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!

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!