New PM Articles for the Week of February 23 – March 1

Panning for GoldNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 23 – March 1. We pan for the gold, every week! Recommended:

Must read!

  • ProjectsAtWork summarizes the findings of a new research report on Agile project management software. Key finding: nearly half of the PMs are managing projects not related to software development.
  • Skip Weisman thinks we might be having the “wrong” conversation with the “right” person.
  • Dorie Clark says that Email may be ruining your life, primarily because we’re using it for things it was never intended to do.

PM Best Practices

  • Kailash Awati reviews the shortcomings of traditional decision theory when managing in the absence of reliable information.
  • Patti Gilchrist explains why Six Sigma complements innovation, rather than stifling it.
  • John Goodpasture makes the case for project managers to develop business skills, especially literacy in financial accounting.
  • Irfan Shariff describes the Quality Function Deployment Matrix.
  • Harry Hall details the process of cranking out a compressed project schedule.
  • Nick Pisano outlines his approach for the professional development of new project managers.
  • Mike Gruia details an approach for building a strategic PMO that will establish “a sustainable competitive advantage.”
  • Mark Phillipy interviews Cornelius Fichtner and Kevin Reilly on the wide range of PMI related certifications – it’s not just the PMP! Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni explains how to get remote workers set up for success. Just over three minutes, safe for work.

 Agile Methods

  • Larry O’Brien summarizes five essential rules of software project management. Yes, there are excellent concepts that pre-date the Agile Manifesto.
  • Mike Griffiths explains the ideas behind his proposed presentation at Agile 2015: Eat risks for breakfast, poop awesomeness all day! Risks = fiber? Who knew?
  • Mike Cohn tries to explain the difference between a user story and a task, and triggers a comment storm!
  • Renee, Craig, and Tony let us listen in on their banter and reviews of some of their tools. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.

 Soft Skills

  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, explain why the fives “whats” are more effective than the five “whys.”
  • Pawel Brodzinski delivers a bunch of sketches that illustrate Virginia Satir’s Change Model and Stuart Kauffman’s Fitness Landscape. Long post, but worth reading.
  • Bruce Harpham looks at two basic models of motivation: Frederick Herzberg’s classic hygiene factors and motivators, and Dan Pink’s Drive model.
  • Nada Aldahleh summarizes recent research on the effects of sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep.
  • Liam Barrett champions the value of emotional intelligence to leaders.
  • Michael Lopp describes the emotional J-curve of starting a new gig. He doesn’t call it that, but that’s what he’s describing. I do it 2 – 3 times a year, and he’s spot on.

Meeting Mastery

  • Robert Kelly gets us back to the basics of organizing a meeting.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a video that shows what a conference call would look like if everyone was in the room. Painful, but true to life.
  • Kerry Wills offers a few reasons why meeting in person isn’t all that much of an improvement over the conference call.
  • Éamonn McGuinness lists some best practices for making meetings effective, including the “energy test.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 16 – 22

Ballon PassingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 16 – 22. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • The MIT Technology Review gets us caught up on recent advances in computer recognition of faces and other three-dimensional objects.
  • Mike Griffiths analyzes the growth of the various PMI professional credentials over the last ten years. The trends are interesting.
  • Kristin Yang uses animated gifs to show how she spends her day as a software development project manager. Because it’s not all Dilbert scenarios.

PM Best Practices

  • John Goodpasture reports on a recent exercise that demonstrated the value of letting small teams self-organize to solve a problem.
  • Harry Hall notes that a project’s greatest exposure to risk lies at the beginning, and suggests steps to reduce that exposure.
  • Nick Pisano explains why fast-tracking a project also involves taking on additional risks and accepting more waste.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Susanne Madsen on the subject of her new book: “The Power of Project Leadership.”
  • Glen Alleman hacks away the Agilista pop-culture crap to get to a more rigorous definition of self-organizing.
  • Kerry Wills analyzes the spectrum of yellow that falls between Green and Red in our status reports.

Agile Methods

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Michael Smith on the concepts and practice of conscious software development. Just 31 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie gives us his summary of PMI’s “Pule of the Profession” report, and their findings on how high-performing project management organizations are more agile.
  • Mike Cohn is a firm proponent of a “definition of done,” but points out that there are cases where teams benefit from defining different levels of done.
  • Neil Killick examines a Twittersphere Scrum controversy, and suggests that the case in point misses an opportunity to investigate the underlying problem.
  • Derek Huether notes that even a co-located team needs a process framework and a communication tool.
  • Bart Gerardi makes the case for including the entire team in preparing estimates.
  • Pawel Brodzinski rolls out an interesting estimation and planning tool: No Bullshit Estimation Cards. Yeah, I got yer Fibonacci, right here …
  • Sumit Sharma makes the point that the product backlog isn’t just prioritized, but ordered.

Soft Skills

  • Cesar Abeid interviews writer, speaker, and podcaster Mike Vardy on his minimalist approach to personal productivity. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bruce Harpham gets into the why and how of self-motivation.
  • Gina Abudi lists our bullets for practices that will help us improve our concentration by screening out distractions.
  • Michael Lopp shares his non-judgmental take on the behaviors you’ll likely see in a conversation.
  • Bruce Benson tells us how he responds when a colleague announces that he’s leaving for another opportunity.
  • Tracey Richardson and colleagues report on their research into how project managers got into the profession. Mostly, by accident.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 2 – 8

Just OverheadNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 2 – 8. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Erik Sofge canvasses AI researchers to see if there is any potential for malevolent super-intelligent machines. Isn’t this like asking Henry Ford if he’s worried about climate change?
  • Cynthia Zieman details the project management plan, which is not the same thing as the project plan.
  • Margaret Meloni argues for maintaining a high profile when working remotely. Just two minutes, safe for work.

PM Best Practices

  • Howard Baldwin ignores the hand-wringing failures sagas and seeks out stories from big-data projects that seem to have succeeded.
  • Michel Dion believes that the way to manage complexity is to have a flexible model that will guide monitoring your project’s health.
  • Stacey Barr suggests an approach to measuring results, rather than just activity.
  • Michael Wood proposes a structured approach to measuring the quality of the project management process.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the Women in Technology Awards banquet in London.
  • John Goodpasture distinguishes between organizational change and organizational transformation.
  • Allen Ruddock notes that “best practices” for the PMO are only valuable if tailored to the needs of the organization.
  • Glen Alleman give a couple of examples of value at risk modeling.
  • Andy Jordan covers the basics of how a project manager should get to know the people on her project.
  • Ryan Ogilvie uses a football metaphor for service delivery.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman is so over the cone of uncertainty for software development estimation.
  • Ron Jeffries offers his thoughts on estimating software projects.
  • Amit Sarkar considers the importance of release planning in making Agile methods successful.

Soft Skills

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Matthew Turner on what he learned in writing his new book, “Successful Mistake.” Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Seth Godin channels Maslow, constructing a Productivity Pyramid.
  • Cheri Baker tells us how to apply first aid for the psychological wounds suffered by teams, at the hands of abusive managers.
  • Coert Visser shares an anecdote about the challenge of helping a manager clearly communicate their expectations to the team.
  • Bertrand Duperrin says that Big Data, natural language process, and other advanced techniques might not change recruiting (and resume processing) as much as we think.
  • Scott Berkun extracts two key paragraphs about limited value of expert opinion, from an unclassified CIA study.
  • Mark Phillips expands on a criticism by George Orwell, of writers who use catch phrases and buzz words to express themselves – and do it poorly. PM’s take heed!
  • Nick Pisano explores the potential for a not invented here mindset to affect projects, organizations, and even entire societies.

Enjoy!