New PM Articles for the Week of March 25 – 31

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 25 – 31. And this week’s video: Harry Hall follows up on his video explaining qualitative risk assessment with one on using quantitative methods to determine risk exposure as a financial amount, so you can set your project reserve. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Brexit update: an online petition to revoke Article 50, the provision for the UK to exit the EU, now has over 6 million signatures; Goldman Sachs thinks there is a 40% chance of that happening. Meanwhile, Prime Minister May is considering yet another vote on a softer version of her negotiated agreement, after three rejections, as an alternative to holding a general election before the April 12 deadline. If you want to be a senior decision maker, learn to follow current events like a senior decision maker.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Eshe Nelson interviews MIT economist Erik Brynjolfsson on the development of a new economic metric, GDP-B, which tries to capture the value of things we don’t pay for, like Google Maps, Wikipedia, and YouTube videos. 8 minutes to read.
  • Paul Hockenos reports on the growing number of German homeowners installing storage batteries as a component of their solar energy systems. 8 minutes to read.
  • Chris Gilliard tells how an academic assignment to surveil unsuspecting strangers in public places raised questions on privacy, consent, and privilege. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin details 15 actions to take charge of your own professional development. 9 minutes to read.
  • Satya Narayan Dash describes a highly detailed project risk management framework. 9 minutes to read, plus a 5-minute video.
  • John Goodpasture makes the case for developing and following checklists, from the general to the specific. 2 minutes to read.
  • Gerri Poling reflects on what “continuous improvement” actually means: not just achieving quality goals, but moving beyond them. 3 minutes to read.
  • Any Jordan reminds us of the need to document and validate (or at least monitor for continued reasonability) the assumptions we use in planning. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Sripriya Narayanasamy and Karthik Ramamurthy, authors of Say Yes to Project Success, a collection of short stories with comments by 108 project experts. Podcast, 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Johanna Rothman describes milestone criteria, as used in agile methods for managing projects and programs. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agile values to splitting stories to why ‘done’ tends to clash with ‘validated.’ 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Angela Riggs tutors us on converting to automated software testing. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton does a deep dive into PMI’s Agile Practice Guide, released with PMBOK version 6 a year and a half ago, from contents to controversy. 12 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk suggests that the predecessor to those other certifications should be an Agile Manifesto certification. 3 minutes to read.
  • David Karlin indulges in a rant against unreliable and non-resilient software and support line hold messages that suggest maybe you should clear browser cookies. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackovny follows up on her post on testing input validation with some thoughts on validating outputs. The examples include a sly reference to an old song. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Anne Sugar describes three ways to handle planned meetings that will have too many attendees. 3 minutes to read.
  • Natalie Warnert leads us through a team vulnerability activity: name your trigger. An interesting way to help a small group become a functioning team. 4 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas provides short recaps for each of the five employment laws every manager of employees in the USA must know. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Susanne Madsen coaches us on Deep Work—the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. 5 minutes to read.
  • Curtis Preston argues that the Cloud is perfect for disaster recovery. 6 minutes to read.
  • Asaf Fybish explores three examples of implementing a Zero Trust network architecture—micro-segmenting and access verification—in large organizations. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • The nice folks at Clarizen make the case against Email. It’s like oil: a little lubricates; too much collects dirt and clogs everything up. 2 minutes to read.
  • Libby Sander says that office clutter has been proven to trigger negative behaviors like snacking on junk food, sleep loss, anxiety, and depression. Clean your desk! 4 minutes to read.
  • Sharlyn Lauby shares survey results: “If you were to start looking for a new job today, what would be the number one reason?” 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 18 – 24. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains business acumen: what it is, why it’s valuable, and how a project manager can work to develop business acumen. This is what is needed in order to become a trusted adviser to your sponsor, key stakeholders, and executive decision makers. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • If there were a Winter Olympics of global politics, Brexit would be the Luge. Here is the status, as of Friday; as of Sunday, a petition to scrap Brexit has over 5 million signatures. 4 minutes to read both. The wrong business strategy for where this finally lands might prove catastrophic.
  • Patrick Walsh provides his analysis of the California Consumer Privacy Act. 6 minutes to read. And Spencer Feingold notes that few companies subject to the law are ready to comply; another 5 minutes.
  • Asha Saxena notes that GAAP accounting standards do not permit data to be capitalized on the balance sheet; however, data is nonetheless a corporate asset. 7 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Glen Alleman listed over 250 links to the presentations, briefings, journal papers, and articles on increasing the Probability of Project Success (PoPS) he’s authored over the years. Quite a stack!
  • Elizabeth Harrin tells us how to address current issues from the lessons learned log. You have one of those, right? 4 minutes to read.
  • Jennifer Bridges explores a critical decision: if a project is failing, do we end it or push on through? Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Andy Jordan looks at what a PMO should do, and what it shouldn’t 7 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Andy Burns on making the PMO leaner and more agile. Podcast, 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dale Howard shows how to use ad hoc grouping of tasks in MS Project. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from winning agile management trends to what data-driven means to contrasting Dow Jones Industrial Average members Microsoft and General Electric. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • John Gillespie reminds us that metrics which are easy to collect are not necessarily the metrics that matter. 3 minutes to read.
  • Paul Grizzaffi points out the technical challenges you’ll have to overcome in order to run your automated tests in parallel. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dave Kearney builds a case for prototyping as a means for achieving alignment between the designers, developers, and customers. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony justifies extensive testing of the validation applied to user inputs. Boring but necessary! 4 minutes to read.
  • John Demian explains metric-based alerting, for those using Amazon Web Services. Somewhat technical, but the vocabulary lesson is valuable. 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • The Forbes Insight Team and PMI explain how the C-suite can best support the transformation of the project management office. 3 minutes to read.
  • Peter Diamandis observes that traditional higher education, including the MBA, is losing its relevance and then calls our attention to what is replacing it. 9 minutes to read.
  • Chris Cook helps us look at delegation as actively assisting in someone else’s professional development. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely continues his series on “guardrails” as a tool to maintain alignment with organization goals and objectives. Here is part 4; about 4 minutes to read both.

