New PM Articles for the Week of July 27 – August 2

Over the StripNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 27 – August 2. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the ten “nots” – things you should never do, at the expense of your career.
  • Kristin Wong summarizes recent research that found it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to task after a significant interruption.
  • Harry Hall recounts his recommendations for sponsors. One of the top reasons for project failure is a lack of leadership and sustained engagement by the project sponsor.

PM Best Practices

  • Pat Weaver outlines the changes coming to the PMP exam, effective November 1, 2015. Based on the recent role delineation study, it reflects the way we manage projects today.
  • John Goodpasture analyzes a list of paradoxes prevalent in Digital Age leadership, as compiled by Nielsen and Meehan.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Bill Dow on integrating social media into your project communication plan. Just 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Lynda Bourne reviews our alternatives for dealing with stakeholders: crisis management, stakeholder management, and stakeholder engagement.
  • Ryan Ogilvie argues that the tool is not as important as how we plan to use it. “Don’t paint a rusty car.”
  • Ben Ferris introduces us to one of his colleagues: the office coffee machine.
  • Michael Greer has published his new project management resources book online, and it’s free!
  • Glen Alleman explains why estimating is not guessing, and vice-versa. Note: the term dead reckoning is a corruption of ded (deduced) reckoning.
  • Nick Pisano addresses a conundrum: software is getting slower at a faster rate than computer hardware is getting faster.
  • Gil Press profiles Michael Stonebraker on his recent Big Data work: getting past the extract – transform – load model of curating multiple data sources via machine learning.
  • Tushar Patel expounds on how the PMO can add value.
  • Bertrand Duperrin maintains that the only client of an intranet project is the employee end user.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn helps us check our math on product backlog grooming: estimates tend to get better as we better understand what we’re estimating.
  • Randy Rayess notes that the skill set for “great coder” has no significant overlap with the skill set for “team leader.” We need to have alternative career paths.
  • Jennifer Quraishi and Huimin Li interview Johanna Rothman on the concepts in her new book, “Agile and Lean Program Management.”
  • Santosh Shaastry examines technical debt and the technical definition of done.

Managing Your Career

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jen Gresham, author and coach, on how overachievers can find the clarity and courage they need to design the life they love. Just 58 minutes, safe for work, but don’t listen while multi-tasking – that would defeat the purpose!
  • Bruce Harpham reports from the World Domination Summit, equal parts enlightenment and entertainment.
  • Michael Adams reminds us that workplace diversity requires hard work and personal commitment.
  • Allen Ruddock makes the business case for project managers to use LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

Special Mention: Nick Pisano’s Post at AITS

Nick PisanoI normally include references to articles and blog posts in my weekly round-up, but in this case, I wanted to go into more depth than my usual one or two sentences. Nick Pisano’s article at AITS this week looks like the capstone of his argument that IT project failure is less about unknown and unknowable risks than about poor management processes. His analysis runs from Black Swans to Babe Ruth, and from studies by Rand and McKinsey to his previous posts on the physics and economics of software development.

Nick concludes with nine very specific principles that should be the basis of every software development project selection and execution process. His underlying theme: improving the success rate of software projects lies not in the cryptozoology of unforeseeable events, but in the application of modern management techniques and evidence-based decision making. Projects should not be begun without clear objectives and success metrics, and they should be terminated when evidence of impending failure is identified.

It’s a long read, but well worth your time. Great job, Nick.

New PM Articles for the Week of July 20 – 26

Ballon PassingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Our theme this week is Agile software development. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman shares a few tips for product owners faced with ranking features in a backlog. This needs to be a checklist!
  • Neil Killick shares a twelve-point decision tree (which only looks like a questionnaire) that will help you determine whether your team is actually developing software using Agile methods. And no, it’s not a twelve-step program – just a coincidence.
  • Aaron Smith interviews Thomas Wise, co-author of the new book, “Agile Readiness: Four Spheres of Lean and Agile Transformation.”

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin: “The biggest challenge facing project management today is that project-related work and jobs are growing too quickly for our approaches to professionalism to keep up.”
  • Adam Shostak points us toward a good, long read at CIO on real lessons learned from the dubious rollout of Healthcare.gov.
  • John Goodpasture quotes John LeCarre (for the second time in a week) on the need for facts to have a credible source.
  • Kailash Awati continues his series introducing us to R, the open source statistical analysis package.
  • Kerry Wills walks us through his analytical process for Issues.
  • Bruce Benson leverages a story in Bloomberg Businessweek to introduce the radical idea of skepticism, as a tool for issue prevention.
  • Kenneth Darter observes that some issues only crop up after the project is (nearly) completed. That doesn’t make them non-issues!
  • Matthew Squair reports on a demonstration of how to take control of a car via the internet. “My new car has Wi-fi!” Far out, Dude …
  • Lynda Bourne covers the elements of stakeholder engagement, including a bit of history.
  • Paul Ritchie addresses a tough recruiting question: how do I interview for soft skills?
  • Nick Pisano looks at the economics of data through the lenses of public sector economic and Moore’s Law.
  • Rex Homlin explains that successful projects are successful on three levels.
  • Ryan Ogilvie covers the basics of software asset management.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths posts an infographic and some statistics and analysis on a topic we sometimes avoid: the down side of open space office plans.
  • Mike Cohn provides an alternative to user stories, for when your users aren’t really part of the story.
  • Glen Alleman explains why deadlines still matter, even in an Agile world.
  • Bob Tarne explains Lean, from a mountain climber’s perspective.
  • Alhad Akole share best Scrum practices for getting to zero defects.

 

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews the all-around wonderful Dorie Clark, on how to be better and how to be noticed for it. Just 55 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall shares a short video, where Shane Hastie explains the discipline of business analysis. Three minutes, safe for work.
  • Ruairi O’Donnellan shares a micro-video on issue management using Sharepoint. Less than two minutes, safe for work.

 

Enjoy!