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.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 12 – February 18

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 12 – 18. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains project governance, beginning with the word’s origins in ancient Greece. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • PMI has released their 2018 Pulse of the Profession. This is the preeminent practitioner survey in the project management field, and you owe it to yourself to download and at least scan it. 35 pages.
  • April Glaser recaps the recently settled court case between Uber and Google over autonomous car technology. There’s more here than cars or tech secrets. 6 minutes to read.
  • Derek Huether notes that everyone in the organization needs to understand the metrics that drive the business and what behaviors they encourage. 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin and Colin Ellis share a live Q&A on the Facebook Project Management Café. Subject: how to create a project team culture. The video is 20 minutes, or you can read the transcript in a bit less.
  • Luca Collina reflects on what he’s learned from managing projects teams spread across multiple countries. 6 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman gets profound on the purpose of plans and planning. 1 minute to read.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the patterns and anti-patterns distilled from a decade of reviewing project lessons learned. 2 minutes to read.
  • James Bach shares some contrarian opinions on testing, control, and agency. 4 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Lindsay Scott on improving the effectiveness of the PMO as a business partner. Podcast, 24 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from mental models to organizational resilience to why you should love your customers’ problems. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to scan.
  • Tamás Török looks at the causes and cures for reduced development team performance. 7 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton defines a new term—Manumation—to describe automation tools that require a lot of manual intervention. 2 minutes to read.
  • Ham Vocke explains the Test Pyramid as a metaphor for grouping software tests into buckets of different granularity. 16 minutes, first of a series being appended as he writes them.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Steve Porter from the PST team at Scrum.org on a wide variety of Scrum topics and approaches. Podcast, 44 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • David Miller expounds on five key ethical practices that project managers must follow. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Robins makes the case for Agile Management—adopting Agile methods and principles organization-wide. 7 minutes to read.
  • Jim Taggert has begun a six-part series based on Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. Parts 1 and 2, each around 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Darren Guccione introduces us to the Tor browser and the Dark Web, where everyone is anonymous, performance sucks, and wonders abound. 6 minutes to read.
  • Joe Daniels alerts us to a scary new technology—an app that inserts Nicolas Cage’s face in any movie might also be used to replace video surveillance images with … your face. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nick Pisano gives us a primer on the difference between Third and Fourth generation software. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills shares his approach to organizing, using Microsoft Office: “I think in PowerPoint and organize in Excel.” Just a minute to read but leave him a comment on your approach.

Working and the Workplace

  • Suzanne Lucas explains how to play Change Resistance Bingo—all you need is a proposed change and as people offer their cliched reasons for delay … 2 minutes to read.
  • Joan Davis describes her communication-centric approach to remote consulting. 5 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Sáezshares key insights from Cal Newport’s Deep Work. 3 minutes to read.
  • Melissa McEwen observes that there is no longer an entry point for junior developers, and that’s a problem for the entire industry. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!