Research and Insights

  • Michael Grothaus recommends eight steps to reduce our exposure to digital data collection by Facebook, Google, and whoever else makes us nervous. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya reports on a survey of US HR professionals and hiring managers indicates that souring foreign talent is an important part of their strategy. 3 minutes to read.
  • Paula Boddington shares her thoughts on the need for and possible elements of a baseline code of ethics for artificial intelligence. 14 minutes—long, but a thoughtful read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Peter Yang convinces us that slides are a poor form of communication—written narratives are where the enlightenment’s at. 3 minutes to read.
  • Adriana Girdler coaches us on the do’s and don’ts of meetings. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Sarah Feldman reports on the results on a survey of what people find distracting at work. Just a minute to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Harry Hall walks us through two very simple methods for conducting a qualitative risk analysis. 4 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Nicolas Bloom and colleagues report on their survey of 7,500 business executives on the UK on Brexit as an uncertainty event. The impact is already evident. 6 minutes to read. Side note: Ireland is experiencing a boom in passport requests as more people living in the UK realize how difficult it will be to travel for business.
  • Hines Vaughn contrasts the California Consumer Privacy Act with the GDPR and notes a difference in consent—opt-in versus opt-out. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mihnea Moldoveanu finds a root cause for why AI underperforms business expectations: we don’t translate business problems into computational business problems. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Mike Griffiths teaches us how to create the truly great charter your project deserves. 10 minutes to read.
  • Becca Bruggman tells us all about what technical program managers do all day. Yup—been there, done that. 8 minutes to read.
  • Audrius Zujus prepares us to manage a project that includes virtual reality technology development. 14 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains another term of art: value engineering. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin describes the PMI-SP scheduling credential and shares her opinion of a prep course for it. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from practices adoption to leadership health checks to being done with customer discovery. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman contemplates alternative ways of getting close enough to the customer to create value. 3 minutes to read.
  • Karlo Smid presents a concise, value-oriented definition of a software bug. “Remember that design and architectural errors are bugs, too.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Roger Swannell suggests thinking of velocity as a product measurement, rather than a team 2 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews Introduction to Disciplined Agile Delivery, by Scott Ambler and Mark Lines. 3 minutes to read.
  • Camilo Gomez shares some actions we should take to improve intercultural communications when outsourcing software development. 7 minutes to read.
  • Tony Ho Tran covers the pros and cons of the hamburger menu. You know: that little icon on phone apps that resembles the Chinese character for numeral 3. 12 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Kiron Bondale says that transparency is necessary but not sufficient: we must be responsibly 2 minutes to read.
  • Syed Moize explains emotional intelligence in the context of project management. 6 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley began a series on the value of behavioral constraints, using the metaphor of guardrails. 4 minutes to read; 3 minutes for part two.

Research and Insights

  • The U. of Washington promotes a new website by two professors challenging us to identify which of two photos was generated by artificial intelligence. Just what we needed—more fake people. 3 minutes to read.
  • Hemel Vasavada Gill and Chakib Labibi summarize their research with Alexa users and their adoption curve for the Alexa voice interface. 8 minutes to read.
  • Yana Yelina presents short descriptions of several machine learning trends being followed by MIT professors and researchers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Olivia Goldhill reports that neuroscientists were able to predict decisions by monitoring brain activity a full 11 seconds before the subjects announced them. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Siva Prasad rounds up the most in-demand IT skills and certifications, from project management to DevOps to Big Data. 9 minutes to read.
  • Jack Vale considers the pros and cons of Email as the primary means of workplace communications. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dan Rockwell describes the coolest exercise in giving feedback I’ve ever heard of. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!