New PM Articles for the Week of June 6 – 12

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 6 – 12. And this week’s video: Ed Deci’s TED Talk on controlled motivation and autonomous motivation. Ed is the co-developer of the self-determination theory, which suggests that we should create conditions under which people can motivate themselves. Just 14 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman presents the case for and against estimates, in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This series should be sufficient justification for you to follow her blogs.
  • Nick Statt reports on Microsoft’s new project management app for Office 365, called Planner. Not a replacement for Project, but a collaboration and planning tool.
  • Brad Egeland provides one-page summaries for twelve project management, collaboration, and portfolio management software products.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin collected insights from six PM’s on how they manage multiple simultaneous projects.
  • Pat Weaver looks into those cases where the critical path includes task dependencies other than Finish-to-Start links.
  • Clark Wimberly notes that proper preparation is required for a kick-off meeting which will pay dividends throughout the project.
  • Henny Portman reviews “PPM! Manage Your Organization Masterfully with Project portfolio Management.”
  • Cameron Conaway interviews Robin Kwong, Special Projects Editor at the Financial Times, who find clarity by beginning each project with the same question: What’s it for?
  • Kenneth Ashe explains how to create and use an Issues Log.
  • Rob England proposed two deliberately conflicting principles to guide a DevOps transformation, in order to create a dynamic tension. Which is how the world works, right?

Agile Methods

  • Dave Prior notes the untimely passing of Agile leading light Jean Tabaka by pulling two interviews from his archives. A total of 42 minutes, safe for work. She will be sorely missed.
  • Saumya Nigam explains estimation using story points.
  • Faisal Ansari uses the INVEST model to determine whether backlog items are well written, as the first step in splitting them into smaller stories.
  • Emanuele Passera continues his introduction to Kanban series with part 2.
  • Tom McFarlin considers Reid Hoffman’s quote, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, then you’ve launched too late.”
  • Tami Flowers describes using Lean/ Agile methods to establish a data governance organization framework.
  • Bob Tarne explains the concept of “ready ready.” It’s where you need to begin in order to get to “done done.” You can say that again …

Applied Leadership

  • Suresh MK uses events from the life of Nelson Mandela to illustrate John Kotter’s eight-stage process of creating major change.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Bart Engal on his book, “Leading Through Language: choosing Words that Influence and Inspire.”
  • Lysette Sutherland interviews Dave Hecker on effectively managing geographically distributed software development teams. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Gillian Klette on what to do when your project team hates each other. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • David Manheim looks at complexity, reification, Goodhart’s Law, and why measurement is hard. So is spelling reification.
  • Travis Bradberry explains why you should work for 52 minutes, then take a break for 17 minutes. Got your timer ready?
  • Abby Wolfe shares an infographic on the high-impact LinkedIn profile updates you should make when job-hunting.
  • Seth Godin suggests we talk slowly, because “um” doesn’t add as much value as silence.


New Article at AITS: Using the RACI Matrix

AITSBloggingAllianceMy latest article for AITS was published today: Using the RACI Matrix to Maximize Project Accountability.

The RACI matrix is a commonly used tool to depict which project team roles are participating in each task, and at what level they participate: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed. The article concludes with a short list of common variations

This month marks six years of blogging, and I expect to keep at it for some time to come. I’m always grateful for the feedback, so please let me know what topics you’d like me to write about. As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.


New PM Articles for the Week of May 9 – 15

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 9 – 15. And this week’s video: how to display two different chart types in one chart in Excel. Just five minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Art Petty provides guidance on how to recover from the damage a toxic employee does to both the team and the manager.
  • Cameron Conaway reports on the evidence that, despite advances in the last few years, sexism still limits opportunities for women in a business world dominated by men.
  • Narciss Popescu updates Tuckman’s model of group development – Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Adjourning – based on studies that reflect modern business.

Established Methods

  • Michel Dion describes decision management and related administrative tool, the Decision Log.
  • Harry Hall describes the benefits of conducting a risk audit, and provides an example.
  • Pat Weaver notes that the language we use to describe project risks can make it more difficult to communicate and manage them.
  • Henny Portman reviews Jan Postema’s new book, “The Effective Project Board.” Looks like an interesting read.
  • Mike Clayton points out the critical information in a project brief: the document that gets a project approved.
  • Jeff Collins makes the case for project dashboard reporting.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebeskiy concludes his two-part series on creating a work breakdown structure with twenty traits of the high-quality WBS.
  • Magnus Doll has compiled a list of the twenty “most interesting” project management blogs, including this one – thanks for the recognition!
  • Thor Olavsrud reports from Apache: Big Data North America, where keynote speaker Amy Gaskins explained the critical attributes of successful Big Data projects.

Agile Methods

  • John Goodpasture takes exception to Philippe Krutchen’s recent post expanding the definition of technical debt – it’s not just about design decisions.
  • Johanna Rothman provides an example of using a discovery project to improve both the quality of the cost and schedule estimates of a proposed project and get customer buy-in.
  • Tin Kadoic provides an overview of how Five and Shoutem approach product testing. Critical point: expose the product to the users early in the development process!
  • Thomas Carney notes the need to get user feedback in a structured manner, so it’s actionable.
  • Samir Goswami examines the challenge of making quality measurable in for a Scrum team.
  • Craig Smith interviews Marcus Hammarberg on his new book, “Kanban in Action.” Just 42 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership and Collaboration

  • Elise Stevens interviews Alli Polin on leadership and the myths around personal growth and development. Just 19 minutes, safe for work.
  • Penelope Trunk extracts lessons on team building from working with the kids on the farm.
  • Scott Berkun concatenates five principles into a plan for solving problems – big problems.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews freelance product manager Fernando Garrido Vaz on managing virtual teams with varying cultures and times zones. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Smith recommends you upload your photo to the tools you use to collaborate with your globally dispersed team, to help them think of you as a person.
  • Carmine Gallo lists the public speaking tips that TED gives to its presenters.
  • Liane Davey vents: people who don’t read the pre-read material waste everyone else’s time when you have to cover it in the meeting.