New PM Articles for the Week of March 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 18 – 24. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains business acumen: what it is, why it’s valuable, and how a project manager can work to develop business acumen. This is what is needed in order to become a trusted adviser to your sponsor, key stakeholders, and executive decision makers. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • If there were a Winter Olympics of global politics, Brexit would be the Luge. Here is the status, as of Friday; as of Sunday, a petition to scrap Brexit has over 5 million signatures. 4 minutes to read both. The wrong business strategy for where this finally lands might prove catastrophic.
  • Patrick Walsh provides his analysis of the California Consumer Privacy Act. 6 minutes to read. And Spencer Feingold notes that few companies subject to the law are ready to comply; another 5 minutes.
  • Asha Saxena notes that GAAP accounting standards do not permit data to be capitalized on the balance sheet; however, data is nonetheless a corporate asset. 7 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Glen Alleman listed over 250 links to the presentations, briefings, journal papers, and articles on increasing the Probability of Project Success (PoPS) he’s authored over the years. Quite a stack!
  • Elizabeth Harrin tells us how to address current issues from the lessons learned log. You have one of those, right? 4 minutes to read.
  • Jennifer Bridges explores a critical decision: if a project is failing, do we end it or push on through? Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Andy Jordan looks at what a PMO should do, and what it shouldn’t 7 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Andy Burns on making the PMO leaner and more agile. Podcast, 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dale Howard shows how to use ad hoc grouping of tasks in MS Project. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from winning agile management trends to what data-driven means to contrasting Dow Jones Industrial Average members Microsoft and General Electric. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • John Gillespie reminds us that metrics which are easy to collect are not necessarily the metrics that matter. 3 minutes to read.
  • Paul Grizzaffi points out the technical challenges you’ll have to overcome in order to run your automated tests in parallel. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dave Kearney builds a case for prototyping as a means for achieving alignment between the designers, developers, and customers. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony justifies extensive testing of the validation applied to user inputs. Boring but necessary! 4 minutes to read.
  • John Demian explains metric-based alerting, for those using Amazon Web Services. Somewhat technical, but the vocabulary lesson is valuable. 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • The Forbes Insight Team and PMI explain how the C-suite can best support the transformation of the project management office. 3 minutes to read.
  • Peter Diamandis observes that traditional higher education, including the MBA, is losing its relevance and then calls our attention to what is replacing it. 9 minutes to read.
  • Chris Cook helps us look at delegation as actively assisting in someone else’s professional development. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely continues his series on “guardrails” as a tool to maintain alignment with organization goals and objectives. Here is part 4; about 4 minutes to read both.

Research and Insights

  • Michael Grothaus recommends eight steps to reduce our exposure to digital data collection by Facebook, Google, and whoever else makes us nervous. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya reports on a survey of US HR professionals and hiring managers indicates that souring foreign talent is an important part of their strategy. 3 minutes to read.
  • Paula Boddington shares her thoughts on the need for and possible elements of a baseline code of ethics for artificial intelligence. 14 minutes—long, but a thoughtful read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Peter Yang convinces us that slides are a poor form of communication—written narratives are where the enlightenment’s at. 3 minutes to read.
  • Adriana Girdler coaches us on the do’s and don’ts of meetings. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Sarah Feldman reports on the results on a survey of what people find distracting at work. Just a minute to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 28 – February 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 28 – February 3. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler coaches us on facilitating a meeting. Focused on the first-timers but still worth a look even if you’ve been facilitating for years. 6 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Mark McNamee and Athanasia Kokkinogeni observe, “In the eyes of businesses, the UK has come to resemble an emerging market.” Brexit is driving volatility. 6 minutes to read.
  • Steve Blank explains why McKinsey’s Three Horizons model for managing and budgeting for innovation and research is no longer applicable. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joel Manner explores Eric Schmidt’s prediction that the internet is dividing into three politically-defined regions: US-led, China-led, and EU-led. 9 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Sylvia Moses describes the X-shaped skills of a highly capable project manager. 10 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths covers the what, how, and why of project charters. 11 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gives us a deep tutorial on project scheduling, from defining and sequencing activities through estimating durations and developing a schedule. 12 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture shares his slide presentation on preparing a request for proposal. 4 minutes to read, plus the slides.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Douglas Knutzen on leveraging scheduling, execution, and team techniques to increase speed on your projects. Podcast, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Jesse Fewell on the evolving role of the PMO in an agile organization. Podcast, 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jan Schiller recaps twelve habits that she has observed in successful project portfolio managers. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Scrum limits to exemplary agile to the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Cohn makes it clear why software development teams have learned to focus on being done rather than estimating progress. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave West points out the key nuggets in the 2019 Scrum mater Trends Report. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nandhini Saravanan explains the difference between horizontal and vertical scaling of databases and what each approach is useful for. 5 minutes to read.
  • Fio Dossetto extols the virtues of a heat map in analyzing the effectiveness of a user interface design. 6 minutes to read.
  • Joep Schuurkes tells us why we should have a test strategy and what it should cover. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Simone Stolzoff tells how engineer Satya Nadella turned Microsoft, “From a culture of know-it-alls to a culture of learn-it-alls.” 9 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier—a 100% remote company with over 200 people—on the future of work. Podcast, 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy sells us on problem-solving skills as a key part of career development. 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Greg Satell sees inflection points in energy, synthetic biology, and computation that are about to dramatically transform society. 5 minutes to read.
  • Karen Hao updates us on facial recognition software. Accuracy is improving for women and minorities, but the potential for abuse still exists. 4 minutes to read.
  • Roamy suggests a low-tech alternative to a creepy RFID implant under the skin or an easily-lost card. It’s obvious, once you read it. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Andy Silber advocates for Inbox Zero. 4 minutes to read.
  • Corrine Purtill reports on one of the key messages at the Davos conference: the four-day work week. 2 minutes to read.
  • Alex Reardon argues that when we’re sick, we should take an actual sick day—not just work from home. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 7 – 13

