New PM Articles for the Week of June 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 18 – 24. And this week’s video: über-nerd Adam Savage builds a 1,000 shot NERF-blaster. In one day. And tests it against three dinosaurs. 37 minutes, safe for work. The NERF-blaster … yeah, leave that at home.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Andy Heikkila warns that the Atlanta ransomware attack is a harbinger of “Fire Sale” cyber attacks. 5 minutes to read.
  • Steve Denning examines the ten “Agile Axioms” that still make executives nervous. Note that none of the five largest and fastest-growing firms in the world existed prior to 1975 and three were founded less than 25 years ago. 10 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton analyzes why scaled Agile approaches keep falling short of executive expectations. 10 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Henny Portman reviews Jack Duggal’s new book, The DNA of Execution Strategy. This looks like a must-read for project portfolio managers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Satya Narayan Dash tutors us on some critical concepts: Critical Path, Criticality Analysis, and Criticality Index. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains the concept of Critical Chain, as developed by Elihu Goldratt. Video, 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kiron Bondale points out the possible pitfalls of posting information radiators, from inaccuracy to a lack of context. 2 minutes to read.
  • Laura Barnard continues her series on the PMO leader mindset with an article on instilling focus. 9 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the PMO Conference 2018 in London. Includes a video, six and a half minutes, safe for work.
  • Kerry Wills asserts the need for projects, project management competencies, and PMO functions in a Scaled Agile environment. 2 minutes to read.
  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez interview Rick Morris on the need to develop our influencing skills. Podcast, 46 minutes, safe for work.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from business agility to re-thinking the corporate budgeting process to how to say ‘No.’ 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • John Ferguson Smart explains Behavior Driven Development, in the context of Agile methods and a DevOps culture. 3 minutes to read.
  • Simon Schrijver debunks the claim that tests are useless if they don’t fail. 2 minutes to read.
  • Matt Heusser tutors us on Cyclomatic Complexity, a tool to identify candidates for refactoring. Useful for project managers with some background in writing code. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • SaladAlexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from start-up company lessons learned to the value-add of an OKR Champion to learning “how to sit quietly in a room alone.” 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas interviews Dr. Lori Whatley on what to say (and what not to say) when an employee seems to be depressed. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ben Mackie shares some tips to improve the value you get from 1-on-1 meetings. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • John Goodpasture begins a series on Prospect Theory, an approach to decision making under conditions of risk developed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. 4 minutes to read.
  • Olga Grinina reminds us that training AI from data based on human decisions will incorporate human biases. Perhaps we need to make the machine-generated algorithms more visible. 4 minutes to read.
  • Paul Axtel cites recent research indicating that the most productive meetings have fewer than 8 people. 2 minutes to read.
  • Lila MacLellan reports that a study of hangry, the condition of being hungry, irritable, and angry all at the same time, isn’t just about blood sugar. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Poornima Vijayshankar and Holly Cardew return to discuss what a remote team needs to be successful when working on a mission-critical project. 2 minutes to read, plus a 9-minute video, safe for work.
  • Garland Coulson shares an infographic that can help you determine the best way to deal with each task in your inbox. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kayla Matthews lists some of the reasons to have a green office and some of the ways to pursue that sort of sustainability. 3 minutes to read.


New Post at AITS: 3 Popular PMO Design Models

My latest article for AITS was published today: 3 Popular PMO Design Models You Should Know About.

I frequently stop by the project management subreddit to see what is being discussed and join in sometimes. One frequent question is, “I have been tasked with setting up a PMO. What should I do now?” I give my thoughts on the potential utility of three common models: Center of Excellence, Center of Governance, and Center of Administration.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of March 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 19 – 25. Daylight Savings Time began in Europe and the UK this weekend. And this week’s video: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the massacre on Valentine’s Day were among the activists who spoke at the “March for Our Lives” rally Saturday in Washington, D.C. Speakers at the event, which drew hundreds of thousands of people, included Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. 3 minutes, safe for work; in fact, schools should be this safe.

Must read!

  • Andreas Sandre reports on the calls for regulating Big Tech in the wake of the revelations involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. 4 minutes to read. Side note: Amazon has replaced Google as the best place to work in the US, per LinkedIn. Yet in 2015, we were aghast at their work culture. Adaptation or PR?
  • Kristen Duke summarizes recent research that found the mere presence of your smartphone impacts your cognitive ability. Even face down with the alerts turned off! 5 minutes to read.
  • Steve Ragan recaps the high points from a Symantec report on the shifting security threats and tactics used in cyber attacks during 2017. Expect more evolution this year. 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley examine the latest PMI Pulse of the Profession The criteria for a successful project is getting a lot more nuanced. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton provides detailed instructions on how to close down your project. 10 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman shoots down the notion that fixed price contracts remove risk—they just move it around a bit. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy points out the benefits of aligning IT strategy with business strategy and goals. 2 minutes to read.
  • Philippe Husser describes three practices for a successful value-driven PMO. 5 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin lists a few ways to engage your project sponsor. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brian O’Malley explains how to use org charts to make governance of complex projects and programs easier to communicate. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nick Smarto finds ten project management lessons in the Zen art of stacking stones. 7 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from failure patterns in organizations to dealing with unexpected work to the decline and fall of Yahoo. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley explains the Toyota production system concepts of Muda (wastes), Mura (variability), and Muri (overburdened) as used in Lean Programming circles. 8 minutes to read all three.
  • Marlena Compton does a deep dive on effective pair programming tips. It’s all about taking turns. 6 minutes to read.
  • The Clever PM interviews Greg Hartrell on the craft of product management. 10 minutes to read.
  • Will Fanguy explains the difference between a wireframe and a prototype. Yeah, it’s a commercial for InVision, but it’s an important distinction. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his (new!) weekly list of leadership articles from improving your team’s digital skills to ensuring that they are communicating their needs. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp explains how to avoid getting into a performance management process with one of your direct reports. Call it direct conversation. 6 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Johanna Rothman on organizing your geographically distributed team. Podcast, 33 minutes, safe for work.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Scott Helmers shows how to connect a Visio diagram to data and make a diagram into a business dashboard—very cool! 4 minutes to read.
  • Adam Shostack begins a weekly series that will review threat models. This week, he explores the Synopsys threat model. 5 minutes to read.
  • Timothy Butler makes the business case for monetizing the edge data collected by the Internet of Things (IoT). 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Dylan Walsh interviews Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Dying for a Paycheck, on the role of the workplace in our declining health. New term: social pollution. 7 minutes to read.
  • Corinne Purtill reports on changes in PWC’s culture, driven by Millennial employees who spoke up and older generations who agreed with them. 8 minutes to read.
  • Faisal Hoque suggests four questions rooted in empathy to ask when you’re struggling to listen. 4 minutes to read.