New PM Articles for the Week of July 28 – August 3

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 28 – August 3. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Contract Management

  • Todd Williams shares some insights gleaned from litigation over failed projects. Unless you only manage internal projects with in-house staff, you need to read this!
  • Glen Alleman articulates the key distinctions between fit for purpose and fit for use, and applies them to project management.
  • Pat Weaver outlines method for preventing, minimizing, or at least making visible, delays due to client inaction.
  • Andy Jordan presents an interesting case study of an outsourced portfolio management office. Or more accurately, outsourced PMO services.

PM Best Practices

  • Pollyanna Pixton notes that it’s easy to get metrics wrong, and explains how to design them to be effective.
  • Craig Brown vents at project management textbooks that get the work breakdown structure wrong.
  • Bryan Barrow points out that there are some things that Kanban software can’t do as well as Gant charting software.
  • Bruce Harpham offers a few stress management best practices.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides an executive summary of PMI’s “Navigating Complexity” practice guide. PMI members can download the guide at no charge.
  • Kailash Awati mines a paper from the British Medical Journal for an understanding of how organizations deal with human error: scapegoats and systems.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the stakeholder questions you want to answer in your project kickoff meeting.
  • Gina Abudi details a set of roles and responsibilities for team decision making.
  • Nick Pisano considers the early stages of project execution, as the team establishes its operating rhythm.
  • Dan Stober shares the Q&A from his recent webinar on the project manager as business analyst.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Burrows recounts his experience with implementing Kanban with a new team, and how they evolved from a generic process to just what they needed.
  • John Goodpasture expounds on the need for Agile methods to take compliance with external requirements (say, auditors and regulatory agencies) into account.
  • Shim Marom considers (and questions) the incremental value of “deeper” retrospectives.

Professional Development

  • Cheri Baker recounts her recent experience with a French client who wasn’t enchanted with her “American cheerfulness.” Time to recalibrate!
  • Scott Berkun provides a master course in refining and delivering your pitch, so that your ideas get the traction they deserve.
  • Lynda Bourne details the steps in building your personal brand, and leveraging your knowledge of your business contact’s brand.
  • Karina Keith shares some factoids about the profession of project management, to help you get a little perspective.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Ky Nichol on the challenges of managing event projects like the World Cup and the Olympics. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Magennis on how to apply the lessons from Money Ball to portfolio management. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Wheatley speaks with SAP America VP of Global Operations Tina Rosario on the growing importance of data governance. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley share a video of a presentation on innovation by former Obama administration CTO Aneesh Chopra. Over an hour, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 21 – 27

SaladNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 21 – 27. We gather all of this stuff so you don’t have to search for it! Recommended:

The Project Management Office

  • James Terry begins a new series, outlining a blueprint for creating a technology PMO.
  • Aaron Smith summarizes a research report from PM Solutions on the State of the PMO, 2014.
  • Kiron Bondale asks whether we should centralize measurement and tracking of project benefits realized.
  • Gina Abudi (bullet) points out criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the enterprise PMO.
  • Elizabeth Harrin recounts her experience as a one-woman PMO for a team of four project managers.

PM Best Practices

  • Alan Garvey describes parametric estimating, bottom-up estimating, and analogous estimating.
  • Troy Blake explains the Cone of Uncertainty, which describes the improving accuracy of estimates as the project progresses.
  • Otto Scharmer reports on results from MIT’s IDEAS China program, principally on the difference between Big Data and Deep Data.
  • Steven Levy reminds us that the cool results of our internal projects probably don’t matter all that much to our external clients.
  • Glen Alleman explains project management as a closed-loop control system.
  • John Goodpasture shares a diagram from Jurgen Appelo that intersects reactions to success and failure from mistakes, experiments, and practices. Thinking required!
  • Kerry Wills comes up with yet another sports metaphor. This time: spectators yelling at the team on the field don’t actually change the outcome.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman is assembling the Minimum Agile Reading List, and seeking recommendations.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan have apparently published the first university textbook for a course in Agile methods. Not sure if that is a good sign or a bad sign.
  • Chris Moody critiques the criticism, “That’s not Agile.”
  • Mike Cohn criticizes the now-common two-week sprint, as too short to try anything truly innovative.
  • David Anderson explains how to tell if you are really doing Kanban, or just going through the motions.

Lean Agile Melbourne 2014

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy reports from the Lean Agile Systems Thinking 2014 conference in Melbourne, and shares the slide deck from his Agile Coaching presentation.
  • Craig Brown shares the results of a workshop from the same conference, where the participants used the Six Thinking Hats to examine product backlogs.
  • Shim Marom reflects on the theme of the conference, “embracing disruption,” and wonders if Agile is now too mainstream to be disruptive.

Professional Development

  • Scott Berkun summarizes what we know about changing our habits.
  • Ian Whittingham asks a pointed question: how much experience in project management is required for mastery?
  • Coert Visser shares an interesting presentation on saying “no” effectively, without damaging either the relationship or our own interests.
  • Kevin Kelly tells us that this is just the beginning of the beginning, and that boundless opportunities await us. Just like thirty years ago.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 7 – 13

Picking CherriesNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 7 – 13. We gather all of this stuff so you don’t have to search for it! Recommended:

Risk Management

  • Craig Brown observes the effect that the company’s financial performance has on how we manage change.
  • Adam Stone reports on efforts to secure the energy grid from malicious mischief. Or even acts of war.
  • Gina Abudi suggests we consider the challenges of cultural diversity on geographically distributed teams in terms of risks we need to manage.

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman notes that the Minimum Viable Product mindset, popular in certain product development circles, doesn’t consider enterprise business needs.
  • Nick Heath reports on some of the imbedded system prototypes and single-function servers built using the $35 Raspberry Pi Linux computer.
  • Andy Jordan describes his vision of an enterprise PMO, with a number of support structures to provide guidance throughout the organization.
  • Nick Pisano replies to my recent post on defining project success, centered on disruptive change and the potential impact of change management.
  • Lynda Bourne explains stakeholder theory, as conceived by Ed Freeman. The ethics component matters deeply!
  • Suzanne Lucas recently saw an article on bad parenting behaviors by a British nanny; Suzanne interprets the same behaviors as bad management.
  • Bart Gerardi enumerates the costs of scope and requirements changes on the project, and on the team.
  • Cheri Baker has been experimenting again. This time: co-working! Also known as, “Working in an open space with other people around.” Well, maybe not …
  • Kerry Wills objects to long Emails, for many reasons. For one thing, they’re … long.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn suggests we select backlog items that will serve an additional purpose – like risk management, or the chance for the team to learn.
  • Henny Portman shares the white paper (in English) synopsis of his recent book (in Dutch) on managing Agile projects, using Atern.
  • Donna Reed considers a range of metrics for measuring the success of an Agile project manager.
  • Vandana Roy considers the merits of Scrum and Kanban, and which one would prevail in a fight. No, not really …

Professional Development

  • Elizabeth Harrin extracts some key points from “Business Networking,” by Will Kintish, to explain why you must network.
  • Penelope Trunk explains why keeping you options open leads to failure; only full commitment succeeds!
  • Lyndsey Gilpin trots out some statistics on the state of women in technology. If you’re a people manager, you have a chance to help shape a better future.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jonathan Creaghan on why we just make stuff up, more or less. Just 40 minutes, safe for work. I’m not making this up …
  • Samad Aidane share a four part video version of his “ERP Projects: The Complete Survival Manual.” Each part is about 11 minutes, and all are safe for work.
  • Craig Smith interviews Alan Bustamante on conflict resolution and starting Xcelerate Partners, as well as all things Agile.  Just 36 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!