New PM Articles for the Week of April 3 – 9

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Art Petty tell us to find the opportunities lurking in situations characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty. Less than 4 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Hear)!

  • Michael Wood offers some career counseling for those considering a move to project management consulting.
  • Greg Satell says that looking for a good problem will lead us to find a great idea.
  • Bertrand Duperrin observes that there are no more technology companies—only companies using technology. Just ask Tesla Motors, now calling itself Tesla, Inc.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin explains how to hold people accountable, in her weekly Project Management Café Facebook Live session. Join the group! Just 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall walks us through creating a project human resource management plan.
  • Moira Alexander tutors us on RFIs and RFQs from the perspective of both the potential customer and the vendor.
  • Anna Murray explains the nature of complex projects, using the assembly of an Ikea desk as a metaphor. If you’re thinking “schedule risk,” I think you get the idea.
  • Glen Alleman tutors us on interpreting a probability distribution, using the measured similarity in two very different climates to illustrate.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, including posts on how many teams a Scrum Master should handle and whether they should work themselves out of a job.
  • Jimeque Turner counts the soft skills that allowed her to transition from teacher to project manager, to Scrum Master.
  • Johanna Rothman contrasts an iterative approach with a cadence-driven approach.
  • The Clever PM debunks five common myths about “iteration.”
  • Pulkit Agrawal explains why a start-up firm chose to re-design their product, choosing growth and sustainability over short-term customer retention.
  • Coray Seifert reflects on lessons learned from using Hansoft for Agile project management on his most recent game development project. And more widely applicable than that.

Applied Leadership

  • John Goodpasture summarizes “The Right Kind of Crazy: A true story of teamwork, leadership, and high-stakes innovation,” by Adam Steltzner and William Patrick.
  • Michael Lopp extends Kim Scott’s model for Radical Candor into one of Radical (communication) Efficiency.
  • Margarita Mayo notes that, although humble people make the most effective leaders, we keep following charismatic narcissists.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Nancy Settle-Murphy and Elise Keith list the criteria to decide whether a face-to-face meeting is necessary or a virtual meeting will work as well.
  • Matt Weinberger looks out a decade to the end of the smartphone, and maybe new models for being human.
  • Seth Godin: “Technology destroys the perfect and then it enables the impossible.”
  • Peter Vishton argues that to break our own bad habits we should use the same training techniques that work on dogs.

Working and the Workplace

  • Ryan Ogilvie shares an anecdote that illustrates the need for excellent metrics when pursuing excellence.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Frank Cottle, CEO of Alliance Virtual Offices, on the virtual office movement and “third place” working. Just 45 minutes, safe for work.
  • Michael Hyatt uses Elon Musk as a counter-intuitive example to illustrate why the 100 hour work week is counter-productive.
  • Tom McFarlin shares a lesson from “Essentialism,” by Greg McKeown, on separating the vital few from the trivial many.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 27 – April 2

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 27 – April 2. And this week’s video: Ward Cunningham reflects on the history, motivation and common misunderstanding of the “debt metaphor” as motivation for refactoring.

Must read (or Hear)!

  • John Le Drew curated extracts of interviews with Agile thought leaders and statistics to tell a very NPR-sounding story about safety from abusive work environments, and why we need it. Just 37 minutes, safe for work.
  • Natalie Warnert contemplates how technical debt contributes to the cost of delay in future changes, and why we should talk about that future cost before incurring additional debt.
  • Johanna Rothman shares a few anecdotes that describe how servant leadership works in practice.

