develop a desirable culture.
  • Dave Prior interviews Agile Manifesto signer Alistair Cockburn in a long (79 minutes), wide-ranging conversation on consulting, Agile, and lifestyle. Safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Kent Lefner makes a table of the top ten reasons projects fail from a study by PWC and includes key indicators and considerations for each.
  • The Clever PM makes the practical case for limiting the choices we present to both our teams and the executives.
  • Elizabeth McCormick describes the venerable concept of a Mastermind and explains what you can get from being a party to one.
  • Art Petty lays out five ways we can productive work with people we actively dislike.

Technology and Techniques

  • James Kobelius explains how to apply industrial-style discipline to the development of business analytics.
  • Kupe Kupersmith describes Lean Business Analysis, and a way to reduce waste in getting to decisions.
  • Nicholas Malahosky details twelve ways to improve cross-office collaboration.

Working and the Workplace

  • Bertrand Duperrin looks at a modern torture we inflict on ourselves: the notifications from our devices that interrupt us dozens of times a day.
  • Coert Visser examines deep work, (self-) interruptions and attention residue, and the positive impact of brief breaks.
  • Lisette Sutherland wonders whether it’s time for a digital vacation. Less than eight minutes, safe for work, even if you’ve already set up your out of office message.
  • Brendan Toner revisits his task management review for the new version: Droptask2.0.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 18 – 24. And this week’s video: the maiden flight of Aquila, Facebook’s solar-powered unmanned aircraft, designed to bring internet connectivity to the rest of the world. Just three minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Harry Hall describes several responses that project managers might make to respond to stakeholder conflict – not all of them good.
  • Paul Culmsee and his kids prepared a four-minute video they call “A TEDdy Talk,” explaining his new book with Kailash Awati, “The Heretic’s Guide to Management.” Safe for work.
  • PMI announced that the PMBOK Guide-Sixth Edition, with extended coverage of Agile methods, and a practice guide focused on Agile will be released during the third quarter of 2017.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin makes the argument that contributions to organizational strategic goals are a more useful project metric than alignment with those strategic goals.
  • Stuart Easton describes the annual project budgeting process as a “beauty parade,” and challenges the PMO to define value.
  • Priyanka Chakraborty reports that IT project failure rates are essentially unchanged from three years ago. If we can’t be good, let’s at least be predictable?
  • John Goodpasture expands on a quote from Tony Hoare to explore the inductive nature of software testing.
  • PMI has made their Pulse of the Profession 2016 report available for download. Title: “Delivering Value: Focus on benefits during project execution.”
  • Mike Griffiths models the business case for when software development outsourcing makes sense.
  • Glen Alleman shares his reading list of systems engineering textbooks.
  • Keith Foote gives us a primer on Big Data and cloud security.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman posted a two-part series on how to get to a frictionless release. Here’s part 2.
  • Dave Prior interviews Liana Dore, Agile Governance lead for eVestment, on the Agile PMO. Just 26 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn addresses the question posed by the #NoProjects folks.
  • Lance Knight recounts a tale of two Scrum teams: one with a ScrumMaster who understood team dynamics, and one … well, you get the idea.
  • Natalie Warnert notes that even software teams grieve at the end of their projects.

Applied Leadership

  • David Robins offers some thoughts on managing remote workers, from processes and tools to characteristics of people who can and cannot work well remotely.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews former HR executive Larry Solomon on his new book, “Translate, Motivate, Activate: A Leader’s Guide to Mobilizing Change.”
  • Michael Lopp announces coming release of the third edition of “Managing Humans.”
  • Bas de Baat lists the actions needed to get a team “in the zone.”

Working and the Workplace

  • Microsoft announced the Microsoft Professional Degree program, “A university caliber curriculum for professionals at any stage in their career.”
  • Kristin Hillery collected ideas on maintaining work-life balance from a number of folks who work from offices in their home.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Jane Anderson on using LinkedIn to build your personal brand. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Suzanne Lucas briefs us on compliance with the new overtime regulations here in the US.
  • Steven Pressfield lists ten classic books on productivity, old and new.

Enjoy!