New PM Articles for the Week of December 8 – 14

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

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews author Jeff Furman on what’s changed in the second edition of “The Project Management Answer Book.”
  • Allen Ruddock reminds us that project problems are nearly always people problems.
  • Kelsey van Haaster explains the hierarchy of laws, theories, and hypotheses, and thus why Conway’s Law is no such thing.
  • Bruce Harpham addresses a persistent form of workplace evil: reports. Well, the ones that no one ever reads are evil, if you have to prepare them.
  • Nick Pisano refines the thoughts on extracting and analyzing data across projects that he expressed in a recent post.
  • Michael Ipsaro identifies three key knowledge resources for those engaged in either procuring or delivering IT services to the U.S. federal government.
  • Ryan Ogilvie points out the need to begin a service level management initiative with the development of a service catalog.
  • Saar Bitner demonstrates the problems of using Excel for data analysis, and proposes BI software as the more sustainable alternative.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn notes that, although the team needs to select their own sprint duration, sometimes the Scrum Master has to step in and make the decision.
  • Johanna Rothman suggest that there are times when you need to move away from iterations, and toward flow. Insert Kanban and Scrumban advocacy remarks here.
  • Charles Settles summarizes three popular team collaboration products, for non-traditional projects.

Looking Ahead

  • Paul Baumgartner speculates on how project management, as a practice and a profession, will evolve over the coming years.
  • Jelani Harper identifies the business drivers for the Internet of Things in 2015.
  • Brad Egeland shares his “wish list” for project management in 2015.

Risk Management

  • Glen Alleman explores managing in the presence of uncertainty, as expressed in Tim Lister’s statement, “Risk Management is project management for adults.”
  • Kailash Awati defines internally generated risks, and explains why they make risk management more difficult.
  • John Goodpasture shares the mixed metaphor of Black Elephants.
  • Eric Anderson summarizes the diplomatic aspects of enterprise risk management, as outlined in an article by Lawrence Quinn.

Being Effective

  • Adriana Girdler lists her guiding beliefs, and argues that our beliefs drive our decisions and behavior.
  • Harry Hall notes the common reasons that people avoid goals, and tells us why we should set new ones and try once again to reach them.
  • Smita Mishra advises other women: forget about a mentor, and find yourself a sponsor.
  • Rich Maltzman shares a discovery:, a site which allows you to discover and listen to radio content and podcasts from anywhere in the world.

Pot Pouri

  • Scott Berkun notes that what you say is more important than what you think.
  • Adam Shostack addresses a pernicious trend: “It’s easier to snark than to contribute.”
  • Adrian Fittolani recalls how he learned to work long hours. And how he learned not


Waterfall to Agile: New eBook Available

Waterfall to AgileThe good folks at AtTask have released another of their eBooks. It’s called, “Waterfall to Agile: Making the Transition to Agile or a Mixed Methodology Approach.” Twenty Agile and project management practitioners and authors contributed, including myself. It’s a wide-ranging collection of essays, addressing topics from selecting Agile methods, to implementing them, to making Agile methods the new normal. You can download it for free, here.

After you’ve had a chance to read it, leave a comment with a brief review.

New PM Articles for the Week of December 1 – 7

Just OverheadNew project management articles published on the web during the week of December 1 – 7. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Dominika Chambon provides the “how-to” for preventing scope creep and other profitability failure modes on a fixed-price project.
  • Glen Alleman puts systems engineering the in the enterprise IT domain into context, with examples of capabilities that drive the effort.
  • Kathleen O’Connor explore the difference between a project and a strategic initiative.
  • Michael Lopp on why so many software bugs are discovered in the wild, rather than in the QA lab: “Humans do strange shit to software …” Still, the QA mentality has value.
  • Ron Rosenhead notes that lesson learned are only valuable to the extent that we actually do something to implement what we’ve learned.
  • Harry Hall illustrates the strategy of risk avoidance with an embarrassing story.
  • Ryan Ogilvie takes a lesson from Star Trek on managing the risk of exceeding your scheduled maintenance down time window.
  • Nick Pisano reviews our current state of fragmented digitized project information management tools and describes what the integrated future state should be.
  • Gus Lawson shares an anecdote about helping a team improve their ability to collaborate with others, and summarizes the lessons learned.
  • Robert Martinez outlines an approach for building effective teams.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn makes the case for Scrum Master and Product Owner being two different people, not just different roles.
  • Johanna Rothman asks an interesting question: Who removes your obstacles?
  • John Goodpasture gets philosophical on the relationship between retrospection and management.
  • Sameer Patil reviews several alternative models for ordering your product backlog.
  • Sam Barnes provides the transcript of a Q&A he gave on managing digital projects.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Samad Aidane interviews Todd Williams on how to buy project management consulting service. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior sits down with Personal Kanban guru Jim Benson to talk about matching work in progress (WIP) with capacity. Part 1 is just 11 minutes, all are safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joseph Flahiff on getting your team to be a rock band! Or at least, one that rocks. Just 28 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mark Phillipy and his two brothers compare notes on the practice of leadership in their respective industries. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.

Being Effective

  • Cheri Baker ditched her Outlook, Kanban board, Evernote, Toodledo, and Onenote for … uh, a paper planner. Hey, organization is about the skills, not the tools!
  • Peter Saddington shares an infographic on how set a daily routine that will improve your effectiveness.
  • Seth Godin clarifies the relationships between goals, strategies, and tactics.