New PM Articles for the Week of September 22 – 28

SightseersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 22 – 28. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Tad VanderVorste lays out a detailed approach to managing the development of integrations between systems that consume each other’s data.
  • Cindy Wilkins articulates the content and value proposition of a contract management plan, for you government folks.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes a presentation on how Glaxo Smith-Kline adopted and then refined their portfolio and project management tool.
  • Barry Otterholt extols the virtues of milestones, from the perspective of the project sponsor.
  • Allen Ruddock tells of how he got from pencil and paper to EverNote, and how he’s using it to manage the information his project generates.
  • Glen Alleman notes that making complex choices in the absence of all desired information requires some estimates to fill in the gaps.
  • Aaron Smith interviews Leslie Pratch on her use of personality assessments to identify what she has found to be a crucial leadership quality – active coping.
  • Coert Visser identifies the two factors that enable growth: a growth mindset, powered by autonomous motivation.
  • Peter Saddington explains the power of affinity, which consists of three core elements: leadership, environment, and culture.
  • Laura Burford tells how to bond with your project sponsor.
  • Kerry Wills lists his techniques for dealing with difficult people.
  • Andy Jordan considers the costs associated with the “new normal” of excessive workload and long hours.

Agile Methods

  • Don Kim introduces us to the notion of Anti-FrAgile, as “introducing targeted disruptive shocks, which are enough to induce and promote growth and innovation.” Without killing the patient!
  • Johanna Rothman describes an experiment for organizations that have people segregated into component teams to collaborate on one backlog.
  • Mike Cohn shares a lesson learned from a user story that he wrote, which didn’t get the desired result.
  • Peter Saddington shares an Email describing an appallingly bad start to a software project.

Following the Trends

  • Kevin Coleman identifies five emerging technologies (OK, a couple of them are trends) that will soon appear in our project charters.
  • Duncan Haughey lists five project management trends already changing the way we do business.
  • Conner Forrest introduces the terminology, characteristics, and value model of Big Data.
  • Jelani Harper breaks down the science of data management, expressed by CMMI in their Data Management Maturity model.

Professional Development

  • Cesar Abeid introduces a new series of interview podcasts in support of his new book, “Project Management for You.” Just ten minutes, safe for work.
  • John Goodpasture shares some excellent advice on public speaking.
  • Cheri Baker recounts an anecdote on the importance of eye contact, as a way to communicate respect.
  • Liz Staplefoote shares some statistics on the IT hiring situation. Key statistic: the unemployment for people with IT experience is around 3%.
  • Suzanne Lucas gives us some pointers on refreshing our resumes (even if we’re not looking for a job right now).

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 15 – 21

In the CloudsNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 15 – 21. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Anna Hartley contrasts value engineering and simple gold plating.
  • Nick Pisano dives into the definition and validation of framing assumptions, as a potential warning sign of impending project failure.
  • John Goodpasture uses physics to explain why traffic in the slow lane moves faster as volume builds, and then applies the same principal to prove Brooks’ Law!
  • Glen Alleman gives a quick summary of “The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software,” by Barry Boehm and Jo Ann Lane.
  • Gary Hamilton and Jon McGowan share their best practices for managing projects with regulatory compliance as a critical success factor.
  • Pat Weaver explains that good policy flows from the intersection of morals, ethics, values, and principals, and shows how they interrelate.
  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy criticizes financial incentives applied without an attempt to understand the problem.
  • Mark Mullaly prescribes some actions to engage absentee sponsors.
  • Bruce Harpham looks for negative cues – thing that should have happened, but didn’t – as a diagnostic for project health.
  • Kerry Wills believes that the principal difference between project success and failure lies in issue management.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews two project management software collaboration products: activeCollab and twProject.
  • Peter Taylor, author of “The Lazy Project Manager,” reminds us that you can work too hard to be effective in your job.
  • Peter Saddington shares an interesting story of how lazy out-performs smart, if you give it a chance.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman reminds us that Agile and Lean are beneficial tools, but we have to adapt our culture to get any benefit from them. Of course, that takes time.
  • Mike Cohn insists that while story points are about time, they shouldn’t be equated to some number of hours. It’s about relative time – so, Einstein was Agile?
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on Agile anti-patterns.
  • Liz Keogh explains the difference between goals and capabilities.
  • Manas Shirode coins a new phrase: Bonsai waterfall.
  • Tushar Patel thinks that portfolio-management approaches can help project managers cope with Agile practices.

