New PM Articles for the Week of August 13 – 19

New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 13 – 19. And this week’s video: Jennifer Bridges explains how to structure a project team. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell notes the pivotal role of the business ecosystem in business success and failure. Also note the impact of regional cultural differences. 5 minutes to read.
  • Aman Grover gives us a non-technical primer on 5G cellular network standards. This technology will enable a lot of other products, from autonomous cars to smart cities. 12 minutes to read.
  • Akshat Rathi reports on a significant improvement in lithium-ion battery capacity. The company is scaling up for a move from prototypes to production. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin demonstrates three ways to make a Gantt chart, using Excel (with a free template), Powerpoint, and Vizzlo. 9 minutes to read.
  • Peter Milsom expounds on the value of appreciative inquiry and root cause analysis. 3 minutes to read.
  • Jim Lovell gets heretical: How to avoid holding a project status meeting (while still collecting actionable information). 5 minutes to read.
  • Andy Silber tells us how to write status reports that will actually be read. 3 minutes to read—let’s see if he’s right.
  • Laura Barnard continues her Impact PMO series with some thoughts on communicating with purpose. 7 minutes to read.
  • Michele Iurillo summarizes failure modes from a recent Gartner survey on why business intelligence projects don’t take off. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agile data to silent estimating to why a good product backlog resembles an iceberg. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • John Barton maintains that development managers need to actively manage the code review process. 7 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Johanna Rothman and Mark Kilby on communication tips for distributed teams, based on their recent team writing experience. Video, 19 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tom Cagley answers the FAQ: what do I do with incomplete stories when the sprint is over? 3 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale contemplates defect handling within a sprint, as a function of a Definition of Done. 2 minutes to read.
  • Angela Riggs describes the key responsibilities of the QA engineer as three hats. 8 minutes to read.
  • Will Fanguy points out a few common and preventable failures in preparing and resenting prototypes. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Julia Milner and Trenton Milner found that most managers don’t know how to coach their direct reports. The good news is that they can learn. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dmitrii Susloparov lists tools, techniques, and processes for managing efficient virtual teams. 7 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty recommends reducing the threat level when proposing an organizational change. 5 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Ephrat Livni reports on research indicating that the perception of whether an event is lucky or unlucky can influence other outcomes—luck begets luck. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mantra Malhotra lists the ways in which artificial intelligence is transforming mobile technology in some not-always-obvious ways. 4 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Cossack Labs explain how to detect massive database breaches and leaks using poison records, honeypots, and other fake data elements. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Mike Griffiths recaps some insights into employee motivation and purpose after reports that terminated Tesla workers still love Elon Musk and Tesla. 5 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas points out a gray area in recruiting: you can’t discriminate in hiring based on age, but Facebook allows employers to target age ranges for job seekers. 3 minutes to read.
  • Weihan Wang shares five observations from the point of view of a job applicant. Talent is scarce and even brief interactions with the hiring firm leave lasting impressions. 7 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

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.

Enjoy!

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.