New PM Articles for the Week of May 21 – 27

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 21 – 27. And this week’s video: an ancient performance of “Chateau Lafitte ’59 Boogie” by Foghat, with the late Lonesome Dave Peverett reminding us how it was done before lip-synching and backup dancers. 8 minutes, safe for work, but put the headphones on and crank it up.

Must read!

  • David Harding summarizes current trends in mergers and acquisitions and finds that we are returning to successful models from the early 20th 4 minutes to read.
  • Quinn Norton reports on the Efail exploit and then goes deep into history to explain why Email is a non-fixable problem with no clear owner. 10 minutes to read.
  • John Harris notes that most of the new product hype coming from the Big Tech firms is for … well, useless crap. Do you really need a digital assistant to make your phone calls? 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Leigh Espy interviews project manager and blogger Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy on how he went from naval officer candidate to software development project manager and what he learned along the way. 8 minutes to read.
  • Susanne Madsen reviews three well-known projects that ran over budget and schedule and had rough initial roll-outs but are today deemed iconic works. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explain strategic project definition. Video, 3 minutes, safe for work.
  • Vivien Gold reminds us of some of the elements to include in a project budget. 4 minutes to read.
  • Glenn Alleman tutors us on cost, price, and value and how they are used in business decision making. 5 minutes to read.
  • Nick Pisano begins a series on integrated program management elements. This one is on costs—development, management, and product lifecycle—and why we’re not capturing all of them. 10 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from working for Scrum-clueless management to mental models to guerilla user testing. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to scan.
  • Neil Killick explores alternatives to story points in making delivery estimates. 5 minutes to read.
  • John Cutler invokes Deming in pointing out that high WIP, resulting from crappy management systems, generates more problems than actual people. 4 minutes to read.
  • Eric Weiss observes that Scrum is not necessarily agile, and there are several ways to “do” Scrum counter-productively. 9 minutes to read.
  • Tim Runcie explains the newest Agile features of MS Project. 10 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale makes the case for using Gantt charts and other project management tools even in projects using Agile or adaptive methods. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from what people care about to the value of expertise to welcoming new people. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • David Dye explores what we can do by simply changing the question. Whole new answers appear. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dan Rockwell explains proactive delegation, because “Desperation is a lousy context for delegation.” 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Greg Satell notes that you can’t commercialize a scientific discovery—first you have to create a product that incorporates it. And that can be harder than the science. 5 minutes to read.
  • Youyou Zhou reports on a scary Amazon Alexa “fail” that should make you wonder how fully you can test devices that interpret speech. 3 minutes to read.
  • Albert Gareev talks about how to find the starting point in business intelligence testing. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a massive infographic on the Art and Science of Networking. Maybe 6 or 7 minutes to read, but very non-linear. Take your time.
  • Jack White (not the musician) identifies five “routines” that justify procrastination and hinder achieving goals. 4 minutes to read.
  • LaRae Quy recounts her experience at the FBI Academy in explaining how to build a strong mind. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cassandra Leung explains her “rabbit poop” model for learning. 4 minutes, but do not read this over certain breakfast cereals.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 16 – 22

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 16 – 22. And this week’s video: Harry Hall shares a few ideas to improve our project cost management approach. Less than four minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Kailash Awati examines the potential for data science to do considerable damage when we ignore social and ethical considerations. Weapons of math destruction, indeed!
  • Art Petty describes the “energy sinks” (the opposite of “source”) that burn us out and lists some actions we can take to turn them off.
  • Jesse Lynn Stoner suggests that humiliation might be a gift – a wake-up call – and quotes Gandhi’s comment on the proverb: the truth hurts.

Established Methods

  • Atif Qureshi curated responses to a request for predictions: what will be the top project management trends in 2017? Of course, he has his own predictions.
  • Leigh Espy shared a simple but complete scope statement template for download. Just name and Email required.
  • Mike Clayton posts a basket full of ideas that have nothing to do with project management that will nevertheless help us be more effective project managers.
  • Samuel Bacharach describes the characteristics of four type of influencers – Top Dogs, Gatekeepers, Gurus, and Players – who can make or break your project.
  • Mike Griffiths introduces a loose series of blog posts on the #NoProjects principle of continuous software development.
  • Kristyn Medeiros waxes poetic on the stoplight colors we use for status reporting.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Guerrilla Innovation to Kanban metrics to saying no to customers.
  • Craig Brown makes the case for still using Planning Poker, even after you’ve been using Agile methods for a while.
  • Derek Huether created an infographic that enumerates qualities of good and bad ScrumMasters.
  • Madhavi Ledalla sketches the “Art of the Scrum Master.”
  • The Clever PM articulates the challenges of trying to reliably predict the future behavior of your customers.
  • Donna Reed tells about Kaizen, or “change for the better,” and creating a high-maturity Agile culture based on continuous improvement.
  • Yona Gidalevitz describes the application of ethnographic research to UX design for users from a specific culture. There’s more to it than just translating words to their language.

Applied Leadership

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Gary Lloyd’s new book, “Business Leadership for IT projects.”
  • Wayne Turmel points out the obvious – of course a project manager is a people manager.
  • Kerry Wills reminds us to set the example: “Act what you expect.”

Technology and Techniques

  • Craig Smith interviews quality consultant Anne-Marie Charrett on context-driven testing, exploratory testing, and women in technology. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cade Metz reports on the growing number of high-end physicists finding work in the software teams of Silicon Valley.
  • Jake Rhuede of Red Stag Fulfillment posted an interesting infographic on the ways artificial intelligence is infiltrating E-commerce.

Working and the Workplace

  • Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Adam Yearsley point out the types of work where people with high EQ are less effective.
  • Suzanne Lucas considers the case of the employee who refuses to answer (or even read) Emails in the evening.
  • Jennifer Aldrich explains why hiring for culture fit is not antithetical to hiring for diversity.
  • Jack Simpson notes that if you don’t finish what you’re working on, you’re not productive – you’re just busy.

Enjoy!

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!