New PM Articles for the Week of February 20 – 26

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 20 – 26. And this week’s video: Jason Fried lays out his theory of why the office isn’t a good place to get work done, and some suggestions that address the cause of that conundrum.

Must read!

  • Bryan Menegus reports on the latest massive leak of passwords and personally identifiable information. Change all of your passwords and then read the details.
  • Mark Rice and Timothy Korson explain how to apply Malcolm Gladwell’s “thin slice” expert opinion approach and Planning Poker to estimate timeline and budget.
  • Michael Lopp tells how to win the “Successfully deliver hard news” merit badge.

Established Methods

  • Johanna Rothman suggests several scenarios that let you report defects based on the risks that arise from them.
  • Matthew Heminger illustrates the consulting power of Why with a story about a hole in the ground.
  • Rob England explains that #NoProjects doesn’t mean there won’t be any projects, just that it won’t be the primary mode of operation in IT.
  • Harry Hall links quality of requirements to quality of the outcome with a simple anecdote.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy provides a short textbook and video on creating a robust work breakdown structure. Even the full online course is free.
  • Mike Clayton tutors us on the project business case. Even if you’re not using Prince2, this is a great explanation of an important business practice.
  • Eamonn McGuinness just published the second edition of The Collaborative Project Management Handbook.
  • Karthik Subburaman lists eight excellent books on project management and related skills.
  • The nice folks at Smartsheet posted The Complete Glossary of Project Management Terminology.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly links to Agile content, including the brilliant jerks who make Agility impossible, slicing user stories, prototyping, and more.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Tom Cagley on the role and impact that certifications have had on the Agile movement.
  • Paul Culmsee reports from Creative Melbourne, where he was one of the inaugural speakers. Sounds like an interesting group of smart people being fascinating.
  • Max Ogle interviews Irene Au, design partner at Khosla Ventures and former head of design at Google and Yahoo, on the need to base designs on what people actually do.

Applied Leadership

  • Magi Graziano defines three tenets of leadership IQ: self-awareness, executive brain function, and response agility.
  • Seth Godin explains why we do what’s urgent, rather than what’s important.
  • The Clever PM contemplates the human factors that make people resist behavioral change.
  • Leigh Espy interviews Kane Hadley, who says that his foundational experience in project management came from playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Technology and Techniques

  • Kailash Awati tutors us on the basics of machine learning. Yes, there’s more to it than regression analysis.
  • Conner Forrest summarizes a recent report on the technical hurdles facing artificial intelligence based on machine learning.
  • Paramita Ghosh reports on one of Hitachi’s machine learning initiatives: the Robot Boss. Hitachi claims an 8% productivity increase in enterprise IT functions. No word on how much of that was attributable to fewer meetings.
  • Hussain Bandukwala begins a short series for the first-time PMO leader on setting up the PMO.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews a new on-line training course created by Philip R. Diab, a former Chair of PMI, called RapidStart PMO.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 13 – 19

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 13 – 19. And this week’s video: Jochen Menges explains how charismatic leaders speak to our emotions, and why we defer to them. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Hear)!

  • Vicki Wrona concludes her four-part series on project management obstacles with her reflections on unrealistic expectations and micro-management.
  • Mike Griffiths explains how to apply Lean Thinking precepts to your PMO, to deliver the most value with the least waste and highest utilization of available talent.
  • Cornelius Fichtner extracts the answer to one question he asked in each of 14 interviews at the PMI Global Congress 2016: Which is the interpersonal skill that you attribute the most of our success in your career to? Just 24 minutes, safe for work.

Established Methods

  • Leigh Espy provides a complete, concise, and actionable tutorial on software project requirements.
  • Mark Mulally contemplates project management as a service function, and what that means to stakeholders, sponsors, and project managers.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Michel Dion on rescuing troubled projects with a brutal assessment and a new plan, followed by execution and intense monitoring. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Barry Hodge explains how to tailor Prince2 to each project. And yes, that’s an integral part of the method!
  • Harry Hall identifies seven common quality management failure modes.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Agile tribes to the learning value of prototyping, to the Goldilocks product development timeframe.
  • Johanna Rothman shows how to maintain visibility over the work you postpone with a Parking Lot.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Bryan Beecham on the importance of simplicity, psychological safety, and continuous improvement. Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Jay Melone addresses the big question on Design sprints: how do you get from validation to execution?
  • Tamás Török links us to the best Slack integrations for distributed software teams.