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 7 – 13. And this week’s video: Microsoft program manager Verlebie Chan talks about overcoming bias, expectations, and self-doubt and taking risks on her way to establishing her career as a software developer. 13 minutes to watch.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Mike Murphy reports from the Consumer Electronics Show 2019. “We’ve entered the post-smartphone era.” 8 minutes to read.
  • The folks at ELIX list the core business values of Amazon, as articulated and evolved by Jeff Bezos. 8 minutes to read.
  • Paul Rawlinson makes an elegant case for regulation as necessary to keep global trade from becoming a zero-sum game. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Mike Clayton recaps ten lessons he’s learned about project management over the years. Best line: “Stakeholder Engagement is Project Management for Sophisticated Adults.”8 minutes to read.
  • The folks at PM Times join forces to point out trends in project management, business analysis, and agile methods during 2019. 6 minutes to read.
  • Carolyn Smith shares lessons learned from two decades managing IT PMO organizations. 14 minutes to read but well worth it.
  • Leigh Espy tutors us on affinity diagrams—what they are and how to use them. 6 minutes to read.
  • Sandhya Gupta shares her checklist for sunsetting software products, from the vendor’s point of view. 7 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Susanne Madsen on managing stress while managing projects. Podcast, 34 minutes, safe for work.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from the EPIQ model to product design principles to the Prime Directive. 7 outbound links, three minutes to read.
  • John Demian gets deep into the economics of a serverless (in this case AWS Lambda) framework for operations. 12 minutes to read.
  • Vladimir Fedak makes the argument against a switch to microservices. 4 minutes to read.
  • Scott Shipp wants to put the “engineering” back in software engineering. Hear, hear! 5 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman name checks Agile frameworks, from well-known to obscure and a couple that I don’t think count as Agile frameworks. 12 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony explains how the Automation Test Wheel, an alternative concept to the testing pyramid that she described here, works in practice. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Randy Conley gets a few leadership lessons from observing nature in action: one hawk and three crows. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus helps reflexive problem-solvers keep the problems with their owners with one simple question. 2 minutes to read.
  • Steve Keating explains the difference between a talker and a communicator. I’ll let you describe the transmitter. Here’s part 2. Each about 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Marc Prosser asks whether facial recognition technology is still viable, now that 3D printed busts of people’s heads have been used to unlock 4 of 5 smartphones. 4 minutes to read.
  • Bill Gates, the world’s second-richest man, reports from a Harvard University lab on new robots shaped like nothing Isaac Asimov ever imagined. 4 minutes to read.
  • David Stringer and Kevin Buckland report on progress in getting to commercially viable solid-state battery technology, the key to faster charging. 6 minutes to read.
  • Paramita Ghosh explains the decentralized data storage approach commonly known as blockchain and points out a few good use cases. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace.

  • Steph Smith curated a list of ten 2019 conferences for women in technology and on the way identified a couple of diversity scholarships. 6 minutes to read.
  • Alessandro Lulian makes the business case for hiring Millennials. For one thing, they outnumber us Boomers in the workforce. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brian Wallace shares an infographic explaining how to robot-proof your career, in case you’re asking for a friend. 3 minutes or so to read.

Enjoy!