Professional Development

  • Coert Visser addresses the “curse of knowledge,” and offers some ways to avoid talking past our stakeholders.
  • Erin Carson advocates the PMP as a career development tool for engineers and software developers.
  • Tom Taylor posts a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the “ups and downs” of managing projects and programs.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jorge de la Guardia, on the history and future of the Panama Canal. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior is starting a new series of podcasts with Richard Cheng and Dhaval Panchal, on current trends in Agile. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Shawn Dickerson on the demand for leadership from project managers. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 8 – 14

Balloon Over the WallNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 8 – 14. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman summarizes the Government Accounting Office’s findings on the root cause of the HealthCare.gov website problems. “Ineffective planning and oversight …”
  • Bruce Benson also reviews the problems identified by the GAO and comes to a different conclusion: they need brutal honesty in order to establish realistic expectations.
  • Russell Whitworth says the key to successful projects is to identify success criteria, and then monitor and manage to them.
  • Michel Dion articulates three keys to project management: identify the intended results, be decisive, and take action.
  • Harry Hall helps us get past the terminology gap, between what we know about project management and what our sponsors and stakeholders don’t
  • Johanna Rothman explores the relationship between cost, value, and investment for portfolio management in a new series.
  • Henny Portman shares an article on building a project portfolio prioritization model, to be part of his upcoming book.
  • Mike Griffiths has a few suggestions for managing the Millenials, in the modern world of frequent job changes and unrealistic expectations.
  • Kerry Wills touts the virtues of planning a schedule from left to right; in other words, calculating the end date, rather than having one imposed as a constraint.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Glip, a project collaboration site with instant messaging and some interesting integrations with other commonly used tools.

Agile Methods

  • Shim Marom shares the slide deck from his Australia PMI conference presentation, “Transform Yourself From Traditional to Agile Project Manager.”
  • Dave Prior constructs a self-assessment tool for “recovering PM’s” who are embracing Agile, and want to measure their progress. “Recovering?” Egad …
  • Mike Cohn explains that the primary benefits of story points is a standardized measure of effort, independent of the skill level of the programmer.
  • Meghana Niranjan presents Poka-Yoke 101, or for us non-Japanese speakers, an introduction to mistake proofing. The examples are more than enough reason to read this.
  • Aby League clarifies how the Pomodoro Technique works, and how such a personal time management approach can fit in with Agile teams.
  • John Goodpasture assigns ownership of delivering the value described in the business case to the product manager.

Following the Trends

  • Janet Wagner provides a current-state view of cognitive computing and identifies several companies producing cognitive apps.
  • Zach Watson sees opportunity for project management in the Internet of Things.
  • Peter Saddington reports on research linking social collaboration and the evolution of brain size.
  • Bertrand Duperrin interviews Manuel Diaz on the intersection of the customer experience and digital models.
  • Kailash Awati interviews organization psychologist Dr. Neil Preston on exchanging the hero myth for an ethical approach to organizational change management.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy shares a video from Masaaki Imai, founder of the Kaizen Institute, on continuous improvement across the organization. Just 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Shawn Dickerson of AtTask on the future of project management, and re-connects with Farnoosh Brock. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joan Vincent on how the Wideman Education Foundation develops project management skills in young people. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni expands on her last post, on strategic reserve time, to show how to avoid starting off behind schedule. Just 7 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!