Applied Leadership

  • John Goodpasture ruminates on the fiduciary nature of the project manager role.
  • Art Petty catalogs some of the awkward moments—the ones that trigger our negative emotions—and advises on how to handle them.
  • Grace Windsor explores ways to apply emotional intelligence techniques to enhance team collaboration.

Technology and Techniques

  • Mordaxus starts a series where he will complain about information security practices with a short didactic on security models.
  • Cathy Nolan reports on the growing use of Internet of Things technology by retailers, as they watch us shop and try to understand (and influence) our behavior.
  • Joe Wynne starts a series on managing robotic process automation projects for CRM applications. The fact that I can type this, you get what it means, and we both treat it as A Thing astounds me to no end.
  • Bill Gates wants us to tax the robots who take human jobs. Even the ones shaped like paper clips? OK, maybe that’s an obscure reference …

Working and the Workplace

  • Brendan Toner touts OneNote as the ultimate tool for blogging (I use it for just about all of my writing and note taking these days).
  • Bertrand Duperrin points to recent studies that found needlessly complex processes kill productivity and reduce employee engagement.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a long list of the small strategies that help her to be efficient in her multiple roles.
  • Lolly Daskal reminds us that time management is only one piece of the productivity and effectiveness puzzle.
  • Lisette Sutherland focuses on maintaining our health when working remotely by being mobile. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of December 5 – 11

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 5 – 11. And this week’s video: Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrates the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing exercise. Useful for dealing with stress, getting to sleep, and avoiding criminal charges when some half-wit swerves into your lane. Just five minutes, and safer for work than driving in Las Vegas.

Must read (Holiday Prep Edition)!

  • Seth Godin helps us with gifts for smart friends by name-checking ten excellent books. I’m going to read at least two of them over the holiday break – the best way to begin a new year is with new ideas.
  • Elizabeth Harrin re-tunes the old carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” for project managers and their sponsors.
  • Margaret Meloni shares five tips for getting through the holiday season “in peace and not in pieces.”

Established Methods

  • Karen Chovan expounds on social responsibility and the intersection of sustainability and risk.
  • Dave Prior interviews Philip Diab on a new concept: Rapid Start PMO. Just 41 minutes, safe for work, and fun to listen in as two smart guys just chat about what we do.
  • Stuart Easton describes five ideas that are transforming the PMO landscape.
  • Barath Balasubramanian describes the steps to set up a new PMO.
  • Harry Hall tutors us on breaking down a project into deliverables and the activities that will create them.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of Agile content – from critiquing Agile as a dumb process to smart applications of Agile for other tasks.
  • Janna Bastow describes theme-based product roadmaps, and how they facilitate innovation by grouping by time horizons.
  • The Clever PM identifies other roles (besides product manager) that must lead through influence, and so merit collaboration.
  • James Hammon and Scott Weiner offer the executive-level view of managing global teams who are using Agile methods.
  • Tom Churchwell explains the shift away from managing quality assurance as teams practicing Agile methods mature.
  • Tom McFarlin points out that unit tests are only cost-effective to the extent that they improve code quality to “good enough.”
  • Johanna Rothman raises objections to the way cost accounting is applied to teams using Agile methods, and triggers a lot of comments.

Applied Leadership

  • Michael Lopp shares five of his leadership hacks, all of which are simple behaviors. “I understand the compounding awesomeness of continually fixing small broken things.”
  • Nicolas Cole lists the building blocks effective leaders use to create successful cultures.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Kim Wasson on applying emotional intelligence to leadership. New phrase: “Emotional contagion.” Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jenny Chapman reports on a study which indicates that managers, lacking the time to process both objective and subjective information, rely more on subjective information.

Technology and Techniques

  • Michael Blaha warns us to be cautious about how we use derived data. Don’t try to store the results, as it won’t stay in synch with the source!
  • Jeff Collins tutors us on business process management.
  • Grace Windsor explains how to use OneNote for task management. I’ve been using OneNote in conjunction with Outlook for a couple of years now, and can vouch for the combination.

Working and the Workplace

  • Nancy Settle-Murphy describes the keys to one of her client’s virtual meeting process, which sounds like something we all should aspire to.
  • Lisette Sutherland extracts snippets from past interviews that address “getting the work-life balance right.” Just 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Liz Ryan identifies ten signs your boss appreciates you, and ten that they don’t.

Enjoy!