Established Methods

  • Laura Barnard describes the activities that should happen in the Discovery phase before the project is approved and the charter created.
  • Susanne Madsen bullets six things to do when starting up a new project.
  • Dave Prior interviews Don Kim on his new book, “I Think, Therefore I Plan.” Just 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisano defends the analysis of historical data to identify and act on trends as more than just “telling them history they already know.”
  • Glen Alleman lists five principles of project success and then ties them to the processes needed to implement them and practices that have been proven to be widely applicable.
  • Jeff Collins gives us a tutorial on earned value management.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly roundup of Agile content, including the Agile mindset, the neuroscience of trust, structured conversations, experimentation, and more.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy has a truthful conversation with a prospective client about Scrum: how it works, what it demands of the product owner, and why they’re called “sprints.”
  • Esther Derby describes experimentation as a method of driving incremental organizational change.
  • The Clever PM provides a recommended reading list for product managers – also applicable to project managers, Scrum masters, and anyone else leading people.
  • Bart Gerardi describes three kinds of dependencies that would make a Scrum team want to align their sprint calendar with that of other teams.
  • Margaret Kelsey interviews Misael Leon of Nearsoft, who shares his insights on how to understand your users’ motivations. Just 37 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Harry Hall identifies four common reasons we get stuck and suggests corrective actions that can get our teams moving again. Plus a three-minute video, safe for work.
  • Michael Greer describes five critical conditions that have to be present in order to enable team success.
  • Mike Girdler lists four key actions needed to change a toxic corporate culture.
  • Gina Abudi concludes her series on getting buy-in for a large project.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Mike Clayton gives us a solid tutorial on persuasion and influence.
  • Gavin Martin links us to a table from the National Conference of State Legislatures, with links to the security breach notification laws in each state.
  • Teena Maddox reports on the successful recycling of a SpaceX booster rocket—just one more step on the way to 4,425 satellites delivering internet service to the entire globe.

Working and the Workplace

  • Bertrand Duperrin notes that the young are virtuoso users of technology that they don’t understand and don’t care to learn about. So how will we find enough geeks?
  • Leigh Espy explains what project managers really do in terms of roles and responsibilities. This is an excellent resource for coaching an “accidental project manager.”
  • Coert Visser collates a checklist of questions to support your professional development.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 20 – 26

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 20 – 26. And this week’s video: Art Petty tells how to start each day by preparing your attitude. Less than three minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Hear)!

  • Max Ogles interviews Jane McGonigal, author of Reality is Broken and Superbetter, on the future of habit-forming technology.
  • Ned Johnson thinks the model of the project manager as project CEO might be the reason so many projects become death marches.
  • Darragh Broderick performs a failure analysis on three of the worst decisions of the 20th

Established Methods

  • Pat Weaver makes the point that your project controls—tailored to your delivery strategy—must be both useful and maintainable.
  • Michelle MacAdam tells how to assess whether your project or program is ready to deliver the benefits it was launched to capture.
  • Mike Clayton explains the project checklist in just under three minutes. Safe for work, of course.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy talks us through the steps in identifying project stakeholders. Just over two minutes, safe for work.
  • Glen Alleman clarifies the math underlying a commonly quoted quality rubric for software project estimates.
  • Jenn Livingston describes the key elements of successfully outsourcing software development.
  • Keith Foote provides a “Cliff’s Notes” history of database management for those who wonder what some of those acronyms mean.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, including Scrum, Lean, risk-taking and experimentation, and even the Seven Day weekend.
  • The Clever PM explains why we need to measure what matters—just say no to vanity metrics.
  • Peter Borsella and Hubert Smits identify the mix of skills needed by cross-functional teams when producing hardware products.
  • Johanna Rothman concludes her series on becoming an Agile Leader.
  • Tamás Török extracts some stunning statistics from The State of Software Development 2017, Startup Edition. Not your corporate software development experience.
  • Mike Cohn introduces yet another installment of his free training videos: this one is on adding just the right amount of detail to user stories.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews author Geoff Watts on his new book, Product Mastery. Just 47 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Harry Hall makes a case for the caring leader.
  • Alankar Karpe explains why ethics is more important than ever and how to foster an ethical culture in your organization.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Agility Shift: Create Agile and Effective Leaders, Teams, and Organizations.
  • John Goodpasture reflects on a hard question: in your domain, who can say “yes” and make it stick?
  • Gina Abudi continues her case study on getting buy-in for a large project.

Working and the Workplace

  • Michelle Symonds explains a coming development in the UK: a project management apprentice scheme.
  • Alison DeNisco reports on a survey of more than 1,400 US tech workers—48% said that the 2016 election made them care more about diversity and inclusion.
  • Rob England rants about Hot Desks and the dehumanizing policies that remove our team identity and sense of place. We should not be arriving at work early just to get a good seat.

Enjoy!