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!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 2 – 8

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 2 – 8. And this week’s video: Bones and a full reconstruction of the largest pterosaur (flying dinosaur) ever found are now on display at the Altmuehltal Dinosaur Museum, in a suburb of Stuttgart, Germany. Hey, even if you are tired of Jurassic Park sequels, this is cool!

Must read!

  • Greg Satell explains how General Electric got disrupted—by getting better and better at delivering things their customers needed less and less. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tim Fernholz notes the huge difference between getting good at mass production (Tesla) and getting reliable at reusability (SpaceX). Transitioning to production can be the biggest business risk of all. 5 minutes to read.
  • Graham Kenny clarifies the relationships between objectives, strategies, and actions. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin provides the questions you need to ask about GDPR implications before starting a new project. 8 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy points out the ways in which software development projects are managed differently from other types of projects. 4 minutes to read.
  • Karin Hurt shares the INSPIRE model for project management accountability conversations. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton tutors us on project procurement management, as described in the PMBOK and practiced in the public and private sector. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jigs Gaton begins a series on creating custom reports in Microsoft Project, beginning with changes to a delivered report. 7 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Redbooth explain how to conduct a project pre-mortem and post-mortem. And your project doesn’t even have to be dead! 6 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the Scrum master end game to the way Scrum and DevOps fit together to the cost of decision making. 2 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Johanna Rothman makes a distinction between being data-driven and data-informed. Good decision makers should note the difference. 2 minutes to read.
  • Cassandra Leung points out the problems with limiting work in progress (WIP) with creative work—in her example, writing. But it has other applications. 6 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton provides a decision tree on when to move to a different format for retrospectives. 2 minutes to read.
  • Luis Goncalves makes his recommendation for an Agile retrospective format, based on Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s book on the subject. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kent McDonald posts an overview of Liftoff: Start and sustain successful agile teams, by Ainsley Nies and Diana Larsen. Just over a minute to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of project leadership articles, from statistics to servant leadership to expressing your team’s feelings. 3 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Adam Grant interviews Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code: The secrets of highly successful groups. He says that trust is built in a way you wouldn’t expect. 4 minutes to read.
  • Sam begins a series on the way we define “purpose” to achieve alignment within the organization. Part 2 expands that to the customer. Each around 2 minutes.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Rich Rogers explores two testing cultures: testing as an adaptive investigation and testing as a factory process, or confirmation culture. 6 minutes to read.
  • Simon Schrijver does a deep dive into the details of pair testing. 7 minutes to read.
  • Paul Seaman talks about alternatives to the “given, when, then” acceptance criteria format, specifically conditions of satisfaction. 4 minutes to read.
  • Thomas Redman notes that machine learning tools are only as valuable as the quality of your data. Garbage in, algorithmic garbage out. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Eric Torrence examines the ways that Detail-oriented People and Big-picture People need to communicate with each other. 4 minutes to read.
  • Farah Mohammed tries to answer the rhetorical question: What makes a company worth working for? 3 minutes to read.
  • Karen Bridges reviews research linking sleep deprivation to reduced productivity and health problems and then suggests some positive sleep habits. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!